Yoga has countless benefits, from making us more flexible and stronger to helping us combat anxiety and stress. However, the main significance of yoga is its spiritual aspect, which allows us to become more aware of our bodies and our true selves, so that we can live to our highest potential. That, among many other things, includes working on our chakras.
That’s why we gathered 7 poses, each beneficial for one of the 7 chakras. They will allow you to align all chakras in your body while also stretching your muscles to release any built-up tension. Best of all, these are all seated Yoga poses, so you can hold them for longer to stretch and lengthen stiff or painful joints too!
1. Crown Chakra – Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
The most beneficial pose for balancing Crown Chakra is the headstand – and the Rabbit pose is a safer and more gentle alternative. When done well, this pose becomes an ideal way to stimulate your Crown Chakra. Since this is a deep forward bending pose, it also lengthens your spine, and releases tension from the lower back and the neck. That makes it a good choice for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting at the desk. It also requires core strength and can help you become more aware of your breath.
How to do the Rabbit pose:
- Start in a kneeling pose, with your knees hip-width distance apart and your toes tucked
- Contract your core to lift the hips away from your heals
- Hold your feet with your hands
- Roll your shoulders back and move the top of your head to the floor
- If your head doesn’t touch the floor, don’t force it – just put a block underneath
Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths and notice how the back and sides of your body expand with every inhale.
2. Third Eye Chakra – Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s pose is a comforting asana that is often used as rest in between more challenging postures. However, it is powerful on its own – both in a physical and spiritual sense. Child’s Pose stimulates the Third Eye Chakra as it grounds the energy from your third eye point to the floor and allows you to focus inward. It is a good pose to get in anytime you feel stressed or anxious. It is also beneficial for stretching your ankles, thighs and hips, and can relieve back and neck pain.
How to do the Child’s Pose:
- Kneel on the floor with your toes touching and your knees about hip-width distance apart
- Lay your torso and forehead between your legs on the floor
- Rest your arms by your side with palms pointing to your feet when you want to rest, or extend them forward when you want to feel the deeper lengthening in your spine
Hold the pose for a couple of breaths and up to three minutes. When you’re done, return to an upright kneeling position
3. Throat Chakra – Lion Pose (Simhasana)
Lion Pose is a unique asana, in that it doesn’t only focus on the position of your body, but also involves quite an unusual breathing pattern. This pose is considered extremely beneficial for opening the Throat Chakra and releasing its blockages. Regular practice can boost your confidence and diminish the feeling of exaggerated self-consciousness. On the physical side, this practice strengthens and relieves tension from the neck, throat, face and chest. Since it’s usually done in the Vajrasana position, it will also strengthen your pelvic floor
How to do the Lion Pose:
- Kneel in Varjasana, with your feet pointing outwards and your hips resting on your heels
- Press your palms in the knees, and lengthen your spine
- Inhale through your nose while widening your eyes
- Open your mouth wide, bring out your tongue and make a loud “Haaa” sound while you exhale
Repeat several times, and although you might feel weird – you will also feel a powerful release of tension in your throat muscles.
4. Heart Chakra – Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Camel Pose is a deep heart opener, that will release all blockages in your Heart Chakra. It also stretches the entire front body, including your chest, hip flexors and throat as well as your thighs and ankles. At the same time, it strengthens the back muscles and helps to improve bad posture.
How to do the Camel Pose:
- Kneel, but keep your hips elevated
- Make sure your knees, hips and shoulders are stacked
- Bring your hands on the lower back
- Push your hips forward and simultaneously lift your heart toward the sky
- As you’re leaning back, you have the option to relax your neck and grab your heels with your palms
Hold the Camel pose for up to three breaths and with a slow and controlled motion transition into Child’s Pose to rest. Repeat several times.
5. Solar Plexus Chakra – Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Although the Bow Pose works the entire body, it is particularly connected to the area around the Solar Plexus Chakra. It’s believed that the pose can release the chakra, and help us let go of all worries and insecurities. Bow pose increases the blood flow into the abdomen and stimulates the digestive system. It also strengthens the whole back and provides a deep stretch to the front torso, shoulders and thighs.
How to do the Bow Pose:
- Lie on your stomach with arms lying flat beside you and palms facing upwards
- Bend your knees and try to get the feet closer to the glutes
- Grasp your ankles or shins with your hands
- As you inhale simultaneously lift your chest and thighs up
- Ensure that your knees stay hip-width apart and breathe deeply
Hold the pose for up to one minute and slowly release. Make sure you are always warmed up before doing Bow – it would be best to add it to the end of your practice. If you can’t keep your knees parallel, consider working on increasing flexibility in your hips.
6. Sacral Chakra – Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Bound Angle pose, also known as Baddha Konasana is a great pose to release negative energy and emotions in your Sacral Chakra. It is also a popular hip opener used to stretch the inner thighs and knees, which makes it particularly suitable for those who are sitting for long periods of time or have tight hips from doing strength and cardio workouts.
How to do the Bound Angle Pose:
- Sit with your legs in front of you and your spine long
- Pull your heels towards your body and open them wide
- You can put a block or a blanket under the knees for more support
- Grasp your toes and bow forwards, using the weight of your elbows to open your hips more
Hold the pose for 1 to 5 minutes. If you want to make it more dynamic you can raise your knees up as you inhale, and release them back down with the exhalation. However, never try to force your knees to reach the floor.
7. Root Chakra – Easy Pose (Sukhasana )
Easy Pose is simple, but is one of the best poses to balance the Root Chakra. As your pelvis is connected to the floor, it invokes a sense of stability, grounding and connection to the earth. This asana is often used for meditation, and the long holds can help lengthen aching knees and ankles.
How to do the Easy Pose:
- Sit on your mat or a cushion if you can’t keep your spine straight
- Bend your knees and cross your feet
- The feet can be right in front of you or tucked beneath your knees for a deeper stretch
- Tilt your pelvis forward to keep your spine long
You can hold this pose as long as it is comfortable for you. It is a great way to complete your practice as it grounds you down. You can set an intention to free blockages from the root chakra, repeat a mantra, or do any other meditation technique that helps you to feel secure and at peace.