The chakra system is a vital part of ancient yoga philosophy, yet this spiritual aspect of yoga is missing in many modern-day yoga classes.
Since pre-Vedic times, yogis have used yoga poses to heal and align their chakra system. Not sure what we mean by the chakra system? Check out our previous article on ‘what are the chakras.’
Each of the seven chakras has associated physical, mental, and emotional qualities. Therefore, by balancing the energy in these centers, we may experience improved overall health and well-being.
So let’s look at how chakra yoga poses affect the condition of the chakras and how we can use our self-practice to connect deeper to our energetic bodies.
How Yoga Poses Balance The Chakras?
Whenever we practice yoga, the energy within our bodies starts to flow. We can direct this flow to specific energy points (chakras) where stagnation or blockages may occur. To do arthis, we choose yoga poses targeting that particular chakra.
Typically, asanas that stretch or compress the physical location of an energy center will direct the energy there and improve the flow of life force moving through that chakra.
For example, backbends are chakra yoga poses that open and stretch the chest, stimulating the heart chakra (Anahata). Moreover, postures that require core engagement ignite the Solar Plexus chakra (Manipura), sending more energy there.
Some yoga poses target multiple chakras, such as Malasana (Garland Pose). The squatting position brings the tailbone (location of the root chakra) closer to the floor), activating this chakra, while the hip stretch stimulates the sacral chakra.
Sequencing Yoga Poses For The 7 Chakras
The PlayPauseBe yoga deck makes it super simple to create sequences based around one or multiple chakras. Simply follow the chakra indications at the top of each card to identify which yoga poses activate which chakra.
To give you an idea of how a 7 chakra yoga sequence looks, we’ve created a short flow using the PlayPauseBe deck. Follow the sequence in the order shown below, starting from the root chakra and working up to the crown. Incorporating chakra yoga poses into your practice can help balance and align the energy in each chakra, leading to improved overall health and well-being.
Mountain Pose -> Tree Pose -> Standing Forward Fold (Root Chakra)
The root chakra is responsible for our sense of safety, security, and stability, so grounding standing yoga poses are best for connecting to the earth element.
Begin in Mountain Pose, bringing your feet together and pressing firmly through all four corners of both feet. Focus on drawing your lower body towards the earth while elongating the spine and lifting up through the crown of the head.
From Mountain Pose, move into Tree Pose. Shift your weight onto one foot, sliding the opposite foot up the inner calf or thigh, with the knee pointing out to the side and hips facing forward. Engage the standing leg as you root into the earth while bringing your hands to the heart center or reaching your arms overhead. Struggling to balance? Here are two handy tips.
After practicing Tree Pose on both sides, fold forwards from your hips into a standing forward fold. Relax your head here, allowing gravity to pull it towards the earth while keeping a firm press of your feet into the ground. All these chakra yoga poses help balance and align the root chakra, bringing a sense of stability and grounding to your practice.
Low Lunge Pose -> Pigeon Pose (Sacral Chakra)
For a balanced sacral chakra, yoga poses that specifically target this area, such as Low Lunge and Pigeon, are great to include in your practice. These chakra yoga poses open and stretch the hips, pelvis, and groin, and are effective in activating the creative and sensual energy of the sacral chakra.
From Standing Forward Fold, step your right foot back and drop the knee in Low Lunge. Keep your torso lifted and place your hands on your front thigh. Gently sink the hips down while ensuring the front knee does not move past the ankle.
After 10 breaths, transition into Pigeon Pose by walking the front toes to the right side and allowing the knee to fall towards the ground. Keep your hips square as you reposition your knee and foot to drop the sitting bones down.
Stay upright with your arms extended or fold your upper body forwards, relaxing the head to the earth. Repeat both chakra yoga poses on the other side.
Plank -> Boat Pose (Solar Plexus Chakra)
Plank and Boat Pose, two important chakra yoga poses, require a strong engagement of the core muscles, directing energy to the Solar Plexus chakra. As a result, you’ll feel a rush of energy and increased confidence, motivation, and self-belief.
From the pigeon pose, tuck your back foot, lift the knee and step your front foot back into Plank Pose. Ensure your shoulders are stacked over your wrists and press firmly into the fingers and palms. Next, engage your core by sucking the belly button into the spine, ensuring the hips stay in line with the body.
After five breaths, drop the knees and swing the legs around to set up for Boat Pose. Start with knees bent and the soles of the feet on the ground. Balance on your sitting bones as you lift the feet and bring the shins in line with the floor.
Keep your spine straight and core engaged as you release your arms forward. Stay with the knees bent, or straighten the legs for an extra challenge.
Bridge Pose -> Fish Pose (Heart & Throat Chakra)
These two backbends open the chest to stimulate the heart chakra‘s qualities of love, kindness, gratitude, and joy. At the same time, the poses compress/stretch the throat to activate the empowering and self-assuring energy in this center, helping you to improve your communication skills.
After releasing the boat pose, come onto your back and prepare for these chakra yoga poses. Bend your knees with the soles of your feet on the floor and your hands by your feet. Press the feet down and engage your thighs as you lift the hips high, arching the spine.
Clasp your hands under your lower back and press your upper arms into the ground to deepen the backbend, ensuring the knees stay together. Keep the chin tucked into the chest.
Slowly roll the spine back onto the mat and extend your legs. Press into your forearms to lift your upper body and place your hands (palms faced down) under the sitting bones. Point your toes away and press the chest up as you tilt your head back to open the throat, completing these chakra yoga poses.
Child’s Pose (Third Eye Chakra)
After Fish Pose, roll over into a prone position, and fold into Child’s Pose. Press your hips back to your heels and fold your torso over your thighs. Relax your arms by the sides or extend them forwards.
Let your forehead rest on the ground, creating gentle pressure here to stimulate the qualities of the third eye chakra. This chakra yoga pose can help activate the qualities of perspective, intuition, and imagination. If your forehead doesn’t touch the mat, you can use a block or pillow to support it.
Headstand -> Child’s Pose -> Savasana (Crown Chakra)
From Child’s Pose, lift your hips and set up for Headstand. Clasp your fingers and press the outer edges of your hands into the mat. Your elbows should be about shoulder distance apart, then place the crown of your head into the nest of your clasped hands. Walk your feet forwards to bring them directly over your head.
If this is enough, stay here, or lift up into a Headstand (find some handly alignment tips here). This inverted position sends a fresh flow of blood to your head, activating the spiritual energy of the crown chakra.
After the headstand, rest for one minute in Child’s Pose as a counter pose. Come into Rabbit pose for the last 5 to 10 breaths to go deeper. Lift your hips, stacking them over your knees as you roll onto the crown of your head. This chakra yoga pose brings a deeper flexion to the spine and activates both the third eye and crown chakras.
Finally, release to the floor and find your final resting pose, laying on your back with your legs extended and arms by the sides. Savasana relaxes the body and calms the mind, bringing you into a meditative state and deepening your connection with the Divine.
This is just one of the many chakra-themed sequences you can create with the revolutionary PlayPauseBe yoga deck. Take your yoga practice to the next level by incorporating chakra balancing yoga poses into your routine. What are you waiting for? Grab your pack, get creative, and explore the endless possibilities for yourself!