When I was first learning about the chakras years ago I worked with them every day, and sometimes delved into them one at a time. Like many things I get involved with, I went a bit overboard, but I learned a lot. In my opinion, although they aren’t a one-stop-shop they are an important part of ourselves to understand, and they offer tools to navigate those mysteries called health and happiness.
What are they? The chakras are part of our energy system, the bubble around us which separates us from the world and through which we filter the world – things come in, we process, and things go out, and the chakras are specific energy centers that rotate and process different kinds of information. There are seven main chakras found along your spinal column:
- The root chakra is found in front of the base of the spine. It is associated with red, survival, security, and the earth. “I am”
- The sacral chakra is in front of the area of the sacrum. It is associated with orange, emotions, pleasure, relationships, all the organs in the pelvic area, and water. “I feel”
- The solar chakra is located between your navel and solar plexus. It is associated with yellow, personal power, all things digestion, and fire. “I do”
- The heart chakra is at the heart. It is associated with green, love and peace, complex emotions, passion, the thymus and circulation, and air. “I love”
- The throat chakra is in found in front of the throat. It is associated with blue, communication, creativity, listening, hearing, the thyroid and neck/shoulders, and the element ether. “I speak”
- The third eye chakra is located between the eyes. It is associated with indigo, sight and intuition, pineal gland and eyes, and the element of light. “I see”
- The crown chakra is centered just above the top of the head. It is associated with purple/white, thinking, pituitary gland, information, bliss, the nervous system, and the element of thought. “I understand”
This is my simplest introductory version. There is a lot more depth to these energy centers. If you are looking for more information about them (complete with lots of Sanskrit), the complex paths they flow in (nadis), and how people work with them, check out Anodea Judith’s book “Wheels of Life”.
No for how I use them…
I had taken them out of my toolbox as a regular means and am glad for the reminder for the role they play. I had come to the conclusion, which I still agree with, that they operate all on their own and I didn’t need to mess with them (they know more of what they need than I do) as they regulate from deeper and multiple levels. I have also learned that they are deeply intertwined with each other – working with just one doesn’t do much, and imbalances (which change) need to be assessed/understood before just telling a chakra to open. A practitioner is required for assessment (which changes daily) and healing specific imbalances. BUT I can support them and learn from them!
My goal with the chakras has become to observe, clean up any energetic “trash” ready to be cleared so they can flow easier, feed them positive energy, and to read and meditate on any that I seem to be struggling with. Here is what I usually do with them, all of which I do gently and only as my intuition is called to them:
- Observe: When lying on the floor in constructive rest (as I always do, my bare minimum self-care tool), on my back, knees bent, feet on floor, hands at my side, I often try to see them (just to acknowledge them which gives them positive energy). Sometimes I watch the two flows: create/liberate (earth to sky through the chakras) and manifest (sky to earth).
- Clear: There are a couple of ways to simply clear up your energy field, though intention is all that matters. You can “fluff” your entire field – by circling your hands, alternating like bike pedals, all around your bubble. You can also use light or water imagery as your hands wash your bubble from above your head down through to the feet. It helps to try and “see” where it feels stuck or dark or begging for it.
- Feed: Sometimes I invite the colors into the chakras, one at a time, and/or light. This gives them positive energy. I will also breathe into the two flows until they feel like they move easier. All things in our body function toward better health when flow is restored.
But there is one more amazing and profound way to work with them – read about them; understand them. I definitely feel that just being aware that this energy body exists and learning what the chakras do and how it works with me is invaluably important. As always, small work with big intentions has the greatest impact.
Lately I’ve been drawn to the heart chakra (as an answer to my prayers about being a mother and wife and tired person) – the first time in a long time I’ve been drawn to just one chakra. I’m just rereading and breathing and mentally opening to new ideas. This is a great place to be with the holidays as the heart chakra deals with love.
Love is always a good place to start – yes. How is it flowing in and out in your life? The heart chakra is the center, where relationship with the other chakras, other people, complex emotions, and the earth and the divine take place. Do you feel grounded or airy? Do you feel expressive or numb? Do you feel lonely or overly dependent on acceptance? Do you need healing or to let go of grief? Are you joyous or selfish?
A balance between these means we are feeling great and is ideal. If you think you are out of balance you can breathe light or love into that imbalance and ask if it needs to stay there. If so ask why the imbalance is there and what benefit you are getting from it. You can get a massage or give one, or open and close the hands, look at green….whatever feels right and not overwhelming. Or keep it simple and hold the chakra and these concepts in your awareness as you move through your day as a means for mental stimulation that needs to be integrated rather than working with the energy itself.
This can be done for any of the chakras, as you are drawn to them. Go with your instincts! Another way to support them is to notice what colors you are drawn to, and repulsed by, in your life. Our favorites are supportive, but leaning too far in any direction, again, is a potential cue to open up – look for support for this.
It is okay to have the chakras a little out of balance when life is out of balance – they shouldn’t be open and flowing all the time. That would be great if life allowed that, but life isn’t always open and flowing. Concerns only need to be addressed when there are serious health, spiritual or emotional issues that are preventing life, or when it is obvious that one or more chakras are NEVER opening or are never shutting down. Seek support if you are drawn to work more with them! There are lots of people who can help you: Reiki practitioners and yoga teachers are great sources. Trust your instincts and what is suddenly around you.
I hope you have gleaned some knowledge for power here, and feel encouraged to open a bit to the rainbow you are!
Referenced source: “Wheels of Life”, by Anodea Judith