5 Chakras Yoga Poses to Awaken Each One

Woman Doing Yoga Outdoors

Ancient and modern scholars of Indian medicine recognize the body has energy centers reached in the five chakras yoga positions. These energy centers express the life force and control functions within the body. In the ancient Sanskrit language, chakra means wheel and it represents a vortex or wheels of energy deep within. When the chakras are activated, they clear a path to higher consciousness. When they stop functioning or become blocked, a person may become emotionally or physically rundown or sick. There are plenty of basic yoga poses that stimulate each chakra.

The Location of Chakras

The chakras run parallel up along the spine with the top one at the forehead. It is believed that they intersect and cross through the nervous system. Each chakra is activated when it is massaged, contracted, stretched, visualized, or stimulated. Activation can help resolve internal conflicts and emotionally move a person to a higher plane. To truly understand, locate, and activate the chakras with yoga positions (also known as poses and asanas), it is best to be trained or directed with the guidance of a yoga instructor.

Five Chakras Yoga Positions

First Chakra

The first chakra is referred to as muladhara or root chakra in yoga. This chakra is located at the perineum at the base of the spine. The root chakra is responsible for taking care of the basic needs of survival, feeling grounded, and purging the body of wastes. Body parts associated with the root chakra are the spine, legs, feet, and the large intestine. Yoga positions that bring participants back in touch with the earth, revive the first chakra muladhara:

  • Bridge pose, opens up the root
  • Standing forward bend
  • Reclining bound angle pose
  • Child's pose - stretching forth upon the earth

Second Chakra

The second chakra, known as svadhisthana or sweetness, is located in the pelvis and is related to sexuality, re-creation, openness, and relaxation. Yoga positions for the second chakra are:

  • Pigeon pose
  • Hip opener positions
  • Cobra pose
  • Frog pose

Third Chakra

Manipura chakra, or the third chakra is located near the navel and is related to the digestive system. Any yoga position that stretches or strengthens the belly, opens the energy in the third chakra. Yoga positions for the third chakra are:

  • Tadasana - mountain pose
  • Bow pose
  • Boat pose
  • Warrior pose
  • Spine twists
  • Back bends

Fourth Chakra

The fourth chakra, anahata, is near the heart and represents love and commitment. The body parts related to the fourth chakra are lungs, heart, arms, and hands. Poses for the fourth chakra are:

  • Eagle pose
  • Back bends
  • Shoulder stretches
  • Camel pose

Fifth Chakra

Located in the throat, neck, and jaw area, the fifth chakra or visuddha, helps with communication and expression. Yoga positions that help relieve stiffness or pain in shoulders, neck, and jaw energize the fifth chakra:

  • Bridge pose
  • Shoulder stand
  • Plow pose
  • Fish pose
  • Stretches for neck and shoulders

Therapies Using Chakras

Many therapies and disciplines use chakras to heal and balance the body:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Color/light therapy
  • Tai chi
  • Acupuncture
  • Shiatsu
  • Sound therapy
  • Massage therapy

Mind Body Connection

The mind and body are connected in ways not completely understood. Chakras are thought to be part of this connection. These five chakras yoga positions will help with this mind-body connection. Practitioners who use chakras in their therapies, can diagnose which ones are blocked in each individual. Some people do not believe chakras exist, as there is no scientific evidence to support them.

5 Chakras Yoga Poses to Awaken Each One