Where are your roots?

“Surely a man needs a closed place wherein he may strike root and, like the seed, become.  But also he needs the great Milky Way above him and the vast sea spaces, though neither stars nor ocean serve his daily needs.”  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert


The Muladhara (Root) Chakra is the 1st Chakra, and is located at the base of the spine. It deals with your physical and material consciousness, how you express yourself in ways that make you feel safe, and how you choose to protect yourself. It is involved with establishing a healthy sense of groundedness, taking care of our bodies, and purging our bodies of waste. It is associated with the color red and the element earth. The associated body parts include the base of the spine, the legs, feet, and the large intestine.

Those who are strong in the Root Chakra are usually leaders and have magnetic personalities. When this chakra is in balance, you feel great and have a lot of energy. You feel comfortable with yourself and with the world.

Those who are depleted or blocked in the Root Chakra tend to feel fearful and unsure.  The will seek attention and pleasure through the actions of others, which could cause them to be very easily manipulated and vulnerable. You can use yoga to help you by focusing on grounding postures that primarily work the feet, leg and thigh muscles.  Standing poses are great to practice as they are great at helping to ground you to the Earth (like Chair Pose, Warrior poses).

Those who are overactive in the Root Chakra are driven to acquire more and more material things, which will eventually lead to frustration and disappointment, since objects cannot truly fulfill a person.  Appearances matter most to people who have an overactive Root Chakra, and they are disconnected from their inner environment.  They tend to be stubborn, violent and unyielding. You can use yoga to help you by focusing on poses that stretch and lengthen the legs. These help your body become less stubborn and more yielding. Forward bends, Downward Dog (particularly variations that release all areas of the calves), and reclining twists are great poses to work in if you are overactive in this chakra.

We’ll be working on poses in class this week that will help create balance in the root chakra. If you’re able to make it to class, try to come knowing whether you are already pretty balanced, overactive or underactive. You can modify during class to suit what will serve you best in regard to balancing this chakra. If you’re not able to come to class, below is a short sequence you can try on your own. Feel free to do it as-is, or you can extend it to a longer practice by including a longer warm-up, Sun Salutations, and mixing vinyasas in where you wish.

  1. Start in Butterfly Pose. In this pose, take a few moments to rub the bottoms of the feet, massaging out any knots, curling and uncurling your toes. Wake those feet up!
  2. Butterfly Twist. Simply exhale as you twist to one side, inhale back to center, and exhale as you twist to the other side. Repeat 5X on each side.
  3. Table Top
  4. Cat/Cow (10X)
  5. Child’s Pose
  6. Downward Dog (make it dynamic, moving the legs in any way that loosens up the legs)
  7. Forward Fold
  8. Mountain Pose
  9. Forward Fold
  10. Runner’s Lunge (right leg)
  11. Crescent Lunge
  12. Warrior 2
  13. Peaceful Warrior
  14. Extended Side Angle
  15. Triangle
  16. Pyramid (Parsvottanasana)
  17. Standing Straddle Splits (Prasarita Padottasana)
  18. Vinyasa if you wish and make your way back to Forward Fold.
  19. Repeat poses 10-16 on the left leg
  20. Standing Straddle Splits (Prasarita Padottasana)
  21. Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana) on each side
  22. Seated Forward Fold
  23. Supine Butterfly
  24. Happy Baby
  25. Savasana
Categories Yoga

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