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The word chakra means 'wheel' in Sanskrit. These so-called energy points have had a central place in Eastern religions such as Hinduism for many centuries. But you also come across them in the world of yoga. It is thought that the seven different chakras play an important role in your mental and physical well-being. Unfortunately, they are not always in balance, which is thought to cause symptoms such as depression and fatigue. Regularly, one or more is overactive, or just needs extra stimulation. Therefore, by properly stimulating and balancing your chakras, you would experience more peace and overall well-being. But how do you do that, activate a chakra? In this article, we explain.

The seven chakras - how to balance them

The seven different chakras each have a particular location, colour and characteristic. They can also each be activated in a different way. For example, each chakra can be healed with a specific meditation or local massage. Below is an explanation of the seven energy centres and how to stimulate them.

1. Root chakra/muladhara

The first chakra is the (red) root chakra, found in your perineum. This point revolves around the basic needs: safety, confidence, stability, grounding and grounding. It affects your bowels and pelvis, as well as your muscles and bones.

If you want to balance this chakra, there are a few things you can do:

  • Meditate in a posture where this chakra makes contact with the ground. Visualise a red energy flowing towards the root chakra, increasing in strength with each breath. Then imagine your perineum connected to the earth by a red rope through which the energy runs, powered by your breath. As you exhale, relieve yourself of the excess energy. Finish the meditation by releasing the rope back into your body while keeping the connection with the earth intact.
  • Some yoga poses aimed at grounding can help: the tree pose, mountain pose, chair pose and squat.
  • Include more red products in your diet, such as beets and berries. Earth products can also help ground you better.

2. Sacral chakra/abdominal chakra (Swadhisthana)

Your second chakra is close to the first, between the lower abdomen and sacrum. This (orange) sacral chakra is all about connection with other people, zest for life, sexuality and emotion regulation. It plays a role in the regulation of bodily fluids such as blood and urine. It also affects your sexual organs, bladder and kidneys. This is how you activate the second chakra:

  • Eat orange foods such as carrot and pumpkin.
  • Wear orange clothes.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Meditate specifically aimed at restoring this chakra. As with the meditation for the first chakra, visualise an energy flow increasing with your breaths, in the colour orange.
  • Move a lot, preferably in the way children do - playing.

Navel chakra/solar plexus (Manipura)

The third chakra is found under your ribs, just above your navel. It affects autonomy, emotional independence and self-reliance. In your body, it is connected to your stomach, liver and spleen, among others. Its colour is yellow.

Ways to activate your navel chakra include:

  • Do a meditation focusing on this yellow chakra. You will find many suitable videos on YouTube that take you step-by-step through a visualisation and meditation.
  • Massage the chakra area with essential oils that are good for the navel chakra. Oregano, rosemary, yellow citrus and ginger are good options.

Heart chakra (Anahata) 4.

Your (green) heart chakra stands for compassion, kindness and unconditional love. It regulates various parts of your body, from your heart to skin, blood, lungs and hands. This is how you activate this chakra:

  • Work on your inner child and forgiveness. Look critically at your relationship with others and improve yourself where necessary.
  • Find healing in yoga aimed at opening the heart, with poses such as the cobra and camel.

Throat chakra

This (blue) chakra is close to your thyroid gland, and is therefore connected to it. If your throat chakra is blocked, it means you have difficulty expressing yourself or standing up for your values.

Tips to rebalance this point:

  • Eat blue foods, such as blueberries and other forest fruits.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to hydrate yourself. Avoid dairy as it encourages phlegm in the throat.
  • Work on your ability to express yourself, communicate and listen. Keep a diary, for example.
  • Use your voice and throat by singing or laughing, for example.

6. Third eye chakra (Ajna)

The third eye is located between your eyebrows. This (purple) energy point revolves around 'knowing': intuition and wisdom. An imbalance causes fretting and overstimulation. Here are some solutions:

  • Eat purple foods, such as aubergine and purple fruit.
  • Massage your third eye, for instance, with soothing lavender oil.
  • Work on unnecessary brooding. Write down your thoughts, know when you won't have to take them seriously, and think in solutions.

7. Crown chakra (Sahasrara)

The seventh chakra is found at your crown. It is the highest energy point and represents the core values of spirituality: connection with the cosmos, ego-loss, awareness and enlightenment among others.

This is how you open this important chakra:

  • Find connection with nature.
  • Meditation and silence positively affect your crown chakra. Therefore, make space for this.
  • Fasting is part of several religions and spiritual thought processes for a reason. It helps you activate this seventh chakra, provided you do it in the right and healthy way.
  • Some people use psychedelics to open this chakra, such as DMT or other trip aids. If you have ever used these, you probably know that trip drugs make it easier to connect with the cosmos and feel enlightened.