I’m sure you’ve heard the word ‘chakra’ thrown around in yoga class or maybe at that trendy juice bar down the street where they promise to align your chakras with their celery stalk smoothie (yeah, right), but what are the chakras really all about?
The truth is, these energy centers actually do hold an immense amount of power to heal our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Understanding the chakras is essential for becoming the most lively, healthy, and radiant version of yourself.
When you really think about it – Absolutely everything in our universe is continuously releasing energy, from the tallest mountains to the smallest grain of sand, to every single cell in our body. The positively mind-blowing part of it all is that each cell emits a different kind of energy in different ways depending on where it’s located and what its specific job is.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a quick lesson on what these energy channels are and where they came from.
What Exactly Are The Chakras?
Chakra is a Sanskrit term that literally means ‘wheel’ and is defined as “any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) The seven main chakras span from the crown of the head down to the base of the spine and correspond to various parts of the body.
Because everything in this energy system is constantly moving, it’s important to recognize an imbalance in your chakras and know how to restore harmony in the system. If a blockage occurs, the restricted flow of energy leads to various mental and physical ailments. The same is true when the chakras begin spinning too fast or too slow.
Use the guide below to bring awareness to each chakra and learn how to cultivate balance in your life.
Muladhara or Root Chakra
Key Words: Foundation, Safety, Security, Stability, Survival, Grounded, Balance
Location: Base of Spine/Pelvic Floor
Symbol: 4 Petalled Lotus
Healing Gemstones: Smoky Quartz, Ruby, Obsidian, Jasper, Bloodstone
Affirmations: I am safe and secure. All is as it should be. I am strong. I am present.
Associated Physiology: Spine, Blood, Adrenal Glands, Reproductive Organs
Nutrition: Tomatoes, Apples, Pomegranates, Red Berries, Beets, Root Vegetables
Balanced Behaviors: Feeling a Sense of Fulfillment and Security in Terms of Money and Shelter, Connected to Physical Experiences
Overactive Behaviors: Anxious, Jitteriness, Unstable, Nervous, Insecure, Selfish, Materialistic, Resistant to Change
Underactive Behaviors: Lacking Security, Trouble Concentrating, Frequent Daydreaming, Afraid of Abandonment, Codependent
Physical Symptoms of Imbalance: Restlessness, Obesity, Eating Disorder, Constipation, Hip Pain, Ovarian Cysts, Prostate Issues, Cramps, Exhaustion or Laziness
Suggested Yoga Poses: Mountain Pose, Warrior II Pose, Wide-Legged Seated Forward Bend, Easy Pose, Chair Pose
How to Energize and Balance This Chakra: Volunteering, Gardening, Spending Time in Nature, Meditating, Praying, Connecting to the Earth, Connecting to Animals, Wearing Red or Earthy Colors, Listening to Nature Sounds
Svadhishthana or Sacral Chakra
Key Words: Motivating, Optimistic, Affectionate, Creativity, Movement, Sensuality, Pleasure
Location: Lower Abdomen/Pelvis
Symbol: 6 Petalled Lotus
Healing Gemstones: Carnelian, Orange Calcite, Citrine, Milky Quartz, Moonstone, Selenite
Affirmations: I am creative and beautiful. My sexuality is sacred. I am worthy of love and pleasure. I savor the taste of life.
Associated Physiology: Reproductive Organs, Kidneys
Nutrition: Mango, Nuts, Oranges, Melon, Carrots, Seeds
Balanced Behaviors: Enjoying Life’s Pleasures, No Need to Overindulge, Sense of Wellness and Abundance
Overactive Behaviors: Addiction, Gluttony, Easily Attached, Dramatic, Lacking Social Boundaries, Overly-Emotional
Underactive Behaviors: Lacking Emotions, Depressed, Decreased Sex Drive, Closed Off, Self-Conscious, Attracted to Abusive Relationships, Tense, Lack of Passion or Creativity
Physical Symptoms of Imbalance: Lower-Back Pain, Urinary Problems, Kidney Issues, Infertility, Hormone Imbalances, Restlessness
Suggested Yoga Poses: Revolved Triangle Pose, Pigeon Pose, Happy Baby Pose, Reclined Bound Angle Pose, Frog Pose, Goddess Pose
How to Energize and Balance This Chakra: Consciously Make Healthy Choices, Create, Make Love, Enjoy Life, Kundalini Yoga, Dancing, Journaling, Wearing Orange, Roleplay
Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra
Key Words: Instinct, Originality, Will, Power, Confidence, Self-Worth, Courage
Location: Stomach/Just Above Naval
Symbol: 10 Petalled Lotus
Healing Gemstones: Citrine, Yellow Jasper, Golden Calcite, Amber, Sunstone, Golden Topaz
Affirmations: I am enough. I accept myself. There is nothing I cannot achieve. I am worthy of my own love. I have what it takes.
Associated Physiology: Digestive System, Liver, Pancreas, Metabolic System, Nervous System
Nutrition: Yellow Peppers, Turmeric, Ginger, Yellow Bell Peppers, Bananas, Lentils, Corn
Balanced Behaviors: Decisiveness, Personal Power, Strong Sense of Self-Worth, Wisdom
Overactive Behaviors: Greed, Hostile, Bitter, Need to Micromanage, Lack of Empathy or Compassion, Overly Critical, Perfectionistic
Underactive Behaviors: Needy, Submissive, Wishy-Washy, Withdrawn, Lacking Self-Control
Physical Symptoms of Imbalance: Gas, Nausea, Bloating, Ulcers, Digestive Problems, Eating Disorders, Respiratory Illnesses, Fibromyalgia, Liver Infection, Kidney Infection
Suggested Yoga Poses: Boat Pose, Plank Pose, Warrior III Pose, Bow Pose, Child’s Pose, Corpse Pose
How to Energize and Balance This Chakra: Express Love and Compassion to Yourself and Others, Focus on Your Talents and Abilities, Martial Arts, Sports, Watching the Sunrise/Sunset, Sunbathing, Wearing Yellow, Therapy or Counseling
Anahata or Heart Chakra
Key Words: Love, Healing, Compassion, Connection, Harmony, Prosperity, Relationships
Symbol: 12 Petalled Lotus
Healing Gemstones: Rose Quartz, Emerald, Green Calcite, Amazonite, Watermelon Tourmaline, Peridot, Pink Calcite, Malachite, Jade
Affirmations: I love myself and others unconditionally. There is an unlimited supply of love. I live in harmony with others.
Associated Physiology: Heart, Lungs, Immune System, Thymus Gland, Breasts, Arms, Hands
Nutrition: Avocado, Zucchini, Broccoli, Leafy Greens, Peas
Balanced Behaviors: Ability to Feel and Emit Love for Oneself and Others, Always Able to Focus on the Good, Selfless Love and Compassion, Calmness, Contentment
Overactive Behaviors: Putting Needs of Others Before Your Own, Smothering, Lacking Sense of Self, Always Compliant, Clingy, Lacking Social Boundaries
Underactive Behaviors: Unfriendly, Distant, Isolated, Inability to Open Up, Animosity, Unattached
Physical Symptoms of Imbalance: High Blood Pressure, Heart Palpitations, Heartburn, Heart Attack, Weak Circulation, Numbness, Asthma, Breast Cancer, Stiff Joints
Suggested Yoga Poses: Low Lunge, Cat/Cow Pose, Cobra Pose, Camel Pose, Warrior I Pose, Bridge Pose, Eagle Pose
How to Energize and Balance This Chakra: Practice Self-Care, Show Yourself Love and Compassion, Take a Relaxing Bath, Meditate, Get a Massage, Wearing Green, Keeping a Diary, Random Acts of Kindness, Spending Time with Those You Love
Vishuddha or Throat Chakra
Key Words: Self-Expression, Truth, Communication, Loyalty, Faith, Sound
Symbol: 4 Petalled Lotus
Healing Gemstones: Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite, Blue Calcite, Aquamarine, Blue Calcite, Blue Quartz, Sapphire, Larimar, Angelite
Affirmations: I am able to effectively express myself. I honor my voice and listen to others. I am aligned with my highest truth.
Associated Physiology: Neck, Throat, Shoulders, Ears, Mouth, Thyroid
Nutrition: Blueberries, Black Currant, Dragonfruit, Kelp
Balanced Behaviors: Ability to Speak Clearly with Love, Honesty, and Kindness
Overactive Behaviors: Interruptive, Overly Chatty, Poor Listening Skills, Demanding, Verbally Abusive, Patronizing, Offensive
Underactive Behaviors: Withdrawn, Demure, Difficulty Voicing Truth, Inability to Express Wants and Needs, Shy
Physical Symptoms of Imbalance: Neck Aches, Shoulder Tension, Sore Throat, Laryngitis, Earaches, Ear Infections, Dental Problems, Thyroid Issues, Mouth Ulcers, Digestive Issues
Suggested Yoga Poses: Hero’s Pose with Chanting, Fish Pose, Shoulderstand, Bridge Pose
How to Energize and Balance This Chakra: Think Before You Speak, Practice Expressing Emotions, Speak Your Truth Freely, Wearing Blue, Singing, Chanting, Writing, Listening to Others, Clearing the Air
Ajna or Third Eye Chakra
Key Words: Perception, Intuition, Foresight, Manifestation, Guidance, Integrity, Clairvoyance
Location: Forehead/Between the Eyebrows
Symbol: 2 Petalled Lotus
Healing Gemstones: Amethyst, Azurite, Sugulite, Purple Fluorite, Kyanite, Blue Quartz, Lepidolite
Affirmations: I trust my intuition and trust the path unseen. I see clearly. I honor my intuition. All answers are known.
Associated Physiology: Eyes, Brows, Pituitary Gland, Base of Skull
Nutrition: Figs, Raisins, Grapes, Purple Kale, Blackberries, Cabbage
Balanced Behaviors: In Rhythm with Both the Material and Physical World
Overactive Behaviors: Lost Touch with Reality, Poor Judgment, Unfocused, Hallucinations
Underactive Behaviors: Closed-Minded,Overly-Dependent on Authority, Disconnected from Inner Voice, Worried, Holding on to the Past, Fearful of the Future
Physical Symptoms of Imbalance: Vision Impairments, Sinus Issues, Headaches, Migraines, Sleep Disorders, Seizures, Nightmares, Allergies
Suggested Yoga Poses: Dolphin Pose, Child’s Pose, Downward Facing Dog Pose, Seated Forward Bend
How to Energize and Balance This Chakra: Connect Your Body to the Earth, Meditate, Feel Your Toes in The Sand, Wearing Indigo, Energy Work, Sound Therapy, Dream Journaling, Lucid Dreaming, Star-Gazing
Sahasrara or Crown Chakra
Key Words: Enlightenment, Purpose, Unity, Transcendence, Consciousness, Expansion
Location: Top of Head
Element: All Elements
Symbol: Thousand Petalled Lotus
Healing Gemstones: Moonstone, White Calcite, Diamond, Clear Quartz, Selenite, Snow Quartz, White Topaz
Affirmations: The light in me sees and honors the light in everyone. All is one. Everyone is equal. The universe is within me.
Associated Physiology: Pineal Gland, Pituitary Gland, Brain, Central Nervous System
Nutrition: Nourished with Meditation, Prayer, Self-Reflection
Balanced Behaviors: Balance in This Chakra Requires Balance in Every Other Chakra, Spiritual Nirvana
Overactive Behaviors: Obsessed with Spirituality, Inconsiderate of Physical Needs, Difficulty Managing Emotions
Underactive Behaviors: Closed Off to Spirituality, Unable to Set or Maintain Goals, Lacking Direction
Physical Symptoms of Imbalance: Dizziness, Confusion, Neurological Disorders, Nerve Pain, Mental Diseases, Sensitivity to Light, Poor Sleep Patterns, Tension Headaches
Suggested Yoga Poses: Balancing Butterfly Pose, Headstand, Corpse Pose, Lotus Pose
How to Energize and Balance This Chakra: Meditate and Connect to Spirituality, Wearing White or Purple, Visualization, Fasting, Detoxing, Forgiving Oneself