Chakra yoga is the practice of using yoga postures and controlled breath, known as pranayama, to cleanse, balance, and open the chakras, or energy centers, of the body.
Postures associated with hatha yoga are often adopted in chakra yoga because they’re designed to keep the body aligned (or straight); namely, the spine — which is the key highway for the flow of chakra energy.
Yoga poses, or asanas, are a great way to cleanse and balance the chakra system. Not only does the stretching and strengthening help benefit your physical health, but when used in conjunction with pranayama, it helps to bring new life (via oxygen) and balance to the chakras in yoga.
Practicing chakra yoga also introduces elements of meditation, which helps sharpen the mind while balancing and opening the chakras.
Here is a brief list of poses to cleanse and balance your energy centers:
Virabhadrasana I, or Warrior I, is a great pose for the first chakra. It connects you to the earth, giving you a strong foundation in the feet. With the root chakra located at the base of the spine in the pelvis, the hips get a nice stretch in this pose, releasing stale energy.
Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Pose, is appropriate to balance the second chakra. This hip opener once again brings attention to the pelvic region, where this chakra sits closely to Muladhara. Stretching the groin area helps to release tension in the seat of Svadishtana.
Navasana, or Boat Pose, helps to stimulate the third chakra. Located at the solar plexus, this posture activates the fire of Manipura and connects us to our center.
Ustrasana, or Camel Pose, opens up our heart center. We often protect our hearts and close them off to vulnerability, which may limit our experiences. When we expose our hearts we can invite more love and give more love out, thus balancing Anahata.
Matsyasna, or Fish Pose, releases our throat chakra. Stretching out our throats permits us to freely express ourselves through our unique voices.
Child’s Pose connects the third eye to the floor, stimulating our center of intuition. By physically activating and bringing awareness to Ajna, we may be able to access our great inner wisdom.
Sirsasana, or Headstand, activates our crown chakra by placing pressure on the tops of our heads. The seventh chakra is the gateway to universal consciousness, and when stimulated we bring attention to this area and can connect to our higher self.
Angela LQ (TTC 200HRS WEEKDAY HATHA/ASHTANGA JULY 2015)