Yoga Poses and Mantras for Balancing Chakras

Yoga Poses and Mantras for Balancing Chakras

Feeling a bit unbalanced in your life? Do you feel like you are struggling to connect with certain elements? Have you ever considered balancing your chakras? I know, it may sound a little woowoo, but hear me out! Understanding the chakras and the characteristics of each one can help you discover a lot about yourself and areas of your life you may want to focus on. Today, I am sharing yoga poses, mantras, and more to help you find balance in each of your chakras.

What the heck is a chakra?

Chakra is sanskrit for “wheel” and is regularly depicted as spinning, colored wheels of energy. A chakra is an energy center in the body, with the major seven running along the length of the spine.

Each energy center is responsible for different characteristics and fulfillment. For example, the root chakra at the base of the tailbone is usually connected to a sense of grounding, stability, and survival needs. The heart chakra is, of course, connected to things associated with love and compassion.

When chakras are blocked or overactive, it can cause emotional and physical problems. A blocked or underactive chakra usually means you have little to no energy in those characteristics. An overactive chakra means that there is too much focus and energy in that area.

Imbalances are a good thing! They give us clear ideas and direction on what to work on and new awareness. For example, if you are feeling unable to speak your truth, you can focus on exercises to awaken your throat chakra.

Below, I have broken down each chakra to provide a better understanding of what each one represents. Check out what it means to be overactive and underactive in each chakra and see if you can make note of anything to work on. There is also a mantra for each chakra that you can use to help you find balance and yoga poses that work to open the associated chakras.

Have fun!

Root Chakra

Sanskrit Translation: Mula (root) Dharna (support)

Location: base of the tailbone

Color: Red

Characteristics and associations: 

  • Survival concerns – money, food, shelter, success, etc.
  • Grounding and foundation
  • Career and accomplishment

Understanding imbalances:

Chakra1

Mantra for Root Chakra:

“I am strong, grounded, and protected at all times. I am connected to the present moment.”

Goddess Pose.JPG

Goddess Pose

From standing, turn to face the long edge of your yoga mat and step or hop your feet wide and parallel, about 3 feet apart. Turn your toes out and your heels in, creating a 45 degree angle with each foot.On an exhale, take a deep bend in your knees, moving toward bringing your thighs parallel to the ground and your hips in line with your knees. The knees have a tendency to bow inwards as they bend, so ensure that your knees remain stacked directly over your ankles. Bring the arms out to the side and create “cactus arms” or a ninety degree angle with the arms, fingertips reaching upwards. Optional variations: Lift one heel and then the other, or challenge yourself by lifting both heels off the ground at the same time.

Garland Pose

Garland Pose

Start from standing in mountain pose. Step the feet wider than hip distance, turning the toes out and the heels in. Squat down and reach your tailbone as close to the floor as possible. Aim to keep your heels on the floor if possible, walking the feet further out or closer together to accomplish this. For balance, keep hands on the floor in front of you or on block. If balance, bring the hands to prayer at heart center and press the elbows into the knees to open the hips.

Sacral Chakra 

Sanskrit TranslationSvadhishana (place of the self)

Location: Lower abdomen below the navel

Color: Orange

Characteristics and associations: 

  • Connection to others and experiences
  • Sexual energy and creativity
  • Emotions related to abundance, well-being, pleasure, passion

Understanding imbalances:

chakra2.png

Mantra for Sacral Chakra:

“I allow my emotions to flow through me in a healthy way. My body is sacred and I am living with creativity and passion.

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose

Start in mountain pose and step your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Turn the right foot towards the front of the mat and turn the left foot out to a ninety degree angle, heels in line. Reach forward into the right hand, extending the torso, and drop the right hand onto the right shin or ankle. Extend the left hand up towards the ceiling. Keep the body in the same plane, as if pressed into an imaginary wall behind you and do not let the chest fall forward.

Low Lunge - beginner

Low Lunge Pose

From downward facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Lower the left knee onto the ground and slide the left foot back until you have a comfortable stretch in the hip and groin, keeping the right knee stacked over the ankle. Arm variations: Beginners may choose to keep the hands on the floor or on top of the right knee. For more of a challenge, raise the arms overhead, keeping the shoulder blades back, and enjoy an optional backbend.

Solar Plexus Chakra

Sanskrit Translation: Manipura (lustrous gem), Warrior

LocationUpper abdomen

Color: Yellow

Characteristics and associations: 

  • The “gut instinct”
  • Confidence and control in our lives, personal identity       
  • Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem

Understanding imbalances:

chakra3

Mantra for Solar Plexus Chakra:

“I am confident and respect myself at all times. I am courageous, whole, and capable.”

Warrior III

Warrior III

From high lunge with the right foot in front, bring both hands to heart center to find stability. Step the back foot closer to the front as you bring the weight of the body into the right foot. As you start to straighten into the right leg, press the left leg back behind you, lifting the toes off of the ground and pressing the top of the head forward. Aim to straighten fully into both legs fully, creating the shape of a “T” with the body. Keep the left hip dropped in line with the right hip and press into the heel for stability. Optional: Reach the arms forward, back, or out to the side to play with different variations.

Cobra Pose.JPG

Cobra Pose

Start laying on your belly with the feet stretched back behind with the tops of the feet pressed into the mat. Bring the palms underneath the shoulders, fingers spread wide, and the elbows are pulled in. On an inhale, press into the palms as you lift the chest off the ground and pull the shoulder blades back together. The elbows should stay tucked into the sides as the chest opens and the head remains neutral, not allowing the chin to reach upwards.

Heart Chakra

Sanskrit TranslationAnahata (unhurt)

Location: Center of the chest above the heart

Color: Green, Emerald

Characteristics and associations: 

  • Ability to love, compassion, kindness
  • Love, joy, inner peace
  • Self acceptance, love, and care

Understanding imbalances:

chakra4

Mantra for Heart Chakra:

“I give and receive love effortlessly. I have the courage to listen to and honor my heart.”

Camel Pose for Beginners.JPG

Camel Pose

Start from standing on your knees, with the knees directly underneath the hips. Bring both hands to the lower back, with the fingertips wrapped forward towards the hips. Pull the shoulder blades together and open the chest towards the ceiling while pressing the front of the thighs and hips forward. Remain in this position if it is enough of a stretch for you, allowing the head to drop back if it feels okay on the neck. Option: Bring one or both hands down to the ankles, continuing to press the front of the legs forward. If you cannot easily breathe in this pose, you are going too far.

Bridge Pose.JPG

Bridge Pose

Lying on your back, bend the knees and place the feet on the floor, close to the tailbone and about hip distance apart. Place the hands palms down on both sides of the hips. On an exhale, lift the hips and the buttock up towards the ceiling. Try to keep the thighs parallel to the floor and roll the shoulder blades underneath. Option is the clasp the hands together below the lower back, continuing to pull the shoulder blades together.

Throat Chakra

Sanskrit TranslationVishuddha (very pure)

LocationAt the center of the throat

Color: Light blue, Turquoise

Characteristics and associations: 

  • Communication and personal truths
  • Self-expression, honesty, confidence in speech

Understanding imbalances:

chakra5

Mantra for Throat Chakra:

“My voice matters and I speak with truth. I can easily express myself and I live in authenticity.”

Upward Plank Pose.JPG

Upward Plank

Start from staff pose - seated with the legs straight out in front. Bring the hands to both sides of body, slightly behind the hips, with the fingertips pointing forward. On inhale, lift the hips up toward the ceiling, squeezing the tailbone up, and pulling the shoulder blades back. Aim to keep both legs straight the the soles of the feet on the floor. Optional: Drop the head back and continue to pull the shoulders back.

Supported Shoulder Stand.JPG

Shoulder stand

Lying on your back, place your hands on both sides of the hips with the palms down and bend the knees, placing the heels on the mat close to the tailbone. On an exhale, lift the feet off of the floor and bring the knees up towards the chest. Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then the back torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face. Binding your elbows, bring your hands the the lower back to support the body. Raise the pelvis above the shoulders, lifting the feet up towards the ceiling, and continue using the arms and shoulders for support, walking the hands higher up the back as needed.

Third Eye Chakra

Sanskrit Translation: Anja (beyond wisdom)

Location: Forehead, between the eyebrows

Color: Royal Blue, Dark Blue

Characteristics and associations: 

  • Ability to focus, bigger picture ideas, extra sensory perception
  • Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions
  • Communication with spirit or ego

Understanding imbalances:

chakra6

Mantra for Third Eye Chakra:

“I trust my wisdom and intuition. I see and think clearly.”

Downward Facing Dog.JPG

Downward Facing Dog

From hand and knees, place the knees directly underneath the hips and the feet hip distance apart. Hands should reach out in front of the shoulder with the fingers spread wide and the palms fully pressing into the floor. Lifting the knees off of the floor, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling and straighten into the legs. Press the heels towards the floor and look up at the belly button, relaxing the tops of the shoulders.

Pyramid Pose (1).JPG

Pyramid Pose

Step the feet about 3 feet apart, with the front foot pointed towards the front of the mat and the back foot at a 45 degree angle to the front of the mat. Straighten into both legs, without locking the knees, and rotate the hips towards the front of the mat. Hinge forward at the waist and bring the hands down to the floor or blocks, allowing the head to fall. To take a deeper practice, grab opposite elbows behind the back or prayer hands behind the back and keep the back flat, pulling the shoulder blades together and lifting the chest forward.

Crown Chakra

Sanskrit Translation: Sahaswara (thousand petaled)

Location: Top of the head

Color: Purple

Characteristics and associations: 

  • Connection to spirituality, ego, God, universe, etc.
  • Connection to spirit, bliss, beauty; consciousness (personal and universal)
  • Enlightenment

Understanding imbalances:

chakra7

Mantra for Crown Chakra:

“I seek experiences that nourish my spirit. I trust the guidance of something or someone bigger than myself.”

Savasana or Corpse Pose

Savasana

Don't skip this one! This may not seem like it, but it is the most difficult yoga pose that you can accomplish. Laying flat on your back, bring the arms to your side with the palms up, allowing the shoulders to roll back. Allow the toes to fall out to the side and tuck the chin in slightly to make sure the back of the neck is straight. Relax the body as much as you can and rest here for 3-5 minutes.

Did you immediately connect to any imbalances in your chakras? That's so human of you 🙂 Don't worry, I'm always finding imbalances somewhere, but I am grateful that it gives me direction for the areas I need to focus on.

If you want to correct any imbalances, try out some of the suggestions I share in each table graphic. The mantras and yoga poses will also help you to connect with the chakras. Perhaps, you can try connecting with the colors by wearing them, holding crystals of the same color, etc.

You can also seek professional help for chakra alignment. Search your area for reiki healers, chakra-focused massage healing, and yoga classes designed for a chakra cleanse. There are so many incredible tools you can use!

Which chakra do you feel the most connected with? Please share in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions! I'm always happy to help.

Happy balancing,

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yoga at home

About the Author

Taryn Raine

Taryn Raine is an world traveler, yoga lifestyle coach, and healthy living fanatic. She has made it her mission to empower others to take control of their own wellness journey. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, cooking, exploring, and connecting with new people.

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