The term “chakras” has become a popular buzzword in recent years, being used in both yoga classes and by people selling bracelets on Etsy. But what are the chakras? How can your understanding of them improve your mental and physical well-being?
Here is a brief introduction to the 7 chakras to explain what they symbolize and give examples of how to use them in your own life.
What Is Chakra?
The chakras are what some people use to focus on centering the universal life force through their physical selves. They impact both your mind and body. They can be both in and out of alignment, and when they are out of alignment, you will feel the effects physically and emotionally.
There are seven chakras, all stacked in a straight line from head to the root of your spine. Each of them has a central point upon which they possess a spinning wheel of energy. When aligned correctly, they all spin simultaneously, which generates your energy and life force.
Chakras for Beginners
So now that you have a basic understanding of what the chakras are, let’s talk about what it looks like when they are aligned and when they are not.
When they are aligned, life feels wonderful. The flow of energy feels effortless, you feel purposeful, and you feel alive.
When even one is misaligned, your life will feel off-balance. Each of the chakras corresponds with a different aspect of life, in both your physical and mental state.
If a chakra is not aligned, the whole system is off-kilter. Chakras that were previously aligned will also start to lose balance. Like gears made out of energy, it’s important that they all work together. Otherwise, the system will lose functionality.
As each of them represents something different, you need to take different steps to balance them.
The 7 Chakras
In order to understand how to realign them, you need to know what each of them corresponds to. Here is a quick explanation of each of the 7 chakras in your body.
This is the foundation for the six other chakras. It’s the first energy wheel, and is located at the base of your spine.
As it is the root chakra, it represents a sense of grounding and our attachment to our home, in whatever form that takes.
Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the root chakra corresponds with our most basic needs, such as food, water, and shelter, but basic emotional needs as well, such as a familial support system. Something like moving to a new city can disrupt the root chakra. Going home for the holidays could realign the chakra as you affirm your sense of home.
Someone with an aligned root chakra will feel secure, safe, and grounded in their sense of purpose.
This second wheel of energy is located right below our navel. It corresponds with both sexual and creative energy. Beyond our physical sexuality, it represents our ability to communicate with others.
An aligned sacral chakra brings us creative energy and success in our relationships.
A misaligned sacral chakra leads to social and physical disconnect, which can lead to an emotional inability to reach out to others and the physical inability to connect.
This third energy wheel is one of power. The root of our identity, power, and esteem comes from this chakra.
Also known as the solar plexus chakra, alignment in this region will bring you confidence, purpose, and drive. You will feel motivated and competent in your personal areas of expertise.
When this chakra is blocked, you will feel indecisive and your self-esteem will feel low.
Your seven chakras are split into three spiritual chakras, three physical chakras, and a heart chakra that bridges the gap between them. It has the power to open and close the system, as it is the gateway between the other six in the chakra system.
As you would expect of a heart chakra, it represents love, and all the positive emotions that come with love for others and personal passions.
When this chakra is open, you give compassion and forgiveness freely.
When this chakra is blocked, you will fall into a pattern of manipulative behaviors and a codependent need for others.
This fifth chakra represents the first of the spiritual, upper chakras. Again, its placement gives insight into what it represents. The throat chakra represents your voice and how you use it.
Do you speak up for yourself? Are you speaking your truth? Are you standing for a cause you believe in?
When misaligned, you’ll find yourself falling into white lies and you’ll feel suffocated by your inability to speak up and express what you need.
As the sixth wheel, the third-eye chakra represents our sixth-sense. It impacts the way we interpret the world around us, and it filters our sense of reality. When blocked, we will have difficulty discerning the truth in front of us.
However, when it is aligned, we can do deep work in figuring out who we are and what we want out of life.
The seventh chakra, and third upper chakra, is located at the crown of the head and corresponds with our spirituality. Our consciousness is connected with the rest of the universe, and this divine awareness of our own existence is what makes us human.
This chakra corresponds with enlightenment and spiritual awareness. An out of alignment crown chakra will lead us to believe that the inward truths we’ve created are external, rather than just a thought we’ve constructed on our own.
Many people believe that restructuring your thoughts alone will not heal your chakras. To properly align your chakras, you need to realign your physical body as well.
You can do this through a variety of methods, such as a chiropractic appointment or through yoga.
There are specific yoga poses designed to align each individual chakra. You can flow through each of the poses in a session, or you can focus on doing multiple poses for one specific chakra if you feel that one needs more attention than the others.
Use the Concept of Chakras to Your Advantage
Even if you don’t personally believe in chakras, there’s nothing wrong with making a concentrated effort to find balance in your life. Whether you’re facing burnout or would like to find more purpose in your day-to-day living, try to see what areas could use a bit more balance.
Find your personal power in taking control of your own life, both mind and body. Whether you do so through journaling or finding a solution when a chakra is out of balance is completely up to you.
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.