How to Balance your Chakras - Part 3



Over the last two weeks, we've been exploring our Chakras, and how to balance them using meditation and creative visualisation, and also essential oils.

This week, we’re going to explore a third way of balancing our chakras, and that’s using specific yoga poses. Because yoga is not an area of specialty for me, today's blog is brought to you by the beautiful Sophie Stokes, a yoga and fitness instructor based on the Gold Coast. 

A well-rounded Chakra yoga practice is specifically aimed at unblocking the Chakras so that the energy, i.e. your prana, can move freely through the body. This practice can include:

Specific Asanas (ie. body poses)
Pranayama (ie. breathing practices)
Mudra (ie. special hand positions), and
Meditation (ie. mind and consciousness training)

These practices help to purify and balance either all Chakras, or only those that need to be restored.

Root Chakra (Muladhara)
Affirmation: “I am safe”

As you know from the first blog in this series, the Base or Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine, and forms the basis of your energy system. 

The Muladhara Chakra is associated with the element of earth, supporting its grounding characteristics, and with the color red.

Yoga poses that help balance the first Chakra include asanas that build grounding and stability through the legs, such as Mountain pose (Tadasana), the Warrior series, and many Balancing poses. These asanas enable us to connect to the earth’s energy through the four corners of the feet and send that energy upward to nourish the entire body.

The relevant mudra that helps balance the Root Chakra is Ganesha Mudra, as it brings a grounding and connecting energy. Ganesha is a Hindu deity and also referred to as the remover of obstacles. This is why this mudra is perfect to initiate your Chakra yoga practice as it invites you to remove any obstacles on your way through the Chakras, clearing the path for a powerful connection to yourself and your personal essence. 

To form Ganesha Mudra, bring the left hand in front of your heart with the palm facing forward. Bring the right hand in front and clasp the fingers of both hands. As you breathe in, pull in and tighten the clasp and soften the grip with the exhale.

As you practice this mudra, think about the challenges in your life and what’s holding you back from feeling grounded – both on a physical and emotional level. Clear the way of things that are no longer serving you.

Sacral Chakra (Svadhishthana)
Affirmation: “I am creative”

The second Chakra, called Svadhishthana Chakra, is located in the pelvic area, a hand's width below your navel. It’s your creative centre of self-expression, emotions, and pleasure. 

As the Sacral Chakra is associated with the water element, it shares the same fluid and flowing features. The relevant colour of the rainbow spectrum is orange. 

When it comes to Chakra yoga, twisting yoga poses such as Revolved Triangle pose stimulate the abdominal organs to improve circulation within the pelvic area. Apart from that, hip-opening asanas and squats such as Malasana, Lizard, or Reclined Bound Angle Pose help you bring your awareness to this centre.

Yoni Mudra is a perfect means to connect to the second Chakra and is formed by putting the index fingers and thumbs of both hands together. It’s intended to nourish your sense of creativity. While practicing this mudra, think of what you
want to create in your life or where you feel stuck. 

Whenever you feel trapped, a Chakra yoga practice aimed at the Sacral Chakra will create a sense of fluidity and stimulate creation.

Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
Affirmation: “I am strong”

The third Chakra, called Manipura Chakra, is situated a hand's width above your navel and shines in bright yellow. It’s the core of your identity, ego, and personality, and helps you establish your sense of willpower and determination.

It’s also considered the pranic center of the body and as such associated with the element of fire, having the same transformative and heat-creating qualities.

Since this Chakra is located in the stomach region, yoga poses that strengthen this area are perfect for activating the core and the internal fire to help remove energy blocks or imbalances. These include all abdominal strengthening poses such as Boat pose, but also twisting asanas. 

You can use Kali Mudra to access the energy of your 3rd Chakra, which is formed by pressing the index fingers together and extending them while all the other fingers are interlaced. This will ignite your strength and energy from the soles of your feet all the way up to the index fingers.

To activate your Solar Plexus Chakra energy, practice the Pranayama of Bhastrika. This breathing exercise accentuates the exhale. You inhale through the nose and exhale sharply and forcefully through the mouth. Stand with the feet hip-width apart and create fists with your hands at the level of your ribs. On the inhale, extend the arms out in front of you, and on the exhale, draw the arms back into your ribcage. This is a really powerful exercise, bringing all the energy into your belly.


Heart Chakra (Anahata)
Affirmation: “I am loved”

The fourth energy centre is located in the lower centre of your chest, near your heart and the lungs and called Anahata Chakra. It’s represented by the colour green and is the seat of the self. Associated with the air element, it determines your sense of touch and enables you to connect with others and to feel compassion, generosity, and respect.

Heart and chest opening yoga poses can bring more light into Anahata Chakra and open the energetic centres of the heart. These include backbends such as Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) and Camel pose (Ustrasana), but also fierce poses like Wild Thing (Camatkarasana) and Eagle pose (Garudasana).

Use Padma Mudra, or Lotus Mudra, to balance your Heart Chakra. Since the Lotus is all about compassion and love, it’s the perfect hand gesture to tune into your 4th Chakra.

It’s best practiced sitting on your heels. Bring the palms of your hands together in front of your heart and spread all ten fingers. Keep the base of your hands, the thumbs and the pinky fingers touching while the other fingers spread apart just like the petals of a Lotus flower. Bring the thumbs directly to your heart centre and then close your eyes and use your Ujjayi breath to tune into yourself.

Let go of any negative thoughts and forgive yourself in order to create compassion and love toward your own being.


Throat Chakra (Vishuddhi) 
Affirmation: “I am expressive”

The fifth Chakra has its place in the throat (near your Adam's apple) and as such governs voice, speech, and hearing. Coloured in blue,  Vishuddhi Chakra is associated with the element of space.

The Throat Chakra is your creative expression and helps you speak and communicate genuinely with yourself and others. 

Yoga poses that target the throat such as Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Plow pose (Halasana), and Fish pose (Matsyasana) help you balance and purify the Throat Chakra.

Gyana Mudra is the mudra of internal wisdom and can help you connect to the 5th Chakra. Practice it in a cross-legged position and bring the hands onto your knees with the palms facing up. Bring the index finger and thumb of both hands together and relax the other fingers. Tune into your breath and simply observe and notice any sensations, thoughts and whatever shows up in your mind.

While scanning your body from the tips of your toes to the crown of your head, keep your breath steady and even. Make every inhale and exhale the same length. Maybe you even want to count to 5 on every inhale and exhale.


Third-Eye Chakra (Ajna)
Affirmation: “I am connected”

The sixth Chakra, called Ajna Chakra, is situated slightly above the centre point between the eyebrows. It is also referred to as the Third Eye – your point of intuition. It’s the access to clear thoughts and self-reflection and provides you inner guidance on your life path. The relevant colour of the rainbow associated with the Third Eye Chakra is indigo.

It’s the control centre and the seat of the mind, and the connection between body and mind. As such, it has a great spiritual significance as it’s said to unite the two major pranic forces in the body to open up the mind to inner stillness, divine sight and intuition.

Yoga poses that help re-align the Third-Eye Chakra include Dolphin pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) as it increases circulation to the face and brain, stimulating the Third Eye, as well as restorative poses like Child’s pose (Balasana) and Cat & Cow.

Perfect for your Third-Eye Chakra is Hakini Mudra, which is about focus and concentration. Bring the tips of the thumbs and all the other fingers together in front of your heart centre. Close your eyes and try to feel the balance between your left and right side of the body and the left and right side of your brain and plug into your inner wisdom.

To heal and purify this centre, you can practice the Pranayama alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) to balance out the right and left sides of your brain. This helps you bring everything in toward the middle and feel your sense of alignment.


Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Affirmation: “I am Divine”

The last Chakra is the Crown Chakra, called Sahasrara, and is situated at the very crown of your head. It’s considered the gateway to pure consciousness and the source of all Chakras. It’s represented by the colours violet and white. Being the highest of our energy centres, it's not an intersection of energies the way that the other Chakras are - rather, it's an "opening". 

Sahasrara Chakra is the centre of faith, dedication, and inspiration and connects you to the infinite and limitless. Bringing the Crown Chakra back into balance allows you to experience peace and tranquillity and a positive attitude toward your life.

In terms of Chakra yoga, poses such as Balancing Butterfly pose, Headstand (Sirsasana) and Half Lotus promote concentration, peace, and balance and are, thus, perfect for re-aligning the Crown Chakra.

To enter into your consciousness, use the Crown Mudra. Bring the thumbs and index fingers to touch and spread the other fingers out to the sides. Lift that about one hand above your head, keeping the shoulders soft. Feel the energy that you’ve cultivated from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. Go through all 7 Chakras one by one, while maintaining this mudra.



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