Chakras And Balancing Them

Since the jewelry I make works so closely with body energy, I’m often asked about choosing crystals for chakra healing. Some people know a lot about their chakras, but don’t know how to choose crystals for them. Others are vaguely aware that chakras exist, but they don’t know what they are, or how we are affected by our chakras. I wanted to shed a little light on the role that chakras play in our spiritual, physical, and energetic bodies, and what crystals match well with each of the seven main chakras for balance and healing.

First of all, chakras are energetic centers within the body, the word chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel” which refers to the way that energy spins and moves within the body around these energetic central points. There are dozens of chakras throughout the body, but there are seven that ascend up the spinal column that are most important. It is these that most people know of and work with because they have the biggest effect. You might think of them as the major “hubs” along which energy travels.

Your chakras require a good energy flow in order to support you. If they become blocked and underactive, you can experience issues. However, you can also experience issues from chakras that are overactive. The key, as with almost everything, is balance.

The chakras begin with the Root or Base chakra at the base of the spine or tailbone. In Sanskrit, this chakra is called Muladhara and it resonates with the colors red and black.

The Muladhara is the lowest chakra, it governs the basic energy of self, safety, survival, and basic human needs like food, water and shelter. It’s responsible for our ability to root, and to feel grounded, and is the source of Kundalini energy, which moves from the Base up through the higher chakras during a Kundalini awakening.

Your Base chakra can become imbalanced when we don’t feel safe: if you are food our housing insecure, if you’re in an abusive relationship (with anyone, not just a lover), or if you have unresolved traumas that make you feel constantly unsafe. You can also have issues with this chakra if you are out-of-touch with Mumma Nature or if you’re disconnected from your home, say during extended travel, or if you’re moving somewhere and don’t feel “settled” yet.

You can reconnect with your Base Chakra by wearing red, putting your toes in the dirt or sand, or otherwise connecting with nature. You can create a safe, homey atmosphere in your living or working spaces. And you can make it a priority to eat clean, whole foods. Encourage anything in your life that makes you feel secure, comfortable, and that promotes a healthy body. Wear crystals that vibrate in tune with the root chakra such as: garnet, ruby, ruby aura quartz, black tourmaline, bloodstone.

Your second chakra is your Sacral chakra. Located in the sacrum, which is the area of the pelvic bowl or the lower belly, this chakra is also called Svadhisthana. It resonates with the color orange.

The Svadhisthana is the seat of creativity, joy, lust, and sensuality. Our Kundalini energy rises to this chakra first when it is activated, and so it represents action and realization of energy. The sacral chakra therefore governs creative and generative energy like art and sex.

You can experience these imbalances in your Svadhisthana if you are engaged in unhealthy or unfulfilling sexual relationships, or if you are constantly blocking or denying your natural urges. That also extends to creativity. If you deny your creativity, or block all your creative outlets, it’s likely that your Svadhisthana is going to suffer. A blocked Sacral chakra can also manifest physically as disorders of the kidney or reproductive organs, issues with fertility and--for women--menstrual issues.

To reconnect with your Sacral chakra, wear orange, engage in physically pleasurable activities, have pleasurable and healthy sex (you can do this alone, if you do not have a suitable partner), paint, draw, sing, dance or otherwise make art and music. Wear clothing or adorn your body in ways that make you feel powerful and sensual. Wear crystals that vibrate in tune with the Sacral chakra like: carnelian, amber, orange aventurine, fire agate, citrine

Your third chakra is your Solar Plexus, also known as your Manipura. It’s located above the belly button, in the area of your diaphragm, and it resonates with the color yellow.

The Solar Plexus is a fiery chakra of action and intuition combined. This is the area where unconscious or subconscious begins to rise into consciousness. It’s the area of gut feelings. When we act from a place of truth--from an inner knowing that happens before all the noise of the outside world interferes, then we are acting from a place of our Manipura. When we are in tune with this chakra, we find clarity and confidence and intuitively look out for our well-being.

When this chakra is out of alignment, we feel disconnected from ourselves, unsure of our place or direction. We may have difficulty with our drive or action--being either physically or mentally low in energy. Physically, we may experience a range of digestive issues, we may absorb food poorly, or have issues with elimination (constipation or diarrhea) or we may have issues with being over or underweight despite careful diets. Issues of the pancreas or liver also fall under the influence of our Manipura.

To stimulate and align this chakra wear yellow, listen to your body and give particular care to eating whole, nourishing foods. Do not dismiss your feelings or intuitions out of hand, instead carefully consider them and check them against other information, as well as the wisdom of other areas of your body. Ideally your gut, head, and heart will all work together to agree upon the right course of action for you--if one of them seems perpetually at war with the others, you are likely facing an imbalance. You can also wear crystals such as: citrine, yellow or honey calcite, sunstone, yellow topaz

The fourth, and center chakra is the Heart. It resonates with the color green, and in Sanskrit is known as Anahata. It’s located in your heart center.

Anahata is the source of openness and lovingkindness. It is the center of the seven major chakras, and so it represents the merging of two opposites. We could consider this the integration point of the lower and higher self, or the subconscious and the higher consciousness, or the solar and lunar (or masculine and feminine) qualities of oneself. Your heart chakra helps you to integrate with others as well--it is the source of empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and love.

When this chakra is not in alignment, you may find empathy or connection difficult. You may feel that you do not receive enough love from others, or that you don’t love fully. You may have trouble with self-love or self-compassion. You might often feel jealous, withdrawn, or cold towards others. Physically, the heart or lungs might suffer, or you may experience disorders of the blood.

To balance this chakra, cultivate a self-care practice. By showing love to yourself, you help to bring the heart into balance, which allows you to send love to others. Practice a lovingkindness or metta meditation. Cultivate beauty in your physical surroundings, or seek out beautiful locations. You can also seek to open the heart chakra by cultivating a practice of regular charitable giving, or creating a gratitude journal. Wear green or use green crystals such as: prehnite, aventurine, jade, turquoise

As we rise to the fifth chakra, we encounter the Throat chakra. Also known as Vishuddha, this is located--as the name states--in the throat area, and it resonates with the color blue.

Vishuddha is the chakra of sound and voice. It represents both your physical voice--your throat, voice box and the physical health of both--but also your voice in a symbolic sense. It governs your ability to give voice to your opinions and thoughts, and to be heard and seen by others. As such, this is an important chakra for those who make their living doing writing, PR or marketing, or anyone who might be considered a “public figure.” The Throat chakra also represents our ability to turn our creative thoughts into material items, and so is tightly connected with drive and persistence. A well-balanced Vishuddha will help you take ideas created in the sacral chakra up through conception and into realization--to speak them out into the world if you will.

When your Throat chakra is imbalanced you’re likely to suffer from colds, strep throat, and loss of voice as physical symptoms. You may also suffer from endocrine or thyroid disorder, as those organs are governed by Vishuddha. Emotionally and spiritually, you may find that an imbalance Throat chakra leaves you unable to clearly communicate. You may often be misunderstood or misheard. You may feel ignored. You may suffer from writer’s block. You may miss work or school deadlines or suffer from crippling procrastination. The throat chakra and sacral chakra share a symbiotic relationship, so if one is out of alignment, it may make sense to provide extra attention to both chakras.

To balance the throat chakra practice speaking your voice, keep a journal to record your thoughts, or engage in other writing on a regular basis. Wear blue. Listen to beautiful music, or healing meditation sounds. Chant, or listen to the chanting of healing mantras. Sing. Wear crystals such as: lapis lazuli, aquamarine, turquoise, blue calcite, blue lace agate, aqua aura quartz.

The sixth chakra is the Third Eye, also sometimes called the Brow chakra or Ajna. This chakra resonates with the color purple, and is located on the lower forehead, between the eyebrows.

The Ajna is the center of higher thought. It sees that which is unseen by ordinary sight. Therefore, the Third Eye is considered a gateway to higher knowledge, foresight or clairvoyance. It is also considered the location where self-awareness and self-consciousness transcends into higher consciousness. It is associated physically with the pineal gland, which help to govern biorhythms and growth. A well-tuned third eye connects us with the intangible, and though it can be difficult to describe, grants a sense of peace and purpose, letting us know when we are following our higher path.

When imbalance the Ajna can cause disconnect or a feeling that life is without purpose or meaning. We may be so stuck in the “rat race” of our day-to-day lives that we cannot connect with a sense of higher power or greater meaning. We may also suffer from an inability to tap into our natural intuition, or to trust ourselves. An overactive third eye may manifest as delusions, or fantasies so strong we cannot differentiate between reality and imagination. Physically, an imbalanced Ajna may manifest as poor sight or disorders of the brain. Since the Third Eye is connected particularly closely to the pineal gland, issues with regulating day and night (insomnia or narcolepsy) are also considered manifestations of an imbalanced third eye.

To find balance with the third eye, make time for a regular meditation practice. Sit occasionally in silence--don’t be quick to turn on music or tv to distract you at every opportunity. Spend time cultivating your intuition and listening to intuitive whispers to encourage and strengthen this ability. Study symbolism, and look for symbols and signs in your daily life. Allow yourself to pray or ask for guidance or support from your own personal “higher beings” whether this means gods, archangels, ancestors, or the like. Wear purple and use crystals such as amethyst, purple fluorite or lepidolite.

The seventh, and highest chakra is our Crown chakra. Also known as Sahasrara this chakra is located at the crown of our head and resonates with a white or clear energy.

Sahasrara is our crowning, highest chakra. It has the energy of connection with our highest selves, as well as astral realms, deities and ancestral knowledge. It’s associated with the pituitary gland, responsible for development and growth. And this is echoed in its role in connecting us with our higher purpose and our soul’s growth throughout lifetimes and dimensions. Connecting with this chakra can help you to transcend earthly patterns, and egoic concerns. It can provide us with spiritual bliss or ecstasy, and with a sense of awe or peace at being a connected part of a greater consciousness.

When this chakra is closed or underactive we can feel disconnected or disdainful of our higher purpose. We may feel close-minded or cynical. Conversely, if this chakra is overactive, we might feel disconnected from our bodies, and obsessively attendant on spiritual matters, to the detriment of our earthly relationships and realities. Physically it can manifest as headaches, migraines, neurological pain or mental disorders.

The best ways to connect with your crown chakra are meditation and prayer. Meditation where you visualize your crown surrounded in brilliant white light is particularly helpful. You may also do yoga, giving particular focus to inverted asanas such as hand or headstands, dolphin or downward dog pose, or in savasana. You may also wish to receive reiki healing from a practitioner. You can also wear white, or deep purple. Use crystals such as clear quartz, selenite, or Herkimer diamond.