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How to Teach a Chakra-Themed Yoga Series

This image shows a close up of a yogi's hands as she walks her class through a chakra-themed yoga class.

After attending many of your drop-in yoga classes and/or workshops, your students may want to dive in deeper and learn about some of the philosophy and energetic elements associated with yoga. 

A great way to help your students to explore further is to take them on a journey through a multi-class yoga series that allows them to practice postures, breathwork and meditation, all while learning a little more about themselves. 

A chakra-themed yoga series is a great place to start! In my experience, this has been one of the most popular series I have taught and can be adapted to various styles of yoga (e.g., vinyasa, hatha, yin, restorative, etc.) and practitioners of all levels. 

Note that this blog post will cover the chakras at a very basic level and will focus more on building a series of classes. It is a good idea to be familiar with the chakras and experience them in your own practice before teaching them to your students. 

To learn more, download beYogi’s free Journey Through the Chakras e-book here

What are the Chakras?

The Sanskrit word chakra means wheel or disk and refers to highly concentrated energy centers in the body. These energetic centers form when energy channels (nadis) within the body intersect. 

While there are many chakras, the seven primary ones are: 

  • Root (muladhara) chakra
  • Sacral (swadhisthana) chakra
  • Solar plexus (manipura) chakra
  • Heart (anahata) chakra
  • Throat (vishuddha) chakra
  • Third Eye (ajna) chakra
  • Crown (sahasrara) chakra

Physically the chakras correspond to the location of bundles of nerves, major organs and the endocrine system (which is responsible for the production and release of hormones). Energetically, the chakras relate to our emotional well-being and often correspond with the tendencies and experiences we have collected over our lives.

When our chakras are blocked, energy cannot flow freely through the various channels in the body, which can lead to imbalances on a physical, emotional and mental level.

By sharing a chakra-themed yoga series with your students, you can support them in finding more balance and improving their sense of self-awareness and well-being. 

Planning a Chakra-Themed Yoga Series

Since there are seven primary chakras, a chakra-themed series is best taught over seven classes. Leave enough time between the classes (e.g., weekly) to allow your students to integrate their learnings into their day-to-day lives.

Chakra Themes to Weave into Your Classes

1. Physical Location

If you want to focus on the physical location of each chakra, start by describing where the chakra is located in the body (listed below) and ask your students to send their breath there to bring more awareness to this space and notice how they feel. Then use the location of the chakras to guide your choice of postures for each weekly sequence.

You can also teach your students how to engage the bandhas (locks or binds), which are correlated to the location of certain chakras, to activate and strengthen various muscles and regulate the flow of energy in their bodies. 

2. Energetic Qualities

There are certain energetic qualities/themes associated with each of the chakras (e.g., the root chakra is often associated with grounding and survival). You can use these themes as inspiration and build your entire class around them, revisiting elements of this theme at different points in the class.

A yogi gets in touch with her third eye chakra during her chakra-themed yoga class.

3. The Elements

Each chakra is associated with an element in nature (e.g., the heart chakra is associated with the element of air). You can use the element associated with each chakra to design creative themes; weave in music, additional practices (mudras, mantras, etc.) and visualization meditations that support your students in connecting to this element.

There are many ways the chakras can be weaved into your classes. Use this article and beYogi’s ultimate guide for creating yoga sequences to build each class in your series. 

Developing Your Chakra-Themed Yoga Series

Class # 1: The Root Chakra

Physical Location: The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and is associated with the physical form of the body. 

Energetic Qualities: Grounding, stability, safety, survival

Element: Earth

Choose postures that help your students improve their awareness of grounding through their feet and hands and those that help them foster feelings of safety and stability (e.g., mountain pose, chair pose, garland pose, staff pose, bridge pose, warrior II, child’s pose, downward dog). 

To connect with the earth element, you can host a class outdoors or include a visualization that transports your students to a tranquil forest or somewhere in nature.

Class #2: The Sacral Chakra

Physical Location: The sacral chakra is located in the lower abdomen, about three fingers below the navel.

Energetic Qualities: creativity, pleasure, relationships, emotions

Element: Water

Choose postures that allow your students to find flowing movements (e.g., cat/cow, hip circles, vinyasa), or those that encourage opening through the hips, where we can hold a lot of our emotional tension (e.g., butterfly, goddess, triangle pose, wide-legged postures, pigeon pose, lunge, warrior II, garland pose). 

You can incorporate the element of water through flowing movements, guiding your students to breathe like a wave or through a water/ocean/beach visualization. 

Class # 3: The Solar Plexus Chakra

Physical Location: The solar plexus chakra can be found in the abdomen, two fingers above the navel.

Energetic Qualities: confidence, self-esteem, willpower, transformation

Element: Fire

Include a balance of postures that help your students feel more confident and those that provide a level of challenge (e.g., warrior II, warrior III, eagle pose, boat pose, crow pose, handstand or other inversions). 

Connect to the solar plexus chakra through movements that heat the body (e.g., vinyasa flows) and twists. Sun salutations are also a great way to direct your student’s attention to connect with their “inner sun.”

You can incorporate the fire element through a breathing practice such as kapalabhati (skull-shining breath), or a fire visualization. This is also a great opportunity to introduce the concept of tapas (transformation) to your students, one of the five niyama outlined in the eight limbs of yoga. 

Invite this chakra to be balanced further by including affirmations, which can help your students build confidence and overcome limiting beliefs.

Class #4: The Heart Chakra

Physical Location: The heart chakra can be found in the middle of the chest, around the heart. It is considered the bridge between the lower and upper chakras. The hands are also considered part of this chakra. 

Energetic Qualities: love, compassion, peace, forgiveness

Element: Air

Build up to postures that provide an opening through the shoulders and heart space (e.g., bow pose, camel pose, dancer’s pose, cobra, wild thing, etc.). Make sure you include a well-rounded warm-up before introducing back bends, and always give your students options for modifications so they can honor where they are on their journey.

Since the heart chakra is also associated with the hands, you may choose to include hasta mudras (symbolic hand gestures) as part of your class. 

Some great mudras for the heart chakra include: 

  • Anjali mudra – bring both palms together at the heart center; a mudra that represents balance and gratitude
  • Lotus mudra – bring the thumbs and little fingers to touch and allow the other fingers to spread outwards like a lotus flower; a mudra that represents our ability to grow through sticky situations with compassion and love.
  • Apana vayu mudra – bring the pointer finger towards the palm, point the little finger outwards and let the thumb touch the middle finger and ring finger; the mudra of the heart used to promote heart health and strengthen the heart center

You can incorporate the air element into your class by bringing awareness to the breath throughout the class or introducing breathing practices such as dirga pranayama (three-partbeyg breath), which encourages gradual expansion through the lungs and chest.

Class #5: The Throat Chakra

Physical Location: The throat chakra is located at the base of the throat area, aligned with the thyroid gland 

Energetic Qualities: communication, self-expression, honesty, truth

Element: Ether (Space)

Include postures that give your students an opportunity to open their throat and neck area; you can start with some gentle neck rolls or stretches before moving into your planned sequence. Postures that support balance in the throat chakra include cat/cow, bridge pose, fish pose, shoulder stand, camel, and reverse table.

You can also include breathing practices such as lion’s breath to bring more awareness to opening through the throat center.

Chanting/singing or repeating mantras/affirmations is also a wonderful way to open up the throat area and help your students feel more comfortable using their voices.

One of the best ways to connect to the space element is through sound instruments (gongs, crystal bowls, chimes, etc.) You can either use your own, collaborate with a sound practitioner, or find a song or playlist that includes sound instruments.


Class #6: The Third Eye (Brow) Chakra

Physical Location: The third eye chakra is located between the eyebrows in the center of the forehead  

Energetic Qualities: intuition, imagination and vision

Element: Light

To help your students bring more awareness to their third eye space, include postures such as child’s pose (rolling forehead side to side), humble warrior, forward folds, eagle pose, half butterfly pose, dolphin pose, etc. 

End your class with a visualization meditation that allows your students to connect to their intuition (e.g., future self, inner child, scenery) or trataka (candle gazing meditation)

Since this is one of the more subtle chakras, along with the crown chakra, you may even infuse some relaxing postures into the practice to highlight the importance of slowing down and connecting inwards.

Class #7: The Crown Chakra

Physical Location: The crown chakra is located at the top of the head 

Energetic Qualities: consciousness, thought, wisdom

Element: Cosmic Energy

The crown chakra is very subtle, so this is a good opportunity to revisit some postures related to all of the chakras to remind your students of the journey they have been on. Postures that specifically help connect to the crown chakra include headstand, rabbit’s pose and easy pose or any other comfortable meditation postures that promote elongation of the spine and opening through the crown of the head. 

You can end the series by chanting aum/om, which is said to be the seed of all sounds in the universe or with a silent meditation practice. 

Additional Practices to Consider 

If you want to take your yoga series a little further and give your students some takeaways or help them continue to explore the chakras off the mat, you can offer journal prompts or end each class with mantras or affirmations specific to each chakra.

A chakra-themed yoga series is a great way to help your students move further inwards on their yoga journey. Remember that you don’t have to teach everything; plant the seeds and let your students explore further when ready!