Yoga is an excellent practice that helps improve your physical self, helping to strengthen the back, legs and core. But what about your chakras? Chakras are our spiritual energy centers that contribute to your psychological well-being, body function and more. There are seven chakras, and if energy is blocked from them, this could result in unrest within you such as sporadic headaches, stress, loss of energy and even just feeling “off.”
Other forces, illnesses and side affects of the physical world also cause these ailments, but you’d be surprised at the positive effect opening your chakras has on your body. Below are some poses that do just that. We’ll begin at the bottom with our first chakra, Root Chakra, and work our way up to the seventh: Crown Chakra. Pick yourself up, friend, dust yourself off and try some of these yoga poses to open up those chakras!
1: Warrior Two (Muladhara Chakra)
Warrior Two is great for the Root Chakra. Located at the base of the spin, this chakra is connected to the physical aspect of ourselves along with our balance. Because of this, it is the very reason that Warrior Two is a tremendous help to this specific chakra. Warrior Two strengthens your stability, lower back and boosts your mood, which lowers the risk of depression. This pose is also thought to help with infertility and sciatica problems. Trust me, your first chakra will thank you.
2: Uttanasana (Muladhara Chakra)
Uttanasana or Standing Forward Fold pose is also excellent for the Root Chakra. You will reap the benefits as it stretches and helps your digestive organs, which can get a little bound up if this chakra is out of place. It also helps relieve anxiety and depression while quieting the mind.
3: Dolphin Plank (Svadhishthana Chakra)
You’re going to want to slip into Dolphin Plank to help open up chakra number two: the Sacral Chakra. Your Sacral Chakra is in the lower abdomen where your emotions and sexuality reside. Dolphin Plank will help out as it strengthens your core, your immunity, eases any pelvic discomforts, and boosts your sex drive.
4: High Lunge (Manipura Chakra)
We’ve entered the Solar Plexus Chakra, which is our third and extremely important chakra. All chakras are valued and should be taken well care of, but about 70 percent of our immunity lies in our stomach. And when the Solar Plexus isn’t feeling great, neither are we. The stomach chakra also has a lot to do with our self-confidence. High lunge helps relieve constipation and stomach pain while increasing your stamina and lung capacity which, in turn, can help relieve anxiety and prevent panic attacks. You will breathe a lot easier after holding this pose.
5: Bridge (Manipura Chakra)
Also great for the Solar Plexus, and a personal favorite of mine, is Bridge pose! Bridge pose will massage your digestive tract, stretch the stomach muscles, and relieve constipation. If you want to take the stretch just a little bit further you can clasp your hands beneath you and open your chest for a deep and easier breath. You may not even want to leave this pose!
6: Camel Pose (Anahata Chakra)
We are raising one up to the Heart Chakra where your trust and compassion makes its home. It is located at the very heart center, of course! When this chakra is a little out of line, you will know because you will actually feel chest discomfort and shallow breathing. You will find it hard to connect or sometimes even feel for others the way that you may normally do. Fight or flight may turn on and set itself on auto pilot. If this happens do yourself a favor a try out Camel Pose. This pose will open up the chest and help you breathe better, becoming more open, and reconnecting with any lost trust or empathy for others.
7: Supported Shoulder Stand (Vishuddha Chakra)
Number five is your Throat Chakra, located at the base of your throat. This chakra, sometimes being the most overlooked, holds our communication, trust in ourselves and honesty. The Supported Shoulder Stand will keep this chakra on the right track as it stretches the neck and helps boost your thyroid. As a little bonus, this pose could be beneficial to pretty much any of the other chakras as it helps all areas of the body and mind. So as you work on the Throat Chakra you are helping the others simultaneously!
8: Shavasana (Ajna Chakra)
Shavasana, or Corpse pose, is greatly beneficial to The Third Eye. This chakra serves as HQ for your intelligence, realization, secrets, creativity, inspiration, and intuitiveness. Nobody wants this chakra to be imbalanced because it will affect you greatly mentally, and that’s a hole that is often tough to crawl out of. Shavasana is an easy, relaxing pose that is often a favorite among Yogis. Simply lie in Corpse pose and let everything else go. Keep your mind on the heart and it will all fall into place. Some pretty amazing things may come to you! This pose also helps tackle and defeat anxiety, insomnia and depression!
9: Sleeping Pigeon Pose (Ajna Chakra)
Sleeping Pigeon pose is also incredible for The Third Eye! Once you ease into the pose it’s so easy to let your mind release and relax. You can lie here for three to five minutes and it stretches your thigh muscles and glutes too!
10: Lotus (Sahasrara Chakra)
Finally, we’ve made it to the very top! Our seventh chakra, The Crown, is located at the very top of the head. This is where our faith comes in and the connection we feel to the universe, higher forces and our very own spirituality. This pose is the very best for mental visualization and deciding which path you want to take or where you’re going. When The Crown Chakra needs some attention you feel like you are just drifting through this life. Ten minutes will go by quickly as you sit silently in Lotus and connect once again to the faith that you hold and show a little bit of love to this very important chakra.
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