After all, as much as we seem to focus and tend to our physical bodies, we don’t just exist as a physical body. “We have an energy that extends beyond our physical form,” says Thimela Garcia, energy healer, yoga teacher, and author of Chakras. That means tending to your energy centers can be as important as tending to your physical health and actually a way to care for your physical and emotional health.
- Bridget Ambrose, energy medicine healer
- Fern Olivia, yoga instructor and Reiki healer
- Parita Shah, Reiki practitioner and energy healer
- Sahara Rose, Ayurvedic expert and author of Discover Your Dharma
- Song Atthajaroon, spiritual guide, yogi, Reiki energy healer, and mindfulness facilitator
- Susy Markoe Schieffelin, sound healer and Reiki practitioner
- Thimela Garcia, energy healer, yoga teacher, and author of Chakras
“Chakra balancing is a form of energy healing that focuses on channeling energy into the seven chakras,” says Garcia. “It promotes health by maximizing the flow of energy in the body.” Practices that balance your chakras are all about aligning and harmonizing the energy in your body. If this sounds like just what you need right now, keep reading for the benefits of these practices and tips for bringing more harmony into your body, energy, and life.
Why is chakra balancing important?
There are seven chakras, or energy centers, in your body. Referenced in India’s traditional medical system, Ayurveda, these energy centers correspond to specific organs and states of being, Fern Olivia, Reiki healer and yoga instructor, previously told Well+Good. "Within these chakras is 'prana,' or the ultimate pure healing energy, that's all around us and within us, to keep us healthy, happy, and vibrant."
The seven chakras include the root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra, and crown chakra. While we all have these seven energy centers, our personal lives and health affect how well each one emits and flows that positive life energy. That stuff that makes you feel not so great, like bad sleep or perpetually stressful days, clogs up your chakras, and once one is clogged, the whole system is out of whack.
While we more often hear about blocked chakras (more on that in a minute), your chakras can also be too open and, therefore, vulnerable—for example, empaths might have too open heart chakras leading to susceptibility to manipulation by others, spiritual guide, reiki healer, and mindfulness facilitator Song Atthajaroon, previously told Well+Good. “Balancing the chakras involves aligning and harmonizing the energy flow in all your chakras, ensuring they’re neither underactive nor overactive,” says Garcia. “It’s like tuning an instrument – you want each chakra playing its note in harmony for overall well-being.”
So what happens when all seven chakras are balanced? Put simply, you can visualize balanced chakras as wheels along your spine spinning in tandem, says energy healer and Reiki practitioner Parita Shah. Balanced chakras mean your flow of energy is aligned, and negative feelings and thoughts, as well as physical ailments, are less likely to manifest. "Each of the chakras points 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. Feeling good physically and emotionally takes tending to those energy centers.
Benefits of balancing your chakra
1. Energetic harmony
According to Garcia, balancing the chakras ensures that energy flows smoothly throughout the body. This smooth energy flow and harmony can enhance your overall vitality and a sense of balance in life.
2. Emotional stability
“Chakra balancing helps regulate emotions by addressing imbalances in specific energy centers,” says Garcia. Addressing these imbalances and bringing your energy into alignment prepares you to deal with stress and the ups and downs of life better.
3. Mental clarity
Struggling to focus or make decisions? Balancing your chakras could help. “When the chakras are in balance, mental fog tends to lift,” says Garcia.
4. Enhanced physical health
Because each chakra is associated with specific organs and bodily functions, balancing them may contribute to improved physical health and a strengthened immune system, says Garcia. Also, balancing your chakras could alleviate physical discomfort that might be linked to blocked energy.
5. Stress reduction
Stress can contribute to blocked chakras and an unbalanced chakra system, but chakra imbalances can also contribute to stress, says Garcia. Working toward balancing the chakras can promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
6. Heightened creativity
Certain chakras are associated with creativity and expression (looking at you, sacral chakra). Bringing balance back to the chakra system may unlock creativity and enhance artistic or innovative pursuits, says Garcia.
7. Improved relationships
The energy centers in our body don’t just affect us; they affect how we interact with and relate to others. Think about it as what type of energy you radiate. According to Garcia, balancing your chakras can positively impact how you relate to others. “It fosters compassion, empathy, and effective communication, leading to healthier relationships,” she says.
8. Spiritual growth
“For those on a spiritual journey, balanced chakras are believed to facilitate a deeper connection with one’s spiritual self, fostering personal growth and awareness,” says Garcia. When you aren't bothered by physical discomfort or emotional instability, you can tap into your unique reason for being.
9. Better sleep
Similar to the vicious cycle of stress contributing to chakra imbalance and chakra imbalance contributing to stress, bad sleep can both be a cause and effect of unbalanced chakras. “Balancing the chakras may contribute to improved sleep quality and a more restful night,” says Garcia.
How to know if your chakras are blocked or unbalanced?
According to Sahara, our physical maladies often have a correlation to the unbalanced energy within our bodies. "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," she says. If you learn how to open your third eye or balance your root chakra, things can return to normal.
"Our physical maladies often have a correlation to the unbalanced energy within our bodies." —Sahara Rose, Ayurvedic expert
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.
The most important thing is to pay attention to your body and emotions, says Garcia. “If you’re experiencing physical discomfort, emotional imbalances, or a sense of being stuck, it might indicate chakra issues. Feeling fatigued, anxious, or uninspired can be signs.” She recommends trusting your intuition when it comes to blocked and unbalanced chakras.
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
One method used to balance the chakras is visualization. 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.” Part of this can involve using stones and crystals for healing; for example, using throat chakra stones as your meditate or say affirmations can help you visualize the blue energy balancing.
Struggling to imagine what that healing energy looks like? “I often imagine myself being surrounded and protected in a beautiful warm light that holds all the wisdom, sweetness, and love from the universe. I visualize my entire body filling up with this light, every cell being bathed in it,” Bridget Ambrose, an energy medicine healer previously told Well+Good.
2. Reconnect with nature
Take your visualization of warm, beautiful sunlight bathing your every cell to the next level by actually getting outside. 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."
The feeling of being outside on a mid-60s day, a light breeze, clear sky, is indescribably pleasant and calming—it makes sense how spending intentional time with Mother Earth balances the chakras. Research even suggests nature contact is associated with good health and well-being.
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. A review of research on the effects of singing bowls indicates they are associated with improvements in anxiety, positive and negative emotions, and distress.
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.
For a chakra balancing meditation, 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 chakra color placements to your mind, breathe into each one, allowing that particular energy to expand with each breath, adds Shah. You can also incorporate crystals that are aligned with each chakra into this practice.
Garcia recommends breathwork exercises such as alternate nostril breathing for balancing your chakras. Alternate nostril breathing is a practice that involves closing your right nostril, inhaling through the left, closing both for a brief moment, then releasing the right, inhaling through the right, and repeating. For more details on nostril breathing and more breathwork techniques, check out these 15 easy breathing techniques.
Breathwork is a great option for balancing your chakras because you can basically do it anywhere. It’s easy to add to your routine when you need a moment of calm and harmony.
Garcia also recommends yoga for balancing the chakras. Specific yoga poses target specific chakras. Finding a flow that tends to your blocked chakras can bring more balance to your whole system. To tend to your heart chakra, try the cobra pose, which involves pushing up onto your arms while lying on your stomach, or various other stretches that open the heart chakra. To tend to your root chakra, try the mountain pose. For other yoga poses that target specific chakras, check out our explainer on what chakras are.
How often should you balance your chakras
According to Garcia, you should incorporate chakra-balancing practices into your daily routine. “Even a few minutes of focused attention on each chakra can make a significant difference over time,” says Garcia. Incorporating breathwork or intentional time in nature are chakra-balancing techniques that can be easily incorporated into your day-to-day life.
Originally published January 4, 2020; with reporting from Erica Sloan.
- Goldsby, Tamara L et al. “Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being: An Observational Study.” Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine vol. 22,3 (2017): 401-406. doi:10.1177/2156587216668109
- White, Mathew P., et al. “Spending at Least 120 Minutes a Week in Nature Is Associated with Good Health and Wellbeing.” Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1-11, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3.
- Stanhope, Jessica, and Philip Weinstein. “The Human Health Effects of Singing Bowls: A Systematic Review.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol. 51, 2020, p. 102412, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102412.
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