Can you explain what a chakra is?
Literally speaking, the word ‘chakra’ from Sanskrit – one of the world’s most ancient languages – translates to ‘wheel’ or ‘disc’, but references a spiritual energy centre within the human body. We have hundreds of them all over our body, including on our hands and feet, but the seven major chakras are the most important, running from the base of the spine to the crown of your head.
From a physical aspect, your chakras manage a certain part of the body, and are connected to your endocrine glands. From a psychological aspect, they manage how we develop our beliefs and feelings. Much in the way that the brain embodies both a physical entity (the actual physical organ) and a subtle-body entity (the mind), the chakras are unseen energies associated with specific parts in the physical body. If your chakras are out of whack, this can lead to anything from anxiety and stress to illness but if they are perfectly balanced, you will feel rested, happy and at ease.
What are the main chakras?
Root chakra: Located at the base of the spine, it relates to our basic survival needs: our home life, relationship to our parents (our roots) and financial security. When it is open and balanced, we feel secure, comfortable in our body and connected to nature.
Sacral chakra: This chakra is located above the pubic bone and below the navel – it relates to our creativity, pleasure and sensuous enjoyment (creation, recreation and procreation). When it’s blocked it can affect our self-esteem and ability to express emotions but you can open it up by starting a creative project or having fun with your partner.
Solar plexus chakra: Located from the navel to the ribcage, the solar plexus chakra governs all things metabolic, digestive and stomach-related, as well as our ability to be confident and in control of our lives. Signs it is unbalanced include issues of personal power and self-esteem, fears of rejection, criticism and physical appearances.
Heart chakra: As the name implies, the heart chakra is all about love. It’s easy to spot someone with a healthy heart chakra, they are generous and non-judgemental. Importantly it’s related to receiving as well as giving. If it’s blocked it’s hard to accept compliments, or to let people get too close and can give way to anger, jealousy and fear of betrayal.
Throat chakra: Found at the base of the throat and governing our mouth, jaw, ears and neck, this chakra is in charge of our mouth, voicebox and ears and presides over the thyroid, which balances our hormones and keeps our immune system healthy. When it’s open, we can speak our truth, both at home and work, and just as importantly, listen.
Third eye chakra: This chakra can be found just above the eyebrows, it controls your pituitary gland, lower brain, eyes and skull; it is associated with your higher intuition, wisdom, intellect, and imagination.
Crown chakra: Situated on top of the head, when it’s balanced we feel spiritually inspired and connected to our higher selves. Like the top floor of a lighthouse, it works best when it is stable and supported by the chakras below. You can open it up further with yoga and meditation or doing activities that inspire you.
Why do chakras matter?
Since mind, body, soul and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring others back into balance. For example, after a breakup your heart chakra can feel bruised and shocked; it may temporarily close up so you don’t get hurt again. Physically this can show up as a chest infection but as the whole chakra is affected, energy work and being kind to yourself can be as important as going to your doctor.
How do you know when your chakras are off-balance?
Once you know where your chakras are on your body, it’s very easy to tell if they aren’t happy. You might get physical symptoms, like butterflies in your stomach (related to the sacral chakra) or a sore throat (associated with the throat chakra). Your circumstances can also show you if your chakras are not aligned: if you’ve been single for a long time and struggle to find the right partner, this could be a sign your heart chakra is squeezed tight, blocking connection and intimacy. If you’re unsure as to which of your chakras is out of whack, try sitting down and breathing into each chakra – if any of them feel sluggish or panicky it’s a clue that it needs some TLC.
What kind of person can experience unbalanced chakras?
Due to the pace and demands of our modern lives, everyone is susceptible to changes in their chakras – anything from sugar consumption to a lack of sleep can affect our energy balance. However, be particularly wary if you have a tendency to be too nice, or you’re an over-thinker. Surprisingly lots of my healing clients are kind, sympathetic people who take on other people’s problems – I can feel this energy like baggage, blocking up their chakras and weighing them down. The over-thinkers have lots of fuzzy, heavy energy around their heads.
How do you get your chakras back in balance?
The best way to realign your chackras is to get to know them and recognise when they are out of whack. From there, yoga is a great way to get everything back into balance, but if you’re not a yoga fan there are plenty of other ways to reconnect. You can also consider energy healing, meditation, breath work, reiki and craniosacral therapy, as well as using crystals. There are plenty of different ways to balance each chakra so do your research – for example, to realign your sacral chakra it can help to surround yourself in nature, especially areas with lakes, oceans or hot springs.
A really simple way to clear your chakras is to use your shower – as the water cleans your skin, try to imagine light also coming down to cleanse your chakras and your energy field. I am still surprised how well this little tip works.
The Chakra Project by Georgia Coleridge is available for pre-order now on Amazon.
For more information visit GeorgiaColeridgeHealing.com