Take a tour through the chakras with Esther Ekhart’s Yin yoga Chakra sequence.
Chakras are important energy centres in the body, situated along the spine. We have 7 main chakras which are connected to our whole system, our physical, mental and emotional body. This sequence uses Yin yoga poses to gently stimulate the 7 centres of the chakras, so the energy starts to flow and the chakra can balance itself if needed. Stay in each pose for about 3 minutes and observe the breathing pattern suggested for half of the time you’re in the pose.
Before beginning, gather a couple of blocks, a bolster and something to sit on.
Before getting started, take a comfortable seated position and bring your attention to your breath. With every in-breath feel the force of levity as the crown of the head ‘extends’ towards the ceiling and with every out breath, feel the force of gravity as the sit bones soften into the floor…
1. Root chakra / Muladhara – Uttanasana
Step the feet a little apart. With your knees soft, fold forward. You can either completely drape forward, resting the backs of your hands on the floor, or support yourself with your elbows resting just above the knees. At the bottom of the exhalation, stay empty for a couple of seconds with your attention on the base chakra (at the very base of the spine, deep in the pelvic floor and perineum, in the centre of the body) and then breathe in again.
2. Sacral chakra / Svadhisthana – Butterfly pose
Come into a seated position and brings your legs into a diamond shape with the soles of the feet lightly touching. For extra comfort, support your knees on a bolster. Fold forward from the hips and let your spine round. You could place a cushion or block under your forehead or keep the chin tucked. Once again, at the bottom of the exhalation stay empty for a couple of seconds with the attention on the lower belly, just in front of the sacrum, and then let the inhalation come naturally.
3. Solar plexus / Manipura – Reclined twist
Lie on your back, with your arms in a T-shape. Move your hips a little over to the right and bring your knees over to the left. Take any variation of a lying twist that feels comfortable for you – either bringing your knees together, or apart, or cross one leg over the other. Your knees could either be tucked up towards your left armpit or parallel with your hips; you can rest them on a cushion, blocks or the floor. Take your awareness to your navel area. Stay empty for a couple of seconds at the end of the exhalation with your awareness on that area and then let the inhalation come naturally. Remember to take the twist on the opposite side.
4. Heart chakra / Anahata – Sphinx pose
Lie on your belly, bring the bolster just under your ribs for support. Place your elbows on the floor a little forward from the front of the shoulders and place the palms together. Try to keep the neck long and a slight engagement in your lower belly. In this pose, we change the retention of the breath to the inhalation. Move your awareness to the heart space and retain the in-breath for a couple of seconds, before letting the exhalation go.
5. Throat chakra / Vishudha – Supported Fish pose
Lie on the bolster or a couple of blankets with the top of it just under your shoulder blades and rest your feet on a couple of blocks. Your arms, shoulders and head should be on the floor with the rest of the body slightly elevated. Keep the attention in the throat, again retaining the breath at the top of the inhalation for a couple of seconds before letting go.
6. Third eye chakra / Ajna – Supported Child’s pose
Kneel on the floor with your knees apart, toes touching. Bring a bolster widthways across the mat and rest your forearms on the bolster. Make a fist with your hands and rest your forehead (third eye) on top. Inhale with attention between the eyebrows, hold the breath for a couple of seconds and then let it go.
7. Crown chakra / Sahasrara – Seated meditation
Slowly make your way to a comfortable seat, sitting on a chair, cushion or bolster. Soften a little under the chin and take the head back a little so the back of the head is roughly in line with the back of the hips. Soften your shoulders, broaden your collar bones, feel the crown of your head lengthening towards the sky, the sit bones heavy on the floor. Now let go of the breath retention and bring light awareness to the crown of the head as you breathe.
Slowly make your way to the floor and take a short relaxation before you continue with your day to let the energy settle.
Yin Yoga for the Chakras download
To print the full sequence, here you can find the full sequence.
Text: Esther Ekhart