Chakras are energy fields that can be visualized as spinning disks along the base of the spine. The seven points that make up the chakras are really the intersections of thousands of energy channels throughout the body. These channels are called Nadis in Sanskrit, which translates to riverbed in English. I find it helpful to imagine a busy flowing river with many junctions that can become blocked when there’s too much traffic. These blockages can prevent the free flow of energy keeping our mind, heart, and body running smoothly. This may then manifest as real physical and psychological symptoms.
I know to some people this may sound a little too hippie dippy. However, I like to think of the chakras as general map or toolkit that can guide us to an overall state of wellbeing. There’s always room for more of that, in my book. Here I’ve created a list of easy ways to balance your chakras that can be done regularly for optimal benefits.
1. Root chakra (Muladhara)
Located at the base of the spine, the red root chakra is the essential starting point to chakra balancing. It is the foundation of overall well-being and provides feelings of security and connection to the present. It can be thought of as a literal root connecting you to the earth and the here and now.
A powerful tool to balance your root chakra would be the practice of grounding. The best way to do this is to take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in the grass. If you give it a try, I guarantee it will produce a powerful feeling of calm and centeredness. Scientific literature has even proven legitimate health benefits from grounding, which includes better REM sleep and reduced inflammation in the body. Even talking a short walk after dinner can help you to form a connection to nature and balance your root chakra.
2. Sacral chakra (Svadhishthana)
The sacral chakra is located under the belly button in the lower abdomen. It is symbolized by water and the free flow of passion and self gratification. Represented by the color orange, it can be thought of as a center of warmth and inner joy.
A great way to balance your sacral chakra would be the Danish art of hygge. Hygge can be thought of as taking pleasure in the small comforts of life. Think warm candlelight, soft blankets, and a nice cup of tea or wine. By centering your mind in a place of gratitude for the simple pleasures in life, your sacral chakra will become more balanced. So take the time to mindfully savor each bite of food and everyday moments.
3. Solar Plexus chakra (Manipura)
The solar plexus chakra is located under the rib cage above the navel and is literally the center of you, or your ego. It is the home of our self belief and the way we present ourselves to the world.
To balance the solar plexus means to embrace challenges and let this chakra’s yellow golden aura to light the way to new paths. An easy way to achieve this is to challenge rigidity and change your routine. Now would be the time to do that thing you always wanted to do but didn’t make the time. Traveling solo for the first time? Like Nike says, “Just Do It.”
4. Heart chakra (Anahata)
The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest and is symbolized by the color green. The Sanskrit name Anahata translates to unhurt and means the spiritual place where past hurts can no longer harm us.
If the heart chakra is imbalanced, you may feel as though you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Therefore, it seems fitting to cultivate a daily practice of gratitude. At the end of the day, put aside ten minutes to write in a journal. Think of three things you are grateful for and relate them to your day. When you make gratitude a habit even on your worst days, you may find that your heart naturally feels more open.
5. Throat chakra (Vishuddha)
The throat chakra is located at the center of the throat and represented by the color blue. It is known as the seat of self-expression, manifesting in the ability to speak your truth.
One way to accomplish this would be practice daily affirmations relating to your higher truth. You can make them as specific as you want or keep them general. An example would be to say aloud or to yourself while driving affirmations such as “Today I will speak my truth from a place of loving energy.” It may sound corny, but if you make this a habit your thoughts will eventually become your reality!
6. Third Eye chakra (Ajna)
The third eye chakra is located between your brows and represents intuition and consciousness of the outer world. It is that sixth sense which allows you to make snap judgments based on your gut feelings.
It is vital keep the third eye chakra healthy, as it relates to the brain and flow of energy between yourself and the outside world. Try incorporating a yoga sequence or meditation into your day with a focus on the color indigo. Youtube is a great starting point for cultivating a regular home practice.
7. Crown chakra (Sahasrara)
The seventh chakra is the crown chakra and is located at the top of the head. It is symbolized by the color violet and a lotus flower with a thousand multicolored petals. It is said that once the seven chakras are cleared, the lotus blooms and enlightenment is attainable. Peace of cake, right?
Actually there are easy ways that we can use mindfulness to balance the crown chakra daily. Set aside some time to just be aware of the present moment without judgment. I know it’s easier said than done. If you are able, you can even close your eyes and observe how your body feels physically and any sensations that arise. A great tip is to focus on the sounds around you so that you are less centered on thoughts. This can be done anywhere and anytime you need a breather from your busy mind.
I hope you find my chakra balancing tips useful as a general guide for everyday self-care. You truly don’t need to set aside hours of your time to reap the benefits from simply being more mindful of your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
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Photo: Tessa Rampersad on Unsplash