- What is Chakra Yoga?
- Chakra balancing yoga
- Root chakra
- Sacral chakra
- Solar plexus chakra
- Heart chakra
- Throat chakra
- Third eye chakra
- Crown chakra
Chakras are actually the focal point that lies in the subtle body. In the yogic tradition, the subtle body is one of Three Bodies beyond the physical gross body we sense and perceive in daily life.
The physical and mental energy we feel in the body is a gross manifestation of subtle body energy. If we are feeling low, possibly there is blockage of energy in the chakras which may arise due to emotional, mental, or even physical factors.
What is Chakra Yoga?
We can communicate to our subtle body through yoga and pranayama breathing exercises. The practice of achieving a state of balance in the 7 chakras through different yoga practices is called chakra yoga. Through it, a practitioner may direct the subtle breath (Prana) to energy centres (chakras) to achieve supernormal powers, immortality, or liberation.
Chakra yoga is the practice of regulating the flow of Prana into chakras through a combination of specific asanas, Pranayama, mudra, and meditation practices. By regulating the flow of Prana, we intend to purify and balance either all the Nadis and Chakras or only those which got blocked due to any reason.
Chakras can become blocked or imbalanced due to issues like mental problems, unhealthy lifestyle, personal issues, etc. Practising chakra yoga helps in stimulating these energy points and releases these blocks. When your chakra is balanced, you will easily be able to tap into your abilities and also connect to the higher consciousness.
Yoga Poses for Chakra Balancing
Yoga poses for chakra balancing doesn’t have just the physical elements but the spiritual as well, which bring a state of the union in all the 7 chakras. Not only this, as yoga is an alternate form of exercise, the poses are a great way to maintain a balance of your mind, body, and spirit.
Practising chakra yoga will give you a sense of awareness as it will reduce your stress and enhance inner peace. It also increases your energy and intuitive abilities. Physically, yoga is one of the best ways to improve your posture, flexibility, immunity, support weight loss, and provides overall fitness.
You can add a variety of asanas to your yoga practice to eliminate any kind of chakra imbalance. For each chakra, focus on those poses which target directly the physical organs related to a chakra. For example, the root chakra is related to lower body limbs so one can do yoga poses that stretch legs or promote grounding.
Practice following yoga poses for balancing 7 chakras.
- Root chakra – Mountain pose, squat pose, warrior 1 pose
- Sacral chakra – Goddess Pose, frog poses, bound angle pose
- Solar plexus chakra – Boat pose, sun salutation, plank pose
- Heart chakra – Cobra pose, camel pose, cat/cow pose
- Throat chakra – Plow pose, shoulder stand, fish pose
- Third eye chakra – Dolphin pose, child pose, standing forward bend
- Crown chakra – Corpse pose, headstand, lotus pose
1. Root Chakra
This is the 1st chakra of the energy system that is located at the base of the spine. It is associated with the element of earth and the color red. The root chakra is the seat of stability, security, vitality, and basic survival instincts.
Symptoms of an imbalanced root chakra can range from insecurity, attachment issues, disillusionment, stagnation, lack of energy, anxiety, greed, mistrust to weight issues, bowel related problems.
With a balanced root chakra you will be living in the present, connected with the earth, stress-free mind, enhanced courage, self-esteem and integrity, excitement, motivation, increased personal growth.
Yoga Poses for root chakra balancing
The poses that are groundings and involve firmly placing your feet on the ground are most beneficial for the root chakra. Some of such grounding poses are:
Mountain pose is considered to be the foundation of most yoga poses and requires the engagement of the entire body while relaxing the mind. Even though you are standing straight in this pose, the engagement of the spine helps in building and maintaining your posture.
In mountain pose, you balance the body equally on both feet which provides stability and grounding energies needs to heal the root chakra. You are effectively connected to the earth.
Keeping your gaze fixed on a point of focus will also provide you with a stress-free mind and help in increasing your awareness and concentration.
As the name suggests, in this pose, you keep your legs apart and squat. This way, your feet are firmly grounded to the earth and support your body. The squatting action of this pose also strengthens your hips and lower spine, which is considered the most affected part due to blocked root chakra.
Your feet will help absorb the energy of the earth and release any build-up energy (that is harmful to the root chakra) back to the ground. By practising this pose, you feel secure in your foundational needs as it provides vitality and strength to root chakra.
3. Virabhadrasana I or Warrior I pose
This pose is one of the most recommended for root chakra balancing due to its grounding energies. The warrior I pose requires you to firmly keep your feet on the ground as it helps in the natural flow of energy to the various parts of the body.
The name Virabhadrasana means fierce warrior, which will manifest in reducing your fears and doubts about yourself. It is a standing yoga pose that aids in building your stability, focus, confidence, and power. Physically it helps in strengthening your legs, thighs, and buttocks.
It is called Svadhisthana in Sanskrit and is represented by the element of water and the color orange. The chakra is located just below the navel and is responsible for creativity, feelings, sexuality, sensuality, passion, and enjoyment.
Some of the symptoms of an imbalanced sacral chakra are eating disorders, low self-esteem, addictions, no sex drive, dependency issues, lack of creative inspiration, bladder issues, and emotional instability. Whereas, a balanced chakra will make you feel passionate, friendly, joyful, provide increased self-worth, fulfilment, and nurtured.
Yoga Poses for sacral chakra balancing
Most hip opener poses will be effective in balancing the sacral chakra, which are:
1. Utkata Konasana or Goddess Pose
The goddess pose is a fiery hip opener that will stimulate your sacral chakra and ignite your passion and creativity.
With your legs kept apart, wider than the hips, you squat by bending your knees at 90-degrees. This will open your hips wide and the firm standing on the feet will provide emotional stability, making you feel alive.
It is considered to be one of the intense forms of hip opening poses. The frog pose will help in releasing the tensions in the hip area, thus releasing any blockages in the sacral chakra.
When you will practice this pose, you will notice a lot of blocked or ignored feelings arise, which means the healing process has begun. This pose also helps in alleviating any lower back pains.
This hip and groin opener pose will provide movement in the corresponding areas.
Since sacral chakra is the seat of sensuality, sexuality, and pleasure, the bound angle pose is great for removing any blockages in the groin area. It will relieve any tension and discomfort in the lower back, hip, and reproductive organs. The feminine energy of the sacral chakra will be effectively balanced through this pose.
Known as Manipura in Sanskrit, this chakra is located in and around the navel and abdomen area. It is associated with the element of fire and the color yellow. The solar plexus chakra provides us with transformation, personal power, independence, responsibility, and confidence.
When it is imbalanced, symptoms such as perfectionism, low self-image, mistrust in your gut, issues with control, irresponsibility, lack of motivation, etc. will appear. Whereas, in a balanced state, you will have clear intentions, make decisions easily, trust your intuition, provide strength to overcome challenges, and will feel confident to achieve your goals.
Yoga Poses for solar plexus chakra
Poses that generate heat from within and targets the abdominal muscles are great for stimulation of the solar plexus chakra. Some of such poses are:
The boat pose will align your chakra by igniting a fire from within and also activates your core. With a strong core, your confidence will also increase. Your back and abdomen muscles are strengthened which will also aid in improving your digestive system.
By stimulating the solar plexus chakras, the muscles and organs in and around the abdomen area will get re-energized. This energy will benefit you by removing emotional blockages and enhance your motivation to go after your dreams.
The sun salutation is the best warm-up yoga practice to energize the most chakras as it involves a range of poses to stimulate different parts of the body. However, for solar plexus chakra, it is one of the effective yoga pose as it will help in generating inner heat. The breathing techniques involved are essential in the flow of energy.
Many poses are focused on stimulating and activating the core, which in turn is essential for a healthy Manipura. When you finish the sun salutation poses, you feel empowered and energized to take on the day
3. Chaturanga Dandasana or Plank pose
This pose needs no introduction as it is one of the most famous and difficult poses in yoga. Along with the sun salutation, this pose is also extremely effective in generating heat.
To maintain the plank, you have to engage your core to keep the balance and support the spine to keep it straight. This is also the way you are stimulating and activating your solar plexus chakra.
It also helps improve your focus and concentration as well as your motivation and confidence.
4. Heart Chakra
Known as the Anahata, this chakra is located at the centre of the chest. The element of air and the color green are associated with it. This chakra is responsible for unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, acceptance, and connection.
Manipulation, codependency, mistrust, jealousy, lack of empathy, antisocialism, isolation, lack of self-worth, toxicity in relationships are some of the signs of an imbalanced heart chakra. On the contrary, seeing the beauty of the world, connection with self, compassion, empathy, generosity, self-acceptance, ability to give and receive affection are signs of a healthy and balanced chakra.
Yoga Poses for heart chakra balancing
As it is located in the chest, yoga poses that focus on opening the chest and facilitates the air is best for balancing the heart chakra. These poses are:
This pose is great for relieving back pain, opening the chest and collarbones, and strengthening the spine. When you open your chest, you are opening your heart to become vulnerable. You are also letting go of any negative emotions that are trapped in your heart and letting in the light energy of love from the universe.
The backbend is the manifestation of releasing any constriction or tensions from the heart and making it vulnerable to let go of our fears.
An extensive pose, where you bend backwards and touch your toes, completely exposes your heart. By opening your chest, you are expanding the energy of the heart chakra.
In this pose, your heart is literally above the head, which is the manifestation of thinking with the heart rather than the brain. This is essential for balancing the heart chakra as you let your mind drop away and engage your heart to feel emotions and enjoy life.
It is a more vulnerable pose than the cobra pose as you are challenged to open up fully, something which you will not do in everyday life.
3. Marjaryasana/Bitilasana or Cat/Cow Pose
Cat-cow is a forward-backwards bending movement, which will be helpful in case you have an overactive heart chakra. With a forward bend, you will be essentially introspecting yourself and grounding your energies. Your knees and hands are touching the ground which will provide stability and calm your heart chakra.
The bend will also create some space in the chest and the back area and support in letting go of pent-up emotions and feelings. The physical aspects of this pose will help in relieving back pains, blood pressure and strengthen the spine.
It is called the Vishuddha in Sanskrit and is located at the throat and neck area. Its element is space and the color is blue. The throat chakra is the seat of self-expression, communication, truth, and trust.
Some of the signs of imbalance throat chakra are being secretive, shyness, insecurity, social anxiety, low self-esteem, verbal aggression, fear of public speaking, and arrogance. A balanced throat chakra will make it easy for you to communicate, speak in front of a large crowd, clear expression of thoughts, and be emotionally balanced.
Yoga Poses for throat chakra balancing
Poses where your neck and upper chest are engaged, are beneficial for the throat chakra. Such poses are:
If your throat chakra is underactive, the plow pose is best to re-energize it.
This pose helps in reviving your ability to listen and express your thoughts comfortably. Your fear of speaking will be reduced if you practice this throat chakra activating yoga. By keeping your toes on the floor, behind your head, you are also stabilizing your emotions and thoughts.
This pose also helps in calming the brain by reducing stress and fatigue and aiding in peaceful sleep.
Shoulder stand is a great throat chakra energizing pose.
By lifting your hips and feet above your head, you are essentially directing the flow of blood and oxygen towards your throat. It helps in cleansing the throat chakra and improving your communication. By practising this pose, you are also opening the back of the neck, which will help in opening and balancing the throat chakra.
Also, if you have asthma, this pose is extremely therapeutic.
In this pose, you are stretching your upper chest as well as your throat area. While creating space in the throat, you are essentially removing any vulnerabilities and fears attached to self-expression. You are opening your throat and gaining the strength to surrender.
This is one of the poses where you are fully exposing the throat thereby removing any blockages and restriction of the throat chakra.
The Ajna chakra is located between the eyebrows. The element of light and the color indigo or royal blue are related to the chakra. The third eye chakra is responsible for intuition, wisdom, intellect, vision, clairvoyance, awakening, and inspiration.
An imbalance of Ajna chakra will make you feel insignificant, closed-minded, indecisive, paranoia, unable to see the big picture, have fear of criticism, and fear of change. On the flip side, you will understand the unity of the world, engage in mindfulness and self-reflection, understand the deeper meaning of life, and find it easier to embrace a new beginning with a balanced third eye chakra.
Yoga Poses for third eye chakra balancing
Any pose that is directing the flow of blood and energy towards the face and head is beneficial for ajna chakra. A few poses that will be helpful are:
Dolphine pose is a forward bending position where your head is below your heart. It will be beneficial in energizing and powerful stimulating the third eye chakra. It will increase the blood circulation to the brain and face which is an effective way to open the third eye chakra.
In a variation, you can place your hands in the prayer form and the hubs can be placed on the third eye location. This will help in improving your focus and improving the energy of the chakra.
This pose is more of a restorative pose that brings harmony to the third eye chakra. It helps in stimulating the third eye chakra by bringing awareness. The child’s pose will enhance your wisdom and gain access to your intuitive abilities.
By calming your nervous system, it is also relaxing your mind and engaging you in mindfulness. When you rest your head on the ground it signifies surrender to the higher realms and establishing a connection with spirituality.
Forward bends are extremely great for the third eye chakra as these poses improve blood circulation towards the head. Just like the dolphin pose, in uttanasana you stimulate the third eye chakra and calm your brain and increase awareness.
Problems such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia, anxiety can be easily reduced by practicing this pose. As you observe your breath, you are also prompted to look inwards and connect to your higher consciousness.
7. Crown Chakra
The last chakra of the energy system is known as Sahasrara in Sanskrit. It is located at the top of the head and is associated with the color violet or white. This chakra is related to enlightenment, spiritual connection, universal awareness, and consciousness.
When your crown chakra is imbalanced, you will be greedy, depressed, disconnected from the higher self, judgemental, lonely, selfish, entitled, and play the victim. However, in case of a balanced chakra feeling connected with the divine, non-judgemental, selflessness, increased spiritual insight, the experience of true joy and happiness are the signs you may experience.
Yoga Poses for crown chakra balancing
For the crown chakra, meditative poses or poses where the blood circulation is directed towards the head are best to balance and heal it. Below are some of the poses:
The lotus pose can help you achieve a deep meditative state and increase your awareness of the crown chakra. When you meditate in this pose, you can calm your mind and body and reduce anxiety, stress, and tiredness.
The padmasana also tests the flexibility of the hips as you are stacking your legs on top of each other. The half-lotus pose is a variation for people who are unable to stack both legs on top of each other. In this pose, you can stack one leg at a time and build your strength for both legs gradually.
Known as the King of all yoga poses, this is one of the advanced and difficult poses which requires extreme stamina, balance and core strength. However, it is also one of the most powerful poses in activating, energizing and healing the crown chakra. You are literally standing inverted on your crown, which makes it possible for the increase of blood circulation to the location.
The increased circulation will also enhance the energy of the crown chakra. The pose needs immense focus and awareness to maintain the position, which is also very stimulating to the chakra.
This is the most relaxed and easiest pose of yoga, where you are lying still on the ground with your palms up and eyes closed. However, it is an important pose as you are assimilating all the results of the yoga sessions. Here you are essentially observing your breathing, staying in the present and feeling the sensation of the yoga poses you have practised.
It is performed at the end of a yoga session and this pose also transports you into a deep meditative state. By bringing your thoughts to rest, you can essentially calm your mind and get relaxed.
Yoga has been practised for decades and it has shown many healing results. Every pose has its meaning and when combined with the energies of the chakra, it gives a new dimension. It is not possible to avoid an imbalance in the chakras due to many environmental factors, however, practising chakra yoga regularly will give you the mental clarity and strength to fight the obstacles.
A balanced and healed chakra is the gateway to a healthy, happy, and contented life and chakra yoga is an effective way to achieve it!