(in Indian thought) each of seven centres of spiritual power in the human body.
The Root Chakra, or Muladhara in Sanskrit, is located at the base of the spine and is responsible for survival, especially when it comes to security and stability. When this chakra center is blocked, a person can suffer from feelings of inferiority or can become overly focused on his or her weaknesses. Actions that can balance, clear, and open a closed chakra in this area of the body/mind include:
- organizing or adding structure to one’s life;
- walking in a natural setting;
- mindfully eating healthy food;
- enveloping one’s self in earthy aromas like clove, patchouli, or cedar.
The second chakra is the Swadhisthana located below the navel and above the pubic bone. This energy center is the home of one’s sexual nature and creativity. Symptoms of being out of synch in this area include infertility, constipation, depression, and pain in the back. Some of the numerous ways a blocked Sacral Chakra can be opened, says the ePainAssist.com site, are:
- meditation, or tuning into the divine within one’s self;
- surrounding one’s self with stones and crystals such as carnelian, citrine, or orange calcite;
- access to water such as lakes, rivers, and seas, along with washing with clean water;
- engaging in creative activities like music, art, and writing.
Above the navel and below the solar plexus rests the Manipura Chakra, the base for one’s perception of one’s self in terms of personality, responsibility, and confidence. Symptoms that the Manipura Chakra is unstable can include inactivity and passiveness. At ChakraAnatomy.com., the writers point out that this chakra can become overactive and result in stress and emotional outbursts. Balance can be restored through:
- solar plexus yoga poses such as the Warrior I and the Bow stance;
- positive affirmations having to do with loving oneself, being strong, courageous, and choosing healthy relationships;
- the use of essential oils including lavender, rosemary, and mandarin.
Tayler Alexis Smith, writing for the mindbodygreen.com site, says the Fourth Chakra rests in the middle of the body and is the balancing point for the chakras below and above it. Obstruction in this energy center can affect one’s confidence, manifest in feelings of loneliness, and produce the inability to forgive or be empathetic. If the Heart Chakra is producing too much energy, one can experience feelings of codependency, tremendous jealousy, or severe judgmental-ness.
If an impasse occurs in the Anahata Chakra, one needs to:
- open up emotionally;
- release pent-up feelings;
- practice accepting others;
- and use the yoga poses Camel, Eagle, and any back-bending pose.
The fifth chakra, or the Visuddha, is found in the neck and throat and is associated with hearing, speaking, and the thyroid gland. Overactive Visuddha Chakras can cause an individual to become critical, judgmental, domineering, and loud.
An under-active Throat Chakra can cause one to whisper or become unable to express opinions or feelings. Imbalance in this center can cause health issues such as dental, jaw, thyroid, and throat problems, along with arthritis or stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and arm regions.
There are myriad methods to open this chakra, including:
- artwork, singing, and other creative activities;
- contact with aquamarine, turquoise, and lapis lazuli stones;
- increased water intake and more vegetables, fruits, and herbal teas;
- and journaling to express feelings and understand one’s uniqueness.
Chakra Six is the Brow Chakra or Ajna, which Dr. Suzanne Lie explains, on her website multidimensions.com, is between the eyes on the forehead. It is also known as the Third Eye Chakra. This energy area is the base for spirituality, awareness, and the intuitive knowledge.
The Ajna Chakra can be balanced best through meditation. It also resonates with the lapis lazuli, amethyst, and azurite stones. With practice, individuals can learn to see the subtle clues that help them in decision-making through intuitive means. Another tool is the practice of the “bee breath” technique.
The Crown Chakra is at the very top of the head. This energy center is the home of happiness, inspiration, and trust. This chakra is tied to the endocrine system. An imbalanced Crown Chakra results in spiritual disconnection and cynicism. Overactive energy in this area can manifest as a body-disconnect, disassociation, hyper-spirituality, and close-mindedness, per Chakras.info. Blockage in the Crown Chakra may create such symptoms as loneliness, withdrawal, isolation, spiritual withdrawal, Alzheimer’s, frequent headaches, insomnia, and depression.
Healing for this chakra can be found through meditation, healing stones such as quartz and amethyst, yoga, breath work, and Reiki.
There are those who study, research, and attempt to understand the relationship between the chakras and the mind/body for the length of their lifetime. Like any other spiritual guidance, the true knowledge of the system comes through practice. And, as Shakespeare said in All’s Well That Ends Well:
“Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven.”