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Are Chakras Real?

Are Chakras Real?

Chakras are a widely held concept in many spiritual traditions but do chakras exist?

Despite their ancient origins, there is no definitive proof or scientific evidence that chakras are real. Like many spiritual and religious concepts, they are open to interpretation and subjective experience.

The Existence of Chakras in Spirituality

The concept of chakras appears in several ancient spiritual traditions, including Buddhist texts and Yogic texts. For example, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a foundational text in classical yoga philosophy, refers to the major chakras as “energy centers” where prana, or life force, circulates:

“Chakras are loci of life-energy (prana) situated in a series of subtle centers in the body…” 

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Similarly, in the Tantra tradition, chakras are considered essential in achieving spiritual awakening. They are described as swirling energy centers that can be activated through practices like meditation, breathwork, and visualization.

Here’s a quote from the Vijnanabhairava Tantra:

“By concentrating one’s awareness on the psychic center located in the heart, one becomes the knower of the entire expanse of consciousness.” 

Vijnanabhairava Tantra

In modern times, the concept of chakras has been widely adopted in holistic and alternative medicine, yoga traditions and Ayurvedic medicine. 

Anodea Judith, a well-known spiritual teacher and author, speaks about the chakras in this way:

“Each chakra is a spinning vortex of energy that helps regulate the flow of life force within the human system.”

Anodea Judith, Ph.D., author of Wheels of Life

The Existence of Energy Systems in the Human Body

Whether you believe in 114 chakras, the 12 chakra system, the seven-chakra system or another energy philosophy entirely, there has been research which suggests that energy is an important part of our physical being.

Neuropsychologist Richard W. Maxwell refers to energy points in the physical body as:

“Intercellular gap junction connections which provide a physiological mechanism underlying subtle energy systems described in yoga as well as other disciplines such as acupuncture.”

Richard W. Maxwell

There have also been other scientific studies which suggest that there is an energy system in the human body which isn’t necessarily visible to the naked eye. Psychologist Carl Jung interpreted the awakening of Kundalini (life force energy or vital energy) and the harmonization of the chakra system as the process of tapping into our unconscious self.

But spiritual leaders and scientists can both agree that proof of the existence of chakras is unlikely to be found in a scientific study. As physicist J.C. Stevens writes:

“The chakra system, though an ethereal substance, is not what is normally thought of as matter. The proof of their existence will be found only in deep meditation, and not through physical, scientific instrumentation.”

J.C. Stevens

Whatever your interpretation of chakras, chakra healing tools such as chakra meditation, yoga, and chakra reiki have been shown to have significant benefits for our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. 

Author

  • Clare Smith

    Hi, I’m Clare – writer and publisher of Chakra Practice. I’m a certified chakra energy healer and a philosophy major. I love researching and writing about everything to do with chakras, including trying out new crystals, candles, essential oils – anything that can help me in my practice.