A global pandemic has kindled a resurgence in the popularity of an ancient tradition used to enhance wellness.
Chakra, the Sanskrit word for “wheels,” refers to a point of energy in the body. There are seven chakras that run up and down the spine. If you’ve taken a yoga class, learned some basic meditation or had a healing reiki treatment, you’ve probably heard about chakras and why keeping them unblocked is important to well-being.
The holistic tradition of chakras originated in India around 1500 B.C. and included 114 different chakra points, says Jayde McAloon, owner of Pieces of Jayde, a jewelry store and eclectic shop in Chesterton, Ind., that focuses on holistic wellness.
“Today, we work with a more simplified system of seven chakras, and they form a rainbow from the bottom up,” says Ms. McAloon. “People ask me, ‘How do I know if my chakras are aligned or if they are blocked?’ The answer is, if you are feeling sluggish or bogged down in some way, either mentally, spiritually or physically, you may need to work on unblocking one or more chakras. I like to describe it as a running stream. Sometimes pebbles are building up and restricting the flow of the stream.”
The first chakra is the root chakra. Located at the base of the spine, its color is red. The root chakra is the body’s foundation and is related to the concepts of home and safety. It helps you feel grounded, steady and emotionally secure. “If your root chakra is blocked, you may be feeling unexplained anxiety or feel uninspired,” says Ms. McAloon.
The second chakra, represented in orange, is the sacral chakra. It is centered a bit below the navel, and it relates to pleasure, creativity and sexuality. A blocked sacral chakra can result in lower back pain, urinary tract infections or even a feeling of compromised self-worth.
The third chakra is the solar plexus, located in the upper abdomen and stomach. The yellow solar plexus chakra is the center of self-esteem and confidence and the center of your personal power, Ms. McAloon says. Deep yogic breathing reaches into the solar plexus.
The heart chakra, colored green, is in the middle of the chest. It is the center of your ability to love—not just romantic love, but love of family, mankind and love of self. “It’s the bridge between the upper and lower body,” McAloon explains, and if your heart chakra is blocked, you may feel isolated, insecure or lonely.”
The throat chakra, represented in the rainbow with blue, is all about the center of communication. “How you speak and receive information and how express yourself honestly is the key to the throat chakra,” Ms. McAloon explains. “Often, women may have been taught to swallow their feelings rather than express them. But on the flip side, social media has given people a channel to broadcast negative feelings without repercussion. Both suppressing our feelings or expressing ourselves without compassion and truth can jeopardize flow in the throat chakra.”
The third eye chakra, colored violet, is the point in the middle of the forehead that represents our inner wishes, our intuition and knowing. “Deep down, you know things, even if someone has tried to talk you out of them,” Ms. McAloon says. “When your intuition is blocked you may feel self-doubt, and try desperately to fit in.”
The crown chakra, at the very top of the skull is the place where you could theoretically pull yourself up with a string and it links all seven chakras. The white crown chakra represents enlightenment and spiritual connectivity. When your crown chakra is blocked you could exhibit stubbornness, unusual skepticism or closed-mindedness.
So how can you unblock a chakra? Ms. McAloon says the simplest way to start is to take several deliberate deep breaths. “When you stop and take three to five deep, focused breaths, you are feeding the positive energy flow. Plant your feet and feel the earth, and imagine yourself pulling fresh, clean energy from the Earth through your feet and up into your body, releasing it from the top of your head.”
Other strategies that might help can include:
“Tune in to your body – it will tell you what’s good and what needs work,” says Ms. McAloon. “Working on your wellness should enhance and not replace medical care. We all want to feel better and being more aware of our chakras is a good way to start taking care of ourselves. I want people to remember that happiness and wellness aren’t finish line goals, they are a journey. There will be plenty of ups and downs and treating happiness as a destination at which you arrive is unrealistic. We need to make a choice to recognize, and even sometimes steal, moments of joy each day.”
March 2, 2022