Think of your Chakras as spinning wheels of energy that ultimately create your body’s natural energy system and life force.
Although these spinning energy vortexes cannot be perceived, they’re crucial to our health, fulfillment, and ongoing development as human beings.
When the Chakras are aligned, you will experience harmony in all aspects of your life. However, when the Chakras are misaligned, life can feel pretty challenging.
Root Chakra yoga poses are pivotal to resolving energy blockages and restoring balance to your life.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- What is a Chakra?
- What is the Root Chakra?
- Signs of imbalance in the Root Chakra
- 10 Best Root Chakra Yoga Poses
What is a Chakra?
The Chakras were first mentioned in ancient Vedic and Tantric texts dating from 1500 to 500 B.C.
According to these ancient Hindu texts, there are seven interconnected chakras in your body, each of which corresponds to a particular part of the body and particular characteristics within us.
1. Muladhara Chakra (Root Chakra)
- located at the bottom of the spine
2. Svadhisthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra)
- located below the naval
3. Manipura Chakra (Navel Chakra)
- located in the upper stomach, below the breastbone
4. Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra)
- located in the chest, in line with the heart
5. Vishuddha Chakra (Throat Chakra)
- located at the voice box
6. Ajna Chakra (Third-Eye Chakra)
- located in the middle of the forehead, between the eyes
7. Sahasrara Chakra (Crown Chakra)
- located at the crown of the head
These spinning wheels of energy are connected by the Chakra System – a complex network of energy channels. It may be helpful to think of this as a spiritual nervous system.
What is the Root Chakra?
Whilst all seven chakras are important, the Root Chakra forms the foundation of the entire Chakra System and plays a major role in our lives and how we relate to the surrounding world.
The Root Chakra is also known as the Muladhara Chakra. Muladhara is a combination of the Sanskrit words ‘Mula’, meaning ‘root’, and ‘Adhara’, meaning ‘support’ or ‘base’.
The Chakras work as conductors of energy and each one has a unique frequency. The Root Chakra has the lowest frequency and is housed at the base of the spine and the pelvis.
This Chakra is represented by a red color and is associated with the earth element, directly linked to our ability to dig in and feel firmly rooted in our lives. This Chakra is also responsible for instinctual needs such as food, shelter, survival, and sex.
Gaining a deeper understanding of the Root Chakra can help us to let go of emotional blockages, overcome obstacles and live intentionally.
Signs of imbalance in the Root Chakra
When balanced and spinning correctly, each Chakra allows energy to flow freely through the body.
However, should one of the Chakra wheels become blocked or unbalanced, energy flows too fast, too slowly, or even stops flowing completely.
A balanced Root Chakra brings emotional stability and resilience. When this Chakra is balanced, we feel grounded, secure, and safe.
However, when the physical body is exposed to a challenge, such as financial worries, ill health or family problems, the Chakras will react and become unaligned.
When out of alignment, life is tough. The signs of a blocked Root Chakra can manifest both physically and mentally. Survival mode kicks in, causing weight gain, constipation, exhaustion and more.
Symptoms of a blocked Root Chakra include:
- Weight gain
- Increased feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression
10 Best Root Chakra Yoga Poses
In order to flourish and live intentionally, we must first ground ourselves and plant strong, immovable roots.
Aligning the Root Chakra provides a solid foundation for growth. One of the best ways to restore balance to the Root Chakra – or indeed any of the big seven – is to practice yoga.
We can strengthen and enhance the flow of our Chakra systems by practicing yoga poses that help balance and open up the chakras by either stimulating fresh energy or releasing negative excess energy.
The following restorative Root Chakra yoga poses mainly consist of deep stretches, hip openers and seated poses.
1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This gentle pose calms the nervous system, relaxes the spine, and stretches the back, hips, thighs, and ankles.
Sit down on your heels and allow your buttocks to relax over your heels. Rest your forehead on the ground. You can place blankets under your feet for more comfort. Inhale deeply into the back.
2. Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
Opening up the hips from the Root can relieve you of physical and emotional stress.
Sit in the centre of your mat and bring your right foot to your left hip, sole facing upwards. Now bring your left foot to your right hip, crossing over the right foot.
If you experience any knee pain in this position, you can always try the half-lotus position or simply sit cross-legged.
Combine this pose with a short meditation to maximize the effects of your practice.
3. Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)
Step your right foot four feet in front of you, your foot parallel to the sides of the mat, and your toes pointing to the top of the mat.
Bend your right knee into a lunge, with ankle stacked over heel. Your left leg should be straight behind you with the left foot turned in at approximately 45 degrees.
Raise both arms above your head, keeping them straight. Squeeze shoulder blades down and together, lifting your chin and gazing at your palms overhead.
Stay here for 2-4 deep breaths, then repeat on the left side.
4. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
This classic pose is an easy way to stretch out tight hamstrings, but also a great way to expand and relax the glands near the Root Chakra.
Remember to keep your hips over your ankles, bend your knees slightly to avoid hyperextension, and bear in mind that the goal is less to touch the floor with your hands and more to bring your chest to your knees.
Daily practice of this yoga asana will make a significant difference to your posture and composure.
5. Triangle Pose (Trikanasana)
This pose lengthens and strengthens the lower body, stimulates digestion, reduces stress and anxiety, and decreases back pain.
Stand straight with your feet in a wide stance. With a straight waist, bend towards the right and lift your left hand above you, anchoring yourself with your right. Bend your right knee, stretch out your left leg, and look up towards your outstretched arm. Repeat on the other side.
Straighten your front leg as much as possible, and don’t worry if your hand doesn’t reach the floor. Twist your core and reach toward the sky, creating length with your arms and neck.
If you find yourself putting too much pressure on your leg by leaning on it, you can use a yoga block to rest your hand on instead.
6. Eagle Pose (Garurasana)
This pose helps improve balance, build strength in the lower body muscles and improve digestion.
Bend your knees and stack one over the other. Cross your elbows and bring your palms together just below your nose. Engage your core and squeeze your knees and thighs together. Swap legs after holding this pose for 30 seconds.
7. Tree Pose (Vriksasana)
This balance pose is useful for rooting down, hip opening, and strengthening the lower body.
Start by standing in Mountain pose. Fix your gaze on a focus point in front of you and shift your weight onto one leg, slowly raising the other off the ground. Bring your raised foot to the inner thigh of your straightened leg and rest your sole against it, pressing hard.
Square your pelvis so that it is straight and stretch your arms to the ceiling, palms pressed together. Hold the pose for 30 seconds before switching legs.
8. Squat Pose (Malasana)
Squatting down low on your feet will help stretch your groin, open your hips and stimulate Root energy.
Start by standing in Mountain pose and gently bend your knees until you’re in a deep squat. Bring your hands together into Heart Prayer and wedge your elbows into the insides of your knees, creating more space and deepening the stretch. Draw your heart up and lengthen the spine.
Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds.
9. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
This restorative pose helps regulate sexual energy as well as digestive difficulties, such as constipation and bloating.
Start in a kneeling position with your feet and knees together. Straighten your head and create length in your spine, drawing the crown of your head upwards.
If this causes any discomfort, place a blanket or yoga block between your feet and sit on that instead.
10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This pose is a great way to end and consolidate your practice.
Lie on your back, close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose into your belly. Mentally scan your body, releasing tension as you focus on different areas.
Remember, whilst the purpose of this pose is to relax the nervous system and body, it is still an active pose. In other words, now is not the time to take a quick nap!
Try to stay in this pose for at least 5 minutes.
Yoga is just one (albeit very effective) way to restore balance to your Chakra system.
Check out our article on ‘The Yogic Diet’ for more ways to optimize your spiritual, physical, and emotional health.