A brief guide to the seven chakras

A Brief Guide to the Seven Chakras

Holistic healing acknowledges the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the self. The chakra system can help us understand the intersection of these four quadrants of health. 

In the West, the concept of energy is still quite foreign and few people are familiar with the subtle body—the part of ourselves that yogis, Chinese medicine practitioners, and traditional eastern practices often reference. It can be felt but not seen. This is the part of you that feels a vibe when you enter a room. The subtle body is full of vibration and information, and many of us can feel it but do not know how to use it to better understand ourselves and our experiences. The chakra system is the key to becoming conscious of this unconscious material so we can positively impact our growth and healing. 

Before anything comes into form on the physical plane it exists as energy, which is why the chakra system can provide great perspective for preventative health. Each chakra is associated with specific systems of the body and can impact physical ailments. When we understand the subtle sensations of the energetic body, we can respond to our needs before those subtle vibrations become physical illness, dysfunctional relationships, self-limiting patterns, or poor life decisions.

Just as the physical body develops over time and we must learn to crawl before we can walk, the subtle body has a developmental path. Each chakra serves as a building block for the next. Here is a quick overview of the chakra system:

The Root Chakra 

Developmental stage: conception through 7 years old. 

Themes: Foundation, safety and survival, connection to the earth, attachment versus authenticity, fear and trust. 

Primary wound: Repression

Signs of imbalance:

  • Physical confusion about what is safe and what is not.

  • Inability to trust.

  • Life decisions that are driven by fear.

  • Anxiety, allergies and autoimmune issues.

Signs of balance:

  • Being authentic.

  • Feeling safe enough to take risks in your life that are fully aligned with who you are and what you want.

1 tool to balance the root:

Grounding exercises. For ex. walk barefoot outdoors or visualize the roots of a tree extending from the base of your spine deep into the center of the earth. 

The Sacral Chakra

Developmental stage: 7-14 years old.

Themes: Emotional development, being comfortable with discomfort, understanding the impermanence of pleasure and pain, creativity, and sexuality. 

Primary wound: Denial

Signs of imbalance:

  • Pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, urinary issues.

  • People-pleasing behavior, being overly emotional or emotionally guarded, living in denial.

  • Difficulty with intimate relationships.

Signs of balance:

  • Having the ability to feel emotions and express them without reacting to them or being overly driven by them.

  • Tolerance for discomfort.

  • Willingness to see one’s own blindspots.

1 tool to balance the sacral: Vipassana meditation

The Solar Plexus Chakra

Developmental stage: 14-21 years old.

Themes: Ego development, identity, discerning what to assimilate into the body and energetic field and what to eliminate.

Primary wound: Shame

Signs of imbalance:

  • Self-limiting beliefs that keep you small.

  • Insecurity and shame.

  • Digestive issues.

  • Excessive judgement of oneself and others.

Signs of balance:

  • Self-confidence.

  • Feeling empowered.

  • Having the will and determination to exceed expectations and limitations imposed by oneself and others.

1 tool to balance the Solar Plexus:

Scream at the top of your lungs 3 times. 

The Heart Chakra

Development stage: 21-28 year old. 

Themes: giving and receiving love, self-love, compassion.

Primary wound: Rejection

Signs of imbalance:

  • High blood pressure, circulation problems, cardiovascular risk factors.

  • Feelings of rejection.

  • Lack of compassion toward oneself and others. 

Signs of balance:

  • Ability to give and receive love in relationships.

  • Self-compassion.

  • Living courageously. 

1 tool to balance the heart chakra:

Write a love letter to yourself and read it in front of the mirror.

The Throat Chakra

Developmental stage: 28-35 years old.

Themes: transmitting thought into form by manifesting, expressing one’s truth, and communicating effectively. 

Primary wound: Guilt

Signs of imbalance:

  • Hypothyroidism.

  • Inability to create the things you want in your life.

  • Frequently feeling misunderstood.

  • Being driven by guilt

Signs of balance:

  • Ability to manifest your dreams.

  • Clear communication skills.

  • Fearlessly and unapologetically expressing yourself.

1 tool to balance the throat chakra:

Chant a mantra, such as “Sat Nam” (which means "I am truth") for 3-11 minutes.

The Third Eye Chakra

Developmental stage: 35-42 years old.

Themes: clarity, intuition, greater perspective, and the ability to see that identity is dynamic.

Primary wound: Seperation

Signs of imbalance:

  • Hormone imbalance, headaches, nightmares.

  • Indecision.

  • Short-sightedness and a lack of empathy.

Signs of balance:

  • Foresight and perspective.

  • Wisdom and intuition.

  • Vivid dreams.

  • Aging with ease.

1 tool to balance the third eye: Pay attention to your dreams!

The Crown Chakra

Developmental stage: 42-49 years old. 

Themes: connection to the macrocosm: the great cycles of the universe and the biorhythms of the body.

Primary wound: Separation

Signs of imbalance:

  • Depression.

  • Social isolation and disconnection.

  • Insomnia.

Signs of balance:

  • Sense of oneness in the world.

  • Connection to something bigger than yourself.

  • Feeling a sense of purpose.

#1 tool to balance the crown:

Be of service in the world.