6 things to know about chakras

(Art above is by my talented friend, Stephanie Weiss. You can buy her chakra paintings on Etsy!)

I’m a chakraholic. I use my understanding of the chakras to understand where I’m storing tension. And not just physically. It helps me to identify not just yoga poses that will serve my needs, but also the work off the mat I need to do to release emotional baggage that’s weighing me down.

However, when you don’t know anything about chakras they can seem weird. Or scary. Or sacrilegious. I’m here to tell you that they are none of those things.

People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.
— Andrew Smith

Always, always, always choose understanding. Only by seeking understanding can we grow and connect with ourselves and with others.

Maybe in learning about the chakras you decide they’re not your jam. But don’t decide until you educate yourself. Keep an open mind. Always. OK — stepping off the soapbox to bring you six things to know about chakras.

1. Chakras are part of the Pranic System.


You have a Skeletal System, Nervous System, Digestive System, etc. That’s what we know in the west. But there’s also the Pranic system — the energetic body. The Pranic system is made up of energy pathways in the body called nadis. 72,000 nadis. Through these energy pathways, prana (life force) flows.

2. Chakras are energy centers in the body.

chakras energy centers

My yoga teacher explained this in a way that really clicks with me. Nadis are like roads. There are a lot of roads in the city. But there are a few major intersections. These major intersections are the chakras. Chakras aren’t the size of a penny, nor are they the size of a soccer ball. They have a general area but it could be different in everyone. My body’s map is a bit different from yours.

3. There are 7 chakras. Or 8. Or 114.

There are seven chakras that are widely recognized:

  • Root chakra
  • Sacral chakra
  • Solar plexus chakra
  • Heart chakra
  • Throat chakra
  • Third eye chakra
  • Crown chakra

However, depending on who you ask, there’s an eighth — your aura.

And technically, there are 114 chakras. However, I only study the major seven. These seven are what we talk about most often in yoga.

4. These energy centers seem to be connected to certain emotions and needs.

We dive deeper into this in the Chakras 101 program, but every chakra is associated with different feelings and needs. For example, your heart chakra is associated with love and compassion. Your throat chakra is associated with communication and voice. (Yes, it makes almost too much sense.)

5. Chakras also seem to be connected to the endocrine glands.

The major intersections that are chakras seem to congregate around endocrine glands. For example, the throat chakra is located around the thyroid gland. The solar plexus chakra is located around the adrenal gland. This connection supports the connection between the energetic body and the physical body. Which leads us to No. 6.

6. Understanding chakras can help you understand yourself.

Chakras bridge the gap between feeling and being — the physical, the mental, the spiritual. By becoming a dedicated student of the Self, you can unlock serious potential. Happiness, abundance, love and joy all start with understanding.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of the post, that tells me you might be hungry for more. Good news. There’s more. Sign up for your free Chakras 101 guide to receive an email each week — one for each of the seven major chakras — to deepen your knowledge of your energetic body.