TantraGirl and I have been speaking final evening about chakras and the way in which a weirdly inflexible 7-chakra system, full with colours, mantras, and symbols, has turn into an orthodoxy within the West and more and more in India too. She wrote [a comment further down](https://www.reddit.com/r/Tantra/feedback/5vd7ld/interested_but_have_doubts_due_to_science/df7h0y3/) about it, however I assumed it could be helpful so as to add this text by Christopher Wallis, as a result of it is probably the greatest discussions of what occurred:
+ [*The Real Story of the Chakras*](http://www.corespirit.com/real-story-chakras/)
Here is an excerpt from the intro:
> First let me make clear that by ‘the West’ I imply not solely Euro-American tradition but in addition the points of contemporary Indian tradition which are knowledgeable by the Euro-American tradition matrix. Since at this level it’s practically unattainable to discover a type of yoga in India not influenced by Euro-American concepts about it, once I use the time period ‘Western’ I embody all of the teachings on yoga in India immediately that exist within the English language.
> Okay, I’ll give it to you straight: for probably the most half, Western yoga understands virtually nothing concerning the chakras that the unique creators of the idea thought was essential about them. When you learn a e book like Anodea Judith’s well-known Wheels of Life or different books impressed by it, you aren’t studying a piece of yoga philosophy however of Western occultism, primarily based on three foremost sources:
> 1) earlier works of Western occultism that borrow Sanskrit phrases with out actually understanding them (like Theosophist C.W. Leadbeater’s The Chakras, 1927);
> 2) John Woodroffe’s flawed 1918 translation of a textual content on the chakras written in Sanskrit in 1577; and
> three) 20th-century books by Indian yoga gurus that are themselves primarily based on sources 1) and a pair of).
> Books on the chakras primarily based on sound comprehension of the unique Sanskrit sources exist solely within the scholarly world.
And a little bit additional down, he factors out that:
> There’s Not Simply One Chakra System in The Authentic Custom, There Are Many
> So many! The speculation of the delicate physique and its vitality facilities referred to as cakras (or padmas, ādhāras, lakṣyas, and many others.) comes from the custom of Tantrik Yoga, which flourished from 600-1300 CE, and remains to be alive immediately. In mature Tantrik Yoga (after the 12 months 900 or so), each one of many many branches of the custom articulated a special chakra system, and a few branches articulated multiple. 5-chakra methods, six-chakra methods, seven, 9, ten, fifteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight and extra chakras are taught, relying on what textual content you’re .
[Keep in mind as you read the term “Tantrik Yoga” that “yoga” in that context does NOT mean doing asanas (posture practice).]
The important thing level is that these chakra methods have been meant to be psychological aids to meditation, not descriptions of “religious actuality.” Like mnemonics, you need to use any system that works greatest for you.
For instance, [in modern tantric sex,](http://moderntantra.blogspot.com/2013/09/welcome-to-extraordinary-passion.html) it’s common when receiving a lingam/yoni therapeutic massage to make use of a type of meditation and targeted consciousness borrowed from Kundalini follow to unfold the feeling and bodily results of sexual arousal from the genital area to the pelvis, stomach, chest, and complete physique. If beginning on the backside and transferring upward in six steps works for you, nice! If doing it in bigger or smaller increments works higher, do it that method as an alternative!
In different phrases, there’s nothing magic concerning the quantity seven, besides that it is roughly on the cognitive restrict of the “set measurement” that most individuals can hold straight in short-term reminiscence at one time. (Cf. [“The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information”](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magical_Number_Seven,_Plus_or_Minus_Two#The_.22magical_number_7.22_and_working_memory_capacity), aka Miller’s Legislation.)