All seven chakras have a distinct function in the body. When the chakras are overactive or deficient, the fine energy balance in the body is disturbed. While there are numerous ways to bring back the balance, yoga asana is a great way to balance and at the same time purify the body.
Balancing the root chakra
The root chakra is the first chakra, located in the base of the spine. It connects us to our physical world, and provides us with a sense of security.
When your root chakra is balanced, you feel safe and grounded. You feel a sense of stability, vitality, loyalty, prosperity and patience. Like a tree having roots, we also need a solid foundation in order to grow and prosper. Learn more about the functions of the root chakra here.
[bctt tweet="When your root chakra is balanced, you feel safe and grounded. "]
Five asanas to balance the root chakra
If you have moments where you do not trust the world around you, or have a hard time relaxing, try these yoga asanas to strengthen and balance your root chakra. Particularly poses that bring us back to our body and connect us to the earth help us experience security.
1. Opening the feet
The root chakra is connected to the element of earth. To warm up, bring your focus to your feet. Our feet are our roots, and through the feet we feel the energy of the earth. To awaken the soles of the feet, roll a tennis ball under the feet. Bring your focus fully to the soles of your feet, and roll the tennis ball under each foot for few minutes.
Then, come to your hands and knees and lean on your toes. If this is too strong, lean forward and bring your elbows onto the ground to balance the weight. You can start with one minute, and progress to 2-3 minutes. As you release, just lean onto your hands and knees, lifting the toes up without moving them. Feel the rush of energy in the feet before you start moving the toes slowly.
2. Tadasana - Mountain pose
Like a tree that has roots deep underground, we can feel the earth beneath us supporting and providing the nutrition we need. Tadasana, the mountain pose, is balancing and relaxing, and allows us to feel centered. Many yoga poses start with Tadasana, and this pose is good for aligning your body.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and firmly root your feet to the ground. The crown of your head is reaching towards the sky, your hands active next to your body. Imagine your feet growing roots, feel the support of the earth and with each inhalation draw in stability and strength upwards from the ground.
3. Malasana - Garland pose
The squat pose brings us back close to the ground, and helps us to calm down. Malasana strengthens the ankles, calves and the lower back while opening the hips. It is also said to help digestion with the downward movement of energy it provides.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Lower your hips towards the ground, turn your feet outwards if needed, so your toes and knees are pointing to the same direction. You can bring your hands in front of your in Anjali mudra, pushing your elbows against your legs. Alternatively you can place your hands on the floor in front of you. Bring your focus inwards, and feel the close connection to the earth.
4. Uttanasana - Standing forward bend
Stress and worry can be signs of an unbalanced root chakra. Like most forward bends, also Uttanasana is a great pose to ease the worried mind, and to center the mind again. On a physical level, if our hamstrings are tight, this can create a sense that our body is prepared to run away. Uttanasana slowly stretches the hamstrings and relieves tension in the entire back of your body.
Begin in Tadasana. As you exhale, hinge forward from the hips, emphasizing the lengthening of the spine. Bring your fingertips, or your palms, to the floor, or alternatively cross your forearms, take a hold of your elbows and let your head hang. With every exhale release any tension in the body.
5. Virabhadrasana II - Warrior II pose
The root chakra is related to the primordial fight-or-flight instinct. Virabhadrasana means fierce warrior, so what better pose to help you face your fears and doubts than Virabhadrasana II? This warrior pose grounds the root chakra by using the body's natural flow of energy to stimulate it.
Begin in Tadasana. Take a big step back with your right leg, and turn the foot parallel to the small side of the mat. Raise your arms to shoulder level, parallel to the floor, palms facing down. Open the hips, and as you exhale, bend the left knee and bring it over the left ankle. If needed, move in the toes of the left foot inwards so that your left toes and left knee are pointing towards the same direction. Keep your body centered, both feet active and look over the left hand’s fingers.
Stability and Relaxation
End your practice with Savasana, the corpse pose. Bring yourself to the ground, let yourself be supported by the earth and let go of all tension in the body. You can scan the body from head to toe and actively bring loving stability and security into all parts of your body. Remind yourself; I am safe, I am supported.
Photos by Arno Enzerink