According to a survey conducted by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal 9 out of 10 Americans have heard of yoga, one in three Americans has tried yoga at least once, and more than 15% of Americans have done yoga in the last 6 months. This means that more than likely the word Chakra is not as obsolete as it was before yoga became a common method for decreasing stress and increasing vitality.
"If yoga means yoke - meaning hitching one thing to another- then the Chakra system is the architecture of that yoke, providing a comprehensive map to the way the mortal and the Divine yoke together. Page 8. of "Chakra Yoga" by Anodea Judith.
Desda Zuckerman describes the chakras as the "Blended Energy System" in her book, "Your Sacred Anatomy", in a similar manor describing them as a bridge for the unseen spiritual anatomy to the seen material. Desda documents the 13 Chakras she see's within the human energy system in her beautifully illustrated book.
Joe Dispenza describes the Chakara's as energy centers. He offers a beautiful and popular meditation called; Blessing the Energy Centers that focuses on clearing and upgrading the energy in 8 chakara's.
If you have ever tried to learn a foreign language by watching a kids cartoons in that language you may enjoy this video explaining the power of your chakara system; check it out.