The chakras are energy centers in the body that affect our health and well being. The word “chakra” comes from Sanskrit and means “wheel”. The idea that subtle energy shifts in the body substantially affect our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well being has been accepted and studied for thousands of years in the East, but it is still not accepted by the wider modern scientific community.
In the past twenty years, much more research has been done on personal energy and its effects. For example, Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama created a device that allowed him to measure electrical changes around a person’s body (1). He found that mental concentration and intention towards a chakra holds the ability to increase energy around that chakra. Dr. Pradeep B. Deshpande, a professor emeritus at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville, has also done some important research on the subject. According to Dr. Deshpande, “It is now possible to quantitatively estimate the energy of Chakras and graphically display their level of activation, and indicate whether this level of activation is above or below the level found from large numbers of subjects.” (2). He was able to show that the energy emissions for unhealthy individuals showed gaps and reductions of emissions as compared to healthy individuals.
Personally, I have found that there can be a dramatic increase in health, happiness and even good fortune when the chakras are in a balanced state. I recommend a daily practice of yoga and meditation. I also recommend meditating on the seven major chakras along the spinal cord, and learning how to balance them and keep them healthy. Below is a quick introduction to the seven major chakras. If you would like more information, I recommend the following two books.
- The Book of Chakra Healing
- Kundalini & the Chakras: Evolution in this Lifetime (Llewellyn’s new age series)
I have found that many people who are new to energy work seem to prefer to start with the root chakra and work there way up, spending perhaps one to two weeks on each chakra until they feel thoroughly healed. I always go through all seven chakras each day, and sometimes more than once a day. Since some people need to take more time on each chakra, I am providing two basic ways to work with each chakra, a short method and a long method. There are actually numerous ways to balance and heal the energy in the body, and some of them don’t even mention chakras (such as reiki healing). However, using one of the following two methods will get you started. Feel free to use your own intuition and creativity to devise your own ritual. As you work with the chakras, the heavy and negative energies are released, bringing health and happiness. But while these energies are being released, you may experience temporary periods of sadness, tears, mild pain in various places in the body or digestive changes. If so, please be gentle with yourself and take frequent breaks to allow yourself to detox from the chakra clearing.
Short chakra clearing method
This method is best if you do not have a lot of gunk to clear out of your chakras, and you just want to balance them each day. There are many guided meditation or chakra music videos on YouTube that can help you get into the correct state if you find it difficult to meditate. Sit or lie down in a quiet area and relax all of the muscles of your body beginning with the soles of your feet and working up to the crown of your head. Breathe slowly and deeply. On the inhale, imagine the clean energy of mother earth flowing into you. On the exhale, imagine all tension and negative emotions flowing out of your body to disappear into the earth. Imagine that your feet sprout roots on the bottom and dig deep into the earth. Try to feel the warm, comforting earth around you as your roots go further and further into Gaia, our earth mother. Then, beginning with the root chakra and working up to the crown, imagine a sphere of light around each chakra in the appropriate color. As you become proficient at this daily ritual, you will be able to tell how healthy each chakra is based on its color and texture. If the color is not bright or even the correct color in your mind’s eye, do not worry about it. Simply continue to breathe slowly and deeply, allowing all darkness or negative energy to clear out of the chakra. Ask your higher self or angels to help you if you find it difficult. As the ball of light is becoming clearer and brighter, chant the sound or mantra I have supplied for each chakra in the list below (or you can make up your own). Also, try to visualize and feel yourself experiencing the good qualities of each chakra (strength and security for the root chakra, abundance and pleasure for the sacral chakra, and so on). Stay with each chakra until you feel ready to move on. Once you reach the crown chakra, imagine the bright white light around the crown getting larger and brighter, and covering your whole body. Now you are in the I Am state of whole being. You are balanced and ready to connect to your guides or go on with your day.
Long chakra clearing method
Using this method, you will concentrate on one chakra a week until you have completely cleared and healed that chakra, and you are confident of its power. You will meditate once or more a day on the single chakra using the steps in the short method above, but may choose to spend a longer time in meditation. Using the correspondences in the list below, and any others that you obtain through your reading or your own intuition, saturate yourself with the qualities of that chakra throughout the day. For example, for the week when you are studying the root chakra, you may wear red clothes and accessories. You might eat red foods or power foods ruled by Mars such as cinnamon or ginger or root vegetables. You would study the root chakra and its correspondences. You might explore your early childhood experience and re-write your story or do a visualization to heal any painful episodes from the past where you felt dis-empowered or abandoned. You might do yoga exercises that aid the root chakra, or spend time sitting or walking on the earth or being around nature. You might make changes to your life that enable you to feel more calm and safe. When using this method, I highly recommend keeping a journal of your experiences and insights.
The Root chakra relates energetically to feeling safe, secure and meeting physical needs. It is the vital source of life force energy in the body, our connection to mother earth.
Location: Base of the spine, between the genitals and the anus.
Color: Bright red
Crystals: garnet, ruby, hematite, onyx, obsidian or smoky quartz
Oils and scents: patchouli, cloves, sandlewood, ylang ylang or anything with musky earthy scents
Sound: Lam or the C note
Mantra: I am always safe (imagine mother earth, your angels and guides protecting you)
Yoga: Child pose, sitting and stretching, bridge pose, chair pose or squats, anything that feels grounded and stable.
Associations: Sense of smell, bones, masculine energy, Saturn, Mars, Capricorn, Aries, Ganesha, The Green Man or earth god.
Food: Root vegetables, comfort foods that are heavy and filling. May need to increase or decrease foods that spark energy (caffeine, spices)
Balanced: Healthy self esteem and self-interest, security, ability to take care of one’s self, stability, vitality. Being grounded and calm. Healthy sex drive. Good mobility and elimination of the body.
Unbalanced: Anxiety, fears, insecurity, feeling abandoned, loss of money or possessions, being victimized, mishaps, low energy, greed, low sex drive. Insomnia, problems with the colon, bladder or lower back. Mobility or feet issues.
The Sacral chakra relates to pleasure, relating to others and having one’s emotional needs met.
Location: About three fingers below the navel
Color: Bright orange
Crystals: citrine, amber, carnelian, moonstone or any orange stone
Oils and scents: orange, jasmine, gardenia, fruity and flowery scents
Sound: Vam or the D note
Mantra: I am abundant and fulfilled (imagine mother earth, your angels and guides showering you with good fortune)
Yoga: Butterfly pose, cobra pose, anything which opens the pelvic area.
Associations: Sense of taste, sex organs, feminine energy, Venus, Moon, Taurus, Cancer, love and fertility goddesses
Food: Oranges, juicy and fragrant fruits, sweets like honey that bring pleasure, vanilla, nuts and seeds
Balanced: Well being, abundance, joy, happiness, good relations, fertility, creativity, good body image, magnetism, healthy sexuality, emotionally available and aware of one’s feelings, physical health, looking younger or living longer.
Unbalanced: Immorality, sexual blockages or perversions, inability to relate well to others, money problems or feeling needy, eating disorders, addictions, depression, emotional disorders and a lack of fertility.
The Solar Plexus chakra relates to feeling confident, balancing the emotions and mind, and focusing on accomplishing goals.
Location: Above navel and right below the rib cage.
Color: Bright yellow (like the sun)
Crystals: citrine, amber, golden topaz, any yellow stone or clear quartz.
Oils and scents: peppermint, lemon, chamomile, evergreens (juniper), mints
Sound: Ram or the E note
Mantra: I am powerful and focused (imagine driving a chariot to victory, or shooting an arrow with pinpoint accuracy into a target). Alternate mantra: I am achieving my goals.
Yoga: Warrior poses, triangle pose, cat/cow, stomach crunches, anything that makes you feel strong and confident.
Associations: Sense of sight, balance yin/yang energy, Jupiter, Sagittarius, the Sun, Leo, sun gods
Food: Bananas and yellow foods, pasta, bread, sunflower or other seeds, chamomile tea, mint, spices, ginger
Balanced: Courage, strength, optimism, balanced mind and emotions, good judgment, drive, action toward goals, competence, confidence, good digestion,
Unbalanced: Low self esteem, indecisiveness, ineffectiveness, anger, frustration, lack of success, lack of willpower, working too much or not enough, perfectionism, rigidity. Indigestion, Issues with spleen, adrenals, pancreas or stomach.
The Heart chakra relates to love, but not the sexual love of the 2nd chakra. This is unconditional agape love balanced with healthy self love.
Location: The heart
Color: Green (or pink and green where the pink is self love and the green is love for others)
Crystals: emerald, malachite, jade, rose quartz
Oils and scents: rose, sandlewood
Sound: YUM or YAM or the F note
Mantra: I am ever expanding love (imagine your heart energy expanding out infinitely, never depleted because you are connected to infinite Source). While working with the heart chakra, you may need to heal your own heart first, then you will be able to expand more in love toward others. Another mantra is OM MANI PADME HUM.
Yoga: Camel pose, swan, cobra or anything that opens the chest
Associations: Sense of touch, Sun, Venus, Libra, Leo
Food: Leafy greens, green fruits, basil, sage, green tea
Balanced: Compassion, loving kindness, feeling expansive, unconditional love, tolerant, amiable, joy, self love, openness, acceptance
Unbalanced: Hate, envy, mistrust, prejudice, aversion, grief, sadness, being critical, emotional scars, grudges, jealousy, betrayal, heart problems
The throat chakra relates creative self expression and communication
Location: base of the throat
Color: Sky blue
Element: Ether (ether is not an element scientifically, so I replace this with air)
Crystals: sapphire, blue topaz, aquamarine, and turquoise
Oils and scents: sage, lemongrass, and possibly eucalyptus to open the nasal passages
Sound: HUM or the G note
Mantra: I speak my truth, or singing or chanting in general is good for this chakra
Yoga: Neck or shoulder stretches, cobra, poses that expose or open the throat
Associations: Sense of sound/hearing, Mercury and Gemini, gods that relate to communication
Food: Blue foods, foods which clear the throat such as hot soup or hot tea with lemon.
Balanced: Speaking one’s truth, expressing yourself creatively, speaking up, clear voice, diplomacy, persuasion, easy interaction with others.
Unbalanced: Unable to speak up, stammering, being critical, expressing irritation and exasperation, lying, evasion, misunderstood, clearing the throat over much, throat, ear or thyroid issues
The Third Eye chakra relates to all kinds of knowledge and information, both rational and irrational.
Location: The brow
Element: Star (light)
Crystals: amethyst, purple fluorite, lapis lazuli, azurite
Oils and scents: lavender, bay laurel, sage, peppermint, sandlewood
Sound: Eem or OM, the A note
Mantra: I am all seeing and all knowing
Yoga: Downward dog, warrior poses, sun salutations
Associations: Sixth sense, pineal gland, Uranus, Aquarius, Jupiter, Sagittarius, Neptune, Pisces, non-dualistic or omnicient deities
Food: Liquids, juices, smoothies, organic/vegan, light, cleansing foods, blue or purple berries or fruits, grapes, mugwort
Balanced: Awareness and communication with universal consciousness, telepathy, messages from guides, intuition, paranormal experiences, good memory, good cognition, inner knowing, wisdom, patience, detached empathy.
Unbalanced: Learning problems, lack of empathy, lack of understanding of spiritual things, poor understanding of abstract concepts, overly rational or mental, nearsightedness, headaches, seizures, blindness
The Crown chakra is universal consciousness, the connection to God.
Location: Crown of head
Color: Unfathonably bright light (some also see golden light, violet, or all colors in the spectrum)
Element: Spirit (consciousness)
Crystals: diamond, clear quartz, amethyst
Oils and scents: lavender, sandlewood, frankincense, myrrh
Sound: OM or the B note
Mantra: I am connected to infinite Source (or simply I AM)
Yoga: Tree, Eagle, head to knee, bridge pose, or any or all of them. Or just dance. Let your body tell you how to move.
Associations: All of existence, pineal gland, pituitary gland
Food: Clear spring water, for healing St. John’s wort
Balanced: Holiness, devotion, wisdom, spiritual knowledge, higher self rather than ego is the conscious motivation
Unbalanced: God complex, insanity, anger toward God, negative view of reality, sociopathic tendencies, split personalities, feeling oppressed on a cosmic or societal level,
Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research | November 2013 | Vol. 4 | Issue 9 | pp. 977-987 Deshpande, P. B., Madappa, K. P., & Korotkov, K., Can the Excellence of the Internal Be Measured? – A Preliminary Study
Simpson, L. (2013). The book of chakra healing. New York: Sterling.
Wisneski, L., & Anderson, L. (2005). The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2(2), 257–259. http://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neh079