The Basic 411 on Chakras

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel and part of our subtle body anatomy” explains Tamara Martin, a Florida-based licensed massage therapist, yoga teacher, energy healer, and the founder/owner of Pink Sands Yoga “I like to think of them as energetic gears as they work together. The 7 primary chakras run along the spine beginning at the base of the spine (root) and ending at the top of the head (crown).” Shelby Gorstein of Shelby Yoga adds “Chakras are energy centers in the body. Each chakra corresponds to different organs in the body and elements of life.” Shelby holds a 200-hour RYT and an additional certification in Yin Yoga. “When one is blocked, certain mental/emotional and physical ailments may arise. When one is balanced, there is a sense of harmony and peace. These chakras can also be operating excessively, leading to other lifestyle impacts. For example, someone with an overactive heart chakra might end up emotionally drained in relationships.” Vicki Howie, creator of Chakra Love, the Chakra Life Cycle System, and Chakra Boosters Healing Tattoos describes chakras as “revolving doors between the human body and the outside world.” She continues to say “these chakras are created by continually moving currents of energy in the three dimensions of physical reality. As they move they are interacting with the areas on the body that are most concentrated with nerve ganglia. There is one “positive” and one “negative” for each of the three dimensions of physical reality, six in all.

These polar opposite currents create the swirling movement of the chakras in the body.
What does it feel like when your chakras are blocked? Martin explains, “Any health issue or disease can be linked to the chakras being blocked (but not to say that working with the chakras can diagnosis, cure, or treat them). People describe the feeling of a blocked chakra or chakras with these words: “tired, lack of energy, unmotivated, foggy, unclear, lack of peace, feeling blah, fearful, sad, depressed or anxious.” What does it feel like when your chakras are open? “People describe it like feeling more at ease, more energized, calm or peaceful, balanced, in the flow, clear-headed, focused or relaxed, just feeling good!” says Martin. Gorstein gives specific examples of the feelings one experiences when each chakra is blocked or open.
  1. The Root Chakra: When blocked there is a feeling of being ungrounded and insecure, or feeling unsafe or stuck in life. When open, there you feel accomplishment, trust, connected, and safe.
  2. The Sacral Chakra: With a blocked Sacral Chakra you will feel stiff hips, feel out of touch emotionally, overwhelmed, or in a place of addiction. When open you will have a feeling of abundance, creativity, fulfillment, and feel connected to pleasure. 
  3. The Solar Plexus Chakra: When blocked you will experience digestive issues, low self-esteem, lack of commitment and feeling dismissed. Feelings of confidence and power return when opened.
  4. The Heart Chakra: Tight shoulders, no compassion for self or feelings of isolation come with being blocked. Once open, you will experience feelings of self-love and feel a naturally radiant love for others with compassion and kindness.
  5. The Throat Chakra: When blocked you will experience a stiff neck, an inability to speak up for oneself and feelings invalidated. But once open you will be able to speak your mind, express yourself and connect with others.
  6. The Third Eye Chakra: A blocked Third Eye Chakra will lead to brain fog, lack of intuition and inspiration. When open you will feel connected to your spiritual development and experience feelings of unity and harmony. 
  7. The Crown Chakra: If this Chara is blocked you will have trouble concentrating and experience an inability to see other perspectives. Self-awareness and feelings of union and enlightenment return once open.
How does one heal their chakras? Martin explains “I think it’s more about keeping them open and flowing, and like any health and wellness concern, it involves a life-long practice of healthy living and awareness. That being said, to keep your chakras open, it’s important to have them tested and learn more about them. A personalized plan can be developed by a wellness practitioner like myself. You can learn to test them and open them for yourself as well.” Martin continues to explain. “All aspects of healthy balanced living can activate the chakras and help keep them flowing freely. This includes eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in all of the colors of the rainbow as each chakras has a corresponding color. Movements is important, especially yoga asanas which directly help open and energize the chakras. Spending time in nature for example walking barefoot on the earth is great for activating the root chakra. Chakra stones and essential oils can be used to open specific chakras, and of course meditation, prayer and other spiritual practices are important as they open us up to the greatest energy source of all divine love.”
How long does it take to open up your chakras? Martin says “It can take just a few minutes to open one up, but keeping them open is a little trickier, especially if there is a long-standing issue behind the blocked chakras and if there are multiple chakras blocked.”
What can you do on your own to help? “Any form of meditation can be helpful for opening the chakras, but if you wish to focus on a chakra meditation I recommend starting with a guided meditation either in person with an electronic device. You can find both live and recorded ones, these days. A printed version may be helpful as well.” Martin concludes “Any of these options will help, as long you can begin to do it on your own!”