Chakras and Asana Practice

The Chakra System originated within the yoga traditions of India, most specifically the Tantric period, circa 500 – 1000 AD. Therefore, yoga is an ideally designed practice to not only train your mind and body, but to access your chakras. The word yoga means yoke or union, and one can see how the chakra system represents the structural aspect of that yoke — the means through which mind and body, mortal and divine, connect. In that way yoga is the prime tool for accessing this sacred architecture of the soul.

The postures listed below are grouped according to chakra. They are a guideline and by no means exhaustive. They are put in a logical sequence, so that the postures flow together, but more postures are given than one would ordinarily do in a single class and often beginning and more difficult postures are mixed in together. Some postures are combined with bioenergetic exercises, in Anodea’s unique yoga-bioenergetics style. Notes on bioenergetic emphasis, breathing, partner exercises, or meditation are added where appropriate and make more sense if you have experienced them in a Sacred Centers workshop. These tables are here to give students a reminder of what they learned in class for the continuation of their own process. If you are familiar with yoga, a quick scan will give you suggestions for tailoring a chakra based practice.



Seane Corn recently told me…”Anodea, you have had a huge influence on me personally as a student and the impact it has had on me as a teacher. Your work was instrumental in helping me connect the mind-body in a theoretical way and then apply it to a yoga practice that I had been deeply committed to for years. It dropped in such an embodied way that suddenly for the first time it made sense, and I could do deeper transformational work and get clues and insights into my own psychology just by doing the same asana practice that I do every single day, but tuning in to my body in a different way and using the language of the chakras via your lens, it was very impactful to me. When I first discovered Wheels of Life and Eastern Body Western Mind, it provided me a very safe place and a specific tool to be able to gain the necessary insights to do some very serious healing work [which] allowed me the self confidenence and allowed me to trust my intuition that created space for a lot of the service work I do in the world today. I couldn’t have done it without the self confidence and the tools from Eastern Body Western Mind allowed me to tap in! I want to thank you publicly for being such an influence and a brilliant mentor in my own person life.” @SeaneCornyoga #Chakras


We have two audio recordings of yoga practices:
The Chakra Balancing Kit includes a set of seven chakra based sun salutations, with variations for each chakra as a morning practice. The Chakra System 6 CD set contains one CD on simple asanas that take you through all the chakras. Anodea also made a Yoga video through Sounds True called Chakra Activation: An Online Course for Empowerment through Your Body’s Energy Centers.

You may also be interested in Anodea’s Chakra Yoga Teacher Training Manual. The article below is included in the yoga manual which is currently just under 100 pages.

Chakra Yoga Sequences


Chakra One: Muladhara

Focus: Noticing gravity, and moving SLOWLY and deeply to really feel all aspects of the body

Begin in Savasana: make contact with earth plane, surrender to gravity, press limbs into floor

  • Bend knees for Four part pelvic breath (breathe out bottom of spine)
  • Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)
  • Knee to chest pose (Apanasana)
  • Leg stretches with tie
  • Bioenergetic “pushing the feet”
  • Head to knee poses (Janu Sirsasana and Paschimottanasana)
  • Rolling to belly
  • Half and full locust (Shalabasana)
  • Child’s pose (Gharbasana)
  • Downward Dog (Ardho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Squat
  • Spinal roll to stand
  • Bioenergetic grounding
  • Open leg forward bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
  • Separate leg forward fold (Parsvottanasana)
  • Chair pose (Utkatasana)
  • Tree pose (Vrkasana)
  • Standing or mountain pose (Tadasana)
  • Warrior I (Virabhadrasana)
  • From seated position:
  • Siddhasana (cradling foot and calf in arms)
  • Supta Virasana (lying back on heels)
  • Sitting Yoga Mudra

Kundalini: Butt bounce and roll, Knee lifts with breath

Bandha: Mula Bandha

Pranayama: Complete breaths, especially on exhale

Partner exercises: Earth skiing, slap hands, foot massage

Meditation: Earth element, roots going down, four petals, with square and downward pointing triangle, Shiva lingam, Kundalini coiled

Color: red

Seed sound: lam

Vowel sound: Oh

Mudra: Press the pads of the little fingers together

Chakra Two: Svadhisthana

Focus: Moving fluidly, like water, feeling sensuous with movements, noticing sensation

  • Pelvic breath with wave imagery
  • Pelvic rocking, rapid pulses
  • Bridge pose (Setu bandhasana)
  • Knee down twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
  • Goddess pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
  • Butterfly legs (bioenergetic exercise)
  • Side rolls, bent and straight legs
  • Open leg forward bend (Upavistha Konasana)
  • Swan (Kapotasana)
  • Lunges
  • Open leg child’s pose (Upavistha Virasana)
  • Frog (Mandukasana)
  • Downward puppy
  • Cat (Vyaghrasana)
  • Lateral Bend I (looking over shoulder at hip)
  • Lateral Bend II (bringing straight leg behind bent and looking at foot)
  • Sunbird (Chakravakasana)
  • Hip drops from table position (bringing hips to floor from table)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  • Bow (Dhanurasana)
  • Boat (Navasana)
  • Yoga mudra with soles together (Baddha Konasana II)

Kundalini: Pelvic rocks with breath while sitting

Pranayama: pelvic breath

Bandha: PC muscle pumps (women: kegels; men, flex while erect)

Partner exercises: join hands, bent with straight back; lean back to back and roll

Meditation: Water element, fluid flow, six petals, with half moon

Color: orange

Seed sound: vam

Vowel sound: Ooo (as in you)

Mudra: Press the pads of the little fingers together


Chakra Three: Manipura

Focus: Moving with will and purpose, energizing limbs and torso, building chi

  • Supine Half Moon
  • Supported bridge, bridge with one leg extended
  • Abdominal toning: Stomach crunches, scissors kicks, leg lifts
  • Staff pose (Dandasana)
  • Desk pose (Dwipadapitam) (alt. one leg extended)
  • Inclined plane (Purvottanasana) (holding, then rapid movement)
  • Gate pose (Parighasana) (arch over straight leg)
  • Half circle pose (arch over bent leg)
  • Seated boat pose (Paripurna Navasana) (beg. use wall or bend knees)
  • Seated twists (Maricyasana)
  • Go to table position)
  • Cat arches
  • Downward dog to upward dog (Adhamukha to Urdhvamukha Svanasana) Side stretches (Vasisthasana)
  • Squat to stand
  • Vibration
  • Warrior poses (Virabhadrasana I, II, and III)
  • Triangle and variations (Trikonasana)
  • Twisted triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
  • Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
  • Tadasana
  • Making the sun
  • Woodchopper

Kundalini: Seated belly rolls


  • Breath of Fire (Kapalabhati)
  • Bastrika

Bandha: Uddiyana Bandha

Partner exercises: Willful arm lifts, towel pull, space invasion, statues,

Meditation: Fire element, energy distribution, strength, will, ten petals, with downward pointing triangle,

Color: yellow-gold

Seed sound: ram

Vowel sound: Ah (as in father)

Mudra: Press the pads of the ring fingers together

Chakra Four: Anahata

Focus: Working from breath, allowing breath to be deep, breath to move the body

  • Supine half moon
  • Four-part pelvic breath
  • Knee to chest (Apanasana)
  • Knee down twist, (Supta Matsyendrasana) emphasis on shoulders and chest
  • Fish (Matsyasana)
  • Head to knee (Paschimottanasana)
  • Swan (Kapotasana) (Hands clasped behind back, opening chest)
  • (move to belly)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  • Inverted Boat (Navasana)
  • Bow (Dhanurasana)
  • Child’s pose (Gharbasana)
  • Downward puppy (Shoulder stretch)
  • Table Twist
  • Camel (Ustrasana)
  • Cow face (Gomukhasana)
  • (move to stand)
  • Belt stretch
  • Standing Yoga Mudra
  • Dancer (Natarajasana)

Partner sequence

Pyramid shoulder stretch

  • Around the clock
  • Assisted cobra
  • Child’s pose, breathing into back
  • Double arch (arch over partner in who’s in child’s pose) (if time)


  • Anuloma Krama (inhale-hold, inhale-hold, etc.)
  • Viloma Krama (exhale-hold, exhale-hold, etc.)
  • Nadi Sodhana Alternate Nostril

Kundalini: twisting torso with wings out

Bandha: Mula bandha and jalandhara bandha

Meditation: Air element, spaciousness, love, balance, ease, twelve petals, intersecting triangles

Color: green

Seed sound: yam

Vowel sound: Ay (as in play)

Mudra: Press the pads of middle fingers together

Chakra Five: Vissuddha

Focus: Moving with sound, letting sound move the body, releasing through sound

Warm-ups and review of previous postures, designed to bring energy up from base:

  • Breath with sound, turning head side to side
  • Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)
  • Supine half moon
  • Knees to chest (Apanasana)
  • Butterfly
  • Stomach crunches

Fifth chakra poses:

  • Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana)
  • Plow (Halasana)
  • Fish (Matsyasana)
  • Table position into Cat
  • Sunbird(Chakravakasana) (down on forearms)
  • Cobra (Bhujanghasana) (lift head without using hands)
  • Downward puppy shoulder stretch
  • Camel (Ustrasana)
  • Seated:
  • Shoulder lifts
  • Neck stretches
  • Standing poses:
  • Dancer (Natarajasana)

Pranayama: Ujjayi


  • General toning
  • Seed sounds and vowel sounds of the chakras

Bandha: Jalandhara bandha (chin lock)


Ether or sound as element, resonance, harmony, vibration, sixteen petals, downward triangle

Color: bright blue

Seed sound: ham

Vowel sound: ee (as in see)

Mudra: Press the pads of index fingers together

Chakra Six: Ajna

Focus: Internal seeing, imagining energy moving, visualizing the chakras during posture

Moving up from the base:

  • Knee to chest, (Apanasana) imagining being in womb
  • Bridge pose, (Setu Bandhasana) pushing up from earth
  • Butterfly, opening groin
  • Knee down twists (Supta Matsyendrasana)
  • Seated straight leg (Dandasana)
  • Head to knee poses Janu Sirsasana and Paschimottanasana
  • Front stretch (inclined plane) (Purvottansana)
  • Fish (Matsyasana)
  • Plow (Halasana)
  • Shoulder stand or half shoulder stand (Viparita Karani or Viparita Karani)
  • Swan (Kapotasana)
  • Cat to Sunbird (Chakravakasana)
  • Downward Dog (Ardho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
  • Balance poses:
  • Tree (Vrkasana)
  • Eagle (Garudasana)
  • Warrior poses (Virabhadrasana)
  • Dancer (Natarajasana)


  • Spinal twist
  • Neck stretches
  • Eye exercises


  • Alternate nostril(Nadi Shodona)

Meditation: Light as element, visualize colors, deities, or shapes of the chakras, rainbow meditation, lotus with two petals

Color: indigo or white

Seed sound: om

Vowel sound: mmm

Mudra: Press the pads of thumbs together

Chakra Seven: Sahasrara

Focus: Awareness of body, awareness of awareness, witness consciousness, releasing attachment

Begin bringing energy up from the base

  • Knee to chest, (Apanasana) imagining being in womb
  • Bridge pose, (Setu Bandha) pushing up from earth
  • Butterfly, opening groin
  • Knee down twists (Supta Matsyendrasana)
  • Seated straight leg (Dandasana)
  • Inclined plane (Purvottanasana)
  • Head to knee poses Janusirasana and Paschimottanasana
  • Fish (Matsyasana)
  • Plow (Halasana)
  • Shoulder stand (Viparita Karani)
  • Camel (Ustrasana)
  • Wheel pose, backbend (Chakrasana)

Balance poses:

  • Tree (Vrkasana)
  • Eagle (Garudasana)
  • Right angle handstand (feet against wall)
  • Handstand against wall (Ardho Mukha Vrksasana)
  • Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)
  • Seated:
  • Spinal twist keeping gaze even
  • Yoga Mudra


  • Alternate nostril (Nadi Shodona)

Meditation: thousand petaled lotus, transcendent or cosmic consciousness, unity, wisdom

Color: violet or white

Seed sound: none

Vowel sound: nnggg (as in sing)

Mudra: Press the pads of thumbs together



Click here to find out more!

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In Yogic tradition, the human body has seven energy centers called chakras. When these energy centers are healthy and open, so are we–physically, emotionally, and in our relationships. But when they are blocked through injury, illness, or disconnection from others, we are blocked from being our best selves.

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