Photo: My Vinyasa Practice

Yoga Sequencing for Chakra Balancing

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Balance is a characteristic commonly associated with practicing yoga. Standing on one leg in Tree Pose or inverting yourself into a handstand are classic demonstrations of “yoga.”

It’s true – we do a lot of physical balancing in asana practice, and yoga is a fantastic way to build better balance. However, after nearly two decades of practicing yoga, I’ve discovered that yoga is not about externally balancing your body by arranging your limbs in a certain way. It’s about creating internal, holistic balance to benefit your whole being – body, mind, and spirit.

To achieve optimal health, we can look to the ancient philosophy of yoga and use its energetic principles to benefit our well-being. Experience the effects of yoga for yourself as I guide you through an energy-focused, Chakra-inspired sequence of yoga poses.

The Role of Chakras in Yoga and Wellness

Within yoga philosophy and its sister science of Ayurveda, the Chakras are energy centers within the body that help us maintain optimal health. 

There are seven main Chakras along the spinal column, from the tip of the tailbone to the crown of the head. Each of the seven Chakras corresponds with a specific physical, emotional, or spiritual quality.

Imbalances or Chakra blockages can lead to various health concerns, including physical ailments or mental and emotional issues. 

Luckily, many activities can help keep the Chakras balanced and functioning normally. Certain foods, breathwork practices, and yoga poses target each specific Chakra, ensuring your energy is free to flow throughout your whole system.

Chakra-Balancing Yoga Poses

This beginner-friendly Chakra sequence includes seven purposeful yoga poses, each thoughtfully chosen corresponding to the seven chakras. Through intentional movement and breath, you can use these poses to activate and harmonize your vital energy points, cultivating a balanced and centered state of being. 

Before jumping into the postures, focus attention on your inner flow of energy. Set your intention to create energetic equilibrium, harmonizing your body, mind, and spirit.

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose creates a stable foundation, helping you ground your energy. Focus on your Root Chakra at the base of your spine. 

How to do Mountain Pose:

  1. Stand at the top of your yoga mat, feet separated at a hip-width distance. 
  2. Lift from the inner arches of your feet and ground down through the four corners of each foot. 
  3. Bring your arms by your side, palms facing forward. 
  4. Widen your collarbones and relax your shoulders down away from your ears. 
  5. Grow tall through the crown of your head and maintain the natural curves of your spine with your pelvis in a neutral position. 

Take a few grounding breaths standing tall in Mountain Pose as you prepare to move through the sequence. 

2. Yogi Squat (Malasana)

Malasana, also called Garland Pose or Yogi Squat, targets your Sacral Chakra. This hip opener can help your emotions and creativity flow freely. Focus on your lower abdomen, about two inches below your navel. 

How to do Yogi Squat:

  1. From Mountain Pose, separate your feet a little wider than your hips and turn your toes out slightly. 
  2. Bring your hands to a prayer position, palms together in the center of your chest. 
  3. Bend your knees and squat down, letting your hips sink toward the floor. 
  4. Use your inner thigh muscles to squeeze your upper arms as you simultaneously press your arms out.
  5. Reach the top of your head up toward the sky, creating length in your spine. 
  6. Keep space between your shoulders and your ears. 

Hold your Garland Pose for 5 to 7 breaths, then move on to Plank.

3. Plank (Phalakasana)

Plank Pose engages your core muscles, creating heat and stoking your inner fire to build confidence and power. Bring attention to your Solar Plexus Chakra at the top of your abdomen.

How to do Plank Pose: 

  1. From Malasana, bring your hands to the floor and place them underneath your shoulders. 
  2. Step your feet back one at a time, fully extending the legs behind you to bring your body into one long line.
  3. Press into the balls of the feet, stacking your heels over the toes. Engage the muscles of your legs by pulling up slightly on your kneecaps.
  4. Press your navel in and up towards your spine, engaging your core muscles. 
  5. Spread your shoulder blades wide across your upper back. Gaze down, keeping your head and spine aligned. 

Hold your Plank for 3 to 5 breaths, then lower gently to your belly in preparation for Cobra.

4. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra Pose gently expands your chest and activates your Heart Chakra. Focus on the center of your chest and open your heart to feelings of love and compassion. 

How to do Cobra Pose: 

  1. Lie face-down on your yoga mat, your legs separated slightly and your toes untucked. 
  2. Bring your fingertips underneath your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body. Lightly engage your core.
  3. As you inhale, lift your head and chest, simultaneously pressing your fingertips and the tops of your feet into the floor. 
  4. Reach the crown of your head forward and up, lengthening your spine. 
  5. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and expand your chest, separating your collarbones as you reach your heart forward. 
  6. Maintain space between your shoulders and ears, keeping your neck long. 

Stay in Cobra for 3 to 5 breaths, then release to your mat.

5. Cat and Cow (Bitilasana-Marjaryasana)

Use the Cat and Cow stretch to stimulate your Throat Chakra and encourage communication and self-expression. Take your awareness to the front and middle of your neck. 

How to do Cat & Cow:

  1. From lying on your belly, place your hands underneath your shoulders and press yourself up to a Table Top position. Stack your hips over your knees and shoulders over your hands. 
  2. As you inhale, move into Cow Pose by dropping your belly and arching your back slightly. Draw your shoulder blades together and lift your chin an inch or two, stretching the front of your neck.
  3. With your exhale, move to Cat Pose by rounding your spine towards the sky and dropping your chin towards your chest. Spread your shoulder blades wide across your back. 
  4. Keep moving with your breath between each position: inhale to Cow, exhale to Cat. 

Repeat 5 to 7 rounds of Cat and Cow. Then, pause at Table Top with your spine in a neutral position. 

6. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

As an inverted yoga pose, Standing Forward Bend turns your awareness inward, helping you tune into your intuition and sense of perception. Set your attention to your Third Eye Chakra, in the middle of your forehead, between your eyebrows. 

How to do Standing Forward Bend: 

  1. From the quadruped position, on your hands and knees, tuck your toes and straighten your legs, sending your hips toward the sky. 
  2. Walk your feet up toward your hands to the top of your mat. Place your feet at a hip-width distance, toes pointing forward. 
  3. Exhale and bend forward, folding from your hips.
  4. Keep a micro-bend in your knees, especially if your hamstrings are tight. 
  5. Let your head hang, relaxing the back of your neck. 
  6. Reach your arms down toward the floor, or place your hands on your legs wherever you can. 

Stay in Uttanasana for 3 to 5 breaths. Then, keep your knees slightly bent and slowly roll up to stand tall in Mountain Pose.

7. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Finish the sequence with another standing asana to open your energetic channels from your Root to your Crown Chakra. When adequately grounded and with energy flowing, you’ll feel more connected to your highest self. 

How to do Tree Pose: 

  1. Stand tall in Mountain Pose. Shift your weight slightly into your left leg. 
  2. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot against the inner side of your left leg, either against the calf or the inner thigh. 
  3. Keep your tailbone neutral, sitting bones shining down toward the floor. Press your right knee open to the side.
  4. Bring your hands into a prayer position, pressing your palms together in the center of your chest. 
  5. Grow taller, as if shining a beam of light directly skyward from the top of your head. 
  6. If you feel stable, try reaching both arms up overhead. Keep your hands separated to ensure your shoulders stay relaxed down away from your ears. 
  7. Fix your gaze on an unmoving point in front of you, and keep your breath flowing freely as you balance. 

Hold your Tree Pose for five breaths, then release your right leg down and return your hands to your sides in Mountain Pose. Repeat Tree Pose on your other side, lifting your left leg and balancing on your right leg.

Finally, return to Mountain Pose. Close your eyes and return your attention to your energy flow, noticing any subtle changes that may have taken place.

How to Use This Sequence

This chakra-inspired sequence is perfect for beginners to practice several foundational yoga poses while building up body awareness – not just externally, but tuning into the subtle internal sensations

Check-in with Yourself

You can use this series of yoga poses as a type of self-check at any point in your day. Move mindfully through the poses, spending several breaths each as you focus on the corresponding Chakra. 

Listen to your body and notice what it might tell you about your experience. Try journaling your experience. Simply jot down a few insights or sensations you noticed in certain poses. 

Moving Meditation

You might choose to move through this Chakra balancing sequence several times in a row, similar to a Sun Salutation. Try holding each pose for three breaths, repeating the entire series of poses three times. 

With each posture, set your attention on a specific area of your body and see what sensations you notice. This practice will help you focus your mind, build concentration, and boost your body awareness.

Time of Day

The selected poses in this sequence provide a warming and centering effect, making it an excellent addition to your morning routine. I find that focusing my attention on my energy in the morning helps me move through my day with greater mindfulness

On the other hand, since this sequence emphasizes energy, you might use it later in the day instead of an afternoon cup of coffee or tea. Practiced together, these seven asanas mobilize your whole body, getting your blood flowing and giving you an energetic pick-me-up. 

Final Thoughts

As a yoga teacher, I love many things about this simple Chakra-inspired sequence. It moves and activates your entire body, which is wonderfully effective when you want to shift your energy

Plus, the poses described here are beginner-friendly, which means you can take your awareness deeper and focus on your inner experience rather than worrying so much about your body’s position. 

In my practice and teachings, I love incorporating other aspects of yoga into my asana flows. Using the Chakras as inspiration can be a fun way to try new poses or change your routine. It’s also a way to connect to yoga’s philosophical and energetic principles, deepening my practice.

Now, it’s time for you to experience the internal harmony of Chakra yoga. Roll out your mat, tap into your subtle body, and let your energy flow! 

Intrigued? If you’re ready to dive deeper into learning about the Chakras and energies of yoga, you can read about the Best Online Chakra Training Courses!