If you've been feeling less vital and energetic or in an emotional funk, it's possible that you have a chakra that is clogged or stuck. Contrary to popular belief, chakras are not the newest fad in the yoga world, but rather an ancient system for understanding your body's energy.
The chakras are located in the central channel of the energetic spine, sometimes referred to as the sushumna. This major route of energy flow (nadi) starts at the base of the spine and runs up to the crown of the head.
What exactly are these chakras and how would you know if you were stuck?
1st Chakra: Being depleted of first chakra energy feels like a survival crisis. You can’t get grounded because you are stuck in your head. By contrast, if you have too much energy at the root, you can become greedy or excessive in behaviours. These are misguided attempts to get grounded.
2nd Chakra: When someone is stuck in their sacral chakra, they struggle with being ruled by their emotions or the opposite of this, which is feeling numb or out of touch. There's also a correlation to sexual desire (or the lack thereof) at this level. Creativity and pleasure are both found at this energetic level.
3rd Chakra: This chakra is often considered the power center, and when out of balance, self-esteem may be low and decision-making can feel out of control. Temper flare-ups are also common when energy isn’t flowing well here.
4th Chakra: The heart chakra, when flowing with energy, feels filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. When there's a blockage at this energy level, anger, jealousy, grief, or self-hatred can be more prominent.
5th Chakra: This chakra is the source of speaking your most authentic truth. When energy is blocked or low here, fear of not being accepted or of being judged becomes a problem. You might also feel out of touch with your opinions and desires and have challenge in making choices.
6th Chakra: The word Ajna means “beyond wisdom,” and when this chakra is open, you experience expanded imagination, clairvoyance, and intuition. When there is a blockage at this level, there can be a tendency to be over-involved in fantasy or imagination. Lack of focus or clouded judgment can also occur.
7th Chakra: The crown chakra connects you to the wider universal energy, so when this area has a block, isolation or emotional distress can occur. This may present as an inability to set or follow through on goals or an overall lack of direction and feelings of disconnection.
How to Get Energy FlowingWhen energy is stuck in a particular chakra, help get it flowing again through these tips:
1st Chakra (Root)
- Element: The root chakra is associated with earth, so walking barefoot in the sand, grass, or dirt can be beneficial. Any time spent in nature is helpful for this chakra.
- Nutrition: Eat healthy red foods like tomatoes, beets, berries, and apples.
- Wear and Decorate: Use accents of red and wear red jewelry, clothing, or shoes.
- Sound: Lam
- Element: The sacral chakra is associated with water, which means swimming or spending time by bodies of water like lakes and oceans is beneficial.
- Nutrition: Eat orange foods like carrots, oranges, melons, or mangoes.
- Wear and Decorate: Surround yourself with orange accessories or tones.
- Sound: Vam
- Element: The solar plexus chakra is associated with the element of fire, so enjoy sitting around a bonfire or soak up bright sunlight.
- Nutrition: Eat yellow foods like bananas, ginger, turmeric, pineapple, and corn.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing yellow clothing, jewelry, and accessories would be beneficial.
- Sound: Ram
- Elements: The heart chakra is associated with air, so breathing deeply will help to clear the energy at this level. Drive with the windows open, fly a kite, or take a boat ride.
- Nutrition: Eat green foods including broccoli, avocado, and leafy greens like kale or spinach.
- Wear and Decorate: Accent your life with all shades of green.
- Sound: Yum
- Element: The throat chakra is associated with ether (similar to spirit), so sitting in an open space under a clear sky is a fabulous way to get this energy flowing appropriately.
- Nutrition: Eat blue foods like blueberries, currants, dragon fruit, and kelp.
- Wear and Decorate: Use all blue tones.
- Sound: Ham
- Element: The third eye chakra is associated with light. To balance and open this chakra, sit in stillness in the sunlight or relax in a window as the sun pours in.
- Nutrition: Eat indigo foods including purple kale, grapes, and blackberries.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing indigo clothing or jewelry and decorating with accents of this color will be useful.
- Sound: Sham
- Element: The crown chakra is affiliated with all the elements, so connecting with your wholeness rather than a single element is the recommended practice. Spend time in meditation, chanting, or prayer.
- Nutrition: At this level, the nutrition is no longer for the physical body. This chakra is not nourished with food, but with spiritual practices. Practice self-reflection and curiosity.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing violet clothing or jewelry and decorating with accents of this color will be useful.
- Sound: Om