What Are the Seven Chakras?

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Learn about the seven major chakras, their characteristics, and how to deal with them when they become blocked or out of balance.


What Are Chakras?

A chakra, derived from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "cycle," is one of seven points of spiritual energy associated with various parts of the physical body that Hindus, Buddhists, and New Age adherents believe to be a source of emotional and physical well-being. The chakra system consists of seven major chakras located throughout the body, from the crown of the head to the base of the spine.

The open energy flow between the chakras balances the life force. When the chakras become out of sync or "blocked," your physical, spiritual, and emotional health suffers.


What Are the Seven Chakras?

The chakra system was developed in India between 1500 and 500 BC and was first described in an ancient text known as The Vedas. The seven major chakras are as follows:

1. Sahasrara (Crown Chakra): The crown chakra is located at the top of the head and represents your spiritual ability to connect with your higher self. It is in charge of the nervous system, intelligence, inner wisdom, and enlightenment. If your crown chakra is blocked, you may experience feelings of depression, frustration, or stubbornness.

2. Heart chakra (Anahata): The heart chakra is located in the center of your chest, above your heart, and connects your upper and lower chakras. The heart chakra represents your ability to give and receive love, as well as your connection with others. When your heart chakra is out of balance, you may experience anger, jealousy, distrust, anxiety, and difficulty communicating with others.

3. Root chakra (Muladhara): The root chakra (also known as the first chakra) is located at the base of the spine near the tailbone and controls stability, independence, survival, and your drive to succeed. When you are out of balance, you may experience fear, frustration, insecurity, and a lack of ambition or purpose.

4. Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana): The sacral chakra is located in the lower abdomen, just below the navel. The sacral chakra governs your self-esteem, sexuality, intuition, pleasure, and creativity. When you are out of balance, you may experience emotional instability, creative emptiness, and sexual obsession.

5. Solar plexus chakra (Manipura): The solar plexus or Manipura chakra (also known as the third chakra) is located in the upper abdomen between the ribcage and the navel and represents your personal power through self-esteem and confidence. When your solar plexus chakra is balanced, you can express yourself freely and productively. If you are blocked, you may feel ashamed, full of self-doubt, and depressed due to low self-esteem.

6. Third eye chakra (Ajna): Your third eye chakra, also known as the Ajna chakra, is located between your eyebrows on your forehead and governs your intuition and capacity for making connections between events. It stands for your knowledge, insight, and spiritual strength that extend beyond the mortal plane of existence. You might experience a headache or blurred vision when your alignment is off.

7. Throat chakra (Vishuddha): The throat chakra governs communication, self-assurance, and personal authority. It stands for your capacity for open communication and resonance with the heart chakra. Being unable to express your true emotions is a symptom of a throat chakra blockage.


Benefits of Balanced Chakras

According to practitioners, the human body's chakras need a steady, balanced flow of energy between the energy centers to function properly. Prana, or life force, is distributed by chakras to various parts of the physical body, including particular organs and glands close to each chakra (for example, the throat chakra affects the thyroid). Chakras that are in balance produce the best energy flow, which is good for your physical, emotional, and mental health.


6 Chakra Balancing Tips

The following advice and methods can assist you in returning to balance if you feel your chakra system is blocked:

1. Awareness: Gain knowledge of your emotional states, behavior, and physical sensations. You may have a chakra blockage if you feel physically unwell or emotionally out of balance.

2. Chakra meditation: By letting go of unhelpful thoughts, meditation and mindfulness help you to clear your mind. The energy flow to all chakras is increased by pranayama breathing, which involves mindful breathing.

3. Journaling: By putting your thoughts and emotions on paper, you can better understand them and gain access to any potential chakra imbalances and repressed emotions. Take up journaling.

4. Reiki: Reiki, which means "spirit vital force" in Japanese, involves passing your hands over a person's body in order to move qi, or life force, through the body.

5. Visualization: You can conjure up in your mind the energy of each chakra to create a picture of release and energy flow. Visualize and ponder the concepts related to each chakra as you work your way up from the root chakra to the crown chakra.

6. Yoga: Attending a yoga class can aid in energy flow improvement and the release of tension. Yoga poses help to balance the chakras, and some poses correspond to particular chakras (for example, the fish pose supports healing of the throat chakra).

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