There are actually 114 chakras, or energy centers, in the human body. There are 72,000 energy channels called Nadis through which our Prana or life force flows. Amazing! The Nadis meet to form the chakras and become the link from our subtle, or energy body to our physical body. I'm focusing on the seven chakras considered the principal energy centers.
The lower three chakras are more physical in nature. They relate to our place on this earth and our relationship with ourself and with others. The upper three chakras relate more to our spiritual self and our connection with the Divine along with our goal of enlightenment. And the fourth (heart) chakra is the bridge between the lower chakras and the upper chakras.
No one chakra is more important than another. Although we work to attain enlightenment through our upper chakras, we are aiming to achieve it while still here in our physical body. So, we need to harmonize and keep all of the chakras clear and charged in order to be healthy, happy and spiritually connected.
Here's a short summary of the seven chakras and how they affect our mind/body/spirit.
First Chakra - Muladhara (Root)
Located at the base of the spine/coccyx. Its color is red. Mula means "root" and adhar means "foundation". The Muladhara chakra is the foundation of our life. It is the chakra which grounds us in this lifetime. It gives us stability and a sense of home and family (either family of origin or a soul family). A sense of belonging in this world. A person with a healthy root chakra feels secure in the world and has a sense of calm about their life.
Problems from an over/underactive or closed first chakra include
- Immune-related disorders
- Problems in the lower extremities
- Spinal problems
- Feeling disorganized, ungrounded
- Inability to change - stuck in a rut
- Rectal or colon problems, including cancer
- Eating disorders
- Lack of energy, lethargy, depression
Ways to heal your Root Chakra
- Reconnect with Mother Nature and especially the earth
- Hug a tree or sit beneath it - trees are incredibly grounding
- Walk barefoot in the grass - we draw in healing earth energy through chakras in our feet
- Connect with family or a group with which you feel a kinship
The seed mantra for the Root Chakra is LAM (lahmmm)
Place your hands on your base chakra and say this mantra repeatedly out loud or silently while envisioning yourself grounded, rooted to the earth and knowing that you are loved and secure in this life. Picture the color red, vibrant and alive with earthiness.
Second Chakra - Swadhisthana (Sacral/Sexual)
Located below the navel in the area of the sexual organs. Its color is orange. Swadhisthana means "one's own abode" or "dwelling place of the self". It is the pleasure chakra - the chakra of sensuality, sexuality, desire, our emotions. Here lie our emotional connections with others. It is the seat of our creativity. The element associated with the sacral chakra is water. A person with a functional sacral chakra has a healthy way of expressing emotions and sexuality, both with self and others. Creativity flows in all aspects of his/her life.
Problems from an over/underactive or closed second chakra include
- Sexual dysfunction such as impotence, frigidity, promiscuity
- Disorders of the sexual organs such as infertility, endometriosis, ovarian cysts/cancer, fibroids, menstrual problems, prostate problems
- Chronic low back pain
- Bladder or urinary problems
- Bowel disorders such as IBS, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.
- Chronic money issues
- Inability to maintain healthy relationships
- Emotionally shut down
- Creativity is stunted (The Fifth/Throat Chakra is closely related to the Sacral Chakra and is the expression of our creativity)
Ways to heal your Sacral Chakra
- Spend time in water which is the healing element of this chakra
- Daily self-care including oil massage
- Touch is healing. If there's no one in your life right now then be sure to go for frequent massage
- Yoga is especially healing for the Sacral Chakra
The seed mantra for the Sacral Chakra is VAM (vahmmm)
Place your hands on your second chakra and say this mantra repeatedly out loud or silently while envisioning yourself as a creative being in healthy relationships, experiencing abundance and good health in that part of your body. Picture the color orange healing your sacral chakra and that area of your body.
Third Chakra - Manipura (Solar Plexus/Navel)
Located in the area of the solar plexus and navel. Its color is yellow. Manipura means "lustrous gem". This is the chakra which holds our personal power, our self-esteem, sense of worth and identity. It is the core of our ego and our transformation. This chakra rules digestion and metabolism. It's no surprise that the element associated with this chakra is fire. People that have a "warm" personality and are comfortable in their skin usually have healthy Solar Plexus chakras.
Problems that can arise from an over/underactive or closed third chakra include
- Low self-esteem
- Over-aggressiveness or anger issues
- Problems with major organs in the solar plexus/navel area of the body: liver, spleen, pancreas (diabetes, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia)
- Digestive issues such as gastritis and duodenal ulcers
- Hiatal hernia
Ways to heal your Solar Plexus/Navel Chakra
- Strengthen your "inner fire" by maintaining healthy digestion, healthy thoughts, goals, and relationships with self/others
- Listen to your gut - it's where we get those undeniable intuitive hits. Pay attention to them
- Get an adequate amount of sunshine (but not in excess). People with excessive third chakras are often strong Pitta-types with very "fiery" personalities. They should stick to morning sun and/or walks in the moonlight
- Spend time reflecting on your purpose in this life. Are you living it or are you confused as to why you're here? Being in a job that we hate or a relationship that's toxic can deeply affect our sense of self and our third chakra
- Yoga, T'ai Chi, and Qigong are wonderful practices for this chakra
- Bhastrika Breath is a form of pranayama that is especially good for the solar plexus chakra. Generally good for Vata and Kapha types and okay for Pitta unless their internal fire is already too hot!
The seed mantra for the Solar Plexus/Navel Chakra is RAM (rahmmm)
Place your hands on the area of your solar plexus/navel and say this mantra aloud or silently while envisioning a beautiful, warm yellow sun. Picture yourself as calm, loving, confident and doing what you're meant to be doing in this lifetime.
Fourth Chakra - Anahata (Heart)
Located at our heart center, this chakra regulates energy to the heart, lungs, breasts and thymus gland. Its color is green. The word Anahata means "unstruck" or "unhurt". If we can get to a place of pure love, forgiveness and compassion - we can live without being in a place of pain, grief, and hurt from the past that so many of us harbor in our heart. The element associated with this chakra is air. We need to breathe in and let go. Holding on to people, places, and things constrict us and create stagnation in this chakra and surrounding area. This is the chakra of Love. It's the bridge between the lower three chakras and the upper three, connecting our earthbound body with our spiritual body.
Problems that can arise from an over/underactive or closed Fourth Chakra include
- All heart-related problems such as heart pain/attacks, congestive heart failure, palpitations
- Lung-related problems such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, lung cancer
- Circulatory problems
- Breast cysts/cancer
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Grief, both from the present and the past. Old grief is said to be contained in the lungs
- Heartache, inability to detach and let go
Ways to heal your Heart Chakra
- Helping others can immediately bring a feeling of expansion and release from a shutdown or constricted heart
- Having a pet is one of the best ways to experience their unconditional love
- Yoga and pranayama breathing techniques are especially healing for the heart/lungs
- Forgiveness - of yourself and others - liberates the pain that can deeply embed itself in the heart
- Surround yourself with green (pink is the secondary color of this chakra), bring plants into your home and take walks in the park or in the woods
The seed mantra for the Heart Chakra is YAM (yahmmm)
Place your hands over your heart center, close your eyes and take deep breaths, in and out. Picture the color green or pink as you bring in the energy of Love and send it out into the world. Picture your heart, lungs and breasts as pink and free of stagnation and disease. Energy flows freely in and out of this very important chakra. Release any grief, anger or resentment that you might be holding onto. Let it go.
Fifth Chakra - Vishuddha (Throat)
Located at the center of the throat, this chakra is governed by the ether (space) element and rules the throat, neck, shoulders, esophagus, voice/vocal cords, ears/hearing, and the mouth. It also rules the thyroid and parathyroid. Its color is blue. Vishuddha means "especially pure" or "pure place". This chakra is not surprisingly all about expression and speaking our truth. It's about communication on all levels - not just voicing our own, but listening to others, as well. It connects our feeling self with our thinking self. This is the chakra of clairaudience (hearing things/receiving messages that are not spoken out loud). Our creativity is expressed via the fifth chakra and is closely linked with the second chakra, where our creativity is birthed. Thus people who have second chakra issues often have problems with their fifth chakra, and vice-versa. A healthy throat chakra will allow our authenticity and independence to shine.
Problems that can arise from an over/underactive or closed Fifth Chakra include
- Neck/throat/jaw problems - TMJ, swollen glands, vocal cord problems, throat cancer
- Thyroid issues - hypo/hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto's, Grave's disease, thyroid cancer
- Chronic sinus issues
- Poor communication skills - extreme shyness, stuttering, weak voice, talking too much or too fast
- Hearing difficulties
- Creatively stuck
Ways to heal your Throat Chakra
- Speak your truth - either out loud or through writing
- Sing! In the shower or wherever - singing is one of the best ways to heal the throat chakra
- Practice the art of listening - truly listening to others
- Find ways to express your creativity in whatever form appeals to you the most
- Practice being in silence. Put on a pair of noise-canceling headphones to help block out the sound. Be open to any messages that may come to you
- Conversely, practice awareness of the sounds around you
- Think back to what gave you JOY as a child and rediscover it!
The seed mantra for the Throat Chakra is HAM (haahhmmm)
Place your hands lightly around your throat and repeat this mantra either out loud or silently. Feel the vibration healing you. Picture a beautiful light blue color as you envision yourself fully authentic, speaking your truth and expressing your creativity. Release any stuck energy in the chakra so that you can fully participate and share your gifts with the world.
Sixth Chakra - Ajna (Third Eye)
Ajna means "to command" or "to perceive". It also means "beyond wisdom", and is one of the spiritual chakras. This chakra is located in the pituitary gland and is activated in the center of the forehead, between the brows. It brings energy to the head, including the eyes, lower part of the brain, and especially the pituitary gland in which it's located. The sixth chakra is commonly referred to as the third eye and is associated with light. Its color is indigo blue/purple. It is our center of intuition, perception, and our consciousness. Our physical eyes can only see the past and the present, but our third eye can intuit the future. ” Ajna is the seat of our inner knowing where we can visualize that which cannot be seen. An active dream state and clairvoyance are signs of an open sixth chakra.
Problems that can arise from an over/underactive or closed Sixth Chakra include
- Headaches, neurological problems, brain tumor
- Eyesight problems
- Shut off from your intuition
- Living too much in your left brain (analytical)
- Insomnia, nausea, sinus problems
- Anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations
- Living too much in a fantasy world
- Becoming ungrounded from too much focus on this chakra
Ways to heal your Third Eye Chakra
- Meditation is the number one way to keep this chakra balanced
- Trust your inner guidance (this chakra, along with our solar plexus chakra, provides us with intuition
- Stay connected with your higher self - this is our best source of guidance
- Take time to get quiet - too much busyness can shut down this chakra
- Stay grounded while attempting to open this chakra
The seed mantra for the Third Eye Chakra is SHAM (shaammm). AUM (or OM) can also be used.
Close your eyes and place your hands over them, including the third eye while chanting SHAM or AUM silently or out loud. Picture an indigo blue light healing and opening up the chakra to help you connect with your inner wisdom, your intuition, and your consciousness. Here you can find answers to many of life's most difficult questions.
Seventh Chakra - Sahasrara (Crown)
Sahasrara means "thousand-petaled" or "lotus of the thousand petals". It is commonly referred to as the Crown Chakra because it is located at the crown of our head. Its color is violet/white. Sahasrara is our connection to the Divine. From this chakra comes the knowingness that we are all One, interconnected in the web of Life. It is here that we connect to this oneness, to our own higher self, and to the Divine. Through this chakra, we strive to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. Here we can feel the bliss of unconditional love. We are at Peace.
Problems that can arise from an over/underactive or closed Seventh Chakra include
- Dementia, Alzheimer's disease, dizziness, mental illness, brain tumor, epilepsy
- Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder
- ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease
- Stroke, headaches, migraine
- Tingling sensations in the head
- Inability to live in the moment
- Inability to let things go and move on
- Lack of enthusiasm in life
- Feeling that "this is all there is"
Ways to heal your Crown Chakra
- Prayer and meditation are powerful practices to open your Crown Chakra
- Spend time in solitude, especially in Nature. Get quiet
- Pay more attention to the things in life that really matter
- Let go of the past and don't dwell on the future. Live in the Now
- Find ways to release negative emotions which can shut down this chakra
The seed mantra for the Crown Chakra is OM (AUM - ahh-o-mmm).
Close your eyes and place your hands in prayer position at your heart. Picture a ray of violet-white light flowing in through your crown and flooding your physical body with healing energy. Envision the higher spiritual qualities we strive for - Love, Forgiveness, Generosity, Tolerance - flowing into us. Picture this bright beautiful light connecting us to our angels, guides, departed loved ones, God, the Divine, Source, the Universe - all that is unseen yet just beyond the veil. Feel the Peace and Truth that can be delivered through Sahasrara.
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