What are Chakras?
Chakras relate to the energetic or auric body – that is to say the field of energy surrounding our physical bodies – with the word “chakra” often translated from its Sanskrit origin to mean “wheel” or “circle”. In essence, they are spinning wheels of energy centres said to be located at 7 key points in the body, through which energy flows. Although some people believe that there are more than this, the general consensus tends to focus on 7 chakras as follows:
- The Root Chakra (Muladhara) – this is located at the base of the spine (tailbone), is associated with the colour red and the element of earth as well as the wellbeing of your foundation generally e.g. basic survival needs such as access to food, water, shelter and resources. Signs of a blocked root chakra include anxiety, or feeling threatened or unsure, difficulties concentrating, becoming obsessive about one’s health or paranoia in general. Physically it may manifest as feeling low in energy, a sore lower back and feeling cold in the limbs.
- The Sacral Chakra (Svadhishthana) – located approximately 2 inches or so below the navel, in the middle of the abdomen, this chakra is linked to creativity, our imagination and artistic endeavours, our sexuality and ability to adapt to changes in our lives. The colour orange and the element of water are associated with the sacral chakra and signs of this being blocked included confusion or worries regarding your sexuality, an unsatisfactory relationship or dissatisfaction in one’s own life and/or an inability to believe in one’s own creative capabilities. Boredom, ennui, a loss of your joie de vivre, low libido along with addictions of all kinds, allergies and urinary issues are also linked to blockages associated with this chakra.
- The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) – based at the top middle of the abdomen and associated with the colour yellow and the element of fire. Linked to our “personal power”, self-esteem and determination, our inner-knowing, independence and accomplishments. Negatively affected, one can feel low self-esteem and confidence, social anxiety, a tendency to dwell on real or imagined failures, a feeling of not being “good enough” in some way. Physical blockages relate to memory problems and issues with the digestive system.
- The Heart Chakra (Anahata) – the heart space linked to the colour green and the air element. Related to feelings of love and compassion, empathy for others, being open emotionally with an inner peace and understanding of one’s own emotions. Where blocked there can be relationship breakdown, grief, bereavement, problems relating to others and trust issues, with physical problems said to be low immune system and high blood pressure related.
- The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) – Found in the middle of the throat area related to the colour blue and the ether element. How you express yourself, are authentic, direct and emotionally honest. When balanced, you find it easier to say what you mean and to communicate well. Signs of a blockage here include being misunderstood, difficulties expressing yourself and arguments. Physical manifestations are related to neck pain, hormonal imbalances and sore throat symptoms.
- The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) – Located in the brow centre, linked to the colour of indigo and the element of extra sensory perception (ESP). When unblocked, intuition works well along with a feeling of connection with universal energies and being less concerned with day-to-day worries. An experiencing of greater synchronicity and gut feelings and hunches panning out are said to be linked to this chakra working well whilst misalignment is related to feelings of doubt regarding your life’s purpose or a “head over heart” mentality. Other signs of blockage include indecisiveness, a lack of faith or psychological blocks. Physically, it can show itself as clumsiness, difficulties in learning or sleep-related problems.
- The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) – Situated at the very top of the head, associated with the violet colour and the thought element. It is the highest chakra related to one’s spiritual connection. When unblocked it leads to a feeling of peace, being in love with one’s life and the beauty all around us, feeling joyful and abundant spiritually. When negatively influenced, it leads to doubts regarding one’s purpose and life, depression, seeing the world in “shades of grey”, a lack of motivation or excitement with life. Physical symptoms include headaches or migraines as well as dexterity issues.
In order to “unblock” a chakra/chakras many people undertake “energy work” to clear their chakras using techniques such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, aromatherapy, reiki, pranayama, acupuncture and the like.
The idea of chakras is an ancient Indian concept found in important Hindu texts such as the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is also found in traditional Chinese medicine in a similar system, but is then referred to as qi or chi energy. In comparison, in the West it is a relatively new concept that is rapidly and deservedly gaining traction.
I have been undertaking energy work myself for only a short while but have most definitely felt the benefits. As I continue to benefit from the daily practices I engage in such as yoga, meditation and pranayama, I do feel more in touch with my energetic body such that it is becoming more apparent if one of the chakra centres is not working as well as it might. I have had treatments such as “stone-healing” as well as using apps and again YouTube meditations and yoga videos which have been surprisingly effective too.
Up until the start of 2019 when I reduced a number of habits I had that I felt were no longer working for me, I did indeed feel “blocked”. Some work particularly on the sacral chakra, led to me feeling more inspired in my life, one of the results of which is this blog and website! I should say that this was not an overnight change! Why not have a think about areas in your own life in which you feel challenged in some way? Which of the chakras listed above does it seem to fit with? Maybe undertake some energy work or healing yourself in a way that suits you and let us know in the comments below what has worked for you? Who knows, sharing your experiences could really help others in feeling “unblocked”.