Chakras or the energy vortexes in our body can get blocked and imbalanced due to various reasons. This can result in many physical and mental ailments.
One of the root causes for a blocked chakra system is the pent-up negative energy in it. Yoga offers a great opportunity to release this unwanted energy by ushering in life-giving positive energy through breathing techniques and repetitive body postures.
This article presents the best yoga poses or asanas for opening up each one of the 7 chakras. Here you will find step-by-step instructions on how to perform these chakra yoga poses.
Chakras and Asanas
Chakras are energy centers located along the spine. For chakra balancing, there are a variety of yoga practices you can practice. Here is the list of yoga poses suitable for each chakra.
1. The Root Chakra – Muladhara
Yoga Poses: Tree Pose (Vrikshasana), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana), Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Side-Angle Pose, Warrior Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Bridge Pose
2. The Sacral Chakra – Svadhisthana
Yoga Poses: Yogi Squat (Malasana), Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana), Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana), Standing Wide Forward Bend (Prasarita Padahastasana), Sitting Wide Forward Bend, Bound Angle Pose
3. The Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura
Yoga Poses: Reverse plank (Purvottanasana), Bow Pose (Dhanurasana), Crescent Pose, Boat Pose (Navasana), Sun Salutation Pose (Surya Namaskar), Warrior Pose, Sitting Half-spinal Twist
4. The Heart Chakra – Anahata
Yoga Poses: Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Tree Pose (Vrikshasana), Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Cobra Pose
5. The Throat Chakra – Vishuddha
Yoga Poses: Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Tree Pose (Vrikshasana), Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), Cat Stretch, Child’s Pose (Balasana), Bridge Pose, Plow Pose, Supported Shoulder Stand
6. The Third Eye Chakra – Ajna
Yoga Poses: Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana), Forward folds (Uttanasana), Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana), Easy Pose (Sukhasana), Child’s Pose (Balasana)
7. The Crown Chakra – Sahasrara
Yoga Poses: Lotus (Padmasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana), Tree Pose (Vrikshasana), Saddle Pose, Headstand (Sirsasana)
Step-by-step yoga poses for each chakra
Yoga is immensely beneficial in releasing the negative energy stuck in the chakras. When you practice yoga, chakras are energized with fresh, positive energy. This helps to open up the blockage and retrieve balance in the chakras.
One yoga poses each for the seven main chakras is explained in detail.
Root Chakra - Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
This is a classic standing pose that imitates the stance of a tree. You need to keep your eyes open while doing this pose to maintain your balance.
How to do:
- Stand with your feet together, straight and tall. Keep your arms by the side of your body.
- Fold your right knee and bring the right foot higher to touch your left thigh. Place the sole of the right foot flat against the thigh.
- Keep your left leg straight and maintain your balance.
- Bring your palms together in front of your chest in a “namaste”.
- Inhale. Slowly raise your arms above your head.
- Maintain your gaze steady by focusing on a distant object. This will help in maintaining body balance.
- Keep your spine straight and erect. Stretch your body as much as you can.
- Continue to take long deep breaths. As you breathe out, try to relax the body more.
- Maintain the pose as long as you comfortably can.
- Exhale and slowly lower your hands to the chest level. Bring them further down to your sides. Gently bring down the right leg.
- Return to the starting posture.
- Repeat with the left foot on the right thigh.
- Strengthens the entire body
- Stretches the spine, back, legs and arms
- Improves focus and helps regain balance
- Improves posture
Sacral Chakra - Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)
This is a seated pose that works on the entire pelvic area and strengthens your core. It opens up your thighs, legs, back, and hips.
How to do:
- Sit on the floor with your spine erect and legs stretched out in front.
- Exhale. Fold your knees and bring the heels towards your pelvis. The soles of your feet should be pressed together. Your legs should make a diamond shape.
- Grasp the toes of your feet firmly with both hands. You can provide support for your feet by placing your hands under them.
- By exerting pressure with your hands, bring the feet as close to the body as possible.
- Inhale deeply. Exhale and bring the knees and thighs closer to the floor. Continue to exert gentle pressure to keep them down on the floor.
- Inhale and as you exhale, bend forward. Keep your spine straight and chin up.
- Press down your elbows on the thighs. Exerting pressure with your elbows, press down your thighs and knees closer to the floor.
- Feel the stretch in your inner thighs. Relax your muscles. Take long deep breaths.
- Inhale and bring the body up.
- Exhaling deeply, gently let go of your handhold.
- Straighten the legs and bring them back to the original position. Relax.
- When in the erect position and without releasing the handhold, start moving the legs up and down. This would look similar to a butterfly flapping its wings. You may do this slowly in the beginning and gradually increase the tempo. Continue to breathe normally throughout this step.
- Bring the legs up more and more with each flapping movement. Ensure that you are not overstraining yourself. You may go as high and fast as you comfortably can.
- Bring down the tempo just the same way you built it up. Gradually slow down and then stop.
- Excellent stretch for the pelvic region, legs, and back
- Opens up inner thighs and hips
- Improves bowel movement
- Stimulates reproductive organs
Solar Plexus Chakra - Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
As the name suggests, this pose involves forming your body like a bow. This is one of the best asanas for stretching your body to the limit. This is ideally done in the morning on an empty stomach.
How to do:
- Lie on your stomach. Move your feet slightly apart. Keep your arms close to your body.
- Bend your knees backward and move your feet up. Raise your hands and slowly reach out for your feet. Grasp your feet at the ankles.
- Inhale deeply and lift your body off the floor. Simultaneously raise your thighs. Stretch your body to the limit that you are comfortable with. Take care not to overstretch.
- Maintain your gaze steady by staring at some distant object.
- Take your time to stabilize the pose and maintain it as long as you can. Now your body resembles a taut bow.
- Relax your muscles slowly. Take long, deep breaths.
- As you breathe out, slowly lower your body and thighs to the floor. Let go of the ankles and relax.
- Strengthens abdominal and back muscles
- Opens up the chest and shoulders
- Improves flexibility of the back
- Promotes digestion and kidney function
Heart Chakra - Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
This is a back-bending pose that works on your chest, abdomen, and shoulder muscles. It is the counterpose to Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana).
How to do:
- Lie down on your back with your feet close together and hands on the sides of the body.
- Place the hands below the hips with palms facing down. Bring the arms close together.
- Inhale and lift the upper portion of your body.
- Arch the body backward so that your chest is elevated and your head comes closer to the floor. Touch the floor gently with the top of the head.
- Use your elbows to maintain your balance. Press the elbows to the floor by shifting your weight to them. The head should not be used for balancing. Expand your shoulder blade outward. Keep your legs pressed flat on the floor.
- Keep taking long deep breaths. Relax your muscles, Hold the pose for as long as you comfortably can.
- Slowly raise the head. Bring down the chest and head to the floor. Return the hands to their original position along the sides of the body.
- Opens up the chest region
- Strengthens upper back muscles and neck
- Improves flexibility of the spine
- Relieves tension in shoulders and neck
Throat Chakra - Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
This is a back-bending yoga pose to strengthen the upper portion of the body. It is an important component of the Sun Salutation Pose (Surya Namaskar).
How to do:
- Lie on your stomach with your feet pointing downwards. Keep your arms close to the body on either side.
- Bend your elbows and bring your hands up. Place your palms down on the floor close to the lowest rib.
- Breathing in, shift your weight to the hands, and slowly lift your entire body off the floor. Raise your head as high as possible. Stretch as far as you comfortably can.
- As you stretch, you may tilt your head slightly backward or you may keep it straight up and focus on a point in front of you.
- Your wrists should be in line with your shoulders. This is to ensure that your neck is not strained.
- Keep taking long deep breaths. Stay in this pose for a comfortable duration.
- Breathe out and gently bring down your legs, hips, and chest back on the floor.
- Opens the chest and neck.
- Stretches the spine and stimulates core muscles
- Strengthens arms and wrists
- Improves body posture
Third Eye Chakra - Child Pose (Balasana)
As the name suggests, it is the resting pose of a child. It is used as the counter-pose for many yoga poses.
How to do:
- Lie face down on the floor. Lift your torso off the ground and balance yourself on your hands and legs.
- Slowly move your hips backward and sit on your heels with your palms firmly on the floor.
- Resting your hips on the heels, bend forward. Touch your forehead on the floor.
- Keep the arms close to your body with hands resting on the floor and palms facing down.
- If you are unable to touch your forehead on the floor, you can make fists with your hands, place one on top of the other and place your forehead on top.
- Press your chest gently on the thighs.
- Hold the position for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Slowly raise your forehead and come back to sit on your heels. Bring the body back to the starting position and relax.
- Relieves stress and tension in the body
- Increases circulation and alleviates fatigue
- Calms down the brain and the nervous system
- Stretches the spine and relieves lower back pain
Crown Chakra - Headstand (Sirsasana)
Known as the gems among all yoga poses, Sirsasana involves balancing yourself on the crown of the head. Though it is immensely beneficial, this should be attempted only under the supervision of a yoga teacher.
How to do:
- Sit in Vajrasana. That is sitting up erect with legs doubled up under the body.
- Lean forward with your arms folded at elbows. Place your forehand on the floor with interlocked fingers.
- Touch the head on the floor and cup it with your interlocked fingers. Your torso and arms will form a triangle.
- Gently adjust your head and fingers so that your head balances on them.
- Lift the hips off the floor, keeping your legs and body straight without bending.
- Slowly use your feet to step towards the body.
- Fold the knee and take the feet off the floor and gather strength to lift the body. Make sure that you are maintaining your balance.
- Keeping the knees firmly bent and heels close to the buttocks, slowly raise your legs above the body.
- Straighten the knees and hips so that the entire body is perfectly vertical and perpendicular to the floor.
- Take long deep breaths and relax all the muscles in the body.
- Maintain the position for as long as you feel comfortable. You may stay in this position for a few minutes.
- Slowly, bend the knees and bring the legs down.
- Reverse the steps to go back to the starting position.
- Return to the Child Pose and then Vajrasana.
- It is ideal to follow this up with a few minutes of Savasana (Corpse Pose).
- Strengthens all muscles in the body, especially neck and shoulder muscles
- Increases blood circulation to the head
- Helps to calm down and relax
- Improves focus and energy
It is normal for the chakras to get blocked as part of your regular life. If left unattended, this is bound to result in the build-up of negative energy in the chakras causing imbalance. When ignored, this can impede your happiness and peace of mind, ultimately wreaking havoc on your relationships and health.
Regular practice of yoga can help in maintaining the chakras in excellent condition. Though imbalance is part of life, timely intervention can prevent any damage. With these yoga asanas, your chakras will always remain open and balanced, ensuring your happiness and good health.