The word Muladhara is a combination of two Sanskrit words, “Mula,” which means “root” and “Adhara,” which means “support” or “base. A balanced root chakra brings emotional stability, contentment, inner peace and the ability to cope with the challenges in life. The root chakra is associated with grounding, vitality and stability. It is important to have a balanced root chakra for a solid foundation in life. Yoga helps to balance the root chakra. 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.
The root chakra is related to our primal instincts, the ‘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. Begin with Tadasana, step back with the right foot and place it parallel to the short edge of the mat. Open your hips and raise your arms till shoulder level, palms facing the floor. While exhaling, bend the left knee, so that it is directly over the left ankle, with the thigh parallel to the floor. Keep the shoulders above the hips.
This standing forward bend can bring a sense of peace and calm. 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, keep 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. 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, the legs will be strong enough to do this without any assistance. If you feel a little off-balance, place your hands on the floor. Feel rooted to the ground and imagine drawing the energy up from the earth.
This seated pose brings with it a sense of grounding, while also developing flexibility in the back, hamstrings, and hips. Sit erect 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 shoulders relaxed, raise the arms overhead and begin to hinge forward. Repeat on the other side.
Sit on a mat or a cushion, if you need to elevate and tilt your pelvis forward a little. To keep the spine erect, 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 your hands lightly on the thighs, bringing the elbows underneath the shoulders. 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 and feel grounded. As you begin to connect to the earth, draw on its energy and release any negativity, you may be holding onto unnecessarily.