Short Yoga Sequence for the Root Chakra
Chakras. A chakra is a swirling vortex of energy. These energy centers are up and down the midline of the body, along the spine.
The chakras represent various parts of our lives because the energy centers energize those parts of your life. When you're blocked in a chakra, this means there are issues in a part of your life connected to that chakra. You might even have pain in that area physically, as well as emotionally. This is why we look to balance all the chakras and energize those chakras that are struggling.
The chakras are represented by various colors and sounds that energize and balance that chakra. We are going to activate and open the chakras through asana, meditation and nutrition. We want to open the chakras to free any energy, wound, or memory creating a block in that area of your life.
The Muladhara chakra is the base or root chakra. It is associated with instinct, security, survival, basic human potentiality. It is physically located at the base of the pelvis between the pubic bone and the coccyx. It is basically at the base of the spine. It is said to be connected physically to the adrenal glands that produce the flight or flight response when one is in survival mode.
Imagine you are riding a bike. Feel in your body where you would feel the seat (called the perineum). This is your root chakra. This chakra is symbolized by a lotus with 4 petals, the color red, the element of earth. The functions are survival, grounding, sexuality, stability and smell. Its sound is LAM.
When you are blocked in your muladhara chakra, you could have problems with money and relationships. You could feel a lack of security and safety in your life so you are living in fear. You could have a hard time making money or career issues. Also, you feel disconnected from the community of humanity, which most likely translates to disconnection from the community around you, whether it be your spouse, family, friends, or your actual community.
Any time you have been attacked or felt scared about survival, your root chakra has contracted. Perhaps there are wounds there as well. We store memory and energy in the chakras. This creates the blockage of energy flowing downward from crown to root and upward from root to crown. Energy must flow from chakra to chakra both ways. We want to open the chakras to free any stuck energy, wound, or memory creating a block in that area of your life. These are simply places in the body where consciousness needs to be freed through attention and other techniques.
A grounding practice with specific attention to this area at the base of the pelvis is necessary to energize or balance this chakra. With some adrenal relaxation. If possible, wear something red during asana and meditation.
1. Cat/cow to warm the spine. Inhale, lift the head, take the tailbone to the sky while widening your seat behind you, heart pulls through isometrically. On the exhale, bring the head to hang down, tailbone tucks toward the floor, belly button up into the front of the spine. A couple of sun salutations to warm the body.
2. Come to standing. Big toe balls together and heels slightly apart. Inhale, take tailbone towards the floor, bending the knees and pretending to sit in a tiny kindergarten chair. Take elbows onto thighs at first with palms together. Utkatasana. Tailbone tucks down, pubic bone back. Spine is long and heart is open. Breathe here for 3 breaths. Then on the 4th inhale, take arms straight and alongside the ears. Breathe for 5 breaths.
3. Take arms out laterally like wings. Bring weight into the left foot and take your right thigh over the left thigh and wrap your right leg as much as you can around your left thigh, maybe shin, maybe even calf. Swing your right arm underneath your left arms: cross, wrap, twist the arms. You may interlace the fingers or bring the palms together. While breathing, squeeze everything into the midline while sitting lower into Garudasana, eagle pose. Lengthen through the spine on the inhale and squeeze with your pubic bone back, tuck your tailbone and ignite your root chakra at the base of your pelvis.
To come out of the pose, unwrap the arms first and then slowly unwrap the right leg, placing the right foot next to the left and unbend the knees, coming to stand with your arms by your sides.
4. Repeat on the other side.
5. Inhale, bring the weight into left foot and the right foot to the inside of the left thigh, calf or ankle depending on your level. Contracting the left leg over and over again, and feeling your connection to the ground through the left foot. Exhale and bring palms together at heart center. Tuck your tailbone and pull the pubic bone in. Bring attention to the root chakra in vrksasana, tree pose.
To come out of the pose, slowly bring right hand right foot to safely take it off the left leg, and bring your right foot next to the left foot.
6. Repeat on other side.
7. Separate your feet hip-distance apart. Bring your tailbone as close as you can to the floor without actually sitting on the floor in malasana, squat or garland pose. Bring your palms to heart center, with your elbows to the inside of your knees, which should be wide apart. Keep your heart open with your upper arms pressing into your knees, breathing long and deep breaths.
Bring your attention to your root chakra, tucking tailbone and pulling the pubic bone in. 7 breaths here.
8. Sit on the floor, lie on the ground, pulling your knees into your chest. 7 deep and strong breaths here. When you breathe, send the breath to the adrenals in the lower back. Feel your whole spine on the ground.
9. Let go of your legs and let your arms and legs now rest on the floor in savasana. Take your time with savasana. When you are finished with this, you will be ready for meditation.