Having read previously about the Root Chakra, we have learned that, a balanced root chakra can bring with it emotional stability, contentment, inner peace and the ability to cope with whatever challenges life throws our way.
In order to grow and develop, we must first feel grounded in which case, balancing the root, or base chakra, will offer a solid foundation on which to build. One of the ways in which we can bring balance to the energy in our root chakra is to practice yoga.
Here are some poses that can either stimulate the chakra to increase energy or release excess energy. Hold each pose for five, slow deep breaths.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
The root chakra is related to our primal instincts. Our ‘fight or flight’ response. Warrior II helps to ground the energy so that we feel strong, stable and ready to face our fears and doubts. Beginning in Tadasana, step back with the right foot and place it parallel to the short edge of the mat or slightly turned in.
Open the hips to face the side of the room and raise your arms to shoulder level, palms facing the floor. On the exhalation, bend the left knee so that it is directly over the left ankle with the thigh parallel to the floor.
Keep both feet active, keep shoulders above the hips and softly gaze over the left hands fingers. For a more detailed step by step of this pose, find it here.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
This standing forward bend can bring a sense of peace and calm to the busy mind. Physically, the sensation of having tight hamstrings can suggest to the brain that the body is prepared to run away!
A gentle stretch on the hamstrings in Uttanasana can help to relieve this. Beginning in Tadasana, keeping the spine long, start to hinge from the hips and fold forward.
Place your fingertips or palms on the mat or on the back of your calves. Let your head hang and, with each exhalation, relax a little more.
Garland Pose (Malasana)
As we rest in this pose, we bring ourselves closer to the earth and breathe slowly to quieten the chattering mind. Physically, the pose strengthens the lower back, ankles and calves while opening the hips.
Standing with your feet slightly wider than the hips, toes turned outwards, begin to bend your knees, lowering your hips towards the ground. Bring your hands to prayer position or Anjali Mudra in front of the heart.
Make sure the knees are pointing in the same direction as the toes and not collapsing inwards. You can press your elbows against the legs to prevent this but ideally/eventually the legs will be strong enough to do this without assistance.
As your hamstrings rest on your calves, bring length into the spine. If you feel a little off balance, place the hands on the floor in front of you. Feel rooted to the ground and imagine drawing the energy up from the earth.
Head to Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)
This seated pose brings with it a sense of grounding while also developing flexibility in the back, hamstrings, and hips. Sitting tall with a long spine and legs outstretched in front of you, bend your right knee and place the sole of the right foot against the inner left thigh.
Rotate your upper body slightly so that it is squared over the left leg. Keep the spine long and the shoulders relaxed, raise the arms overhead and begin to hinge forwards from the hips, folding forward over the left leg.
If the spine begins to curve or collapse, lift up a little, lengthen the spine and then continue to fold forward. Work within your ability and don’t force the position. Only go as far as you can go. Repeat on the other side.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Sitting on your mat or a cushion if you need to elevate and tilt your pelvis forward a little to keep the spine long, bend your knees and cross your feet at the ankles, shins or tuck the left foot inside the right thigh and the right foot inside the left thigh.
Rest the hands lightly on the thighs, bringing the elbows underneath the shoulders. Keep the spine long. Close your eyes and feel the sensation of the earth beneath you. Feel the connection between your physical body and the ground.
Feel into each part of the body that is touching the earth and see if you can imagine drawing the energy from the ground up into the body. With each exhalation, surrender to the support of the earth and lift through the crown of the head.
A nice way to practice these poses is to bring with it an intention related to freeing yourself of any blockages within the root chakra. Invite inner peace, release any fears or anxiety, trust in the flow of life, believe in yourself and feel grounded.
As you begin to connect to the earth, draw on its energy and release any negativity you are holding on to unnecessarily.