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A Beginner’s Guide on Chakra Alignment

A Beginners Guide on Chakra Alignment
Have you ever felt unexplained pain in a certain part of your body? Or maybe you’re experiencing a lack of creativity, or don’t know how to express your emotions? All of these life instances of pain and emotion can be traced back to the seven chakras and may indicate that one of them is imbalanced or blocked.

However, it does not mean once you discover a blocked chakra that it is stuck this way forever. There are ways on how to align your chakras through chakra alignment exercises, and doing so can benefit your mind and body. In this article, we will discuss the seven chakras and how to heal them, based on the chakra healing principles from mind-body expert, Ilchi Lee.

What Are Chakras?

Chakras are energy centers that dwell within our body or aura. The seven major chakras represent certain points in which energy flows through our physical body, organs, and systems. They can function as portals to receive energy or as transformers of energy.

If you think about it, we are all made up of energy. Your body may feel solid, but really we are all made up of cells, which are composed of atoms, which are made of energy. Ancient traditions speak about different kinds of energy that flows through and works in living beings. In Asian traditions, this energy is called chi, qi, or ki. By this system, energy flows through a connection of pathways called “energy meridians.” Think of meridians like roads that connect to a roundabout which controls the flow of traffic. Chakras function like the roundabout, and energy is like the cars that travel on the roads that pass through the roundabouts to go where they need.

When these seven chakras are functioning well and energy is flowing through, we are healthy in our mind, body, and spirit. However, if our chakras are functioning improperly, or experiencing blockages, we can notice how it affects our lives through our feelings both physically, emotionally, and mentally.

How Do Chakras Get Blocked?

Blockages or imbalances can occur from trauma, negative experiences, negative belief systems, or simply from life’s daily ups and downs like stress. When this negative energy isn’t released from the body, the build up can cause a blockage or lack of energy flowing through your body. Sometimes, the first sign of chakra imbalance is a physical or emotional symptom. Frequent colds or persistent relationship problems, for example, could indicate that you need chakra alignment.

Each chakra is unique in the sense of how it can become blocked and how to open and balance it.  

About the Chakras & How to Tell Which Chakra is Blocked

First/Root Chakra (Deep Red) – This chakra is the house of the unconscious mind, providing drives for survival, instincts, and basic needs. Life is produced through the first chakra. If you have a healthy root chakra, you possess a natural love of life and basic self love. You’ll practice good habits of self-care including hygiene, nutrition, finances and exercise. You may feel inspired and trust every aspect of your life, like you’re being well taken cared for. You will know how to responsibly handle money.

Signs of Root Chakra Imbalance:
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Lower back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Depression
  • Poor circulation
  • Frequent colds
  • Cold hands, feet and nose

Second/Sacral Chakra (Bright/Orange Red) – The second chakra is described as the “boiler room” of the body’s energy system. This chakra helps us be proactive and confident in life. Through this chakra we experience birth, sexuality, and creativity. When it comes to overall physical health, the sacral chakra provides the feeling of strength and wellness—therefore it is a very important chakra. Because of its location within the body at the center, this chakra can provide grounding, centeredness, and stabilization.

Signs of Sacral Chakra Imbalance:
  • Eating disorders
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Depression
  • Lower back pain
  • Asthma or allergies
  • Candida and yeast infections
  • Urinary problems
  • Lack of feeling, dulled senses, impotence and frigidity

Third/Solar Plexus Chakra (Orange) – Through your third chakra, you gain self-confidence, emotional balance, and good digestion. This chakra propels us forward to complete and fulfill our life’s dreams and goals. If the solar plexus chakra is fully activated, we are conscious to life’s purpose and what direction we want to live our lives in. This chakra inspires creativity, and it doesn’t just mean through art or music. Full creativity can be expressed in your work, home, and relationships too. A healthy third chakra will maintain a strong personal identity and create balance between personal empowerment and compassion.

Signs of Solar Plexus Chakra Imbalance:

  • Indigestion
  • Liver problems
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreas disorders such as diabetes or hypoglycemia
  • Self-shaming
  • Overachiever personality

Fourth/Heart Chakra (Golden Yellow) – The fourth (heart) chakra is connected to love, relationships, and compassion. If this chakra is balanced and open, we can step into the world with an open mind and a loving heart. The heart chakra inspires integrity and ethical conduct, as well as the connection to others through the mind and the heart. This chakra is extremely connected to our personal and mindful self, rather than our physical being. Because it’s so connected to the emotions, it can be difficult to maintain and open the heart chakra when we feel hurt or upset, stressed, or negative.

Signs of Heart Chakra Imbalance:
  • Heart disease and disorders
  • Breathing disorders
  • Breast cancer
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Passivity
  • Immune system problems
  • Muscular tension

Fifth/Throat Chakra (Sky Blue/Green) – The fifth chakra, located in the throat, defines our expressive capabilities. It is the chakra connected to communication, truth, and our personal voice. Do you feel like you’re always swallowing your words and not expressing how you truly feel inside? Do you feel like you’re not fully letting your emotions out in a healthy way? These habits can cause blockages in your throat chakra that could manifest in having a thin, horse voice or itchiness, stuffiness in the throat.

Signs of Throat Chakra Imbalance:
  • Thyroid imbalances
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Fevers and flu
  • Laryngitis
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Neck and shoulders problems
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Fear of speaking
  • Stuttering

Sixth/Third Eye Chakra (Indigo) – The sixth chakra, famously-known as our third eye, is the home to our spiritual and intuitive senses. This chakra is connected to the imagination, intuition, insight, and clarity. An open third eye chakra helps us see situations clearly and overcome suffering that comes with misunderstandings. The sixth chakra is connected with psychic or telepathic abilities that guide us to the wisdom of the universe beyond the physical world.

Signs of Third Eye Chakra Imbalance:
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental fogginess
  • Coordination problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Delusional thinking
  • Confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Psychic misinterpretations

Seventh/Crown Chakra (Purple/Violet) – The seventh chakra is our direct connection to heaven and the universe. The crown chakra rules spirituality, coexistence, unity, and oneness with all life. When this chakra is open, your soul exists completely and wholly with deep satisfaction and wisdom. This chakra is about feeling heavenly energy and learning how to communicate with it to elevate humanity’s consciousness.

Signs of Crown Chakra Imbalance:
  • Headaches
  • Feeling mentally stuck
  • Living to satisfy physical desires
  • Mental illness
  • Neuralgia
  • Senility
  • Worry
  • Skin rashes
  • Hyper-intellectuality
  • Lack of faith or belief

Now that you’re more aware of each of the seven chakras and can identify if one of your chakras isn’t aligned, use the tips below to learn how to balance your chakras.

Tips for Chakra Alignment & How to Balance Your Chakras

There are certain practices, exercises, and routines we can incorporate into our lives that can help open and heal our chakras. Each chakra responds to different ways of healing and requires unique exercises, yoga poses, essential oils, crystals and more for the specific energy there.

Balancing Your Root Chakra
If you want to balance your root chakra, you’ll want to practice physical exercise and sound sleep. Consider taking up gardening, or other activities that connect you with earthy energy like pottery, or clay sculpting. Also, try incorporating red foods and teas such as beets, pomegranates, and rooibos tea into your diet. Using red gemstones such as ruby and garnet in your meditation practices or placing them around your home can also boost the energy of the root chakra. Wear red clothing, bathe with red oils or flowers such as ylang ylang and sandalwood.

Aside from making these small lifestyle changes, also try the exercises below and watch the video as a guide to open and balance your root chakra.

Root Chakra Exercises

1. Stimulating the Perineum
  • Start by sitting in a butterfly position, and grab the outsides of your feet or ankles with both of your hands.
  • Next, begin to raise your hips and rock back and forth—stimulating the perineum area.
  • Notice any subtle changes in your body such as your hips opening and body warming up.
  • Repeat this motion at least 10 times or up to 100 times. Always remember to listen to your body and do what feels comfortable for you.

2. Exercising the Sphincter Muscle
  • Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Bring your knees together, leaving a space about the size of your fist in between.
  • Raise your arms in front of you, with your backs and hips straight.
  • As you breathe in, tighten your sphincter muscle as your make a fist.
  • Pause here. As you breathe out, relax your sphincter muscles and relax your fists.
  • Repeat this exercise for about 3-5 minutes, or until you are feeling the heat within your first chakra.

Balancing Your Sacral Chakra
The element of the sacral chakra is water, so getting outside and relaxing near open water can provide needed relaxation for your emotions and the chakra’s energy flow. Physical activities that can help balance your sacral chakra include swimming, especially in natural settings such as lakes, oceans or hot springs. You can also take on water aerobics, walk in the rain, and watch rainstorms. Consume orange colored foods, such as carrots and oranges. You can also practice meditation or incorporating orange gemstones such as amber, goldstone, and tiger’s eye around your home. Wear orange colored clothing, and use lemon balm or orange essential oils.

In addition to these lifestyle changes, you’ll also find that chakra healing exercises will help create balance within your body and mind. See the video below for sacral chakra healing exercises.

Sacral Chakra Exercises

1. Second Chakra and Kidney Strengthening Exercise
  • Begin by lying on your stomach, with your arms to your sides and your palms flat on the ground. Point your toes out.
  • Breathe in, and raise your right leg straight up without bending your knees.
  • Exhale while lowering your right leg back to the ground. Move slowly.
  • Repeat the same movement with your left leg.
  • Finally, repeat this motion with both legs at the same time, until you start feeling some heat in your sacral chakra.

2. Abdomen Strengthening Exercise
  • Begin by lying on your back, with your hands clasped behind your head.
  • Raise your knees, with your feet flat on the ground, with your heels towards your hips.
  • As you breathe in, raise your hips and lower back off the ground and bring your knees together. Tighten your hips.
  • As you breathe out, lower your back to the ground.
  • Repeat this motion up to 10 times and feel your abdomen strengthen.

Balancing Your Solar Plexus Chakra:
If you’re looking to heal your solar plexus chakra, try taking art classes, reading empowering books, or doing puzzles. The energy of following through with a task and inviting creativity can re-activate any stagnancy in the third chakra. Expose yourself to sunshine, like the color of the solar plexus, and spend time outside. Try detoxification programs to help digestion. Incorporating yellow foods and teas such as squash and chamomile into your diet can also boost this chakra. Also, practice meditation with yellow gemstones such as citrine and yellow agate. Wearing yellow clothing and using yellow oils such as rosemary or lemon essential oils can enhance and release any blockages here.  

Chakra balancing exercises are a great addition to these lifestyle changes listed above. See below for a few examples of exercises to awaken and strengthen your solar plexus chakra.

Solar Plexus Chakra Exercises

1. Stomach Strengthening Exercises
  • Sit in a half lotus position, with your right leg on top.
  • Place your right hand on top of your right foot.
  • As you breathe in, raise your left hand towards the sky, while looking up at the back of your hand.
  • As you breathe out, lower your hand back down to your foot.
  • Repeat this motion with your other hand.
  • Continue rotating between the left and the right hand for about 10 minutes, or until you feel awakening sensations within your third chakra.

2. Third Chakra Opening Exercise
  • Begin by lying down on your stomach, and lift your upper body while pushing up with your arms.
  • With your toes pushed into the floor, use your arms to lift your upper body upward, away from the floor as high as it feels comfortable for you.
  • If you feel tension or discomfort in your lower back, lower slightly for relief.
  • As you breathe out, relax to the ground.
  • As you breathe in again, tighten your whole body—including your toes—and press yourself up until your upper body and feet lift from the ground.
  • Breathe out and release.
  • Repeat this motion several times to create heat, strength, and opening within your sacral chakra.

Balancing Your Heart Chakra:
To balance your heart chakra, invite more energy of pure love into your body.  Good activities to do are going on nature walks, spending time with family and friends, or doing volunteer work for people in need. Actively using the energy of compassion in your life will reawaken your heart chakra and make it feel full. Consume golden foods and drinks such as golden beets and ginger tea. Surround yourself with gold gemstones such as topaz and amber. Wear gold colored clothing. Begin using gold colored oils such as sandalwood and frankincense essential oils in your daily routine.

Additionally, you can add heart chakra exercises to your daily routine to open and balance your fourth chakra. See the video below for throat chakra exercises.

Heart Chakra Exercises

1. Expanding the Chest & Opening the Heart Chakra
  • Begin by sitting in a lotus pose.
  • Bring your hands together in front of your chest, and make them into fists.
  • As you breathe in, pull your arms backward and expand your chest as much as possible. Remember to keep your back straight and your head back slightly. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • As you breathe out, return to the center of your body and slightly curve your spine and tuck your chin down.
  • Repeat this motion 10 times, for 10 seconds each. Feel the cool refreshing feeling across your chest as your fourth chakra opens.

2. Lung Strengthening Exercise
  • Begin with your feet wide apart, with your knees slightly bent.
  • Lift your arms above your head, with your palms facing upward. Make sure your spine is long, and your chest is open.
  • Relax your shoulder muscles, and breathe naturally.
  • As you hold this posture, energy will flow through your body from your palms, through your chest, all the way down to your second chakra.
  • Hold this position for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on what feels comfortable for your body.

Balancing Your Throat Chakra:
Your throat chakra is all about expression. To bring openness to your throat chakra, try singing, reciting poetry, calling old friends and having meaningful conversations where you express your inner thoughts and emotions. Enhance your meditations with light blue gemstones such as aquamarine and amazonite, and blue oils such as geranium or chamomile essential oils.

Additionally, adding throat chakra exercises to your routine can help create balance and openness within your body. Watch the video below for some tips on throat chakra exercises.

Throat Chakra Exercises

1. Strengthening the Thyroid
  • With your hands on your thighs, step one leg forward and the other leg back.
  • The knee of the front leg should be bent at 90 degrees, and the back leg should be straight with the back foot angled.
  • As you breathe in, tilt your head back and feel your throat opening.
  • As you breathe out, return back to center.
  • Repeat this motion three times. Then switch legs, and repeat the series again.

2. 5th Chakra Opening Exercise
  • Begin by kneeling, with your toes curled under behind you, and your hips resting on your heels.
  • Place both hands on your lower back, where your kidneys are.
  • As you breathe in, bend your upper body backward as far as your body is able to while tilting your chin upward, opening your throat chakra.
  • As you breathe out, let your chin relax down to your chest, letting your body cave forward.
  • Repeat this motion 10 times, while focusing on opening your fifth chakra.

Balancing Your Third Eye Chakra:
To balance your third eye chakra, meditating to help focus your mind within is a good place to start, and it is best done outside under the sunlight or the moonlight. Getting enough sleep is another critical component because when you get a good night’s sleep, you can experience clarity of thought and remember your dreams more easily. If you have trouble falling asleep try journal writing, breathing exercises, or sound healing meditations.  Incorporating indigo colored foods and teas, such as figs and black currant into your diet also helps enhance this chakra’s function. Since the pineal gland is a large component of the third eye and is prone to calcification, it is good to eat chlorophyll-rich foods, such as kale, spinach, flax seed and seaweed. You can utilize indigo gemstones, such as azurite and sodalite and wear indigo or deep blue colored clothing. Patchouli or frankincense essential oils can aid in meditations as well.

Check out some third eye balancing exercises to bring light and openness to your sixth chakra.

Third Eye Chakra Exercises

1. Sun Meditation

  • Begin with your legs spread wide apart, and bend your legs about 15 degrees.
  • Make a triangle with your hands, by touching your thumbs and index fingers together. Raise your arms up, so that your thumbs are in the center of your forehead.
  • Breathe naturally, and visualize the energy of the sun entering through the triangle to the center of your forehead.
  • Direct your eyes about 15 degrees skyward.
  • Hold this posture for about five minutes, and feel your brain becoming refreshed.

2. Stimulating Your Temples
  • Sit comfortably in half lotus.
  • Bring one open hand up, close to your temple.
  • Begin to will the flow of energy to flow from your hand to your temple.
  • Your other hand should be behind your lower back, with the middle finger and thumb touching in a loop.
  • Imagine breathing through your back.
  • Close your eyes and breathe. Focus on the energy.
  • Continue meditation in this posture for 5-10 minutes.

Balancing Your Crown Chakra:
If you’re looking for openness in your crown chakra, you could start a dream journal or a vision board to discern your intentions within a sacred space Meditation is also powerful for the crown chakra because it creates a connection between you and the the spiritual world. Try imagining a white light pouring into the top of your head and filling your body with light energy. You can also eat violet colored foods and teas, such as plums and elderberry. Practice your meditation with gemstones, such as amethyst and fluorite. Wear violet colored clothing and use lavender or jasmine essential oils.

These lifestyle changes, along with crown chakra exercises will help open and balance your 7th chakra. Watch this video below to learn crown chakra exercises and to restore balance within your body and mind.

Crown Chakra Exercises

1. Pyramid Position for the 7th Chakra
  • Begin by kneeling with your knees touching, your back straight, and your feet overlapping behind you. If this is uncomfortable for your body, uncross your feet and just overlap your big toes.
  • Bring the five fingers of both hands together in front of you to form a pyramid shape. The pyramid represents a stable form of energy.
  • Raise the pyramid shape to the height of your 7th chakra, and lift your eyes skyward about 15 degrees.
  • Close your eyes, and breathe naturally.
  • You’ll feel energy circulate down through your 7th chakra, to your whole body.
  • Hold this posture 3-5 minutes, or longer, if that suits your body.

2. Chakra Recharging in Lotus Position

  • Begin by sitting comfortably, in a half lotus position, and straighten your spine.
  • Raise both hands slowly, and bring them to either side of your forehead, leaving space between them.
  • Focus your mind on the feeling that comes alive between your hands.
  • Slowly expand and contract the space between your hands.
  • As you repeat, imagine your hands as lotus flowers, blossoming and contracting with each motion.
  • Feel the energy through each of your chakras.
  • Breathing slowly, sweep your hands down from your head to your lower abdomen.
  • Close your eyes, and continue breathing and meditating, while resting your hands.

Now that you are familiar with the seven chakras, the areas of your physical and emotional body they’re connected to and how to heal them, you’ll be able to recognize a blocked chakra and be able to take steps to live a more balanced lifestyle. Balanced chakras will help sustain your overall level of energy to manage everyday stress and activities and get more connected with yourself within.

Consider taking our online Chakra Healing course to expand your knowledge and energy healing of the seven chakras. This course is developed by Ilchi Lee, a NY Times best-selling author and founder of Body & Brain Yoga. Dawn Quaresima, a gifted healer trained by Ilchi Lee, is the guide on this special chakra healing journey. We welcome you to learn about your chakras, and explore chakra healing and meditation.

Written by Gabi Petrylaite
Gabi is a creative mind who loves deeply connecting with the people around her. Using music as a tool of inspiration, you can find her at concerts or music festivals in her free time. She has practiced energy healing and meditation from a very young age and loves encouraging others to keep a positive mindset to become happier, brighter, and more successful.
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