In ancient Sanskrit, the word “chakra” translates to a circle or wheel. In ayurvedic practice, there are seven chakras, each a swirling wheel of energy that serves to connect the energy of the physical body with soul level consciousness. Each chakra is placed to correspond with a different system of the physical body as well as specific parts of the emotional and spiritual plane. Because the mind, body, and human energy fields are all deeply connected, mental or physical imbalance will reflect in the energy field as chakra misalignment or blockage. By learning to keep your energy balanced, you can assist the body and mind to fall into balance as well.
If you envision your body seated in the lotus position, the first chakra at the root of the spine is aptly named the root chakra. The root is associated with feelings of stability, security and safety. Energetic imbalance can manifest physically with problems in the lower extremities and relating to those systems.
A few inches below the navel is the center of the sacral chakra. This chakra is associated with feelings of pleasure, fun, creativity, and sensuality. Fear of intimacy or fear of betrayal can be a result of an imbalanced sacral chakra. Balancing the energy in this area can improve relationships with others. Physical imbalances resulting from blockage of this chakra include reproductive disorders and low libido.
About three inches above the navel is where the solar plexus chakra is located. The solar plexus is associated with feelings of self-confidence. When this chakra is imbalanced, our worst critic comes out. Physically, imbalances of the solar plexus can be manifested in digestive issues and diaphragmatic functions.
In the center of the chest the heart chakra swirls. Not surprisingly, this one is about love and inner peace. When we have balance, we are trusting, grateful, joyous, and emotionally available. Physically, imbalance can manifest as systemic heart or lung issues. Emotionally, an imbalanced heart chakra can appear as bitterness, jealousy, and anger.
The throat chakra is located at the throat. The throat chakra involves speech and expression of our highest truth. The bodily systems of the mouth, thyroid and neck are affected by the balance of the throat chakra. Throat chakra dysfunction can appear as a feeling of lost willpower or inability to speak up for yourself.
The third eye chakra is the center of intuition and it also allows us to look at the “bigger picture” outside ourselves. Physically an imbalance may affect vision, headaches, and the neurological system. Emotionally, an imbalance may cause us to have a limited perspective, difficulty with problem solving, or making decisions.
The final chakra is the crown chakra. It represents harmony, oneness, and connection to the divine. Balancing this chakra helps us trust our inner guidance and connect with the spiritual world.
Since everything in the universe is energetic and connected, an imbalance originating on one energy field goes on to affect the others. Conversely, all seven chakras will always benefit from work on one of them. Learning about the seven chakras and how you can use mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and other holistic methods to bring them into balance can help you understand your body, mind, and spirit.