A Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakras
If you’ve dipped even a toe into the world of holistic wellness, you’ve probably heard of the term chakras. Practices such as meditation, yoga and reiki healing often include aspects of healing chakras
So, What exactly is a chakra, and why is it so important to our wellbeing?
To put it simply, chakras influence our physical, spiritual and mental health.
Physical and psychological symptoms can manifest that directly correlate to any chakra that becomes blocked.
Balancing the 7 chakras can enable a deeper, more profound healing as we continue the journey of recovery from addiction.
What are the Chakras?
The term chakra comes from the Sanskrit root word cakra, which means “wheel” or “disk.” The chakras in our bodies are spinning wheels of energy. They are located at various energy centres throughout the body. Chakras are part of our subtle body, meaning that we can’t see, touch, or hear them.
The chakras have psychological, spiritual, and physical effects. Specific nerve bundles and endocrine glands in the body are also linked to chakras.
A chakra can both absorb and emanate energy. The condition of our chakras has a direct impact on how we feel emotionally, mentally, and physically. The lower a chakra is in our body, the more material its correlations are. The higher a chakra is in our body, the more spiritual its purpose.
Blocked chakras have a negative impact on health and wellbeing, and can even lead to disease and distress.
Balanced chakras have a positive impact on our wellbeing, leading to peace and joy. Chakras can also be too open, causing further imbalances in our wellbeing.
Many cultures around the world have discussed the existence of chakras for thousands of years. East Asian, South Asian, African, ancient European, Middle Eastern, South American, and Native American cultures all share records of having various chakra systems.
Although we will be exploring the 7 Hindu chakras, there are many different schools of belief surrounding how many chakras we have. Some even say there are up to as many as 114 chakras in the human body!
The 7 Chakras and What They Mean
Each chakra in the body has its own unique function. Here, we will explore the 7 Hindu chakras and what their purposes are.
The First Chakra: Root Chakras - Muladhara
The first chakra is called the root chakra, or muladhara. This chakra is located at the very base of the spine near the hips. The Root chakra is associated with the adrenal endocrine gland. It corresponds with the vibration of the colour red.
Purpose of The Root Chakra
The purpose of the root chakra is to provide us with grounding and safety. The root chakra is our earth centre. It is all about our basic needs, survival, stability, and security.
Symptoms of a Blocked Root Chakra
A blocked root chakra can lead to many physical ailments, including but not limited to:
- drug and alcohol addiction
- eating disorders
- chronic fatigue
- reproductive issues
- skin issues
- disorders relating to the bowel and large intestine
The root chakra is also responsible for regulating feelings of security and being grounded.
Signs of blocked root chakra:
- Suffering from addiction
- Feelings of anxiety
- Feelings of depression
- Feeling disconnected to others
- Feeling rootless and homeless
- Feelings of resentments and hatred
- Self-sabotaging behaviours
- Feeling ungrounded and too open
- Weak or non-existent boundaries
- Lack of focus and direction
- Feeling of insecurity and feeling unsafe
- Experiencing trust issues
Benefits of a Balanced Root Chakra
A balanced root chakra leads to feelings of safety and security. Physically and emotionally we feel grounded and centred.
The Second Chakra: Sacral Chakras - Svadhisthana
The second chakra is called the sacral chakra, or svadhisthana, and is located in the abdomen. The sacral chakra is associated with the ovaries or testes, and corresponds with the vibration of the colour orange.
Purpose of the Sacral Chakra
The purpose of the sacral chakra is to regulate our feelings, emotions, creativity, and sensuality.
Symptoms of a Blocked Sacral Chakra include:
- Reproductive issues
- Urinary issues
- Bowel issues
- Sexual dysfunction
- Lower back pain
- Negative beliefs associated with sex or sexuality
- Negative emotional attachment to others
- Inability to express oneself
- Lack of trust in one's own emotions
- Stifled creativity
Benefits of a Balanced Sacral Chakra
A balanced sacral chakra results in feelings of joy and increased energy. We feel more open and connected to others emotionally. A balanced sacral chakra enables us to express ourselves emotionally and sexually
The Third Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakras - Manipura
The third chakra is called the solar plexus chakra, or manipura. It is located in the solar plexus, which is just above the abdomen and just below the breast bone. The third chakra is associated with the pancreas, and corresponds with the vibration of the colour yellow.
Purpose of the Solar Plexus Chakra
The third chakra is where our power comes from. It spawns mental ingenuity, self-esteem, and inner strength. This chakra is associated with a strong sense of self.
Symptoms of a Blocked Solar Plexus Chakra:
- Issues with digestive system
- Stomach problems
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle disorders
- Low self-worth and self-esteem
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Oversensitivity to the opinions of others
- Weak belief systems
- Moving through life passively and without strong conviction
- Feeling a victim in life
Benefits of a Balanced Solar Plexus Chakra
A balanced solar plexus chakra helps us feel decisive in our decision-making. We have a healthy amount of self-esteem and confidence, and we have mental clarity and the ability to make decisions. Also, we are productive and focused.
The Fourth Chakra: Heart Chakras - Anahata
The fourth chakra is called the heart chakra, or anahata. It is located in the heart. The fourth chakra is associated with the heart, and corresponds with the vibration of the colour green.
Purpose of the Heart Chakra
The fourth chakra is all about unconditional love for oneself, as well as love for others. Unsurprisingly, the fourth chakra centres around all matters of the heart.
Symptoms of a Blocked Heart Chakra:
- Heart disease
- Disease and problems with the lungs and breasts
- Inability to forgive
- Lack of empathy
- Difficulty being open with others
- Lack of understanding of others feelings and emotions
- General indifference to others feelings
- Withdrawal and isolation
Benefits of a Balanced Heart Chakra
A balanced heart chakra helps us to feel open and loving, friendly. Enabling us to engage in healthy relationships with others freely. Similarly, we feel accepted, provide acceptance, and are loving towards others.
The Fifth Chakra: Throat Chakras - Vishuddha
The fifth chakra is called the throat chakra, or vishuddha. It is located in the throat. The fifth chakra is associated with the thyroid gland, and corresponds with the vibration of the colour blue.
Purpose of the Throat Chakra
The fourth chakra regulates communication, speaking, and self-expression.
Symptoms of a Blocked Throat Chakra:
- Thyroid issues
- Sore throat,
- Mouth, teeth, and gum issues
- Jaw pain and stiffness
- Issues with ears and hearing
- Asthma or bronchitis.
- Difficulty in expressing needs
- Difficulty in communicating feelings and speaking up for ourselves
- Struggling to express our true selves
- Putting others’ wants and needs before our own
- Struggling with decision making
- Dishonestly with oneself or with others
Benefits of a Balanced Throat Chakra
A balanced throat chakra enables us to communicate openly, freely, and express ourselves authentically. We believe in ourselves and are able to stand up for ourselves. We are creative and expressive, and are able to listen to others.
The Sixth Chakra: Third Eye Chakras - Ajna
The sixth chakra is called the third eye chakra, or ajna, and is located in the forehead. The sixth chakra is associated with the pituitary gland and corresponds with the vibration of the colour purple.
Purpose of the Third Eye Chakra
The sixth chakra is correlated with our psyche, intuition, spiritual connection, and wisdom. The sixth chakra is also linked to psychic abilities and is associated with higher knowledge.
Symptoms of a Blocked Third Eye Chakra:
- Learning disorders
- Problems with vision
- Hormone imbalances
- Brain tumors
- Lack of intuition
- Impaired perception of what is happening in our lives
- Feeling fearful and insecure
- Memory loss
Benefits of a Balanced Third Eye Chakra
A balanced third eye chakra fosters keen intuition and helps with spiritually connection. We become acutely aware of and feel connected to the grand scheme of life, and have a strong perspective on situations. Also, we have an expansive imagination and an increased ability to visualise. Those with a balanced sixth chakra may also experience lucid dreaming and clairvoyance.
The Seventh Chakra: Crown Chakras - Sahasrara
The seventh chakra is called the crown chakra, or sahasrara, and is located just above the head. The seventh chakra is associated with the pineal gland and corresponds with the vibration of the colour white.
Purpose of the Crown Chakra
The seventh chakra is associated with greater spiritual connection, enlightenment, and connection to universal consciousness.
Symptoms of a Blocked Crown Chakra
- Muscular system disorders
- Lack of connection and focus
- Lack of spiritual awareness
- Sense of boredom and monotony
- Feeling something is missing
- Existing and not living
Benefits of a Balanced Crown Chakra
A balanced crown chakra makes us highly consciously and aware and spiritual enlightened.
The Benefits of Incorporating Healing Chakras Into Meditation
Now that we have gone over the seven main chakras, you may be wondering what to do if you feel that a particular chakra, or multiple chakras, are blocked. One way of balancing the chakras is through meditation.
The benefits of incorporating chakra healing into meditation are that you will discover your innate ability to heal yourself. You will be able to resolve emotional issues and find a greater sense of inner peace and wellbeing. Also, you will feel more connected to yourself and those around you. You will develop a sharper sense for when something is off internally.
Balancing the chakras also helps release trauma that has been stored in the body. It helps relieve stress and symptoms of anxiety. Also, it improves your awareness and insight, as well as clears other people's energies from your own.
You can balance the chakras through the use of meditation by either choosing to focus on one individual chakra for the meditation. In contrast, you can focus on all 7 chakras, one at a time.
If you want to focus on balancing your heart chakra for instance, you can do a meditation to focus solely on the heart chakra alone.
Simple Meditation for Balancing Chakras
Using the heart chakra as an example, begin by sitting or laying in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Start the meditation by taking a deep breath slowly inward, holding it, and releasing it slowly. You can try the 4-7-8 breathing technique here, wherein you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and release your breath for 8 seconds.
Focus only on your breathing.
Thoughts may come in and out of your mind, accept them instead of pushing them away. After you accept the thought, release it gently, and get back to focusing on your breathing.
After you have focused on your breathing, envision a stream of bright green light, (as this is the vibration of the heart chakra) entering the body through the top of your head.
Visualise the bright green light flowing down into your heart chakra, going through your entire body, and coming back to your heart chakra, where it freely spins in a balanced way.
You can spend the entire meditation focusing on the spinning green energy centre in your heart. Or, you can modify this meditation by starting at the root chakra and working your way up to the crown chakra, sending the corresponding coloured light energy to each energy centre.
How To Unblock Chakras
Now that you’re well versed in Chakra 101, you may be wondering how to unblock any blocked chakras. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to unblock a chakra and restore balance to your life.
One option, as mentioned above, is meditation. Websites such as YouTube provide many options for chakra balancing meditations, and even offer meditations that focus on specific chakras.
If you are short on time, you can even find shorter meditations that are up to 10 minutes long. Youtube also offers music frequencies, such as 432HZ frequency, which help in balancing chakras through vibration and sound.
Another method for balancing chakras is to practice yoga. Yoga incorporates poses and postures called asanas, and there are specific asanas that can be practiced to help balance specific chakras.
For instance, asanas including warrior poses can help balance the root chakra. Many videos are available on YouTube which show you how to do certain poses and which chakras they will benefit. You can also engage in regular yoga classes with us at Recoverlution, and incorporate yoga into your routine.
Finally, you can see a reiki healer to help you balance your chakras. Reiki is an ancient practice whereby a qualified reiki practitioner channels universal life force energy and uses this to restore energetic imbalances within the body.
A qualified reiki practitioner will be able to discern where in your body you may be experiencing energetic imbalances, and will be able to help you balance these energies. Visiting a reiki practitioner is said to be one of the most effective methods of balancing the chakras. Many people find the experience very relaxing and healing.
Balancing The Chakras and Addiction Recovery
Having blocked chakras and toxic energies within our subtle energy body can lead to a life of substance abuse, just as a life of substance abuse can lead to blocked chakras. It becomes a toxic cycle that can be broken with energetic intervention.
Some believe that addiction stems from having a blocked heart chakra and third eye chakra, while many others strongly believe that addiction stems from irregularities in the root chakra.
By understanding our own issues and traumas, we can practice chakra balancing to release blocked energies, bring in good energies, and experience healing on a profound level.
Author - Thurga
Read more: 8 Benefits of spiritual growth in addiction recovery
- Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Chakras by Cyndi Dale
- A Beginner’s Guide to the 7 Chakra’s and Their Meanings - https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/7-chakras#Chakra-101
- The Energetics of Addiction - How The Chakras Play A Role - https://www.theesotericbloom.com/single-post/2016/01/13/the-energetics-of-addiction-how-the-chakras-play-a-role
- The Ego, The Root Chakra, & Addiction - https://www.bayviewrecovery.com/rehab-blog/the-ego-the-root-chakra-and-addiction/
- How to Use The 7 Chakras in Your Yoga Practice - https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/chakras-yoga-for-beginners/a-guide-to-the-chakras/