You often hear mention of chakras and their spiritual energy; the root chakra (muladhara) is your first chakra and carries the energy of the earth. When balanced, this chakra provides feelings of safety and grounding. Like all chakras, your root chakra can become unbalanced and foster greed, negativity, and insecurity in your life. Never fear, you can re-balance your root chakra and get back in touch with your inner harmony through a variety of yoga poses!
A Sanskrit word meaning wheel, chakras are energy centers that exist throughout our bodies and have associated elements, colors, and symbols. Your life force and energy, or prana, inside of you is constantly spinning and rotating. This circular energy has seven centers throughout your body, known as your chakras. The chakras start at the base of your spine and end at the top of your head. When balanced, the seven chakras provide the right amount of energy for your body, mind, and spirit.
The Seven Chakras
- Root Chakra
- Sacral Chakra
- Solar Plexus Chakra
- Heart Chakra
- Throat Chakra
- Third Eye Chakra
- Crown Chakra
Your Root Chakra
Sanskrit Name: Muladhara, coming from mula meaning “root” and adhara which means “support” or “base”
Location: The base of the spine at the perineum, along the first three vertebrae in the pelvis plexus
Element: Earth, associated with feelings of being grounded and feeling safe
Color: Red, which symbolizes safety, survival, and nourishment from the earth
Symbol: A lotus flower with four petals and is often depicted with a downward pointing triangle. This triangle represents our energy grounding with the earth
Behavioral Characteristics: Safety and survival, as well as basic needs such as food, shelter, and sleep
When Imbalanced: You may feel excessively negative or cynical, your eating habits will not be the best, and you might feel insecure about many things in your life
Balancing Your Root Chakra
Your root chakra, located at the base of your spine houses your life energy know as Kundalini. Do You Yoga has outlined a variety of yoga poses that balance and provide energy to your root chakra. When balancing your energy through yoga, you want to focus on both releasing energy from and stimulating energy to your chakra.
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose): Focus on the earth beneath you as you relax into this pose. Inhale to allow fresh energy to enter the body, and exhale to release any negative energy that does not serve you.
- Balasana (Child’s Pose): Let your entire body sink into this pose and focus on feeling the ground that is supporting you. Surrender to and breathe through this feeling.
- Malasana (Garland Pose): This pose will bring you close to the earth while strengthening your lower back and ankles. Through your feet, feel the energy of the earth coming into your root chakra with each breath.
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend): Helping you to center yourself and find calm, this pose is great to quiet a racing mind.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose): Ground your feet into the earth to find support and balance through this pose. Stand on the grass to feel even more connected to your surroundings.
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations): Flowing through 3-5 sun salutations will bring your focus to the present and make your feel more grounded with the earth. As you inhale and exhale through each movement, think about your inner strength and connection with the ground.
- Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge): Focus on your quadriceps and psoas muscles, this pose is deeply connected to your root chakra. Take deep and slow inhales and exhales through this pose as you calm your mind.
- Virabhadrasana (Warrior II): Translation – mean, fierce warrior! This pose will help you face your fears and doubts. As you ground your feet and take energy from the earth, you will call on your root chakra for strength and determination.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose): As your feet ground into the earth, you will release root chakra energy through your spine.
- Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Fold): Opening the muscles in the lower back and groin allows your root chakra to release energy into your body.
- Savasana (Corpse Pose): Release all tension as you relax into this pose and allow your whole body to be supported by the earth. With each inhale and exhale, focus on how you are safe and supported.
The root chakra focuses on survival instincts and as these asanas bring calm and balance to this root energy as you bring your attention to the earth and ground that are supporting you.