The Chakras

Updated: May 12, 2020

In this blog I'm covering the wonderful world of the chakras.

Every living being is a bundle of energy, connected to yet more energy around us. If that all sounds a bit Jedi then think about food - when we eat we convert calories into energy to power our bodies.

Chakras connect our physical body with the energy within and around us. 'Chakra' translates as 'wheel' so we could imagine them as wheels or balls of spinning light. When they are spinning evenly and steadily we can consider them as balanced and healthy but if they're spinning too slowly or way out of control then we may have problems.

For another example, you could think of chakras as windows - they can either be grubby and firmly shut (blocking energy) or they can be permanently wide open (letting anything in!).

There are many chakras around the body but I will focus on the most well known - the seven main chakras. We'll cover the basics of each chakra, how you may know if it is weak or blocked or if it's too switched on, along with tips on how to bring it into balance.

Root Chakra

This chakra is the most physical and is associated with our basic survival needs. When these are met we feel safe, secure and grounded. Acting like the roots of a tree this gives us a platform to build upon for a happy, healthy life.

Fact File: Root Chakra

Sanskrit name: Muladhara

Location: The base of the spine/perineum

Connects to: The Earth, one’s foundation, personal survival and safety

Colour: Red

Element: Earth

Crystals: Black, brown or red e.g. haematite, black tourmaline, garnet, ruby, aragonite

Physically connects to: Feet, legs, base of spine and trunk (especially pelvic floor muscles), skeletal system

Emotions: Comfortable, safe, confident, assured, rested, peaceful, calm, patient, content

Signs this chakra is weak:

  • Fearful insecurity/nervousness

  • Conforming to others

  • Delicate/fragile

  • Paralyzed (grounded in fear)

  • Unsettled/restless

  • Unstable/unreliable

Signs this chakra is too dominant:

  • Protective fortressing (putting up barriers against the world, leaving one isolated and alone)

  • Selfishness

  • Possessiveness/territorial

  • Hoarding

  • Rigid in thought/unmoving

Ideas on how to balance this chakra:

  • Anything that focusses on the legs and feet (such as walking or yoga that focuses on standing postures)

  • Weightlifting or strength work

  • Reflexology or foot massage

  • Connecting with nature, e.g. a walk in the park, eat your lunch outside, gardening

  • Get organised - clear out clutter, get on top of those household jobs, take control of your finances

Sacral Chakra

This chakra shifts the focus from basic needs to finding the joy in life. It is all about pleasure and sensual enjoyment, movement and flow and is the bed of creativity.

Fact File: Sacral Chakra

Sanskrit name: Svadhishthana

Location: Lower belly/lower back

Connects to: Well-being, renewal, recuperation, regeneration, recreation, personal pleasure and growth

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Crystals: Carnelian, orange calcite, orange citrine, amber

Physically connects to: Reproductive organs, lower abdomen, sacrum and lower part of lumbar spine, hips and pelvic girdle, lymphatic and blood circulatory systems

Emotions: Desire, enjoyment, pleasure, happy, relaxed, playful, nurturing, affectionate

Signs this chakra is weak:

  • Mis-satisfaction (wanting the wrong thing e.g. mistaking thirst for hunger and resulting in a feeling of constant emptiness or yearning)

  • Brittle/fragile (liable to snap at others)

  • Numb/unfeeling

  • Unresponsive/unchanging

Signs this chakra is too dominant:

  • Self-abandonment (acting or living with abandon)

  • Stagnation (overly focussed on staying with what is pleasurable here and now, not interested in personal growth)

  • Hyper-sensitivity (quick to upset)

  • Greediness/self-indulgence

  • Narcissism

Ideas on how to balance this chakra:

  • Pamper yourself - book a massage or facial, enjoy a hot tub or steam room

  • Move your body - flowing yoga, swimming or dance (belly dancing is perfect!)

  • Eat well - look after your gut with foods that feed the happy bacteria and drink plenty of water

  • Enjoy water - take a relaxing bath, go to the beach or find your inner child and splash in some puddles

  • Get creative - anything that gets the creative juices flowing be it painting, writing, arranging flowers or craft work

  • Have (safe) sex!

Solar Plexus Chakra

This chakra is all about energy, it's your own personal power house, your rocket booster, helping you move forward and achieve all the things you want to do.

Fact File: Solar Plexus Chakra

Sanskrit name: Manipura

Location: Upper stomach (between the belly button and breastbone)

Connects to: Energy, power, activity

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Crystals: Yellow citrine

Physically connects to: Diaphragm, upper abdomen (abdominal muscles and organs such a liver, adrenals, pancreas) and metabolism

Emotions: Assertive, passionate, enthusiastic

Signs this chakra is weak:

  • Burnt out/exhaustion

  • Aggression with fear/bravado

  • Powerless

  • Hibernating/inactive

  • Passive/submissive

Signs this chakra is too dominant:

  • Forcefulness

  • Frustration

  • Pride/egotism

  • Fearlessness

  • Emotional/quick-tempered

  • Hyper-activity

  • Desire for power

Ideas on how to balance this chakra:

  • Competitive sports such as martial arts or cardio activities such as running

  • Work on your posture with yoga or pilates or just stand tall

  • Get out in the sunshine and top up those vitamin d levels (also great for the immune system but don't forget the sunscreen)

Heart Chakra

The heart chakra represents unconditional love and healing. It is the mid point between the lower earthly, physical chakras and the upper, ethereal chakras. It's not just about being able to give love to others but also to accept it in return.

Fact File: Heart Chakra

Sanskrit name: Anahata

Location: Middle of the chest

Connects to: Relationships, community, evolution, expression of values, emotional feelings and responses

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Crystals: Green or pink crystals such as green aventurine, moss agate and rose quartz

Physically connects to: Chest, heart, upper back, arms, hands and respiratory system

Emotions: Compassionate, generous, loving and nurturing

Signs this chakra is weak:

  • Self-forgetting

  • Apathy, not caring, withdrawn

  • Indecisive, procrastinating

  • Detached, insensitive, ‘heartless’

  • Aimlessness, lacking in direction

  • Laziness

  • Poor self-esteem

Signs this chakra is too dominant:

  • Dissatisfaction

  • Tribalism

  • Self-centred (focussing only on how things impact one’s self)

  • Self-important, self-righteous

  • Emotionally hyper-responsive or emotional distress

  • Attachment, obsessions

  • Excessive selflessness

Ideas on how to balance this chakra:

  • Aerobic exercise

  • Breathing practices

  • Volunteer or care for others

  • Spend time with those you love

  • Smile, give compliments and say thank you

  • Be grateful

  • Be kind to yourself (silence your inner critic)

Throat Chakra

Communication is key with the throat chakra which encourages you to speak your truth and express yourself as well as listen to others.

Fact File: Throat Chakra

Sanskrit name: Vishuddha

Location: Throat and back of neck

Connects to: Explaining, expressing, exploring, communication, information, testing things out, flow and rhythm of things, the world/space around and within

Colour: Blue

Element: Ether

Crystals: Aquamarine, turquoise, sodalite, blue aventurine

Physically connects to: Throat, neck, voice, face and hearing, cellular level of body

Emotions: Expressive, connected, attentive, inquisitive

Signs this chakra is weak:

  • Lack of restraint

  • Erratic, unreliable

  • Disordered, chaotic

  • Inarticulate, incoherent

  • Tactlessness

  • Naïve, gullible

  • Unobservant, ignorance

  • Clumsy, prone to accidents

Signs this chakra is too dominant:

  • Distrust, cautious

  • Compulsive disorders and behaviours

  • Dismissive, unadventurous

  • Restrained, reserved

  • Self-divided

Ideas on how to balance this chakra:

  • Singing or chanting

  • Listening to music

  • Talking therapies

  • Breathing techniques such as ujjayi breath

  • Creative writing

  • Amateur dramatics

Third Eye Chakra

This chakra governs the eyes and brain but is also connected to your sixth sense. It is about balancing rational logic with inner wisdom.

Fact File: Third Eye Chakra

Sanskrit name: Ajna

Location: The point between the eyebrows

Connects to: Problem solving, analytical thinking, planning, perception and understanding

Colour: Purple

Element: Time/consciousness

Crystals: Amethyst, lapis lazui

Physically connects to: The eyes and brain

Emotions: Dispassionate, perceptive, rational, objective, impartial

Signs this chakra is weak:

  • Confusion

  • Inefficiency, ineptitude

  • Delusional

  • Boredom, distraction

  • Lack of foresight

Signs this chakra is too dominant:

  • Self-criticism

  • Anticipation, anxiety

  • Absent-minded

  • Detached

  • ‘Head in the clouds’

  • Over-planning

  • Fantasy and daydreaming

Ideas on how to balance this chakra:

  • Meditation and visualisation

  • Solving puzzles or mysteries

  • Indian head massage or shirodhara (an Ayurvedic treatment where a thin stream of warm oil is trickled onto your forehead)

  • Keep a dream diary

  • Keep that optician's appointment (or book one if it's been a while)

Crown Chakra

If this chakra had a sound it would be the clear chime of a tuning fork. It's job is to connect us to the energy above and to our inner divinity, to find a higher state of consciousness. If all our other chakras are balanced and we work with our crown chakra we might just be able to find enlightenment!

Fact File: Crown Chakra

Sanskrit name: Sahasrara

Location: The crown of the head

Connects to: Mystical experiences, inspiration and wonder, divinity, bliss, the infinite

Colour: Violet/white

Element: Spirit/soul/awarness

Crystals: Amethyst, clear quartz

Physically connects to: The crown of the head and the space above

Emotions: Wonder, joy, bliss, ecstasy, serenity

Signs this chakra is weak:

  • Dormancy

  • Soulless, joyless

  • Contained, limited

  • Sinful, guilt

  • Shortsightedness

Signs this chakra is too dominant:

  • Selflessness

  • Blissed out

  • Bedazzled

  • Lack of presence

  • Emptiness, blankness

  • Madness, wise fool

Ideas on how to balance this chakra:

  • Indian head massage

  • Get outside, connect your feet to the earth and then look up to the expansive sky

  • Stargazing

  • Meditation