What is a Chakra?

You know how people are like, “Oh, my chakras are out of whack”, or “I need to realign my chakras”? Yeah, what are they on about?

The Chopra Center describes it best as “wheels of energy throughout the body”.

So this idea that different areas of the body relate to different energies in our lives is what we’re talking about when it comes to chakras.

“These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy flows are restricted. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So is too with our bodies and the chakras. A bathtub is simple; it’s physical so the fix is easy.”

“What Is a Chakra?” – Michelle Fondin, Chopra.com

So we need to clear and realign our chakras in order to be functioning at our best. Sometimes the best way to do this is to use a guided meditation – if you use my favourite, the Insight Timer App, you’ll find a plentitude of meditations that guide you simply through the process of clearing and aligning the chakras.

But what do they do, exactly?

Look, none of this could be described as an exact science, but if you happen to believe in it, like I do, you will believe that the chakra points, as well as key points in your body, hold onto negative and stagnant energies that prevent you from feeling free, relaxed and fulfilled.

A silhouetted figure with chakra points lit up.

I think the above ‘bathtub’ analogy is pretty great – just like we use lymphatic drainage massage to release stagnant sh*t, and like we need to release what no longer serves us in order to move forward with our lives, we need to release the energy that’s sitting and festering in those chakra points to unburden ourselves and get on with the important sh*t we all have to do.

Okay, so where are these chakras?

An illustration of a person meditating with the chakras noted at each chakra point.

There are seven chakras in all. Each chakra is location at a different place in your body, and relates to a different area of your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

FIRST CHAKRA: MULADHARA

Illustration of Muladhara Chakra Mandala.

This is the chakra that relates to our basic needs. We start at the base of the spine, and we feel out the bladder, the colon and the first three vertebrae of the spine (from the bottom). It is sometimes referred to as the ‘root’ chakra – it connects us with the Earth.

SECOND CHAKRA: SVADHISTHANA

Illustration of Svadhisthana Chakra Mandala.

This chakra relates to sexuality (yay!) and creativity (YAY!). This is an important chakra. It sits between the navel and the pubic bone. This is where we hold sh*t that relates to our creative expression, and yes, that means that sexual expression and creative expression are linked.

This is also where our reproductive health sits. So if your period is killing you (for those of you who have periods), Svadhisthana might be worth revisiting.

THIRD CHAKRA: MANIPURA

Illustration of Manipura Chakra Mandala.

This is the chakra that links to that ‘gut instinct’ and the feeling of fire in the belly. It nestles from the bellybutton up to your breastbone. This is referred to as the ‘solar plexus’ chakra.

FOURTH CHAKRA: ANAHATA

Illustration of Anahata Chakra Mandala.

This one is important, because Anahata links the lower and the upper chakras – the physical and the spiritual. It’s like the mediator between body and spirit, if you like. This heart chakra is where we often bring our hands in prayer during a yoga or meditation session. Interestingly, this is also where Christians often hold their hands in prayer. Just a little crossover there for you. You may have noticed that the heart chakra is where you might physically feel emotional pain – again, it’s the meeting point of the physical and the emotional.

FIFTH CHAKRA: VISHUDDHA

Illustration of Vishuddha Chakra Mandala.

This is a really interesting chakra for me. I remember once someone telling me that the reason I was experiencing a hideous eczema outbreak on my upper chest between my clavicles was because I was holding in my feelings and not speaking my truth. Well – they were right.

The throat chakra is where we speak from. We bring our truths out through verbalisation, and when we have a blockage, we know it. Sore throat, froggy voice, weird, dull ache? TELL THE TRUTH. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. Don’t hold it in.

The fifth chakra deals with our mouths, throat, tongue, jaw, neck, thyroid and parathyroid glands (did I mention I was also really ill with a thyroid problem when I was younger?).

Basically – don’t hold stuff in. Release what no longer serves you. Fifth chakra.

SIXTH CHAKRA: AJNA

Illustration of Ajna Chakra Mandala.

This is also known at the ‘third eye’, which you’ve probably heard before. It’s about psychic knowing, about examining ourselves and the ‘sixth sense’ (OMG, see? It’s all connected). If you want to trust yourself more, and get comfortable with your own instincts and intuition, head right on into that third eye and have a long, hard look inside. You might be surprised at what you find.

SEVENTH CHAKRA: SAHASWARA

Illustration of Sahaswara Chakra mandala.

This is the chakra that sits on top of your head like the crown you deserve. This is where we connect to the Spirit, the higher self, Goddess/God, the spiritual Universe and is basically the top tier of chakras.

So now what do I do with them?

This is the fun bit – do some research! There is so much information around on chakras and what symptoms might be if yours are under or over active, and how to get them back where they should be. There are food recommendations, essential oil recommendations and all sorts.

So go forth, enjoy, and get those chakras back into line!

Namaste.

xxK

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