Several years ago I became quite curious about the subtle body. “Is this Jesus approved? What does the bible say about this? Am I offering a spiritually safe practice to students?” There is so much out there and even more differentiating opinions within the Christian faith. I needed to carefully study for myself. Let’s explore the science and scripture of our somatic energy.
noun: chakra; plural noun: chakras
- (in Indian thought) each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number
We all accept the energy of the body that moves along the nerves. Electrical impulses happen at the cellular level, and the sparks of life move from cell to cell and up and down a huge information highway that, collectively, we call the Nervous System. Quick, unthinking responses (you just touched a hot stove) happen in what we call “a split second.” We don’t even think about it, we just react. When that happens, nerve impulses move 330 feet per second bypassing the thinking processes. Some of these nerve impulses are called “extra fast responses” and move at 390 feet per second. When we do put thought into movement or into studying and thinking, those nerve impulses slow down to 70 to 100 feet per second. Pain impulses travel at around 2 feet per second, but touch impulses travel at around 250 feet per second. In other words, you know you touched the edge of the couch much quicker than you feel the pain of stubbing your toe on the couch.
We have this huge communication center via the Nervous System that travels from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes. We have the Central Nervous System made up of the brain and the spine, and we have the Peripheral Nervous System which connects the brain and spine with the rest of the body.
We also have another amazing body system called the Endocrine System that works very closely with the Nervous System. Where the Nervous System is responsible for electrical communication throughout the body, the Endocrine System is responsible for chemical communication throughout the body. Communication by and through the Endocrine System is essential for the health and well-being of the body. Hormones secreted from the endocrine glands are carried through the bloodstream to various organs and tissues of the body. The most important glands of the endocrine system and their connection to the chakras are:
- Pituitary – spirituality
- Pineal – intuition
- Thyroid – communication
- Thymus – love
- Pancreas – power
- Ovaries/Testes – sexuality
- Adrenals – survival
If you notice, there are seven main glands, and yes, there are seven chakras. These wheels of energy were first described in ancient Sanskrit writings known as The Vedas, the Hindu Scriptures. The seven wheels of energy are located near major endocrine glands and are thought to correspond to different states of mind and personalities. Chakras are known to be transmitters and receivers of energy at the seven glandular points throughout the body.
One thing that many Christians have against chakras is the teaching of opening up and balancing our beings beginning at the root because the Hindu religion is part of the teaching. God tells us not to worship Him the way that the other nations worship their gods.
When we look at the teachings of some websites and books, opening up the root chakra begins with the kundalini spirit. The Kundalini is the ancient description for the energy (or shakti) present within our bodies. It is said that the kundalini stems from the base of the spine and winds its way up to the top of the head, and is often compared to a snake or a serpent.
We know that the enemy of God, the devil or Satan, is represented as a serpent. So, it is completely understandable that as Believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and in His son, Jesus the Messiah, who came to earth to defeat this enemy, that we would want nothing to do with this kundalini spirit. Is chakra a dirty word then? Are the wheels of energy that God created suddenly evil? Or have others taken what God has created, twisted it and made it something else?
While the word “chakras” aren’t mentioned specifically in the Bible, we can see that it is possible that just as God created our bodies with pathways for energy to flow (nerves, blood, lymph, meridians). He also created these energy centers throughout the body to receive and transmit energy messages. We are more than merely physical beings. We are also spirit and soul.
The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the innermost parts of his being. Proverbs 20:27
The same word for lamp used to describe the spirit of man is Strong’s H5216 and is the word used to describe the lights of the lampstand (menorah) in the Tabernacle. “And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof; and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.”
The Lampstand in the Tabernacle of God is a seven branched menorah. Oil was used to keep the lights burning continually. When pure light is refracted through clouds or a prism, we get different colors, or colored lights. We see these in rainbows and sunrises and sunsets. The energy centers located at the seven main glands of the body respond to, or are activated by, different color lights. Remember that God is the Father of lights. Not just the Father of light, but lights…. Plural.
In the beginning, in Genesis, God shares with us the process of creation. The first thing that happened when God created the heavens and the earth was the Spirit or Breath of God moving over the face of the waters. That word moving may really be better defined as vibrated (Hebrew word rachaph meaning flutter, move, shake).
Then God said or thought everything into existence. “And God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’” The Hebrew word “amar” is translated “said”, but also means “think”. Thought is electromagnetic light and energy which contains all the colors and their frequencies. Before there was language, there was spirit and there was light. From the same energy which vibrated upon and through the waters, everything else was formed, including mankind.
There is another very interesting and very similar ancient word which came before the Sanskrit word for Chakra and that is the Hebrew word “shachar’it”. Shachar’it means to balance or center, as in the Hebrew morning shachar’it prayers, which centers one for the day. Shakar in Hebrew means “dawn” so the understanding is at the beginning of the day, when the light first appears, we seek God’s light in order to bring balance to our day.
The patterns of light and God’s order in creation are everywhere, not just in the colors of the rainbow, or the seven branched menorah (a tangible image of God’s light), but in the chords of our music, the seven days of the week, etc. Why, then, is it so hard to believe that He would not put seven centers of energy that respond to light, His light, within us when he formed us?
At this point perhaps, you are in agreement and think, “Yes. It is very possible that when God formed us in our mother’s wombs, not only did he give us brains, and hearts, and eyes, and livers, and kidneys, and nerves, and blood vessels, and glands, but He also created energy centers around our glands. After all, everything that was created and is, was created and designed by Him.” But maybe you’re still thinking that messing around with chakras should be avoided.
Isn’t it funny how we number the chakras from 1 to 7 beginning at the head, but when dealing with the chakras and opening the chakras and getting them to be in balance, we are told to start at number seven, the root chakra?
We know that the root chakra connects us to the earth and grounds us. But if we look at the scripture in James 1:7 (Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow or turning), we see that God is the Father of lights and every good and perfect gift comes down from above. If we receive life and life-giving words from the Father who is spirit and light, then we receive from the top down, rather than from the root or the ground up. This may cause everyone who already understands chakras to disagree or challenge what they were already taught. We do need to be grounded, but as believers we are to be rooted and grounded in love which comes from being strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man (our own spirit and soul) where Christ dwells in our hearts by faith.
Again, this does not mean that we need to disregard being grounded. We do need to be grounded and connected to the earth. Grounding is essential for being present. We continue to remain in Him.
Consider this on chakras, “What if we receive the blessings of the Light of God starting at the top and from above?” When the priests and kings were anointed with oil in the bible, they were anointed beginning at the top of the head, and the oil would flow down the rest of their being. (Psalm 133:2)
What if the light from God – His anointing, His Spirit, His Power – comes down into the first chakra, and flows down and in and through us? As it travels down through all seven energy centers, His Spirit brings wisdom, revelation, communion, love, power, fruitfulness, and life.
The first two energy centers that are referred to as spirituality and intuition would be known after the Spirit as wisdom and revelation which can be equated to a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). The third energy center would be communion – unity with our community. (Psalm 133:1) The fourth and fifth would be love and power (2 Timothy 1:7). The sixth, rather than just being sexuality would be fruitfulness and creativity, while the seventh would be more than survival; it would be life and that more abundantly. (John 10:10)
- Pituitary – wisdom, sound mind
- Pineal – revelation, sound mind
- Thyroid – communion (not just communication, but unity through communication) Psalm 133:1
- Thymus – love
- Pancreas – power
- Ovaries/Testes – not just sexuality, but richer and deeper: creativity and fruitfulness
- Adrenals – life: more than mere survival, but real life and that more abundantly, John 10:10
While there is no one verse that links these different attributes seen in the Bible to something called chakras, we can see the potential for Chakras being true, not new. Scripture tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power and a sound mind. These three spirits (love, power and sound mind) or attributes matched perfectly with the areas of the body represented in images of chakras.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Trauma, however great or small, is a distressing experience that becomes stored in the physical body and blocks energy flow through the subtle body – the chakras. This blocked energy causes difficulties in perception, critical thinking, emotional responses, behavior, health and wellness. It prevents one from living a full, joyful and purposeful life.
A quick note on chakras, meridians and nadis. Chakras correlate with various Meridian points flowing along the spine. There are 12 main meridians 6 are yin and 6 are yang. Energy travels through ‘Nadis’, which is a Sanskrit word for blood vessel. They are located in the Meridian pathways, which are a network of nerves where the energy spirals in an ascending or descending fashion. It’s kind of sounding like Polyvagal Theory, eh? More on that at another time.
The body is made up of many chakras that parallel the Meridian paths flowing through the body. The seven main Chakras are connected by three major Nadis located parallel to one another. The degree of Chakra and Meridian activity in a person’s body is dependent on the person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state of health.
There is so much to unpack and explore. Get curious. Explore what these God given things are about. Consider how you can teach a series or workshop on this energy. I would love to hear what you think!
Amy K, R-CYAMT
Amy shares her musings and curiosities on embodied practices, subtle bodies and trauma in a variety of curriculum and teaching platforms. To learn more you can EMAIL.