Yoga for Addiction: Activate the Third Chakra

In my first installment in this Yoga for Addiction Series, I talked about the benefits of conscious breathing. In this post, I’d like to Human chakra systemdiscuss activating the third chakra and how that can help you move on from bad habits and addictions. What both of these practices have in common — along with everything else within the tradition of Kundalini Yoga — is that they teach you, show you, allow you to experience the strength you already have inside. I hope that anyone struggling with addiction will find that heartening. Everything you need to conquer your unwanted habits is within you!

The third chakra is located below the heart center and includes the digestive system, the liver, the pancreas, the kidneys and the adrenals. In yogic terms, it’s where the will power and the ability to commit reside. A strong will is crucial for resisting addictive impulses.

If you think of yourself as someone who lacks will power, stop. Let that go. You just have to tap into the vast inner resources of the third chakra, and the power is there waiting for you! But how do you awaken that power? Here are 3 ways to begin to activate the third chakra.

1. If you only have a tiny window of time, try Wake Up Series (on p. 21 of Guru Rattana’s Sexuality and Spirituality). It’s just three asanas and can be accomplished in less than 5 minutes. Even if you’re not dealing with addiction, this is a great way to start your day.

Sexuality and Spirituality by Guru Rattana

2. Also for busy yogis: You can pick and choose from among the techniques in Gurmukh’s chapter on the third chakra in her wonderful book The 8 Human Talents. There are many practices to sample, but I especially recommend alternate leg lifts (p. 88-89) to experience the energy of the navel center.

The Eight Human Talents

3. If you have more time and are up for a challenge, try Kriya for Navel Intelligence on p. 112-119 in Guru Prem Singh Khalsa’s Divine Alignment. It’s an intense workout for the abdomen!

Divine Alignment

Gurmukh describes the power of the navel center beautifully in The 8 Human Talents. She says, “We first receive nourishment through this center via the umbilical cord when we are in the womb. This center continues to be a strong source of energy and can make us feel more vibrant and alive when it is activated.”

So, nourish yourself. Discover the power within. Awaken the third chakra and move beyond addictive behavior. You can do it! Sat Nam!

Meditations for Addictive Behavior



  1. Cate, thank you! I’m building my KY resources as and when I can, so I really appreciate being pointed in the right direction :)

  2. Dear Karen,

    I’m glad you responded. Sorry for your frustration. You can watch the beautiful teacher Anne Novak perform the wake up series mentioned above on Youtube here:

    If I find any of the other practices mentioned online, I’ll comment again.

    All the best to you and enjoy your practice! Sat Nam!

    Cate Baily

  3. SpiritVoyage is a great resource. I read the articles here almost every day, and the instructional videos are FANTASTIC.

    Unfortunately, the articles sometimes assume that we have access to the books referenced. I can’t currently afford them, and some of them aren’t published in my country, I can’t get any of them through my library system, and there’s no KY teacher in my area. Which is a tad frustrating. I know there are great kriyas and meditations out there, but when the only information the articles give is that they’re in a particular book I don’t have access to, I’m stumped. What can I do? If there’s a standard name for a kriya, I can at least use that to search online for further information. How best to tackle this?


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