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There are seven major chakras within the human body, running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. The chakra system is often discussed in yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other ancient practices. The Sanskrit word chakra literally translates to “wheel” or “circle.” Our chakras spin like wheels when we’re alive and healthy, allowing our vital life force energy, “Prana,” to flow throughout us.
When our chakras are working properly, often referred to as being in balance or aligned, they spin and allow energy to flow up the spine (or the Kundalini). However, our chakras can also become overactive, underactive, imbalanced, or even blocked, which can affect us both physically and emotionally.
The physical realm can affect our chakras and our chakras can affect our physical reality; they are meant to work in harmony together. For example, if one of your chakras is blocked, this can manifest into physical disease or pain in that area. Likewise, when we experience certain emotions, they can affect our chakras. When you’re feeling heartbroken after a breakup, for instance, this could affect your heart chakra.
When the chakras are balanced, we feel at our best and our bodies are in their healthiest state. Many people who are familiar with the chakra system can quite literally feel it, and can intuitively recognize when their specific chakras are imbalanced.
As a result, you have the power to balance your chakras yourself, which can be done through meditation, yoga, self-reflection, nutrition, energetic healing, crystals, or even just by being in a high vibration setting or taking a deeper look at your emotions. Healers can also help you balance your chakras, typically by helping you work through physical or emotional pain, but ultimately you can work toward accomplishing this yourself.
Our Seven Chakras and How to Balance Them
First Chakra: Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
Where: Base of the spine. It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon.
Emotions/behaviours: The first chakra is associated with security, safety, survival instincts, basic needs (such as food, sleep, and shelter), and family. It’s also associated with our physical identities and our ability to stay grounded and present.
Physical signs of imbalance: Constipation, cramps, and any issues with the adrenal glands, spine, blood, bladder, and colon.
Signs of an overactive root chakra: Feeling greed, paranoia, and increased fear; obsessing over authority and power, material goods, or Earthly possessions and other elements of our identities.
Signs of an underactive root chakra: Feeling disconnected from nature and the Earth, daydreaming, lack of discipline, inability to focus on our everyday lives, disorganization, anxiety, and financial insecurity.
How to balance the root chakra: The colour associated with the root chakra is red, so any high vibrational foods with a naturally strong red pigment or grounding properties can help recharge your chakra (tomatoes, strawberries, beets, red apples, pomegranates, raspberries, and even protein). Crystals that are red such as red jasper, chanting “LAM,” going out into nature, using colour therapy with the colour red, meditating, practicing yoga, and addressing the physical and emotional signs of imbalance can all help to balance the root chakra.
Second Chakra: Sacral Chakra (Svhadhisthana Chakra)
Where: Slightly above the root chakra on the spine, around the reproductive organs. Above the pubic bone, but below the navel.
Emotions/behaviours: The sacral chakra is associated with creativity, sexuality, commitment, passion, expression, emotions, and sensitivity.
Physical signs of imbalance: Issues with menstruation or reproductive organs, lower back pain or stiffness, urinary issues, kidney pain or infection, and infertility.
Signs of an overactive sacral chakra: Sexual addiction and heightened emotions; being overly dramatic and creating strong emotional attachment to others.
Signs of an underactive sacral chakra: Low sex drive, inability to express emotions, insensitivity, difficulty manifesting desires, lack of desires, blocked creativity, emotional fatigue, and denying yourself pleasure.
How to balance the sacral chakra: The colour associated with the sacral chakra is orange, so any high vibe foods that have a deep or bright orange colour (mandarins, mangoes, carrots, squash, pumpkin, yams, seeds, nuts, and oils). You could also use orange crystals like carnelian, chant “VAM,” do creative tasks like painting/dance/any other art form, practice yoga, meditate, or address the physical and emotional signs of imbalance head on.
Third Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura Chakra)
Where: Above the sacral, slightly above the navel but below the chest. It’s associated with the nervous system, digestive system (stomach and intestines), liver, pancreas, and metabolic systems.
Emotions/behaviours: The solar plexus is entirely related to our sense of Self, our personal power, our ability to separate the Ego from the Soul, and our self esteem.
Physical signs of imbalance: Poor digestion, weight problems, ulcers, diabetes, problems with the pancreas, liver, or kidneys, anorexia, bulimia, hepatitis, and other intestinal and colon issues.
Signs of an overactive solar plexus chakra: Finding faults in others (not realizing these are a reflection of your own feelings toward yourself), being obsessed with yourself and your own interests, caring more about yourself than others, being too critical, and being stubborn in your own beliefs.
Signs of an underactive solar plexus chakra: Insecure in your beliefs, feeling lost, lack of self awareness, anxiety, conformity, seeking approval from others, feeling self conscious, low self worth, lack of self confidence, and being dependent on others.
How to balance the solar plexus chakra: The colour associated with the solar plexus chakra is yellow; try eating high vibe foods that have a yellow colour and lighter protein options (bananas, corn on the cob, fresh pineapple, yellow peppers, lentils, yellow squash, and grains like oats). You could also use yellow crystals like citrine or try yoga, meditation, chanting “RAM,” or engaging in activities that allow you to truly understand who you are as a human being and as a soul (journaling, self reflection, confidence building exercises, etc.).
Fourth Chakra: Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)
Where: Centre of the chest, across from the heart. It’s associated with the heart, lungs, chest, breasts, arms, and hands.
Emotions/behaviours: The heart chakra represents our ability to love ourselves and others, to connect with other beings, and to express gratitude and joy.
Physical signs of imbalance: Heart or respiratory issues, poor circulation, and problems with the breasts (cancer, lumps, etc.).
Signs of an overactive heart chakra: Being overbearing and “too caring” toward others, placing your love for others over your love for yourself, conditional love, anger, grief, being manipulative, co-dependency, giving too much of yourself and not allowing yourself to receive, and acting like a “people pleaser.”
Signs of an underactive heart chakra: Negativity, feeling unloved, unappreciated, or like you’re “not worthy” or deserving of love, lack of self love, feeling disconnected from society and loved ones, and having difficult trusting or connecting with others.
How to balance the heart chakra: The colour associated with the heart chakra is green; you could try eating high vibrational foods that are deep green colours or are simply lighter weight foods like broccoli, kale, chard, and other leafy greens. You could also use green crystals like moss agate, meditate, practice yoga, try some “heart opening” exercises, practice self love (have some “me” time), and chant “YAM.”
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