girl on yoga mat with chakra symbols in an arc shape around her

Understand Each Chakra and Unblock Your Core Energy Centers

Strengthen your inner balance by learning more about them and being open to change. Doing so will change how you see yourself.

Wish there were more days in the week? Or maybe you wish you had just a bit more energy to get it all done. Here’s a secret: You actually have all the energy and time you need. But, in order to tap into this secret source of power, you must align your mindset, physical health and faith with the ancient wisdom of the chakra system. In truth, it’s no secret. Rather, it is a lost sort of wisdom, banished by the vast cynicism we carry in the Western world. No, this is not a quick-fix life hack, but when you commit to opening your mind, this ancient wisdom will afford you all the resources you need to achieve your goals.

Ever heard the saying, “Don’t force the flow”? I am personally well acquainted with the saying and the struggles that follow. Seeing the glamour of social media and knowing that this world is full of opportunity, it’s quite easy to feel compelled to work incessantly. In today’s world, we currently hear of impoverished people turning into millionaires overnight! So of course we view our situation with hope, saying, “I can do it too if I work hard enough!” Unfortunately, that is just not true. Can you become a millionaire? Of course! Is it solely dependent on how hard you work? No! Certainly, hard work and commitment are necessary for anything to come to fruition. But it is not the only ingredient that improves the quality of your life.

The chakra system teaches us the seven energy centers that stretch from the base of our spine, all the way to the crown of our head. Each of the energy centers represents different important facets of life and acts as faucets that release energy throughout our body. However, these energy centers can get clogged up, or forcibly turned off by the individual who has experienced trauma. Life is always going to make us second guess our convictions and beliefs, but we cannot continue to carry the burdens our past has left us with. Akin to flossing our teeth after eating, our energy centers need to be cleared out, or else all sorts of emotional and physical ailments will taint our lives; instead, we can choose to open our minds to new perspectives and try on the healing exercises outlined by the chakra system.

So, let’s dig into each individual chakra.

Muladhara / Root

Lying at the bottom of our spines, the first chakra is the Muladhara, which rules our immediate need for safety. It is represented by the color red to emphasize blood as the fundamental part of life: passion and pain. Any wounds contained within this chakra are likely to stem from childhood. It could be something as ancient as not being fed regularly as a baby, or not having your parents tuck you in at night. Whether you were safe and cared for as a child determines the disposition of your root chakra. It may seem unrecognizable or trivial, but examine how willing you are to trust others. A wounded root chakra will be more self-sufficient and carry more stress surrounding their survival, while a healthy root chakra isn’t afraid of surprises or changes because they know that it will always be okay. If you find that your root chakra needs some healing, try…

  • Developing a routine
  • Covering yourself with a blanket and affirm that you are safe
  • Releasing the fear of relying on others
  • Validating your past pain, but remember that the future isn’t going to be the same

Svadhisthana / Sacral

Our sacral chakras lie in our genital area, which communicates expression, creativity and pleasure. This chakra is represented by the color orange to symbolize the vital energy of happiness seen each day in the sunset. We often see active sacral chakras in individuals who love their careers and are always improving. This is due to the abundance of vital energy provided by this area. However, a damaged sacral chakra is seen in people who fiercely uphold the status quo. They are usually close-minded and unwilling to entertain new ideas because of the challenge presented by change. Jamming the influx of information and inspiration life constantly throws at us only keeps us safe from the past; however, although safe, you will also be imprisoned! If you feel you could benefit from a creative boost or some fresh inspiration to make life new again, try…

  • Changing your everyday routine
  • Going outside more
  • Speaking to strangers (and ask them questions — with an open mind of course)
  • Consuming information from books, TV, and articles that interest you

Manipura / Solar plexus

My favorite, the solar plexus chakra, is located in the center of our chest, right above the abdominal muscles. This chakra is the most simple as it represents standing for who you truly are. Just like the sun, this chakra is represented by the color yellow to express the confidence needed to shine your light on the world. An individual with a strong solar plexus knows that their personal truths are more important than the opinions that others may have about them. In contrast, someone with a weak solar plexus is someone who hides as much as possible because they themselves are their worst critics. In order to allow this chakra to flow, try…

  • Not comparing yourself to others
  • Looking at your body with gratitude for helping you experience life
  • Reminding yourself of your own irreplaceable nature
  • Sharing your passions and talents with the world regularly 

Anahata / Heart

This is the big one here! Our heart chakras serve as gauges when giving and receiving love. Understandably, this chakra is commonly afflicted due to the natural sensitivity all humans are born with. It’s also represented by the color green because no matter how many times we feel dead inside, our hearts will always heal us as herbs do. Thus, an active heart chakra knows how to give and receive love with equal balance. An inactive heart chakra is imbalanced, to say the least, and may even be closed altogether. To open up this chakra, we must conquer our fear of pain and rejection. If you aren’t open at all, you run the risk of depriving yourself of the most necessary emotion. To rehabilitate the way you love, try…

  • Starting with self-compassion/self-forgiveness
  • Giving more of your time to either others or yourself
  • Depersonalizing your pain (remembering that we hurt people on accident too)
  • Taking care of animals (I promise they won’t hurt you as humans will)

Vishudda / Throat

This chakra lets us connect to others through the power of communication. It’s very logical as opposed to the heart chakra, but facilitates positive emotions just as efficiently. Blue in color, our throat chakra will always produce rippling effects, like waves of water, to anyone who will listen. Funnily enough, just like water, our words have an interesting way of being difficult to grasp at first. This is why an impeded throat chakra may stymie communication — it will want to be judged or misunderstood. However, a healed throat chakra knows how to communicate its point effectively without trying to manipulate how it is received by others. The fickle nature of this chakra understands subjectivity. If you find yourself needing to speak up more, try…

  • Thinking out loud (who cares what others will think!)
  • Singing with confidence, even if it’s not your strong suit
  • Screaming into a pillow
  • Speaking louder in your conversations

Ajna / Third Eye

Indicated by its name, this chakra is hidden and obscured from most people, existing in between the eyebrows. The chakra is associated with a blue-ish purple color and represents the unknown and higher frequencies of being. This chakra unlocks the gateway to our creative vision that first exists in our minds, later to be revealed in reality. Having an active third eye chakra allows one to begin to understand why their reality exists as it does. They are able to understand the unconscious motives behind the actions occurring around and within them; this makes inner peace much more achievable. A blocked third eye chakra can be seen in extremely logical individuals who are unwilling to believe things they cannot understand. The key to this chakra is to remember that we do not need to understand everything. Ways to clear out this chakra are …

  • Recording your dreams
  • Consistent meditation
  • Dropping the ego and accepting that you don’t know everything
  • Actively visualizing your successful future

Sahasrara / Crown

As we reach the crown of the head, we land at the violet-colored crown chakra. This chakra represents the highest vibration and connection to the divine. Our faith is tested with this chakra because so much of the chakra is unconscious. People can have an open and active crown chakra and not know it. This is because it depends on how accepting we are of wisdom and love that comes from a non-human source. An open crown chakra is found in individuals who have strong faith in divine support. No matter the specific beliefs, simply believing in the concept of a higher power is actively using the crown chakra. A blocked crown chakra is usually caused by a blocked third eye chakra because the individual doesn’t have established beliefs. To open our highest chakra, we must build a healthy foundation of beliefs that allows us to trust in ourselves and the universe. Tips on unblocking this chakra include…

  • Questioning your views regularly
  • Journaling for introspection
  • Spending time alone
  • Trusting how you feel

In essence, each chakra that is activated allows for the activation of the subsequent chakra. We don’t necessarily have to develop each chakra in order, but it’s best to progress slowly up the spine. Starting with a firm base of safety will make opening the heart much easier. Balancing the exchange of love as well is a great way to begin to envision your future with confidence and compassion. But do not begin this journey with fixed expectations and a limited mindset. You can receive a great boost of energy from the chakra system, but you must be willing to flow with the energy — not against it.

Michael Slade, University of Texas at San Antonio

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Michael Slade

University of Texas at San Antonio
Philosophy & Psychology

Hi everyone! My interests include spirituality, occultism, real estate and writing! My mission is to disseminate knowledge of self-love, mindfulness and optimism.

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