A question that I often like to ask myself is, “What is a chakra?” I find the more I ask the more fun the exploration. So let me begin this article by sharing my present definition that I hope points you in a fun direction for exploring this question (Quest-I-On)

What is a Chakra – A Chakra is a Gateway into a level of potential within you. It is a holon, meaning it is a part of a greater whole. This greater whole is the 7 major chakra system. More about a ‘holon’ later. Your task in life is to move through these 7 major gateways in order to realize your full potential.

So let me begin to outline a menu for answering this question, “What is a Chakra?” The understanding of this question is a key life skill for those committed to living a Yoga Lifestyle.

So let me first share with you a menu that gives you an outline for exploring the question.

What is a Chakra Menu?

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So I hope this menu is of interest. I have added internal page links in order to allow you to move between different sections that immediately peak your interest.

However, I recommend you do not skip reading any part of this article as it is progressive in nature.

Let us begin to open the gateway of revealing your full potential.

What is a Chakra?

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If you Google the question “What is a Chakra?” the 1st page item may give you the following definition:-

Chakras are the various focal points in the subtle body used in a variety of ancient meditation practices, collectively denominated as Tantra, or the esoteric or inner traditions of Hinduism. The concept is found in the early traditions of Hinduism. – Wikipedia

Now when I read this definition it doesn’t set me on fire.

It gives me more information about what a chakra is but in the opinion of this writer there is little to inspire you to use this information to reveal your full potential.

What is Your Full Potential?

what is a chakra - opening to your full potential

Your full potential can be defined in one word. This word is the word ‘Union.’

Your purpose for existing on this planet of duality within this dimension of time and space is the journey into union.

“Union with what?” you might ask. The answer is union of the:-

  • Personal with the Universal.
  • Human with Being.
  • Time with Eternity.
  • Form with the Formless
  • I am with I AM.

This experience of full potential is what is means to practice Yoga.

[bctt tweet=”[bctt tweet=”Your full potential is not solely related to your potential as a person. To realize your full potential is to unify the personal with the universal. This is a 3 Stages of Life process. #potential #potentialyogastudent #chakra” username=” nofollow=”yes” @Yogajourneyfor1″]

The word yoga translates as “union.” This is its central focus. The 7 major chakra system is the premier map for realizing this experience.

Traditional Understanding

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What is a Chakra? – A Wheel of Subtle Energy

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Most definitions of a chakra inform you that it is a wheel. The wheel represents a subtle energy centre in the body. For me personally I never really connected with that definition. I think this is true for Seers of old who probably had the ability to SEE subtle energy.

However, I don’t have that ability and most people in the West, and especially those interested in these things  do not have the ability to SEE energy.

So, while it may be true it doesn’t help me. What I want is to be inspired. I want to have something that will invite me on a journey that allows me to fulfil my true potential.

[bctt tweet=”I am a storyteller. I love to write and tell stories that are magical and mythical. This is the language of the heart and the soul. So let me invite you to explore this “What is a Chakra?” question by way of going on a quest to find you purpose and your destiny. #chaka #chakrajourney” nofollow=”yes” username=”@Yogajouneyfor1″]

A Different Understanding

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What is a Chakra – A Gateway

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I facilitate a workshop that I call Companioning YOUR Greatness. In this workshop my focus is on using guided meditations to reveal the creativity of the participants. I love the way in which such creativity opens up in everyone in a very unique way.

One way of answering the question, “What is a Chakra?” is to view it as a magical Gateway into a place filled with wonder that you are going to explore. Personally speaking, that excites me more than knowing that a chakra is a wheel.

It doesn’t have to be a gateway. It could be a doorway into a room. It could be a boat that you sail down a stream on an adventure to the Ocean which represents the Ocean of Love which you become at one with (union).

Whatever image works for you is the image that you follow.

It doesn’t have to be forever. The image will change as you grow. What is important, in the beginning, is that there is some degree of excitement felt in the invitation.

Do not let this question, “What is a Chakra?” simply be more information. Let it invite you into following your destiny into the KNOWING of Love.

Westwind II 

You are young.  So you know everything.  You leap into the boat and begin rowing.  But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul.  Listen to me.

Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to me.

There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe.  It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied.

When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the
sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life toward it.

~ Mary Oliver

So if the above invitation excites you in anyway then lets venture onward into answering a related question, “What is a holon.”

What is a Holon?

what is a chakra - a holon

What is a Chakra? – A Holon

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In very simple terms a ‘holon’ is a part of something that is a larger whole. For example, a cell is part of the larger whole that is an organ. An organ is a part that of the larger whole that is the body. Here is a story that will illustrate in a more feeling way what a holon is.

The Parable of the Two Watchmakers.

There once were two watchmakers, named Bios and Mekhos, who made very fine watches. The phones in their workshops rang frequently; new customers were constantly calling them. However, Bios prospered while Mekhos became poorer and poorer. In the end, Mekhos lost his shop and worked as a mechanic for Bios. What was the reason behind this?

The watches consisted of about 1000 parts each. The watches that Mekhos made were designed such that, when he had to put down a partly assembled watch (for instance, to answer the phone), it immediately fell into pieces and had to be completely reassembled from the basic elements.

On the other hand Bios designed his watches so that he could put together subassemblies of about ten components each. Ten of these subassemblies could be put together to make a larger sub-assembly.

Finally, ten of the larger subassemblies constituted the whole watch. When Bios had to put his watches down to attend to some interruption, they did not break up into their elemental parts but only into their sub-assemblies.

Now, the watchmakers were each disturbed at the same rate of once per hundred assembly operations. However, due to their different assembly methods, it took Mekhos four thousand times longer than Bios to complete a single watch.

From A Brief History of Holons – Mark Edwards – Integral World – Exploring Theories of Everything

A chakra is a holon.

It is part of a system of chakras that form the 7 Major Chakra system. In exploring, “What is a Chakra?” you are invited on a journey of opening 7 gates or seven doors or sailing 7 seas. All of these gates, doorways or seas are interconnected and interdependent.

A Map

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What is a Chakra – A Map

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So the question, “What is a Chakra,” should lead you to explore the further question, “What is the 7 Chakra System?”  or to return to using a metaphor, let me say that it is the premier map of human potential.

It is the premier map for attaining union. It puts together all the chakras – ‘holons’ that allow you to experience what it means to be whole. This is really a journey of a lifetime and a journey of 3 Stages of Life.

  • Life Stage 1 – Integration of the Personal – Lower 3 Chakras.
  • Mid Stage 2 – Period of Transition – 4th Chakra
  • Life Stage 3 – Transformation via the Universal – Higher 3 Chakras.

This is not a precise linear journey but it gives you an overview of the fullness of the journey into realizing and revealing your full potential.

This New Understanding

what is a chakra - a journey toward the light

What is a Chakra – A Journey Toward the Light

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So I hope that the question,  “What is a Chakra?” will lead you into a quest. This is the quest to fulfil your potential and Companion YOUR Greatness.

Recognize that if you ask this question, “What is a Chakra?” that there may be something inside you that is looking toward something other. This is not a question that you can answer with intellectual information alone.

That is only the signpost pointing the way toward the invitation to transformation.

You can file away the Wikipedia definition but don’t let that be all you do. Take the journey through the 1st Gateway into the Land of Magic and Mystery that is the Light of Your own Being.

This means that you would have to value the truth of who you are created to be. You would have to begin to explore the possibility that you are magnificent beyond measure. For so many of us this very idea, let alone experience, is too hard to believe in.

Learning to live a Yoga Lifestyle is the invitation to make this magnificence beyond measure experience more than a belief but an experience of living Presence.

Create Your Own Map

what is a chakra - a map of creation

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I love the idea of “What is a Chakra” as being part of a territory that is a map of human potential.

More than this I love the visas of creativity, passion and prosperity that unfold before me as I journey through this territory of personal and spiritual awakening

Begin to create your own map. Let this be fun.

Explore the 7-chakra system but do it in your own way. The way I explore it is through poetry, storytelling and lyrics of songs that I have journeyed with throughout my life.

Note that each of these forms of exploration – poetry, storytelling and song – are what I absolutely love.

You might explore this 7-chakra system by way of dance, art or through human relationships. The important thing is that you follow your Y-E-S – Your energy system.

This means you pay attention to the levels of excitement. This adventure in learning how to realize your full potential is more a journey of sensing and feeling that intellectual understanding. It is a journey of insight. It is a journey of inner seeing and KNOWING.

Discover Your Own Keys

what is a chakra - key to life

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So what are the keys to opening the Gate’s to revealing your full potential. One answer is to pay attention to the level of excitement you feel in the body. Another poem from Mary Oliver.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

From Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Allowing the soft animal of your body to love what it loves means that you have to be willing to trust and feel the level of excitement that arises in response to invitations of this kind.

Most of us are not used to heightened levels of excitement arising from the urge to express the fullness of who we are. Most of us live behind a prison of character that keeps us attached to a ridged idea of who we are or who we should be.

God forbid that we might be a revelation of lightness and feel blessed and able to bless.

  • In my book Being Beautiful – Learning to Treasure the REAL You I list seven levels of energy that I recommend you pay attention to. These levels of excitement become the keys to opening the gates and doors to your full potential.

These 7 levels of Energy are refered to as Levels of Ease.

  • Personal
    • Encouragement.
    • Excitement.
    • Empowerment.
  • Transitional
    • Ease.
  • Universal
    • Expectation.
    • Enthusism.
    • Essence.

This levels of excitement are felt in the body.

Insert levels of excitement from Being Beautiful

Your Unique Creative Language

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What is a Chakra – Experiencing Creativity

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The next step on the process of learning to fulfil your potential is to connect to this process in an emotionally empowering way. This is not simply by way of intellectual learning.

This kind of learning gives you some degree of satisfaction but it is it not KNOWING that is integrative and wholesome.

You can learn all about the major 7 chakra system but if it does not touch you emotionally than there is no healing of the absence of union. It is all more of the same old same as in different clothes.

You craft your language through what attracts you. It could be poetry, painting, crafting, cooking, or a host of other ways in which you can express creation as it is designed to come through you.

As I said before I use the language of mystical poetry, mythic storytelling and songs I love in the journey that is Yoga. This is the stuff that really excites me.

[bctt tweet=”One way of answering the question, “What is a Chakra?” is to view it as a magical Gateway into a place filled with wonder that you are going to explore.  #chakra #chakrabalance” nofollow=”yes” username=”@Yogajourneyforlife1″]

Leaving the Cave

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Leaving the Cave for the Light

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So you decide you are interested in KNOWING what it is to live your full potential through following the map that is The Way of the Chakra’s

First thing you have to do is leave the cave. Metaphorically speaking you leave The Cave of the Skull. This is a metaphor for leaving the normal obsession with the overthinking personal mind. It is a great intelligence but it uses you rather than you use it.

The poet W. B. Yeats says it this way:-

These are the clouds about the fallen sun

The majesty that shuts his burning eye.

From These are the Clouds

The majesty refers to the intellect. The clouds are your thoughts that block its creative use and that shuts down the Greater Sun that is the Burning Eye – the Light of your Being.

And So Friend, “Have you Made Greatness Your Companion?”

The majesty refers to the intellect. The clouds are your thoughts that block its creative use and that shuts down the Greater Sun that is the Burning Eye – the Light of your Being.

[bctt tweet=”You leave your obsession with the overthinking personal mind through a commitment to return to being present in the body and learning to live as a body in full Presence (David Whyte) #yoga #yogalifestyle #yogajourney #chakra” nofollow=”yes” username=”@Yogajourneyforlife1″]

Taking the 1st Step

what is a chakra - 1st step toward the light.

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The 1st step on the journey to realizing your full potential is to recognize that you are created to embody that potential.

That potential is unique to you. It arises from within and is expressed without. Your 1st step, and your last step, is to trust that creative intelligence within. This intelligence has different names:-

  • The still small voice within.
  • Inner KNOWING
  • The Holy Spirit.

Your 1st step is to make a commitment to begin to FEEL more embodied and present in the moment. This is the eternal moment. It is the only moment there ever is and ever will be.

The degree to which you feel in alignment with your potential is in the NOW. This is an experiential realization that is not mental or intellectual. It is Insight It is AH HA moments. It is KNOWING. It is inner guidance. It is from this experience that you act.

The beginning of this journey into full potential is through embodiment.

Metaphorically speaking this is the 1st Stage in Learning HOW TO Treasure the REAL You. The 1st Stage is represented by the Hero/ine sitting on The Stone of Destiny and claiming the 1st Treasure which is their rightful Sovereignty.

I share this four-stage journey of realizing your full potential in Being Beautiful – Learning to Treasure the REAL You. This is based around the Irish mythological story The Four Treasures of Ireland. I have updated this story to reflect the needs of modern minds.

Let the Chakra Journey Begin

what is a chakra - stepping into the light of your own being

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So I  hope you are encouraged, even excited,  to begin the journey to the light that is the magnificence of your own Being. This is a journey of living a life of Purpose, Peace, Prosperity and Presence.

We began the quest with a definition of “What is a Chakra?” that was, in the view of the writer rather uninspiring.

We discovered what a chakra is and that its relations  to the 7 major chakra system is so much more. We learned, even if it was only a cerebral kind of learning, that a chakra is:-

  • A Gateway to magic and mystery that is
  • A part of a part that is a Greater Whole that is
  • A Map to realizing your full Potential.

I love the invitation to realizing your full potential that is the 7 major chakra map. It is the map I use in Companioning my personal Greatness that flows only from alignment with the Greatness of the True Self.

It is my hope that in expanding on this question, “What is a Chakra?” that I get my wish which is:-

I wish that when you are lonely and in darkness that I can show you the astonishing light of your own being.

The choice to be astonished is yours. Will you NOW choose to journey toward the revelation of the astonishing Light that is within you? I hope you do.

7 Chakra Energy Learning Resources

what a chakra is involves the study and experience of the life force

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 7-Chakra Learning Courses

Your 7 Chakras : The Complete Guide to Your Energy Body

Understand Your Chakras, Your Energy Body, and Heal the Areas of your life that need it!
What you’ll learn
  • Locate their 7 Chakras in their body
  • Understand the basic functions, energies, and purpose of each chakra

  • Be able to diagnose whether each chakra is blocked, healthy, or blown open

  • Understand the practical steps you need to take to strengthen any one of your chakras
  • Identify the chakra orientations in both yourself and others
  • Understand how society and culture affects the 7 chakras

This course includes

6.5 hours on-demand video
13 articles
2 downloadable resources
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV

start experiencing their benefits today.

Chakra Healing Bundle with Anadeo Judith

This bundle of information and techniques for working with your chakras offers you a wide pallet for your personal and professional transformation.

With practices you can use the rest of your life, this valuable resource helps you navigate your way to better health, expanded awareness, and joy.

Watch the video below for a teaser and see below for your many bonus items along with 7 Chakra Awakening Videos to take your chakra learning to the next level

  • Are you aware of your own chakras?
  • Do you know how to diagnose imbalances?
  • Do you know what techniques to use to bring your chakras back into alignment?
  • Have you found a healing practice for body & spirit to make you feel grounded, whole, and more spiritually aligned?

This Chakra Healing Bundle will nurture you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Free 7-Chakra Learning Resourses

Join Anodea Judith and gain mindfulness as she journeys you through the CHAKRA’s.

Experience HEALING in each CHAKRA.

Don’t miss this FREE 7 Keys to Transformation INTRO.

Chakra Evening Mediation by Anodea Judith
Rejuvenate and get peaceful rest!

This session is excerpted from Anodea Judith’s Chakra Balancing Kit, which also has a morning yoga practice of seven chakra based sun salutations.

Ideal for beginners and advanced alike, Chakra Meditations are a powerful way to use guided imagery, meditation, and other proven practices in your own time.

Put them on your smartphone, MP3 player, tablet device, or computer … and start experiencing their benefits today.

Now it is up to you to make a committment to Companioning YOUR Greatness and saying Y-E-S – meaning to feel in alignment with your energy system.

If you have a question or comment please leave it below the related posts.

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Tony Cuckson

Writer - Storyteller - Musician at Yoga Journey for Life
Writer of Awakening the Heart - 21 Ways for Following Love's Message. Also author of Being Beautiful - Learning to Treasure the REAL YOU. Workshop Leader in Learning to Companion YOUR Greatness.
Tony Cuckson
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