It was impossible not to enjoy my first Tai Chi practice. Our guide and instructor, Bud, led a hike through glorious red mountains outside St. George, Utah, to a ridge with a breathtaking view.
There are 7 main energy centers in the body, known as chakras. Each chakra is located throughout our body so that it correlates to specific body ailment and physical dysfunctions; each energy center also houses our mental and emotional strengths. When we have a physical issue, it creates weaknesses in our emotional behavior. When we release the stale energy from the body, it can undo any tightness, stiffness, or malfunction of that area.
The clearing of the energy can also balance our emotional state of mind. The Chakra Mind-Body Balance is a two-way street: if there are certain fears and emotions we are holding on to, we experience physical restrictions, too.
If you have achiness or stiffness, or certain reoccurring emotions and fears, read along and you may find out which chakra is affected or blocked.
1st or Root Chakra
- Sits at the base of your spine, at your tailbone.
- Physical imbalances in the root chakra include problems in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. Those with imbalances here are also likely to experience issues of degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation.
- Emotional imbalances include feelings affecting our basic survival needs: money, shelter and food; ability to provide for life’s necessities.
- When this chakra is balance, you feel supported, a sense of connection and safety to the physical world, and grounded.
- The lesson of this chakra is self-preservation; we have a right to be here.
2nd or Sacral Chakra
- Located two inches below your navel.
- Physical imbalances include sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, kidney dysfunctions, hip, pelvic and low back pain.
- Emotional imbalances include our commitment to relationships. Our ability to express our emotions. Our ability to have fun, play based on desires, creativity, pleasure, sexuality. Fears of impotence, betrayal, addictions.
- When this chakra is balanced, we have an ability to take risks, we are creative, we are committed. We are passionate, sexual and outgoing.
- The lesson of this chakra is to honor others.
3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra
- Located three inches above your navel.
- Physical imbalances include digestive problems, liver dysfunction, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers, pancreas and gallbladder issues, colon diseases.
- Emotional imbalances include issues of personal power and self-esteem, our inner critic comes out. Fears of rejection, criticism, physical appearances.
- When this chakra is balanced, we feel self-respect and self-compassion. We feel in control, assertive, confident.
- The lesson of this chakra is self-acceptance.
4th or Heart Chakra
- Located at the heart.
- Physical imbalances include asthma, heart disease, lung disease, issues with breasts, lymphatic systems, upper back and shoulder problems, arm and wrist pain.
- Emotional imbalances include issues of the heart; over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness. Fear of loneliness.
- When this chakra is balanced we feel joy, gratitude, love and compassion, forgiveness flows freely, trust is gained.
- The lesson of this chakra is I Love.
5th or Throat Chakra
- Located at the throat.
- Physical imbalances include thyroid issues, sore throats, laryngitis, TMJ, ear infections, ulcers, any facial problems (chin, cheek, lips, tongue problems) neck and shoulder pain.
- Emotional imbalances include issues of self-expression through communication, both spoken or written. Fear of no power or choice. No willpower or being out of control.
- When this chakra is balanced, we have free flowing of words, expression, communication. We are honest and truthful yet firm. We are good listeners.
- The lesson of this chakra is to speak up and let your voice be heard.
6th or Third Eye Chakra
- Located in the middle of the eyebrows, in the center of the forehead.
- Physical imbalances include headaches, blurred vision, sinus issues, eyestrain, seizures, hearing loss, hormone function.
- Emotional imbalances include issues with moodiness, volatility, and self-reflection; An inability to look at ones own fears, and to learn from others. Day-dream often and live in a world with exaggerated imagination.
- When this chakra is balanced we feel clear, focused, and can determine between truth and illusion. We are open to receiving wisdom and insight.
- The lesson of this chakra is to see the big picture.
7th or Crown Chakra
- Located at the top of the head.
- Physical imbalance include depression, inability to learn, sensitivity to light, sound, environment.
- Emotional imbalances include issues with self-knowledge and greater power. Imbalances arise from rigid thoughts on religion and spirituality, constant confusion, carry prejudices, “analysis paralysis.” Fear of alienation.
- When this chakra is balanced, we live in the present moment. We have an unshakeable trust in our inner guidance.
- The lesson of this chakra is live mindfully.
- After reading this, you (like me) may feel that more than one chakra is imbalanced or blocked. This is because when one is blocked, the other chakras begin to compensate and either become overactive or under-active.
- The best way to start balancing them is to start at the root chakra and work your way up to the crown chakra. Start here for 6 Simple Ways to Balance Your Root Chakra.
- My husband and I have moved around a lot. Yesterday, we experienced our first move with our daughter—and my first time not riding in the U-Haul truck with him. Instead, I was driving behind it—and behind all of our worldly possessions.
- I was maneuvering the Ohio turnpike to the sounds of my 19 month-old daughter’s snores and my iPod when I was struck with the thought that even though my car held relatively few items inside of its trunk, I was actually hauling our most precious cargo—our little girl. I felt my hands move to 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, but my heart began to feel much lighter than in recent days.
- Moving does funny things to your body. I find my shoulders hiked up to my ears, my digestion completely out of whack and my entire frame of mind to be somewhat spacey and disorganized. Along with the randomly placed boxes and items in our new house, I too am still looking for my rightful ‘place.’ If you study chakras at all, you’ll know that my root chakra needs both balancing and cleansing.
Your root chakra might need balancing, too, if you feel controlling or quick to anger—among other things—or if you feel a lack of confidence and insufficient drive to achieve simple life goals. When your root chakra is balanced, you have energy and self-confidence rather than arrogance or fear, and you feel calm, centered and ready for what life brings. Here are six easy tips to balancing your root chakra.
- See red. Seriously—envisioning the color red glowing brightly at the base of the spine, where this chakra is located, is the beginning of root chakra cleansing and balancing. Start with the simple meditation of imaging a bright red light at the base of your tailbone. Picture this red light extending down your legs and feet, grounding you to the earth.
- Dance. I don’t care if you “can’t dance.” Close the door and move your body. This is one of the best ways to balance this chakra. Even better—turn on music and sing along, as singing cleanses your throat chakra for an added bonus.
- Get on your yoga mat. Many yoga postures are designed to cleanse this chakra. My favorite is tree pose. You can use your ‘seeing red’ visualization as you firmly plant your entire left foot onto your mat and bring your right foot up into tree pose. Keep your hip points squarely ahead and your toes tucked in as you place your foot anywhere on your leg besides your knee. Be creative and make your tree pose your own. Place your right leg into half lotus or engage your core and reach your arms overhead, keeping the base of your neck soft and your elbows straight as you rotate the pinky side of your hands in to engage your triceps. Most importantly, feel supported and connected to the earth as you hold your tree pose for 5 to 8 breaths before switching sides.
- Take a shower. This is such a wonderful root chakra cleanser. We are physical animals in addition to being intelligent, thoughtful human beings. Embrace and love your physicality by being completely present as you bathe. Mindfully moving is a powerful form of meditation.
- Zen out on a walk. Take this idea of mindfully moving on your walk with you. Concentrate on your foot leaving the ground and connecting to the earth again with each step. You’ll give your mind a break and cleanse your root chakra at the same time.
- Get a pedicure. I had to throw this one in. My grandfather had a friend that was known for saying, “you can always tell how well a person takes care of themselves by how they take care of their feet.”
This might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but loving your feet and taking the time to pamper your physical body are great ways to also care for your root chakra energy.
Chakras are both complex and fascinating. The root chakra is often thought of as providing energy to other chakras, so if it’s blocked or unbalanced, your other chakras likely are as well. Just like a building, making sure that your chakras have a firm foundation—with a balanced root chakra—is crucial to having a healthy, open chakra system. Begin to feel confident, stable and physically alive as you tap into your own renewable energy via a balanced root chakra. I’ll need it as I unpack all of these boxes. Now where did that darn box of nail polish go…?