In this post, you’ll learn how to unlock your chakra energy in 7 simple, but powerful steps. This 10-15 minute practice can help free up the flow of your life energy, so you can find balance, fulfill your highest potential, and live in alignment with your highest intentions.
The yogic tradition identifies seven energy centers that reside within our body. When these centers – or chakras – are balanced and open, we feel aligned and whole. Our inner needs are met, and this allows us to open up to other people and life itself. But when they’re blocked, we experience various forms of resistance to life. We feel a sense of lacking, and our life energy is easily depleted.
While any yoga practice can help open and balance your chakras, working intentionally with each individual chakra can be especially potent. What I’m sharing with you today is this kind of targeted approach. I’m taking you through a series of seven yoga postures that, combined with powerful affirmations, can unlock your chakra energy gently and effectively.
Because this practice only takes ten to fifteen minutes to complete, you can easily add it to your daily routine to keep your life energy flowing day after day. But before we get to that, let’s talk a little about what chakra energy is.
What Is Chakra Energy?
Chakra energy is our life force – the energy of life itself. The chakras are seven energy centers that reside at different points along the spine. Each of these centers influences certain spheres of our inner experience. When they’re balanced and freely flowing with life energy, we’re at our best. We experience life in a balanced and fulfilling way. But when one or more of these chakras is blocked or imbalanced, we become blocked or imbalanced in the area(s) of our life that corresponds to the chakra(s).
We’ll explore each of these in more detail as we get into the practice, but more generally, the chakras can affect our mental, emotional & spiritual well-being. And, blockages can even show up in the body, manifesting as a variety of physical symptoms, such as tightness, discomfort, or edginess.
Because chakra energy flows through your body, tuning into your body awareness can enhance your ability to sense this energy and any blockages that may exist. This is also why yoga works so well for unlocking your chakra energy. Yoga’s a physical practice. But more than that, it’s specifically designed to bend and twist your body in unique ways that open up space, increase circulation, and stimulate and calm your nervous system. If you’re tuned into your body before, during, and after yoga, you can feel the flow of energy it releases when you practice.
How To Sense Your Chakra Energy
Not everyone’s familiar with sensing their inner energy. We tend to spend a lot of time in our heads, giving little attention to what’s happening in our bodies. And when we do bring awareness to our body, it’s often to notice muscular aches, tension, and other discomforts. Or, we feel our heart rate, our temperature, or our muscles engaged in some kind of movement. While these are all useful ways to connect with body awareness, they’re all gross in nature. By that I mean, we’re connecting to the more obvious, denser mass of our physical self.
Chakra energy is subtle. To sense it, we must refine our sensual perceptions. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, it might be helpful to think about a time when you had a little too much caffeine. Or, perhaps a time when you felt overwhelmed or stressed. You probably felt a buzzing, frazzled energy in your body. It might have made you feel nervous. Noticing this feeling is an example of how subtle energy can be sensed in your body.
How Does Chakra Energy Feel?
As you move through this practice to unlock your chakra energy, you’ll want to tap into what’s happening inside you beneath the surface of your bigger physical sensations. The physical sensations will demand your attention initially. But if you stay a little longer in the pose, repeating your affirmation, your awareness of what’s happening for you on an energetic level will grow.
Chakra energy can be felt in many ways. Some common sensory experiences include tingling, softening, and warmth or cooling in the chakra region. If you’re a more visual person, you might see certain colors, especially when working with the third-eye and crown chakras.
It’s important to note you don’t need to force anything here. If you’re not feeling something, it’s okay. It can take time to refine your awareness of chakra energy. The posture and affirmation will have an effect even if you don’t notice a pronounced sensation.
The Connection Between Breath & Your Chakra Energy
In the yogic system, breath is referred to as prana, and it’s vitally important. Prana is also life energy. The more oxygen we take in and the more completely we exhale our carbon dioxide, the more prana circulates within us. Additionally, breath can either energize or calm us, depending on how we breathe. The yoga teachings include a variety of pranyama, or breath control, practices that can help open and balance the chakras.
To enhance the flow of your chakra energy during this practice, you’ll want to focus on your breath, in addition to your subtle energy awareness. This is a gentle practice – suitable for beginners and intended to bring balance – so we’ll be using a simple, balancing breath pattern.
Just breathe deeply and fully throughout, keeping your breath slow and steady. Match the lengths of your inhales and exhales, expanding and contracting your diaphragm fully. In the postures where it feels comfortable to do so, release your belly, allowing it to expand with your breath.
A Practice to Unlock Your Chakra Energy
Now that you have a basic understanding of your chakra energy, let’s get to the practice. Before starting, please be sure to warm up your spine with a few cat-cow flows. Also, take a few moments to sit in easy pose. Turn your awareness inward as you observe the sensations of your breath in your body. This gives your mind some time to quiet down, so you can tune-in to your present moment experience more easily.
In this practice, you’ll be moving through a series of seven postures, each coupled with a corresponding affirmation. This progression will unlock your chakra energy from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. As you enter each pose, notice what’s happening in all the parts of your body activated by it. Then, gradually narrow your awareness to what’s happening in the specific region of the chakra you’re targeting. When you’re focused on your chakra, begin repeating the affirmation inwardly to yourself.
You can stay in each posture as long as you like. However, please be sure to listen to your body. If you begin to feel discomfort, come out. You can place your hand on your chakra and continue with your affirmation if you’re not ready to move on to the next one yet.
Note: If you have physical limitations or conditions, please consult with your health care provider(s) prior to trying a new physical activity, such as this practice.
Root Chakra – Seated Bound Angle
Your root chakra lies at the base of your spine, in the region of your tailbone and your perineum. It influences your sense of personal safety and security, as well as your connection to your right to exist and take up space on this planet. It is your ground of being. When it’s open and balanced, you feel safe, secure, strong, grounded, and capable of surviving. When it’s out of balance or blocked, you may feel ungrounded, anxious, fearful, lost, depressed or lethargic.
As you sit in seated bound angle, feel the connection between your perineum/tailbone area and the ground beneath you. Tap into the earth’s energy, as though roots were extending from your bottom down into the earth, drawing energy up into your body. Because this is your base chakra, it can effect the flow of energy to every other chakra center. You’ll want to spend some extra time here if you’re feeling ungrounded.
Affirmation: I am here. I am now. I am safe.
Sacral Chakra – Garland
Your sacral chakra resides in your pelvic and lower belly region. It influences your creativity, sexuality, self-esteem, and your willingness to allow your inner self to be witnessed by others. When it’s in balance, you feel comfortable within your skin. You feel worthy and trust that your inner self has something valuable to contribute to the outer world. When it’s blocked, you may feel shame, low self-esteem, nervousness or lack of trust around other people, sexual dysfunction, or lack of creativity.
As you hold garland pose, allow your breath to freely expand in your belly, where your sacral center lies. This will further support unlocking your chakra energy here.
Affirmation: I am worthy. I am a work of art. I allow my inner self to be seen and expressed.
Solar Plexus Chakra – Camel
Your solar plexus chakra is located in the center of your torso, in the region of your diaphragm. It influences your self-confidence, personal will and empowerment, and your sense of not only having a life purpose, but believing you have what you need to accomplish it. When you unlock your solar plexus chakra energy, you feel confident, empowered, and energized to accomplish the day’s tasks and your larger life goals.
When this chakra’s blocked, you may feel drained of energy, disempowered, aimless, or lacking in self-confidence. You may have poor boundaries that allow energy theft to occur in your relationships.
Note: I recently did some intensive solar plexus chakra work myself and wrote an entire blog post about it. If this is an area you feel needs some extra attention, you can read more about it here.
Camel is a very stimulating posture. You’ll likely feel a surge of energy through your spine during and/or after this posture. Because it’s so stimulating, it can be challenging to stay in for a long period of time. I recommend spending some time in the first version of camel pictured above, as you connect with your solar plexus chakra. Then move into the second version as you repeat your affirmations. If the full version of camel causes discomfort, you can stay in the modified version the whole time.
Affirmation: I have a purpose on this planet, and I have the strength, confidence, and life energy to fulfill it.
Heart Chakra – Child Pose
Your heart chakra resides in your chest region. It influences your capacity to experience and give unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion. Not only to other people, but just as importantly, to yourself. When your heart chakra’s open, you’re able to open-up to other people. You feel a warmth, kindness, and friendliness that comes naturally to you. You can see the suffering that lies behind other people’s (and your own) hurtful behaviors. And because you’re connected to your heart chakra energy, you’re able to respond with forgiveness and compassion instead of judgment.
When your heart’s blocked or closed, you feel less connected to other people. You may tend to judge, be critical, hold onto grudges, or find it difficult to empathize with the suffering of others, as well as yourself.
Child pose is a self-soothing pose that accesses two powerful heart chakra energies – that of your inner (possibly wounded) child and that of the unconditionally loving, divine mother archetype. In other words, when you’re in child pose, you can experience the comfort of a child receiving love from yourself. And, you can experience the opening of your heart in motherly love as you offer unconditional love to yourself. Accessing both of these energies can be incredibly healing and provides a powerful way to unlock your heart chakra energy.
Affirmation: I love myself unconditionally. I open my heart with compassion and unconditional love for all beings.
Throat Chakra – Fish Pose
Your throat chakra is located, of course, in your throat. It influences your ability to speak your truth and to find the right words to communicate your inner wisdom. When you unlock your throat chakra energy, you feel empowered to let your unique voice be heard, and you choose your words wisely.
If your throat chakra is imbalanced, you may notice you struggle to find the right words to communicate your thoughts or feelings. You may hesitate to speak up, or you may believe what you say doesn’t really matter. Conversely, you may dominate conversations, find silence uncomfortable, or otherwise feel the need to speak too much, often without considering the impact of your words.
Upon entering fish pose, you’ll feel your throat activated almost instantly. You can turn your inner gaze upward to your third eye to help connect your voice to your wisdom.
Affirmation: What I say matters. I give voice to my truth and my inner wisdom.
Third Eye Chakra – 3rd Eye Press
Your third eye chakra lies between your eyebrows. This is why it’s also commonly referred to as the brow chakra. It acts like a portal to your inner wisdom, intuition, insight, and universal truth. It’s your inner eye, which means it helps you see what can’t be perceived with your physical eyes. When your third eye energy unlocks, you’re able to access your inner wisdom with ease. You see yourself, and others, more clearly. The obstacles of your ego-based judgments, opinions, fears, competitiveness, and other limited perceptions interfere less with your understanding of life experiences.
When your third eye is closed, you may tend toward intolerance. You may also interpret life experiences with little or no insight into yourself or others. Less open-mindedness and more emotion-based reactions color your views on life. Basically, you have less clarity and peace of mind. On the other hand, if your third eye is overactive, you may find it difficult to concentrate, find yourself frequently daydreaming, or feel otherwise disconnected from everyday life.
You can give yourself a third-eye press in lotus position, as shown in the picture. But you can also do it while lying down or simply seated in easy pose.
Affirmation: I see clearly as the obstacles of my ego fall away. I trust my intuitive knowing.
Crown Chakra – Lotus Pose
Your crown chakra is located at the crown of your head and just above it, energetically. While the root chakra connects us to the grounding energy of the earth, the crown chakra connects us to the universal energy that manifests all life. It is your spiritual center. When your crown is open and balanced, you feel connected to all life and to the universal life force that permeates all that is. The boundaries of your ego, and all its defensive mechanisms, fade into the background. Instead, you feel a profound peace as you surrender to the wisdom and perfect order of this universal force.
When your crown chakra is closed, you may feel disconnected from your spirit. You may also feel overly preoccupied with materialistic gains or struggle with profound emptiness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, or lack of hope. Alternatively, if your crown is overstimulated, you may tend toward spiritual bypassing. This happens when you deny or downplay your emotional or more worldly realities in an attempt to feel only spiritual bliss. You may also feel ungrounded, disconnected from the ordinary tasks of daily living, or excessively interpret random experiences as signs that hold spiritual meaning.
When all of our chakras are in balance, the crown remains grounded and accessible without feeling a need to deny our earthly realm of experience.
Lotus pose is the traditional pose for meditation. Hence, it activates our crown chakra. However, it does require a certain level of flexibility to sit in it. If this pose feels too uncomfortable, you may also use half-lotus or easy pose.
Affirmation: I am one with the universal presence that transcends space and time and pervades all that is.
Bringing Your Practice to a Close
If you want, stay in lotus pose to meditate for a while. Having opened and balanced all your chakras, your inner state is perfectly primed for meditation.
Whether you meditate or not, at the end of your practice, it’s important to ground yourself again. Take a couple of falling-out breaths. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, releasing a sigh. Then bring awareness to your whole body to connect with your physical presence for a few moments.
When we unlock our chakra energy and bring balance to all seven of our chakras, we align with our highest potential. We invite the perfect yin-yang of peace and vitality to every aspect of our life. Our life synchronizes with the graceful flow of the universe as we refine how we relate to our own self, other people, and the oneness of which we are a part.
I hope this practice brings harmony and an abundant flow of life energy to your day. Namaste. (You can save and print the image below to use for quick reference.)