This post inspired by the Chakra Balancing Experience we recently held at Vida Wellness Studio – thanks so much to all of you who came out!
First of all, what are chakras?
You’ve probably seen a diagram of a person sitting in full lotus position with seven rainbow circles superimposed from the seat to the crown. These are chakras – visual representations of the energy centers of the body. I know this can sound like new-agey nonsense. Stick with me – I’m a science-minded person myself, but I have found chakras to be a useful system to assess my health and general well-being.
Let me just start off saying chakras are not my specialty. I always thought of the concept as a hazy pseudo-science, so I only really started to see the value a few years after I had started practicing yoga and I noticed how different asana made me feel. This is not medical advice by any means – I am in no way suggesting that if you have cancer of the throat, eating lots of fruit to balance your fifth chakra will cure you. It is simply a system through which to inquire about your health and mental stability.
If you’re a yogi, you have already accepted that to a certain extent the mind creates the body. The chakra system is built on the converse: the concept that our bodies reflect our state of mind. Each of the seven energy centers represents a system within the body. Their qualities are also manifested in colours, elements, senses, crystals – even in some circles, gods and goddesses. Really, the list goes on.
For our purposes today, we’re just going to talk about the chakras in the physical being. You can see below which emotions, systems, and colours are represented in each chakra and where they are located. What happens is this: When our minds are out of balance, these imbalances manifest themselves in our bodies. For example, if you are heartbroken it is common to feel heavy in the chest and even experience a lowered immune system. If you are suffering from low self esteem, it can be felt in the solar plexus and seen as poor posture collapsing into that area. If you are feeling out of place or without a home, you may experience hip pain or have trouble sitting still.
The converse is true as well – if you have specific aches and pains in your body, it may be telling you something about your subconscious. If you have asthma or respiratory problems, it could indicate you are having trouble communicating, or you may be experiencing a creative block. If you’re having low back pain, you could be suppressing emotions.
How do we balance the chakras?
The idea for this article came about because I came across an article that suggested foods for chakra balancing – but it was just a listing of the different chakras with fruits and vegetables that are the same colour! Well, erm, thanks…but I can visit the produce section myself.
Also, mindful meditation on colours (which is what you’re doing while you eat foods of a specific colour) can be effective, but it is certainly not the only way to balance the chakras. This list is instead based on the functions and qualities of the chakras and corresponding functions and qualities of food.
I’ll go into more detail about the chakras in another post, but I just wanted to share this with you because the type of food you are craving can also be an indication of an imbalance. It’s easier to relate to the chakra system in terms of something simple and concrete like the foods we eat rather than trying to visualise a balanced system right off the bat. Think about this before you reach for your comfort food!