You probably heard about chakras, but maybe not really understood what they are. Here is a guide that helps you understand the chakras and how to keep them in balance.
By: Petra Axlund Stegman
Chakras are centers of energy, located on the mid-line of the body and outside the body (over the head and down into the earth). The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC. The word chakra translated to wheel and is also a metaphor for the sun. They are like disc shaped “energetic motors” within the mental, emotional and physical energy fields in and around your body. One could say that the chakras are like “receivers and transformers” and through the chakras we can take prana (life force) and vital energy and transform them into the frequencies we need in different parts of the physical, emotional and spiritual body. And yes, there is science behind this. You can see the actual energy centers measured in brainwaves and electromagnetic activity. The chakras houses our mental and emotional strengths, but if we have physical issues it created a weakness in our emotional behavior. And vice versa. So you want your chakras to be opened and balanced and there are many techniques to do that. Meditation, yoga, mantras, mudras, aromatherapy and crystal healing are a few things that can help you. And there are ways to figure out which of your chakra that is closed and imbalanced. In the traditional scriptures it is said there are 88,000 chakras in the human body. We have 7 chakras that are primary (located inside the body), a 12 chakra system (located outside our bodies) and 40 secondary chakras, located in our inner organs, back of the neck, in the palms of your hands and under the soles of your feet.
1st CHAKRA – THE ROOT CHAKRA
Located: Base of the spine.
In sanskrit: Mooladhara Chakra
The word: I am.
Stands for: Connection to earth, survival instincts, basic needs, inherited believes and self-preservation.
If closed: You worry about your basic needs, you don’t feel safe, you feel disconnected.
If over-active: You may be materialistic and greedy, obsessed with being secure and resist change.
Physical signs: Pain in lower back, legs and feet.
How to balance it: Go outside, walk around barefoot, reconnect with the earth.
Balancing gemstones: Lava, Smokey Quartz, Jasper, Onyx, Garnet, Hematite & Bloodstone.
Balancing scents: Sandalwood, Orange, Jasmin & Peppermint.
Balancing yoga poses: Tadasana, Easy Seat, Child’s Pose & Malasana.
Balancing mantra: Lam.
Balancing mudra: Thumb and index finger to touch.
2nd CHAKRA – THE SACRAL CHAKRA
Located: Below navel.
In sanskrit: Swadhisthana Chakra.
The word: I feel
Stands for: Sexuality, reproductive functions, relationships, desire and creativity.
If closed: Lack of creativity, anger or jealousy or trouble enjoying yourself.
If over-active: You are probably over emotional and over sexual.
Physical signs: Kidney or bladder issues, fertility or sexual problems.
How to balance it: Do something where you feel creative. Paint, sing, dance, knit, cook.
Balancing gemstones: Carnelian, Red or Orange Aventurine, Red Jasper, Garnet & Ruby.
Balancing scents: Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lemon & Bergamot.
Balancing yoga poses: Goddess, Warrior II, Reverse Warrior, Low Lunge, Pigeon & Bound Angle Pose.
Balancing mantra: Vam.
Balancing mudra: Hands in lap, palms up and thumbs touching.
3rd CHAKRA – THE SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA
Located: Upper abdomen.
In sanskrit: Manipura Chakra.
The word: I do.
Stands for: Personal power, confidence, respect for self and others.
If closed: Lack of confidence, can’t make a decision, no sense of purpose or depression.
If over-active: You could be domineering and probably even aggressive.
Physical signs: Slow metabolism, weight problems, poor digestion.
How to balance it: Have fun, do things that makes you laugh out load. Try laughing yoga.
Balancing gemstones: Citrine, Pyrite, Rhononite, Amber, Quartz, Topaz, Golden Calcite & Aragonite.
Balancing scents: Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lemon & Bergamot.
Balancing yoga poses: Boat, Knee to Nose, Twisted Crescent Lunge, Revolved Triangle, Seated Twist & Child’s Pose.
Balancing mantra: Ram.
Balancing mudra: Hands on your stomach, pointing forward, fingertips to touch and thumbs crossed.
4th CHAKRA – THE HEART CHAKRA
Located: Chest center.
In sanskrit: Anahata Chakra.
The word: I love.
Stands for: Love, self-love, acceptance, forgiveness, relationships and following your heart.
If closed: Lack of compassion for self and others, selfishness or feeling of no love in your life.
If over-active: Suffocating people with your love and your love probably has quite selfish reasons.
Physical signs: Heart problems, skin problems, bad blood circulation.
How to balance it: Love and take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, sleep.
Balancing gemstones: Aventurine, Fluorite, Jade, Kyanite, Magnetite, Moonstone, Rose Quartz, Serpentine, Tourmaline & Green Calcite.
Balancing scents: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine & Rose.
Balancing yoga poses: Camel, Low Lunge, High Lunge with Back Bend, Wild Thing, Upward Facing Dog, Bridge, Wheel & Reclined Bound Angle.
Balancing mantra: Yam.
Balancing mudra: Index finger and thumb on both hands to touch, put your left hand on your left knee and your right hand in front of the lower part of your breast bone.
5th CHAKRA – THE THROAT CHAKRA
In sanskrit: Vishuddhi Chakra.
The word: I speak.
Stands for: Communication, truth, be heard, choice and willpower.
If closed: Trouble expressing yourself, weak voice, talking to much or lying (even white ones).
If over-active: You tend to speak too much, and you’re a probably a bad listener.
Physical signs: Sore throat, pain in neck and shoulders, thyroid imbalance.
How to balance it: Speak your truth, speak with integrity.
Balancing gemstones: Blue Aventurine, Amazonite, Angelite, Aquamarine, Sodalite, Blue Lace Agate, Blue Topaz & Turquoise.
Balancing scents: Tea Tree, Chamomile, Peppermint & Eucalyptus.
Balancing yoga poses: Knees-Chest-Chin, Neck Rolls, Fish Pose, Plow, Shoulder Stand & Legs up the Wall.
Balancing mantra: Ham.
Balancing mudra: Create a circle with your hands, cross your fingers on the inside of your hands, let the thumbs touch at the tops.
6th CHAKRA – THE THIRD EYE CHAKRA
Located: Between eyebrows.
In sanskrit: Ajna Chakra.
The word: I see.
Stands for: Intuition, knowledge and divine wisdom.
If closed: Not trusting your intuition, fear of success or feeling that imagination is unimportant.
If over-active: You tend to live in a fantasy world. Worst case you may suffer from hallucinations.
Physical signs: Headaches, sinus trouble, hearing problems, sleep disorders.
How to balance it: Trust your intuition without feeling the need to justify it. It’s ok to say “no, I don’t feel like it”.
Balancing gemstones: Amethyst, Lilac, Amazonite, Marble, Moonstone, Quartz, Turquoise, Azurite, Lapis Lazuli & Sodalite.
Balancing scent: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper & Rosemary.
Balancing yoga poses: Dolphin Dog, Eagle Pose, Warrior III, Forearm Balance & Child’s Pose.
Balancing mantra: Sham
Balancing mudra: Hands in front of chest, the middle fingers are straight and touch at the tops, pointing forward. The other fingers are bent and touch at the knuckles. The thumbs point towards you and touch at the tops.
7th CHAKRA – THE CROWN CHAKRA
Located: Top of head.
In sanskrit: Sahasrara Chakra.
The word: I understand.
Stands for: Connection, higher power, life force and inspiration.
If closed: Feeling of separation and loneliness, feeling lost or lack of joy in life.
If over-active: You may be intellectualizing things too much. You may be addicted to spirituality and are probably ignoring your bodily needs.
Physical signs: Headaches, migraines, high blood pressure.
How to balance it: Find a way to connect. Meditation, yoga, spiritual group or finding a spiritual mentor.
Balancing gemstones: Amethyst, Labradorite, Lilac, Moonstone, Quartz, Clear Calcite & Sapphire.
Balancing scent: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Lotus & Palo Santo.
Balancing yoga poses: Standing Back bend, Warrior I with Eagle Arms, Bound Half Moon, Saddle Pose & Meditation.
Balancing mantra: Aum
Balancing mudra: Ring fingers point up, touching at their tops, cross the rest of your fingers, with the left thumb underneath the right.
THE 12-CHAKRA SYSTEM
Besides the seven chakras located inside the body there are five more chakras located outside the human body (there are actually as many as 22 chakras, but I am not getting into all of them here). You might have heard of one of them, the 8th Chakra or The Soul Star Chakra. But the rest might be news to you. Simply put, the 12-chakra system is all about our connection to the entire universe. The outer body chakras is like a cord that connects you with the earth and the universe. This cord stretches from approximately three feet below your feet to miles and miles up into outer space. The idea of a 12 chakra system is considered as relatively new, and there is no unified understanding of this chakra system today. The knowledge about them comes from healers and energy workers. So even thought I don’t have as much information about them, I will add them here just for you to read. And maybe see if any of them resonates with you or if you feel particular connected to one or more of them.
8th CHAKRA – THE SOUL STAR CHAKRA
Located: One inche above your head.
Color: Silver or ultraviolet.
In sanskrit: Padaka Pancaka Chakra.
The Word: I am one with the Universal.
Stands for: Truth, spiritual compassion and spiritual selflessness, your karmic residue, peace and calm. With the 8th chakra, we can transcend in time and space. This energy center is said to open access to parallel universes and lives. It is a useful center for shamanic healing and communication with spirit guides. Also known as the Lunar Chakra.
If closed: Feeling of disassociation, numbness and doubt.
Balancing gemstones: Amethyst & Clear Quartz
9th CHAKRA – SEAT OF THE SOUL
Located: Further above the 8th chakra.
Stands for: It allows access to your soul’s code or higher purpose. It can be seen as the door to archetypal energies or patterns that play an important role in shaping our destiny. The ninth chakra links you to the energies of the moon. It stands for karmic understanding, intelligence and communication with spirit guides. The 9th Chakra holds the key to the soul’s destiny. Also known as the Solar Chakra.
Balancing mantra: El-ee-tee (hold one hand over the Heart Chakra and one hand over the Third Eye Chakra while reciting the mantra).
10th CHAKRA – THE EARTH STAR CHAKRA
Color: Earthy brown or cleansing black.
Located: Below the root chakra, under the surface of the Earth (12-24″ below your feet).
Stands for: Our connection with the earth and your link to Mother Earth. It works with the energies of the earth so it becomes activated when you go outside in nature. When open it helps us with physical well-being and helps you connect to the grounding energies of the earth and our environment. No matter where you are, the earth chakra keeps you grounded. While your Root Chakra helps ground your energies, the grounding offered by the Earth Star Chakra is to help ground your entire extended chakra system with the Earth, the universe and the cosmos. When you have an open Earth Star Chakra you will feel connected with yourself and your body. You are in line with the Divine Plan and you will stand in your own personal power and experience life fully, regardless of the lessons or challenges you face.
If closed: Feeling of being stuck, cut off, disassociated, stressed and unable to cope with life’s experiences.
How to balance it: Go outside in nature, preferably barefoot.
Balancing gemstones: Black Onyx, Black or Green Tourmaline, Moss Agate, Snowflake Obsidian, Smokey Quartz.
11th CHAKRA – MIND OVER MATTER
Color: Mix of pink, orange, gold and silver.
Located: A couple of feet above your head.
Stands for: Supernatural powers, magic, energy fields. It emphasizes that the mind as a powerful tool to shape matter. Also referred to as the Universe’s cosmic “Book of Life.” The energy from this chakra activates a lot of higher spiritual powers and is critically important. Also known as the Galactic Chakra.
12th CHAKRA – UNIVERSAL UNITY
Color: Multi-colored orbs of light
Located: In the outskirts of the 12-chakra system.
Stands for: It allows you to stretch beyond your common sphere of understanding and become united with all that is. Known as the chakra of Universal Consciousness, the 12th chakra allows you to reach Enlightenment and commune with the Divine. Also known as the Universal Chakra.