If you’re new to energy healing, working with the chakras from a more meditative standpoint can be a bit daunting at first. But, not to worry! There’s definitely a much more accessible way to balance your chakras by working from the “outside in”.
Certain asanas (Yoga poses) and exercises target the muscles, organs, and physical areas that each chakra is responsible for, and are therefore a simple and effective way to access the chakras.
So what makes any other Yoga practice or workout different from a “Chakra Yoga” practice? Listen carefully: your INTENTION.
Your intention is the key to unlocking the power of your physical movements to affect positive change in your chakras.
In fact, your intention is the key to activating all of your energy healing work, whether it’s Reiki, crystal healing, or whatever!
I love Chakra Yoga practices. I’ve taught at 7-week Chakra Series at my regular Friday Yoga class, and I’ve presented a Chakra Yoga Workshop for the Ellevate Festival – all with amazing results and feedback.
When you set your intention to balance your chakras with every movement, your Yoga practice becomes a form of Energy Medicine.
It’s really easy to formulate your own Chakra Yoga practice, and I’m going to show you how.
Chakra Basics: The Least You Need to Know
The 7 main chakras are situated along the midline of your body, your spine. The chakras are energetically connected by an energetic midline, called the “hara line”.
Each chakra is responsible for the health and wellbeing of your body, mind, spirit, and your lifestyle. For example, the Sacral Chakra, which is located in – you guessed it – the sacrum, is responsible for your reproductive health, your sexuality, as well as your ability to experience pleasure and enjoy life.
By intentionally moving the parts of the body that are governed by the chakras, you stimulate their healing process and allow them to naturally shift into a place of balance.
And when your chakras are balanced, you’re balanced – in every aspect of your life.
SO. If you’re feeling like there are areas in your life that are a bit lacklustre (money issues, health issues, relationship issues, etc.), then working on your chakras will be an effective way to move forward.
When it comes to doing Chakra Yoga, you can choose to do 1-3 exercises per chakra, or you can focus on one chakra entirely. It’s totally up to you and how you’re feeling. Also, don’t feel like you have to work on each chakra in order. Of course you can, but you’re not going to break anything if you don’t. What’s most important is that you move in a way that feels good and is safe and appropriate for YOU.
Yoga and Exercises for Your Chakras
The Root Chakra is located in your perineum, or pelvic floor.
This chakra is associated with your sense of stability and safety, your ability to create financial security and abundance for yourself, as well as all of your eliminatory organs and your body’s overall physical health.
To stimulate this chakra, think “rooting down” and focus on your legs and glutes. Balance poses work well for the Root Chakra because they encourage you to stay strong and stable where you stand.
- Chair Pose and Squats
- Warrior Poses and Lunges
- Tree Pose (the imagery is perfect for stimulating the Root)
- Standing Poses
- Balancing Poses
The Sacral Chakra is located in the sacrum, around your reproductive organs and between your hips.
This chakra is responsible for your reproductive health, your sex drive, your capacity for joy and pleasure, and it’s also associated with your finances, i.e., your ability to receive financial abundance.
To stimulate this chakra, think “sexy Shakira”: hips don’t lie! Hip circles, pelvic tilts, and hip openers will “open you up” 😉
- Hip rotations: clockwise, counterclockwise, and in figure-eights
- Pelvic tilts while standing or lying down
- Bridge Pose or Hip Lifts
- Cobbler’s Pose
- Camel Pose
- Warrior 2 and other poses where the hips are externally rotated (open)
Solar Plexus Chakra
The Solar Plexus Chakra is located between your navel and the bottom of your ribcage.
This is your seat of personal power, and also a significant source of psychic intuition, which you may know as your “gut instinct”. This chakra is also responsible for all of the major organs in your torso, including your digestive system.
To stimulate your Solar Plexus Chakra, think abs!
- Boat Pose
- Ab exercises
- Spinal Twist – all variations
- Any pose/movement that requires core activation will stimulate the Solar Plexus!
The Heart Chakra is located in the centre of your chest, so not exactly where your physical heart is (a little to the left of the centre), but very close. The Heart Chakra is responsible for your heart, lungs, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and circulatory system; as well as your ability to love and be loved, give and receive, and of course your capacity for self-love and self-acceptance.
The Heart Chakra is also connected to your arms and hands (from which we offer our service to the world, and from which Reiki healers channel Reiki.
To stimulate the Heart Chakra, think chest, back, shoulders, arms, and hands. Also, any form of cardio that works your physical heart will also stimulate your Heart Chakra. It’s important to work with back openers (like the Cat stretch), and not just chest openers.
- Backbends: Cobra, Upward Facing Dog, Bow Pose, etc.
- Chest Exercises: Chest Presses, Push-Ups
- Cardio of any type
- Arm exercises (bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, etc.)
- Pranayama (breathing exercises)
The Throat Chakra is located at the base of the throat, and is associated with the neck, throat, ears, and mouth, as well as the thyroid gland. The Throat Chakra is responsible for your ability to communicate and express yourself clearly and with authenticity. Your ability to be creative and to “walk your talk” also stems from this chakra.
To stimulate the Throat Chakra, practice speaking your truth! Singing is also a wonderfully effective way to balance this chakra, as is chanting. Physical exercises that target the throat chakra would focus on the neck and vocal chords.
- Fish Pose
- Neck rotations and bending from side to side
- Lion Breath
- Poses that incorporate neck flexion or extension, such as cat/cow and certain backbends
- And chanting! This isn’t an exercise, but it’s a great spiritual practice and energy exercise to add to your toolkit, especially if you need to focus on your Throat Chakra.
Third Eye Chakra
The Third Eye Chakra is located in your forehead, between your eyebrows. This chakra intersects with your pineal gland, and is associated with your eyes and head, i.e., your optical and neurological health.
Many people know this chakra as the “psychic centre”, which is certainly true (just don’t forget that your Solar Plexus Chakra also plays a huge role in your psychic sensitivity). When clear, this chakra can help you make wiser decisions because it allows you to see the bigger picture, as well as see into others’ true intentions.
To stimulate the Third Eye Chakra, focus on working on your balance and sense of proprioception. Exercising your eyes is also very helpful, but as we reach toward the upper chakras, you’ll be working less with your physical body and more with your mind.
- All balancing poses
- Practicing yoga with your eyes closed – especially moving through a flow, such as the Sun Salutations, which helps you build awareness of your surroundings
- Eye exercises (tracing the points of an imaginary clock, rotation, etc.)
- Child’s Pose (to stimulate the pineal gland via your forehead’s contact with the floor)
- Meditative movement – walking meditation, labyrinth walks, and of course, seated meditation
The Crown Chakra is located at the crown of your head, and rather than running from front to back, this chakra runs from the top of your head, downwards (similar to the Root Chakra, which runs from the base upwards).
The Crown Chakra is responsible for the unification of all of your energy centres, self-actualization, and ultimately, enlightenment. This is the seat of spirituality and oneness.
I have mixed feelings about the yoga poses that target the Crown Chakra. I’m from the camp that advocates for more meditative practice – Savasana, meditation, etc., to stimulate this chakra, because after all, that’s what it’s all about.
There is another school of thought that emphasizes Headstands and all manner of poses where the crown of your head touches the floor, which makes sense for obvious reasons. However, I find that the physical stamina and strength required for these poses to be performed safely can take away from experiencing the energy of your Crown Chakra – which is ultimately about stillness and unity.
In the end, it’s up to you. Remember, the hardest pose of all is really Savasana: the ability to lie still with yourself, and to stay put, just as you are.
Here are my recommended “poses” for the Crown Chakra:
- Seated meditation
- Any kind of meditation (walking, labyrinth, etc.)
Of course, Headstands are awesome too (provided they’re appropriate for you), and if you want to do that for your Crown Chakra focus, that’s great!
So there you have it! You now have more than enough info to get started with crafting your own Chakra Yoga practice today.
You can make your practice as long and as short as you like, or you could simply take what you’ve learned, and apply it to your current practice.
Simply by bringing your awareness to whatever it is you’re doing and focusing on the chakra that it’s targeting, you can turn an everyday motion into an act of energy healing 🙂
This post was originally published on November 2, 2015.