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Chakra Booklist

February 11, 2010

Below please find some of my favorite books on the chakras. Note that this isn’t simply a list of introductory books – instead my focus is on books that explore the chakras from all different perspectives - spiritual, physical, health, astrological, and even one for kids. For some basic info about the chakras, try my online Chakra Guide Series.

Chakra Yoga, by Alan Finger: This is my favorite book for introducing the chakras to yoga practitioners, although it is a good introductory text even for those who have no yoga experience. Brief and to the point, it covers the history of the Hindu 7-chakra system that is the most widely known in the West, and then has a chapter on each chakra, and shows the physical yoga poses (asanas) associated with each, although you don’t need to be familiar with yoga to follow the book. A guided chakra meditation CD, based on the traditional Hindu mantras for each chakra, is also included.

Anatomy of the Spirit Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, by Carolyn Myss: A classic in mind-body medicine, this book was one of the first to bring the chakras into the mainstream, particularly in relation to health. Carolyn Myss mixes classic chakra theory with practices from many different religions to create a model for improving our mental, physical and spiritual well-beings. Filled with case studies from her long practice, it is great for self-diagnosis of certain energy issues.

Creating on Purpose: The Spiritual Technology of Manifesting Through the Chakras, by Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman: This book explores the energies of the chakras from the perspective of manifesting and co-creating our life. While spiritual teachings on the chakras emphasize the upward movement, representing our journey from the material to the spiritual, this book emphasizes the downward journey – how to move from an idea or dream to actual reality in our lives. It is based on workshops the authors’ teach, and includes many exercises for uncovering psychological hurdles you may have that are prevented you from working in the area of a chakra.

The Subtle BodyThe Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy, by Cyndi Dale: As the title suggests, this is an encyclopedia for energy healers, with chapters on virtually every energetic system and energy healing technique ever documented, drawn from dozens (maybe hundreds) of different cultures and time periods. The section on chakras includes many different chakra systems that are less well-known in the West, including Tibetan and Cherokee systems, as well as the author’s own intuitive healing chakra system. If you want to delve into this even further, also try her Complete Book of Chakra Healing: Activate the Transformative Power of Your Energy Centers.

The Intuition Guidebook: How To Safely and Wisely Use Your Sixth Sense, also by Cyndi Dale, but this one is geared for anyone interested in accessing their natural intuition. Cyndi uses her 12-chakra system as a guide for understanding the different types of intuitive guidance and ‘data’ that we each receive, and the problems we might encounter. The last part of the book helps frame these as spiritual gifts, in the context of our spiritual path and purpose.

Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation, by Harish Johari – If you are looking for something more classical from a Hindu yogic perspective, this book is a good fit. It provides a detailed description of Hindu metaphysics and kundalini-based practices as they relate to the chakras. It does employ some Sanskrit terms and other esoteric concepts, so if that is intimidating, this might not be the place to start (although there is a glossary in the back.) But there is a depth of information here, and several great graphics.

 

Kundalini Rising Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening, compilation of essays: Kundalini is the primary energy that runs through the chakras, and spiritual traditions that work with the chakras seek to raise and balance it in a controlled fashion. Compiled by one the leading teachers of kundalini yoga in the West, this book is a collection of essays by fellow yoga teachers, practitioners, academics, and scientists on the different types of kundalini experiences and processes people experience when working with this energy. A bit academic, but lots of great viewpoints.

Awakening the Sacred Body, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche – If you’d like to explore a Tibetan Buddhist-based chakra offering, this book is a great choice. There are not many Tibetan books on chakra practices that are geared for a wide audience, as the practices are usually taught within a lineage in a structured fashion. This book is from the Bon Buddhist tradition, which is a slightly different lineage than the four main branches of Tibetan Buddhism, but it is very similar to other Tibetan energy work. It is written in an accessible manner, and includes a DVD of the practices. However, this Tibetan chakra system does not directly correspond to the Hindu-based 7 chakra system that is mostly taught in the West, and that most of the other books on this list utilize.

Chakra Foods Chakra Foods for Optimum Health: A Guide to the Foods That Can Improve Your Energy, Inspire Creative   Changes, Open Your Heart, and Heal Body, Mind, and Spirit, by Deanna Minich: This book explains the foods associated with both activating and balancing each chakra, and how to self-diagnose which you might need. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, but the author’s clear knowledge of her subject matter inspired me to try it, and I do find it a very valuable tool for working with the chakras. Her introductory material on each chakra is also very good, so this is also a decent intro book, if that is what you are looking for.

Energy Medicine for Women Energy Medicine for Women: Aligning Your Body’s Energies to Boost Your Health and Vitality, by Donna Eden

This book is focused on many different energy medicine techniques, including working with the chakras, to address the most common women’s health problems, including PMS, menopause, high blood pressure and depression.

Liquid Light of Sex Liquid Light of Sex: Kundalini, Astrology, and the Key Life Transitions, Barbara Hand Clow: This book is not as racy as it sounds – ‘liquid light of sex’ is a phrase sometimes used to describe kundalini energy. In this book, astrologer Barbara Clow ties major life transits of Saturn, Uranus, and Chiron, mostly those experienced as part of the traditional ‘mid-life crises’, to spontaneous bursts of kundalini energy, and provides guidance on how to manage the process.

 

Chakra Diaries, by Becca Chopra – This book is a work of fiction, which provides a unique way to learn about the chakras, and how imbalances or blocks to them may impact our lives. Participants in a 12-week chakra workshop are asked to journal about their past and current experiences, and how things shift as they move through the workshop. Their lives intertwine, and there are several dramatic stories.

 

Seven Spirals Seven Spirals: A Chakra Sutra for Kids, Deena Haiber

This book is  a lovely way to introduce your kids to the chakras, should you wish to do so. The ‘theme’ or energy of each chakra is presented through a short vignette, and illustrated with vibrant, colorful pictures. The sanskrit names and traditional colors are also displayed, and a brief meditation is presented at the end. Actually, this is quite lovely for adults as well!

I consider all of the books above to be very accessible. Should you want to explore some more general texts, you can try Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System by Anodea Judith, or the book that started it all (in the West anyway), The Serpent Power: The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga by Arthur Avalon. A more esoteric book that covers Tibetan kundalini and chakra practice is Highest Yoga Tantra, by Daniel Cozort.

Feel free to post any questions or other suggestions. Namaste-

22 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2010 11:44 am

    Thanks.
    I think I read Carolyn Myss’ book quite some years ago. I’m going to consider that astrology one.

    Less pleased with the upheavel of Metal Tiger, was really wanting calm this year… :)

  2. February 11, 2010 12:59 pm

    Just what I was hoping to find! Thank you for sharing this list. Peace, Nicki

  3. February 11, 2010 3:10 pm

    Interesting, thank you!
    Now I have a good resource list to choose from:)

  4. February 11, 2010 3:50 pm

    One of my favorite books about the chakras is by Matthew Fox, actually, called Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, in which he very adeptly intertwines the chakras, the 7 deadly sins, and some Kabbalah. Fox is a true leader in spiritual thinking and this work is one of his absolute best. :)

  5. mommymystic permalink*
    February 11, 2010 5:01 pm

    Aurora/Nicki – hope it is helpful:-)

    Mon – I corrected a mistake in my description of Liquid Light of Sex this morning (I should know better than to blog after midnight!) – it is Saturn, Uranus and Chiron transits, mostly the mid-life Uranus opposition, that she discusses, not Neptune. And yes, I wasn’t thrilled either when I read descriptions of the Year of the Metal Tiger, but at least we’re unlikely to be bored!

    Christine – thanks so much for the recommendation, I have not read it and will add it to my list now! Although Caroline Myss and Cyndi Dale discuss Kabbalah and the chakras, and I also like C.M. Hopking’s Practical Kabbalah Guidebook (which I almost included here) for that, I haven’t read much else connecting Judeo-Christian themes and the chakras, so the Fox book sounds perfect for that.

  6. February 11, 2010 8:39 pm

    Mona Lisa Schulz M.D., Ph.D has a couple of chakra/healing books too. She’s a good friend of Caroline’s. Awakening Intuition and her newest, The Intuitive Advisor. Great Blog! I’m off to get that Matthew Fox title. I can’t believe he slipped one by me!

  7. February 11, 2010 9:23 pm

    Thanks for this list, Lisa! I like the idea of the guided chakra meditation cd in the Chakra Yoga book – though I really like the ones you did, too. Can’t wait until YOUR book gets to be on a list like this one. :)

    Cheers!
    Alexis

  8. February 12, 2010 3:21 am

    My favorite yoga DVDs are Alan Finger’s– seeing him on your list makes me want to read his book. Kundalini Rising is another one you’ve reminded me I want to read. As they say…so many books, so little time. Thanks for such a thoughtful list.

  9. February 12, 2010 1:22 pm

    Great list! I love the work Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa is doing, especially with pregnant women and postnatal women. Her own story is just amazing. I read her book on the chakras The 8 Human Talents and it is a great introduction to the chakras and meditations to do for balancing. I have not read the one you mentioned here yet, but I am planning to. As a Kundalini yogini, it’s probably a good idea. :) There is so much to read!!

  10. mommymystic permalink*
    February 12, 2010 4:14 pm

    Kathleen – I didn’t know Mona-Lisa Schulz had a new book out, thanks. I do like Awakening Intuition, and I also read The New Feminine Brain, which was fascinating – connecting brain science, gender research, and her own occult knowledge…

    Alexis – Thanks for the optimism:-)

    Susan – I have never tried his DVDs, good to know they are good also. If you are already somewhat familiar with the chakras, that book might be nothing new for you, it is really an intro book. But if you are interested in connecting the chakras to asanas, it is a good place to start.

    Kelli – I love Gurmukh’s pre and post natal yoga DVDs, they are excellent and I used both myself. I had forgotten about the 8 Human Talents, I will have to look at that one again. She is one of the few Eastern-based teachers that focuses somewhat on women’s unique chakra attributes and needs, which I like…

  11. February 13, 2010 4:06 am

    This is indeed a useful post! Thanks for putting your recommended books on chakra all in one article. I have got both Anatomy of the Spirit and the Wheels of Life but will look into your other books to explore.

  12. February 13, 2010 1:24 pm

    Wow. That’s a great list. Now to check them out.
    BTW, this was a great first time visit at your blog. Will get back for sure.

    Have a wonderful day…:)

  13. mommymystic permalink*
    February 13, 2010 4:51 pm

    Kelli – responding to you again because I just came across some quotes by Janet Balaskus re: the 2nd chakra and birth in the 2nd of Cyndi Dale’s books that I referenced above. The two Balaskus books she mentions are Uncoiling the Snake and The Feminine Power of Birth; neither of those seems currently available, although she does have some other books…perhaps you already know of her…

    Evelyn – Thanks, I debated making Wheels of Life my main recommended general intro book, but it is pretty big, so I opted for Chakra Yoga instead. I do love that book though, and of course Anatomy of the Spirit is excellent, and so readable.

    Mr. Stupid – Thanks. ‘Stupidation’ as a name for a blog has definitely peaked my interest too…

  14. February 16, 2010 12:26 am

    I appreciate your efforts here, Lisa, to keep us in tune with such good stuff! I’ve not picked up the Eden book yet but I like her work so will have to check this one out.

    FYI, I’ve been noticing how much the sunshine has a positive effect on my chakras and their alignment. Any thoughts???

  15. mommymystic permalink*
    February 16, 2010 4:24 am

    Jan. how great that you are feeling that! You know, I think there are so many different things that go on with the sun, with all the elements actually, and our chakras. One post I would like to do is the different ways that the various traditions that utilize the chakras orient to them, because they are all slightly different. In the healing traditions it is mostly about clearing, balancing, and aligning. In the yogic/spiritual traditions it is more about opening, raising the kundalini, and/or ‘traveling’ through each chakra in meditation.

    Anyway, I do associate the elements more with the healing traditions, and since you used the word ‘alignment’, it seems you needed warm energy, or yang (yin is cool) to help you out with that right now. Also, since the sun is the ultimate ‘agni’ or fire energy, it is associated with clearing through a purifying burn (as opposed to the cleansing of water.) Fire is the element particularly associated with the third chakra (navel and/or solar plexus, depending on the tradition) which is of course personal power, self-definition and vitality, so perhaps you were particularly in need of replenishment in that area right now (which would not surprise me after all you put into the meditation series in January, along with your other projects!)

    Hmmmm….what else (you got me started on this one) – the sun is also golden, and golden kundalini is one kind, usually considered to come down through the crown chakras into the others (as opposed to the red kundalini, which usually runs up from the root chakra….)

  16. daphne permalink
    February 16, 2010 10:58 pm

    Gosh, this is so interesting. I did not know about the healing properties of chakras. I find this information interesting, but am not sure how to use it. Since you are talking about elements such as fire and water, I am wondering what traditions you are certified in?

    What chakra healing techniques have you had training in? Are there any that you found to be especially effective and would recommend? Are you a yoga teacher?

  17. mommymystic permalink*
    February 16, 2010 11:38 pm

    Hi Daphne – I am not an energy healer and do not work with the chakras from that perspective. If that’s what you are primarily interested in, the Myss, Dale or Eden books from the list above would probably be of the most interest to you (they differ in focus though, so read the the descriptions above and/or Amazon reviews for more info.) If you are interested in kundalini yoga, both the Finger and Gurmuhk books would be the best, they are written (or compiled in the 2nd case) by two of the leading kundalini yoga teachers in the U.S. (although Finger works with multiple traditions.) If you are more interested in chakra meditation (which is my own interest) I can provide more books from the Tibetan or Indian traditions that initially taught these, although they are difficult to follow without background. Two (in addition to Highest Yoga Tantra listed above) well known ones are The Tibetan Book of the Dead and Tibetan Secret Yoga Doctrines – in both cases I like the Evans-Wentz translations.) However, all of the books listed above (which I chose for their accessibility, this is meant to be a general list) include suggested chakra meditations that anyone can try, so that’s a good way to start also.

    FYI – your comment initially was marked as spam by wordpress, as there have been many other comments submitted from your IP address under multiple names with no email or website corresponding. You might want to look into that, or in the future your comments here and elsewhere will probably be deleted automatically…

  18. February 19, 2010 2:10 am

    I hadn’t heard of her before. Yes, 2nd chakra and birth. There is a lot wrapped up there. A whole lot. I will have to look at that for myself and my future students. Thanks.

  19. March 1, 2010 2:28 pm

    Hi Lisa! Just wanted to thank you for your book recommendations. I purchased “Anatomy of the Spirit”, and the first chapter is already broadening the way I look at energy work! This is exactly what I needed ~ Thank you!

  20. mommymystic permalink*
    March 1, 2010 7:15 pm

    Thanks, Nicole, so glad to hear that!

  21. April 13, 2011 6:51 am

    Wow. thanks for the book list. they are very helpful.

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