Have you ever balanced your checkbook and felt overwhelmed? Had a great idea that wouldn’t take flight? Problems with digestion? Lost your voice right before your turn to speak?
Developing awareness of your chakras might help you find balance in moments like these.
The chakras are energy centers in the body responsible for our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Imagine spinning wheels of colored light strung along the center of your spine. Meditation, breath and yoga practices assist in creating balance, and releasing blockages in the chakras. And the good news is, it’s not as hard as you think.
The muladhara chakra is located at the base of your pelvis, and represents home, health and wealth. Changes in your career, finances, or health can create an imbalance, which may manifest as fear, anxiety, nightmares, and even digestive issues.
TRY THIS: MALASANA
Come to a low squat with toes and knees turned out. Bring palms together at your heart, pressing elbows into inner thighs. Deeply inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth, allowing your body to get heavy. Take several breaths like this. Do you feel more grounded? This also helps aid digestion.
THE DWELLING PLACE OF THE SELF
Svadhisthana is located at the “womb center” and represents creativity, sexuality, and willingness to take risks, be playful, and follow
your deepest dreams. We often have stifled creativity from being told we didn’t color, paint, or sing it “right” as children. Imbalances manifest as fear of change, depression and addiction.
TRY THIS: SPINAL ROLLING
Sit cross legged on the ground. Place your hands on your knees, and begin to make circles with your spine, rotating around the center of your tailbone. Try clock-wise for 8-10 breaths, and then rotate the other way. Do you feel more connected to your innate purpose and flow?
JEWEL OF ABUNDANCE
Manipura chakra is located at your solar plexus, where the ribs and sternum meet. In balance, it provides empowerment, confidence and the capacity to transform. Out of balance, it manifests as low self-esteem, indecision, and anger/control issues.
TRY THIS: BELLOWS BREATH
Sit cross legged on the ground with your spine straight. Inhale through your nose, and expand your belly like a balloon. Exhale forcefully through your nose, and pull your belly towards your spine. Once you get the rhythm, increase the pace. Do you feel tingly, or more alive around your belly button?
ANAHATA (AH-NAH-HAH-TAH) UNSTRUCK
Anahata chakra is located at the center of the heart. Its translation, “unstruck,” refers to the pureness of your heart where no suffering or pain exists. Balance translates as compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and others. Imbalances show up as distrust, jealousy, hatred, or fear of betrayal.
TRY THIS: HAPPINESS PRACTICE
For one whole day, practice smiling at everyone you meet, even strangers. Send notes of appreciation to friends and family. Stand in nature with your arms spread wide, heart lifted, embracing the world, breathing in love. Does your heart feel lighter?
VISHUDDHA (VISH-OO-DAH) PURITY
Vishuddha chakra is located at the throat center, and allows you to speak your truth. When in balance, you bravely sing your song, share your idea, or tell your beloved how much they mean to you. When you tell people what they want to hear instead of the truth, vishuddha might be out of balance.
TRY THIS: SPHINX POSE
Lay on your belly with elbows under shoulders, palms spread wide — like a sphinx. Press your pelvis into the earth as you draw your chest forward. Inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale with an open mouth, drawing tongue to chin with a “haaa” sound (like a lion roaring). Do you feel more open to speak your truth?
AJNA (AHG-NEEAH) BEYOND WISDOM
Ajna chakra is located at the third eye, and is responsible for intuition. This “sixth sense” opens us to clairvoyance, lucid dreaming, telepathy, and imagination. Imbalances cause memory issues, headaches, and feeling judgmental or overly intellectual.
TRY THIS: CHILD’S POSE
Come onto hands and knees. Sink your hips back towards your heels, and extend your arms out long, forehead to the earth. Inhale and bring your attention to your third eye; exhale and sink deeper inward.
THOUSAND PETALED LOTUS
Located at the crown of the head, this chakra is the center for enlightenment and wisdom. Balance provides a deep sense of awareness and connection. Imbalances occur when we become skeptical and cynical about the purpose of life.
TRY THIS: RABBIT POSE
From hands and knees, move your hands closer to your knees. Place your forehead on the earth. Roll from the forehead to your crown, inhaling and exhaling. If this feels good, root your crown to the earth and reach back to grab the arches of your feet. Sometimes this change of perspective brings new wisdom.