The human energetic body, also referred to as the pranic sheath or astral body, is an intricate network of 72,000 nadis that facilitate the movement of prana, the vital energy of the human body. The nadis, also referred to as astral tubes, astral nerves or meridians, come together in seven energy centers called the chakras which are located along the central canal, the Sushumna, which corresponds to the spine in the physical body. Understanding each energy center and having the ability to heal them can help you consciously control your physical body and hence aide physical and emotional well-being and assist in higher spiritual pursuits.
Tapping into the healing abilities of your chakras can be achieved through various means, such as changing your lifestyle and diet, establishing a meditation practice, taking time for personal exploration, and integrating physical practices such as yoga into your daily life. Below are some specific healing techniques to balance each chakra and help you establish equilibrium.
Root Chakra – Muladhara – I am
Location: The base of the spine in the tailbone area.
Purpose: Keeps you grounded and centered.
When imbalanced: Feeling unfocused; maneuvering through life without purpose; sense of drifting along; fear and uncertainty; frustration with life direction; lack of emotional and life independence.
When nurtured: Increased sense of security, confidence and satisfaction; increased sense of self-worth; strengthened connection with your intuition; ability to move forth to the creative nature of life; ability to fully love and enjoy life.
Healing techniques: Practice visualization of walking barefoot and growing roots to the Earth’s center; visualize molten lava or other objects that are bright red; perform walking meditation, if possible barefoot; resolve issues with family and close friends; re-establish your understanding of what you really need versus what you want in life.
What to eat: Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, beets, garlic, onion, etc; protein-rich foods such as nuts, eggs, beans and tofu; spices such as horseradish, cayenne pepper, hot paprika and chives.
Sacral Chakra – Swadhishtana – I feel
Purpose: The dwelling place of the Self that affords us the ability to change and accept others.
When imbalanced: Resistance to change; emotional imbalance; becoming manipulative; sexual dysfunction; laziness and lack of motivation; hormonal imbalance.
When nurtured: Overall sense of feeling balanced; increased flow of creativity; ability to be easy going; easily getting along with others.
Healing techniques: Looks for a creative outlet that you enjoy and that allows you to align with who you really are; face any buried emotions from your childhood; become accepting of relationships versus trying to influence them.
What to eat: Water and mineral water; seafood, fish and other foods from the sea; sweet fruits such as melons, mangos, strawberries, passion fruit and coconut; honey; nuts such as almonds and walnuts; sweet spices such as cinnamon, vanilla, sesame seeds and sweet paprika.
Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura – I do
Location: In the upper abdomen at the naval, corresponding to the solar plexus in the physical body.
Purpose: The seat of intellect that is the center of our personal power.
When imbalanced: Low self-esteem or self-worth; being withdrawn; depression; lack of confidence in daily responsibilities; emotional issues are often coupled with weakness or illness of digestive system.
When nurtured: Clear sense of optimism; high self-respect; ability to fully express yourself; ability to confidently face challenges; strong sense of personal power; general satisfaction with daily life.
Healing techniques: Reassess personal choices and life path; meditate on uncovering and accepting the true Self; take the emotional steps to “grow up” and take responsibility for your own life path; take steps to make your dreams and aspirations real.
What to eat: Starches and grains such as granola, oatmeal, cereals, flax seed and sunflower seeds; dairy such as goat cheese and yogurt; spices such as ginger, mint, chamomile, turmeric, cumin and fennel.
Heart Chakra – Anahata – I love
Location: Center of the chest, slightly above the heart.
Purpose: Governs love, compassion and spirituality.
When imbalanced: Feeling of self-pity; overwhelming feelings of sorrow for yourself; indecisiveness; anger; paranoia; fear of getting hurt; fear of close relationships; holding onto feelings or possessions that do not serve you; emotional issues can manifest themselves into cardiac problems.
When nurtured : ability to express love and compassion; ability to see good in other people; it is easy to forgive others and yourself; ability to show self love.
Healing techniques: Visualize a bright light at the heart center and imagine it expanding slowly; practice breath meditation focused on inhaling into the heart center and observing sensations at heart center on exhale; write in a journal; open up to and talk with a trusted friend.
What to eat: Leafy greens such as celery, cabbage, spinach, kale and dandelion greens. Air vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, squash and pumpkin; brown and white rice; green teas; leafy spices such as basil, sage, thyme, cilantro and parsley.
Throat Chakra – Vishuddha – I speak
Location: At the base of the throat.
Purpose: Governs our ability to communicate and our aptitude for faith and understanding.
When imbalanced: Difficulty communicating thoughts either verbally or in writing; inability for, frustration with or fear of self expression; apprehension and anxiety; hypothyroid.
When nurtured: Ability to find an opinion or voice in previously uncomfortable situations; experiences of inspiration; faith and trust in the Universe/Divine/God; ability to observe life from a higher vibration; ability to separate yourself from everyday problems and obstacles; establish understanding of our inner truth.
Healing techniques: Practice emotional detachment from trivial everyday drama; sing and dance; speak and yell; stand up for your personal beliefs and ideologies; express yourself; practice certain yoga postures such as fish, bridge and headstand.
What to eat: Fruit liquids such as coco water, juices and herbal teas; tart and tangy fruits such as lemons, limes, kiwi and grapefruit; tree growing fruits such as pears, plums, peaches, and apples; spices such as salt and lemongrass.
Third Eye Chakra – Ajna – I see
Location: The forehead between the eye brows (it is also called the crown chakra).
Purpose: Helps us stay focused and clear minded and allows us to receive inner guidance from the Higher Self.
When imbalanced: Lack of insight and intuitiveness; inability to make decisions; feeling lost, discouraged or egotistical; fearful of success; inability to acknowledge necessity to learn or ask for help.
When nurtured: Ability to connect to our intuitive nature; ability to see in our mind’s eye and envision our future; ability to look beyond the obvious and consider the mystical; facing truth without fear; life obstacles become new possibilities; trust is established that all things happen for a reason and are part of a bigger Divine plan.
Healing techniques: Visualize the third eye in the middle of the forehead looking around making keen observations; do not over-think or dwell on situations; take time to calm thoughts throughout the day; meditate on being present in the moment; learn new things; remain open-minded to unfamiliar ideas
What to eat: Raw green veggie juices; foods rich in chlorophyll such as spirulina; eat ligther foods and less food; dark colored fruits such as blueberries, red grapes, black berries and raspberries; spices such as lavender, poppy seed and mugwort.
Crown Chakra – Sahasrara – I understand
Location: At the very top of the head.
Purpose: Represents our ability to connect spiritually and allows the inward flow of wisdom.
When imbalanced: Feeling disconnected from life or life’s purpose; becoming destructive; lacking trust, faith and hope; experiencing headaches and “brain fog”.
When nurtured: General sense of satisfaction with life; productive attitude towards all actions and tasks; ability to acknowledge and even feel the connection to the world; unlocking the doorways to the subconscious and unconscious minds; ability to let go of attachments; judgments diminish in thoughts, words and deeds; enlightenment and Divine Wisdom become possible.
Healing techniques: Visualize bright light glowing at the crown and enveloping the top of the head; ask your Higher Self for guidance and healing; stop judging yourself and others in your words, deeds and thoughts; work on balancing the preceding six chakras; meditate consistently.
What to eat: fasting and detoxing; smudging with herbs such as sage, copal, myrth and juniper.
Here are some great tools to help you on your healing journey.
Chakra Meditation: Discover Energy, Creativity, Focus, Love, Communication, Wisdom, and Spirit by Swami Saradananda (Book)
Chakra Healing: Guided Meditation and Creative Visualization by Aimee Rebekah Shea (Audio)
Chakra Meditation: A Down To Earth Guide For Healing Chakras and Balancing Chakras by Little Pearl (Book)
Read more articles by Anna Hunt.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
The Seven Steps, by Marianne Wells, www.mariannewells.com
Yoga Mind and Body, by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
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