Believe in them or not, most people will have heard about Chakras at some point either from a yoga class, meditation, massage or in a reiki session, but what are chakras actually supposed to be? Where can I find mine and what do you do with them once you find them?
'Chakras are the circular vortexes of energy that are placed in seven different points on the spinal column, and all the seven chakras are connected to the various organs and glands within the body. These chakras are responsible for disturbing the life energy, which is also known as Qi or Praana.'
Literally speaking, the word “chakra” from Sanskrit translates to “wheel” or “disk,” but references a spiritual energy centre within the human body, of which there are seven along the spine, and through the neck and the crown of your head, according to Chakra specialists.
If you think that chakras have just been invented and are a part of all things 'new age', think again:
"The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC in the oldest text called the Vedas, The Vedas are the earliest Sanskrit literary records and the most ancient scriptures of Hinduism."
Why are there seven of them? They each correspond to specific organs as well as physical, emotional, psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being and influence all areas of your life. Within these chakras is ‘prana,’ or the ultimate pure healing energy, that’s all around us and within us, to keep us healthy, happy and vibrant (a bit like the illusive 'force' from Star Wars.)
While there isn’t much Western scientific evidence that translates spiritual energy into physical manifestations, the study of the seven chakras and chakra alignment—whether it be through meditation, reiki, or yoga—is rooted in the belief is that when the chakras are open and aligned, our energy is constantly free-flowing, allowing prana to flow through them. I guess you can think of it like a knot of tension in your muscles and how that can stop the blood flowing around your body naturally, starve areas of oxygen causing pain and discomfort and how good it feels after a massage to have that blockage released.
Here's some basic information about each chakra, where to find it and how to know if it is 'blocked'...
The root chakra - Muladhara
What it is: Think about your root chakra (1st chakra) as the foundation of a house, except for your body—it’s sturdy, stabilizing, and supportive, keeping everything safely connected as long as it’s functioning properly.
Where to find yours: It is connected with the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, and responsible for an individual’s sense of security and survival. Because of that, it’s also connected to whatever you do to ground yourself, including basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and safety, as well as your more emotional needs such as letting go or fear and feeling safe. As we well know, when our basic needs are met we tend to worry less.
When it’s blocked: A variety of ailments can occur from blockages, including anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares, adherents say. Physically, the first chakra is associated with problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues.
Stones - Black/Red Agate, Coral, Tiger Eye, Red Jasper,
Colours - Earthy, brown, blacks and reds
The sacral chakra - Svadhishthana
What it is: Consider the second chakra the most fun out of the seven. Located above the pubic bone and below the navel, it’s responsible for our sexual and creative energies. Associated with the color orange and the element of water, when your sacral chakra is aligned, you will likely feel great: You’re friendly, passionate, and successfully fulfilled while also eliciting feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. By honoring your body and expressing yourself creatively, you’re keeping the energy wheels turning and fluid.
Where to find yours: Located above the pubic bone and below the navel.
When it’s blocked: When you’re feeling uninspired creatively or have some emotional instability, your sacral chakra may be misaligned. Likewise, this can also be associated with physical sexual disfunction, while also potentially experiencing fear of change, depression, or addiction-like behaviour.
Stones - Orange coral, Carnelian, Agate, Moonstone
Colours - Orange, Ochre, Burnt Sienna
The solar plexus chakra - Manipura
What it is: With its name meaning “lustrous gem” in Sanskrit, the third chakra (not to be confused with your “third eye,” which is the sixth chakra) is said to be your source of individual power, ruling over self-esteem. It is the action and balance chakra that focuses on individual will power, personal power, and commitment.
Where to find yours: Located from the navel to about the ribcage, it is associated with all things metabolic, digestive, and stomach-related.
When it’s blocked: You can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. It’s not just feeling bad about yourself, but also may lead you to outwardly express apathy, procrastination, or that you’re able to be taken advantage of easily. Likewise, you’ll also possibly have a tummy ache of some kind such as digestive issues or gas.
Stones - Citrine, Topaz, Gold
Colours - Yellow, Sunshine, Lemon, Gold
The heart chakra - Anahata
What it is: The fourth central chakra represents where the physical and the spiritual meet. And as its name implies, is all about the love. It’s the awakening to spiritual awareness, forgiveness, and service. Associated with the colors green and pink, it is believed that when your heart chakra is aligned and balanced, love and compassion are flowing freely—both in terms of giving it out and getting it back. Your good vibes are practically contagious. Like when you smile genuinely, its hard for others not to smile back.
Where to find it: Physically, it is in the centre of the chest and encapsulates the heart, the thymus gland (which plays a vital role in your endocrine and lymphatic system), the lungs, and the breasts.
When it’s blocked: A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others—especially in the form of holding a grudge against something or someone. Holding onto hurt harbors negative feelings and cuts you off from opportunities to love.
Stones - Rose Quartz, Rhodonite, Jade, Peridot, Aventurine, Emerald, Ruby, Charoite, Gold & Rose Gold
Colours - Pink, Green, Gold & Rose Gold
The throat chakra - Vishuddha
What it is: Have zero problem saying how you feel? Your fifth chakra, which is all about communicating and speaking your inner truth—or specifically, ensuring that your inner truths are properly communicated—is likely well-activated. But can't tell someone how you really feel about a situation? or can't help yourself spreading a bit of gossip? Then your throat chakra may well be out of whack. The throat chakra rules all communication, and is the first of the three solely spiritual chakras as opposed to the lower ones, which manifest themselves in a more physical way according to experts.
Where to find it: Anatomically, the throat chakra is associated with the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx. When this chakra is in check, you’re able to fully listen as well as speak and express yourself clearly.
When it’s blocked: In addition to having trouble speaking your truth, you find it hard to pay attention and stay focused, or fear judgment from others—which can further hinder your ability to keep it real. Physically, this blockage can manifest itself as a sore throat, thyroid issues, neck and shoulder stiffness, or tension headaches.
Stones - Angelite, Turquoise, Sodalite, Blue Chalcedony/Agate
Colours - Light blues, Turquoise, Denim Blue
The third-eye chakra - Ajna
What it is: The third-eye chakra is actually your sixth chakra. Organs including the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain are said to be ruled by the third eye. And it reportedly governs your intuition & creativity—plus the ability to recognize and tap into it. What’s more, the third eye is also said to be responsible for all things between you and the outside world, serving as a bridge between the two, allowing you to cut through any illusions and drama to see the clear picture.
Where to find it: It's located around your forehead, between your eyebrows and where many people get head aches and migraines from stress.
When it’s blocked: You may have trouble accessing your intuition, trusting your inner voice, recalling important facts, or learning new skills. And if your lower chakras—the root, sacral, solar plexus, and heart chakras—and are also unbalanced, your third eye will likely be as well, which may cause you to act more judgmental, dismissive, and introverted. A third-eye blockage is associated with a broad range of issues, including depression, anxiety, and a more judgmental attitude—while physically, it’s said to cause headaches, dizziness, and a slew of other brain-health issues.
Stones - Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Gold
Colours -Dark, Intense blues, Indigo, Royal Blue, Violet
The crown chakra - Sahasrara
What it is: Known in Sanskrit as the Sahaswara chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra, it is the center of enlightenment and our spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, the divine, according to the Chopra Center. When aligned, the realizations that occur within you are said to be along the lines of pure awareness, consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Basically, bigger than yourself and yet part of one giant universe.
Where to find it: As the name suggests, the seventh chakra located at the crown of your head and in the space just above it.
When it’s blocked: A crown-chakra blockage may create feelings of isolation or emotional distress—basically feeling disconnected from everyone and everything. Or, you might feel like your normal self—just not in an exalted state of spiritual connection and enlightenment, which is totally okay and seriously normal. Unlike the other chakras, the crown chakra is often only opened up fully through specific yogic or meditative exercises, or at certain times—which is not a skill set you can call upon at any given moment. You may be able to get a taste of it though and feel those special moments of spiritual connection through anything from meditation and prayer, to quiet times of silence and gratitude spent watching a beautiful sunset.
Stones - Amethyst, Moonstone, Gold
Colour - Purple, Violet, Gold
Content acknowledgement - Rachel Jacoby Zoldan - Spiritual Health