The Chakras, what actually are they?

Updated: Aug 29

We talk often about chakras in yoga, and other forms of healing methods, but what actually are they?

The chakras are part of an ancient healing system, present in many cultures, that keep balance within the mind and body. They are essentially energy points within the body that filter the subtle energy, or Prana (life force) that runs within us. If these points become blocked, energy cannot flow freely through us, leading to dis-ease, presenting in a mix of unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms.

We each have 7 chakras, all with associated chants, mudras, colours, crystals and glands:

  1. The root

  2. The sacral

  3. The solar plexus

  4. The heart

  5. The third eye

  6. The crown

Now, for some, the thought of swirls of energy in the body may be a little bit to out there to get your head around, but if we take a look at the placement of the 7 chakras, and think about the areas stress, anxiety etc manifests in physical symptoms within us, it no longer seems so mythical. They are simply stress accumulation points. For example, a blocked throat chakra can be due to not expressing a situation we are unhappy with, if these words are left trapped in the throat chakra, in time we may experience a sore throat or jaw ache due to clenching under the stress.

If we are feeling unbalanced, physically or emotionally, we can see which chakra is blocked by which symptoms are present, from there we can think begin to use some techniques to unblock the chakra, and maybe have a think about what is happening in our lives that might be causing a blockage.

I will go into more in depth detail about each chakra in turn in later posts, but some example symptoms of chakra blockage include, headaches for the third eye blockage, tummy pain or 'butterflies' if it is the solar plexus affected and a feeling of insecurity where the root chakra is concerned.

There are a number of ways we begin to unblock our chakras including:

  1. Yoga

  2. Meditation

  3. Reflexology

  4. Herbs

  5. Crystals

  6. Foods of associated colours

  7. Essential oils

  8. Smudging

  9. Journaling/gratitude/affirmations

  10. Chanting and mudras

A mix of all these things is most affected, as well as taking some time to consider anything in our life at the current time that may be causing this unbalance within us, (I find writing freely in my journal can help greatly with this).

So, how do the chakras become blocked in the first place? Anything that can cause an imbalance within us can lead to a chakra becoming blocked. This can vary from not eating the right foods for our body to not getting enough sleep or failing to express our emotions or tending to ourselves and needs. All these things lead to us feeling run down, stressed or anxious. With all things in life some of us are more prone to blockages in certain chakras than others, possibly due to our personality types.

Yoga is a great way to learn whether or not energy is flowing freely within us, because with regular yoga practice we begin to become more in tune with our body, and therefore more aware of changes and sensations, both physically and emotionally.

If you wish to keep your mind and body in balance, and energy flowing freely, incorporating regular practice of at least one (but preferably a mix of) the above into your daily life, along with a balanced diet, plenty of water and a good amount of sleep. As with everything, prevention is better than cure.

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