Imagine spiraling energetic channels along your spine. This is easy for some, but it’s like unicorn sci-fi for others. Uncomplicate the chakras with this quick, digestible overview.
Here’s what Anodea Judith, renowned author of the ultimate chakra book Wheels of Life, says about the importance of the chakras:
“The object of our work is to clean the chakras of old, non-beneficial
patterns so that their self-perpetuating actions have a positive influence, and our life energy can continue to expand to higher planes.”
If that quote didn’t click for you just yet, that’s okay. Keep reading, especially the cheat sheet toward the end, and then circle back.
There are thousands of energetic channels running through your body. Of those, 7 stack up your spine, from its base to the top of your head, as your main energetic centers. Their locations correspond to the 7 main nerve ganglia emanating along your spine and the endocrine system glands in those areas.
Let’s backtrack for a moment and break it down a little differently.
“Chakra” means, in a word, “wheel." In more words, a chakra is a spinning vortex that receives, absorbs and distributes energies. These spinning wheels are measured as electromagnetic force fields within and around all living beings.
We all have them, but not many of us have them functioning in their perfectly balanced states. Imbalanced chakras can help explain the roots of our issues.
It’s kind of like a treasure map: trace the problem to the corresponding chakra, and you know what to do to help heal it.
I’ll explain further.
Each chakra holds specific abilities for your physical and emotional life. When a chakra is spinning too little, too much, or not at all, the abilities that it houses are thrown off. Think of a houseplant. Give it too much water and it rots. Don’t give it enough water and it shrivels. Your chakras need just the right amount of energy to function at their best.
For example, if your root chakra is spinning optimally, then you feel secure about your life, grounded and independent. If its spinning is not optimal, you may feel like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop and stuck in survival mode - both internally and with your surrounding world.
How’s your posture right now? Are your shoulders rounded forward with a concave chest? That could indicate trouble with your Heart Chakra. Look at someone’s spine - how it’s aligned or misaligned - and you may be able to tell a lot about the state of their chakras, and their well-being.
What do you do if your chakras are imbalanced? Well, yoga helps! Certain poses can help unblock and strengthen certain chakras, clearing a path for you to feel balanced and attain higher consciousness and connection.
Like yoga poses, there are many associations to your chakras, including certain colors, sounds and elements. Visualizing the color yellow can help boost your willpower (solar plexus chakra), for example.
To make the chakras digestible, here is your complete chakra cheat sheet:
The Chakras - The Yoga Girl Comprehensive Guide
Sanskrit name: Muladhara, “Root Support”
Location: Base of your spine, between anus and genitals
Color: Red, black or brown
Crystals: Garnet, apatite, tiger’s eye, black tourmaline, bloodstone, onyx
From this article, can you gauge which of your own chakras are doing well and which could use some more attention and support? Share your epiphanies or action plans with our community in the comments below!
Vegan Cardamom Banana Cake from The Yoga Girl® Kitchen
Cardamom is an amazing spice to use in baking to add a sweet, spicy depth and flavor to your dish. The subtle benefits of spices are often overlooked in western cooking, however in Ayurvedic cuisine, spices are the heart of the dish! Ayurveda recommends eating something sweet BEFORE a meal, in order to support your digestion. We don’t need another reason to eat cake, but here we are eating dessert before dinner. Thank you, Ayurveda!
We live in a world that constantly, constantly tells us to change. To improve. To get better.
Transform yourself; get thinner, stronger, more fit, continue to climb the ladder, make more money.
Be a better mother, a better father, a better leader, a better person.
The recipe for this tri-doshic dal is one of my go-to recipes for the winter season. Made with red lentils that cook down into a creamy consistency and delicious vegetables and spices, this meal is incredibly healing for every Ayurvedic constitution! Added bonus, red lentils are actually considered to be Sattvic, the purest form of food we can intake; healing, soothing and calming.