Understanding The Chakra System and How It Affects Your Life with Anna Sillanpää, Chakra Specialist

energy work and healing exercises interviews with experts Apr 29, 2022

 By Kristina Todorova, Head Coach and Founder, Coaching for Transformers

If you've been feeling demotivated, stuck and struggling with self-doubt and procrastination, you may need to look at your chakras ( yes, we all have chakras although we cannot directly see them physically). Today, you will learn more about the chakra system and how these energy centres impact your health, well-being, confidence and even your financial stability and security. I am joined by Anna Sillanpää, a Chakra Specialist, Breathwork Coach and Founder of the chakra-based platform MINÄ. Anna shares what each chakra represents and how you can spot and release blockages from your chakras. 

Hi Anna and thank you for joining me today. I am very fascinated by the chakra system and how our chakras affect our mental, emotional, and physical health. When did you first become acquainted with the chakras and what led you to become a specialist in this field of work? 

I was introduced to the Chakras 10 years ago when I was travelling in Asia. I was feeling very lost in life and I ended up very intuitively attending an Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Thailand that was a chakra-based retreat. During my 3-weeks stay, I first started feeling that I understood where my emotions were stuck in my body, and what areas I needed to start to work on. That then sparked a deep interest in Yoga, and the Chakras system and that led me to become a Yoga Teacher, Breathwork Coach and a Kundalini Reiki Teacher. I have continued studying the Chakras from a yogic perspective, but also recently from the Chinese Medicine perspective and understanding how we can more holistically work on our energy body (our subtle body), which the Chakras are the most crucial part of.

The more I have continued to learn about the chakras during the years and work with the subtle energy, I have seen how much power we energetically hold in the Chakra system, and how transformational the work can be if we can integrate that into our daily lives. Where working with the Chakras becomes very powerful is that most often we aren’t aware of the underlying emotions that are making us feel stuck or unwell. The chakras are a great way to start identifying what areas we need to work on to create a more personalised way to start looking at our wellbeing.

What does each chakra represent?

Root Chakra

The root chakra, located at the base of the spine, reflects our basic survival needs, such as shelter, food, water, safety, security and our emotional needs being met. Whenever these fundamental needs are threatened, it can often trigger deep-rooted fears which flow up through the chakra system. When the Root Chakra is blocked, you may feel stuck or paralysed with fear, whether that be a fear of rejection, fear of failure and most prominently, a fear of change.

Sacral Chakra

The Sacral Chakra is our creative, sensual and sexual centre, the chakra from which we express ourselves in all forms. When this chakra is out of balance or blocked, this may manifest in the form of feeling emotionally stuck or numb, with an inability to express emotions in a healthy way. It is also the chakra from which we birth ideas and even life, so when you are faced with a creative block, this may indicate a blockage in your Sacral Chakra. And in terms of our sexuality and sensuality, you may feel a drop in your libido and a loss of passion. 

Solar Plexus Chakra

This Chakra can be seen as our power centre. Solar Plexus represents purpose, grit, intention and how we show up in this world in our power as our authentic selves. Our Solar Plexus is closely linked to our confidence, self-worth, as well as our careers and sense of purpose. Our work is intrinsically linked to our sense of security and thus has a strong connection to our Root Chakra, where fear is generated. When fear seeps in, you may feel physically stuck in a job you hate, unable to leave for fear of losing your financial stability and security. If you feel stuck at your job, or a lack of direction or confidence to make a change, this may point to a blockage in the Solar Plexus.

Heart Chakra

The Heart Chakra, of course, governs matters of the heart and specifically unconditional love. While this can relate to our relationships with others, it also reflects the relationship and love for ourselves. Does your heart feel closed off? Are you unable to allow anyone in? Are you perhaps stuck in an unfulfilling or unhappy relationship? Do you feel like you have stopped loving yourself? If this is the case, it may indicate a blockage within the heart chakra. 

Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra is most closely linked to self-expression and authentic communication. For thousands of years, women were quite often silenced, unable to have their say within familial and societal constructs. While we have come a very long way, it may be possible that we have harboured some of those old beliefs energetically. An imbalance may also begin in our childhood, where kids were often expected to be seen and not truly heard. Ever felt a frog stuck in your throat? Unable to find the right words and fully communicate what you want to say? This could point to an energetic block in your Throat chakra. 

Third Eye Chakra

Our Third Eye is linked to our intuition, our powerful inner compass, a deep inner-knowing and self-trust. When there is a blockage in the Third Eye Chakra, your intuition may feel stunted or stuck, and you may feel unable to follow your instincts to make decisions. You may find yourself seeking the opinions and guidance of others before listening to what your intuition is saying.

Crown Chakra

The Crown Chakra represents awareness and our connection to divinity. The Crown Chakra governs our thoughts, mind and connection to our higher selves. When a blockage occurs, you may find yourself ‘stuck in your head’, stuck in negative thought loops or rooted in the physical world, unable to fully connect to the universe or even yourself. You may feel unable to see the big picture, stuck in a fixed perspective that leaves you unable to see any other points of view. 

How do we know whether one or more of our chakras are blocked?

The first step is always to understand which different emotional, mental and physical traits each of the Chakras represent. We have an article about that on our website that breaks down how the different imbalances may come across per Chakra.

The second step after that is to practise daily self-discovery to start to better understand what Chakra (s) may be blocked. For that purpose, I have created the self-discovery quiz that can be found here https://www.itsmina.co.uk/thequizWhen you start to integrate a daily Chakra-based practice into your life, you may also start to physically sense blockages in your Chakra system. 

In your experience of coaching women, is there a particular chakra that is more vulnerable and sensitive to imbalances? What causes that?  

From my experience, we all have 1-2 dominant chakras that have the highest amount of imbalances and these are the chakras that we need to consistently work on and be conscious about. Mostly I see the biggest imbalances being in the lower three chakras, the root, sacral and solar plexus chakra, because those are the chakras that hold most of our subconscious programming, and hold the keys to our inner stability. But the chakra imbalances are very personal so it is very difficult to give a definite answer

Can you share an exercise that we can do to unblock and balance the energy in the first two chakras? 

The two first chakras are fairly different in what they need.

The Root Chakra is all about grounding, so I always recommend exercises that are exactly that, grounding and calming. Deep abdominal breathing is great for the root chakra, so that is a great place to start. 

The Sacral Chakra is all about releasing emotions, so I always recommend more active exercises for the Sacral Chakra. A movement called Pelvic Rock is one of my favourite exercises that I recommend. Starting on your back with legs bent, slowly begin to rock your pelvis upward and downward with each breath. Inhale fully into your chest and belly, then exhale fully. At the end of each exhale, push slightly with your feet so that your pelvis comes off the ground, pushing the small of your back into the floor beneath you. Repeat the movement for 5-10 minutes.  We often live our lives in our heads and getting into our bodies is the first step to really starting to feel our deep emotions, and learn to release them. 

Is there a particular practice that can help us keep our chakras balanced? 

There are multiple ones; from kundalini yoga, meditation, and breathwork to name a few, but I personally always recommend integrating breathwork and movement to get the energy moving up and down the spine. 

Where can our readers learn more about your work and services?

You can read more about me and my coaching services at www.annasillanpaa.co.ukIf you are interested in learning more about the Chakras, you can visit MINÄ - my Chakra-based platform at  www.itsmina.co.uk. Currently, we are a content hub concentrated on supporting people with chakra-based content and our chakra-based quiz. In the coming months, we will be launching a membership platform that provides daily practices/ workouts to support people with their daily chakra-based workouts.  

Thanks for all the great tips and resources, Anna.

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