An important part of many yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic healing traditions is the practice of focusing on chakras to bring physical, emotional, and spiritual balance to the body.
Chakras are energy centers that align along the spine. Each chakra governs certain organs, glands, and senses. When these energies are unbalanced, overactive, or blocked, we can feel sluggish, frustrated, or anxious. Practitioners believe that focusing one’s thoughts on the affected chakra can help alleviate any negative energy flow.
On a purely practical level, this makes sense. When we are preoccupied with challenges at work or grieving the loss of a romantic relationship, we have less energy to devote to other areas of our life. Meditating can help us feel more centered and in control of our energy, so that we can place it where we need it, when we need it. Each chakra has an associated color corresponding to the seven colors of the spectrum. Rainbow jewelry can serve a similar purpose to Buddhist mala beads or the Catholic rosary by giving the user a physical object to focus on or keep count with as one chants, meditates, or prays.
The root chakra is red. It sits at the base of the spine and keeps us grounded. It is associated with passion, sexuality, anger, and survival, as well as the sense of smell.
The sacral chakra, situated in the lower belly, is orange. It impacts digestive organs as well as female reproductive organs and the lymphatic system. The sacral chakra is connected with our sense of taste and feelings that impact joy, desire, creativity, and compassion.
The solar plexus chakra, whose color is yellow, sits at the center of the body above the belly button, just at the base of the ribcage. This is where inner fire and energy originate. The solar plexus is associated with personal and professional success, confidence, and self-confidence.
It might seem strange, but the heart chakra, or anahata chakra, is connected to the color green. When this chakra is blocked, it can bring distrust and envy into our relationships. But when energy is flowing in your heart chakra, you can feel a sense of kindness, love, and empathy. The heart chakra governs our sense of touch and is associated with our thymus and lymph glands.
Next is the throat chakra, which is understandably connected to the organs that make it possible for us to talk, and also those that enable us to listen—ears, throat, teeth, jaws, etc. This chakra is closely associated with creative expression and an artistic spirit as well as a higher sense of spirituality.
The third eye chakra is indigo. Located in the center of the forehead, it governs insight, even a sense of telepathy and foresight. It is connected to our pituitary gland. Focusing on our third eye chakra can help cultivate a sense of looking inward as a path toward enlightenment.
Finally, there is the purple crown chakra. Seated at the top of the skull, it is, as you might expect, closely connected to our brain. Strong energy flowing in our crown chakra can help us clearly know right from wrong and understand hidden meanings in complex situations. It is the most closely associated with enlightenment and connection to others as well as connection to any supreme beings that are a part of our spiritual traditions.