You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of balancing your chakras, followed up with certain mantras, meditation, essential oils, or breathing exercises.
While all of these things can certainly help with healing the chakra system, very rarely do people talk about how chakra yoga poses fit into your yoga practice.
But it’s true. The main chakras, starting from the root chakra (Muladhara) all the way to the crown chakra (Sahasrara), sit on a subtle energy line that serves as a sort of highway for life force energy (aka Kundalini).
And certain yoga poses can help activate each of the chakras, ultimately cleansing the chakras for a healthy flow of subtle energy.
While understanding the chakras takes a lot of time and energy, you can begin with a little at a time.
So, let this be your chakra yoga guide. One of my most enjoyable learning experiences during my 200HR yoga teacher training in India was learning more about each of our chakras and how we can activate and balance each through various yoga poses. Through this guide, you’ll learn the basics of each of the 7 chakras, and a few asanas that help to bring them to balance.
The root chakra forms the base of our most basic needs, connects us with the ground beneath, and lets us tap into the foundation of our entire chakra system. While there is not a single most important chakra, the root chakra is one of the most important main chakras to keep open and balanced to allow life force energy to flow through you.
- It is located at the base of your spine
- The element is Earth, hence why it’s referred to as dense and tasked with being the pillar upon which all other chakras rest
- It centers around basic survival needs – like food, shelter, and money, and deals with emotions like belonging, feeling grounded, safe, and accepted
- The related color is red, picture a glowing red ball at the base of your spine
- The bija mantra is LAM
Here are 3 yoga poses to activate and balance the root chakra. In each posture, focus on your body connecting to the Earth, making you feel stable and grounded.
- Balasana: Child’s Pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Janu Sirsasana: Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
It centralizes around fluidity, ease of movement, expression, creativity, sexuality and intimacy. Chakra Svadhisthana holds a large part of who we are and how we interact both with ourselves and others, making it a challenging energy center to work on.
- It is located in our womb area, between the navel and the groin
- The element is water, hence the nature of this energy center
- It centers around our ability to welcome change, relate to others, create our deepest desires, and practice both intimacy and sexuality
- The related color is orange and the bija mantra is VAM
Here are 3 yoga poses to activate and balance the sacral chakra. These are just a few of the many yoga postures you can do that involves working with movement in your hips and the lower abdominal area.
- Malasana: Yogi Squat
- Baddha Konasana: Butterfly Pose
- Utthita Parsvakonasana: Extended Side Angle Pose
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This is our space for transformation, willpower, purpose, digestion, and energy. It allows you to pursue your purpose, challenge your movements, and transform your experience.
- It is located in our navel center, specifically from the sternum to the navel
- The element is fire, hence it being our space of power and transformation
- It centers on our ability to overcome inertia, to take the next best step, and to recognize that we are the creators of our truth
- The related color is yellow and the bija mantra is RAM
Here are 3 yoga poses to activate and balance the manipura chakra. These yoga postures focus on strength, confidence and power.
- Purvottanasana: Reverse plank
- Dhanurasana: Bow Pose
- Crescent Pose
Our heart center is the space where we experience love, compassion, connection, expansion, and integration. It creates a bridge between the lower chakra centers (physical fixed states) and the upper chakra centers (spiritual, esoteric states). It is the emotional go-between, connecting groundedness with intuition.
- It is located at your heart center
- The element is air, which represents freedom, openness, expansiveness, freshness, spaciousness, lightness, and simplicity
- The related color is green and the bija mantra is YAM
Here are 3 yoga poses to activate and balance the heart chakra.
- Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana: Upward Facing Dog
- Matsyasana: Fish Pose
- Vrikshasana: Tree Pose
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This is the space where we speak our highest truth, practice vulnerability, express our needs and wants, and create conscious vibrations.
- It is located at your throat center
- The element is space, hence the desire to create open channels of communication and authenticity
- It deeply focuses on communication, drawing energy from self-expression, honesty, authenticity, and anything else related to your communicative actions (both verbal and non-verbal)
- The related color is blue and the bija mantra is HAM
Here are 3 yoga poses to activate and balance the throat chakra.
- Chakrasana: Wheel pose
- Salamba Sarvangasana: Shoulder Stand
- Seated Cat Cow
The sixth chakra is our space of intuition and it’s centered around our awareness, wisdom, and imagination.
- It is located between our eyebrows and it corresponds to the pineal gland, giving you a direct connection to consciousness
- The element is light
- It revolves around the ability to see – both inner and outer. And the Sanskrit term, Ajna, translates to – “to perceive” and then “to command”. When broken down, this refers to how we digest images through perception, but also how these images are then formed into our own own reality and personal vision
- The related color is indigo
- The bija mantra is AUM
Here are 3 yoga poses to activate and balance the third eye chakra.
- Adho Mukha Vrksasana: Handstand
- Uttanasana: Forward folds
- Kapotasana: Pigeon Pose
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The seventh chakra is our source of enlightenment, our spiritual connection to something greater, our relationship with our higher selves, and consciousness.
- It is located at the crown of the head.
- The element is cosmic energy, thought, or space.
- It centralizes around integration, cosmic consciousness, enlightenment, transcendence, and spirituality.
- The color related to this chakra is violet
- The mantra is OHM
Here are 3 yoga poses to activate and balance the crown chakra.
- Saddle Pose
- Padmasana: Lotus
Understanding the chakras isn’t as simple as yoga and meditation paired with a few essential oils. It works with the subtle energy body, which is considered a spiritual science. The seven major chakras outlined above are just the beginning, serving as a main pathway for life force prana to flow through you along your spine. While hatha yoga and restorative yoga can certainly help support your yoga practice, chakra yoga can help support your spiritual practice. If you want to learn more, then you can check out a teacher training program that outlines the chakra system!
Annkathrin came onto the path of yoga after studying Media Communications in England. She completed 1000+ hours of yoga apprenticeship and a 2 year university course in yoga and Ayurveda in Uttarakhand, India. Annkathrin now loves to share her subjects at various yoga teacher training programs in India and Europe.