Spiritual Health

5 Expert Tips for Balancing Your Chakras, According to Ayurveda

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If knowledge about the chakras—which are referenced in India's traditional medical system, Ayurveda—were taught in a classroom setting, lesson one would likely be a breakdown of the seven main energy centers in the body and their meanings. "Each of the chakras point to one of these energy centers in our nervous systems, which are linked to psychosomatic characteristics," says Ayurvedic expert Sahara Rose, author of Discover Your Dharma. By the end of this first lesson, you’d be able to differentiate your root from your sacral chakra and your third eye from your crown chakra, no problem. Then, in lesson two, things may skew more advanced, and you’d dive into learning about chakra balancing, which is a method of aligning your internal energies to help release physical and emotional blockages.

Why is chakra balancing important? Put simply, when your chakras are balanced—which you can visualize as wheels along your spine spinning in tandem, says energy healer and Reiki practitioner Parita Shah—your flow of energy is aligned, and negative feelings and thoughts, as well as physical ailments, are less likely to manifest.

"Our physical maladies often have a correlation to the unbalanced energy within our bodies." —Sahara Rose, Ayurvedic expert

"Our physical maladies often have a correlation to the unbalanced energy within our bodies," says Sahara. "This means that having a headache, for example, could be tied to an unbalanced third eye chakra, whereas constant uncertainty about yourself and your basic needs could relate to an unbalanced root chakra."

And the energy flow is reciprocal based on the mind-body connection, a central tenet of Ayurveda: Unbalanced internal energy can manifest in physical ailments in the same way that those physical disruptions can lead to misaligned energy. According to Reiki practitioner and sound healer Susy Markoe Schieffelin of The Copper Vessel, unbalanced chakras can create emotional, spiritual, or physical symptoms.

Often, such symptoms are localized to the particular chakra where the imbalance exists. For example, if you're experiencing a lot of coughing and a sore throat, the throat chakra may be either under- or over-active, says Shah. Upon noting this, you might investigate the energy of the chakra in question—which is communication, expression, and how we honor our truth, for the throat chakra—and see if there's a way to remedy the ailment by adjusting on those measures instead.

While each chakra functions differently and rules over a unique sector of the body, there are a few general practices you can implement to balance all the chakras. Keep reading for tips from the experts.

5 tips for balancing your chakras, according to Ayurvedic experts

1. Practice visualization

If you feel generally out of balance, start by visualizing yourself having a healing energy pouring through your body and traveling along your spine, Shah previously told Well+Good: “You might start to feel certain body parts get warm or you might feel tingling or even pressure. You could also see some colors. All of those things are just indicators that energy is shifting and releasing.”

2. Reconnect with nature

In many cases, when you feel generally anxious, insecure, ungrounded, or fatigued, the issue may stem from an unbalanced root chakra, which lies at the base of the spine, says Sahara, noting that the physical symptoms typically affect your skeletal or immune system.

"It's important to have a balanced root chakra, so you have a strong sense of grounding without becoming inflexible," she says. "Bringing these issues back into balance might look like connecting with earth’s energy by spending time outdoors and practicing walking on earth’s soil in your bare feet to receive its negative ions."

3. Try sound healing

In addition to a regular bath (because those are good for chakra balancing, too), consider a sound bath. "Different sound frequencies correlate with each chakra,” Schieffelin says. “The vibrations from these sounds can help clear energy blockages and support a healthy energy flow within your chakras." You can seek out a local sound healer or consider investing in a Tibetan singing bowl to give it a try at home. In fact, in a small 2016 study of 62 people on the effects of singing bowl sound meditation on mood, all participants reported less tension, anger, and fatigue, as well as increased feelings of spiritual well-being after the meditation.

4. Practice chakra-balancing chants

Channeling sound through chants can help reinvigorate the energy flow in your body. “Chanting is like sound healing from the inside,” Schieffelin says. “The vibrations of your voice work to clear blockages throughout all of your energy centers.” If you're new to the chanting realm, she suggests finding a yoga class that incorporates chants to try it out.

In a similar vein, you can also adopt one of the daily one-syllable or "seed" chakra mantras, such as "Lam" for the root chakra, or "Vam" for the sacral chakra, according to Sahara. Each of these correlates with an affirmation you can use, as well—for example, "Lam" pairs with "I am," and "Vam" pairs with "I feel."

5. Do a chakra color meditation

Each chakra is associated with a certain color. “The red root chakra is at the base of the spine, the orange sacral chakra is in the pelvic area, the yellow solar plexus chakra is at the stomach (right above the belly button), the green heart chakra is at the center of the heart, the blue throat chakra is at the neck, the indigo third-eye chakra is at the center of your forehead, and the white crown chakra is right above your scalp,” Shah previously told Well+Good.

To balance a blocked chakra with color meditation, then, you can envision where it's located in the body, and imagine its color radiating out from its center point. “I like to start from the bottom of my spine, at the root chakra, and slowly move up through each energy center picturing its color emanating from my body,” Schieffelin says. As you bring these different color placements to your mind, breathe into each one, allowing that particular energy to expand with each breath, adds Shah.

Originally published January 4, 2020; with reporting from Erica Sloan.

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