One of the biggest hurdles we face when creating—or practicing yoga—is learning how to get out of our own way and plug into the flow of the present moment. Whenever we’re lacking imagination, we can always come to the mat to move energy around and distill the chatter.
The sequence below taps into the source energy of creativity, rousing the sacral chakra (svadhisthana) to channel the muse. The poses in this sequence also stimulate the throat chakra (visuddha) to hone authentic self-expression, open the heart chakra (anahata) to rekindle the flames of passion, activate the crown chakra (sahasrara) to awaken us to higher insight, and energize the solar plexus chakra (manipura) to increase motivation and confidence.
See also A Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras
The key to this set of poses is to play, moving your body through its full range of motion. Feel free to linger when a deeper stretch is called for: Perhaps create a mini-vinyasa by linking a few poses together, and finish up with a sweet meditation and a nice long Savasana. Get creative!
Matsyasana (Fish Pose) With a Block
This pose stimulates the creative waters of our sacral chakra and balances the heart chakra, stretching the front of the neck. Opening the throat allows us to actualize what we conceive, when we create the space to do so. It gives us the stability to withstand distractions and the freedom to let our minds wander.
Lie on your back with your shoulders supported by the block. Press your forearms into the ground just below the rib cage to safely extend the spine as the chest lifts. This creates space and stretches the psoas (the muscles connecting the spine and legs). Let your head fall gently toward the ground without constricting your breath.
See also Fish Pose
This stretch opens the throat-encouraging freedom of expression, innovation, and collaboration—and releases tight wrists and forearms, which are often a result of sustained keyboard or laptop use.
From Tabletop, rotate your hands outward a little at a time (right hand clockwise, left hand counterclockwise; not pictured). If that feels OK, keep turning your wrists until your fingertips point toward your knees. According to the theory of Katonah Yoga, which draws its philosophy from traditional Chinese medicine, stretching the wrists opens and strengthens the lungs. This allows for increased airflow and longer exhalations, which activate the parasympathetic nervous system and calm the mind and body.
See also Throat Chakra Tune-Up Practice
Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
In this version of Low Lunge, as you focus your aim by extending through your head, you retain a strong and neutral spine and facilitate an opening of the crown chakra.
Explore this dynamic shape with your back knee lowered or lifted and with your arms overhead or stretched behind (or with your palms interlaced behind your back). Move from a Low Lunge to Arrow Lunge with your arms overhead and back knee down, then lift your back knee, hinge forward, and reach your arms back by your sides.
See also Low Lunge: Step-by-Step Instructions
Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
This empowering pose requires balance and stability and provides a deep stretch to the inner thighs, hips, and groins. Keep your knees in line with your toes, bend your knees, and raise your arms overhead. Goddess Pose stimulates the sacral chakra, the center of creativity and sensuality, and the solar plexus chakra, to help energy flow more readily.
See also Quiz: Find Your Inner Goddess
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
Trikonasana gives us a sense of length, which can help stimulate the throat and crown chakras while opening the chest and unblocking the heart chakra.
Be careful not to hyperextend your knees, which is problematic for the joints. If you’d like more support as you learn to fire these muscles, bend your front knee and rest your forearm on your thigh. Place your back hand on your hip to emphasize neutrality in your spine.
See also Extended Triangle Pose
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior Pose III) with Jupiter Mudra
This pose is a powerful standing balance that stabilizes the hips, strengthens the back body, and improves balance. It stimulates several chakras at once, including the sacral and the solar plexus, which gets creative juices flowing and activates willpower and the confidence to create. The Jupiter Mudra (not pictured) reminds us that overcoming blockages becomes possible when we take risks and commit to doing the work.
You can incorporate Jupiter Mudra into the pose by interlocking your palms overhead and extending your index fingers, expressing your expansiveness and the vast possibilities of the future.
See also Mudras 101: Sacred Hand Gestures
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
This meditative pose draws attention to the third eye, cultivating a strong sense of stability and grounding. It also opens the crown chakra, which is symbolized by a thousand-petaled lotus flower, the manifestation of our own blossoming and the deep personal work that allows us to grow into our fullest potential.
Full Lotus requires flexibility in the legs and knees and strength in the core. If you have limited range of motion in your hips or your knees are sensitive, try crossing one leg for Half Lotus Pose.
See also Lotus Pose
See also Your May-June Yoga Horoscope