7 Chakras: What You Need to Know About Chakra Alignment
Chakra comes from the Sanskrit word for wheel and is more commonly translated to mean a point of physical or spiritual energy in the human body.
If you picture yourself sitting cross-legged in Lotus pose, the 7 chakras are located on one’s body from the top of one’s head to the base of one’s spine. Each chakra has a specific location and several unique attributes. While they are aligned with the physical body, they are not something you can touch, but are something you can feel and sense.
One thing that most people don’t realize is that your chakras can both be too closed or too opened. Leaving your chakras too open or vulnerable is just as unhealthy as having closed chakras. As you read the descriptions of the 7 main chakras below, be thinking about how they relate to you.
A few years ago, I had digestive issues that modern medicine couldn’t tackle. As it turns out, my Manipura chakra was blocked. A blocked chakra can often be the cause of health or emotional issues; therefore, it is important to be conscious of the healthy of each chakra before it becomes a more serious or chronic condition.
A.K.A. THE MULADHARA
Located at the base of the spine, this chakra is all about being grounded and connected to the universe.
Signs of a balanced root chakra include feeling grounded, having healthy kidneys, and lacking adrenal issues.
Once you have established that you have a weak or overactive chakra, try a combination of these techniques to realign that specific chakra:
- Apply myrrh or cedarwood essential oils to your wrists or lower back before going to sleep
- Cook with cloves and marjoram and enjoy these root chakra foods.
- Meditate with the mantra Lam
- Concentrate on these positions in your yoga practice: Grounding into feet poses like Mountain Pose, Side-Angle Pose, Warrior Pose, Standing Forward Bend, and Bridge Pose
A.K.A. THE SVADHISHTHANA
Located just below the belly button, this chakra is related to sexuality, pleasure, and emotions.
Signs of a balanced sacral chakra include healthy reproductive organs and sex hormones Other signs of sacral chakra health include feeling friendly, sexual and satisfied. It is thought that this chakra is closely related to basic emotions, so the more you are in touch with this chakra, the more you are in touch with your emotions.
- Apply jasmine or ylang slang essential oils first thing in the morning or at night
- Meditate with the mantra Vam
- Concentrate on these positions in your yoga practice to Clear the Sacral Chakra: Hip opening poses like Standing Wide Forward Bend, Sitting Wide Forward Bend, Bound Angle Pose, and Supine Bound Angle Pose
A.K.A. THE MANIPURA OR SOLAR PLEXUS
Located above the navel, this chakra related to personal power, fears, and anxiety.
Signs of a balanced chakra include a healthy digestive system and adrenal glands.
- Apply rosemary, ginger, or lemon essential oils to your wrist
- Drink herbal, preferably decaffeinated, tea with lemon and ginger (this one is my personal favorite!)
- Meditate with the mantra Ram
- Concentrate on these positions in your yoga practice: Heat building poses like Sun Salutation and Warrior, backbends like Bow, twists like Half Twist, and of course abdominal strengtheners like Boat Pose
A.K.A. THE ANAHATA
Located in the chest, this chakra relates to love and compassion.
A dear friend of mine has had a string of messy break-ups and not surprisingly she has all the signs of a blocked anahata or heart chakra. I have shared some of my clearing techniques, listed below, with her and am hopeful that given some time and work, she will open her heart and be rewarded with a healthy, loving relationship.
Signs of a balanced chakra include a strong, healthy heart, immune system, endocrine system, and good circulation. This chakra is incredibly sensitive to stress. During periods of high stress, try some of these chakra practices to balance the chakra.
- Apply rose, bergamot, or thyme essential oils before starting your day to activate this chakra
- Mediate to the mantra Yam
- Include these positions in your yoga practice: Chest openers like Camel, Cobra, and Fish. Also breathing exercises like deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing
- Try this 30-minute yoga routine which focuses on Clearing the Heart Chakra
A.K.A. THE VISHUDDHA
Located in the throat, this chakra is about communication.
When you think about this chakra, think about people in your life that may not be able to say what they are thinking or feeling. Even if they know in their mind what they would like to say, they have trouble, for whatever reason, saying their thoughts out-loud. This would be an example of having a closed vishuddha chakra. Someone who over-shares might have an unprotected or overly-open chakra.
Signs of a balanced chakra include healthy lungs and respiratory systems, and a stable thyroid hormone.
- Apply eucalyptus essential oil at bedtime
- Meditate with the mantra Ham
- Concentrate on these positions into your yoga practice: Fish, Lion, and neck stretches and shoulder openers like Supported Shoulderstand, Camel, Bridge Pose, and Plow Pose
THIRD EYE CHAKRA
A.K.A. THE AJNA
Located between the eyebrows, this chakra is related to your intuition.
Signs of a balanced Ajna chakra include healthy eyes, head, and an in-tune intuition. In addition, this chakra is closely related to the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin. It is thought that this means healthy, uninterrupted sleep can often be found by aligning your Ajna chakra.
This is one chakra that I have been working on, because women have very strong intuitions and it is a gift we should foster. How I work on it is by lighting spearmint or jasmine candles and cooking with lots of bay and sage. Also, it is a good excuse to hold my Child’s Pose a few deep breaths longer!
- Apply clary sage, bay, helichrysum, or jasmine essential oils to activate the chakra
- Cook with bay leaves and mint
- Meditate with the mantra Om
- Include these positions in your yoga practice: Child’s Pose and Seated Yoga Mudra
A.K.A. THE SAHASRARA
Located in the crown of the head, this chakra is about a connection to the spiritual.
Signs of a balanced crown chakra include a general blissful feeling and a healthy central nervous system.
- Realigning this chakra is best done through mediation.
- There is no mantra for this chakra, silence is suggested
- Start adding daily outdoor walks into your routine
- Apply sandalwood or lotus essential oils to activate this chakra
- Include these positions in your yoga practice: Balancing poses that bring awareness to the body and the consciousness like Tree and Eagle, also try extended sitting in Yoga Audra
There are dozens of quizzes and questionnaires online that can determine if you have a misaligned or closed chakra, but you probably already have a sense of your body and what might need some adjustments. If you’re like me, you are probably already doing some of the chakra practices and alignment techniques listed above, because they make you feel better, and now you have a better understanding of why they make you feel that way and how these actions better align your chakras.
Balance Your Chakras with a Pendulum
Pendulums come in all shapes and sizes. They are quite simply tools that help us detect our energetic field. They are tuned to subtle vibrations and a good chakra pendulum can help us clear, balance and heal our bodies.
A pendulum is a weight hanging from a fixed point. When pulled and released, the forces of gravity and inertia create movement. However, when no force is inflicted on the weight, something begins to happen naturally; energy moves the weight with a little help from the unconscious mind. Pendulums feel magical, for even when held completely still, they begin to move in detection of the invisible energy around us.
The chakra system is the field of gentle subtle energy that animates our physical bodies. When these are out of alignment, we can be pulled in several directions and feel off center from our most natural state of well being.
When placed over the 7 chakra centers (the 7 primary centers are most used) the pendulum will move, showing us both the direction and size of the energy the chakra is emitting. The energy level will reveal balance, imbalance, or energy blocks.
The pendulum for chakra balancing is a tool of diagnosis to help us better maintain our energy, spirit and physical body.
Choose Your Pendulum
Choosing a pendulum is a very personal task and I prefer having hands on access.
Allow yourself the chance to be drawn to one. Is there one that catches your eye or calls your attention? Don’t touch at first, just observe. Look at the shapes and colors. Some are made of wood, metal or crystals. I find crystals work best for me, but the choice is solely yours and yours alone. Which one are you drawn to? When you do choose one, hold it it to feel its energy. What is the message coming from the pendulum before you do anything at all?
Hold the string between your thumb and forefinger. Extend your arm so the pendulum resides at the level of your heart for this first encounter. When holding the pendulum, ask it if it is willing to assist you. Taking a moment to link psychically with the tool is not only good manners but sets the stage for a productive working relationship. If you feel a lift in your spirit, a clear yes has been given. If you feel any pull or resistance, kindly move along and choose another.
Once you have connected with a pendulum, clear your mind and hold it still at the level of your heart. Ask it to show you your “yes” then wait for it to stop. The ask it to show you your “no”. We always want the pendulum to stop moving on its own for this indicates it has shared all it has to reveal.
When you have found a pendulum that responds, you may also ask if this pendulum is willing to work with you in an ongoing partnership. This would be a final step to honor its wisdom and cultivate respect before your purchase.
Discover the Direction of Yes and No
My yes and no tend to be the same regardless of what pendulum I use. While mine move side to side and front and back, others may see the energy move in circles or diagonally. This will be the work of partnership in creating a relationship of trust. Once your pendulum “sets” yes and no, it shouldn’t change over time. A change in directions may indicate a deeper block in your own field.
How to Cleanse Your Pendulum
As this is a tool of the sacred, please cleanse your pendulum before putting it to work. You may choose to keep it under your pillow, on a window ledge to absorb the sun and moon, or outside in the earth. As you would cleanse crystals, also cleanse your chakra pendulum to ensure it maintains a clean working field.
How to Find Answers With Your Pendulum
I have one shiva lingham stone pendulum I use exclusively on clients while others are purely for my personal work.
Pendulums will be affected by our thoughts, so it is imperative that you first be in a clear space, without attachment, so that you may rely on this tool’s unbiased response. The pendulum, as an extension of the person using it, may be influenced both consciously and subconsciously making the responses accurate, as well as inaccurate. Wishful thinking or a preconceived outcome, however slight, can be magnified, making the use of the pendulum in that instance ineffective.
Trust your pendulum and the ability to clear your mind when asking questions.
Your mind can play heavily on responses, so you must be neutral when asking and be sure not to ask questions that elevate your own energy field.
Pendulums are excellent at finding things that are lost (and therefore neutral) but can get a little muddy when relying on it to make big decisions. I once was at a workshop where a woman was using her pendulum to validate everything the teacher was offering us. This level of reliance to me feels unfair and out of balance. These are tools to assist us: they are not material things upon which we rely too heavily.
So please, don’t let your pendulum make life choices for you. While it may offer one avenue of knowingness, it is your own heart and the truth within that should direct final decisions.
How to Use the Pendulum to Balance Chakras
When you are ready to embark on your healing work, pendulums are excellent at balancing the chakras.
Place the pendulum over the chakra center (3rd eye for instance would be over the center of the forehead whereas the 2nd chakra would be at the center of the body just below the navel). Wait for the pendulum to begin moving on its own to show you the size and direction this wheel of energy is moving. Start at the root or crown and one by one, make your way through each chakra simply gathering information at first.
Ideally you should notice the direction and size of each chakra to be the same. An erratic swing of the pendulum will show you where someone is off balance. If no movement is detected, there is a block in the energy field and it will need to be addressed. Once you’ve checked all the fields, go back and invite each one to come into harmony.
Harmony is the natural frequency of the universe and needs to be restored gently.
You are not making anything happen, you are simply asking the wisdom of the body to correct itself.
If working on another person, you may ask them to invite this harmony while talking with them about the colors and functions of each center. This empowers others to know they can heal themselves and need not rely on a healer to “fix” them. The chakra pendulum is a tool for diagnosis but the healing will occur by simply asking the body to realign itself. When you have addressed all the kinks, go back and ensure the chakras are all moving in the same direction and are about the same size.
We are wise beyond our remembrance at times and come to rely on tools and others to make us better. The beauty of a pendulum for chakra balancing is that is so accessible. It is an easy tool of self care and one that requires little investment and minimal effort.