Aligning your chakras

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“Each chakra or energy centre has a specific purpose and physical and spiritual area of influence. We are meant to develop each chakra, and energy therein, as we grow, to fulfil our assignment in life, to uncover our deepest identity, and to connect with One Spirit.”

Bri. Maya Tiwari, The Path of Practice

The whole universe is made up of energy and so is the human body. ‘Chakra’ comes from the Sanskrit word for wheel, and commonly refers to a centre of physical or spiritual energy in the body. Chakras are energy centers within the body that help to regulate all bodily processes, from organ function to to the immune system and emotions.

According to the Vedic healing system there are seven known chakras positioned throughout the body, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. There are also five more additional chakras, less known, that represent our spiritual and energetic field outside our body. Whilst some modern healers talk about the existence of the additional chakras, it is said that shamanic traditions have used the additional chakra energy centres for millennia in their healing practices. Each chakra has its own vibrational frequency that’s depicted through a specific colour and sound and governs physical, emotional, mental and spiritual functions of being human.

The commonly accepted system of the seven chakras, along with their Sanskrit name, position, colour, and purpose, is represented as follows:

1. Root Chakra - Muladhara - base of the spine - red - courage and self preservation

2. Sacral Chakra - Svadhishthana - just below the navel - orange - creativity

3. Solar Plexus Chakra - Manipura - stomach area above navel - yellow - personal power

4. Heart Chakra - Anahata - in the heart centre - green - love

5. Throat Chakra - Vishuddha - base of the throat - blue - expression

6. Third Eye Chakra - Ajna - in the area between the eyebrows - indigo - intuition

7. Crown Chakra - Sahasrara - the top of the head - violet - wisdom

When our chakras are clear and aligned, our physical, energetic and emotional bodies work in harmony. However when they are out of balance, we can experience a range of challenges from not being grounded, to anxiety, to not being able to find our voice. Use this quick reference system for locating which chakras may be in and out of alignment, and what you can do to address imbalances.

1st Chakra - Root

When it’s out of balance it feels: ungrounded, stuck in your head, constantly in survival mode, excessive behaviours, greed, struggle with the basics of life

To clear and align do this: ground yourself in the earth, bare feet on the grass, dirt or sand, spend time in nature. Use the base colour of red in your clothes, jewellery, crystals and eat red foods like berries, tomatoes, beetroot and red apples. Meditate on the sound lam.

Essential oils: Vetiver, myrrh, patchouli, rosewood, thyme, frankincense, rosewood, ylang ylang.

2nd Chakra - Sacral

When it’s out of balance it feels: feeling too many emotions, or feeling little emotion, disconnected from others, lack of sexual desire and pleasure, stifled or blocked creativity.

To clear and align do this: as a water element, swim in the ocean or any body of water, spend time near the water, listen to ambient sounds of the waves in meditation, visualise the water, take baths. Use the colour orange in your clothes and accessories, crystals and eat orange foods like cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots, oranges. Meditate on the sound vam.

Essential oils: Jasmine, rose, sandalwood, ginger, clary sage, fennel, cardamom.

3rd Chakra - Solar Plexus

When it’s out of balance it feels: a sense of being stuck, lethargy, a sense of powerlessness and lack of confidence in yourself, inability to stand up for yourself, feeling intolerant and excessively competitive.

To clear and align do this: Meditate on a large and brilliant yellow sunflower over your solar plexus area, use the colour yellow or gold in your clothes, use yellow crystals alike citrine, amber, tourmaline. Eat yellow foods like bananas, sunflower seeds, yellow peppers and spices like ginger, mint and chamomile. Meditate on the sound ram.

Essential oils: Vetiver, grapefruit, lemon, cardamon, black pepper, cedarwood, juniper berry, marjoram.

4th Chakra - Heart

When it’s out of balance it feels: feelings of anger, grief and self loathing are signs of blockages, whereas feelings of compassion, kindness, self acceptance and acceptance of others, and love are signs of balance.

To clear and align do this: associated with the element of air, deep breathing will help to clear energy and bring you back into balance. Anywhere you can experience fresh air will be helpful. Surround yourself with the colour green, eat green foods like green smoothies and juice, avocado, broccoli, green vegetables like kale. Use green mala beads or jewellery. Meditate on the sound yum.

Essential oils: Rose, jasmine, lavender, yang ylang, mandarin, bergamot, geranium.

5th Chakra - Throat

When it’s out of balance it feels: inability to use your voice, to speak up for yourself, to communicate how you would like to, feelings of being judged and not accepted by others, difficult in making choices and decisions, always seeking opinions of others.

To clear and align do this: associated with the spirit (ether) sitting anywhere in an open space outdoors like a park or beach, with a clear sky will help this energy flow. Eat blue foods like blueberries, seaweed or kelp, surround yourself with blue furnishings and clothes. Meditate on the sound ham.

Essential oils: Blue chamomile, cypress, peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood, basil, cypress.

6th Chakra - Third Eye

When it’s out of balance it feels: clouded judgement, sitting in a fantasy world not in your reality, inability to focus, procrastination.

To clear and align do this: associated with the light, sitting quietly in the sunshine or in direct light will open and balance this chakra. Surround yourself with the colour indigo as much as possible. Meditate on the sound sham.

Essential oils: Melissa, rosemary, juniper, pine, helichrysum, thyme, clary sage, lemon.

7th Chakra - Crown

When it’s out of balance it feels: feeling isolated, lacking connection, emotionally upset, anxiety, unable to set or follow through on goals, inability to connect to universal energy.

To clear and align do this: the crown chakra represents all elements, so connecting to your whole self through prayer, chanting and meditation will align this chakra. Self reflection and spiritual practice is recommended over food as the crown chakra is not about the physical body. Using violet in clothing, decorations, jewellery or crystals will support you. Meditate on the sound om.

Essential oils: Frankincense, rose, rosewood, jasmine, neroli.

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