How to talk to your chakras (really)


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Photo: Getty Images/Elizabeth Fernandez

Scroll Instagram on any given Monday morning, and you’re bound to be greeted by a hyper-enthusiastic host of #mondaymotivation. The entrepreneurs will remind you to “rise and grind,” while the super committed fitness fiends will encourage you to “never miss a Monday.”

But what if being bold, crushing it, and hustling hard are just a little much for you pre-sunrise? Consider balancing your chakras instead.

Chakras are energy centers in the body that each have different attributes,” explains Alicia Armitstead, DC, founder of Healing Arts NYC. Chakras were first described in ancient Vedic texts from India, and are closely associated with yogic practices—which is why you may have heard about them first from your vinyasa instructor. “And when your chakras are balanced, you can achieve health and happiness.”

It’s a lofty promise, sure, but before you write off chakras as being too woo-woo for your liking, take a look at the seven different chakras in the body, all of which come with potential benefits. (The word chakra, in Sanskrit, literally means “wheel of light,” Dr. Armitstead says. But more simply, each chakra represents a different type of energy—and each is said to vibrate at a different frequency and give off a different color, starting at the pelvis and moving upward to the top of the head.)

“If the chakras aren’t aligned or balanced, the energy can’t flow through properly, and imbalances can show up as negative thoughts, emotions, or physical ailments.” —Dr. Alicia Armitstead

The key, Dr. Armitstead says, isn’t necessarily to just focus on one chakra, but rather to get them all aligned. “The chakra energy is thought of coming from whatever higher power you believe in,” she says. “And each center of life force can either be balanced, overstimulated, or understimulated.”

When your chakras aren’t balanced, you may experience a variety of emotions. “So the next time you’re upset in any way, that would be a good time to balance your chakras in order to feel better,” Dr. Armitstead says. “If the chakras aren’t aligned or balanced, the energy can’t flow through properly, and imbalances can show up as negative thoughts, emotions, or physical ailments.”

So how do you actually balance your chakras? Color therapy is one way, Dr. Armitstead says. “So if you want to balance the throat chakra, you wear more blue, light a blue candle, or wear a blue necklace,” she explains. Different crystals, tuning forks, essential oils, exercises, or chants reputedly also help open up the chakras. But another way to balance chakras is by using affirmations. “Words are energy as well, so thinking a particular thought sends energy to chakras, which can block them, overstimulate them, or balance them,” Armitstead says.

Read on for Dr. Armitstead’s best advice on how to talk to your chakras via affirmations, to keep everything balanced and healthy.

chakra affirmations
Graphics: Well+Good Creative

1. Root chakra

Color: Red

Where you’ll find it: At the base of the spine or groin

Signs that it’s overactive: Heaviness, sluggishness, resistance to change, overeating, hoarding, material fixation, greediness, workaholic

Signs that it’s underactive: Fear, anxiety, underweight, restlessness, difficulty manifesting

Signs that it’s balanced: Groundedness, physical health, being comfortable in your body, a sense of safety and security, stability, prosperity, ability to be still

Affirmation: “I am safe.”

chakra affirmations

2. Sacral chakra

Color: Orange

Where you’ll find it: Right below the belly button

Signs that it’s overactive: Sexual addictions, obsessive attachments, excessive mood swings, excessively sensitive, poor boundaries

Signs that it’s underactive: Rigidity in your body and behavior, emotional numbness or sensitivity, fear of change, lack of desire or passion, boredom

Signs that it’s balanced: Graceful movements, ability to embrace change, emotional intelligence, creativity, ability to enjoy pleasure and passion

Affirmation: “I belong to the universal oneness, and I create with love.”

chakra affirmations

3. Solar plexus chakra

Color: Yellow

Where you’ll find it: Between your belly button and your solar plexus

Signs that it’s overactive: Controlling, arrogant, ambitious, hyperactive, stubborn

Signs that it’s underactive: Passivity, lack of energy, poor digestion, tendency to be cold, blaming, low self-esteem, poor self-discipline

Signs that it’s balanced: Responsible, reliable, good self-discipline, confident, warm, energetic, playful

Affirmation: “I am powerful.”

chakra affirmations

4. Heart chakra

Color: Green

Where you’ll find it: At the chest

Signs that it’s overactive: Codependency, focusing too much on others, poor boundaries, jealousy

Signs that it’s underactive: Antisocial, withdrawn, critical, intolerant, lack of empathy, fear of intimacy

Signs that it’s balanced: Caring, compassionate, empathetic, accepting, loving, peaceful, content

Affirmation: “I am loved.”

chakra affirmations

5. Throat chakra

Color: Blue

Where you’ll find it: At the throat

Signs that it’s overactive: Talking too much or inappropriately, gossiping, stuttering, excessive loudness

Signs that it’s underactive: Difficulty putting things into words, fear of speaking, speaking with small or weak voice, secretiveness, excessive shyness

Signs that it’s balanced: Resonant, full voice, clear communication, good listener, good sense of timing and rhythm

Affirmation: “I speak my truth.”

chakra affirmations

6. Third eye chakra

Color: Purple

Where you’ll find it: Middle of the forehead

Signs that it’s overactive: Hallucinations, delusions, obsessions, nightmares, intrusive memories, difficulty concentrating, excessive fantasizing

Signs that it’s underactive: Lack of imagination, difficulty visualizing, insensitivity, excessive skepticism, denial, inability to see alternatives

Signs that it’s balanced: Strong intuition, creative imagination, good memory, good dream recall, ability to visualize

Affirmation: “I am open to and trust the universe.”

chakra affirmations

7. Crown chakra

Color: White

Where you’ll find it: Right over the head

Signs that it’s overactive: Confusion, excessive attachments, over-intellectualization, living “in your head”

Signs that it’s underactive: Spiritual cynicism, a closed mind, learning difficulties, rigid belief systems, apathy

Signs that it’s balanced: Spiritual connection, wisdom and mastery, intelligence, presence, open-mindedness, ability to question

Affirmation: “I am connecting to spiritual consciousness.” (Fifteen minutes or more of daily meditation will specifically help this chakra, Dr. Armitstead says.)

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