7 Chakras: What Is A Chakra? How To Balance Chakras For Beginners
You’ve probably heard people talking about the 7 chakras. They are often referenced in the context of emotional healing or meditation practice. However, you may have found the concept of chakras confusing. Or, you have not quite understood what place it might have in your life. As it turns out, everyone can work with chakras, not just experts. Each of these potent energy centers has a unique vibrational frequency. So, even a basic understanding of the 7 chakras can enhance your life in surprising ways.
Whether you’re trying to heal a specific wound, looking to improve your manifestation work with the Law of Attraction, or just hoping to boost your overall well-being, it pays to know more about the 7 chakras. In this beginner’s guide to chakras, we’ll explore each chakra’s meaning and colors. In addition, we’ll consider how to balance your 7 chakras most effectively.
What Is A Chakra?
Chakra translates to “wheel”. The 7 chakras in the body are distinct energy centers that start at the top of your head and end at the bottom of your spine. They regulate all parts of your bodily system, influencing everything from emotional processing to resistance to disease.
Typically, 7 chakras meditation techniques focus on making the chakras open and keeping them in alignment. If they become blocked or out of sync, this can negatively impact your physical and psychological health.
To get a better sense of how this works, picture a physical machine. If cogs get stuck, pipes become detached or parts of the machine leak, it no longer does its job properly. Plus, these basic faults inevitably lead to further failures. Then, the device deteriorates further. The network of chakras works in a broadly similar way.
Once you can tune into the location of your 7 chakras, you become adept at opening chakras and develop intuitions about blockages. Consequently, you can detect and solve problems as they arise and before they have serious consequences. In addition, you can locate old wounds and do the work needed to address them. In sum, through proper knowledge of chakras, healing can occur. We’ll look at specific examples of this below.
Chakra History And Traditions
As you aim to answer the question “what are the 7 chakras?”, it’s important to look at the historical origins of the 7 chakras. The concept traces back to early Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism in particular documents up to seven chakras. Meanwhile, Buddhism mentions just five. The etymology of the word partly comes from ancient Hindu texts, where it is used to mean “wheel”. It is also said to relate to the Greek word “Kuklos”, and the Anglo-Saxon word “hveohl”. These all designate a wheel of some sort.
These common origins all emphasize the interconnected and constantly shifting nature of the chakras.
If you’re asking yourself “are chakras real?”, consider that chakra history clearly illustrates the longevity and effectiveness of chakra-based traditions. These bodily focal points have been the subject of meditations, breathing techniques and mantras, all of which aim to use the chakras to detect, and address, physical and psychological problems.
The 7 Chakras And Where To Locate Them
Simple chakra exercises help you locate each chakra, assess it and potentially realign or rebalance it.
Interestingly, each chakra is also associated with a particular element. The 7 chakras symbols and associated elements can help you pick out representative objects for manifestation work or meditation. Think of this section as a kind of “how to balance chakras for beginners”. It will give you the basics you need to become more aware of, and in control of, this aspect of yourself, helping you how to unblock your 7 chakras when it’s needed.
1. The Root Chakra (Muladhara)
The Root Chakra is foundational. When all is well with this chakra, you’ll feel secure, calm and anchored in reality. You’ll be bold enough to tackle new challenges, and you’ll feel confident doing so. This makes a properly aligned Root Chakra vital whenever you’re trying something new or pursuing a major life goal.
You can develop a blocked Root Chakra if something threatens your basic survival needs (e.g. for food, shelter or money). Even if you simply fear that your basic survival will be undermined, your Root Chakra can come out of alignment in response.
- Physical Location: The bottom of your spine (where your tailbone is located).
- Color: Red.
- Element: Earth.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Root Chakra: If your Root Chakra is blocked you may feel threatened, panicked or anxious. This anxiety can easily infiltrate your thoughts, making everything suddenly feel uncertain. You may also find that you can’t concentrate and that you’re constantly preoccupied with worries about your well-being. In some people, this can manifest as hypochondria or general paranoia. Physical issues potentially caused by a blocked Root Chakra include a sore lower back, low energy levels, and cold extremities.
You can find out how to unblock and balance your Root Chakra.
2. The Sacral Chakra (Svadhishthana)
The Sacral Chakra is key to your creative energy. It is related not only to pursuits of artistry and the imagination but also to your sexuality and your capacity for change in all areas of life. Your Sacral Chakra might become misaligned or blocked in some way if you’re stressed about some aspect of your sexuality. Or, if you are unsatisfied in your relationship or struggling to experience pleasure in life more generally. It can also be disturbed by negative feedback that makes you doubt your creative capacities.
- Physical Location: In the middle of the abdomen, roughly two inches below the belly button.
- Color: Orange.
- Element: Water.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Sacral Chakra: When there’s a problem with the Sacral Chakra, you’re likely to feel bored, listless and uninspired. You may have a low sex drive, and you’ll possibly feel afraid of (or resistant to) change. Physical symptoms associated with a blocked Sacral Chakra can include urinary discomfort, increased allergies and an attraction to addictive behaviors. These need not be related to drug or alcohol use. Shopping addiction, gambling, and issues with eating can all be linked to issues with the Sacral Chakra.
Learn more about the Sacral Chakra here.
3. The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
The Solar Plexus Chakra is often thought of as vital for self-esteem, autonomy, and determination. Consequently, it is sometimes called the “personal power” chakra.
When all is as it should be with this chakra, you’ll have a clear path ahead of you. You should know what is necessary for success. You may also feel independent like you can accomplish almost anything if you set your mind to it. Meanwhile, this chakra can easily be negatively affected by perceived failures, unpleasant social experiences, or lingering feelings of low self-worth from childhood.
- Physical Location: Around the stomach area at the top of your abdomen.
- Color: Yellow.
- Element: Fire.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Solar Plexus Chakra: If there’s a blockage around the Solar Plexus Chakra, your confidence may be very shaky. If there is only a small blockage, there may only be insecurity in one specific area. A larger blockage can cause generalized self-esteem problems. You might be haunted by thoughts that you are not good enough. Or, you may feel unable to draw useful lessons from life’s challenges. Physical difficulties associated with a blocked Solar Plexus Chakra may include digestive discomfort and troubles with memory.
4. The Heart Chakra (Anahata)
As you might expect, the Heart Chakra is intimately connected to your capacity for love and compassion in all their forms. It is sometimes described as a bridge between the mind, body, and spirit.
When your Heart Chakra is well balanced, you will be able to offer empathy to others, be emotionally open, and enjoy a deep sense of inner peace. You may feel your emotions fully, and yet also understand them on a cognitive level. Anything negatively related to love can trouble the Heart Chakra; a breakup, a grief process, a difficult friendship, or even just an instance of casual cruelty. Click here to find out more now.
- Physical Location: Directly above the heart.
- Color: Green.
- Element: Air.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Heart Chakra: When the Heart Chakra is blocked or misaligned, you’ll struggle to relate to other people. You may be less compassionate than usual and may be impatient. You’ll commonly find it harder than usual to trust, and you won’t feel at peace. Rather, you’ll feel restless and disgruntled. A blocked Heart Chakra can also manifest physically. Some Chakra experts think such a misalignment may be linked to issues like high blood pressure and low immune system function.
5. The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
The Throat Chakra regulates your self-expression in all senses, influencing how authentically you convey your deepest self to the world. Your directness, emotional honesty and ownership of your needs connect to this area.
When your Throat Chakra is aligned properly, you will feel able to say what you mean, be well understood by others, and speak the truth in ways that are appropriate. In other words, you’ll be forthright without being blunt. Difficult experiences with communication can shift the Throat Chakra. For example, a tough job interview or a bad argument can shift your Throat Chakra.
- Physical Location: In the middle of the throat.
- Color: Blue.
- Element: Ether.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Throat Chakra: A blocked Throat Chakra primarily manifests in an inability to say what you really want to say. You may feel like you’re stuck holding onto secrets. Similarly, you may believe that people don’t want to hear your thoughts, or that you can’t find the right words for your feelings. Once again, a small blockage may mean you only struggle with self-expression at work, or with a particular friend. Meanwhile, a significant misalignment may mean you constantly feel thwarted in communication. Physically, a blocked Throat Chakra may present with pain in the neck, sensitivity to hormone fluctuations, and discomfort in throat tissue.
Learn more about how to balance your throat chakra.
6. The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
The Third Eye Chakra is a powerful energy source when it is working well. It determines your intuition, your alignment with the Universe, and your ability to see the bigger picture in life.
When you have an open Third Eye chakra, you are adept at picking up signs. Trust in your gut feelings and plan according to your greatest goals. Law Of Attraction successes and manifestation experiences relate to this type of openness. However, the Third Eye can be misaligned if someone is making you doubt your wider purpose. Or, if you tend to prize rationality over intuition.
- Physical Location: In the center of your brow.
- Color: Indigo.
- Element: Extra-Sensory Perception.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Third Eye Chakra: You may struggle to have faith in your broader purpose if your Third Eye Chakra becomes blocked. So, you may feel there’s no point to what you’re doing, or feel it is insignificant. You might also be struck by your inability to make decisions. Some people describe this as a feeling of psychological paralysis. If you have a blocked Third Eye Chakra, you might have trouble sleeping, feel clumsy, and struggle to learn new things.
Learn more about your Third Eye Chakra here.
7. The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Finally, the Crown Chakra, the highest chakra, is what determines your spiritual connectivity. This chakra is sometimes called “thousand petal lotus” chakra. Given its place as the highest chakra, it is vital in creating a life you love, and in attaining a feeling of peace. However, working with it is a notoriously subtle process.
When all is well, you will be in tune with beauty in the world around you. Plus, you can experience feelings of profound joy. Life may feel worthwhile, glorious and rich. Unfortunately, a traumatic life experience can move the Crown Chakra out of positive. This can then cause you to doubt yourself and purpose.
- Physical Location: The top of the head.
- Color: Violet.
- Element: Thought.
- Emotional Issues and Behaviors of Blocked Crown Chakra: If your Crown Chakra becomes disturbed, you might not see much beauty in the world at all. You may also feel spirituality adrift and experience symptoms of depression. If you’re only starting to develop this type of block, you might just notice a decline in overall excitement or motivation. Physically, a blocked Crown Chakra can also occur at the same time as problems with physical coordination or chronic headaches.
How To Unblock Chakras
Learning how to unblock chakras begins with learning why they might get blocked. A block in any of the 7 chakras can manifest in physical illness associated with that area. It is typically associated with some kind of personal or psychological difficulty.
For example, when your sacral chakra (below the belly button) is blocked, this can manifest in changes to appetite and digestive discomfort. Since this chakra is related to your core identity and creativity, the most common causes of blockages include unsatisfying careers or little time spent on self-development. Reading about the significance and nature of each chakra will help you notice and locate blockages as they arise.
The good news is that it's possible to work out how to balance your chakras. Similarly, you can remove these blockages wherever they are. From meditations that begin with the one described above to lifestyle changes and chakra yoga, there are plenty of distinct things you can do to move past a misaligned chakra.
Guided Chakra Meditation For Beginners
If you're looking for meditation for chakra balancing, you can learn a guided chakra meditation for beginners that is easy, efficient and powerful.
Simply follow these steps, devoting at least 30 seconds to each one to facilitate chakras healing.
- Go to a calm, quiet place. Sit for a few minutes in silence, breathing deeply. Let yourself feel the tension flowing out of your body, and start to notice the range of sensations you feel.
- A good chakra meditation involves all 7 chakras; begin at the tailbone, picturing a red light glowing and spinning at its center. Feel it move in time with your breath.
- Shift focus to the place just underneath your navel, this time imagining a warm, orange lighting spinning and pulsing in time with the rhythm of your breath.
- Move to an inch or so above your navel. This is the place where you'll often feel love, anxiety or excitement. Tune into an orange light spinning there.
- Attend to the very center of your chest, imagining a vivid green light. If you feel an urge to place a palm flat on this area as you breathe, do so.
- Focus on the hollow of your throat, this time visualizing a blue light rotating and moving with the breath.
- Think about the space between your brows. This represents your third eye. See an indigo light here, getting more vivid as it spins.
- Finally, picture a purple light beaming out from the top of your head, connecting you to the energy of the universe around you.
6 Ways To Balance Your Chakras
Balancing chakras, or learning how to how to unblock chakras, can be approached in a wide range of ways. We'll look at some of the most commonly used and the most powerful. You can use them in conjunction, or you can pick one or two that best suit your needs.
1. Meditation For Chakra Healing
This meditation begins with the basic meditation process we've already explored above. It can further be adapted for each of the 7 chakras.
As you work through each of the stages, notice whether any area feels uncomfortable. You may also notice difficulty in picturing the movement of any of the spinning spheres of light. If so, you've found a blockage. Focusing your sustained attention on this area can help to rebalance it.
First, place a hand on the area. Next, picture its negativity or tension draining away. Imagine the universe pouring increasingly bright light into the blocked chakra. Alternative visualizations involve deliberately increasing the speed of the light rotation at that chakra. This may take some time and concentration if the chakra is significantly blocked.
You may find meditations for chakra healing to be especially effective if you combine them with mantras (mentioned below). It can also be helpful to make use of aromatherapy oils like lavender and lemongrass.
2. Chakra Balancing Affirmations
Chakra affirmations or mantras are sounds that you repeat to yourself in order to reinforce a positive message about healing. Each of the following can be repeatedly chanted; make sure that you elongate each vowel.
For beginner readers, each of these affirmation mantras is spelled phonetically so that you know how to pronounce it:
- Root Chakra: Laahm
- Sacral Chakra: Vaahm
- Solar Plexus Chakra: Raahm
- Heart Chakra: Yaahm
- Throat Chakra: Haahm
- Third eye Chakra: Ohmm
- Crown Chakra: Contemplative silence.
You should also feel entirely free to design your own chakra balancing affirmations that include words or phrases that refer to your personal goals or perceived blockages. These can be recited into the mirror any time. Here are some sample affirmations to inspire you and get you started:
- “I feel my root chakra unblocking and inviting positive change.”
- “My sacral chakra is healing, and I am creating.”
- “Every day my solar plexus chakra is growing brighter.”
- “I work to unblock my heart chakra and move on from my pain.”
- “My throat chakra is balancing, and my words are becoming clearer.”
- “I unblock my third eye chakra, clarifying my vision and my intuition.”
3. Chakra Yoga
As explored when we looked at the history of chakras, balancing the chakras is an ancient practice. Consequently, yoga has long been used to unblock the chakras and help people to become attuned to their energy. Chakra yoga encourages you to manipulate, flex and reposition parts of the body that are linked to specific chakras. In turn, this stimulates them and promotes the flow of positive energy throughout the entire system. If you already know some basic yoga positions, they are likely already helping you to improve and maintain good chakra health.
For a beginner, all that is really needed is to regularly practice generic yoga. In addition, keep chakra blockages and tension releases in mind throughout.
However, there are also specific chakra yoga techniques that you can go on to learn if you want to advance your understanding. In particular, there are five poses that aim to target the first five chakras.
4. Change Your Diet
If you’ve been investigating how to balance your chakras, you’ll have noticed that diet and lifestyle are said to play a major role. To balance your chakras, identify which ones are blocked and then eat more of the following foods and herbs depending on which chakras you want to work on:
- Root Chakra: Elderberry, strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries.
- Sacral Chakra: Parsley, oranges, bell peppers.
- Solar Plexus Chakra: Chamomile, bananas, lemons.
- Heart Chakra: Lemon balm, green vegetables, green apples.
- Throat Chakra: Sage, blueberries, black currants.
- Third eye Chakra: Spruce, indigo vegetables.
- Crown Chakra: Thyme, eggplant, red grapes.
If you make a habit of combining a wide range of colors in your food (e.g. in fruit salads, pasta, and soups), you can work to balance all of your chakras during every meal of the day.
Reiki involves placing your hands on different places on the body in order to facilitate positive energy transfer, negative energy removal, and overall healing. Chakra healing reiki posits using this technique on the specific areas where each chakra is located. You can either hold your palm above the area or place it flat on the skin.
If you know which particular chakra or chakras are blocked, concentrate the chakra healing reiki process on that spot. However, if you just want to promote overall well-being and happiness (or feel a blockage but are not sure where it's located), experts recommend that you work through each of the chakras in turn.
In time, people who practice chakra healing reiki may learn to “sense” blockages in themselves and others, just by slowly passing their hand along the body and noticing areas that feel out of alignment. However, even beginners can see enormous benefits from the basic steps outlined above.
6. EFT For Chakras
Finally, EFT, the emotional freedom technique, can also be used to balance the 7 chakras. EFT has proven extremely effective for people who struggle with conventional forms of therapy. Plus, it can be done without any special expertise or equipment.
In brief, EFT (which is sometimes simply called “tapping“) involves lightly touching areas on the body that are correlated with energy centers. While you tap your fingers on the appropriate energy center, you focus on the issue you're experiencing and on the goal you have in mind.
EFT for chakras is reasonably straightforward and intuitive. For example, if you have done a chakra meditation and realized that there is a blockage in your third eye chakra, tapping on the area between your brows can release tension and promote effective energy flow. As you do so, visualize the glowing energy center growing brighter and moving faster, just as you do during your chakra meditation technique.
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