What Are Chakras?

 

 

What Are Chakras?

For a deeper exploration into the world of chakras, read my book The Ultimate Guide to Chakras.

The genesis of the modern chakra system can be traced back to the Vedas: the most ancient and sacred Hindu scriptures. The Sanskrit word chakra translates to “wheel”, and these spinning “discs” are where energy gathers within and adjacent to the physical body. It is through the chakra system that cosmic energy may travel through us; it is from this system that our Life Force arises.

Maintaining flow and alignment amongst your main chakras is critical to cultivating a sense of overall health and vitality. For years, I have studied the chakra system and the ways in which chakra imbalances affect the mind, body, and spirit. What I have learned is that feelings of challenge or illness, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional, can always be traced to particular chakras that are blocked or in need of healing. I believe that by addressing any blockages you have within your chakras, you make way for the free flow of Prana: the energy from which life itself arises. This free flow of Life Force energy will empower you to feel healthier, happier, and more balanced and aligned. From here, the connection you share with all of life will deepen, and your energy will resonate with the very energy of the Universe.

According to the tantric texts, there are over 100 total chakras in the body – however, there are seven main chakras that yogis and energy workers tend to focus on in study. In addition to the seven main chakras, there are two additional “anchor” chakras that connect us with Earth and Spirit, creating a total of nine chakras, all of which you can read more about below. Each chakra has a unique color correspondence, a precise location in the physical body, and a group of emotions, behaviors, and physical experiences that it governs. 

earth starChakras

1) The Earth Star Chakra (Vasundhara)

The Earth Star Chakra is about twelve to eighteen inches below the soles of your feet and is the grounding point for the entire chakra system. Usually deep red, brown, or black in color, the Earth Star Chakra aligns and connects you with powerful energies of the Earth’s magnetic core. It is believed that this often overlooked chakra is responsible for the precious task of grounding the entire body of extended chakras. When the Earth Star Chakra is healthy, you will feel more connected to not only your most authentic self, but to the entire planet and the Universe at large. When balanced, the Earth Star Chakra nourishes both body and soul with grounding energies and feelings of safety. In other words, a healthy Earth Star Chakra provides the firm foundation for the soul to fully express itself and reveal its many hidden truths. When we are grounded and tethered to the Great Mother, we feel empowered, held, and protected. And when we move from that space of rooted empowerment, we show up beautifully in our lives for ourselves and for others.

Color correspondence: deep red, brown, and black

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Earth Star Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: black tourmaline, jet, onyx

Herbs: ceremonial tobacco, red clover, frankincense

Essential Oils: white ceremonial sage, black peppercorn, myrrh

root starChakras

2) The Root Chakra (Muladhara)

The Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine. The Root Chakra resonates with groundedness, stability, and security and it connects you to the Earth’s crystalline matrix. This is the chakra to focus on in meditation if you are feeling afraid or unsafe. If you are too stuck in your ways, unwilling to accept change or transition, your Root Chakra may be overactive. The Root Chakra color correspondence is red. In the physical body, this chakra influences the male reproductive system, rectum, elimination, kidneys, adrenals, and the lower spine.

To activate the Root Chakra, try a hip-opening yoga pose, or simply close your eyes, drop into a quiet meditation, and visualize a spinning red disc situated in the Root Chakra position. Working with this energetic center on a regular basis will improve your sense of deep protection and connection to Mother Earth.

Color correspondence: red

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Root Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: onyx, red jasper, red aventurine

Herbs: burdock, rosemary, cayenne

Essential Oils: vetiver, cedarwood, angelica

sacralChakras

3) The Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana)

The Sacral Chakra is located in the pelvic area, between the hips. The Sacral Chakra resonates with sensuality, passion, creativity, emotion, and your relationship to pleasure. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling emotionally rigid, apathetic, creatively blocked, or closed off to intimacy. If you tend to be hypersexual or become emotionally attached too easily, your Sacral Chakra may be overactive. This chakra influences the female reproductive system, kidneys, bladder, and large intestine. The Sacral Chakra color correspondence is orange.

To activate the Sacral Chakra, tap into your sacred creativity and give yourself permission to experience pleasure, including healthy sexual expression. You can try a yoga pose such as butterfly or cobra, or simply close your eyes, drop into a quiet meditation, and get in touch with your desire. Working with this energetic center on a regular basis will arouse your passion, increase intimacy with yourself and others, and invite more deliciousness into your life.

Color correspondence: orange

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Sacral Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: carnelian, imperial topaz, goldstone

Herbs: fennel, cinnamon, coriander

Essential Oils: ginger, blood orange, vanilla

solarChakras

4) The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)

The Solar Plexus Chakra is located above the belly button – what we refer to as your “core” with regard to abdominal strength. Its color correspondence is yellow or gold. The Solar Plexus Chakra resonates with personal power, vitality, courage, self-confidence, and force of will. It is your center of manifestation. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling powerless or timid. And if you tend to be domineering, bordering on aggressive behavior, your Solar Plexus Chakra may be overactive. Self-esteem issues often arise here. This chakra influences the liver, upper spine, pancreas, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine, and helps with metabolism.

To activate the Solar Plexus Chakra, incorporate the light of the Sun and the heat of fire into your practice. Exercise outward assertiveness and engage your capacity for mental focus. You can try deep breathing into this chakra, envisioning the light of the Golden Ray flowing into you and through this energy center in meditation. Working with this energetic node on a regular basis will give you more vigor, self-confidence, and empowered discipline.

Color correspondence: yellow and gold

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Solar Plexus Chakra

Gems & Minerals: citrine, amber, copal

Herbs: anise, celery, turmeric

Essential Oils: grapefruit, neroli, tea tree

heartrChakras

5) The Heart Chakra (Anahata)

The Heart Chakra is located in the central part of the spine, near the heart itself. Known as the seat of love, this chakra is the center of your body’s energy system. Its color correspondences are green and pink. The Heart Chakra powerfully affects your capacity to love and experience feelings of compassion. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling disconnected, cold, or unable to summon compassion for yourself or others. A healthy Heart Chakra brings calmness and balance and creates a clearer channel to the truth and light, of Source. And if you tend to smother people with your affection, your Heart Chakra may be overactive. Physically, this chakra influences the thymus, heart, and lungs.

To activate the Heart Chakra, envision the Green Ray of light permeating the center of your chest and with each inhale, feel your capacity for love expanding. Send love to every person, place, and thing that arises in your consciousness. Working with the Heart Chakra on a regular basis will increase your feelings of generosity, happiness, and connectedness with all humanity.

Color correspondence: green and pink

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Heart Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: pink tourmaline, mangano calcite, rose quartz

Herbs: rose, thyme, parsley

Essential Oils: jasmine, lavender, bergamot

throatChakras

6) The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)

The Throat Chakra is located at the center of the throat. Its color correspondence is true, bright blue. The Throat Chakra resonates with self-expression and honest communication. It is the key to unlocking your inner voice and accessing your ability to speak your truth with conviction and fearlessness. This energetic node of the Blue Ray is your center of honest communication in all things. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling withdrawn or unable to speak from a place of truth. If you tend to speak too freely and openly, bordering on dictatorial or offensive, or if you tend to be a poor listener, your Throat Chakra may be overactive. This chakra influences the thyroid, neck, jaw, upper lungs, mouth, and throat.

To activate your Throat Chakra, speak with honesty and conviction, and listen to others with compassion and love. The Throat Chakra is the essence of empathy and unshakeable faith – the gateway for your authentic self to courageously enter the world. It is also a verbal culmination of all other chakras; whether those chakras are in or out of alignment will emerge in words both spoken and written as well as what is not spoken or written. Working with the Throat Chakra instills confidence and passion in your speech. When your Throat Chakra is clear, the intelligence of your mind is balanced with the wisdom of your heart, and you are free to express your Highest Truth.

Color correspondence: blue

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Throat Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: amazonite, angelite, turquoise

Herbs: elderberry, common sage, chamomile

Essential Oils: eucalyptus, Peru balsam, lemongrass

third eyeChakras

7) The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)

The Third Eye Chakra is located at the forehead, between the eyes. Its color correspondence is indigo. The Third Eye Chakra is the key to unlocking your intuition and witnessing spectacularly enhanced forms of perception. This energetic node is the center we must activate to fully transcend duality or the illusion of separation from all of creation. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling out of touch with your instincts. If you tend to overthink ordinary experiences, reading too much into things without accuracy, or feeling paranoid in any way, your Third Eye Chakra may be overactive. This chakra influences the pituitary gland, hormones, eyes, and brain. Working with the Third Eye Chakra instills confidence in your inner and outer vision.

To activate your Third Eye Chakra, begin by silencing your mind, allowing your Higher Self to come through the space in between. Feel into this chakra, envisioning the indigo light radiating through this center in meditation. Listen to the messages that come to you. The more you seek, the more you will find. Working with this energetic center on a regular basis will open your ‘all seeing eye’ to access unlimited divine wisdom.

Color correspondence: indigo

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Third Eye Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: azurite, lapis lazuli, labradorite

Herbs: mugwort, mandrake root, blue lotus

Essential Oils: betel leaf, yarrow, opoponax

crownChakras

8) The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

This chakra is located at the top of the head. Its color correspondence is purple. The Crown Chakra resonates with wisdom, connection to the spiritual realms, and attunement with the Universe. This is the chakra to focus on if you are feeling spiritually disconnected or have lost your faith, especially in humanity. If you tend to be “in the clouds” all the time, your Crown Chakra may be overactive and you may need grounding in your lower chakras. This chakra influences the pineal gland, brain stem, spinal cord, and biological cycles – including sleep. The function of the Crown Chakra is driven solely by the pursuit of higher states of consciousness. This energetic node is the center you must activate to go beyond the personal and immerse yourself completely in the ineffable reality of love, bliss, and pure awareness that is Source.

To activate your Crown Chakra, compose a prayer or invocation, or choose a mantra that feels resonant with your energy right now. Ask for help, and call on your spirit guides, angels, or ascended masters. Ask for their guidance and protection. Spoken affirmations are immersed in the subconscious – programming and imprinting this connection to Source into your deepest mind, which results in a shift in consciousness. Elevated consciousness radiates outward in all you do and experience.

Color correspondence: purple

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Crown Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: amethyst, selenite, lepidolite

Herbs: gotu kola, pink lotus, St. John’s Wort

Essential Oils: lavender, palo santo, frangipani

soul starChakras

9) The Soul Star Chakra (Sutara)

The Soul Star Chakra or Seat of the Soul sits about six to twelve inches above the Crown. Its color correspondence is mauve. This chakra is a portal to the higher realms through which very high-frequency light can enter your etheric field. It is believed that this chakra is the gateway through which the soul enters at birth to bind with the physical body, and then departs through at death when it returns to the collective matrix for reseeding. Activation and clearing of the Soul Star Chakra throws a cosmic doorway wide open through which we can connect with enlightened beings who exist beyond our physical reality. This is a place of deep comfort and connection.

To activate your Soul Star Chakra, close your eyes and visualize white light pouring down from Source, straight into your Soul Star Chakra, as it opens and activates. Then visualize this light flowing over and down into your Crown and Third Eye Chakras, opening the potent energetic channel from above. Breathe into this space for a few moments as you picture your personal beam of light growing stronger and clearer, a symbol of strengthened connection. Call in spirit guides, light beings, or ascended masters you seek. Ask what messages they carry for you and remain open to receiving them.

Color correspondence: mauve

Tools for unblocking and balancing the Soul Star Chakra:

Gems & Minerals: scolecite, optical calcite, rainbow moonstone

Herbs: anise, basil, davana

Essential Oils: white lotus, gardenia, elemi

How to Work with Chakras to Achieve Energetic Balance

Taking a yoga class is a great way to achieve energetic balance and alignment of the mind, body, and soul. Another way to work with these energy centers is to simply close your eyes, drop into a quiet meditation, and visualize each one spinning in the light of its associated color. Start from the Earth Star and make your way to the Soul Star in this visualization. Or, you can simply focus your visualization on the one that feels blocked or speaks to you. Your chakras will show you what they need, as long as you find the place of stillness to listen.

Let intuition be your guide on this journey. When your chakras are aligned and fully activated, your intuition works in sacred unison with your emotions and your physical body to achieve balance, contentment, and happiness in your daily life. When there is misalignment, energy is unable to flow harmoniously. Maintaining balance requires commitment, but with mindfulness and conscious practice, you hold the power to reclaim the wholeness and harmony of your mind, body, and spirit and open up a world of greater joy, possibility, and wisdom. And so it is.

 

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