You may have heard mention of your chakras in yoga class — maybe someone even told you that one of your chakras is blocked. Though the terminology may be new to you, it has ancient roots, dating back to as early as 1500 BC, where it was mentioned in the Hindu Sanskrit text called the Vedas.
Chakra is a Sanskrit word which literally means “wheel.” Each of the seven chakras corresponds to a specific point in the body along the spine and specific emotional, physical, and mental states of being. When a chakra is blocked, it will manifest in physical issues and emotional problems related to that chakra. When the chakras are well balanced, they act as a vortex of spinning energy, keeping each energy center running smoothly. Therefore, opening up those chakras and tapping into the flowing energies can stimulate spiritual and physical healing and well-being.
So, let’s dive into what seven chakras are, their location and function, and how can you know when one or more of them is blocked, as well as how to balance your chakras.
1. The Root Chakra
The root chakra is the first chakra, and it is located at the root of the spine, at the first three vertebrae. The root chakra is associated with the color red and the earth element.
This chakra is called the root because it relates to a person’s basic needs. In order for a person to feel rooted, they need to feel safe, grounded, and sheltered. This chakra is related to all basic needs that would make a person feel safe, including food, water, shelter, and safety.
Blocked Root Chakra: The root chakra can become blocked when a person feels that her basic needs are not being met. People left without a permanent home, those living paycheck to paycheck or those disconnected from their family and friends may suffer from blocked root chakras.
Emotional and mental problems from a blocked root chakra may include anxiety, fear, an overly defensive attitude, and nightmares. Physically, it may manifest itself in issues with the colon or bladder, or with lower-body problems such as lower-back pain, sciatica etc. Some issues with the genitals can also be linked to this chakra.
2. The Sacral Chakra
The second chakra, called the sacral chakra, is associated with the color orange and the element water. This chakra is located in the lower abdomen, about three inches below the naval in the center of the belly. It expands into the genital area, around the ovaries for women, and the testicles for men.
The sacral chakra relates to sexuality, creativity, and emotional well-being. When this chakra is aligned, you’ll benefit in wellness, wholeness, pleasure, joy, and abundance.
Blocked Sacral Chakra: You sacral chakra can become blocked for a number of reasons: sexual abuse, criticism related to sex or creativity, or unhealthy exposure to, or education about sex, to name a few. If you’re feeling uninspired, uncreative, emotionally unstable, or if your libido is low, your sacral chakra may be blocked.
A blocked sacral chakra may present itself in the form of sexual dysfunction, addictive behaviors, or depression. All the chakras work together, though, as they are part of a system. So a blocked or damaged root-chakra may give rise to serious issues in this closely-related sacral chakra. Things like poverty or sudden crisis — issues of the first chakra — could affect libido and creative thinking in the second chakra. Once the safety issues are sorted, this chakra can open up.
3. The Solar Plexus Chakra
The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra, and it’s located in the upper abdomen, where the diaphragm sits. This chakra is associated with the color yellow and with the fire element.
This chakra is related to will-power, self-confidence, inner strength, taking control over one’s life, and personal identity. When the energy in this center is balanced, these functions are effortless, and a person’s identity is clear.
Blocked Solar Plexus Chakra: When the solar plexus chakra is blocked, it can express itself as shyness and insecurity, or in difficulty making decisions, low self-esteem, or anger and control issues.
Physically, a blocked solar plexus chakra can express itself in gastrointestinal issues, stomach aches, and gas.
4. The Heart Chakra
As the name suggests, the fourth chakra — the heart chakra — is located at the center of the chest, near the heart. The heart chakra is associated with the color green (and pink at higher frequencies) and with the element air.
In the body, this chakra is related to the heart, the lungs, the breasts, and the thymus gland, which is responsible for hormone production and regulation of the immune system.
The heart chakra is the middle chakra. It connects the lower and upper chakras, symbolizing the integration of physical matters and spiritual aspirations. Function and meanings associated with the heart chakra include love for oneself and for others; compassion; forgiveness; the ability to reach inner peace; and awareness, or integration of insights.
When this chakra is balanced, you will be able to experience unconditional love and connection with all that is around you.
Blocked Heart Chakra: When the heart chakra is blocked, you may experience difficulties in your relationships with other people. This can express itself as jealousy, codependency, isolation, closing down emotionally, or always needing to be either the hero or the victim.
Physically, a blocked heart chakra can manifest as respiratory problems or circulatory problems.
5. The Throat Chakra
The fifth chakra, the throat chakra, is located at the center of the neck. It is associated with the color aqua, or light blue, and the element of air.
This chakra is all about expression, communication, and speaking your truth. Physically, it is connected to the mouth, jaws, tongue, pharynx, and palate. It is also associated with the thyroid gland.
The throat chakra functions include expression of your truth, communication, intuition, bringing ideas to reality, realizing your purpose, and being aware of timing. This chakra is also seen as the gateway between the head and the body — the upper chakras and the lower chakras.
Blocked Throat Chakra: When the throat chakra is blocked, a person may either become overly introverted and timid, or verbally aggressive. It may express itself in a lack of control over speech, inability to listen to others, fear of speaking, telling lies, not being able to keep secrets, or excessive secretness.
Physically, a blocked throat chakra can manifest as a sore throat, thyroid problems, neck stiffness, or headaches.
6. The Third Eye Chakra
The sixth chakra is called the third eye chakra because it is located directly between the eyebrows on the forehead. This chakra is represented by a blueish purple color and referred to as the “super element” because it is the combination of all elements in their purest form.
The third eye chakra is the center of intuition and foresight. It includes vision, insight, perception of dimensions and movement of energy, psychic abilities, access to mystical states, and the motivation behind creativity and inspiration.
Blocked Third Eye Chakra: The third eye chakra is a spiritual one. When there is an imbalance in this chakra, it can cause a person to feel stuck in their routine without any vision, to reject everything spiritual, and to lack clarity. These things can lead to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or a warped sense of reality.
Physically, a blocked third eye chakra can manifest as headaches, dizziness, head injury and brain-health issues.
7. The Crown Chakra
The seventh and highest chakra, the crown chakra, is located at the top of the head. This chakra is associated with the colors white and deep purple.
The crown chakra is related to the brain and the nervous system. When energy is flowing freely from the crown chakra, it allows for higher levels of consciousness, and awareness of a sacred, greater wisdom. It is connected to ultimate awareness, happiness, and enlightenment.
Blocked Crown Chakra: When it’s blocked, the crown chakra energies are not able to flow freely, causing a person to feel disconnected, cynical, closed-minded, or simply not spiritual. This chakra is tapped into and opened up through special yogic or meditative exercises.
Taking Care of your Chakras
In order for one to feel fully at peace, all the chakras need some attention, love, and care. Meditation is an excellent practice which allows you to reconnect with yourself, and kick into gear the process of spiritual and physical healing. No matter which chakra balancing practice you follow, meditation will always be the practice that stabilizes and calms your whole system while assisting with integrating the work you do. Explore mindfulness techniques, or consider learning to do Transcendental Meditation.
Through simple practices like nature walks, sunbathing, or swimming in a natural body of water, you can become one with the earth, with yourself, and with those around you. Other mindful practices such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or even journaling, can facilitate the process to self-discovery that will help you to find your truth, speak your truth, and live at peace.