As a recent or former graduate of SWIHA, I’m sure you can attest to the growing pains you’ve experienced upon leaving school, suddenly tasked with building your own business or practice from the ground up. Of course, you have all of your accumulated wisdom, teachings, experiences, healings, lessons, trials and tribulations to lean on from your time at SWIHA. So what do you do when you get stuck, unmotivated, or caught up in fear and doubt around moving forward? When you hit those imaginary, yet oh-so-real walls? When you just want to give up your path, lay in bed and just binge watch Netflix until your next incarnation (isn’t that how Buddha did it)?
The mind can create a million different ways in which you can fail. We’ve all been there, and some of you might be in that space currently. If you’re not, read on, as I’m sure you’ll gain something from this article. Wherever you’re at, love it, since if you’re feeling it, you’re healing it! This week, I wanted to focus on the importance of balancing and clearing our chakras, and how each chakra blockage corresponds to a certain set of emotions, physical pains and states of dis-ease. I’m sure some of you have seen this information before, so treat this as a refresher if that’s the case. By slowing down, and becoming aware of where we are experiencing certain pains or emotions in our physical and energetic body, we can accept them, work with them, and ultimately heal, moving through whatever so called wall, stuck-ness or resistance we were dancing with before!
“And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”
Let’s start off with the Root Chakra. Tasked with keeping us quite literally rooted to this Earth, this chakra corresponds to our basic survival needs: food, money, clothing, shelter, safety and a sense of belonging. This is the most common chakra to be weakened or blocked, and if any of the aforementioned needs aren’t being fully met, you’re most likely dealing with a root chakra imbalance.
Some symptoms of a physical imbalance in this chakra include problems with the legs, feet, tailbone, rectum, male reproductive system and immune system. Additionally, addictions of any kind (especially drug and alcohol) are related to root imbalances.
Emotional imbalances relate to issues around our basic survival needs, fear of the past/future, anger, guilt, hypocrisy, lack of courage, inability to flow with life, and blaming others.
Phew, that root chakra holds some heavy stuff. Fear not, for now that we know what to look for in a blocked/imbalanced root, we can focus on healing it!
How to Balance the Root
1. Mantra and Mudra- Let the tips of your thumb and index finger touch, while you concentrate on your root chakra. Take a deep breath in, and on the exhale chant LAM. LAM, along with the following six other root vowel sounds that I’ll mention, comprise the Bija Mantras. These are the Sanskrit letters taken from the Vedic traditions, and are said to balance the chakras when spoken aloud. It also helps to visualize a red light extending down from your root to your and legs, grounding you to the Earth.
2. Earth, Ground, Move- The Earth is the root chakra’s corresponding element, so kick those shoes off and go lay in the grass, err, some cacti. All kidding aside, if you can’t plant your feet in some cushy, green grass (since you live in the desert), go for a walk or a hike, ride a bike, practice Tai-Chi, yoga, or a grounding meditation. Any activity that makes you more aware of the body will help strengthen this chakra.
3. Yoga- Three poses in particular will help to balance your root chakra: bridge pose, mountain pose and the warrior pose. Go on now, get rooted! Check the ‘yoga’ link for a more in depth look at each of those poses.
“Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather.”
Next up is the Sacral Chakra. Located just beneath our navel, this chakra deals with our pleasure center and our ability to express our emotions. The sacral corresponds to our ability to experience pleasure from both physical and emotional sources, and it’s also known as the sexual chakra. The orange glow of this chakra should be tended to like a flame. Instead of tossing wood into this fire, we feed it by simply doing the things we love, nurturing our talents and honoring our self-expression. A great way to tell if this chakra is open or closed is to take a look at your daily activities: are they rooted in a need to escape, or are they bringing you healthy pleasure?
Signs of a physical imbalance here are sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, and hip, pelvic and lower back pain. Addiction to junk foods and overeating is linked to this chakra as well.
Emotional imbalances include an inability to express emotions, lack of creative drive/creative blocks, low self-esteem, denying your own needs, guilt, and a desire to hide.
How to Balance the Sacral
1. Mantra and Mudra – Place your hands in your lap, left hand underneath, palm touching the back of the fingers on the right hand. Allow the tips of the thumbs to touch gently. Focus on cultivating an orange, fiery glow beneath your navel. Take a deep breath in, and upon the exhale, chant the sound VAM.
2. Yoga and Dance – When it comes to yoga poses to open up the sacral, focus on hip-opening asanas, such as pigeon pose, dancers pose, or even child’s pose. Here’s a great link that dives into these poses in greater detail. Another way to open up that sacral of yours is to dance like no one’s watching! Really, dancing can get you to open up your hips and express your sensuality. American dancer Martha Graham, said to be the Picasso of visual arts, had this to say on dance: “Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather.” So, what’s your forecast?
3. Food – The sacral chakra governs the sense of taste, so this is a major way to influence this chakra. Try juicing carrots, oranges, peaches and nectarines. Don’t have a juicer? Just eat them instead! Stick with orange and sweet foods here, especially ones that require a lot of sunlight to grow.
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Located about three inches of your navel is the Solar Plexus chakra. Burning bright like the sun, this chakra is the seat of our personal power, storing our judgments, thoughts, and beliefs about our self and the world at large. This chakra holds our identity, as well as the intellect and high-intelligence. When balanced, you are at peace with yourself, your thoughts and are able to set healthy boundaries. When it’s out of whack, the following may occur:
Some signs of physical imbalances are digestive problems, diabetes, food allergies, heartburn, nervous system problems, eye problems, and chronic fatigue.
Some emotional imbalances that can manifest are an inability to make decisions, difficulty concentrating, trouble taking action or getting things done. The suppression of love, fear, anger, and other strong emotions, as well as chronic complaining and denying your own power, also fall under the solar chakra.
How to Balance the Solar Chakra
1. Meditate with Gemstones – Certain crystals or gemstones will work best with this Chakra. Some of the main ones are citrine, amber, sunstone and golden calcite. Try working with these while chanting RAM and performing this mudra.
2. Affirmations – Since this chakra is strongly linked to your sense of self, affirmations that aim to cultivate self-love and acceptance will be best here. Some examples are, “I love and accept myself,” “I set healthy and comfortable boundaries,” “I respect and honor myself for where I am at,” and “Whatever I believe, I can achieve.”
3. Aromatherapy – Whether you combine this with yoga or meditation, or use this on its own, aromatherapy is a powerful, yet underappreciated way to heal your chakras. Focus on citrusy essential oils like orange and grapefruit, along with chamomile, mint and ginger. While you’re at it, go outside and soak up some sun! Makes sense, since this chakra is named after the sun.
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.”
Unsurprisingly, the Heart Chakra is centered on your ability to unconditionally give and receive love, compassion, and forgiveness. It is the chakra where you integrate your spiritual self with your physical being. Beneath all of our stories, pains and hurts, our heart center lays waiting for us to tap into this endless well of love, compassion, and gratitude.
Physical imbalances with the heart chakra include heart and lung disease, upper back and shoulder pain, as well as arm and wrist pain. Emotional imbalances include various issues of the heart; bitterness, jealousy, over-loving someone, dependency, abandonment issues, difficulty giving and receiving, and the suppression of feelings.
How to Balance the Heart Chakra
1. Hoʻoponopono –Give this ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and repentance a shot. It works wonders. If you’d like a more in depth explanation of how this works, check out the link above. Whenever you identify something in your life that needs to be healed, simply and honestly repeat the words, “I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you,” all while maintaining focus on that which you’re intending to heal.
2. Heal the Heart with Nature –Since the heart’s element is air and its color is a bright, emerald green, simply being outside and allowing the air to breeze across your heart can be very healing. If you’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by lush green trees and grass, go out and be with them! Sit beneath a tree and chant YAM, while holding this mudra.
3. Give Love – Ultimately, the best way to receive love is to give it. Smile at strangers. Forgive whoever you might be holding a grudge against, and move on. Try to go one day a week without judging or criticizing anyone or anything (including yourself). Slip little secret notes in your loved ones pocket that they can discover randomly the next day. Deliver flowers to a complete stranger in a random nursing home. Call up your parents and tell them how much they mean to you. Show you some loving too, and start your day off by giving yourself a hug.
May you hear and speak truth. May your life and your creations express the fullness of who you are. May you know ever deeper levels of truth.” - Author Unknown
Let’s move on up now to the throat chakra, which is our center of communication, expression, and listening. Communication is a two way street, and it’s equally important that we focus as much of our attention on being a great listener as we do on speaking and sharing. If you’re able to effectively communicate your thoughts, feelings and needs to others, congratulations, because your throat is glowing! If you’re happy with your career and you’re expressing yourself artistically, give your throat a hi-five my friend, as your throat is as open as the vast, blue sky. For those of us who are experiencing any of the following, let’s figure out how to open this baby back up!
Some signs of physical imbalances are hearing problems, stiff neck, colds, canker sores and mouth/teeth issues, ear infections, as well as losing your voice and having a sore throat.
Emotionally, throat chakra imbalances may manifest through lying, nonstop talking, arrogance, fear of speaking up or being heard, manipulation, and victimization.
How to Balance the Throat Chakra
1. Sing – Let your voice be heard! Singing is a great throat cleanser, so whether you’re in the shower, prancing around the house rocking out with a broomstick, in the car or at a karaoke bar, just sing!
2. Go HAM – While visualizing a gorgeous, electric blue spinning clockwise in your throat area, chant HAM, while holding this mudra.
3. Drink More Water – CBS recently reported that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Give your throat, and your body, the love it deserves. Drink up, and make sure it’s not tap water!
“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.”
Henry David Thoreau
Alas, we have arrived at the seat of the soul, the pineal gland or the Third Eye chakra. This chakra is all about our intuitive and psychic abilities, our sense of inner vision, and our ability to perceive the subtle energies that permeate the universe. When open and activated, you can see your life purpose from an expanded point of view, and you can flow with the rhythms of life.
Some physical signs of a blocked third eye chakra are migraines and headaches, sinus problems, allergies, eye issues, and anxiety disorders.
Emotionally speaking, third eye blockages may manifest as feelings of isolation, stubbornness, rejection, scattered thinking, self-criticism and self-centeredness.
How to Balance your Third Eye Chakra
1. Decalcify your pineal gland – The pineal gland is a tiny, yet oh so powerful endocrine gland that corresponds with our third eye. Most people’s pineal glands have become calcified due to the over ingestion of fluoride in tap water and tooth paste, sugar, caffeine, tobacco, calcium and pesticides throughout their life. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of ways in which you can begin to undo the damage. You can install a shower filter, drink reverse osmosis or distilled water, take raw apple cider vinegar, MSM and citric acid supplements, eat garlic, take oregano oil and neem extracts, do yoga... The list goes on and on (see above link for the full scoop).
2. Meditate with Binaural Beats & Solfeggio Frequencies – Binaural beats refer to the phenomenon that our brain produces when listening to two separate tones at slightly different frequencies. If 350 Hz was played in your left ear and 360 Hz was played in your right, the binaural beat would have a frequency of 10 Hz. Solfeggio frequencies refer to an ancient six-tone scale that was thought to have been used in sacred music, such as in Gregorian chants. Listening to and meditating with these various frequencies will help you to access increased theta wave activity (linked to pineal gland activation) and blast off into inner space! See you in Pluto.
3. Meditate with Mantras – Here’s where you can get creative. Try combining the tones above while chanting OM, and while holding this mudra. You can try chanting Thoh (pronounced like toeeeeee), although it is recommended that you only do this three times in a 24 hour span. Repeat this as much as you’d like, and see what kind of an effect it has on your third eye. Also, try incoporating crystals, such as amethyst, moldavite, herkimer diamonds and blue/indigo kyanite.
“It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.”
Last, yet definitely not least, is our Crown Chakra. Located just above our head, it is represented as a thousand petaled lotus. It is here where our connection to divine, unity consciousness takes place. It is the home of our higher self, our God-head, where we can expand our perspective to that of the universe. Think of it as a bridge to the cosmos! When balanced and open, we are able to live mindfully, in the present moment, fully connected to our source.
Some signs of a physical imbalance with this chakra are depression, sensitivity to light/sound, and insomnia. Emotionally, this blocked chakra will manifest as a lack of self-understanding, direction or purpose.
How to Balance your Crown Chakra –
1. Visualization – Spiritual teacher Teal Swan recommends this visualization to open up the crown chakra:
“The visualization I see working the best is when people imagine their crown chakra as a rich violet colored vortex like opening in the top of their head. They then visualize expanding it to about a foot wide, spinning clockwise and pulling golden light energy from the universe, into it and down into their body.”
2. Inspiration – Seek out that which inspires and moves you. Inspiration is a sign that this chakra is opening, so dive into your favorite books, listen to your favorite music, paint, draw, dance, sing, make music, write down some new affirmations, or practice a new modality. Move towards whatever it is that moves you!
3. Chant – Chanting the Bija Mudra sound NG will help assist you in opening this chakra, especially when combined with the following mudra.
Well, if you’re anything like me, you probably just realized you’ve got some work to do on your chakras. I wish you the best of luck on your journey, and I hope that this chakra refresher taught you a few new ways to move through whatever challenges life throws at you.
Love this story? Have an awesome article idea, or inspirational or motivational story to share? Are you a former graduate who has some advice for current SWIHA students? Let’s talk! I can be reached at [email protected]. Your feedback, comments, and responses of any kind are much appreciated.
About the Author, Anthony Scarpulla
As a recent graduate of the University of Miami with a B.A. in Creative Writing and Journalism, Anthony Scarpulla has joined SWIHA’s Online division, serving as our Creative Copywriter and Marketing Specialist. With a deep yearning to uncover the hidden, spiritual and esoteric realms of life and nature, Anthony aims to incorporate his passion into everything he loves, whether it’s writing poetry, music production and djing, to blogging, editing, and one day soon, healing work!