People today are becoming increasingly aware that we are much more than a physical body or a busy mind. New fields of science, with quantum physics leading the way, are proving that everything — including ourselves — is made up of energy.
For thousands of years, Eastern medicine — including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine — has recognized humans as a whole, inseparable combination of body, mind, and soul.
According to Hindu and yogic tradition, we have an energy system where prana — our vital force — flows to all parts of our body. This theory asserts that within this system are larger energy centers where a higher concentration of arteries, veins, and nerves exist. These locations are called chakras.
Chakras, meaning "wheels" in Sanskrit, are pools of energy with specific vibrations and colors that influence not only different physical regions of the body, but also emotional and spiritual well-being. Even though it's said we have 114 of these centers spread throughout our body, in the chakra system there are seven major areas:
- Root chakra: located at the base of the spine
- Sacral chakra: found in the navel region
- Solar plexus chakra: situated in the belly button area
- Heart chakra: located at the center of the chest
- Throat chakra: comprises the shoulder and neck areas
- Third eye chakra: found between the eyebrows
- Crown chakra: resides at the top of the head
In this guide, you'll learn about what might block these energy centers, the importance of chakra cleansing, and what you can do to keep them open and balanced. At the very end, you'll find a simple but powerful chakra cleansing meditation that can relieve stress, help you feel grounded, and align your energy.
What Blocks Chakras?
Many factors contribute to a blocked chakra, and you might be surprised to learn that they are quite similar to those linked to physical disease.
For example, eating processed foods and not exercising may compromise the proper functioning of your energetic system. Likewise, holding on to painful emotions and old beliefs that keep you feeling stuck and unable to move forward can block your chakras and create stagnant energy.
Here are some examples of energy-dense emotions and their corresponding chakras:
- Root chakra: Fear, trauma, eating disorders
- Sacral chakra: Emotional instability, addiction behaviors, fear of change
- Solar plexus chakra: Bullying, lack of self-worth, mental, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse
- Heart chakra: Stress, emotional pain, grief, unhealed emotional wounds, overthinking
- Throat chakra: Low self-esteem, self-expression issues, fear of speaking your truth
- Third eye chakra: A closed mind, blind obedience, not questioning your reality
- Crown chakra: Overactive ego, deeply rooted negative beliefs, lack of meaningful relationships
It's critical to identify and recognize these behaviors and patterns. When you do, you can focus on which energy centers you need to cleanse and begin to make positive changes.
The Importance of Chakra Cleansing
Closed or unaligned chakras can wreak havoc on you emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Keeping your energy flowing through clear and unobstructed paths is crucial to experience vitality, high energy levels, and a healthy appetite for life.
It's believed that a blocked chakra stops the flow of energy, affecting you both psychologically and emotionally. If left unattended or unresolved, these issues could develop into physical symptoms that might lead to more significant health issues.
You can unblock and balance your energy centers using various chakra healing techniques. Meditation, yoga poses (also known as asanas), reiki, mindfulness, healthy eating, and healing chakra stones are all powerful ways to get stagnant energy flowing.
The Seven Chakras: A Beginner's Guide to Clearing Your Energy
In this section, you'll learn about each chakra, their mantra sound (which will be useful for the chakra cleansing meditation), and dietary considerations to keep your energy flowing and your chakras nourished. You'll also find a list of crystals and their meanings that help unblock and balance each particular chakra. Of course, always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet.
Root Chakra (Muladhara)
The root chakra is the first chakra and its vibration is closely linked with your survival instincts and how you connect with your physical body.
- Color: Red or black
- Element: Earth
- Mantra: Lam
- Root chakra cleansing foods: Root vegetables like potatoes, beetroots, carrots, radishes, onions, parsnips, and garlic are considered nourishing sources for your root chakra. Protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, nut butter (peanut butter), tofu, and soy products are also energetically grounding choices. Red-colored foods such as red apples, tomatoes, pomegranates, and strawberries are all delicious and nutrient-dense foods that work well with your root chakra's vibration.
- Root chakra herbs and spices: Chives, cayenne, paprika, pepper, and horseradish
- Root chakra healing crystals: Black tourmaline, obsidian, ruby, red agate, and hematite
Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana)
Your second energy center, or Svadhisthana, is related to your emotional and creative side. It’s also where your sexual energy — also known as kundalini — is generated and stored.
- Color: Orange
- Element: Water
- Mantra: Vam
- Sacral chakra balancing foods: Orange-hued fruits like mango, passion fruit, peaches, oranges, and apricots are all nourishing examples that can support and balance this chakra. Other functional foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, orange peppers, salmon, and coconut water. Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, and sesame seeds are said to be especially beneficial for this energy center.
- Sacral chakra herbs and spices: Cinnamon and vanilla
- Sacral chakra healing crystals: Orange calcite, carnelian, goldstone, and red aventurine
Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
Manipura is all about tapping into your personal power and self-esteem. Its vibration connects you with your ego and willpower.
- Color: Yellow
- Element: Fire
- Mantra: Ram
- Solar plexus chakra balancing foods: Complex carbohydrates like oats, rice, spelt, and beans are said to be excellent foods to nourish your solar plexus chakra. Flax seeds and sunflower seeds also help to support this energy center, while dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt can aid in keeping the third chakra energy unblocked. Yellow foods like bananas, corn, squash, and lemons can be very beneficial for the Manipura.
- Solar plexus herbs and spices: Mint, chamomile, cumin, fennel, turmeric, and ginger
- Solar plexus chakra crystals: Amber, citrine tiger's eye, topaz, and rutilated quartz
Heart Chakra (Anahata)
The heart chakra is where your self-esteem and self-love vibrate. An open Anahata encourages healthy emotional sharing with others and unconditional love for yourself and all living beings.
- Color: Pink or green
- Element: Air
- Mantra: Yam
- Heart chakra cleansing foods: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are fantastic functional foods that may keep the Anahata balanced. Other green-colored foods like broccoli, cabbage, celery, zucchini, peas, cucumber, avocado, limes, and kiwis are great choices to support the heart chakra's optimal energy.
- Heart chakra herbs and spices: Basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, and green tea
- Heart chakra healing crystals: Rose quartz, malachite, rhodochrosite, and unakite
Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
The blue chakra's vibe is associated with your ability to communicate and express yourself. An open Vishuddha teaches you to take responsibility for your life and encourages you to speak your truth.
- Color: Blue
- Element: Akasha or Ether
- Mantra: Ham
- Throat chakra balancing foods: Foods believed to support the proper function and vibration of Vishuddha include water, natural fruit juices, herbal teas, and coconut water. Blue-colored fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, and plums are also beneficial to the throat chakra. Some say fruits that grow on trees, like pears and apples, may also help keep this communication center clear.
- Throat chakra healing crystals: Sodalite, apatite, lapis lazuli, chrysocolla, and turquoise
Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
The third eye chakra is where your subconscious and conscious mind meet. When this chakra is unblocked and active, you can reach deeper into inner wisdom and get important insights about who you are and what you want in life.
- Color: Indigo or violet
- Element: Light or a combination of all elements
- Mantra: Om
- Third eye chakra balancing foods: Purple foods such as blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, purple cabbage, and eggplant are thought to clear and energize the Ajna. Raw cacao is also a superfood that deeply nourishes the third eye chakra. It's rich in flavonoids and boosts serotonin, which can lower stress levels and fight inflammation.
- Third eye chakra herbs and spices: Poppy seeds
- Third eye chakra healing crystals: Amethyst, fluorite, charoite, and lepidolite
Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
The last energy center is located at the crown of the head, where you connect with the universe and communicate with your higher consciousness.
- Color: White, purple, or multicolored
- Element: Thought or cosmic energy
- Mantra: Om
- Crown chakra cleansing foods: Contrary to the other chakras, it’s believed that the Sahasrara benefits more from fasting and detoxifying. Fasting has a spiritual connotation in some Eastern religions, as the body flushes out toxins as well as negative energies, emotions, and old beliefs. Using essential oils, smudging herbs, or burning incense may be a great way to keep the crown chakra activated and balanced.
- Crown chakra herbs and spices: Sage, frankincense, lavender, and juniper
- Crown chakra healing crystals: Clear quartz, moonstone, selenite, and Herkimer diamond
Chakra Cleansing Meditation
Chakra meditation is one of the most powerful ways to cleanse and balance chakras. This practice is not only a trusted technique to unblock your energy centers, but it can also help you manage stress and anxiety.
Chakra cleansing meditation can be done once a week. Use it to restore energetic balance, or as part of deeper crystal healing therapy to treat more significant blockages and unaligned chakras.
Before you start, choose a quiet and comfortable place and read through the meditation guidelines:
- If you have your chakra healing stones, lie down and position each crystal close to its respective chakra. If you don’t have any crystals, choose a position in which you're most comfortable, either sitting or lying down.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath. With each exhale, feel your body relaxing and becoming heavier. Feel the stress leaving every part of your body. Continue taking deep breaths until you're in a complete state of relaxation.
- Picture a beautiful and warm red light forming at the base of your spine, in the center of your root chakra. If you feel like it, take a deep breath and chant the “lam” mantra. If you have your root chakra crystal close, feel how its energy interacts with your base chakra. Let the vibrations of this red light, the mantra, and your healing stone unblock and clear any stagnant energy, unresolved emotions, and things that do not serve you anymore. Take all the time you need in this area. When you feel you've finished, move to the next chakra.
- Do this meditation for all seven chakras. Picture the light changing color as it moves from each chakra to the next. Stop at each one of them and take the time to tune in with your crystal (if that’s the case). Feel the vibration of every energy center. Chant the appropriate mantra for each chakra. If you don't feel up for it, don't force yourself. This is your meditation practice, so do whatever feels comfortable.
- Once you have reached the crown chakra, say a little gratitude prayer, take a deep breath, and slowly start to regain awareness of your body, starting with your feet, and moving upwards until you've reached the top of your head.
- Slowly open your eyes. Once you're ready, remove your gemstones and sit up. Make sure you cleanse your crystals after you complete your chakra cleansing meditation.
Unblock Your Chakras and Feel the Energy Flow
Chakra cleansing is as vital to your overall well-being as taking care of your physical body. Your energy system is an integral part of your multidimensional existence that needs to be nourished and nurtured. The more you tune in to it, the more sensitive you'll become to its needs and vibration.
Keep in mind that to keep a healthy chakra system, it takes more than just meditating or carrying your crystals with you. Eating nutrient-rich foods, getting good-quality sleep, and giving your body some daily movement is certainly a crucial part of keeping your body, mind, and spirit living well and thriving.
As always, this information does not substitute medical care or advice from your doctor. If you have any medical condition or food-related allergies, please exercise caution when applying these guidelines.