The chakras are vortices of subtle energy within the human aura – an electromagnetic field of varying vibrational frequencies often called our luminous body. Traditionally there are 7 principle chakras – the base chakra, the sacral chakra, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third eye chakra and the crown chakra. Through these chakras flow incoming information that stimulates and nourishes our endocrine system and major organs. These glands produce hormones which in turn affect the whole body, and bring about a balanced state of health and well-being.
In this blog we will explore the different chakras and some different yoga poses to help balance each of the chakras and to bring more peace and harmony into the body. These poses can be done alone, in a sequence or added to your favorite yoga flow.
The Base Chakra – Muladhara
The base chakra or the root chakra is located in the base of the spine takes the symbolic form of a four leafed lotus flower; each of the petals represent forms of blissful joy. This chakra is connected to grounding, deepening and connecting to nature and the environment, it’s connected to sexuality and mental stability and is most prevalent in the first 7 years of life as it brings into the body all the delicate energies required for growth and development
When the base chakra is blocked or out of balance the body can feel ill at ease, an indicator of this is that the spine, legs, taste and blood-cell rejuvenation may be affected. Lethargy, anxiety, an unfocused mind and difficulty letting go of the past can all be signs that the base chakra is out of alignment. This chakra is also closely related to the material world and sexuality so it can manifest into possessiveness, materialism or an out of balance sex drive. Grounding exercises such as meditation, getting out in nature or physical exercise are some ways to bring alignment back into muladhara.
Yoga Pose to balance the Base Chakra
Virabrhadrasana (Warrior 1)
Stand with your legs wide apart, turn out your right food and bend your right knee, sinking the hips into the center line of the body and keeping the back leg straight, reach your arms to shoulder height and gaze over your front middle finger, stay here for 5-10 deep breaths breathing into the belly and grounding down through the feet. Switch over to the other side and repeat
“I seek balance and harmony in my life”
The Sakral Chakra – Svadisthana
The sacral chakra is located below the navel and is connected to emotions, pleasure, relationships and creativity. This chakra helps by bringing subtle energies and vibrations into the body and is essential for balancing stress levels and contributing to our mental health. The first two chakras are our “recycling chakras” responsible for cleaning our aura, the sacral and base chakras change negative emotional energies into power and light, they keep our aura clean and return to earth any toxic waste the body cannot cope with. One of the symbols of this chakra is the moon which is associated with the flow of water, when water flows freely it becomes energized, the same principle applies to the flow of water in the body, this chakra stimulates the cleansing flow of water in the body to renew and rejuvenate.
When the sacral chakra is out of balance problems such as bladder, kidney, circulatory, and intestinal complaints may manifest in the body, shallow breathing, migraines and reproductive problems are other indicators of a sacral chakra imbalance. It is really important for women to balance this chakra because for centuries the repression of women has caused this energetic center to malfunction.
Yoga Pose for the Sacral Chakra
Parivrtta Trikonasana (twisted triangle)
From warrior two straighten the front leg, flip the palms to the front of the room and send the body over to the side of the straight leg as one piece keeping the back of the body as straight as possible (as if standing against a wall) maintain lift in the side of the body and then twist the pose by taking the left hand to the outside of the right foot. Keep the arms straight, the front leg should remain straight with a little micro bend in the knee if the hamstrings are tight. Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep belly breaths
“I will approach whatever challenges life gives me with joy-filled actions”
Sola Plexus Chakra – Manipura
The solar plexus chakra is located close to the navel below the sternum and associated with metabolism, ego and zest for life. It is often called the “jewel of the navel” and viewed as a treasure that connects us to universal consciousness. This chakra keeps us well by constantly bringing light-encoded energies into the body and is closely connected to the stomach and digestive system.
When this chakras is out of balance it’s common to have symptoms such as muscular stiffness, stomach, digestive and liver problems, lower back pain, diabetes, hypoglycemia and fevers. This chakra rebalances the body and brings in vitality and zest for life!
Yoga Pose to Balance the Sola Plexus Chakra
Utta Mayurasana (bridge pose)
Lay flat on your back and bring the soles of your feet flat on the mat close to your glutes and bend your knees, press your palms into the mat and slowly lift up your hips. Hands can stay on the ground or interlace your fingers underneath your body. For a more restorative version take a block under your sacrum to support the lower back. Stay in the pose for 5- 10 deep belly breaths.
“I honor the sun as the source of life on earth”
Heart Chakra – Anahata
The heart chakra is located near the heart in the center of the chest and works to bring balance in the body through the pranic (life force) energy of the planet. The color associated with this chakra is green and resonates with the nourishing green color of nature. When this chakra develops into full bloom the color gradually changes from green to pink, representing the pink light of unconditional love. This chakra is associated with the thymus – an organ that forms the body’s immune defense system and is particularly vital in early childhood.
When this chakra is out of balance symptoms can include high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease and asthma. Managing stress is important to balance this chakra especially stress associated with romantic relationships and sexuality as these energies can become misplaced in the heart chakra instead of being resolved in the lower chakras. This puts strain on our heart and gradually erodes our ability to love, increasing our awareness of our heart chakra helps to dispel these stresses and to love ourselves and others more openly and freely.
Yoga Pose to Balance the Heart Chakra
Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Lay flat on your belly and gently bring the palms of your hands on the mat in line with your nipple line. Tuck your elbows into the ribs and press the tops of the feet into the mat. Start to gently lift your chest with minimal weight placed on the hands, neck should be long and glutes relaxes. Stay here for 5 breaths then lay your right ear to the mat and repeat.
“Within my open heart lie the answers to all my questions”
Located deep within the throat the throat chakra helps to keep us well by bringing subtle energy vibrations from the earth’s atmosphere and sky into our physical body. This chakra is the bridge between higher and lower states of being and its main task is to absorb the energies from the earth’s atmosphere and purify the body.
This chakra is closely associated with the thyroid, respiratory system and parathyroid glands, which bring balance and equilibrium to the body. When this chakra is out of balance symptoms can include too low or high body weight, exhaustion, thyroid, neck and throat problems and head and neck pain. Because this chakra has a close relationship to sound and vibration a good way to bring balance is by repeating mantras, pranayama (breathing exercises) and chanting sacred sounds such as Om. When the throat chakra is centered, we can connect to deeper levels of the mind bringing the physical and spiritual body into a higher vibrational frequency.
Yoga Pose to Balance the Throat Chakra
Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend)
Sit on your glutes with your legs facing forward, flex your toes up towards your face and fold your body over your legs, stay here for 1-2 minutes then release into savasana laying flat on your back for 30 seconds.
“I communicate with clarity and sing with passion”
Third Eye Chakra – Ajna
Located within the aura near the middle of the brow, this chakra balances the circadian rhythms of sleeping and waking, incorporating the energetic vibrations of Ether and Akasha into our physical body through the pituitary gland. The third eye chakra is closely associated with the eyes, nose, ears, nervous system, the brain and the pituitary gland. When this chakra is out of balance symptoms include headaches, eye and sinus problems, sleeplessness and hormonal imbalances. The function of this chakra is to balance everyday activities, so to keep it in balance we should sleep well, eat healthy food, exercise often and have good, healthy relationships with others.
Yoga Pose to Balance the Third Eye Chakra
Garudasana (eagle pose)
Stand with your feet hip width distance apart and ground into the legs, weight evenly distributed on all ten toes. Reach your arms up to shoulder height and then take your right arm around your left twisting your arms in front of your body. Gently shift the weight into the left leg and lift the right leg (bending at the knee) twist the right leg around the left and gently sit into an imaginary chair. Take a soft gaze through the hands and draw the elbows into the chest. Stay here for 5 full breaths before untwisting and taking the other side.
My inner eye reflects my inner light”
Crown Chakra – Sahasrara
Located just above the head the crown chakra is associated with pure divine energy and consciousness. When kundalini (divine feminine energy) reaches the crown chakra it no longer belongs to the realms of human awareness, it is purely divine and illumination or enlightenment is reached. Together with the third eye chakra the crown chakra pulses these forces down through the central spiritual channel, enabling true bliss. In modern life it is very difficult to maintain this level of enlightenment as we move through our day-to-day stresses and responsibilities, however we can work on activating and lighting up this chakra by regular meditation and regularly balancing of the other 6 chakras.
This chakra is closely associated with the pineal and pituitary glands which keep the body in equilibrium. Physical disorders due to imbalance in the crown chakra include brain disease, endocrine disorders, and serious psychological disorders. To balance this chakra use linden or lotus oil and visualize protecting your aura by imagining sending light from your right hand all the way around your body.
Yoga Pose to Balance the Crown Chakra
Prasarita Padottanasana (wide legged forward fold)
Stand with your legs wider than hip width apart and gently lower yourself down with a straight spine until you can’t go any further. Once you are there completely relax the neck letting the head hang heavy and place the hands on the hips or onto the outer edges of the ankles, shins or thighs. Stay her for 10 full belly breaths and then gently come back to standing.