9 Yoga Poses to Balance Your Root Chakra | Muladhara
The chakras are the seven wheels of energy that move through the subtle body, beginning at the crown of the head and traveling down the base of the spine. When the chakras are properly aligned, energy can properly flow through the body. In order to grow and develop, you have to first build a solid foundation and balance the energy in your root chakra.
What is Your Root (Muladhara) Chakra?
You can help find compassion and better patience with those around you with a balanced root chakra. The root chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of your spine.
The word Muladhara comes from two Sanskrit words: Mula translates to “root” and Adhara translates to “support” or “base.” Providing the foundation for life, the root chakra helps you handle challenges and is responsible for your sense of stability and security.
It’s the driving force that gives you the energy to accomplish everything in your daily life.
The Effects of Muladhara Chakra
As previously mentioned, the root chakra is the starting point, or root, of maintaining balance. It’s the base of the body’s life force and acts as the link between the outside physical world and the internal energetic system. It helps to nurture self-esteem, integrity, and a sense of belonging.
If the root chakra is imbalanced or blocked, you may feel restless, insecure, anxiety-ridden, or fatigued. Below, you’ll learn about the benefits of the root chakra and how different yoga poses benefit it.
Benefits of Root Chakra
The root chakra provides support, helping you build the foundation on which you can live your life. Supporting growth and feelings of safety when exploring all aspects of life, the root chakra is your anchor and practicing specific yoga poses can help maintain its balance and relationship with the other chakras.
Where is My Muladhara Chakra
Your root chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae. Because the root chakra is considered your base, meditation is often the best way to balance it. Meditation is a practice that grounds you, both spiritually and to the earth, both of which are necessary for you to feel safe. You can fuse meditation with yoga poses that help ground you even more.
9 Yoga Poses for Your Root Chakra
9. Warrior II Pose
The root chakra is linked to our “fight or flight” response and our most primal instincts. Warrior II pose helps ground this energy to establish strength. From a standing position, step your right foot forward into a lunge position. Keep your left leg straight and turn the left foot out to the side of your yoga mat.
Make sure the right knee doesn’t extend over your toes, keep your back straight, and bring your arms into a “T” shape. Focus your gaze beyond your right hand out in front of you and hold this pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
8. Easy Pose
Also known as Sukhasana, Easy pose allows you to connect with the earth beneath you. Connecting to the floor and controlling your breath teaches you to nourish your internal energy and exhale the negative energy.
Sit up straight in a cross-legged position on your yoga mat, placing a pillow underneath your buttocks if necessary for support. Bring your arms down to your sides and rest your palms on your lap, or gently on top of the knees. Close your eyes and breathe deeply as long as you want, setting an intention prior to breathwork if you choose.
7. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose allows the entire body to relax into itself. While you’re in this grounding position, you surrender to the support of the earth beneath you, which encourages a stronger root chakra. Start by kneeling on your mat with your knees hip-distance apart and your feet together behind you.
Take a big inhale and lay your torso forward onto your thighs as you exhale, extending your arms overhead. If you can, rest your forehead on the ground.
6. Standing Forward Bend
Ease the mind and find your center and calm within your yoga practice by performing Standing Forward Bend. A gentle stretch of the hamstrings and lower back helps relieve tension to better connect the upper and lower halves of the body. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart.
Bend your knees slightly and hinge at the hips, folding forward to bring your forehead to the front of your legs. If you can plant your hands on the ground comfortably, please do so. If you cannot do that, rest your hands on your shins, or simply hold your elbows and hang into the pose. Remain in this position for 10 deep breaths, sinking deeper into the stretch with each breath.
5. Garland Pose
The closer you can bring yourself to the earth while calming the mind and spirit, the more you can nourish your root chakra. This yoga pose also works to strengthen the lower back and open up the hips. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your toes outwards.
Bend your knees and lower your hips towards the ground. Bring your hands to the prayer position in the center of your chest and place your elbows on the insides of your knees. Press your elbows against your legs, pushing them out just enough to feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Hold this position and breathe deeply for 10 breaths.
4. Head to Knee Forward Bend
Ideally, this pose should help you lengthen your torso, aiming to touch your chest to your thigh. At first, it can be difficult to get this deep into the stretch, but regular practice helps to connect both the upper and bottom half of your body, helping to establish a stronger root chakra. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot close to your left inner thigh. Exhale as you hinge at the hips and lower your torso, reaching for your left foot. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
3. Mountain Pose
Deepening your connection to the earth is one of the best ways to nourish your root chakra. During Mountain Pose, you focus on the present moment, allowing yourself to feel centered and balanced. Stand at the top of your yoga mat with your feet together and ankles slightly apart.
Dig your feet into the mat to establish a sturdy foundation. Roll your shoulders open and direct your gaze out. Keep your hands connected to the outside of your legs and breathe deeply for 10 breaths.
2. Sun Salutations
Engaging in Sun salutations works to build heat from within the body. By cultivating a sense of power and focus that connects with each inhale and exhale, you help strengthen your root chakra. There are three primary variations of Sun Salutation, including variations A, B, and C. As you go through your desired sequence, surrender to the movements and draw your attention to moving meditation.
1. Crescent Moon Pose
This pose creates an intense stretch for both the psoas and the quad muscles, which are associated with the flight-or-fight response and deeply connected to the root chakra. A mere five breaths in a low lunge can help you harness your root chakra energy. Start in Downward Dog, exhaling as you step your right foot forward between your hands. Keep the knee aligned over the right heel and lower your left knee to the ground. You can stay here if this stretch is enough, or you increase strength and posture by lifting your torso up and extending your arms above your head. Squeeze your glutes and draw your tailbone towards the floor. Hold this position for 10 deep breaths before repeating on the other side.