The chakra system, a seven-tiered model of spiritual energy centers passed down from the yogic tradition, can have profound effects on our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Spanning from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, these chakras, when unblocked, facilitate harmonious energy flow. The seven chakras, namely, the Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third-Eye, and Crown chakras, embody different aspects of our lives, from basic survival to self-expression and spirituality.
Are you ready to go on a journey through the dimensions and depths of yourself? Do you feel drawn to learning about the chakras and understanding how they impact your mind, body, and spirit? Then you’ve come to the right place.
The chakra system is a 7 leveled philosophical model that has been brought to us from the yogic tradition and passed down through ancient Hindu texts. Chakra translates to “wheel” in Sanskrit, and according to Anodea Judith, author of Eastern Body, Western Mind, this refers to a spinning sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the spinal column. These spheres are “a center of organization that receives, assimilates and expresses force energy”
In total, there are 7 of these wheels stacked from the base of the spine to the top of the head. These wheels are not physical entities but rather an embodiment of spiritual energy and life force.
You’ve probably heard people talk about “unblocking” their chakras, but what does this mean exactly? A variety of factors, such as stress, anxiety, grief, and self-destructive behavior, are thought to block these energetic centres.
An unblocked chakra allows energy to flow through them freely, creating harmony between mind, body, and spirit.
This article will serve as a beginners guide to chakras, summarizing each chakra, providing some insight into how to tell if you have a blocked chakra, and giving you a few practices that can help to re-establish flow and balance, like chakra specific yoga poses and different crystals.
1. Root Chakra
The first of the seven chakras is the root chakra, also known as Muladhara in Sanskrit, is located at the base of the spine. This energy center represents our foundation and basic survival needs. It helps us feel grounded and safe in the world.
The root chakra corresponds with the element of earth, and when it’s open, we feel stable, grounded, trusting, and confident to take on life’s challenges.
When it’s blocked or imbalanced, we can feel fearful, heavy, restless, and uncertain.
Practices to unblock the root chakra:
- Walking in nature
- Earthing (placing your bare body on the earth)
- Practice the Warrior I yoga pose
- Wearing or meditating with the stone hematite
- Chanting the mantra “LAM”
2. Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra (Svadhisthana) is located below the navel. This chakra represents our sexuality, creativity, and emotional being. It helps us experience pleasure and to move through life with fluidity.
The sacral chakra corresponds with the element of water, and when it’s open, we feel a sense of well-being and connection, and safety within our sensual selves.
When it’s blocked or imbalanced, we may feel overly emotional or numb, out of control, or struggle with poor boundaries and either hypo or hypersexuality.
I recently went to an energy healer, and she instantly picked up that my sacral chakra was blocked. This was no surprise to me, as I’ve experienced sexual trauma and have felt this stuck trauma energy within my body for quite some time. She “spun” the chakra back into alignment, and I felt a profound lightness and stillness after the session that has stayed with me.
Practices to unblock the sacral chakra:
- Hot baths
- Sensual dance
- Writing about your emotions
- Wear or meditate with a tigers eye
- Practice the bound angle yoga pose
3. Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra (munipura) is located, where you might imagine, in the solar plexus/stomach region. This chakra represents our power, vitality, and free will. It helps us move through life with strength, spontaneity, and purpose.
The solar plexus chakra corresponds with the element of fire, and when it’s open, we feel confident and strong within our sense of self.
When it’s blocked or imbalanced, we may struggle to make decisions, have low self-esteem, or feel very rigid.
Practices to unblock the sacral chakra:
- Watch fire
- Take deep belly breaths
- Use essential oils of sandalwood and cinnamon
- Say the affirmation, “I stand in my personal power”
- Practice the boat yoga pose
4. Heart Chakra
The heart chakra (Anahata) is located at the heart center. This chakra represents love, inner peace, and joy. It influences how we give and receive love from both ourselves and others.
The heart chakra corresponds to the element of air, and when it’s open, we feel connected to ourselves and others around us; we can express compassion and gratitude comes easily.
When the heart chakra is blocked or imbalanced, we may feel disconnected from those around us, lack empathy, or struggle to open up.
Practices to unblock the heart chakra:
- Drink heart-opening beverages like rose tea or cacao
- Gratitude journal exercises
- Meditate with your hands on your heart
- Practice affirmations like “I am open to receiving divine love”
- Wear or meditate with rose quartz
- Try a heart-opening guided chakra meditation on the Retreat Sounds app
5. Throat Chakra
The throat chakra (Vissudha) is located at the center of the throat. This chakra represents communication, self-expression, and creativity.
The throat chakra corresponds to the element of sound, and when it’s open, we find it easy to speak our truth. We can express ourselves fully and clearly.
When the throat chakra is blocked, it may be hard to communicate with others or vocalize how you truly feel.
Practices to unblock the throat chakra:
- Sing or hum
- Practice the affirmation: “I am dedicated to speaking my truth”
- Burn sage, cypress, or frankincense
- Practice the fish yoga pose
6. Third-Eye Chakra
The third-eye chakra (Ajna) is located on the forehead, between the eyebrows. This chakra represents our intuition and imagination. It is sometimes called “the eye of the soul.”
The third-eye chakra corresponds to the element of light, and when it’s open, we’re able to see the bigger picture of our lives. Visions and psychic abilities are also common for people with a very open third-eye chakra.
When the third-eye chakra is blocked, you may feel lost, struggle with concentration and feel cut off from your own gut instincts.
Practices to unblock the third-eye chakra:
- Chant the mantra “OM”
- Practice third-eye meditation by pulling all your awareness to the space between your eyebrows
- Wear or meditate with an amethyst crystal
- Practice the child’s pose yoga position
- Keep a dream journal
7. Crown Chakra
The crown chakra (Sahasrara) is located right at the top of the head and cerebral cortex. This chakra represents wisdom, self-knowledge, and spiritual connection. It connects us to the divine on a deep level.
The crown chakra corresponds to the element of divinity, and when it’s open, we’re able to access our highest consciousness and connect to the spiritual plane. We will feel a deep connection to our life’s purpose.
When the crown chakra is blocked, we can feel disconnected and disassociated, struggle with negative beliefs, and may be overly attached to the material world.
Practices to unblock the crown chakra:
- Chant the mantra “AUM”
- Practice yogic headstands
- Wear or meditate with clear quartz
- Practice the affirmation, “I receive guidance from my higher self”
- Set up a consistent meditation routine
We all have the power to be our own healers, and I hope this information leaves you feeling empowered and ready to start getting in touch with your incredible chakra energy system.
If you’re feeling unsure where to start or want to work with chakra healing on a deeper level, you could consider working alongside a professional energy healer, such as a reiki practitioner or shaman.