How to Know Which Chakra Is Out of Balance

….Stumbled upon this and though, what better way, then to share…

Molly Rae | August 31, 2018

How to Know Which Chakra Is Out of Balance

Source: Chernishev Maksim/Dreamstime.com

Takeaway: By tuning into what is stagnant or persistent in our experience, we can likely determine which chakra may be out of balance and then begin healing.

Chakras are our energetic centers in the body. We can tune into the seven major chakras to give us signals about how we are functioning energetically, physically, emotionally and spiritually. From Sanskrit, chakra means “wheel,” and these wheels need to be open in order to allow energy to flow through them for us to function optimally.

My body, mind and spirit are connected in each one of these chakras on the physical, mental and spiritual planes. My increasing ability to tune into subtle shifts in these different chakras has provided me with important insight into my inner emotional healing work, and allows me to make more informed choices on how to use specific mantras, affirmations and asana to balance the desired chakra.

In this article, I’ll explain how imbalance in each chakra can manifest in the physical and astral bodies, and offer solutions on how to bring them back into balance.

Muladhara

This is the first of the seven chakras. In Sanskrit, mula means “root” and adharameans “base” or “support.” Muladhara is the foundation of our being where we cultivate a sense of safety, survival and stability. It is essential to first create balance in this chakra before addressing our higher chakras. An out-of-balance first chakra could manifest in our bodies in lower back and leg pain, and in emotional imbalances like anxiety or eating disorders.

Many people who experience a lack of consistency in their early childhood, whereby they may have felt unsafe, unstable or neglected, may experience imbalances in their muladhara later in life.

(Learn about the connection between The Chakras and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.)

There are many tools, including pranayamaand asana, to work with opening and unblocking the first chakra, but having our basic needs met may be the greatest contribution to a balanced or open muladhara. This balance is what allows us to feel safe and courageous as we navigate the world.

Svadhisthana

The second chakra is the center of emotional expression and creativity. It is considered to be the center of our sexual energy. Svadhisthana is “the dwelling place of the self” in Sanskrit, which could speak to how the entire self is affected by an out-of-balance second chakra.

This is the wheel of creation. Creating is not just about reproduction, but rather anything a human can create, for example: art, ideas, food, building things or any type of creative manifestation. If we feel unable to innovate and create, then the second chakra may be out of balance.

Participating in sexuality consciously, working through healing sexual trauma, challenging patterns of sexual compulsivity, and maintaining a healthy and open relationship to our emotions helps to keep this chakra in balance.

Manipura

This third chakra is the place of power. This chakra is located in the solar plexus area between the navel and breastbone, and is connected to the element of fire. When we have a balanced manipura we feel in touch with our sense of purpose, motivation and self-confidence. In the physical body, it is connected to metabolism and digestion.

If our third chakra becomes out of balance, it could manifest in a low sense of self-esteem, difficulty making decisions or staying motivated, or problems with digestion. This is the area where we experience our “gut feelings” that drive us toward our goals. Ignoring these gut indicators, or drinking and eating in ways that do not support a healthy digestion, could lead to the third chakra becoming out of balance.

Anahata

This fourth chakra is located in our heart center and is said to be the bridge between the lower physical chakras and the higher spiritual chakras. An open anahata allows us to love and remain compassionate toward ourselves and others. It is physically connected to our heart, lungs and breasts.

When this chakra is open, we experience love, the ability to forgive and acceptance. If the chakra is closed or out of balance, we may experience anger, fear, hatred, grief, jealousy or emotional numbness. We may sink our chest inwards and roll the shoulders forward to withdraw and protect the heart, and possibly feel tightness in the chest or experience cardiovascular health issues.

Choosing love and empathy over fear and spite is one way to keep the anahata open and balanced.

(To help, here’s How to Choose Love Over Fear With Each Thought.)

Vishuddha

The fifth chakra moves us into the spiritual plane. This chakra is connected to the throat, thyroid, jaw, neck, mouth and tongue. An open vishuddha allows us to express ourselves, speak our truth freely, as well as listen openly to others and the messages coming from the Universe. An open and balanced fifth chakra is related to our work in our lower chakras, as this work prepares us to understand ourselves and how we want to express our desires.

If this chakra is not in balance, it could manifest in not speaking up for ourselves when our boundaries are not respected and could shift to the physical plane by developing something like laryngitis or losing the voice.

Ajna

This sixth chakra is said to be the seat of our third eye. This is where we cultivate our intuition and clairvoyance. Ajna means “beyond wisdom.” This energy center allows us to visualize and intuit beyond the physical plane. We have access to infinite inner guidance when we create the space for this information to come through to us.

When the sixth chakra is out of balance, it may be because we are ignoring our sixth sense of intuition. The same way we can throw our third chakra out of balance by ignoring our gut feelings, we can ignore our higher intuitive sense. This could manifest in feeling a fogginess, as you are lacking your intuitive sense.

Sahasrara

The seventh chakra is located on the crown of the head, and is the place of our divine connection. We are connected to every living being, and we are a piece of a greater all-encompassing whole.

Sahasrara is truly opened and in balance when we can experience ourselves as the pure consciousness that we are. If this chakra is out of balance, we will likely experience a lack of awareness of our spiritual essence and divinity.

The crown becomes open through regular meditation, prayersilence and persistence. Through this, we can experience glimpses or even periods of prolonged bliss defined by a feeling of pure beingness and awareness of our sacred connection to all that is.

Unity of Your Physical and Spiritual Bodies

Our chakras are systems of energy that can be tuned into and focused on through healing on the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual levels. By tuning into what is stagnant or persistent in our experience, as well as maintaining awareness of subtle physical cues, we can likely determine which chakra may be out of balance and work with healing or moving that specific energy.

thanks, for indulging me… keep well and be safe…

Weekend Stuff: Beer & Food

How to Pair Beer & Food

What to eat with your brew of choice — from the lightest lager to the heartiest stout

Written by RJ Firchau

Thanks to the snobbery of wine “experts”, the mere idea of pairing specific alcoholic drinks with particular foods induces a fair amount of eye-rolling. But unlike wine, the difference in the taste between different beer varieties is not elusive or subtle — and many great chefs have taken this to heart. It’s no longer uncommon to see a tequila pairing menu, an apertif and dessert pairing, or a beer recommendation under every entree. Wine expertise is no longer the was the pinnacle of culinary prowess. Want to prove yourself as a true food savant? Learn to pair the right brew with your grub.

Some of you might think of beer as, simply, your beverage of choice at parties, or the pastime best associated with Sunday night football. Honestly, that seems like a missed opportunity. You already know you love beer, and you definitely enjoy food (who doesn’t?), so coming up with creative pairings seems like a necessary next step to enhance your appreciation for that ice-cold cerveza. Below, we give you an overview of each of the main styles of beer, their flavor profiles, and what they might pair best with, food-wise. However, as a caveat, you should know that there are always exceptions when it comes to pairing food with liquor. With all of the available beer on the market these days, one IPA, for example, is going to be far-off from the next in terms of taste (say, Stone IPA versus a Green Flash Le Freak). In addition to there being a huge selection of offerings in any one category of beer, the taste of beer itself is also subjective, and something that tastes good to you might not work out so well for the next guy. So, take these pairings with a grain of salt (or, a squeeze of lime), and let them guide your beer and food exploration. Cheers, gents.

Pale Lagers

mussels-and-lager

Potluck Video

Such As: American lager, German helles, German pilsner, Czech pilsner

Flavor Profiles: Pale lagers are made with bottom-fermenting yeast that is more fragile than the yeast used to make most other beers, and therefore needs to ferment more slowly. This process produces a beer that is normally light in color, bright and light in flavor, and normally light to medium in terms of hops. Lagers are best served cold and should taste dry, flowery, and mildly caramel-y in sweetness.

Pairs Best With: American cuisine, spicy food, light seafood, salads, sushi, roast chicken, brie

Why? When pairing with pale lagers, you want to either choose a dish that’s either rich and bold, or nice and light. Bold dishes, like spicy food, American food, or herby chicken, pair nicely with pale lagers because they are crisp and light, allowing for a nice palate-cleansing contrast. The lightness in this beer also pairs well with lighter meals like fish or citrus for a more complementary approach. 

Try This: Herb-crusted salmon with lemon

Dark Lagers

Such As: Amber lager, Oktoberfest, Schwarzbier, Vienna lager

Flavor Profiles: Amber or dark in color with prevalent flavors of rich, smooth sweetness, subtle malt and hops, and a pleasant, slightly sweet aroma. Some variations, like Oktoberfest and Guinness, might even boast toasty notes of coffee, chocolate, or spice. 

Pairs Best With: German cuisine, spicy food, red meat, Mexican food, muenster cheese 

Why? Dark lagers and German food go hand-in-hand. Further, the complex, rich, slightly spiced quality of a dark lager lends itself nicely to the flavor profiles of spicy food, Mexican cuisine, and hearty red meat dishes. 

Try This: Bratwurst and sauerkraut

Bocks

bock-beer

Serious Eats

Such As: Traditional, Doppelbock, Weizenbock, Maibock

Flavor Profiles: Bocks start to enter slightly higher alcohol content. Traditional and Doppelbocks are full-bodied, darker lagers, whereas Weizenbock and Maibock are on the paler side and present notes of fruit, malt, and wheat. 

Pairs Best With: German cuisine, red meat, shellfish (Maibock), Camembert cheese

Why? The old saying for wine and food pairings goes, “if it grows together, it goes together.” The same can be said for beer. If you haven’t noticed, a lot of beers in the last few examples have German/European roots, and German food pairs exceptionally well in this arena. German bocks, therefore, pair fantastically with a plate of sausages, spaetzel, or Bavarian pretzels. The rich, dark, malty flavor profile of Bocks also play well with rich meats, like ham, pork, and beef. Finally, for a nice touch of contrast, a light cheese like Camembert is amplified by the dark, malty flavor of a Bock. 

Try This: Camembert and crackers

Brown Ales

burger-and-brow-ale

7 Monks Taproom

Such As: American brown ale, English brown ale

Flavor Profiles: Unlike lagers, in which the fermented yeast settles at the bottom, the yeast used in ales ferments throughout the liquid and settles at the top. This suggests the yeast’s higher tolerance to alcohol. Most brown ales are relatively dark, smooth beers with a caramel-y color, sweet aroma, and a full-bodied flavor profile. 

Pairs Best With: American cuisine, heavy meat-based dishes like stew and corned beef, gouda cheese 

Why? The dark, full-bodied profile of brown ales needs to be paired with dishes that can stand up to their complexity. Stews and red meat dishes are on the same playing field as brown ales and will enhance each other’s rich flavors nicely. 

Try This: Roast pork

Pale Ales

blonde-ale-and-tacos

The Taco Trail

Such As: Amber ale, American pale ale, blonde

Flavor Profiles: Pale ales are light and golden in color. They often possess either a notable hoppy or bitter flavor and are usually on the lower end of the alcohol content spectrum. 

Pairs Best With: American cuisine, English cuisine, and fried foods 

Why? American and English beers pair nicely with the foods of their respective motherlands if you will. And, the richness of fried food is nicely offset by the refreshing, slightly bitter quality of a pale ale. 

Try This: Burger and fries

India Pale Ales

IPA-beer-and-food

Such As: American IPA, imperial/double IPA, English IPA

Flavor Profiles: American and Imperial IPAs feature a strong, pronounced hoppy flavor, complemented by herbal or citrusy notes. Bitterness is a key profile for an IPA. However, English IPAs are often milder in bitterness and alcohol content than American IPAs.

Pairs Best With: American cuisine, Indian cuisine, gorgonzola cheese, sweet, rich desserts

Why? It is said that IPAs pair well with Indian food because they can stand up to the depth and complexity found in that kind of cuisine. Additionally, and which might come as a surprise to you, IPAs also pair well with rich, sweet desserts like cake or pie. The thick, rich taste of a sweet dessert helps take the edge off of the bitterness of an IPA, leaving you with a well-rounded flavor experience. 

Try This: Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting 

Porters

tofurkey-and-porter

Thom O’Hearn

Such As: American imperial porter, English brown porter, robust porter

Flavor Profiles: Porters are a rich, chocolatey brown in color and malty in sweetness. The alcohol content can vary, but most porters feature a flavor profile along the lines of caramel, coffee, or chocolate.

Pairs Best With: American cuisine, English cuisine, heavy dishes (roasts, BBQ, smoked meats, stews, and cream-based meals), chocolate, peanut butter, and fontina cheese.

Why? Porter demands a food pairing that is robust and can stand up it in terms of flavor. Anything less distinctive would simply get washed out and seem unpalatable when paired with a porter. 

Try This: BBQ ribs

Stouts

stout-and-food

Michael Warth

Such As: American stout, imperial stout, oatmeal stout, milk stout, Irish dry stout

Flavor Profiles: Stouts are very dark in color, and possess a strong malted flavor, sans hops. Some stouts give off a strong taste and smell of chocolate or coffee. Oatmeal stouts and milk stouts are distinctively sweet and smooth, thanks to the use of actual oatmeal and lactose sugar. Finally, Irish stouts are smooth, yet bitter, thanks to the addition of roasted barley. 

Pairs Best With: Heavy dishes, oysters, Mexican cuisine, beef, and aged cheeses.

Why? Bold, dark beers require strong, rich food pairings. The fat and flavor in heavy dishes and things like oysters and cheese stand up well to stouts, without overpowering them. 

Try This: Beef stew

Belgian

belgian-beer-food

Jocelyn Jiang Photography

Such As: Belgian pale ale, Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, Belgian strong dark ale, saison

Flavor Profiles: Belgian style beers are fairly rich and malty. They are on the higher end of the alcohol spectrum and usually offer complex, fruity and earthy flavors. Some Belgian style beers are slightly more hoppy and bitter, like Tripels and Saisons. 

Pairs Best With: American cuisine, poultry, pasta dishes, BBQ, pesto, spicy foods, and tangy 

Why? Rich, herby dishes paired with a carbonated, slightly bitter Belgian style beer offer a nice palate-cleansing contrast. The high-alcohol content and carbonation of a Belgian style beer tackles rich dishes without overwhelming your taste buds. Belgian style beers also go well with spicy foods, but only if they’re on the lower end of the alcohol spectrum (thing 7% and less).

Try This: Pesto pizza with shrimp

Wheat

wheat-beer-and-salmon

Such As: American pale wheat, witbier, Berliner Weisse, Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen

Flavor Profiles: Wheat beers are often light in color, with a light, sometimes fruity taste. Some wheat beers, like the Berliner Weisse, are slightly sour, too. 

Pairs Best With: German cuisine, Mexican cuisine, seafood, poultry, vinegar, salads, and soft cheeses.

Why? Most wheat beers pair well with salads, poultry, and seafood because they’re light, fruity, and refreshing. German wheat beers have a slight banana/lemon flavor to them and are light yet full-bodied enough to stand up to German and Mexican cuisine quite nicely. 

Try This: Salad with vinaigrette

Lambics + Sours

beer-with-salad

Real Simple

Such As: American sours, Belgian lambics, Flanders red ale, Belgian Gueuze

Flavor Profiles: Sours are made through ‘spontaneous fermentation,’ or rather when beer is exposed to wild bacteria and yeast. Sours, while not easy to make, are amazing canvases for experimenting with flavor and degrees of sourness. They can range from slightly sour to intensely punchy, and will often feature fruity or floral notes. Additionally, sours can range from being mild in alcohol to extremely strong. 

Pairs Best With: Fruit, salads, and strong cheeses.

Why? Sours and lambics are best paired with light, fruity dishes, like salads or fruit. Alternatively, for a stark contrast, you could pair a sour with a strong cheese to offset one another. 

Try This: Fruit tart

Barleywine

barleywine-beer-and-cheese

Serious Eats

Such As: American barleywine, English barleywine

Flavor Profiles: Barleywines, though definitely not wine, offer a distinctive strength and complexity, both in terms of flavor and sheer alcohol content. Barleywines possess a high level of malt and sweetness, with a strong dose of hops to keep things balanced. American barleywine is on the hoppier side of the spectrum, whereas English barleywine is a bit more mellow. Most barleywines will feature flavor notes like caramel, molasses, and toffee. 

Pairs Best With: Rich desserts, Stilton cheese.

Why? The most classic pairing for barleywine is Stilton cheese. The pungent flavor of the cheese stands up well to the alcoholic twinge of barleywine without being overbearing. Sweet, rich desserts also work to take the edge off barleywine, which can sometimes be overwhelming by itself. 

Try This: Creme brulee

Final Notes

brewing-beer-spout

Trillium Brewing Company

If this is all a little overwhelming for you, here are some parting rules to help guide your food and beer pairing exploits: 

  • If it grows together, it goes together (Thinking of sipping on a Weizenbock? Grab a bratwurst. Are you more of an IPA kind of guy? Go for the cheeseburger). 
  • The higher the alcohol content, the more rich, and less spicy your meal should be. If you were to pair a high alcohol beer with a spicy meal, heat amplifies heat, and your palate wouldn’t be able to catch a break. 
  • When in doubt, aim to complement. Light beers with light foods, rich beers with rich foods, and so on.

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