Health and Fitness Lifestyle and Trends By Katherine Shaw / May 12, 2016 We have energy centers positioned in certain areas of our body called ‘chakras’. The origin of the term is Sanskrit, meaning ‘wheel’, and it is believed that the major ones each have a different color and can vary in sizes depending on whether they are balanced (not too opened nor too active) or blocked/distorted depending on your situation and many other factors. Although this concept was mainly part of Hindu and Buddhist (mainly Eastern) traditions, it is now more widely embraced by the Western world. For optimum health and wellness, our chakras need to be opened, balanced, and clear. If you feel like you could use some help in balancing and clearing them, there are different methods that can help you. Some people prefer to seek practitioners who can do this for them, but if you are in a place where it’s hard to find one, you can try the below ways that are easy to do, which you can do on your own… Intention is first and foremost; as soon as you decide that you want them cleared, you have half the work done. The rest is supplementary (a bonus), but they can surely help: 1. Songs/Music Since our chakras are part of the subtle body with each one having a corresponding point in the physical body, to clear and balance them mainly involves energy work. Some groups consider music to be the most effective and easiest way to activate one’s chakras. Music is believed to help clear chakras by ‘tuning’ them up. Simply listen to certain songs, such as ones featuring Himalayan Singing Bowls and Tibetan Tingsha Bells. Classical music is also believed to help activate chakras. 2. Mantras/ Chants Mantrais Sanskrit, meaning ‘mind’ (man) and tool (tra). So it can be said that mantras are tools for the mind. It can be a syllable, word, or group of words that when recited can stimulate ‘transformation’. While there are many possible mantras out there, the most basic and most popular are the ‘Bija mantras’. They are single syllable sounds, and each chakra has a Bija (meaning ‘seed’) mantra associated with it. They are “LAM,” “VAM,” “RAM,” “YAM,” “HAM,” and“OM.” You can recite or chant them one after the other or just pick one and continuously recite it over and over. 3. Qi Gong Qigong or Qi Gung (pronounced as chee-gong) originated from China. The words translated from Chinese means ‘cultivating energy,’ and it is a practice of moving meditation aligning one’s breath, energy, and movement in pursuit of keeping oneself in balance and harmony. It is closely related to another Chinese practice,Tai Chi and Chinese Martial Arts, although Qigong involves slower rhythmic movements designed to enhance the flow of a person’s life force energy to achieve optimum well-being. Practicing Qi Gong is believed to help activate and balance chakras by its many exercises. While some resort to securing the guidance and supervision of a Qi Gong master, there are numerous available resources online that show you step-by-step instructions on how to do basic Qi Gong exercises. 4. Chakra clearing guided meditation There are many guided meditation techniques designed to clear and balance chakras out there; the one I have used and I find to be amazing is the one produced by Doreen Virtue. Doreen is an American author and psychologist who has written more than 50 books so far. One of them is called ‘Chakra Clearing: Awakening Your Power to Know and Heal’;it comes with a CD that has 2 parts, one for listening in the morning upon waking and the other half for nighttime before going to sleep. Doreen’s voice in this guided meditation is so soothing; I normally fall asleep before finishing all the tracks. 5. Acupuncture Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese Medicine tradition involving hair-like needles where a qualified practitioner or acupuncturist inserts needles in various meridian points in a client’s body where needed. Acupuncture is gaining more audience nowadays with more Westerners embracing Oriental practices and acknowledging their benefits. Acupuncturists are no longer considered ‘quacks’ in the Western world, and indeed, most of them consider themselves as equal in stature with that of medical doctors.Acupuncturists, however, are more familiar with energy work and our energy centers. One of the main things that a typical acupuncture session can address is balancing our left and right bodies or ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ in Chinese, achieving a totally balanced or harmonious body. In a typical acupuncture session, aiming to clear and balance chakras, specific points, or chakras that are out of balance, ‘closed’, or ‘inactive’ will be identified and then ‘tonified’ and ‘activated’ through inserting needles to the necessary areas for attunement. We hope you found the above list helpful. There are many other methods or ways to clear, balance, and activate your chakras out there. As we said earlier, having the intention to clear them is the most important step; once you are focused on that intention, you will be guided to find the one that will work for you the best.