I’d heard about chakras way back when I was in college, and pretty much immediately dismissed the concept as “New Age” woo-woo nonsense, or perhaps a reason to collect fun multicolored crystals. I mean, spinning wheels of energy? Weally?
But as the years went on and my practice grew, my mind became more flexible to the idea. Because although I can be a bit of a cynic, I also consider myself a health adventurer. As long as it doesn’t involve needles, chemicals, or giving up coffee, I’m willing to try it. And if bringing my "chakras into balance" could aid in my overall health, then I'll give it a looksie.
Let’s start with a brief definition. What is a chakra? [chakra.info; excellent resource for those of you looking to deepen your understanding of this aspect of the practice]
"A chakra (pronounced “cha”-“kra” with a resounding “ch”) is a center of energy. Originating from Sanskrit, it literally means “wheel” by association with its function as a vortex of spinning energy interacting with various physiological and neurological systems in the body".
What actually make me rethink this idea of chakras was my interest in the endocrine and nervous systems. In order to survive, the body must constantly adapt to changes in the environment and maintain a constant living internal environment, known as homeostasis. The nervous and endocrine systems both work to bring about this adaptation through their own unique response patterns. Both the nervous system and the endocrine system use chemical messengers to signal cells.
Here's how our chakras tie in-Chakras interact with the physical body through these two major vehicles, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven main chakras are associated with one of the seven endocrine glands and also with a particular group of nerves called a Plexus. So we can understand how each of these Chakra's can be associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that Plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that Chakra.
And although we don't need to adopt the idea of magical whirling wheels of energy, we can use the concept of Chakras to help us understand the deep inner workings of the human body. Chakras can really be an excellent color-guided tool for forging a deeper connection with our anatomy, our endocrine system and nervous system. It is easy to dismiss the idea of chakras as a science, especially if you are one of a analytical or scientific mind. As the scientific knowledge grows, the understanding and power of our chakras grows as well. My advice- Take your own personal experience and come up with rational ideas to help your understanding. Science and spirituality need not be at ends.
Yoga teacher, weight lifter, coffee addict, plant enthusiast