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Ever had a yoga or meditation instructor talk about “balancing your chakras?” Seen those human body diagrams with the rainbow-colored lights along the spine and wondered what that was all about?
This post is an introduction to chakras for beginners. I break down what chakras are and why you should care about them.
What is a chakra?
A chakra is a spiritual energy center in our body. According to the Hindu chakra system, the most prominent one followed today, we have seven main chakras in our body. These seven energy wheels run vertically from the base of our spine to the top of our head.
Ayurvedic and holistic medicine practitioners, acupuncturists, yogis, meditation gurus, and reiki masters rely on this ancient Hindu idea that these chakras regulate the healthy flow of energy through the body.
Why are chakras important?
Our world is made up of energy that is constantly moving from place to place. We are no exception, and energy flows in and out of us all the time. The job of our chakras is to ensure that energy flows smoothly through and out of our bodies without getting stuck.
Why do we have seven chakras? Each chakra is in charge of managing energy of a specific frequency that runs through it. For example, the heart chakra manages energy related to love, empathy, and relationships. The solar plexus chakra, on the other hand, rules matters of confidence and self-esteem. When the chakras are open and working properly, there is a fluid, easy flow of energy that results in a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.
However, if the chakras are blocked, energy doesn’t flow freely through the body. Stagnant energy may become trapped and result in various physical and psychic issues. For example, if our root chakra is blocked, we may experience fear, insecurity, or anxiety attacks. Unblocking, or reopening, the chakra through practices like yoga, acupuncture, meditation, affirmations, and more, helps release the trapped energy that may have been causing the discomfort.
Get to know your seven chakras
Below is a very basic breakdown of each of the seven chakras, starting with the root chakra located at the base of our spine and moving all the way up to the crown chakra at the top of our head.
Again, this is a rudimentary and incomplete introduction to the chakras for beginners. But I think it’s a great start!
1. Root Chakra
Open root chakra: When the root chakra is open, we feel grounded, secure, and abundant. We feel energetic, motivated, and adventurous.
Blocked root chakra: If you feel angry, fearful, or anxious, or if you have a lack mentality, your root chakra may be blocked. A blocked root chakra may physically manifest as constipation, fatigue, or substance abuse and addictions.
2. Sacral Chakra
Open sacral chakra: When the sacral chakra is open, we feel creative, sensual, and sexually fulfilled.
Blocked sacral chakra: If you feel irritable, creatively blocked, or struggle with intimacy issues, your sacral chakra may be blocked. A blocked sacral chakra may physically manifest as low sex drive, painful periods, or reproductive challenges.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra
Open solar plexus chakra: When the solar plexus chakra is open, we feel confident, assertive, and decisive.
Blocked solar plexus chakra: If you feel indecisive, anxious, or experience low self-esteem, your solar plexus chakra may be blocked. A blocked solar plexus chakra may physically manifest as poor digestion or digestion-related issues.
4. Heart Chakra
Open heart chakra: When the heart chakra is open, we feel grateful, compassionate, and enjoy harmonious and sincere relationships with others.
Blocked heart chakra: If you feel lonely, unloving, unable to forgive or feel empathy, your heart chakra may be blocked. A blocked heart chakra may physically manifest as high blood pressure, heart disease, or respiratory issues.
5. Throat Chakra
Open throat chakra: When the throat chakra is open, we communicate clearly and express our truth without fear.
Blocked throat chakra: If you feel inauthentic, misunderstood, or like you lack self-knowledge, your throat chakra may be blocked. A blocked throat chakra may physically manifest as thyroid issues, a sore throat or neck, or dental problems.
6. Third Eye Chakra
Open third eye chakra: When the third eye chakra is open, we feel intuitive, future-oriented, and able to focus on the bigger picture.
Blocked third eye chakra: If you feel moody, confused, or stuck in old thought patterns, your third eye chakra may be blocked. A blocked third eye chakra may physically manifest as vision problems, headaches, or nightmares.
7. Crown Chakra
Open crown chakra: When our crown chakra is open, we feel spiritually enlightened, aligned with our values, and connected to our higher self.
Blocked crown chakra: If you feel apathetic, disconnected from yourself, or spiritually lost or disillusioned, your crown chakra may be blocked. A blocked crown chakra may physically manifest in cognitive issues or psychological disorders.
Cool! What do I do with all this information?
Especially for beginners to chakras, this information may seem fun and interesting yet overwhelming. How can beginners start to apply this chakra knowledge to their own lives?
Awareness of our chakras and the fact that energy must be able to freely flow through our bodies for optimal health and wellbeing gives us one more tool to help us live our best lives.
After all, we are not just our physical bodies and organ systems. Think about it. Have you ever felt unmistakably and troublingly unhealthy but had no concrete ailment to complain of? Or, if you’re like me, have you ever experienced a period of daily and infuriatingly incurable headaches or stomachaches, only to be told by a doctor that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you?
Those times remind me that listening to my intuition, feeling into my body, and connecting with my higher self can be just as healing.
This is just chakras for beginners, right? Where do we go from here?
Believe it or not, I have simplified chakras for this introductory post. There is so much more to learn about chakras. Even the matters I discuss here are actually way more complex than I let on. For instance, a chakra could be blocked, but did you know that it could also be too open, or overactive? That can become equally problematic.
To learn more about chakras and chakra healing, here are three things you can do right now.
1. Read up on chakras yourself.
If you want to learn more, check out the chakra encyclopedia you never knew you needed! Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Chakras by Cyndi Dale is “your definitive source of energy center knowledge for health, happiness, and spiritual evolution.”
It weighs a ton and I love that about it. It’s available for purchase through my affiliate store on Bookshop.org.
2. Check out my chakras Pinterest board.
If you are more of a visual learner and want bite-size pieces and fun infographics, take a look at my Pinterest board devoted to all things chakra-related.
3. Stay tuned for more blog posts that go beyond the chakras for beginners only.
Finally, to learn more about how to work with chakras for optimal wellbeing, also make sure to subscribe to my email list! That way you won’t miss upcoming posts that go into more detail about the seven chakras.