If you’ve ever felt a little bit off and you’re not sure why, it’s worth checking in with your chakras.
The chakra system is made up of seven energy centers that correspond to specific areas of your body, from your tailbone to the top of your head. Rooted in eastern traditions, the word chakra means “spinning wheel” in Sanskrit so, when a chakra gets blocked, it stops energetically spinning. This blockage is thought to lead to various symptoms that can be experienced in the mind or even the physical body.
Keeping your chakras balanced—or open, or clear— helps you maintain optimal energy flow throughout your body. When you’re blocked, you might feel stuck or sluggish or just not yourself.
Here’s what you need to know about these blockages and how to unblock chakras.
How do chakras get blocked?
Chakras can get blocked or unbalanced when there is too much activity in that area, or not enough. A low energy chakra means that you’ll have a hard time expressing the qualities of that particular chakra. An overactive chakra will dominate your other systems.
Typically, the cause of blocked chakras is stress or a highly emotional event. Too much stress can wreak havoc on all systems of the body, as well as influence bad habits that send your chakras into further unbalance, making them either underactive or overactive.
When people get stressed, they tend to focus more on their problems and less on taking care of themselves. When you’re not eating healthy food, taking time for fresh air and exercise and engaging in self care activities like meditation, you can send your chakras into misalignment. And it’s in these times of stress that you really need to lean on mindful practices.
What do chakra blockages cause in the body?
Blocked chakras can cause a number of physical and mental symptoms in the body. For example, a blocked solar plexus chakra might manifest itself through a domineering attitude, aggressiveness. It could also lead to low self esteem, difficulty making decisions and even digestive issues.
Because each chakra corresponds to a different area of the body (including the organs within or near that area), you might experience physical symptoms in that particular region. The next sections will outline the specific symptoms and warning signs within each of the seven chakras, along with tips on how to unblock your chakras.
Unblocking the root chakra
The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and creates a foundation for the other six chakras, much like a foundation for a house.
If your root chakra is out of balance, it creates a wobbly foundation for the rest of your chakras. A blocked root chakra can result in issues with the bowels, colon, bladder, lower back and legs. Mentally, you might feel anxious, insecure, ungrounded and fearful, or even unsafe.
Here are some ways to unblock your root chakra:
Certain yoga poses are considering grounding postures and grounding your root chakra is the most effective way to find balance in this energy center so you can feel rooted in your body. Balasana (child’s pose), Malasana (garland or squatting pose) and Pavanamuktasana Vatayanasana (wind-relieving pose) are all associated with balancing the root chakra.
The colors red and black are associated with the root chakra. Healing crystals like ruby, obsidian and red jasper can be carried as talismans or sat upon during meditation to help facilitate balancing.
To heal your root chakra, include more root vegetables—like beets, carrots, radishes, garlic, onions and parsnips—into your diet.
These vegetables provide a healing energy, and are formed within the earth and can have healing effects. Because red is the healing color for the root chakra, you can also incorporate red foods into your diet like tomatoes, peppers, chilies and strawberries.
Unblocking the sacral chakra
The sacral chakra is your sexual energy center. If you’ve been feeling less desire toward your partner or sexual situations, or you’re not feeling pleasure the way you usually do, your sacral chakra may be blocked. The sacral chakra is also your creative energy center, so if you feel uninspired or unable to tap into your creative nature, that could be another sign of a block.
When your sacral chakra is out of balance, you can experience sexual dysfunction, relationship issues and a lack of joy or inspiration, as well as feel extremely tired. Here are some ways to unblock your sacral chakra:
For the sacral chakra, try doing some hip opening poses, like Kapotasana (pigeon pose) and Mandukasana (frog pose), holding them and going deeper as you get more comfortable with the sensation. These poses can help release physical tension in your groin area. Bhujangasana (cobra pose) is also helpful for balancing your sacral chakra.
The colors orange and red are associated with the sacral chakra. Crystals like garnet, carnelian, bloodstone and orange calcite can help bring back your passion. Place a stone just below your belly button while you bathe or meditate to feel the healing effects.
Orange foods like pumpkin, orange sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, papaya, mango, honey and cantaloupe can be healing for your sacral chakra.
Unblocking the solar plexus chakra
Your solar plexus chakra is located in your stomach and this energy center is associated with digestion and gut health, as well as the abdominal muscles and core. A blockage can manifest as stomach pain, digestive issues, acid reflux, cramping, bloating and gas. Mentally, you might experience a lack of confidence and feelings of powerlessness or even worthlessness.
Your appetite, or lack thereof, can also be a powerful cue that something is off in your solar plexus region. If you feel unbalanced by never feeling full or never feeling satiated, there could be something energetically amiss.
Here are some ways to unblock your solar plexus chakra:
There are a number of poses that can help unblock the solar plexus chakra. Virabhadrasana (warrior pose) can help you regain your confidence, while spine twists and back bends can physically work your stomach and core area to remove blockages and promote energy flow. Dhanurasana (Bow pose) and Navasana (boat pose) can also challenge your balance and help you use your muscles in your solar plexus area to encourage flow through the area.
Gold tiger’s eye, citrine, yellow calcite and yellow quartz are the healing stones best used for aligning with your solar plexus, which is associated with the colors gold and yellow. Try placing a crystal on your stomach while meditating or wear one on a long chain so it can rest on your stomach as you go about your day.
When healing your solar plexus chakra, look for yellow foods like banana, pineapple and yellow bell peppers. To promote gut health, yellow spices like ginger and turmeric can be helpful for healing, reducing nausea and promoting thorough digestion.
Unblocking the heart chakra
As you may have guessed, your heart chakra is located in your chest. When your heart chakra is blocked, you may have a hard time expressing or receiving love, you might have trouble feeling empathy and you could feel lost or empty inside.
Sometimes you have to heal your heart chakra after a romantic relationship ends, you have a painful conversation with a loved one or if someone close to you passes away.
Physically, any heart-related issues are associated with an imbalanced heart chakra, including palpitations, pain in the chest, circulatory issues or blood pressure that is too high or too low. A heart attack is an extreme event associated with a blocked heart chakra.
Here are some ways to unblock your heart chakra:
For opening up the heart chakra, you’re going to want to try heart-opening yoga poses, of course. Anything that opens your heart or chest area (shoulder stretches) and any back bending poses are helpful. In particular, try Ustrasana (camel pose), which is a big heart opener and Garudasana (eagle pose), which promotes detoxification and renewed blood flow.
The color associated with the heart chakra is not red, as you might suspect, but green. Look for crystals in green hues, like emerald, peridot, jade, green calcite and watermelon tourmaline for heart chakra healing. Wear one on a pendant over your heart for help with a blockage.
Eat all the greens when healing your heart chakra. Spinach, kale, romaine and other leafy greens are full of vitamins, nutrients and fiber. Green vegetables, legumes and fruits like cucumber, peas, artichoke and zucchini are also healing foods for the heart space.
Unblocking the throat chakra
The throat chakra, located at the base of the throat, connects your body and your mind and is the link between your physical needs and your intuition. While this chakra is located at the base of the throat, it also includes the base of the skull, the lower part of the neck, the shoulders, and the back, as well as the cheeks, ears, jaw, tongue and lips.
If your throat chakra is blocked (or if you have an overactive throat chakra) you may be having a hard time with communication in general, get anxious when speaking, use more negative words, have a raspy voice or develop thyroid issues, among other symptoms.
Here are some ways to unblock your throat chakra:
For unblocking the throat chakra, try poses like Halasana (plow pose), Sarvangasana (queen pose or shoulder stand) and Matsyasana (fish pose) to help release your neck muscles and bring energy flow back into this area of your body.
Blue colored crystals—like lapis lazuli, aquamarine, turquoise and celestite—can help balance your throat chakra. Try placing a throat chakra stone on the base of your throat while you lay down to meditate or use one during savasana at the end of a yoga practice.
There are few blue foods found in nature but try your best to incorporate some into your diet. Blueberries, blackberries and blue spirulina are a few options. Kelp, ginseng and wheatgrass are also helpful foods for realigning your throat chakra, as well as soothing teas to drink.
Unblocking the third eye chakra
Your third eye chakra is located in the space between your eyes. It’s associated with the brain and eyes, and can be the culprit for having memory or vision problems. Because the third eye chakra also deals with higher wisdom, a blockage can cause you to lose sight of your inner knowing or intuition, as well as have a hard time concentrating or staying focused.
On a mental level, you might also find yourself becoming narrow minded, rather than open minded, to particular people or situations that arise in your life. Physically, you might have vision problems, headaches,migraines or eye pain.
Here are some ways to unblock your third eye chakra:
When unblocking your third eye, you don’t need specific yoga poses. What you’ll do instead is focus on meditation and visualization to aid your healing process. Practice mediation while chanting or saying affirmations to help clear this energetic space. If you’re new to meditation, start with five minutes at a time and build your way up to more and more minutes as you get more comfortable with practicing sitting in stillness.
For crystals that heal the third eye, you’re looking for shades of bluish purple, dark blue or dark purple like sapphire, amethyst, lapis lazuli, and sugilite. Place a healing stone on your third eye space while mediating or resting to channel its healing power.
Look for as many purple foods as you can to heal this chakra. You can try eggplant, grapes, purple carrots, plums and purple lettuce or kale to help you unblock.
Unblocking the crown chakra
The last chakra, the crown chakra, is located at the top of the head and the space just above the head. It’s associated with enlightenment, higher powers and a person’s spiritual existence.
Since the crown chakra is a bit more ethereal than the others, it doesn’t have as many physical symptoms as the others. You may become sensitive to light or sound but more than anything, you’ll feel out of alignment with your higher power or a loss of spiritual connection.
You might find yourself becoming more materialistic or focused on the physical world rather than your values. To repair an unbalanced crown chakra, you need to ground yourself in what truly matters to you while also connecting in your higher power.
Here are some ways to unblock your crown chakra:
For the crown chakra, you can try Sirsasana (headstand pose) to bring new blood into your brain and flush out stale energy. You can also sit in Padmasana (lotus pose) or Baddha Konasana (butterfly pose) to work on meditation and maintaining concentration so you can regain focus.
Another way to balance your crown chakra is by doing the Crown Mudra (also known as the Mudra of a Thousand Petals). Put the tips of your index fingers and thumbs together to form a triangle or diamond shape, then hold your hands six or so inches above your head while you breathe deeply and connect with your higher power.
Look for light purple, white or clear crystals to help unblock the crown chakra like quartz, moonstone, diamond, amethyst or selenite. Place a stone on your forehead while meditating or resting to unlock its spiritual benefits.
When unblocking the crown chakra, you can try fasting to help clear your mind and find peace. However, fasting is not always the healthiest route since we all need to eat food to live and fuel our bodies. You can try abstaining from eating for 12 hours (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.) after eating nourishing food that day to get the fasting effects. But always listen to your body and its needs. If you need to eat, eat.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a blocked chakra. The stresses of everyday life can cause any one of your energy centers to feel unbalanced. What’s important is taking time to heal and connect with yourself when you’re feeling out of alignment. Being mindful of your mental and physical state is the most important form of self care.
Whether you believe in the idea of chakras or not, having these energy centers as a reference can help you pinpoint certain uncomfortable feelings, both mental and physical, and help you course correct. Pay close attention to the areas of your body that don’t feel right.
Check in with your thoughts and understand if they are truly serving you. This careful consideration of your outward and inward state can help free you from stress, and allow you to heal yourself when you feel off balance.
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