‘Chakra’ is a term you’ve probably heard in your yoga class – the Sanskrit word representing the many energy centres of the body – but probably have absolutely no idea of what it actually means.
The word Chakra translates as ‘wheel’ because these energy centres are meant to spin like vortexes of energy and they are located throughout the physical body and aura (read our guide to auras if you want to swot up). We actually have over one hundred of them, and around 72,000 different channels through which the energy should flow fluidly. We are going to focus on the seven major chakras that are aligned from the base of the spine, up the spinal column to the crown of the head. Each of these supplies the source of energy that flows around the body and transfer our inner emotional experiences to our physical consciousness.
The chakras are generally represented by a colour which corresponds with its level of vibrational frequency, with the lowest frequency being red (Root Chakra at the base of the spine) and the highest frequency being violet (Crown Chakra on the top of the head). Each chakra also concerns itself with more direct emotional and physical symptoms, so along with the colours I want to teach you how to use these powerful energy centres to benefit your daily life. Here’s a guide to each of the 7 chakras, what they resonate with, how they can get blocked, plus a simple guide to unblocking them.
The Root Chakra
Located at the base of your spine, it is represented by the colour red and it transmits the flow of vital life force energy necessary for the physical life. This chakra resonates with safety, security, vitality, survival and being grounded, be that in our physical body, our situation, our home/work life etc. It is also the centre of stability, courage, impulsiveness and passion and resonates strongly with our human experience. It can be blocked by fear.
The Sacral Chakra
This is located in the lower abdomen, is represented as the colour orange and connects to our human experience of feelings and emotions, sensuality, intimacy and desires. It resonates our connections with others, be that in relationships, or friendships. It is located near our reproductive organs which create and hold life so it is also our centre of creativity, as well as emotion and desire. It can be blocked by isolation and guilt.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
This is located beneath the ribcage and roughly two fingers above the belly button and is represented by the colour yellow. This area can often feel tender and even bruised if we feel out of control or lacking confidence and purpose. It is the centre that holds our trust in who we are, what we are doing and where we are going. Trust in ourselves to live confidently as who we really are with self-esteem, and not worry about how others perceive us or what they might do to make us feel less. Our centre of inner sunshine is also our place of inner wisdom and trusting our instincts – literally the location of a ‘gut-feeling’. It can be blocked by feelings of low self-worth and shame.
The Heart Chakra
This is located at the centre of the chest and represented by the colour green. It is associated with love, love for others, the world around us and importantly, self-love. It is the place of compassion, empathy, understanding, inner peace, forgiveness and healing. There must be balance in the inward and outward expression of this energy, we cannot give, receive and accept love or compassion from another if we cannot give the same towards ourselves. Can be blocked by grief and hopelessness.
The Throat Chakra
This is located at the centre of the throat and represented by the colour blue; it’s our communication centre. The chakra of expressing and speaking our truth, communicating with clarity and trust. Feeling able to speak our wisdom, our creative expression and being able to also listen and allow the communication from others. This can be blocked by negative speech and lies.
The Third Eye Chakra
This is located at our brow and is represented by a rich indigo colour. This is our intuitive centre which is associated with our innate psychic abilities of being able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ clearly. It is the place of awareness, imagination, self-realisation, perception, invention and vision. It can be blocked by illusion and depression.
The Crown Chakra
This is located on the top of the head and is represented by a pale violet colour. It is our spiritual centre with the highest vibration of energy. It is the place of our higher self, our higher wisdom, cosmic energy, knowingness and divine inspiration. Our bliss centre which operates on sincerity and truth, where we feel connected to who we really are and all that is. Can be blocked by anger and attachments.
How to use your chakras for positive
You could use your imagination to see the chakras as coloured light bulbs within you, and use your breath to light up whichever lightbulb you might feel drawn to. For example, if you’re needing to do a big presentation at work, you could focus and breathe a powerful red light at the base of your spine for grounding and feeling safe, then a yellow light in your solar plexus area to give you a boost of confidence and finally a bright blue light in your throat so that you can communicate your presentation with clarity. Or if you’re going into a brainstorming meeting, to get new ideas or solutions, you could breathe an orange light into your lower abdomen for your creativity and an indigo light into your brow for imagination and vision. Maybe if you’re seeing an ex at a party, you could breathe yellow into your solar plexus for a boost to your self-confidence and trust in who you are, and green into your heart chakra for self-care and healing.Breath is the regulator for your energy body so you must use your breath alongside your visualisation for it to have the most effect.
How to unblock your chakras
If you feel that you might have an energy blockage, as well as seeing a certified healer, there are things you can do for yourself in order to start connecting with your energy body. Dedication and practising quietening your mind in order to focus on the subtleties within is a really important part of your spiritual and healing journey.
Meditation is not relaxation as such but it is a focussed approach to having greater awareness that will allow you to tap into your higher consciousness and your energy body so that you can ‘listen’ to what it is trying to tell you. Start by finding a quiet space, put your phone in another room and onto silent so it doesn’t distract you from your focus.
You could light a candle to create a calm atmosphere; the process of doing that can be a really helpful tool. Doing a physical action like striking a match, lighting it and maybe saying a little dedication to yourself or the universe tells your mind that it’s time not to bother you for 15 minutes.
Sit comfortably – preferably with your feet flat on the floor and say a little affirmation to yourself such as “I am calm, I am focussed, I am connecting to my higher self, I am peace”. With your eyes closed, take some deep breaths – like big sighs of relief, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth with a dropped jaw, relaxed mouth and lips; these breaths let your body relax and your mind focus inwards… keep up the breaths until you feel ready.
With every breath, notice how it feels, becoming more aware of the subtle movements and sensations in your physical body – any discomfort, tummy rumbles or your mind being drawn to certain areas. By using your breath, you are cleansing your energy body and clearing it from blockages that you might have subconsciously been holding.
You might find that memories, past feelings and emotions come up alongside the physical sensations; try to allow them, accept them as memories and the past, and use your breath to bring yourself back to the present conscious moment. Know that you are doing this practise because it is time to let go, and remind yourself that you are ready to release everything that no longer serves you for your highest good.
Finally, see yourself in a bubble or cocoon of divine white light and give thanks for this clearing. It is a good idea to drink lots of water and ground yourself afterwards – eat something, go outside and stand on the grass. If that’s not possible, jump up and down to bring your energy and awareness down to your feet. Try not to expect too much as this can take years of practise, you might find there will be some things that you may not be ready to let go of and that’s ok too. Be gentle with yourself, this is not something to rush.