All You Need to Know: Chakras

To us, wellness isn't just about the food on your plate - it encapsulates a much larger attitude towards life and an understanding of the effect everything can have on your body. It's about exercise, movement, mental clarity and understanding your body and mood. Talk in the office often revolves around how the moon is affecting our mind, body misalignments being the cause for headaches, uncontrollable moods or emotions (definitely not just the strains of start up life) and eating to restore our chakras as we don't quite feel 'ourselves' that week. To some, we could sound like we've completely lost it - definitely a possibility, but we're also not alone in our talk. 

And one of the first things that gets people thinking more about their body and surrounding influences, is learning about Chakras. Balanced chakras leads to a more balanced outlook on life, higher satisfaction and fulfilment from day to day activities and an overall feeling of being grounded, secure and comfortable - something we could definitely do with more often than not. If you're new to the idea though, it can definitely take a while to take it all in, so we've started with the basics. 

WHAT IS A CHAKRA? 

The word chakra literally translates to wheel or disk and refers to wheels of energy throughout the body - each chakra being a wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. The human body has seven main chakras starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head and their invisible life energy helps keep us vibrant, healthy and alive. They correspond with the nerve centres and major organs in our body as well as our psychological, emotional and spiritual states of being meaning it is important to keep them open, aligned and fluid for the energy to continue to flow. Basically, when we have a physical issue, it creates weaknesses in our emotional behaviour. When we release the stale energy from the body through open chakras, it can undo any tightness, stiffness, or malfunction of that area. 

THE DIFFERENT CHAKRAS + HOW TO BALANCE THEM

First Chakra: The chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs. It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless.

Balancing foods: 
- Root vegetables (beetroot, garlic, ginger, turnip, potatoes, parsnips) 
- Protein (red meat, eggs, quinoa)  
- Red fruits (pomegranate, red apple) 

Second Chakra: This chakra is our creativity and sexual centre. It is located above the pubic bone and below the navel and is responsible for our creative expression.

Balancing foods: 
- Liquid (chicken broth, water) 
- Juicy fruits (melon, mango, strawberries) 
- Orange foods (carrots, oranges, orange juice, sweet potato)

Third Chakra: This chakra covers the area from the navel to the breastbone. It is our source of personal power.

Balancing foods: 
- Yellow foods (yellow peppers, corn, yellow lentils, yellow curry, bananas) 
- Whole grains (rice, flax seed, sunflower seeds, nuts, chia seeds) 

Fourth Chakra: Located at the centre of our heart, the fourth chakra unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit and serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It is our source of love and connection.

Balancing foods: 
- Green vegetables (kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, collard greens, broccoli)

Fifth Chakra: The chakra is located in the throat. This is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak the truth. The fifth chakra includes the neck, thyroid, glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue.

Balancing foods: 
- Fruits that grow on trees (apples, pears, plums, lemons, limes) 
- Blue foods (blueberries)

Sixth Chakra: Located between our eyebrows, it is also referred to as the “third eye” chakra and is our centre of intuition. Although we all have a sense of intuition, focusing on this chakra will help you open your ability to listen to it more clearly. 

Balancing foods: 
- Berries (blueberries, red grapes, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, acai, pomegranate) 

Seventh Chakra: This is located at the crown of the head and is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine.

Achieving balance:
- This comes from overall balance of the other chakra’s and meditation
- It's also helped by a fresh, simple and clean diet

BALANCING YOUR CHAKRAS

Your chakras can be out of balance for many reasons, they're influenced by everything we do, and go in and out of alignment and balance naturally.  Everything from little stresses, minor illnesses, and leading a fast-paced lifestyle can contribute. And you'll know when it's out of balance too, you just won't quite feel 'yourself'. Learning to up your wholegrain intake rather than pop the digestive pills when you're feeling a little unsettled around your centre can be a strange concept to learn, but your body will thank you.