According to Hinduism and Buddhism, a chakra means an energy point or node in the subtle body. There are several chakras in the body through which the life force or vital energy moves. These vast pools of energy govern the psychological qualities of a person.
Among the several chakras, there are seven main chakras – four in the upper body that control the mental properties and three in the lower body that control the instinctual properties. These chakras are arranged vertically along the axial channel.
- Muladhara (Root Chakra)
- Svadhishthana (Sacral Chakra)
- Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra)
- Anahata (Heart Chakra)
- Vishuddha (Throat Chakra)
- Ajna (Third-Eye Chakra)
- Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
The chakras are usually connected with a certain color as well as with some part of consciousness.
A proper balance of all the chakras is important, as it contributes to a person’s well-being. If the chakras are not balanced, peace with oneself cannot be achieved.
Many times, some of the chakras are not open all the way, which can lead to illness or dissatisfaction in life. This is when you need to open the chakras. This can be done using mudras, which are special hand positions that have the power to send more energy to particular chakras.
To enhance the effect of mudras, some particular sounds are also chanted. When chanted, they cause a resonation in the body that can be felt at the chakra for which they are meant.
Here are the details of the 7 chakras and how to open them.
1. Muladhara (Root Chakra)
Muladhara, or the Root chakra, portrays the flower lotus with four petals. This chakra’s color is red and it is located at the perineum, the base of the spine in the tailbone area.
This chakra is concerned with instinct, security and survival and also basic human potentiality. It also has a relation to the sense of smell.
The Root chakra relates to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, which triggers the fight-or-flight response when survival is under threat.
Those who are nervous or scared often must open this chakra to induce the feeling of stability and security.
Tips to open the Root chakra:
- Ground yourself by standing up straight and relaxed for several minutes.
- After grounding for several minutes, sit cross-legged.
- Allow the tips of your thumb and index finger to touch gently, in a peaceful motion.
- Now, concentrate on the Root chakra.
- Chant the sound “LAM”, silently yet clearly.
- Keep on taking deep breaths until you are completely relaxed.
The Root chakra represents the color red, hence from clothing to decorative items, keep the color red in mind. Wearing a garnet stone as well as eating red-colored fruits and vegetables, such as apples, beetroots and tomatoes, will also help.
You can also try yoga poses like the Mountain Pose, Standing Forward Bend, and Sun Salutation to help balance your root chakra.
2. Svadhishthana (Sacral Chakra)
Svadhishthana, also known as the Sacral chakra, portrays a white lotus within which is a crescent moon with six vermilion or orange petals.
This chakra is located at the lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel (belly button) and two inches in. The color of this chakra is orange.
The Sacral chakra is concerned with emotion and represents desire, pleasure, sexuality, procreation and creativity.
This chakra corresponds to the male testes or the female ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle. It is also related to, more generally, the genitourinary system and the adrenals.
As this chakra controls your feelings and sexuality, by opening it you can learn to be open to people and be passionate about your relationship with your partner. Plus, an imbalance in this chakra can contribute to compulsive or impulsive behavior.
Tips to open the Sacral chakra:
- Sit on your knees, with your back straight but relaxed.
- Lay your hands in your lap, palms ups.
- Put the left hand underneath the right hand, with the left palm touching the back fingers of the right hand.
- Allow the tips of the thumbs to touch gently.
- Now, concentrate on the Sacral chakra.
- Silently, yet clearly, chant the sound “VAM” until you are completely relaxed.
The color of this chakra is orange, so try wearing clothes in different shades of orange. Try to use the same color for decorating your home and office. Also, include orange-colored fruits and vegetables in your diet.
To help open this chakra, you can also perform yoga poses like the Pigeon Pose, Reclined Cobbler Pose, and Frog Pose.
3. Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra)
Manipura, also known as the Solar Plexus or Navel chakra, is located at the upper abdomen in the stomach area, right in between your rib cage.
The Solar Plexus chakra is symbolized by a downward-pointing triangle with 10 petals, along with the color yellow. The color of this chakra is yellow.
This chakra is related to the metabolic and digestive systems. The key issues controlled by this chakra are personal power, fear, anxiety and introversion.
This chakra corresponds to the islets of Langerhans, groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex.
Those who have low self-esteem and confidence can benefit by opening this chakra. If you are indecisive or timid, try opening this chakra.
Tips to open the Solar Plexus chakra:
- Sit on your knees, with your back straight but relaxed.
- Put your hands in front of your stomach, slightly below your Solar Plexus.
- Allow your fingers to join at their tops, all pointing away from you.
- Keep the thumbs crossed and straighten the other fingers.
- Now, concentrate on the Solar Plexus chakra.
- Silently, yet clearly, chant the sound “RAM” until you are completely relaxed.
As this chakra is connected with the color yellow, decorating your surroundings keeping the yellow color in mind is very helpful. Adding lemon to your drinking water as well as eating yellow fruits and vegetables is recommended. A bright yellow citrine crystal is also helpful.
You can also try some yoga poses such as Full Boat Pose and Sun Salutation for this chakra.
4. Anahata (Heart Chakra)
Anahata, or the Heart chakra, is located at the center of chest just above the heart. This chakra involves issues like complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being.
The Heart chakra is symbolized by a circular flower with 12 green petals known as the heartmind. This chakra is related to the colors green or pink.
This chakra is related to the thymus (located in the chest), which is an important element of the immune system as well as the endocrine system.
Those who are having problems with relationships must open this chakra. By opening this chakra, you will be more compassionate and friendly, which are very important for good relationships and interactions with others.
Plus, blockage in this chakra can manifest in the form of immune system , lung and heart problems.
Tips to open the Heart chakra:
- Sit cross-legged and keep your body and mind as relaxed as possible.
- Allow the tips of your index finger and thumb to touch on both hands.
- Put your left hand on your left knee.
- Bring your right hand in front of the lower part of your breastbone.
- Now, concentrate on the Heart chakra, located just above the heart.
- Silently, but clearly, chant the sound “YAM” for about 10 minutes.
The color of this chakra is green, so try to wear clothing and decorate your space keeping in mind the color green. Eat green vegetables and fruits, such as avocados or grapes. You can even wear a jade gem.
Yoga poses such as Cobra Pose, Camel Pose or simple alternate nostril breathing can be of great help in balancing this chakra.
5. Vishuddha (Throat Chakra)
Vishuddha, also known as the Throat chakra, is related to communication and growth through expression. Physically it governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.
The Throat chakra portrays a silver crescent within a white circle, with 16 light or pale blue or turquoise petals.
This chakra is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that produces thyroid hormones, responsible for growth and maturation.
This chakra is about self-expression and creativity, hence those who are shy and introverted should try to open this chakra.
Tips to open the Throat chakra:
- Sit cross-legged and keep your mind and body relaxed.
- Cross your fingers on the inside of your hands, minus the thumbs.
- Allow the thumbs to touch at their tops, and pull them up a bit.
- Now, concentrate on the Throat chakra, located at the base of the throat.
- Silently, but clearly, chant the sound “HAM.” Keep chanting for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Blue is the color for this chakra. Hence, try to decorate your home or office in shades of blue. Also, include blue foods like blueberries in your diet. You can also wear lapis-lazuli gems.
You can also practice yoga poses like the Fish Pose, Lion Pose and Bridge Pose to help open your throat chakra.
6. Ajna (Third-Eye Chakra)
Ajna, also known as the Third-Eye chakra, deals with visual consciousness. Emotionally, this chakra deals with clarity on an intuitive level.
Symbolized by a lotus with two petals, this chakra is located near the center of the forehead, a little above the eyebrows. It is represented by the colors violet, indigo or deep blue.
This chakra aids in balancing the higher and lower selves and trusting inner guidance. It also covers intelligence and observation.
This chakra is linked to the pineal gland, a light-sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin that regulates sleep and waking up.
Those who are not very good at thinking for themselves, are prone to depression, rely on authorities or get confused easily would benefit highly by opening this particular chakra.
Tips to open the Third-Eye chakra:
- Sit cross-legged in a relaxed state of mind.
- Put your hands in front of the lower part of your breasts.
- Keep your middle fingers straight, touching their tops and pointing away from your body.
- Keep the other fingers bended and touching at the upper two phalanges.
- The thumbs should point toward you and touch at the tops.
- Now, concentrate on the Third-Eye chakra, located a little above the center of the two eyebrows.
- Silently, but clearly, chant the sound “OM”. Keep chanting until your feelings are intensified.
An intense shade of blue clothing or home décor using lavender flowers will help you. Also, meditating while looking at the deep blue color of the evening sky will help. You can even wear azurite stone.
You can also practice yoga poses like the Child Pose and Download Facing Dog to help balance this chakra.
7. Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
Sahasrara, also known as the Crown chakra, is considered to be the state of pure consciousness. Within this consciousness, there is neither object nor subject.
Symbolized by a lotus with 1,000 multicolored petals, this chakra is located on the top of the head, in the same place as the soft spot on a newborn’s head. It is represented by the colors violet and white.
It involves issues such as inner wisdom and the death of the body. Its role is similar to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones that communicate with the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system through the hypothalamus.
People who are not aware of spirituality or lack focus or direction in life should open this chakra. Blockage in this chakra can also contribute to psychological problems.
Tips to open the Crown chakra:
- Sit cross-legged, keeping your body relaxed and mind at peace.
- Put your hands in front of your stomach.
- Allow your ring fingers to point up, touching at their tops.
- Keep the rest of your fingers crossed, with the left thumb underneath the right.
- Now, concentrate on the Crown chakra located at the top of your head.
- Silently, chant the sound “NG” for about 10 minutes. Make sure you chant it clearly.
Warning: Never use this meditation for the Crown chakra while your Root chakra is weak.
To open this chakra, place violet flowers or decorative items around the house or office. You can also wear amethyst and eat foods with a violet color, such as figs.
Practicing gratitude also helps open this chakra.
Yoga poses like Sun Salutation and Warrior Pose are also beneficial in clearing this chakra.