Chakra Balancing: The Basics
Updated: Apr 22, 2022
Spring is the time of year many associate with tidying up their home. The fresh feeling of an organized and clean living environment is one that most humans can appreciate.
Why not also take this time to clean up our bodies as well? Chakra balancing, or cleansing, is a fabulous way to check in with our body and mind.
A couple years ago, I took a continuing education class called, The Chakras: Mind, Body, and Spirit taught by licensed massage therapist, Marcia Phillips. This class and her accompanying book Seven Portals to Your Soul, had a tremendous impact on my life. This piece is meant as a short overview into what worked best for me, in the hopes that it could also help in some small way for you!
What are Chakras?
In traditional Indian medicine, there are seven focal points in the body that are connected energetically to organs in the endocrine system. These points are called chakras, which in ancient Sanskrit translates to “wheel of light.” Each chakra both transmits and receives energy. This is where the balancing part comes in. If one of these energy centers is out of alignment, we may be putting out, or taking in more energy than necessary for a healthy system.
It can be helpful to utilize chromotherapy (color therapy) when working with the chakras. Each chakra has a color associated with it. The acronym ROYGBIV, which helps us to memorize the sequence of hues that make up the rainbow, also applies to the order of the chakra colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
While you can work on the chakras in any order, it is thought to be most helpful to approach them from the ground up. In other words, focusing first on the root chakra, Muladhara, and slowly working all the way up to the crown chakra, Sahasrara. This makes sense because how can one expect to ascend (crown chakra) if they don’t first ground themselves (root chakra)? There are endless ways to balance out these energy centers, but first, let’s review the names, locations, and basic properties of each chakra.
Muladhara: 1st or Root Chakra
The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and the perineum. It is associated with the adrenal glands, and the color red. The name root offers up a helpful visual, as this chakra is the one that roots, or connects us to the earth. Key concepts: grounded, safe, abundance, security, basic needs, and at home in our bodies.
Svadhisthana: 2nd or Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra is located about two to three inches below the navel. It is associated with the reproductive organs, and the color orange. Key concepts: creativity, sexuality, sensuality, inspiration, emotions, relationships, and passion.
Manipura: 3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra is located a few inches below the sternum. It is associated with the pancreas and the color yellow. The Sanskrit name for this chakra, Manipura, translates to “city of gems” which gives us a great visual for the personal power we hold here. Key concepts: identity, action, opinion, intellect, power, confidence, and self esteem.
Anahata: 4th or Heart Chakra
Located at the sternum in the center of the chest, and associated with the thymus gland. It is associated with the color green, though many find it useful to also incorporate the color pink as it is a color so strongly associated with love. Key concepts: trust, compassion, connection, and finding the balance between love of self and others.
Vishuddha: 5th or Throat Chakra
This chakra is centered in the throat but it is also believed to encompass the mouth, jaw, ears, shoulders, and hands. It is associated with the thyroid gland and the color blue. Key concepts: communication, voice, expression, authenticity, purpose, and truth.
Ajna: 6th or Third Eye Chakra
Located between the eyebrows and associated with the pineal gland, and the color Indigo. This chakra is often referred to as the gateway to spiritual life. The third eye integrates information from all previous chakras into a unified and clear vision. Key concepts: intuition, dreams, psychic perceptions, manifestation, imagination, and foresight.
Sahasrara: 7th or Crown Chakra
As the name indicates, this chakra is located on the very top of the head, like a crown. Its energy shoots straight up towards the sky, and is associated with the pituitary gland and the colors violet and white. Key concepts: enlightenment, transcendence, connection to the divine, universal consciousness, higher self, and oneness.
How can we balance these chakras?
Now that we have an overview of each chakra on its own, let’s go over some balancing techniques you can play with and see what ones resonate for you. Visualization and chromotherapy are both very helpful here. Try to visualize each color shooting out of your body. While the root and crown chakra energies connect us down to the earth and up to the sky, the energy of the center five chakras projects through us from the front as well as the back. For example, when visualizing the throat chakra, picture the blue light projecting like a line out through the front of your throat and also through the back of your neck.
What are some techniques that we can use to balance our chakras?
Many find it helpful to use something often referred to as “The Rainbow Cloud” meditation. Finding a comfortable place to sit or lay down, visualize yourself floating on a cloud. Starting from the root chakra, red, visualize that cloud shifting through all of the colors of the rainbow. Allow each color to fully envelop your body before moving to the next.
Additionally, crystals can be a useful meditation tool. While each crystal has a myriad of historical meanings and energetic properties tied to it, choosing a crystal doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply select a crystal or two in the color scheme of the chakra you want to balance. Or try clear quartz which is often referred to as “The Universal Healer '' as it is energetically tied to all seven of the chakras.
During meditation, you can hold the crystal(s) in your hands for tactile stimulation or try placing them directly on the area of the body where the chakra is located. For the center five chakras, it can be beneficial to place one on each side of your body. For example, for the 6th chakra, try laying down and placing a blue crystal (Angelite is a great one) behind the neck and on the throat. Crystals also work well as visual and tangible cues that can be placed in your pocket or throughout your home, as a reminder of what chakra you are focusing on.
To fully utilize chromotherapy, you can saturate your life in the color associated with the chakra you want to focus on. Feeling like you could use some more grounding? Wear red clothing, decorate your home with roses, meditate while holding jasper or carnelian, and eat beets.
The last technique for now, is affirmations. You can try choosing a phrase to repeat to yourself, in your head or spoken out loud, during meditation or sporadically throughout the day. Try one from the following list, or come up with your own.
Root Chakra: “I am home, and the Universe supports me.”
Sacral Chakra: “I delight in my creativity, and honor my relationships.”
Solar Plexus Chakra: “I am powerful, and passionately live out my purpose.”
Heart Chakra: “I am loveable, and loving.”
Throat Chakra: “I know what I want to say, and exactly how I want to say it.”
Third Eye Chakra: “I dissolve all illusions, and trust my intuition.”
Crown Chakra: “I trust the guidance of my higher self, and am open to new possibilities.”
This compilation is meant as a jumping off point. The information available on chakras is abundant.
There are specific yoga poses, musical keys, mantras, chants, and essential oils believed to be connected to each chakra. So if this interests you, there is no shortage of ways you can dive deeper. Chakra balancing, like many things in the spiritual realm, can be deeply personal and what works for one, may not click with another.
It can be insightful to learn more about these basics, but it is equally important to trust your instincts and do what works best for you.
Happy Spring and Happy Healing to you!
By: Amanda Rae
Massage Licensed Therapist at ANH Wellness