What is a chakra?
A quick and easy way of explaining what a chakra is, would be to describe it as an energy center in your body. There are 7 chakras, and energy flows through them to promote various stages of well being and good vibes. Just like our blood flows through various organs to bring in nutrients and oxygen, energy flows through each of our chakras.
What are the 7 chakras and what do they do?
1. The Root (Muladhara)
This one is foundational. When all is well, you’ll feel secure, calm and anchored in reality. You’ll be bold enough to tackle new challenges, and you’ll feel confident doing so.
You can develop a blocked Root Chakra if something threatens your basic survival needs (e.g. for food, shelter or money). Even if you simply fear that your basic survival will be undermined, your Root Chakra can come out of alignment in response.
- Physical Location: Your tailbone
- Color: Red
- Element: Earth
- Emotional Impact: If your Root Chakra is blocked you may feel threatened, panicked or anxious. You may find that you can’t concentrate and that you’re constantly preoccupied with worries about your well-being. Physical issues potentially caused by a blocked Root Chakra include a sore lower back, low energy levels, and cold extremities.
2. The Sacral (Svadhishthana)
This one is key to your creative energy. It is related to pursuits of artistry and imagination, and also to sexuality and your capacity for change. Your Sacral Chakra might become misaligned or blocked in some way if you’re stressed about some aspect of your sexuality or if you are unsatisfied in a relationship. It can also be disturbed by negative feedback that makes you doubt your creative capacities.
- Physical Location: A few inches below your belly button
- Color: Orange
- Element: Water
- Emotional Impact: When there’s a problem with the Sacral Chakra, you’ll feel bored, listless and uninspired. You might have a low sex drive and feel resistance to change. Physical symptoms associated can include urinary discomfort, increased allergies, and addictive behaviors. These behaviors could center around drugs, alcohol, shopping addictions, gambling, and issues with eating.
3. The Solar Plexus (Manipura)
This one is vital for self-esteem, autonomy, and determination. It is about your inner strength or power.
When this chakra is aligned you will see the path in front of you and know what needs to be done to promote success. You may also feel independent like you can accomplish almost anything if you set your mind to it. This chakra can be negatively affected by perceived failures, unpleasant social experiences, or lingering feelings of low self-worth stemming back even from childhood.
- Physical Location: Your stomach
- Color: Yellow
- Element: Fire
- Emotional Impact: If there’s a blockage your confidence may be very shaky. If there is only a small blockage, there may only be insecurity in one specific area. A larger blockage can cause generalized self-esteem problems, or you might be haunted by thoughts that you are not good enough. You may feel unable to draw useful lessons from life’s challenges. Physical difficulties associated with a blocked Solar Plexus Chakra may include digestive discomfort and troubles with memory.
4. The Heart (Anahata)
This one is intimately connected to your capacity for love and compassion. It is is often viewed as the bridge between the body, mind, and spirit.
When your Heart Chakra is balanced, you’ll be empathetic of others, emotionally open, and enjoy a sense of inner peace. You’ll feel your emotions fully, and understand them on a cognitive level. Anything negatively related to love can trouble the Heart Chakra like a breakup, grief process, difficult friendship, or even just an instance of casual cruelty.
- Physical Location: Right above the heart
- Color: Green
- Element: Air
- Emotional Impact: When the Heart Chakra is blocked, you’ll struggle to relate to other people. You’ll be less compassionate than usual and impatient. You’ll find it hard to trust others, and won’t feel at peace. Instead, you’ll feel restless and disgruntled. Some Chakra experts think a misalignment may cause issues like high blood pressure and low immune system function.
5. The Throat (Vishuddha)
This one regulates self-expression and influences how authentically you convey your deepest self to the world. Your directness and emotional honesty are located in the Throat Chakra.
When your Throat Chakra is aligned properly, you’ll feel able to say what you mean, be understood by others, and speak the truth. You’ll be forthright without being too blunt. Difficult experiences that impact the Throat Chakra include a tough job interview or a bad argument.
- Physical Location: Your throat
- Color: Blue
- Element: Ether
- Emotional Impact: A blocked Throat Chakra will result in an inability to say what you mean. You’ll feel like you’re stuck holding onto secrets, and believe that people don’t want to hear your thoughts. You won’t be able to find the right words for your feelings. A misalignment may mean you constantly feel thwarted in communication. Physically, a blocked Throat Chakra may present with pain in the neck, sensitivity to hormone fluctuations, and discomfort in throat tissue.
6. The Third Eye (Ajna)
This one is a powerful energy source when it’s working. It determines your intuition, your alignment with the Universe, and your ability to see the bigger picture in life.
When you have an open Third Eye Chakra, you are adept at picking up signs. Trust in your gut feelings and plan according to your greatest goals. Misalignment can make you doubt your wider purpose, and prize rationality over intuition.
- Physical Location: Between your eye brows
- Color: Indigo
- Element: Extra-Sensory Perception
- Emotional Impact: You’ll struggle to have faith in your broader purpose if your Third Eye Chakra becomes blocked. You’ll feel like there’s no point to what you’re doing, and may be struck by an inability to make decisions. Some people describe this as a feeling of psychological paralysis. If you have a blocked Third Eye Chakra, you might have trouble sleeping, feel clumsy, and struggle to learn new things.
7. The Crown (Sahasrara)
This one is the highest chakra, and it determines your spiritual connectivity. This chakra is sometimes called “thousand petal lotus” chakra. Given its place as the highest chakra, and it is vital in creating a life you love and attaining a feeling of peace.
When all is well, you will be in tune with beauty in the world around you. You’ll experience feelings of profound joy. Life may feel worthwhile, glorious and rich. Unfortunately, a traumatic life experience can impact the Crown Chakra. This can cause you to doubt yourself and your purpose.
- Physical Location: Top of your head
- Color: Violet
- Element: Thought
- Emotional Impact: If your Crown Chakra becomes disturbed, you might not see much beauty in the world at all. You’ll feel spirituality adrift and experience symptoms of depression. If you’re only starting to develop this type of block, you might just notice a decline in overall excitement or motivation. Physically, a blocked Crown Chakra can occur at the same time as problems with physical coordination or chronic headaches.