Let me be clear: I do not mean to say that chakras don’t exist.
But, I can’t be sure, since nobody has been able to “measure” these energy centers in the body. Having said that, the fact that science has not found them does not mean that they do not exist.
Let’s explore further…
First of all: There is a unified and universal theory of chakras.
There is no consensus on what they are, where they are located, how many there are , their colors, their meaning, or how to “balance them” (if such a thing is possible).
Surely, we will encounter “experts” who have written books, have given lectures, and who act as though they were in fact present when the chakras were invented, saying with confidence that they know all of these things. But the truth is that many of these experts are contradictory in many details about the chakras … For example, some systems have 7, 9 or 13 chakras (and sometimes more!).
Some say that the third eye is blue, others say purple, and even others saying it is gold. Some say the root chakra is in the perineum, others in the anus, and the discrepancies continue to grow. Not so infrequently even that authors have added details to their theories …
What do the scriptures say?
Most mentions of the Subtle System come from the Upanishads (ancient yogic texts).
– seven chakras
– their names
– where they are located in the body (although not all texts agree on this point)
– sound “bija” or root
– the number of petals that everyone has.
And even the colors of each chakra? Hm.
They began to appear in Western literature not so long ago. The idea that there is a relationship between each chakra and precious stones, colors, affirmations, or body parts, does not come from any sort of ancient text, nor any famous old yogi.
The relationship between poses and chakras … everyone feels them differently, so feel free to explore on your own body, keeping in mind that there is nothing “definitive” …
Who is telling the truth?
Old texts or not, I do not believe that there is a way to measure them, even if the experiences of the chakras were to be “more or less” universal. What I mean is this: the experts who claim to see and feel the chakras should share more common experiences with them.
If the chakras exist and have colors, shapes, numbers and other specific qualities, then why is there so much disagreement between the authorities on the subject? Consider the following options:
1. Nobody actually knows the details, our minds tend to “fill in the gaps,” building on our existing knowledge about them. In that case, no one is right, we are all making it up as we go.
2. Only a few know and understand the reality of the chakras “correctly”. The rest of the people … are wrong.
3. Chakras do not exist, and we all have a case of mass delusion and placebo effect.
Does it matter?
This is the most important question, I believe, in terms of chakras. I believe in the concept and model of the chakras because it works for me, and it works for my students and clients.
Chakras can be an excellent way to describe our needs, tying them to a feeling as well as a physical location, making them much easier to access, and even in a tangible way.
For me, it is totally irrelevant if you’re actually “cleansing” a chakra, or maybe you are experiencing a placebo effect, to me the importance is that it is helping you get more balance in your life.
The importance is that it’s working, not if it is “right” according to someone else. And in my experience, the color you assign does not necessarily determine whether the chakras work for you. In my experience, what makes a difference is how much you believe in what you’re doing, both as a facilitator (teacher / healer) and as a recipient (student / client / patient).
I think what is missing is some humility in the way that we share our theories of our “subtle body.” Just because you have been taught a system that works for you and your students, does not make that system a universal and absolute truth.
Just because you can see the chakras in a certain way, does not mean that someone else has to see them just as you do (and is likely to see and feel them completely differently and validly so!). So, I suggest you teach the chakras in the way that you see them, and not in the way “they are.”
Treat chakras with the respect they deserve, allowing them to exist in terms of how they present themselves to each of us differently. So that, even if the chakras end up being a myth, it won’t matter because they will continue to be useful and truly valuable.