What is a chakra: a beginner’s guide to these energy centers

img_7285We have all heard the term bantered around throughout our personal worlds – “your chakra’s are out of balance”, “that dude needs to realign his chakra”, “this will be good for your root chakra”.  Wherever you have heard about them, whether from yoga class or your local health food store, you likely know that chakras are important.  But what are they exactly?

Well, I’m hear today to give you a basic primer in what chakras are so that you can really start to understand what all these people around you are talking about.  I’m also writing this so I can point my clients (and my sister) this way so that when I tell them one of their chakra’s is “whack” (not a technical term) they will know what I am talking about.

Basically, chakras are energy centers that we all have throughout our body.  There are the traditional seven major chakras and then there are countless other “minor” charkas throughout our body and even below and above our bodies.  I am going to focus on those seven “major” chakras which is what you likely hear a lot about.

These chakras are located up your spine, from the base all the way up to the tip of your head.  There are colors and numbers and fancy names and all sorts of different things associated with each of these chakras.  Taping into these corresponding influences can help you to balance or open or unblock these centers.

So what exactly does it mean when I say “energy center”.  We are all made of energy, even science can agree on that.  This energy vibrates at different frequencies and has different affects on each of us.  Chakras are places in your body where different frequencies of vibrations collect.  When they are all in balanced and aligned it helps our body and our mind to feel great and function properly.  When one of these centers is out of balance the energy does not flow smoothly from our feet to our head and this can cause us to feel a little out of sorts.

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From Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith

For example, if our root chakra, which is located at the base of our spine and is all about grounding and being in the physical world (don’t worry too much, I plan to eventually cover each of the chakras in the coming months) is blocked or closed, we may have a hard time focusing and concentrating.  It may feel like our minds are a little flighty and that we need a list to keep track of everything because our short term memory is shot.

Now, what do we do about that now that we know our root chakra is all funky.  Different people have different methods they like to work with to help realign and unblock a charka – this usually includes working with the correspondences that are associated with each chakra.  One person may recommend wearing red (the color associated with this chakra) while doing a certain yoga pose.  Another person may suggest saying a certain sound (Lam) while standing outside on the ground without shoes on.  A different individual may provide Reiki to help heal the imbalance.  Each of these practices will help to realign and balance this chakra and it is usually personal preference and intuition that will guide you to the right practice.

So, do you feel like you have a better grasp on what a chakra is?  Do you still have any questions?  If so, comment below so I know what I need to add to this explanation – a beginners mind is always the most knowledgable! 

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