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.
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 areas of the body. His research found a correlation between the electrical activity in meridians and the life force flowing through them.
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 chakra centers to promote a more balanced, harmonious life.
What Are Chakras?
Whether you're casually acquainted with chakras or they're already part of your spiritual practice, it's essential to understand how they can impact your life.
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 contains knowledge on the chakra system.
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.
Navigating Your Chakra System
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.
We know our physical bodies will adapt to maintain a sense of homeostasis if we injure ourselves or have an accident. Our chakra system follows suit. 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 of them. 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 combine all of the above or pick and choose what works best for you.
Let's examine each chakra in more depth and see how they affect your life. You'll feel empowered knowing how to nurture yourself on a profound level.
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. This is where identifying chakra imbalances comes in.
Having a sense of belonging and standing up for yourself are related to the Muladhara. Codependent tendencies and a fear of abandonment or insecurity are signs the root chakra is underactive.
An overactive Muladhara presents itself as 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 acts as the foundation for all others.
In your body, the root chakra is associated with your legs, feet, bones, and immune system. 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 root chakra is by working with chakra stones. Here are a few that work well with this lower chakra:
Next on the list is your second chakra, the Svadhisthana. Second 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 second chakra 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, large intestines, and bladder. Ignoring this chakra could show up as 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:
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 shy or 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 this energy center 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. Try holding them in your palm or laying them on your navel to stimulate your third chakra. Crystals that may help are:
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 Myss. Perrakis notes 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 including 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 make excellent choices:
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 expressing yourself, extreme introversion, and feelings of discomfort when you discuss your needs with others. All could mean your Vishuddha is underactive.
Overactive throat chakras look like gossip, being verbally abusive, repeatedly interrupting others, and not listening.
The fifth chakra 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 TLC, wear a piece of gemstone jewelry or carry a stone in your pocket. Any of the following can help you connect with this energy center:
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 (pronounced ahn-yuh) chakra and focuses on your mind, intuition, and insight.
Hints you're experiencing a sluggish third-eye chakra involves 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 Ajna. You might feel as if you're floating through your life and not really experiencing it.
Your sixth chakra is associated with your pineal gland and pituitary gland. Other areas of your body governed by this energy center are your nervous system, brain, nose, and 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:
The last chakra on our list is the crown chakra. As its name suggests, this chakra is 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 the link you have with your spiritual practice and the ability to trust in something greater than yourself.
Being turned off by spirituality, 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:
Understanding Chakra Meanings for Spiritual Connection
One way you can deepen the connection you have to your spiritual self is to explore chakra meanings. By taking time to learn about your body's energy system, you can understand the role it plays in your life. Balancing and strengthening these areas can transform, restore, and harmonize your energy.