A quick search on the web for information on chakras and the chakra system will produce hundreds of thousands of results all with varying opinions. So what’s a person to do with so much information on balancing chakras? Simple enough: pick and follow the information that resonates with you and your sensibility.
Ray Baskerville, in this Intent post gives a good overview of the chakra system including explaining the differences between the Yogic and Tantric and the Western and New Age approaches to understanding these energy centers. According to Baskerville, while the former is concerned with centers of consciousness needing to be awakened, the latter defines chakras as actual energy centers that when in balance can have a direct result on a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual health.
The big difference between these two concepts of the chakras is this. In the yogic/ Tantric concept the chakras are latent dimensions of consciousness to be awakened and activated in the process of spiritual evolution. In the Western/new age concepts the chakras are dynamic energy centers and energy portals that have a direct impact on each level of our being from the physical to the spiritual. it is clear then that the two concepts do not exclude each other, and should be viewed and understood separately, to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. For example, many of the books, charts and diagrams of the chakras use the Sanskrit names and descriptions from ancient texts, while at the same time allocating colors, crystals and all manner of attributes and activities, derived from the Western/ new age concepts.
Read more from Baskerville on the chakra system here.