Chakras represent the seven major energy centers located along your spine from the base to the crown. When you’re physically and mentally healthy, your prana (Sanskrit for your life force or essence) moves easily up and down and through your body.
But what about those times when your prana doesn’t flow easily? How can you bring balance back to your energy and therefore back to your health?
The practices of yoga are ideal for bringing healing and balance to the energy of your body. In part one on the chakras, you learned about foods, essential oils, and yoga poses that help support your seven chakras.
👉 For part two, let’s dive into some of the yoga poses and why they’re beneficial.
Root Chakra Poses
A balanced root chakra equates to good health (immune system), stability, feeling grounded, and connected to your body and the earth. Therefore when you’re out of balance in muladhara chakra, you want to focus on poses that are:
- Strengthen your feet and legs
- Elongate your spine
Standing poses are ideal for root chakra work because not only do they ground you in your practice, but they also strengthen your legs and bones. Yoga postures in general help to strengthen your immune system, the basis of your health.
When grounding, focus on your base. Place your feet in such a way they create a solid foundation for you in all your poses.
- Mountain Pose– Spend a few minutes to allow your feet and body to reconnect to the earth.
- Chair Pose– Strengthens your legs, glutes, and abdominals while also grounding + balancing.
- Pyramid– Relieves stiffness in your legs + hips, and elongates your spine.
- Five-Pointed Star-Tones your legs, provides a sense of grounding.
- More root chakra poses shown below 👇
Sacral Chakra Poses
A balanced sacral chakra equates to graceful movement, emotional maturity, ability to change, and healthy boundaries. When you’re out of balance in swadhisthana chakra, you want to focus on poses that:
- Strengthen your low back and abdominals
- Bring stability + mobility to your hips/pelvis
- Move your body in general
A yoga posture practice creates strong movement and graceful flow, teaching you how to move fluidly and to go with the flow of life. Postures bring awareness and help you to connect into the physical and emotional sensations of your body.
Postures directed toward increasing your range of motion in your hips are ideal for sacral chakra balancing.
- Bound angle– Increases energy flow to the second chakra.
- Knee circles– Releases low back and lubricates hip joints.
- Lunge– Stretches hip flexors and quadriceps.
- Yoga Squat– Stretches your hips and groin.
- More sacral chakra poses shown below 👇
Solar Plexus Chakra Poses
A balanced solar plexus chakra equates to being responsible, reliable, and confident. When you’re out of balance in manipura chakra, you want to focus on yoga poses that:
- Strengthen your back and abdominals
- Create heat and increase your energy
- Twists to aid digestion
Located at the solar plexus, your third chakra is the hub of your personal power and includes your ribs, adrenals, and digestive organs. Practice postures that energize your body, build up your energy, and allow you to move with purpose.
Core work that includes both strengthening and balancing are ideal for solar plexus chakra. Deep breathing increases oxygen intake and provides an outlet for negative energy.
- Sun salutations– Create heat + energy for your body.
- Child’s pose– Stretches low and middle back, massages internal organs.
- Plank– Strengthens your core (abdominals and back muscles).
- Warrior 3– Creates stability and focus.
- More solar plexus chakra poses shown below 👇
Heart Chakra Poses
A balanced heart chakra provides you the ability to be loving, compassionate, empathetic, and peaceful. It also contributes positively to your immune system. When your anahata chakra is out of balance, focus on yoga poses that:
- Strengthen your back, shoulders, and hands
- Expand your chest and lungs
- Deepen your breathing
The heart chakra beckons you to turn your attention inwardly, away from ego and the outside distractions. One of the best ways to connect with yourself is through deep breathing.
Additionally, yoga poses that open your chest, shoulders, and breath together–such as backbends–are ideal for heart chakra balancing.
- Forward Bend with yoga mudra– Opens shoulders and stretches upper back.
- Cow/Cat– Promotes flexibility in spine + opens your chest.
- Downdog to cobra– Strengthens triceps, hands, and opens chest.
- Puppy– Opens your shoulders.
- More heart chakra poses shown below 👇
Throat Chakra Poses
A balanced throat chakra equates to a strong voice, being a good listener, and having clear communications. When visuddha chakra is out of balance, focus on yoga poses that:
- Deepen your breathing + relax your throat
- Strengthen your neck
- And chanting to increase the power of your voice
The power of choice resides in the power of your voice. Everything has a connection to your throat chakra because you “chose” every detail in your life. When you make a decision, it vibrates out to the ether carrying a resonance with it.
Spend some time in easy sitting, practicing deep cleansing breaths to purify your throat chakra. Chanting and signing also strengthens your voice and resonates through your entire being.
- Neck stretches/shoulder shrugs– Stretches your shoulders + reduces stress.
- Fish– Opens your throat
- Shoulderstand– Stimulates thyroid and parathyroid glands
- Prayer twist– Increases lung capacity + strengthens neck and shoulders.
- More throat chakra poses shown below 👇
Third Eye/Forehead Chakra Poses
A balanced forehead chakra equates to increased perception, intuition, good memory, and visualization. Therefore when you’re out of balance in ajna chakra, focus on yoga poses that:
- Quiet your mind
- Focus your gaze
- Bring stillness
Forehead chakra practices continue your inner work, allowing you to focus your energy on your intuition and insight. You retain your ultimate wisdom, you simply need to access it again.
Yoga postures, in general, quiet your mind, focus your gaze, and bring stillness. So choose sitting, balancing and inversions because they’re ideal for ajna chakra.
- Eye exercises– Improves vision, focus, and concentration
- Warrior 3– Increases balance and concentration
- Dolphin– Strengthens arms, prepares for inversions
- More forehead chakra poses shown below 👇
A balanced crown chakra equates to an individual who is thoughtful, wise, open-minded, and spiritually connected. Therefore when you’re out of balance in sahasrara chakra, focus on yoga poses that:
- Quiet your mind
- Bring stillness
- Expand your awareness
Your crown chakra expands your energy, allowing you to accept the wisdom from your forehead chakra and carry it back down to your lower chakras. Anodea Judith in Chakra Yoga (one of my favorite books on chakras and yoga poses) writes:
There are fewer poses that focus on the seventh chakra specifically. Yet any posture can have a seventh chakra aspect if one uses the poses to lift the crown upward, refine the awareness toward a meditative state, and directs the prana toward surrender, exaltation, and worship of the Divine.
- Meditation– The best practice for sahasrara.
- Headstand– Develops balance + stimulates upper chakras.
- Savasana– Aligns all chakras and brings awareness.
The poses included for each chakra are by no means an exhaustive list, but will help you narrow what to focus on when sequencing classes. Curious what a chakra-focused class might look like? Download the free Heart Chakra Class Outline from the Yoga Teacher Resource Library.