It’s halfway through the year (already!), and it’s a good time for a personal check-in:
- Are you on a path of happiness?
- Are you following your bliss?
- Are you taking time to attend to your body, mind, heart, and spirit?
Using the chakras as a framework for reflection allows for a holistic assessment.
In yoga philosophy, the Chakras are wheels of energy located throughout the body. Attending to the physical and emotional manifestations of imbalances in each of the seven main chakras helps bring your entire system into optimal balance. As you evaluate your life midyear, start from the top of the chakra system and work your way down to get grounded and centered. Use the following poses and positive affirmations to consider what the rest of this year can bring for your life overall.
Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head and one foot above the top of the head. The Crown Chakra is associated with your connection to the realm of infinite, universal energy. Stimulating and opening up the Crown Chakra allows you to remember that you are part of something greater than yourself. When you step outside of the minute dramas of your life for a broader perspective and remember that you are interconnected to everything, you can better share your gifts and work to make the world a better place.
Connect to the Crown Chakra by inverting—bringing your head below your heart—physically and mentally turning the world on its head.
Affirmation: I attend to my highest, best self and serve from a place of understanding.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottananasana)
- Extend your arms all the way out to your sides.
- Step or jump your feet wide so that they line up under your wrists.
- Turn your toes to point forward and turn your heels out slightly.
- Bring your hands to your hips, lift your chest, and inhale.
- Fold forward, bring your hands to the earth, and exhale.
- Allow your head to hang heavy or to rest gently on a block or the yoga mat.
- Hold still or sway gently side to side.
- Hold for one to two minutes and then stand up slowly.
Ajna (Third Eye Chakra)
The Third Eye Chakra is located at the space between your eyebrows and one inch into your skull. The Third Eye Chakra is associated with your inner vision, wisdom, and knowing. When the Third Eye Chakra is balanced, you’re able to see with clear perception, have a positive view of the future, and tap into your truest desires and deepest wishes.
Connect to the Third Eye Chakra by practicing focus, balance, and yoga poses or meditation with closed eyes.
Affirmation: I focus my awareness on my intuition, intention, and imagination.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
- Stand on both feet evenly.
- Take three clearing breaths.
- Transfer your weight to your left foot.
- Turn your right knee out and open to the side.
- Bring your right foot to your left ankle, calf muscle, or upper inner thigh.
- Bring your palms together at your heart or raise your arms overhead.
- Focus your eyes straight ahead on something that’s not moving. This is your drishti.
- Hold for one to two minutes and then switch sides.
- For an added challenge, try closing one or both eyes as you practice this pose and see how it goes!
Visshudha (Throat Chakra)
The Throat Chakra is location at the throat and neck and is associated with the mouth and ears. The Throat Chakra is associated with communication and truth. When the Throat Chakra is balanced, it is easier to stand up for yourself, to speak your truth, and to listen with compassion.
Connect to the Throat Chakra with doing neck stretches, chanting mantras, and enjoying silent meditation.
Affirmation: I speak truth to others and to myself with clarity and compassion.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana) with Neck Rolls and Lion’s Breath
- Come down onto your belly.
- Bend your elbows, rest them on your mat, and align your elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Allow your palms to face down or up, whichever feels better for you.
- Roll your shoulders back and down.
- Press down into your elbows and lift your chest up.
- Tilt your chin down toward your chest.
- Begin to gently roll your chin shoulder to shoulder in half or full circles.
- Continue for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Finish with three Lion’s Breaths:
- Inhale and scrunch up your face.
- Exhale and open your eyes and stick out your tongue. Imagine really letting something go!
Anahata (Heart Chakra)
The Heart Chakra is located at the center of the chest and beams out into the shoulders, arms, and hands. The Heart Chakra is associated with all forms of love, including compassion, kindness, passion, and self-love. When the Heart Chakra is balanced, generosity comes naturally, and self-care is a priority.
Connect to the Heart Chakra with chest-opening poses and shoulder stretches.
Affirmation: I am open to love.
Wild Thing Pose (Parsva Vashistasana)
- Come to plank pose (the top of a push up position), balancing on your hands and toes.
- Lift your right leg up and step it over and behind your left. Keep your left leg straight and your right leg bent.
- Allow your right hand to lift up and back.
- Arch your back, lift your chest, and tip your head back as far as is comfortable.
- Bring your right hand to your chest for a moment of Heart Chakra connection, then reach out again to energetically send love in all directions.
Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra)
The Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the abdomen and the sides of the waist. The Solar Plexus Chakra is associated with all of your thoughts and feelings about yourself. When the Solar Plexus Chakra is balanced, you feel secure and comfortable in your own skin and in the world.
Connect to the Solar Plexus Chakra with twisting poses and any poses that warm you up.
Affirmation: I courageously stand in my power and honor my strength.
Phalakasana Variation: Forearm Plank
- Come to your hands and knees.
- Lower to your elbows and align your elbows under your shoulders.
- Interlace your fingers and press your wrists into the mat.
- Extend your legs back one at a time and balance on your forearms and toes in a plank variation.
- Keep your head and hips level with your shoulders.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and your quadriceps muscles.
- Breathe deeply for one to five minutes.
- Lower to your belly and take a rest.
Svadistana (Sacral Chakra)
The Sacral Chakra is located at the low back and the hips. The Sacral Chakra is associated with your senses, emotions, and creativity. When the Sacral Chakra is balanced, you are in touch with your feelings and flow easily with the rhythms of life.
Connect with the Sacral Chakra with hip-opening poses and flowing, dance-like movements.
Affirmation: I flow creatively with the tides of life.
- Stand with your feet wide and bend your knees.
- Point your toes out to the side and align your knees directly over your toes.
- Start to sway and dance and allow your creativity to guide your movement. Try folding forward, lifting up, and moving your arms any which way.
- Continue for 30 seconds to a minute and then stand all the way up.
Muladhara (Root Chakra)
The Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine, the legs, and the feet. The Root Chakra is associated with your sense of safety and security. When the Root Chakra is balanced, all of your basic needs are met, and we feel “at home.”
Connect with the Root Chakra by stretching and strengthening your legs and intentionally placing your feet on the ground.
Affirmation: I am grounded, centered, and fully supported by life.
Broken Bridge/Active Resting Pose
- Come down onto your back.
- Bend your knees and rest your feet on the floor.
- Walk your feet as wide as the edge of your yoga mat and turn your toes in slightly.
- Allow your knees to tip toward one another like the top of a tent.
- Rest one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
- Breathe here for three to five minutes.
Consider how you feel today. What, if anything, feels out of alignment (physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually)? As you head into the summer months and the remainder of this year, do what you can to focus your energy on finding balance in all aspects of your life. One yoga pose or affirmation could be the game changer!