Risa Bos, LMHC offers an overview of the Chakra system and how caring for the 7 Chakra can directly affect our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Eastern philosophies have long held that the Chakras hold immense power and directly affect our emotional, as well as our physical wellness. Chakras are the seven main energy centers that run through the middle of our being, right along the spine. Each is associated with a color, an element (earth, air, fire, water), and a distinct area of control psychologically and physically. Learning the basics of the Chakra system can provide a wellness and self-care tool for empowerment and overcoming in areas of need. The Daily Tea (www.thedailytea.com) published this great, comprehensive guide to understanding your chakras and identifying those that need some tending and care.
“Here’s a quick summary of the seven chakras and steps you can take to start feeling great right now:
The first chakra, located at the base of the spine, otherwise known as the Root Chakra, is governed by the element earth. Its true name is Muladhara, meaning ‘root support’. This chakra is responsible for our stability and grounded nature. It is what keeps us connected to the physical world. It is also controlled by our belief system, and what we’ve learned over our lifetime. If this chakra is unbalanced, we may experience lower back or joint pain, as well as digestive disorders, a weakened immune system, and either obesity or anorexia.
A few yoga poses to try for this chakra are Warrior, Bridge, Tree or Mountain Pose. Drinking tea before, during or after yoga is just as beneficial as the yoga itself. For this chakra, try an earthy herbal blend that will help connect you to the ground.
The second chakra, located in the abdomen above the stomach, is the Sacral Chakra. It is also known as Svadhisthana, or ‘one’s own place’. This chakra controls our sexuality and pleasure, money, creativity and relationships. Its governing element is water, and it is responsible for the ebb and flow of our energy interaction with polar opposites. This chakra, when unbalanced, could cause bladder or uterine issues, sciatica, large intestine problems, and sexual dysfunction.
Yoga poses for this chakra include Pigeon, Cobra, Sphinx, Eagle, and Half Locust. A light herbal tea with a slight spice, as well as notes of citrus and mint, would be perfect for this energy.
The third chakra, or Solar Plexus Chakra, also known as Manipura, means ‘lustrous gem’. This energy is our self-esteem center. It controls our personal feeling of power, as well as our emotions. Fire is this chakra’s element, and its desire is to burn brightly, giving us the power and warmth of self-confidence. Stomach issues, low energy and nervousness are among the ailments associated with this chakra when unbalanced.
Sun Salutation, Warrior, Bow & Boat poses help to brighten the flame within, and increase the energy. A very complex, earthy tea works well with this one.
The fourth chakra is the Heart Chakra, or Anahata, meaning ‘unstruck’ or ‘unhurt’. This is the chakra of love, ruled by the element of air. To love others, we must first learn to love ourselves. The feeling of despair can be associated with an unbalanced heart chakra. Difficulties breathing, circulation issues, and shoulder tension are also caused by this.
Yoga poses for this chakra include Camel, Cobra, Fish & Upward-Facing Dog. Your tea should be light and floral, with fruity notes as well. Rose inspires love, and is the perfect addition to any tea for this chakra.
The fifth chakra, or Throat Chakra, rules willpower and choice. It is also known as Visuddha, meaning ‘purification’, and is governed by the sense of hearing, or sound. The throat chakra is important, because this is where we can vocalize what we desire from the universe. When this chakra is blocked, the sound cannot resonate, and our voice becomes feeble, barely noticeable. An unbalanced throat chakra can cause esophageal problems, affecting the ears, throat, vocal cords and even the spine.
Try the Fish, Camel, Bridge & Plow poses to unblock this energy. For tea, anything fruity with hot spicy undertones to warm the throat is ideal.
The sixth chakra is the Third Eye Chakra. Known as Ajna, meaning ‘to perceive and to command’, the third eye chakra is responsible for our intuition, imagination & wisdom. This is a chakra of light, vision and insight. Opening up the third eye allows all energy to flow closer to the enlightened state. When this chakra is ailing, we worry, our imagination suffers and we have difficulty concentrating on what’s around us.
Plow, Child’s Pose, Easy Pose, & Headstand are all poses in yoga that may help heal the third eye chakra. Your tea should be light and floral, with pronounced notes of lavender and rosemary.
The seventh, and final chakra, is the Crown Chakra. This chakra, called Sahasrara, meaning ‘Infinite Awareness’, is the final chakra before reaching pure enlightenment. It is located at the top of the head, resonates in the form of a 1000-petal lotus flower, and is where we connect directly to the supreme energy of the universe. When this chakra is blocked, we may feel confused, depressed, or fearful of being unsuccessful. We may experience headaches, amnesia, and mental or skin disorders.
The best poses to help clear this chakra are the Warrior III, Eagle, Tree or Mountain. An herbal tea with a perfect balance of floral, sweet and spicy notes is recommended.
When all seven chakras are in perfect balance and harmony, everything we dream of will manifest. We create our own destinies, but any blockage in our energy could bring negative aspects into our lives, instead of positive. So clear those energy fields, balance those chakras, drink your teas, and live the life you’ve always dreamed.”
If you are a newcomer to yoga, don’t feel overwhelmed. Yoga is a self-care practice that can be done at a studio or on your own, at home or in an outdoor setting you find peaceful. There are websites and Youtube channels that guide you through yoga for free, offering practices that range in length from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your need and what you can fit into your schedule. www.doyogawithme.com and Youtube “yoga with Adriene” are a couple of my personal favorites. There are also essential oils and various types of stones and crystals that correspond with the different chakras that, when carried or worn on a necklace, can have a balancing effect on the different chakras.
Have fun with creating your own practice of keeping your Chakras in balance! And of course, if you’re struggling with an area of emotional need, we here at Life Skills Resource Group are equipped to help you. We have a counselor for any need you may identify: depression, anxiety, grief, addictions, couples therapy, PTSD, ADHD. Talking to a skilled professional can help you to organize your thoughts and take charge of your emotions, part of which can involve developing a self-care practice like Chakra balancing with yoga or meditation. Call us at (407)355-7378 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our experienced therapists.