If you’ve been studying yoga, mysticism or spirituality for a while, then you’ve probably heard of the chakras. This seven-part system of energy centers is both complex and simple, and if my experience is any indicator, people tend to be fascinated by the chakras and what they can teach us.
The chakras are amazing for a number of reasons. One of the coolest things about this system (in my humble opinion, of course) is that they offer a way to work not only with your physical body, but also with your spirituality and your psyche. As such, I like to think about the chakras as yoga psychology. Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more!
What are the chakras exactly?
The chakras are often defined as energy centers. There are seven of them, and they are located along the spine. Everyone has this system within them, and it is functioning right now as you read this post. It helps to think of the chakras metaphorically as spinning balls of light.
It’s important to note that they aren’t physical–they’re metaphysical. You don’t have to worry about going in for heart surgery and wonder if your heart chakra will get in the way. That’s not how it works. The chakras, instead, are metaphorical. They offer a way for us to organize our psyche and understand what is going on with us on a deeper level.
If I can’t see my chakras, how do I know that I have any?
Although we cannot see the chakras with the naked eye, every single person has experienced them at some point. The chakras can be felt in the physical body, even if they aren’t manifested physically.
That may seem a little confusing, so let me give you an example: As humans, we have all encountered a situation in which we had an emotional reaction that we felt in our bodies. Perhaps someone said something unkind to you and you felt your blood boil or you had your heart broken and feel as if your chest is tight and achy.
In those moments, our chakras are speaking to us. There’s nothing physically wrong, but the response is physical. That’s our cue to start listening deeper and determine what’s really going on. Most of the reactions to the chakras are actually pretty easy to understand–if you know how to decode them.
Ok, so how do I decode them?
Once you understand the chakras as metaphorical spinning balls of light that are located in seven points along the spine, you can begin to understand when things aren’t quite right. If you are having sensations in one of these seven spots, you can imagine that the chakra is either dimmed (less illuminated) or slowed down (spinning less quickly).
When this occurs, we feel a physical signal that things aren’t operating as they should. This is how our psyche speaks to us, so it’s important to pay attention. Our bodies are often the first to alert us to a problem. That means we have to be tuned into our bodies enough to know when these signals are calling out to us.
If we ignore them, they will only get louder and harder to dismiss. But if we can learn to notice the subtle alerts–something yoga teachers and spiritual leaders who regularly work with the chakras become very well-versed in–we can address the problem right away.
That’s the goal. Eventually, we become so tuned in to ourselves that we notice when our emotions and internal state are sending alerts, which empowers us to work with our chakras before the issue becomes a physical ailment.
If I know my chakras are trying to tell me something, what do I do?
This is where we start to focus on doing the internal work of cultivating our spirituality. Our psyche is dictating that we take action, and depending on where the problem is and which chakra it’s impacting, we need to take a different approach.
The chakra system functions similarly to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in that our lower chakras tell us about our basic needs, whereas the upper chakras tell us about our more ethereal or spiritual needs. Depending on where you’re feeling sensation or an alert from your body, you’ll know what types of needs aren’t being met.
This post is simply an overview of how to work with the chakras. To learn more about this system:
- Check out my YouTube video – Chakras and Yoga Psychology: Part ONE! below.
- Want to keep watching? Check out my YouTube series called Let’s Talk About the Chakras, which offers detailed information about each of the seven energy centers and what you need to know to connect to each one.
- Prefer to read about chakras? Download my free ebook – Chakra Yoga: A Beginner’s Guide to Chakra Healing.
- Ready to dive deeper? Learn about the chakras in my course – Alchemy of the Chakras.