Chances are, if you’ve been to a yoga class before, you’ve probably heard your yoga teacher talking about chakras, right? But that doesn’t necessarily mean you know what they are….and I don’t blame you!
Most of the time yoga jargon is just kind of spewed out without a ton of explanation. Trust me, as a yoga teacher of over 10 years, I’m just as guilty as the next person about this.
The good news is that you’re here today to learn more about what chakras are. And more specifically: the Root Chakra.
The word chakra is Sanskrit, and it translates to mean ‘wheel’ in English. Think of a chakra as a wheel of energy, or a little energy center. These energy centers are located all over our bodies.
However, in yoga, we mostly focus on the 7 chakras. Which are located at the base of the spine all the way up to the crown of the head. The Root Chakra (otherwise known as the Muladhara Chakra) is the first of the 7 chakras.
That being said, the Root Chakra is located at the very base of the spine, and is an energy center related to Earth energy. Okay….so what the heck does that mean?
I like to keep it simple, and get people to think about the qualities of the Earth. The Earth beneath us is stable, it’s grounding, it’s unwavering, it’s steady, nourishing, nurturing, and soothing.
That means when the Root Chakra is in balance, it’s associated with feelings of stability, inner peace, contentment, and security. However, when it’s unbalanced it’s associated with feelings of lack of motivation, feeling stuck, heaviness, lack of drive, and even depression or anxiety.
The good news is that you can work each energy center into balance all on your own. And one of the best ways to do so is through the power of yoga asana (otherwise known as yoga poses). Yoga asana can help to promote healing of the Root Chakra through movement.
Today’s post will share a round up of my favorite 12 yoga poses for the Root Chakra to help get your first chakra balanced, in order to cultivate a sense of grounding calmness to get you out of that flight or fight response.
Read: Root Chakra Affirmations
Try my 21 Day Chakra Reset series to balance all of your chakras, and to deepen your yoga practice.
12 Root Chakra Yoga Poses
The Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine, and is associated with Earth energy. So, you might be able to guess that most Root Chakra yoga poses are going to ones that are deeply connected to the Earth itself.
You should also know that first chakra energy is also related to our feet, ankles, and legs given that these parts of the body are our roots, right? They are the pieces that carry us around all day.
Below you’ll find a variety of yoga poses that range from absolute beginner to advanced. They will progress chronically, so as not to confuse you.
You’ll find postures that vary from cross legged sitting on the floor, to low to the ground poses like Child’s Pose and Low Cobra, to more challenging shapes that Standing Hand To Foot Pose.
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Try: 21 Day Chakra Reset
Sukasana Easy Pose is an all level pose for every yogi. Think of Easy Pose to be the yoga version as “criss cross apple sauce.”
Make sure to take time to ground down into your tailbone in this position to access that Root Chakra energy.
This posture is an all levels pose that provides a grounding position to help balance and restore the Root Chakra.
Start with your knees as wide as your hips, or bring them into touch. And take an inhale to lengthen your spine. With your exhale, fold forward so that your torso drapes over your thighs while walking your fingertips forward to create an intense stretch in your low back.
Low Cobra is a beginner level pose that is used to strengthen the back body, while also staying connected to the Earth energy as it’s a pose that’s quite low to the ground.
Start lying on your belly with your feet as wide as your hips. And your hands under your shoulders with your forehead down. Use an inhale to lift up into Low Cobra Pose by pressing a lot of weight into your feet. And little to no weight in your hands to elevate your chest off the mat.
Tadasana, otherwise known as Mountain Pose, is a beginner level yoga pose that helps to tap into Root Chakra energy by grounding and stabilizing through the body and the breath.
Begin by standing on your mat with your feet as wide as your hips, and your hands by your sides with your palms facing forward. Use an inhale to lift up and out of your waist, to create more length in your spine. And your exhale to ground deeply into your feet, adding a slight squeeze of the glutes to charge up the legs.
Standing Forward Fold
Standing Forward Fold is a beginner level pose that helps to provide a release to the low back, length in the hamstrings. And also connects you to the stability of your feet on the ground to balance your Root Chakra.
You can begin in Tadasana with the feet as wide as the hips, taking an inhale to lift your arms high, and an exhale to Forward Fold your torso over your thighs. Keep breathing, and close your eyes to play with the balance. Try to use the pelvic floor to deep your fold by lifting your belly up and in.
Seated Forward Fold
Seated Forward Fold is a beginner level pose that connects you to the Earth by actually sitting on the ground, while also opening the roots of your body…your legs! This pose creates an intense opening of the low back and hamstrings.
Start seated on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. And take an inhale to lengthen your spine by lifting your arms high. With your exhale, find Seated Forward Fold by drawing your torso over your thighs, while keeping your spine as long as possible.
Tree Pose is an intermediate level pose that incorporates standing balancing techniques to help ground and nourish the Root Chakra.
Begin standing on your right foot only, taking an inhale to hug your left knee towards your belly. With your exhale, find Tree Pose by using your hands to place your left foot anywhere along the inside of your right leg other than your knee joint.
Malasana, otherwise known as Garland Pose, is an intermediate pose. This posture helps to tap into the Root Chakra by keeping you close to the ground, while focusing on the feet and legs. You can get even more grounded by sitting on a block in this pose.
Begin in a Standing Forward Fold, use an inhale to position your toes out and your heels in while walking your feet to the outer edges of your mat. Exhale to Garland Pose by sinking your hips down between your heels onto a block or not.
Chair Pose is an intermediate level pose that looks simple. But it can cause *quite* the burn if you’re not rushing through it. Similar to Earth energy, this pose helps to cultivate strength and steadiness in our legs.
Begin in Tadasana, standing, using an inhale to lift your arms high. Exhale to chair pose by sinking your hips low into an imaginary chair. Keep breathing, and keep your arms high, while looking forward or up at your hands.
Crescent Lunge is an intermediate level pose that helps to balance the Root Chakra by strengthening and tonifying the legs, while also playing with a subtle standing balance. Pair this pose with warrior ii and chair pose for a strong sensation in the legs.
Start with your right foot forward, and your left leg back. All 10 toes point forward, and your back heel is lifted. Use an inhale to find Crescent Lunge by bending into your right knee. And sinking your hips low, while still keeping length in your left leg behind you.
Standing Big Toe Pose
Standing Big Toe Pose is an advanced level pose that can always be practiced by all yogis by using a strap to increase the space between your foot and your hand. This posture balances the Root Chakra by tonifying the legs, strengthening the feet and ankles, and playing with standing balance for stability.
Start in Tadasana, then use an inhale to lift your left knee to chest, hooking your left peace finger around your left big toe while keeping your right hand on your hip. Exhale to Standing Big Toe Pose by extending your left forward, straightening it as much as possible while keeping your right leg straight and your spine long.
Let me know which poses has helped to balance your Root Chakra during your at-home yoga practice in the comments below.
And don’t forget to check out my 21 Day Chakra Reset for more!