Meet Shayne, one of the studio teachers for My Vinyasa Practice. To connect with Shayne, check out her IG @shayne_themindfulyogi, or join her in the studio on Monday’s at 12pm.
Root Chakra – Tree Pose or Seated Tree Pose
With the goal of harnessing the feeling of being rooted and connected to nature, ground down through all four corners of the feet. Inhale, grow tall, and transfer your weight to the left foot. As you exhale, bend the right leg bringing it to a 90 degree angle. Bring the sole of the right foot to the ankle, calf, or inner thigh. Bring your hands to heart center, connect to your breath and experiment with growing your branches or using the support of a chair or wall for added stability. Hold for 3-5 breaths. This posture can also be done on the ground either seated or lying down. Repeat on the left side.
The Sacral Plexus Chakra – Warrior 2
Take a moment to connect with your creative energy and let it flow—embrace fluidity and your divine right to be. From the tadasana (Mountain Pose) step the right foot back, and pressing through the pinky edge of the right foot, bend into your left knee. Send your left shin forward and your ribs back. With all four corners of the foot engaged, stack your knee over your left ankle. Inhale and reach through the crown of the head, exhale arms wide, left arm forward, right arm back. Imagine lifting your heart, creating a line of energy across the chest from fingertip to fingertip. Gaze over the front arm toward the fingertips or a Drishti (point of concentration). Inhale deep into the low belly and send the energy below your naval. As you exhale, enjoy the sensation of being open and stay here for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the right side.
The Solar Plexus Chakra – Half Moon
Standing in your power and stepping outside your comfort zone, ground down through all four corners of the feet coming into tadasana (Mountain Pose). Inhale and grow tall, then exhale and step the right leg back, coming into warrior 2. Inhale, straighten the left leg and reach the left fingertips toward the front of your space. Know your strength as you bend into the left leg, reach the left arm forward as you float the right leg up. Bring your heart parallel to the earth, reach the right arm high and gaze toward the floor and breathe. Using a chair, a block, or the wall as support, continue for 3-5 breaths: in through the nose, out through the nose. On an exhale, gently lower the right leg back to the mat, take a breath here, and repeat on the right side.
The Heart Chakra – Camel
Bring yourself to your knees and place your left hand on your heart—right hand over left. Close your eyes, inhale, and lower your chin to your chest. From here, notice your heartbeat. Connect with your joy, self love, and compassion. Take a moment and fill your heartspace. On your exhale, let it radiate through your body. Tucking the toes for more stability, lift the hips and come to standing on your knees. Bring your hands to your lower back with your fingers pointing down, and breathe deeply: in through the nose, out through the nose. Inhale and lift the gaze, open the heart and let it shine. To make this pose more accessible, you can reach for a block for added stability. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths. Slowly on an inhale, gently return to center and take a moment to rest in childs pose.
The Throat Chakra – Gate Pose
Bring yourself back to Seated Tree, right leg extended long with the sole of the left foot resting against the right thigh. Take a moment and breathe deeply, bringing your awareness to your throat with the intention of speaking your truth. Inhale, grow tall, and as you exhale, plant the left arm behind the left hip to use as support. Inhale and sweep your right arm up, press the left shin into the earth as you lift your hips towards the sky. Gaze is up—chest, heart, and throat are lifted. Relax your jaw and let your mouth open slightly, bringing awareness to your words and intentions. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the right side.
Third Eye Chakra – Warrior 3 (option to close eyes)
Inhale and ground down through all four corners of the feet, coming into tadasana (Mountain Pose). From here, tune in to your inner vision and intuition. Inhale, grow tall, and exhale hands through the heart center. Release the right leg behind you while bringing the toes to the earth. Inhale and plant the four corners of your left foot into the ground. Exhale and hinge at the hips, bring the heart parallel to the earth, extending the right leg long behind you. Bring your attention to the space between your brow, your third eye center and experiment with softening your gaze or closing your eyes. Trust yourself to find your balance for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the right side.
Crown Chakra – wide legged forward fold
From tadasana (Mountain Pose), ground down through all four corners or your feet, inhale and grow tall. Exhale and step the right foot back, parallel to the back of your mat. Inhale arms high and exhale hands through the heart center, placing the hands on the hips. Lengthen through the crown as you fold forward and with control. Bringing the top of your head towards the earth. Release from the sacrum to the tip of your head, allow the back of the neck to release. Close the eyes and hold here for 3-5 breaths, experiencing the flow of energy in this gentle inversion. Bring the hands to the hips, inhale with a flat back slowly and with control back to standing. Return to tadasana, bring your hands to heart center, press your thumbs on your sternum, resting here for 3-5 breaths.
Gratitude Meditation and Final Savasana
Come into a comfortable seat or extend the body long for final savasana. Allow yourself to arrive and welcome yourself to this moment. Tap into your senses and any sensations that arise in your body. Lengthen your spine and relax your shoulders and hips. Draw awareness to your breath. Bringing one hand to your heart, the other to your belly and begin to cultivate a felt sense of gratitude. Feel your belly, ribs, chest and collar bone rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Begin to connect your breath to a moment. As you breathe, envision a happy moment, allow this moment to cultivate, allow it to become a ball of light and energy inside of you. As you continue to envision this moment, let the light grow and expand throughout your body bringing a sense of peace and tranquility to your current state. Take a few more breaths here as you tap into that moment. Begin to think of three things you are grateful for outside of yourself and why you are grateful for those things. Continue to breathe and maintain that sense of joy and peace you developed in the beginning. If the mind begins to wander outside of your gratitude gently call it back.
Now, think of three things you are grateful for about yourself. Take a few breaths, cultivating gratitude for yourself. As you ready yourself to close out practice, choose one thing to let go that no longer serves you and send it away. Practice the idea of peacefully letting go of things that are no longer part of your journey. As you slowly return to this space, allow for new joy, gratitude, offerings and love to enter into your heart. The light, the love, and the teacher in me honors, sees, and values the light, the love, and the teacher in you. Namaste.
For more ideas on chakra balancing both on and off the mat check out @MyVinyasaPractice 14-day chakra challenge beginning September 7th. For a full list of our upcoming workshops, click here.