“When you do things from your soul, you find a river of joy within you.” – Rumi
I’ve been studying the chakras A LOT lately and felt inspired to do a little guided sequence that would target and help open each of the 7 chakras located within the body. Our chakras are little spinning wheels of energy located along our spine – they start at the base and move all the way up to the crown of the head and coincide with the colors of the rainbow. Certain poses can help us work to rid our chakras of blockages which allows prana, our vital life force, to move openly and freely through our subtle body.
Start standing at the front of your mat, bringing your hands to prayer and then up so that your thumb is resting at your third eye center with fingers pointing outward. Inhale to find length in your spine and exhale to back bend – coming into Prayer Hand Back Bend. Make sure to press your hips and thighs forward and every time you inhale think about lengthening and as you exhale bend a little deeper. This pose is going to connect you to your crown chakra or Saharan. This chakra is located at the top of your head and opening it allows the universal life force to flow freely through your subtle body – to ignite all other chakras and connect you with your higher being, helping you to feel a little more wise and more open. Exhale to release back up to standing.
Inhale to bring the sole of your right foot to meet your left thigh or shin for Vrksasana or tree pose. Hands can come up and overhead, be in prayer at your heart center, or rest down by your side. This pose connects us to Muladhara or our root chakra, which is located in our pelvic bowl. This chakra is said to be our life force – it connects us with the earth, helps us to feel that our most basic needs are met and that we are grounded and stable. Because energy flows upward in our body, it is so important to focus on balancing this chakra. Exhale to release your right leg to the floor.
Come down to balance on your sits bones for boat pose, or Navasana. Inhale to bring legs off the floor, knees can be bent. Arms can extend out in front of you or rest on the ground for added support. Keep you belly and ribs in tight, this will help to to fire up your Manipura, or solar chakra, located just above your naval. This chakra is associated with your will power, self-esteem and inner drive.
Release your feet back to the floor. Bring your arms down by your side, feet flat on the ground and exhale to bring your legs up to the sky – try to get the feet lined up directly over your hips for Salamba Sarvangasana or shoulder stand. Keep your head and neck super stable here. This pose opens and targets your throat chakra – Vishuddha – located, not surprisingly, in the throat. This chakra helps us to find our voice and to communicate honestly and openly with others.
Exhale to roll back down vertebrae by vertebrae and swing your legs around to set up for Ustasana or camel pose. Inhale to lengthen your spine, exhale to bend backwards. Push forward through your hips and thighs and try to expand through your chest. You can keep hands on your hips or reach back for you heels coming into full pose. This pose ignites our heart chakra or Anahata which is in the center of your chest. This chakra is your hub for love, generosity, compassion, and joy. Exhale to release.
Come to seated, soles of the feat together in Baddha konasana or bound foot pose. Oscar, of course, has to make a debut in every post… And here he is, conveniently inserting himself in front of me for the seated poses. So typical of him! Anyways, for this pose think about rolling your inner thighs towards the ceiling to press your legs towards the ground, rather than pushing on the knees. This pose targets Svadhistana, your Sacral chakra, which is located in your hip region. This is your creativity center and is responsible for feelings of pleasure, enjoyment, intimacy and emotion.
Come down into Balasana, better known as, childs pose, pressing your forehead to the floor to connect with your third eye chakra, also known as the Ajra chakra. Knees spread wide, toes touching, arms can be out in front of you or by your side. Channeling this chakra helps us to connect with the universe, the energy around us and our higher self. Stay in this final pose for as long as you would like.
Thank you so much for allowing me to lead you through this practice – I hope you enjoyed the asanas and leave your mat feeling a little more balanced, grounded and open!