Why write a beginners guide to the chakras?
Well, yoga offers many tools to help us reach our health and wellbeing goals; the chakra system is one of them. Below offers a quick 101 guide to the 7 main chakras as I understand them.
I am no expert by any means and I must admit, it took me a while to really take them a little more seriously. I am glad I did though, as they provide another tool that you can incorporate into your life when you need them.
What are the Chakras?
The chakra system helps us understand how energy works inside and outside the body. It works with the energy of life (or the Force as Yoda describes it in StarWars) and it is this energy that keeps us alive.
We are all made of energy. We generate it ourselves, absorb it from our surroundings and assimilate it to make use of it within our bodies.
It affects the health of our whole being – the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of ourselves – or our body, mind, heart and soul.
Traditional holistic practices like Yoga, Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine understand this well and their practices aim to help us keep the ebb and flow of our energy flowing smoothly. The more smoothly it runs the better we feel.
In the Yoga tradition, energy (or prana) flows through the body via channels called Nadis. The chakras are areas in the body where energy pools and comes together. We can think of them as spinning wheels or vortexes of energy that act as receiving, transmitting and assimilating stations.
Each chakra spins to a particular vibration or frequency and so influences different aspects of ourselves.
Let’s dive into this beginners guide to the chakras.
The 7 Main Chakras
We have many chakras in our energetic system but there are seven main ones that lie along the spine (from the tailbone all the way to the crown of the head.
“The chakras are very intelligent; they are like the software of the whole computer body.”
Each chakra has a role to play in the body. As each vibrates to a different frequency it is linked with a specific physical, mental, emotional and spiritual function. They also each have their own associated colour, sense, sound vibration and element.
Root Chakra- “I exist”
The root chakra is like the foundation of your house. You need this chakra balanced so that all the others can thrive. It is linked to our basic needs: job, money, safety, and security.
When balanced we feel these things – grounded in both a physical and emotional sense. When unbalanced we feel insecure, unsafe and scared for the future.
This chakra is all about survival so make sure you make a priority of creating security and safety in your life. Support the foundation of your house and the rest is a little easier.
Sacral Chakra- “I desire.”
This chakra is one that I personally like to work on a lot. It helps you to ‘go with the flow’ and move through life like ‘water’. When you are unheeded by challenges, you can easily tap into your creativity and enjoy what life has to offer and go for your dreams. You will be able to build better relationships too.
When balanced, we feel creative, generous, confident, and find enjoyment in what we do. When unbalanced we lack pleasure in life and our relationships.
You may also feel stuck with no sense of direction to where you want to go with your life. This chakra can be linked to fertility/sexual health concerns as it is located within the pelvis area.
Solar Plexus – “I control”
Working with this chakra helps you to tap into your inner drive and power. It is your own internal Duracell battery. The solar plexus chakra gives you the strength to go for your dreams (whether your goal is your career or relationship) and gives you the drive to make them happen.
When balanced you will feel confident and believe in yourself and your role in life. When unbalanced you may lack willpower or drive and be unable to realise your dreams. You may take this out on other people through jealous critical, controlling and/or dominating behaviour.
Because this chakra sits midway up your torso it is linked with the digestive system so imbalances may show up as heartburn, indigestion or eating disorders.
Heart Chakra – “I love.”
We are halfway through our beginners guide to the chakras. The heart chakra helps you improve your relationship with yourself and with others. It marks the mid-point between the lower and upper chakras and acts as a bridge between the two.
When balanced, we find it easy to love and accept ourselves and others. We can forgive and move on and have no desire to hold grudges. Our hearts feel light and easy.
When unbalanced, we might suffer from loneliness, lack the ability to trust and be over judgemental of people. We may also feel shy and act overly critically.
Because this chakra helps you improve your relationship with yourself and others it is a useful one to work on if you get moments of self-doubt or low self-esteem. On a physical level, it is linked with heart problems, asthma and weight issues.
Throat – “I express.”
This chakra is key to helping us to improve our ability to communicate well.
When balanced we find it easy to express ourselves clearly and thoughtfully. We are kind but truthful in our communications and are good listeners.
When unbalanced we have difficulty expressing ourselves, are shy and may struggle to start up conversations with others. We may be seen as shy or introverted.
Working with this chakra gives us a sincere voice that is truthful, kind and respectful. It helps us to express ourselves whether it is through voice, words, art or music. The key is to find something which works for you.
Third Eye – “I see.”
The third eye chakra is about connecting to what you already know. It’s about tapping into the potential you already have within you. It’s acknowledging the gut feeling that we all have (and usually ignore).
We all have stories we create to make sense of the world in our heads. This is our interpretation of what is happening around us. How we react to that interpretation is the essence of this chakra. When balanced we can distinguish between what is real and what is not.
When unbalanced we live in our own mind bubble, more likely have a closed mind, may suffer delusions, and poor sleep and/or headaches. We cannot see clearly around us, because we are too busy living in this bubble.
This is a useful chakra to work on if you have a major change coming in your life as it will help you to act more rationally and logically (and less emotionally).
Crown “I am that I am.”
We have reached the final chakra in this beginners guide to the chakras. Working with this one is the key to unlocking our soul. It helps us to connect with the big question; why am I here?
When balanced, we have a clear direction in life. We are self-aware, happy and have clarity and vision. When unbalanced we may feel fake and lack purpose. To fill that purpose we may rely on material things to fill in the gap and mask the ‘unhappiness’ that we might feel.
I hope you enjoyed my quick beginners guide to the 7 main chakras and their meanings. We can use the chakra system along with other yoga tools to help us feel better in mind, body, heart and spirit.
We can balance the chakras in many ways (and that is the subject for another post). These can include a movement practice (e.g. yoga), meditation, visualisation, journaling, nutrition, sound therapy and colour therapy.
If you fancy practising a yoga class to explore the chakras more I have created a full-length flow that will work on all 7 chakras. Give it a go and if you enjoy it please support my channel by liking, subscribing and sharing with friends.