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.
Balancing Your Crown Chakra: the Essential Spiritual Practice
Sahasrara: the 7th or Crown Chakra at the top of the head, Sanskrit for “the lotus flower of 1000 petals.” This chakra is the gateway to all things spiritual, such as The Divine, Our Father, the Universe, and your Higher Self.
The Crown Chakra is thought of as our bridge between the gap of the Divine and Humanity, connecting us to both the physical and non-physical realm of our existence. It’s because of this chakra that enlightenment and our connection with Divinity is possible, as well as compassion for all life, bliss and wisdom. Slowly, we become aware that our life is but an extension of our own consciousness; that we are the dreamer, dreaming the dream. We understand that all manifestations (good and bad) are a result of our thought patterns that become subconscious beliefs – and in knowing this, we can begin to change the dream.
As you can see, the Crown Chakra’s balance is critical to any person’s spiritual life. Having it out of whack can seriously throw off your spiritual progress. Here’s the self-diagnosis you will need to see what your Sahasrara’s state is:
When everything is well with your Sahasrara is in balance you will have a great intuitive knowledge, and will be very wise. You will be aware of your spiritual self and be selflessly devoted to the well-being of others because you see them as a part of you, rather than as separate.
You probably will not be able to control your encounters with other realms of existence. Other people may consider you too far out there and you will have trouble grounding yourself. It will be hard for people to take you seriously. Because of an over-activity in this chakra, you may possess a god-complex and consider yourself better than others in the world around you.
If under-activity or a blockage is happening in your Crown Chakra, you will probably feel like you lack a purpose in life. You may think that it is all meaningless, and in this thinking, will develop a mental “disease.” You may feel unloved, or angry at God, and blame life circumstance on something that is outside of you. Coordination difficulties, clumsiness, or poor balance may result from an underactive crown chakra. New ideas or newer, positive out-looks on life will be hard for you grasp, if you accept them at all. You will probably lack spiritual exploration and have no desire to discover your inner self. You may also be excessively afraid of dying.
Physical Symptoms of Sahasrara Imbalance:
Yes, your chakra’s balances do indeed affect your body! Body and spirit are intimately connected in a way that doctors can’t quite pinpoint medically. If your Sahasrara is off, some of your physical symptoms will include: muscular disease, chronic exhaustion that has no medical explanation, sensitivity to light, certain sounds or environment (commonly found in autism).
The body parts that are associated with the Crown Chakra include the muscular system, pineal gland, and pituitary gland.
Balancing The Sahasrara
There are all kinds of ways that you can begin to balance your Chakras, from foods to meditation to yoga. Here are just a few methods that are particularly useful for the Crown Chakra:
Yoga Pose: Half Lotus, Ardha Padmasana
Sitting Crown chakra yoga poses are the gateway to higher consciousness. It is through meditation that much transformation occurs. Half Lotus is easier than Full Lotus and offers the almost the same stability for meditation.
Sitting on a mat or a cushion, place one foot on the opposite thigh and the other foot on the floor beneath the opposite thigh.
Both your knees need to be on the floor, otherwise your spine will be out of balance (see picture to the right – left knee is off the floor – should be on the floor).
If you can’t manage both knees on the floor, then you might want to practice Burmese position where you place both feet on the floor, one in front of the other.
“I trust my inner knowing to guide me through life. All people in my life are here to teach me something about myself, so that I can grow. I trust that everything happens for a reason and that what I do makes a difference. I am balanced between Heaven and Earth and all areas of my life are in balance too.”
The Crown Chakra is associated with the color violet (or white, which is made up of all colors in the spectrum). Try lighting these colored candles while focusing your attention on the top of your head. This will indeed start to bring balance to it! You can also try wearing the color violet and surrounding yourself with flowers of this color, as it will greatly help it begin to vibrate in harmony.
Crystals have powerful properties that mesh well with your chakras. Using certain crystals in particular will aid your efforts greatly, such as amethyst, celestite, obsidian, selenite, blue sapphire, peacock ore, clear quartz, apophyllite quartz, spirit quartz, moldavite, danburite, goshenite, petalite, fuchsite, stilbite, sugilite, cacoxenite, cavansite, and phenacite.
Choosing pure foods, that are grown in nature that absorb sunshine are great foods to help purify the crown chakra. Instead of going for sweets, choose dried fruits, such as dates, that are dried out by the sun. Start a gentle detox, drink plenty of water and avoid food with additives, generally found in processed, packaged food.
Essential oils also have powerful effects on your chakras. Try cedarwood, elemi, frankincense, galbanum, gurjum, helicrysum, jasmine, lavendar, myrrh, neroli, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, spikenard, or vetiver in your baths, as perfume, or sprinkled on your pillow before you go to sleep.
Using Nature as Chakra Therapy
The Sahasrara’s element is inner-light, or thought, and is considered the most subtle element from which the Cosmos were created. It is Divine, it shines through creation, connecting all and is everywhere in Nature. Sitting or meditating outside and allowing yourself to feel this great energy that is in everything, will help awaken the deepest part of your being.
The seed sound of the Crown Chakra is “OM” – believed to be the creating sound of the Universe. It resonates in “B” note. Chanting OM in “B” will allow it to vibrate properly.