Chakra Meaning: Understanding Your Sacred Energy System

Throughout your wellness journey, you've probably heard someone mention chakras a time or two. Maybe it's been in a yoga class or a discussion about energy healing.
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The concept of an unseen energetic system isn't new, nor is it only found in a yogic context. Indian Ayurvedic medicine refers to nadis or the energy channels in the human body, and Traditional Chinese Medicine similarly works with meridians.

While we're still waiting on more scientific evidence about these energy centers, there's some promising research. In the late 1970s, Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama developed a specific instrument for measuring electrical conductivity in certain body areas. His research found a correlation between the electrical activity in meridians and the life force flowing through them.

Whether you're casually acquainted with chakras or they're already part of your spiritual practice, understanding your chakras and their impact on your life and physical health is essential. 

In this guide, you'll learn about chakra meanings and how they relate to your overall well-being and energy. You'll also get some tips on which gemstones support each of your seven main chakras to promote a more balanced, harmonious life.

Chakra Definition

In Sanskrit, “chakra” means wheel, and refers to various energy centers in the human body. When your chakras are open and balanced, there's a flow of energy and ease. When there's a blockage or the energy is stagnant, you may notice resistance or tension.

Even if it may seem as though chakras emerged as part of the New Age movement, their history dates back thousands of years. In her book, "The Ultimate Guide to Chakras," Athena Perrakis shares how the modern chakra system can be traced to the Vedas, a sacred Indian text. There are four Vedic texts, including the Upanishads, which contain knowledge on the chakras.

Various lineages believe there could be anywhere from 50 to 108 energetic centers in the body and aura. For now, we'll focus on the seven main chakras. Each chakra represents a part of the body, psyche, and spirit, making it truly holistic.

It's important to know your subtle energy system because it allows you to identify an imbalance before there's an issue. 

Think of your chakra system as your home. With a strong foundation, you know everything you continue building is sound. Your chakras function in the same way. When your energy centers are balanced from the root chakra to your crown chakra, you'll have a different experience than if they are out of alignment. 

Your physical body will adapt to maintain a sense of homeostasis if you injure yourself or have an accident. The chakras work similarly. Some of your energy centers could become overactive to compensate for one that isn't functioning at its peak. You'll want to keep the energy channel from the base of your spine to the top of your head unblocked, as it allows your prana (the Sanskrit word for “life force energy”) to move freely.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to support your major chakras. Spend some time exploring chakra colors or learning about the different chakra symbols to develop a deeper awareness. Chakra balancing is something you can practice when you need to address energy flow. Gemstones and essential oils are also beautiful additions to chakra work. You can also attend a yoga class to learn yoga poses and breathing exercises that help with balancing your chakras. You can combine all of the above or pick one that works best for your seven chakras. 

Let's examine each chakra energy in more depth and see how they affect your life. You'll feel empowered knowing how to nurture yourself on a profound level.

Root chakra

The root chakra (also called your first chakra) is located at the base of your spine, where your kundalini energy lies. This chakra is also known by its Sanskrit name, the Muladhara. According to medical intuitive Caroline Myss in "Anatomy of the Spirit," chakras represent spiritual lessons. By understanding each one, you gain personal power and self-knowledge that's integrated into your soul.

Your root chakra addresses themes around the material world, like feelings of security and personal safety. If you know whether a chakra is overactive or underactive, you can do something to correct it. The first step is to identify chakra imbalances. 

Codependent tendencies, fear of abandonment, or insecurity are signs the root chakra is underactive. Having a sense of belonging and standing up for yourself are related to the Muladhara.

An overactive Muladhara presents feelings of anxiousness, ungroundedness, resistance to change, insecurity, and greediness. 

Because each chakra affects the others, it's crucial to spend time healing the Muladhara since it is the foundation for all others.

The root chakra is associated with your legs, feet, bones, pelvic floor, and immune system in your body. Chronic lower back pain, depression, sciatica, and immune-related disorders are considered physical manifestations of an imbalance in this chakra. You might even feel anxious or nervous.

A helpful way to support your Muladhara is by working with chakra stones. Here are a few that work well with this lower chakra:

Sacral chakra

Next on the list is your second chakra, the Svadhisthana or sacral chakra. Sacral chakra challenges revolve around creativity, sexuality, work, and physical desires. Issues of money, power, and control are also connected to this energy center. 

Signs that your sacral chakra may be underactive include an inability to pursue creative endeavors, addictions to drama, and a lack of sex drive or personal boundaries. If you're someone who finds themselves caught up in others' affairs and wants to change the situation, pay attention to your sacral chakra.

An overactive Svadhisthana may lead to uncertainty about self-worth, feeling disconnected from other people, and having low self-esteem. 

The sacral chakra is associated with your sexual organs, pelvis and hip area, lymphatic system, large intestines, and bladder. Ignoring this chakra could show continual lower back or pelvic pain, urinary troubles, sexual potency, or OB/GYN-related problems. 

If you're interested in building a crystal healing kit for yourself, be sure to include these gemstones to connect with your sacral chakra:

You can also balance your Svadhisthana with yoga poses like the goddess pose, reverse warrior pose, and the seated forward bend pose.

Solar plexus chakra

Also called the Manipura chakra, solar plexus chakra, or navel chakra, the third chakra shines a light on self-esteem, self-worth, personal power, personality, and ego.

Practicing inadequate restraint, feeling a lack of self-confidence, and being timid are indicators of an underactive navel chakra. Slacking off with self-care practices might be another marker of blocked energy.

Conversely, an overactive third chakra will reveal itself as domineering or bossy personality traits, perfectionism, anger, and being sharply critical. All are signs that the solar plexus chakra needs some attention. 

Organs related to the navel chakra include the stomach and abdomen area, upper intestines, gallbladder, adrenal glands, spleen, middle spine, and liver. Suffering from arthritis, intestinal issues, upset stomach, eating disorders, adrenal fatigue, or liver problems may be physical expressions of energetic stagnancy.

Think about introducing healing stones into your meditation practice to fight self-doubt. Try holding them in your palm or laying them on your navel to stimulate your solar plexus chakra. Crystals that may help are:

You can balance your solar plexus chakra with the bow pose, prayer pose, and cobra pose.

Heart chakra

Your fourth chakra, or the Anahata, is the meeting point between your upper and lower chakras. Everything relating to self-love and love for others, compassion, forgiveness, and self-centeredness is the home of the heart chakra, according to Perrakis, on how your Anahata chakra also deals with grief and heartache. 

Are you prone to holding grudges against others, feel lonely, or have trouble opening up to other people? If so, you might have an underactive heart center.

On the flipside, overactivity in the heart chakra makes it hard for you to maintain boundaries with others, have a sense of self in relationships, and love tends to be clingy and all-consuming. 

Unsurprisingly, your fourth chakra governs your heart and lungs, shoulders and arms, ribs, diaphragm, and thymus gland. A neglected heart chakra can show up in various ways, such as heart issues, pain in your upper shoulders and back, and allergies. 

A perfect way to use crystals for your heart chakra would be to include them in self-care practice. Taking a hot bath with Epsom salt is a lovely way to care for yourself. Light a candle and keep a few crystals nearby. The following crystals make excellent choices for the heart chakra:

Yoga poses for balancing the heart chakra include the camel pose, cat/cow pose, and cobra pose.

Throat chakra

Communication is central to the throat chakra. Also known as the Vishuddha, the fifth chakra handles will and self-expression.

Keep a lookout for any tendencies toward shyness, trouble speaking your mind, extreme introversion, and feelings of discomfort when you discuss your needs with others. All could mean your throat chakra is underactive. 

Overactive throat chakras look like gossip, being verbally abusive, repeatedly interrupting others, and not listening. 

The Vishuddha correlates with your throat, thyroid, mouth, teeth and gums, parathyroid, and hypothalamus. Chronic sore throats, problems with your teeth and gums, swollen glands, and thyroid dysfunction may be related to a blocked throat chakra. 

When you want to give your throat chakra some energetic tender loving care, wear a piece of gemstone jewelry or carry a stone in your pocket. Any of the following can help you connect with the throat chakra:

You can also balance your Vishuddha with the plow pose, fish pose, and shoulder stand.

Third-Eye chakra

When you think of wisdom and intuition, you're tapping into lessons of the third eye chakra. Your sixth chakra is also called the Ajna chakra (pronounced ahn-yuh) and focuses on your mind, intuition, and insight. 

Hints you're experiencing a sluggish third-eye chakra involve feeling anxious or cut off from your inner wisdom, struggling with the present moment, and having a fixed mindset. 

Trouble focusing or feeling disconnected and ungrounded are telltale hallmarks of an overactive third eye. You might feel as if you're floating through your life and not really experiencing it. 

Your third eye chakra is associated with your pineal gland and pituitary gland. Other body areas governed by this energy center are your nervous system, brain, nose, eyes, and ears. Markers that something is off-balance in this chakra may look like spinal problems, neurological disturbances, and learning disabilities.

Arrange a crystal grid in your meditation space or on an altar. Even if you're relaxing by reading a book or indulging in a rejuvenating yoga practice, you'll benefit from the gemstone's healing energy. Any of these stones will support your third-eye chakra:

Yoga poses like the child's pose, legs up the wall, and candle gazing also help balance the third eye chakra.

Crown chakra

The last chakra on our list is the crown chakra. As its name suggests, this chakra is physically located at the crown of the head. Your seventh chakra, or Sahasrara, is your connection to the universe. Your crown chakra's strength directly impacts your spiritual connection and the ability to trust in something greater than yourself.

Being turned off by spirituality, lacking spiritual awareness, failing to meet goals, or having confusion about what you're doing with your life are symptoms of an underactive crown chakra.

By contrast, getting lost in spirituality and struggling with balancing your emotions represent an overactive energy center.

In your body, your Sahasrara is associated with your muscular and skeletal systems and your skin. When stagnant energy has lingered too long, you could experience energetic disorders, exhaustion without a medical reason, and sensitivities to your environment. 

Nurture your crown chakra with gemstones. Tuck a crystal under your pillow at night or keep a geode on your nightstand. Any of these will work to support your seventh chakra:

You can balance your crown chakra with the lotus pose, rabbit pose, and corpse pose.

Understand Chakras And Their Meanings For Spiritual Connection

One way you can deepen the connection you have to your spiritual self is to explore the meaning of chakras. By taking time to learn about the seven chakras, you can understand their role in your life. Balancing and strengthening these areas can transform, restore, and harmonize your energy. 

Check out the 7 chakra healing tassel for balancing your seven chakras!

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