What are chakras?
These are the names for some locations along the trunk and head of the human body associated with particularly large or intense amounts of energy. They are associated with nerve channels, internal organs and bodily functions. They are often referred to as ‘wheels’ or as ‘lotus’ or ‘energy centers’.
Why do they matter?
Depending on your social circles sometimes they turn up as a kind of jargon. Metaphysical or spiritual people may often seem to refer to chakras, to auras, astrology, past lives, deities, yoga – jargon of this nature.
Those who practice hands on healing of most kinds, and acupuncture or acupressure consider chakras in relation to the body’s ‘meridians’ (which generally means nerve channels) and they are therefore relevant to health care.
People who practice yogas and other types of fitness training intended to balance the energies in the body often refer to chakras in relation to those.
Depending on your own life, you may first hear of chakras in relation to what seem like some kinds of super powers. Spiritual people and occultists seem to both advertise and protectively guard knowledge and insight about the super powers associated with ‘open chakras’.
What every one of the so-called super powers are, is heightened awareness that makes perception transpersonal to a degree considered to be far beyond ‘normal’. These are often interpreted as or believed to be ‘psychic’ – genuinely transpersonal awareness.
In general, people are strongly advised to receive spiritual guidance along with use of the chakras and intentional use of the associated super powers. The religious context influences how awareness about them is developed.
In personal experience it took me decades to discern that it is true that one, but not the only, function of ‘praying in tongues’ in Christianity is that is helps to bring the middle chakras in line with the higher ones. That is an accurate observation, but is rudimentary within the realm of what it is and I don’t wish to pretend to know more or less than I do. Normally, Christianity does not educate in terms of ‘chakras’ but there are connections between chakras as some of the spiritual gifts taught in The Bible. The words of knowledge and wisdom and some aspects of prophecy all have some relationship with the third eye and the crown chakra.
Christianity finds ways to facilitate the human body-mind system to channel divine energy without most of what is known as yoga. I know of at least one Hindu spiritual master, living today, who views yoga and Hinduism as inseparable. I know that many disagree, but that also explains why now and then a Christian parent freaked out over their child spontaneously doing yoga. To the degree that marriage is a type of yoga, I don’t agree with the spiritual teacher but with respect to the other aspects I defer and accept that that is why Christians and Jews would normally now or in the past, refused to learn yoga.
In detail, the whole matter is more complicated but if you had no idea this is a good, clear intro to the subject.