Last week, I went to a chakra balancing yoga workshop to explore how yoga can help open and balance the body’s energy system. It’s not the first chakra yoga workshop I’ve attended, but it was the first time I had more of physical experience than a traditional learning experience.
The teacher told us she was not going to talk a lot about the chakras. Rather, she led us through a targeted practice of poses for each of the seven energy centers that run along the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head. She told us to just focus on how all of this felt.
It felt great!
If you’re familiar with the chakra system, you know that an energy blockage in any of these areas can compromise corresponding physical, mental, or emotional qualities.
Yoga is an ideal practice for working with the chakras, because there are poses we can practice to focus on each of the seven areas of the body where chakra energy is meant to flow.
Here’s a brief overview of the seven chakras and their specific energies:
First Chakra: Root
The root chakra is located at the base of the spine. It is associated safety and basic survival.
Second Chakra: Sacral
The sacral chakra is in the lower abdominal region. It is associated with sensually and the ability to create.
Third Chakra: Solar Plexus
The solar plexus chakra is the power center (core) of the body. A strong solar plexus means you have self-esteem and a good sense of personal power.
Fourth Chakra: Heart
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra. This is the place of love, compassion, harmony, and piece. At the midpoint of the seven charkas, the heart chakra serves as a bridge between the physical and nonphysical aspects of being.
Fifth Chakra: Throat
The fifth chakra, located at the throat, governs our ability to communicate well and speak our truth.
Sixth Chakra: Third Eye
The third eye chakra is at the point between your two physical eyes. The third eye governs intuition and inner-knowing.
Seventh Chakra: Crown
The seventh chakra, known as the crown chakra, is at the top of the head. Here is where we connect with all that is. The crown chakra is the energetic link between the ego self and the true self that recognizes our connection to a higher power.
Chakra Balancing Yoga: Poses for Releasing Blocked Energy
A chakra balancing yoga practice can focus on the area or areas where you feel unbalanced. For instance, maybe you need more grounding (first chakra) or help creating something (second chakra). If you feel powerless, you may need do some core work (third chakra), and if you’re having trouble feeling connected to others, working on the fourth chakra may help.
If you’re unable to communicate effectively, try some poses that balance the throat (fifth) chakra. And if your intuition isn’t serving you well, your third eye (sixth) chakra may need some work. Finally, if you need to be more in tune with spirit, you can focus on the crown (seventh) chakra.
Once you identify the area or areas you want to work on, you’ll have a better idea of which poses to practice. If you don’t have one or two that stand out, do a chakra balancing yoga practice that targets all seven energy centers. It will feel great!
Poses for the Chakras
Here are a couple of suggestions for each chakra. You can probably intuit other poses that will open each energy channel as well.
Root chakra: mountain pose, tree pose
Sacral chakra: wide-angle seated forward bend, triangle
Solar plexus chakra: anything that works the core, such as boat pose or plank
Heart chakra: heart openers, like bridge pose and cobra
Throat chakra: shoulder stand, fish pose
Third Eye chakra: head-to-knee pose, standing forward bend
Crown chakra: headstand, dolphin
The chakra system and yoga are both amazing tools for understanding yourself as an integrating being, and they work very well together. In future posts, we’ll explore yoga for each chakra in more depth!
Would you like to explore more yoga topics in depth—perhaps with a group of yoga friends? Get your copy of Yoga Circles, A Guide to Creating Community off the Mat. You’ll find lots of topics and activities for living the yoga lifestyle and enjoying time with like-minded yogis! Click here to order!
Hi, I’m Maria. I created Yoga Circles for you if you want to delve more deeply into the philosophy, practice, and life-changing effects of yoga. I’m also a writer and editor who helps small business owners, wellness professionals, teachers, and authors publish books, develop marketing strategies, and connect with readers, clients, and students. Visit my website (link below) to learn more. I’d love to hear from you!