As someone who practices yoga every day, I sometimes forget how important it is to make sure I am balancing my chakras throughout my practice and not simply doing a flow just to work out my physical body (although this is one of the amazing benefits of the yoga practice). I decided to come up with a chakra-inspired yoga flow to remind myself of the spiritual importance of yoga along with the physical.
Although you may not realize it, chakras are a vital part of our everyday life. It is important to make sure our chakras are aligned and in balance to live a healthy life. You may be asking “What are chakras?” and to that, I will let you in on a key point: Our bodies are made up of the five elements which are Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit. Distinguished yoga teachers from the My Vinyasa Practice company have described Chakras as energetic centers along the length of the spine. The word “chakra” is a Sanskrit term that means “wheel” or “disc.” Chakras can be imagined as spinning wheels of energy.
When a chakra is not functioning properly or if it is blocked, illness is more likely to occur. If we do not nourish our bodies with the proper food and nutrients, then we may not take in the right amount of energy our bodies truly need. Another problem can occur If we block feelings such as anger or sadness. In this way, we may be unconsciously impeding our healthy energy flow.
It may be beneficial to meditate on the chakras through various yoga poses to increase the health of your energetic system. Some simple ideas are:
In this article, I have picked out 7 simple yoga poses to help align these chakras in a short amount of time for yoga beginners and yoga masters alike.
To begin a yoga flow focused around the chakras, you are going to want to start by sitting on the ground in a crossed-legged position focusing on your breath and the stillness of your body. In this position, you are energizing your root chakra, which creates a sense of belonging. The root chakra is connected with the element earth. You also have the option to chant a quiet “om” while in this position and focus on the feelings of stability, security, and feeling grounded. You can imagine the root chakra, which is located right below the tailbone glowing red. If you are struggling with anxiety, eating disorders, or forms of depression, you may want to sit with this pose and focus on the root chakra a bit longer. Repeat the mantra “I am” to yourself before moving onto the next pose.
The next chakra you will be channeling is the sacral chakra. The sacral chakra is orange and is located about two inches above the navel. From the sacral chakra comes feelings of sensuality, validity, and fluidity. To energize this chakra you can slowly move into a few repetitions of cat/cow. As you move into cow pose, breath in and then breathe out as you flow into a cat pose with your back arched. If you are struggling with reproductive issues or are feeling a lower sexual drive than normal, your sacral chakra may be out of balance and you will want to pay special attention to this posture. The sacral chakra is one with the element water and is energized by playfulness, creativity, and delight. You can repeat the mantra to yourself “I feel”.
Moving up your body, the next chakra is the solar plexus. The Solar Plexus chakra is located in your upper abdomen right below the ribcage and is bright yellow. From the solar plexus comes feelings of personal power, confidence, strength, willpower, and discipline. To energize your solar plexus, go into a strong Warrior II pose and lead into a Revolved Triangle. Make sure to keep your heart over your pelvis in these positions to keep your alignment. If you are struggling with the loss of appetite or types of stomach pain this posture will be helpful to you. Repeat the mantra “I do” as you focus on self-worth, self-esteem, and the ability to truly know yourself.
Reaching up to your heart space, you may now focus on the glowing green heart chakra. The heart chakra is connected to the element air and is connected with feelings of openness, compassion, love, and joy. If you feel yourself being more closed off emotionally than usual that may be a blockage in the heart chakra. To energize the heart chakra, move into a steady tree pose. Focus on the grounding of one foot on the mat and imagine energy flowing up from the ground and into your heart as you breathe in. For an extra challenge try this pose with your eyes closed. Either way, repeat the mantra “I love” to yourself while you focus on joy, contentment, and expansiveness in the place where your soul dwells.
As you settle down from tree pose, you can then move back to the ground where you can prepare for bridge pose. Bridge pose will open your chest, stretch your thighs, and help energize your turquoise blue throat chakra. The throat chakra, which of course is located in the middle of your throat, is the center of vibration and sound which governs our ability to express what is in our hearts. As you are in bridge pose, make sure to keep your head back, allowing your throat chakra to have space to fill with energy. If you are having trouble communicating or are having creative blocks then you would benefit from really focusing on this pose. Repeat the mantra “I speak” to yourself during this pose. Focusing on this chakra will help to express yourself more clearly and help with the communication between head and heart.
As you lower from bridge pose, prepare yourself for our final finishing pose, a hip opener. This will help energize the indigo blue, third eye chakra which is located in the middle of your forehead. For this flow, you will move into a bound angle pose. As you draw the soles of your feet to touch and your heels in toward your pubis, fold over your legs to where you are comfortable. This pose will help you turn back into yourself as you reflect on the experiences you have just had on the mat during this practice. The third eye chakra may be blocked if you are having trouble sleeping or remembering. The third eye chakra brings awareness, intuition, wisdom, realization, and insight which you can focus on by repeating the mantra “I see”.
The final chakra to align in this practice is the crown chakra. The crown chakra is located at the top of your head and can be imagined as violet. The crown chakra represents your connection to the universal consciousness. If you are feeling lonely or disconnected then there may be a block in the crown chakra. You can fully focus on energizing this chakra by laying flat on your back with your arms relaxed at your sides and your legs out long. This pose is also known as savasana. As you focus on the crown chakra, repeat the mantra “I understand” while thinking of fully connecting to the spirit, and experiencing higher planes of consciousness and deep connection with yourself. Feel free to stay in savasana as long as you would like.
If you are feeling unfulfilled at the end of this flow, you may benefit from doing this flow one or two more times. It is found that when a chakra is being blocked, you may have difficulty expressing the feelings associated with that specific chakra. When the chakras are balanced, you will become more stable, secure, and connected to sensuality. Doing this specific flow, or ones similar to it will help clear chakra blockages or imbalances which will help you to be overall happier and healthier in everyday life.
Remember that you can make this practice your own, and it is important to listen to your body and what it needs at the moment. Let us know in the comments if you have tried this flow and how you are feeling afterward.