If you are familiar with practices like yoga or meditation, you have likely heard about chakras. On the surface, chakras are easily integrated into these whole-body practices. However, additional exploration is necessary to understand what the chakras are and recognize when they are unbalanced.
Here, we’ll take a deeper look into the body’s chakras, their symbolic meaning, and how to recognize when one or more chakras are misaligned.
What Are Chakras?
Translated from its Sanskrit origin, the word chakra means disk or wheel. They are linked to the spiritual side of existence. The seven chakras run through the body, from the top of the head to the base of the spine.
As the name suggests, chakras are energy wheels that can be affected by both internal and external stressors. This inhibition is referred to as a “blocked chakra,” and it restricts the body’s flow of energy. The belief is that each chakra is tied to a physical part of the body, and blockages cause adverse symptoms to occur.
Determining which chakras are unbalanced involves both noticing the associated symptoms as well as identifying what factors may have caused the chakra to become blocked in the first palace. Once a block is identified, one can then begin to address it.
Balanced chakras are important for spiritual and physical wellbeing, though there has not been much scientific study of the subject. To balance the chakras, many people rely on the knowledge of yoga practitioners, reiki healers, textual resources, and others who are well-versed in the subject.
Determining the State of Your Chakras
Even though there are seven distinct chakras, each one works within a system. In effect, when one chakra is blocked or unbalanced, it impacts every other chakra.
Finding out which chakras are unbalanced can be as simple as accessing online quizzes that ask a series of questions to help you determine whether you have any blockages. Once a blockage is identified, many online resources will suggest further reading, essential oils, or dietary changes that can help balance your chakra(s).
It is common for online resources to first define each chakra then proceed with a list of characteristics of a healthy chakra vs. an unbalanced one. The following list is a general guide to each chakra:
1. The Root Chakra
Located near the base of the spine, the root chakra is considered the foundation of the spiritual self. Providing both support and a feeling of security, the root chakra is linked to basic life-sustaining things like food, water, shelter, and safety.
How to tell if your root chakra is blocked: Common signs that your root chakra is blocked include mental symptoms like frequent nightmares and increased anxiety as well as physical issues like lower back pain and digestive disturbances.
2. The Sacral Chakra
This chakra is located between the pubic bone and the naval and is regarded as the chakra that rules both positive and negative emotions. The things that bring us pleasure, such as our hobbies or our families, are ruled by the sacral chakra.
How to tell if your sacral chakra is blocked: Feeling uninspired is one of the hallmark traits of a blocked sacral chakra. An unbalanced sacral chakra is also linked to physical symptoms like sexual dysfunction and mental disturbances like depression.
3. The Solar Plexus Chakra
Located between the top of the navel and the bottom of the ribcage, the solar plexus is believed to rule the metabolic and digestive systems on the physical side and one’s self-esteem on the mental/spiritual side.
How to tell if your solar plexus chakra is unbalanced: If you have trouble making decisions, have frequent bouts of self-doubt, or are procrastinating more than usual, your solar plexus chakra might be blocked. Physical symptoms include digestive issues like poor appetite or an upset stomach.
4. The Heart Chakra
The heart chakra is located at the center of the chest and is sometimes confused with the solar plexus chakra. Linked to the lungs and endocrine systems, the heart chakra represents the physical and mental planes intersecting.
How to tell if your heart chakra is blocked: An unbalanced heart chakra can manifest as frequent, uncontrollable anger or grief. A person with a blocked heart chakra may find it hard to relate to people and sometimes come across as cold or distant.
5. The Throat Chakra
Located at the base of the throat, the throat chakra is associated with your ability to express yourself through words, even in challenging situations. The throat chakra also rules willpower.
How to tell if your throat chakra is blocked: An unbalanced throat chakra may make self-expression difficult, whether it comes to writing or speaking. This may cause people to feel out of control or lacking in willpower. Physically, it can cause a sore throat, ear infections, or neck and shoulder pain.
6. The Third Eye Chakra
Located between the eyebrows, the third eye chakra is linked to the lower part of your brain and the pituitary gland. The third eye chakra rules intuition and is considered a portal between yourself and the outside world.
How to know if your third eye chakra is blocked: When the third eye chakra is blocked or unbalanced, you may find it hard to remember things—both important and minuscule—and you might find that you are less likely to engage with other people.
7. The Crown Chakra
At the top of the head, the crown chakra rules our highest self and our connection to a higher power. The crown chakra governs self-realization and spiritual enlightenment.
How to know if your crown chakra is unbalanced: A person with an unbalanced crown chakra may feel that they do not know where they are going in life and might lack the motivation to make things happen.
Balancing Your Chakras
The above information may seem like a lot to take in but balancing your chakras doesn’t have to be difficult. Use the guide above to determine which chakras could be out of alignment and learn about small ways to gradually achieve balance.
Try engaging in guided meditation specifically tailored to address specific imbalances or take an online or in-person yoga class a few times a week to achieve overall alignment. No matter what approach you use, simply being aware of the seven chakras and their meanings is a step in the right direction.