What the Heck is a Chakra (and Why Should I Care)?

Not familiar with the chakra energetic system? No worries. If you’re even mildly interested in finding out what the heck a chakra is and why you should care then you are in the right place.

You can think of this as the definitive guide on why you should be interested in chakras. Not the definitive guide on chakras because let’s be honest; this is just a blog post and you’re not here for all that anyway.

No, you want to skip past all the other stuff and get to the part where chakras apply to you. And if they do, you might be interested. I get you. In fact I put this chakra chart together with you in mind:

Just kidding, that chart is bullshit. You knew that though because the chakra system is just as intuitive as you expect it to be. 

It’s like that time you learned your heart is an organ in the middle of your chest and it works to pump blood throughout your body and you were like, “I feel that.” 

Fun Fact:

Everyone is familiar with classical paintings of saints with halos around their heads, but did you know artists have been depicting human light energy for thousands of years?

This female figure from pre-Colombian South America features a halo. Her aura appears to extend all the way down to her hips. 

Halos and auras have been used to depict enlightened individuals across multiple cultures and religions throughout history.

So moving on… I’m about to tell you what a chakra is but first I want to talk a little bit about you. You are an energy being having a physical experience. Too deep? Ok let’s start with an analogy. 

Let’s say your body is a house and each room in the house is for one thing. You can only sleep in the bedroom; only eat in the kitchen and in the bathroom, only shower. 

But this isn’t the little two-story cottage you were picturing. This is a shotgun house — one room wide and you have to go through each room to get to the next.

Welcome Home

Let’s say you need to go somewhere. You need to get ready to leave the house. First, you have to shower. But you’re at the very back of your house in the bedroom. In this analogy remember, the bedroom is just for sleeping.

The catch is, if you haven’t slept, you can’t leave the bedroom and make your way to the bathroom for a shower. You have to fulfill your needs in one room before you can fulfill your needs in the next.

Actual Chart of the Seven Chakras

The chart above shows the actual seven-chakra system (there are several smaller chakras, but we aren’t going there today).

You can see they each have legit Sanskrit names, mantras, and elemental energies. Note the red and white lines spiraling up between each chakra (the ida and pingala nadis). This is an artistic depiction of how your energy flows through your chakra energetic system.

Pay attention friends, I’m about to make sense of that analogy:

This is your face right now waiting for me to make some sense (18th Century, Rajasthan).

So back to that analogy and back to how you are an energy being having a physical experience:

In the example above, you can see how it would take you a long time to move through your house. If you’re hungry, you have to stop and eat in the kitchen, etc., until you fulfill your needs in each room. 

Makes the idea of getting ready to go out feel exhausting.

Your House of Chakras

The chakras are energy centers in your body. In the same way each room was for just one activity, each chakra has a single tone or vibration. 

Your life force — we call it prana in yoga or ch’i in traditional Chinese medicine — moves up through the chakras. In the same way your needs must be fulfilled to move through the house in the analogy, your energy must be fulfilled to flow through and around each of the chakras.  

When your energy flows easily through a chakra we say that chakra is “balanced.” Like sleeping and showering, your energy needs regular balancing.

In the house analogy, if you are sleepy, dirty, and hungry it could take you hours to get ready to go out. The thought alone is enough to make you want to stay home.

When the energy of one of the lower chakras is out of balance, just thinking about the energies above that chakra feels exhausting.

If you can’t pay the bills, just thinking about things like dating, making art, or trying to get along with your mom/kid/partner feels like a waste of time.

Is your energy a reflection of your life or is your life a reflection of your energy? Depends on which hippy you ask. Either way, identifying the areas of your life that are hard and balancing your energy in the associated chakra makes life easier. It gives you flow. 

Want to know more about the chakras including a super simple hack to bring them back in balance? Join me and master crystal bowl player Timothy Mast on the free webcast “Chakra Balancing with Crystal Bowl Meditation.” 

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