Chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel.” A wheel is an analog for the life cycle – synonymous with vigor, vitality, and energy. Chakras connote intrigue, mystique, and spirituality. There is much about the body and its inner workings that we don’t understand. The chakras provide a framework for comprehending our complex minds and bodies.
Chakras are zones of energy in the body that are aligned with the spine and are located near major organs and nerve clusters. There are seven primary chakras spanning the length of the body, including:
- Root chakra
- Sacral chakra
- Solar plexus chakra
- Heart chakra
- Throat chakra
- Third eye chakra
- Crown chakra
Do you want to find inner tranquility, emotional freedom, and intrinsic happiness? Developing an in-depth understanding and thorough comprehension of the seven chakras, and recognizing their significance in your life, can deepen, broaden, and elevate your consciousness.
What are the Chakras: for Beginners
With the current growing interest in yoga and Eastern medicine, you’ve probably heard the term chakra bandied about, perhaps in association with Reiki, Hinduism, or the Vedas.
If you got here, you are likely intrigued by the concept of chakras and curious as to how they are relevant to your health and emotional well-being.
As you are probably well aware, the mind and the body are inextricably enmeshed. You are one person, after all! The health of your psyche is undeniably related to the state of your physical body.
The chakras provide a paradigm for understanding the complex energies and life forces that flow through the body and mind and inform your emotions, thoughts, and overall well-being.
|Base of the spine
|Under the naval
|Solar plexus chakra
|In the intestinal/stomach area
|By the chest area
|At the throat
|Third eye chakra
|Between the eyebrows
|Atop the head
The location and the color associated with each chakra can already tell you much about the chakra’s specific domain. This is a fascinating aspect of the chakras that make it simpler to remember their spiritual energies.
Each chakra also has a corresponding yoga chakra pose, a specific age span of development, and an associated symbol. Find the 3 key differences between Yin and Restorative yoga to help you better understand the practice.
These are some key concepts with chakras that will aid your understanding of how they pertain to your emotional and physical health:
- Balancing chakras: When the chakras are in sync and functioning properly, the ultimate energy – “prana” – can flow freely throughout your body, and your mind, body, and spirit will be balanced. The goal is to balance your chakras so that you can achieve harmony.
- Overactive chakra: When something is upsetting the balance of a specific chakra, it can either underperform or overperform. When a chakra is overactive, it often results in excessive, inappropriate energy in the domain of that specific chakra. This excessive energy generally gives rise to aggression, extremism, or some form of radical emotion and/or behavior.
- Underactive chakra: In contrast with an overactive chakra, an underactive chakra’s performance is subpar. There is something hampering the energy of the chakra that inhibits the full expression of its vigor. When a chakra is underactive, there is negligible emotion, energy, and vitality, where there should be a flowing river of energy. An underactive chakra can inhibit one spiritually, emotionally, and physically and preclude the achievement of vital goals.
- Blocked chakra: An underactive chakra signifies that something is impeding the proper functioning of the chakra. This is called a blocked chakra. When a chakra is blocked, there are unpleasant emotional, mental, and physical consequences that can potentially wreak havoc on one’s internal and external life.
- Unblocked chakra: If one or more of your chakras are blocked, the goal is to unblock them so that your energy can be free-flowing and harmonious. There are various mental and physical exercises that work to unclog your chakras and enable your life-force to surge with vigor.
What do the 7 Chakras Mean?
Each of the seven chakras has a given Sanskrit name that aptly depicts the energies of that chakra. The Sanskrit name implies what the chakra represents and connotes its practical implications. You can even still learn Sanskrit for yoga.
If you understand the Sanskrit names of the chakras, you will have an easier time remembering all the details relevant to each specific chakra. The name, element, symbol, and color of every chakra is interconnected and directly related to its spiritual function. Let’s get to it!
Now that you have a mental sketch of the chakras and a basic understanding of their individual properties, you can probably grasp the gist of how they influence your life.
Let’s delve into the minutiae of a few pivotal chakras – the first, second, and seventh chakras – to better appreciate how they are pertinent to our welfare and prosperity.
The first chakra is the root chakra, located at the bottom of the spine. It lays the groundwork for all the subsequent chakras. As such, it signifies safety, stability, and security.
Anything that contributes to our sense of solidity, corporeality, and safety is related to this chakra. When this chakra is balanced, we can withstand adversity and feel confident in our ability to endure and survive despite tumultuousness and trauma.
Age of development
This chakra develops early on in life, between the ages of one and seven. The attachment theory – the theory that attachment to one’s primary caregiver has significant repercussions on growth, security, and development – has many parallels with the root chakra.
In our youth, we develop a mental and emotional construct of basic concepts such as trust, faith, and security.
If you were provided with compassionate care as a young child and received adequate love and attention, this chakra is likely well-balanced. Conversely, if you experienced neglect or maltreatment from your primary caregivers, you may experience an obstruction in this chakra.
An overactive root chakra manifests itself in an unhealthy attachment to materialism and physicality. This can translate into overindulgence in food, money, or sex, or an extreme immersion in consumerism.
An overly active root chakra can result in negative character traits like avarice, jealousy, gluttony, and greed. A key feature of an overactive root chakra is overindulgence in life’s physical pleasures, sometimes to how addiction develops. Healing the Root Chakra takes time and it absolutely possible.
An underactive root chakra usually manifests in disconnection from this world, resulting in a surreal, dissociated sensation and a sense of insecurity. Anxiety, unease, and apprehension are commonly felt when the root chakra is not functioning up to par.
Balancing the Root Chakra
The first step to balancing the root chakra is to develop a place and space in your life that provides you with comfort and ease. You will need to tune in to what makes you feel secure and develop those aspects of your life.
By forging safe and healthy relationships and moderating your interaction with the corporeal, you can achieve a balanced and harmonious root chakra.
The second chakra is the sacral chakra, located just below the belly button. This chakra pertains to the imagination, interpersonal relationships, emotions, and sexuality.
Age of development
This chakra develops between the ages of eight and fourteen when you start to develop complex emotions and deeper interpersonal relationships.
An overactive sacral chakra often leads to a swarming maelstrom of difficult emotions to regulate and control.
Excessive excitability, emotional dysregulation, mood swings, and volatile relationships are often symptoms of an overexcited sacral chakra. Potential problems can include codependent relationships, mental health issues, and sexual fetishes.
If your sacral chakra is underactive, you may experience flat affect or depression. Your sexual desires and overall passion for life may be dulled or diminished.
You might feel as though you’re sleepwalking, despite being awake. Apathy, lethargy, and dispiritedness can indicate that your sacral chakra is underperforming.
Balancing the Sacral Chakra
Repeating positive affirmations is a key element of balancing your sacral chakra, particularly those affirmations about self-love and relationships. Some examples include:
- I am worthy of love and respect.
- I deserve supportive and loving relationships.
- My emotions are valid because I feel them.
The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra. It is located in the stomach region and signifies confidence, power, and self-efficacy.
Age of Development
The solar plexus chakra fully matures between the ages of 15 and 21. Adolescence is a time of discovering one’s individuality, purpose, and sense of self.
A poorly functioning solar plexus chakra will result in acute insecurity and low self-esteem. This can lead to relationship difficulties such as codependency and anxious-avoidant attachment. Apathy, lethargy, and passivity are often consequences of an underactive solar plexus chakra.
An overstimulated solar plexus chakra generally gives rise to anger management issues and a pathological need for control. Perfectionistic and critical biases also tend to surface when the solar plexus chakra is overactive.
Balancing the Solar Plexus Chakra
To balance the solar plexus chakra, it is vital to increase your self-esteem and sense of power. You can do this by repeating positive affirmations about self-respect and self-worth, attempting to heal past hurts and working on developing forgiveness and gratitude.
The heart chakra, located in the chest area, symbolizes everything that the heart represents. Compassion, empathy, grief, gladness – these emotions all epitomize the heart chakra.
Age of Development
The age of development of the heart chakra is 22 to 28, the years during which one conventionally searches for a life partner to love and cherish.
A malfunctioning heart chakra can give rise to misanthropy and reclusive behavior. Anti-social thoughts and activities often surface when the heart chakra is hampered in some way. A lack of empathy and concern for others can also be discernable when the heart chakra is underactive.
An overactive heart chakra lends itself to tumultuous passions, primarily jealousy and resentment. An overactive heart chakra can result in the bearing of grudges and disproportionate umbrage.
Balancing the Heart Chakra
A practical way to restore equilibrium to your heart chakra is to have fun in the sun! Basking in the warm and nourishing rays of the sun can melt the icy shackles that bind the heart. Meditation is another way to sluice your heart of the impurities that can be holding you back.
As evinced by its name, the throat chakra dominates communication and expression. Our ability to connect with others and express our innermost thoughts and feelings is endemic to the throat chakra.
Age of Development
The throat chakra develops between the ages of 29 and 35. That is the phase of life when we hone our powers of communication, persuasion, and expression.
A hypoactive throat chakra can produce reticence, neuroticism, and excessive introversion. A severely underperforming throat chakra can result in feeling like you don’t know your values, penchants, or strengths. You might feel estranged from yourself altogether.
An overactive throat chakra tends to result in undue loquaciousness, often at the expense of relationships. The give and take in a relationship can be knocked off the balance if one party has a hyperactive throat chakra.
Balancing the Throat Chakra
Healthy self-expression such as journaling, songwriting, poetry writing, and dance or art therapy can balance the throat chakra by releasing negative energies and inviting positivity and vitality.
The sixth chakra is the third eye chakra. It is found on the forehead, in between the eyes. Acumen, insight, perspicacity, and psychological shrewdness are part and parcel of the third eye chakra.
Age of Development
The third eye chakra reaches peak maturity from age 36 to 42. During that stage, you have traversed much of life’s tundra, and hence, you can acquire a deeper understanding of the physical and spiritual realms.
When the third eye chakra is floundering, there will be deficiencies in your ability to be self-aware and objective. You may find your thinking to be cloudy and your judgment to be skewed. Your ability to engage in metacognition might be seriously hampered.
The fallout of an overcharged third eye chakra is a judgmental and narrow-minded perspective, mental chaos, and murky thinking.
Balancing the Third Eye Chakra
Aside from meditation and repeating positive affirmations, aromatherapy and crystal healing can stabilize the third eye chakra.
To enhance the functioning of the third eye chakra, it is also important to maintain an open mind and engage in the pursuit of new and innovative ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.
The seventh chakra is the crown chakra, located above the head (where a crown would sit). This chakra denotes divinity, Godliness, and transcendence of the physical. The seat of all spirituality and holiness emanates from the crown chakra.
Age of Development
Since all the chakras build on one another, this is the last chakra to fully develop. The stage of development that is correlated with the crown chakra is aged 43 to 49.
It is during this later phase of life that one can fully develop an abstract understanding of spirituality and forge a connection with a higher power.
If your crown chakra is overactive, you may feel a false sense of superiority over the rest of mankind. An overactive crown chakra can also lead to a disconnection from reality and an unhealthy immersion in the spiritual realm – leading to delusions of grandeur and narcissism.
An underactive crown chakra can lead to a disconnection from the divine and an overly strong attachment to this corporeal realm.
Balancing the Crown Chakra
Meditation is essential to balancing the crown chakra. By meditating, you can meld the earthly with the spiritual so that you are not overly enmeshed in either realm. Maintaining a nourishing diet while fostering your connection to spirituality is also an important element of balancing this chakra.
Which Chakra Should I Open First?
Although there is no particular order, you must follow when balancing your chakras. The root chakra is a good starting point since it lays the groundwork for all the other chakras.
Once you immerse yourself in practicing mindfulness and meditation, repeating positive affirmations, and allowing your energy to flow freely, your chakras will begin to open up one by one according to your particular set of predispositions, characteristics, and traits.
Are Chakras Religious?
Chakras are sourced from Hinduism and ancient Eastern teachings; however, they have since been converted to physiological teaching divorced from religion. Despite the numerous references to spirituality, the chakras are not linked to any specific concept of deity.
Today, most who are interested in the chakras and adhere to their ideology do not associate them with any specific religion or concept of God. The chakras are largely open to interpretation and can be construed to be allied with any particular notion of a higher being.
If you’ve perused this article, you are likely interested in the mystical and abstract. You will find that the more you delve into learning about the chakras, the more you will discover their depth and pertinence to your life.
There is an entire world of meaning and spiritual nuance waiting to be plumbed. Good luck on your journey!