Balance Your Chakras and Heal Your Life
What if there was a way to eliminate years of emotional and physical damage, and create a genuine state of well-being from within? The ancient study of chakra healing promotes such a claim, and though its origins are far from contemporary, it has found a burgeoning home in the West and shows little signs of slowing down. I became intrigued with the study of chakras after my favorite yogis on Instagram started incorporating it into their daily content. I was fascinated by the beauty of the crystals and the power they seemed to imbue to their practitioners. I decided to investigate further by stopping by a renowned crystal shop, The Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore. The store, a staple in my town of Atlanta, Georgia, has been hulking books, stones, jewelry, and even astrological readings since the 1970’s. Nestled away in a cluster of old pines, amidst the wave of progress and construction engulfing it, the store stands as a testament to the old world and the unwavering human interest in mystical realms of existence.
Upon entering the store, I met a young man who told me where to begin. First I needed to understand the basics about crystals and chakra healing, and they offered plenty of books to suit my needs. I settled on a friendly looking one called, The Sevenfold Journey: Reclaiming Your Mind, Body & Spirit Through the Chakras. Once I had a trusty guide, I purchased the crystals that would help bring my chakras back into balance. The process itself was so interesting, and as I practiced the meditations and exercises designed to promote healing and energy alignment, I noticed a definite spiritual shift happening. I would wake early excited to start my practice before the rest of my household awoke, and throughout the day time seemed to slow down. I was clearer, cleverer, more myself, and experienced more joy in the simple events of the day than I ever had before. I was fine tuning my radio frequency through simple actions based in ancient world traditions, and was immediately reaping the benefits of a happier, healthier life experience.
The study of chakras has been around for hundreds of years and has roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Chakras are most easily described as energy focal points along the entire spinal cord. Because they are energy centers, they are believed to be part of the subtle body, not the physical body, and are connected by energy channels called Nadi. Mastery of the energy flow between the chakras has been said to create a supreme state of well-being and health.
To the unindoctrinated, the study and mastery of invisible energy fields within the body may seem a little woo woo, but I wager that anyone with an open mind would find that when done correctly, its effects, whether physical or purely psychological, actually do work. Most drugs on the market can’t promise any real change, and come with a litany of harmful side effects. Given the choice, I would pick something backed by hundreds of years, millions of practitioners, and proven results versus an FDA approved drug that may or may not cause constipation and suicidal thoughts.
As someone interested in health and wellness, I had to learn more about this age-old practice of energy healing. I meditate daily, eat the best, most nutritious foods (most of the time), engage in a varied workout at least five times a week, and yet sometimes I still feel out of balance. I wondered if there was something more I could be doing to raise my consciousness and become better. Enter the study of chakra healing. So how does one start balancing the chakras and obtain ultimate balance and health? It starts with knowing what each chakra represents, and then how to bring alignment to that particular point and then the entire system.
Starting at the base of the spine is the root chakra (Muladhara). It represents survival (i.e. food and security). When this chakra is out of alignment, we feel anxious and fear takes over. In order to balance the root chakra and feel confident, secure, and centered, the best action to take is mindful movement, ideally in nature. Going for a walk, envisioning the color red while meditating, practicing yoga, dancing to your favorite music, and connecting back to the earth will all help unblock this chakra. And since this is the foundational chakra in the flow of energy, it is extremely important that it remain unblocked.
The second chakra is the sacral chakra (Svadhisthana). It has been called the creativity chakra, and is also the source of love and abundance. When this chakra is unbalanced, there can be unhealthy attachment, sexual and emotional issues, timidity, and feeling emotionally cold and unable to trust others. To heal this chakra, envision the color orange, engage in hip opening yoga poses, and journal with the intention of working through past emotional injuries that no longer serve you.
The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra (Manipura). It is the energy source responsible for our feelings of power and manifestation. When blocked, we feel frustrated and powerless in the direction of our own lives. To heal this chakra, envision yellow, try yoga poses that bring heat to the midsection like boat, warrior and seated spinal twists, and chant the mantra RAM while meditating. When this chakra is strong, we feel we can accomplish anything we desire in life.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra (Anahata). It is found in the center of the line of energy zones and is where the spiritual and physical meet in our existence, our heart. When this energy source is open we feel endless love, compassion, and acceptance for others and ourselves. When blocked, we feel fear, frustration, anger, jealousy and hate. To heal this chakra, envision green, try yoga poses that open the heart like camel, bow, and cow, and meditate with the vision of opening your heart and breathing in the love from the universe.
The fifth chakra is the throat chakra (Vishuddha). The first of the three spiritual chakras, its’ purpose is to ensure that we speak from a place of higher communication where compassion and truth reign. When this energy source is open, we feel emboldened to speak compassionate truth and communicate with others from a place of vulnerability and authenticity. It works closely with the lower chakras in that you know who you are and what you want, and have the courage to express it without fear of rejection or judgement. To strengthen and heal this chakra envision the color blue, sing, hum, meditate with the mantra HUM, and engage in yoga inversion postures like plow and shoulder stand.
The sixth chakra is the third eye chakra (Ajna). This chakra is linked to intuition and an inner sense of knowing that most people have lost touch with. When this energy source is open we trust ourselves to know that we are on the right path, despite any evidence to the contrary. It is a form of faith that when in alignment enables you to achieve that which you never thought was possible. To strengthen and align this chakra envision the color purple, meditate with the mantra SHAM, and try yoga poses like dolphin and child’s pose.
The seventh and final chakra is the crown chakra (Sahaswara). It is the highest chakra where we gain access to enlightenment and understand the divine connectedness of all things in the Universe. Working with this chakra eliminates ingrained ties to the self and ego, and frees us from fear and attachment to the physical realm. To align this chakra, envision the color white, meditate with the mantra OM, practice silence, and engage in yoga postures like handstand and downward dog. Strengthening this chakra allows us to be the most compassionate, loving, and enlightened versions of ourselves.
This is a very rudimentary overview of the chakras and the power of energy healing, but knowing the history and how it works is a great start to understanding where imbalances in our lives may lie, and how to right them. I have found working with the chakras has drastically improved my sense of well-being and peace of mind, moreso than meditating, eating healthily, and exercising alone. Ultimately, it is self-awareness that brings positive change, and when we strive to become the best versions of ourselves, we become stronger, smarter, healthier people. So enjoy the journey, balance the energy within, and start living your best life.