In my work as a breathwork facilitator, I’ve learned first hand the many ways that stuck emotions and stuck energy begin to show up as physical symptoms, pain, and tension in the body. Here, I’m sharing some background on this connection, and how to unblock chakras.

As you’ve heard me say many times, one of the benefits of breathwork is to help to shift and reset old patterns, and release stuck emotions. In fact, breathwork really is re-patterning work, which means it’s also energy work because our bodies are made up of energetic systems, and the health of these systems is very much linked to our physical health. In other words, if we’re energetically blocked, these blocks will eventually show up in the body as physical symptoms.

Blocked energy corresponds to blocked, unprocessed emotions, and patterns of belief, so when our energy centers aka chakras are over or under active, it means the flow of energy in that region of the body is not optimal, and as a result, we become more prone to pain, illness, or even disease. An in most cases, we’ve been feeling emotionally strained far before the physical pain arrives.

I first got super curious about how our energetic and emotional systems intersect when reading Caroline Myss’s masterpiece, Anatomy of the Spirit. She offers a ton of resources on how to unblock chakras, also know as our seven main energy centers, by becoming emotionally aware, and ultimately free. In a breathwork training I took with Shanila Sattar last year, Shanila explained that while the most commonly known energy system is the Chakra system described in Chinese Acupuncture, we actually find quite similar, parallel energy systems in Japanese Shiatsu (pressure points), Korean danjons (from martial arts), Kashmiri Shaivism, Buddhism (energy wheels), The Yoruba people of Africa (they spoke of spirits in the body that correspond to the seven locations of the chakras), and the seven spheres of life energy described by the Tree of Life in the Jewish Kabbalah. To me, this brings credibility to understanding our health through the lens of energy medicine.

Making the connection between our energetic and physical well being is profound, because when we have the awareness of the root of our patterns, we have the power to shift those patterns, and free ourselves. Here, I’ve put together a list of the seven main energy centers, what each represents in our lives and in our physical bodies, and how to unblock chakras. Take a read and please let me know if this rings true for your own body and beliefs.

I credit my teacher Shanila Sattar who first taught me the following framework, as well as Caroline Myss’s book Anatomy of the Spirit, which dives deeper into all of what is shared below. 

The Seven Main Energy Centers + How to Unblock Chakras

The Crown = Our connection to our soul

The Crown represents our connection with the Divine, with the Universe, and with our Soul. Your crown is actually located about two inches above the head, and it’s the energetic place of spiritual connection, which is related to our ability to trust life, to see the larger pattern, to connect spiritually, and to exercise faith, and humanitarianism. When people are blocked in this area, it can show up as intense headaches, depression, sensitivity to light and sound, energetic disorders or chronic exhaustion. To support the opening of your crown, visualize an opening above your head, with white light pouring into your body.

The Third Eye = Our intuition + psychic senses 

The third eye is the place between our eyebrows, and is energetically connected to the brain, nervous system, eyes, ears, throat and pituitary gland. This is your center of  awareness and intuition, and it relates to self-evaluation, truth, emotional intelligence, and our ability to learn from experience. When this area is blocked, it can show up as seizures, nervous system imbalance, brain tumours, learning disabilities, issues with eyesight or deafness.  To open up your own intuitive knowing, simply bring attention to the energy of this area during a meditation, or anytime during your day

The Throat = Our connection to expression, communication + personal truth

The Throat chakra is our center of self expression and communication. The area also energetically corresponds to our capacity to make decisions, follow our dreams, and receive judgement or criticism. Energetically, the throat chakra represents the throat, thyroid, neck, mouth, esophagus and hypothalmus, and shows up in things like chronic sore throats, thyroid problems, scoliosis, mouth ulcers, and laryngitis. To promote flow in the throat chakra (to unblock the chakra), try a vocal or breathing exercise to help stimulate the movement of energy in your throat.  Cleaing your throat chakra helps you speak your truth and ask for what you want.

The Heart = Our ability to give and receive love and our sense of emotional power 

The heart chakra energetically represents our connection with relationships, and is the doorway to our internal world. When this area is blocked, due to incorrect beliefs or stuck energy, we experience emotional issues such as grief, anger, resentment, bitterness, self-centeredness, loneliness or issues related to commitment. When the energy of our heart is stagnant, or needs support, it can show up physically as heart failure, and heart-related issues, asthma, lung cancer or lung conditions, bronchial pnemonia, upper back and shoulder pain/tension, and breast cancer. To support the health of the heart chakra, visualize your heart opening up like a lotus.

The Solar Plexus = Our Center of confidence and personal power

The Solar Plexus is directly below the rib cage. This area commonly gets clogged from a history of controlling relationships and low self esteem. Emotional issues related related to  trust, fear and intimidation, self esteem, sensitivity to criticism, and personal honour show up when this area is stuck. These can correspond physically to issues like arthritis, gastric issues, colon issues, diabetes, indigestion, eating disorders, liver dysfunction, hepatitis, and adrenal dysfunction. To support your solar plexus, visualize a yellow ball of light, like a small sun, radiating from this region. This will help to unblock the chakra.

The Sacral Chakra = Flow of power between Self and others in relationships

The sacral chakra is located at the area of the lower back. This center is related to the energy within us that seeks to create and to survive physically, and is tied to how we process  emotions, express creativity, and experience our sexuality. This area typically gets stuck due to abuse, pent up emotions, or trauma stored in the body. Our sacral is related to our magnetism, aka who and what we tend to attract into our lives. We often attract the opposite energies to us, that we have something to learn from. Blocks in the sacral center can show up as issues like blame and guilt, money and sex, power and control, creativity, and ethics in relationships. These can express as physical symptoms, such as chronic lower back pain, sciatica, pelvic lower back pain, sexual potency, obyn issues, and urinary issues. Clearing and expanding your sacral chakra helps your energy move freely, heightens your creativity, and helps you fully express your creative force.

The Root Chakra = Our sense of being in the physical world

Our root chakra corresponds to our ability to feel safe, secure and grounded and to our overall sense of being in community. Our Root relates to physical manifestations, such as our ability to have and keep money. This energy centre forms from birth to two years of age and is located at the base of the spine. When we have blocks in this area, they can show up as issues related to our ability to survive and stick up for ourselves, or issues related to feeling at home.  When the root chakra needs support, this can show up physically as chronic lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, depression, rectal tumours/cancer, and immune-related disorders. To support this area, imagine anything you’re ready to release (stories, old beliefs, trauma) and send those feelings down through the Root by imagining a cord taking them out of your body permanently.

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How To Unblock Chakras: A Few More Practices To Explore

When you discover how to unblock chakras, and work with your own energetics, you’re on the path to greater clarity. There are so many ways to do this, and it’s really about finding a modality or practice that feels aligned. From booking a session with a breathwork practitioner, to exploring energy medicine, to trying life force energy work like Reiki, or exploring subtle energy work. If you’re not sure what is best, you’ll find an intuition tune up in this Intuition Test. The truth is, as Dr. Joe Dispenza says so clearly: “when you change your energy, your change your life.” And ultimately, we are each the director of our life’s path.

Using Yoga To Unblock Chakras

This video shares a few great yoga poses to help unlock key energetic areas in the body.