Each year, U.S. consumers spend nearly $30 billion in various forms of medication. For those interested in alternative or complementary forms of treatment, it’s important to first understand the seven chakras and how they affect your body and soul. This beginner’s guide to the seven chakras will help you begin your spiritual journey on the right foot.
What Are Chakras?
Originating in spiritual traditions of Eastern cultures, many consider chakras to be the basis of human existence. In these traditions, a chakra represents a center of energy that aids the human body in a variety of processes, from physical to emotional control.
The word chakra has its origins in Sanskrit, meaning “wheel” due to its association as a spinning vortex of energy interacting with different systems within the body. Though some presume there to be 12 chakras, most beliefs center around seven main chakras, each aligned with a specific area of the body.
The Seven Chakras & How They Effect the Mind, Body and Soul
Starting off our beginner’s guide to the seven chakras is the root chakra, which is located at the base of the spine. Believers commonly associate this chakra with the color red and base its energy on earth elements.
This chakra helps us establish our spiritual roots, grounding us to the earth and providing us with a sense of security that’s necessary to form a strong foundation for our lives.
This chakra is also commonly associated with our most basic human needs, such as food, shelter, sleep, and survival. Because the root chakra is such an important anchor for your spiritual energy to the physical world, if it’s imbalanced, you may experience feelings of disillusion.
Additionally, a misaligned root chakra can lead to feelings of insecurity and your behaviors may become dominated by fear. Grounding, earth-centered activities can help you heal and open your root chakra. Hiking, gardening, and other activities that involve communing with nature will help you re-center yourself with the earth and open your root chakra.
You can find the second chakra just a few inches below your belly button, in the center of your lower belly. Often associated with the color orange, the sacral chakra affects our body’s emotional responses, as well as creativity and sensuality.
This chakra derives its power from water, causing it to have a flowing and highly flexible energy. The sacral chakra is also responsible for feelings of pleasure, which can be triggered by any of our five senses.
As such, an open sacral chakra allows us to better tap into each of our senses so that we may experience the world in a more pleasurable manner. Conversely, a closed sacral chakra can lead to feelings of numbness and apathy for the world around us.
Awaken your senses and open your sacral chakra through vibrant scents or tactile activities. This will get your body’s energy flowing again and you will be able to experience the world with a new sense of wonder.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Just above the sacral chakra, in the upper section of the belly, lies the solar plexus chakra. Individuals associate this chakra with the color yellow which, due to its base element of fire, may sometimes appear in a golden yellow or yellow-red hue.
This bright and fiery chakra is frequently associated with independence, confidence, and self-discipline. The solar plexus chakra has a strong connection to your sense of personal identity. As such, it can have a large impact on your chosen life goals and the steps you take to reach them.
An imbalanced solar plexus chakra can manifest itself in a few different ways. It may cause a lack of ambition or loss of purpose or it may cause you to exert excessive control over your life, leading you to obsess over minor details.
Introspective activities such as meditation can help you re-center your solar plexus chakra and establish an even stronger sense of self.
As one may expect, the heart chakra resides in the center of your chest, right near the heart. Rather than the typical pink and red hue characterization of hearts, the heart chakra is instead associated with the color green.
This chakra’s base element is air, creating energy filled with breath, spaciousness, and connection with all things—earthly and divine. Fittingly, the heart chakra is responsible for our feelings of love and connection and can have a strong influence on our personal relationships.
If your heart chakra is improperly balanced, you may begin to experience feelings of jealousy or a fear of intimacy, which can severely hinder your romantic relationships.
One way to heal and open your heart chakra is through positive self-affirmations, as loving relationships often begin by loving yourself.
The throat chakra, located at the center of the neck, acts somewhat like a gatekeeper, passing energy between the lower chakras and the head.
It relates to the element of sound, as the throat plays an important part in communication and appears as a light blue or turquoise color. The throat chakra holds the key to expression and the ability to speak your truth.
An imbalance of your throat chakra, however, can cause you to lose control over your speech, which can cause things like speaking excessively or experiencing a fear of speaking in front of groups. You may also begin to use your voice in harmful ways, such as telling lies or being verbally aggressive.
Drinking water is a simple way to heal the throat chakra and cleanse it of any negative energy. Singing or humming can also help loosen your vocal cords and open this chakra.
Third Eye Chakra
The sixth chakra is the third eye chakra. The color indigo represents this chakra, which sits between your eyebrows in the center of your forehead. This chakra relates to the supreme element—a combination of all elements in their purest form.
The third eye chakra is the center of our intuition, driven by openness and imagination. Due to this openness, it is also responsible for any psychic abilities, including clairvoyance or clairaudience, allowing us to access further dimensions and detect subtle energies.
An imbalanced third eye chakra may cause you to close yourself off from anything spiritual and you may begin to sense a lack of clarity in your life and purpose.
To awaken your third eye chakra, begin by grounding yourself and embracing silence. A quiet moment of peace will allow you to better visualize your dreams and your purpose will become clearer.
Gracing the top of your body’s temple is the crown chakra, which sits at the top of the head. This chakra materializes as the color white—a combination of each of the other chakras’ colors—but more commonly as a deep purple.
Radiating toward the heavens, this chakra offers an awareness of higher consciousness, communion with the divine, and feelings of perfect bliss.
When something is blocking your crown chakra, you may feel a disconnect from the spiritual world, perhaps even experiencing a bit of cynicism toward all things spiritual.
Since your crown chakra intensely connects to the spiritual world, the best way to realign this chakra is through meditation. Incorporating aromatherapy and meditating alongside an amethyst cathedral geode can help you reach an even higher realm of enlightenment. Additionally, it can help you form a stronger connection with the spiritual world.
Crystals & Chakra Healing
Keeping your chakras perfectly balanced can be a difficult feat, especially with the constant stresses of daily life. If you begin to feel a misalignment of your chakras, it’s important to take a step back and breathe.
Meditation can be an extremely beneficial tool in realigning your chakras. Pairing your meditation practice with certain healing stones will enable you to better target specific chakras and awaken all aspects of your mind, body, and soul. We've written a whole article on how to use crystals for chakra healing here.
* Crystals and stones should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please read our full disclaimer notice here.