An Introduction to Chakra Meditation
The chakras are seven energy centers that span the entire length of the spine. The word chakra means wheel and, when they’re open and aligned, our chakras are always spinning. What can we do to keep our chakras balanced and unblocked, so that energy can flow freely and fully through them? A common method is chakra meditation.
What are the chakras?
The chakras are a complex way of looking at body energy that originated in India. They were first discussed in the Vedas, one of the foundational sacred texts of yoga, more than three thousand years ago. Each chakra is associated with a particular part of the body, and imbalances in the chakras tend to manifest in ways that correlate to its location.
Location: crown (topmost part of the head)
Attributes: awareness, intelligence, connection to consciousness
Symptoms of imbalance: cynicism, self-harm or self-destructive behavior, sleep issues
Location: third eye (center of the forehead)
Attributes: wisdom, intuition
Symptoms of imbalance: brain fog, confusion, a sense of being lost or adrift, eye strain, headaches
Attributes: communication, voice
Symptoms of imbalance: depression, anxiety, inability to express one’s self, thyroid problems, dental issues
Attributes: love, compassion, joy
Symptoms of imbalance: loneliness, isolation, circulation problems
Location: solar plexus (just below the center of the chest)
Attributes: identity, sense of self
Symptoms of imbalance: low self-esteem, lack of purpose, digestive issues
Location: navel (center of the low belly, in line with the sacrum)
Attributes: creativity, sexuality, passion, pleasure
Symptoms of imbalance: fatigue, detachment, indifference, back pain, sexual and reproductive issues
Location: root (base of spine)
Attributes: stability, grounding
Symptoms of imbalance: insecurity, restlessness, lack of self-confidence, weight changes, pelvic pain
How do I heal my seven chakras?
The first step is often chakra meditation. In addition to this practice, yoga, reiki, essential oils, healthful and mindful eating, and crystals can all be helpful. Some yoga therapists and other body workers are chakra specialists who offer asanas (yoga poses), massage, breathwork, and other modalities to assist in chakra healing.
What is chakra meditation?
Chakra balancing meditation is any meditation that focuses on healing the chakras. When you’re feeling unbalanced, chakra balancing meditation may help. You can simply sit in meditation and focus on one area of your body, or you can try a specialized meditation technique.
Many people who practice chakra meditation visualize the color associated with each chakra. With closed eyes, picture a ball of light associated with the chakra you’re focusing on. See the ball floating near you, bathing you with its energy. For example, for a root chakra meditation, focus on the color red.
Crown: violet or all colors
Third Eye: indigo
Solar Plexus: orange
Bija meditation is a vocal style of chakra meditation. Each of the chakras has an associated single-syllable bija (seed) mantra. Chant the bija while meditating. Feeling lonely? Try chanting “Yam” during a heart chakra meditation and see what happens.
Third Eye: “Vam”
Solar Plexus: “Om”
Root: silent “Om”
Crystals can facilitate chakra meditation by focusing energy toward a chakra. Hold a crystal and place it over your chakra while lying down, or spread crystals around your space.
Crown: clear amethyst
Third Eye: amethyst
Throat: lapis lazuli, turquoise
Heart: aventurine, rose quartz
Navel: citrine, amber
Solar Plexus: carnelian
Essential Oil Pairing
Essential oils can add a multisensory dimension to your chakra meditation. Remember to use them safely. Do not put undiluted essential oils directly on your skin.
Crown: frankincense, myrrh
Third Eye: palo santo
Throat: peppermint, camphor, eucalyptus
Navel: ginger, grapefruit
Solar Plexus: ylang ylang, tangerine
Root: cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver
How do I start my chakra meditation?
Begin by finding a quiet, comfortable seat in a space and at a time where you won’t be interrupted for a little while. For a beginner, a chakra meditation session might last only a few minutes; more advanced practitioners might remain still for up to half an hour. You can sit in a chair or on the floor cross-legged or with legs extended. You can even lie down. If you’re seated align the spine so that the crown is directly above the root chakra. Not only will posture keep you more comfortable by maintaining the natural curves of the spine as your meditation progresses, it will also align the chakras. If this alignment is difficult for you to establish or maintain, try putting a folded blanket or two under your hips.
Some people enjoy quiet music or a candle while they meditate; others find these elements distracting and prefer a simpler, silent environment. Most keep their eyes closed during all forms of meditation, but some like to have a visual focus. There’s no single way to meditate. Try different things until you find what works for you. Once you feel settled, take three deep, cleansing breaths and then focus on your intended chakra.
You may choose to set a gentle timer for a predetermined number of minutes or to remain in meditation for as long as you feel comfortable and undistracted. Remember that meditation is a deep, inward practice and it’s a good idea to transition gently as you come out. Take note of how your body and mind are feeling. Move slowly at first and avoid abruptly jumping into challenging mental tasks.
Is it safe to do chakra meditation?
Chakra balancing meditations are generally regarded as safe and effective for most practitioners. Those dealing with mental, physical, or emotional challenges should consult a healthcare practitioner before beginning any new practice.
Of course, as with any meditation practice, individual experience can vary. If you find that chakra balancing meditation is making you feel anxious or irritable, if you find it difficult or unpleasant, or even if you’re just not enjoying chakra meditation, it’s time to move on and try something else. There’s a whole universe of options out there to help you.