what are chakras? my beginners guide…
The odds are you’ve heard the word chakra mentioned if you’ve attended a yoga or meditation class or had a hands on healing session. But what are they, really?
The word chakra is sanskrit and literally translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’ and refers to the energy centres of the body. For argument’s sake to start let’s agree there are seven major energy centres within the physical body which run along the spine.
P.s. there are actually said to be more than seven major energy centres now but they are not located within the physical body.
There are also hundreds of minor chakras within the body but these are not often referred to or mentioned. For instance you have them located in the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, at almost every joint (knees, elbows, wrists, hips, ankles etc.) and even in your fingers!
Each chakra corresponds with specific glands, organs as well as physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological states and the belief is that when the chakras are balanced, aligned and freely flowing we are healthy, happy and on the path towards enlightenment and unconditional love. Although the chakras do not have physical form they are said to affect the physical body and instead are life force energy centres or you may have heard it referred to as prana, chi or ki energy.
In an ideal world our chakras would stay balanced and freely flowing around the body however in today’s hectic lifestyle the truth is that our chakras are in a constant state of change and response to the ups and downs, joys & stresses of our lives. Stress, ill-health, negative experiences, disconnection and emotional difficulty are just a few things that can affect them and they can become imbalanced, out of alignment or not flowing freely.
what are the 7 major chakras?
- Root chakra
This is located at the base of the spine and you sit on this chakra. It is associated with grounding, survival, security & stability. Often shown as red in colour
- Sacral Chakra
This is located bellow the belly button and is associated with sexuality and creativity and how we relate to our emotions and the emotions of others. Often shown as orange in colour
- Solar Plexus Chakra
This is located above the belly button and below the ribcage and is associated with self confidence, self esteem and being in control of our lives. Often shown as yellow in colour.
- Heart Chakra
This is located in the middle of the chest and is associated with self love, love for others and our capacity for empathy and compassion. Often shown as green in colour.
- Throat Chakra
This is located on the throat and is associated with self expression and communication. Often shown as blue in colour.
- Third eye chakra
This is located between the eyes on the forehead and is associated with intuition, gut instinct and imagination. It is often shown as purple or violet in colour.
- Crown chakra
This is located on the top of the head and is associated with our spiritual connection, our personal energy levels and our life purpose. It is often shown as violet or white in colour.
What does it mean if a chakra is unbalanced or blocked?
I prefer to think of chakras being unbalanced or out of alignment rather than blocked as this can have quite negative connotations to it and in all honesty most of us have chakras that are!
There can either be too little energy or too much energy flowing through each chakra making them either underactive or overactive.
Underactive or overactive
When a chakra is underactive or low in energy you may have difficulties expressing the qualities that are associated with this chakra or you may be noticing some physical symptoms with the organs of areas that are linked.
When a chakra is overactive the qualities of this chakra may be very dominant or out of balance within the person’s life.
Things that can affect our chakras and throw them out of balance quickly include more obvious things like stress whether physical or mental and negative or challenging experiences but even things like poor posture, not looking after ourselves, poor diet or self destructive behaviours can have an impact. Long term imbalance is believed to then lead to more noticeable conditions or physical and mental illness.
How do we rebalance
Reiki energy healing is just one way that you can help bring your chakra and energy system back into alignment to help enhance our overall health & wellbeing.
You can also find a range of guided meditations and breathing techniques that can help you rebalance your chakras or healing modalities such as chakra healing, working with crystals or even yoga poses to help. My personal favourite is reiki! 🙂