Chakras are not a new-age invention, rather they go back thousands of years to Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Those guys were talking about nadis and meridians hundreds of years before the Roman Empire was even a thing!

The word “chakra” derives from the Sanskrit word for wheel. This is because the energy centers of the body have always been seen as rotating vortices of energy—or wheels, to put it simply. There are said to be seven main chakras within the body that influence our lives daily. Not just a hypothetical idea, however, Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama’s years of scientific research found a direct correlation between the electrical activity of meridians and the life force flowing through them.

This guide will fill you in on the basics of the seven chakras and provide tips on crystals, essential oils, and foods you can eat to keep your chakras open and healthy. In the end, you’ll find suggestions for a meditation practice to cleanse your chakras too. Read on to learn more about these magnificent energy wheels and how you can free them to live a more balanced and harmonious life.

Chakra Meanings

Root Chakra

Purpose: To be

Other names: Muladhara, Base

Location: Base of the spine

Gender: Masculine

Color: Red

Element: Earth

Symbol: The square represents foundations and stability, while the downward-facing triangle emphasizes the grounded nature of the earth.

Physical Association: Bones, skeletal system, teeth, large intestine, kidneys, blood

Attributes of an open root chakra: Safety, security, grounding, stability, survival, physical strength, connection to the earth, manifestation.

Side effects of a blocked root chakra: Negative thinking, insecurity, addiction, disconnected, overly materialistic.

Foods to eat: Tomatoes, strawberries, red apples, red peppers, cherries, raspberries, watermelon, pomegranates

Root chakra crystals: Black Tourmaline, Black Obsidian, Hematite

Essential oils to bring balance: Patchouli, Vetiver, Spruce

Affirmations: I am grounded, safe, and secure.

Sacral Chakra

Purpose: To feel

Other names: Svadhisthana, Navel

Location: Two inches below the navel

Gender: Feminine

Color: Orange

Element: Water

Symbol: The lotus flower symbolizes life, death, and rebirth.

Physical Association: Reproductive organs, kidneys, bladder, large intestine

Attributes of an open sacral chakra: Healthy relationships, sexuality, self-worth, creativity, empathy, emotional intelligence, vitality, pleasure.

Side effects of a blocked sacral chakra: Difficulty in relationships, commitment issues, shyness, controlling behavior, fear of intimacy, being closed-off to loved ones.

Foods to eat: Carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkins, squash

Sacral chakra crystals: Carnelian, Topaz, Sunstone

Essential oils to bring balance: Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Orange

Affirmations: I am passionate and emotionally open.

Solar Plexus Chakra

Purpose: To act

Other names: Manipura

Location: Above the navel but below the sternum

Gender: Masculine

Color: Yellow

Element: Fire

Symbol: The ten-petalled flower with a downward-facing triangle represents the ten pranas of your body and the trinity of the lower three chakras.

Physical Association: Digestive system, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine, metabolism

Attributes of an open solar plexus chakra: Personal power, confidence, happiness, sense of humor, self-belief, determination, willpower, self-discipline, motivation, energy.

Side effects of a blocked solar plexus chakra: Lack of social identity, ego issues, arrogance, excessive anger, lack of free will, feelings of unworthiness, negative thinking concerning goals.

Foods to eat: Bananas, sweetcorn, yellow peppers, oats, pineapple, peaches, nectarines

Solar Plexus chakra crystals: Citrine, Tiger’s Eye, Pyrite

Essential oils to bring balance: Lemon, Spearmint, Elemi

Affirmations: I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Heart Chakra

Purpose: To love

Other names: Anahata

Location: Center of the breastbone

Gender: Feminine

Color: Green or Pink

Element: Air

Symbol: The two opposite triangles symbolize the midpoint between the lower three and the upper three chakras. The six-pointed star formed by those triangles multiplied by the twelve petals of the surrounding plant represents the 72,000 nadis, or energy channels, within the human body.

Physical Association: Heart, lungs, circulatory system, shoulders, upper back

Attributes of an open heart chakra: Unconditional love, understanding, trust, forgiveness, hope, openness, compassion, harmony.

Side effects of a blocked heart chakra: Toxic relationships, controlling tendencies, jealousy, fearful in love.

Foods to eat: Green apples, broccoli, green beans, kale, basil, lime, zucchini, kiwi, green peppers

Heart chakra crystals: Rose Quartz, Green Aventurine, Malachite

Essential oils to bring balance: Neroli, Pine, Rosewood

Affirmations: I am loving and lovable.

Throat Chakra

Purpose: To express

Other names: Vishuddha

Location: Neck

Gender: Masculine

Color: Blue

Element: Sound

Symbol: The sixteen petals represent the sixteen vowels of the Sanskrit language, while the circle inside a triangle symbolizes the energy moving up through the chakra system.

Physical Association: Throat, neck, teeth, gums, ears, thyroid glands

Attributes of an open throat chakra: Clear communication, self-expression, generosity, reliability, good listening, confident speaking.

Side effects of a blocked throat chakra: Harsh words, snappy tone, fear that you’re living a lie, not true to self, failure to communicate properly.

Foods to eat: Blueberries, figs, red cabbage, blackberries, honey

Throat chakra crystals: Aquamarine, Turquoise, Kyanite

Essential oils to bring balance: Lavender, Frankincense, Peppermint

Affirmations: I follow my wildest dreams.

Third Eye Chakra

Purpose: To perceive

Other names: Ajna, Brow

Location: Center of the forehead, in between the eyebrows

Gender: Feminine

Color: Indigo

Element: Light

Symbol: The upside-down triangle is symbolic of the merging of the upper chakras with divine consciousness.

Physical Association: Eyes, face, brain, lymphatic system, endocrine system

Attributes of an open third eye chakra: Psychic abilities, channeling, telepathy, astral travel, visions, connection to higher self, clairvoyance, expanded awareness, peace, imagination, clear direction.

Side effects of a blocked third eye chakra: Easily stressed and overwhelmed, disconnected from intuition, disconnected from other people, judgemental, unexplained depression, underactive imagination, poor dream recall.

Foods to eat: Purple grapes, plums, eggplant, poppy seeds, walnuts

Third Eye chakra crystals: Lapis Lazuli, Labradorite, Fluorite

Essential oils to bring balance: Sandalwood, Clary Sage, Lemongrass

Affirmations: I’m constantly aware of the bigger picture.

Crown Chakra

Purpose: To know

Other names: Sahasrara

Location: The top of the head

Gender: Unified

Color: Violet

Element: Consciousness

Symbol: The circle inside a lotus flower represents the connection to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

Physical Association: Head, aura

Attributes of an open crown chakra: Universal consciousness, all-knowing, cosmic connection, divinity, unity, enlightenment, a gateway to other dimensions, sense of purpose.

Side effects of a blocked crown chakra: Loneliness, alienated, separated, severed from spirit, tied only to the material realm, egoistic.

Foods to eat: Fasting, or garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onion, coconut, sesame seeds

Crown chakra crystals: Clear Quartz, Amethyst, Selenite

Essential oils to bring balance: Rose, Cedarwood, Lime

Affirmations: I am a source of the divine and I live in the present moment.

Chakra Practices/Meditation

Chakra meditation is one of the most powerful ways to cleanse, activate, and balance the chakras. It can be done as often as needed, but once per week is a healthy amount to stick to. Use it to find harmony within, and perhaps mix it with other crystal healing practices to relieve tension and anxiety too. These guidelines are a simple, easy-to-follow suggestion for how you can meditate to cleanse the chakras.

  1. Lie down and place your crystals next to their corresponding chakra. If you’re practicing this without crystals, then find a position that’s comfortable to you, sitting or lying.
  2. Close your eyes and start breathing deeply. With each exhale, feel the stress vacating your body. Keep a steady momentum in the breath until you feel completely and utterly relaxed.
  3. Visualize a warm red light forming under your tailbone, in the center of your root chakra. If your root chakra crystal is in place, bring awareness to its energy. Can you feel it interact with your base chakra? Let the beauty of this red light merge with the vibrations of your healing stone to clear any blocked energy there. Let go of anything you no longer need. When you feel you've spent enough time on the root, move onto the next chakra.
  4. Follow the previous step for all seven chakras. Envision the light changing color as it moves up through your energy centers. Take some time with each one to tune in to your crystal. If you aren’t using crystals, then focus solely on the light.
  5. Once you reach the crown chakra, thank your crystals and slowly bring your awareness back to your body. In tune with your breath, wiggle your toes, then ankles and work your way back up to the head.
  6. Slowly open your eyes. When you feel the time is right, remove the crystals and sit up. Don’t forget to cleanse any crystals you’ve used during your chakra meditation practices.