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What is the Root Chakra in Yoga?

What is the Root Chakra in Yoga?

More than just physical postures, yoga is a mind-body practice that enables you to connect with your true self. A holistic online yoga class will include practices to release blockages and encourage the free-flow of prana or life force. This, essentially, is energy that keeps you healthy and balanced. Known as the Muladhara Chakra, the Root Chakra acts as the root of the body. Storing energy that is responsible for channeling our astral body, the seven Chakras go down the centerline of the body, influencing our physical health, how we function, characteristics and more. When one or more Chakras are blocked, they affect our well-being. When functioning properly, the Chakras allow this energy to flow freely. The Root Chakra, when imbalanced, makes us feel depressed and anxious. 

The Root Chakra is represented by a red lotus with four petals. It is located at the base of the spine, at the coccyx or tailbone, and is linked to the element earth. 

What is the Root Chakra Associated With?

The Root Chakra, the Muladhara is associated with the sense of security, familial relationships and a feeling of belonging. The Root Chakra is associated with the Coccygeal nerve plexus and Adrenal glands. When balanced and unblocked, you feel more grounded and in-tune with the world around you. It provides a foundation and purpose. The Muladhara Chakra’s Beej mantra is LAM.

When energy is flowing freely through the Root Chakra, you will feel more connected to the earth and your surroundings. There is an increased physical, mental and emotional attachment to yourself, your home and immediate environment. The Root Chakra is responsible for our basic needs of good health and a sense of stability. 

As it is the base, the Root Chakra supports the solid bone structure. Considering the role it plays, when it is not balanced, all the other Chakras also go out of line. Blocked energy affects physical health and mental stability. 

Did you know the Kundalini is a powerful dormant energy that lies coiled up in the shape of a serpent at the base of the spine? The Kundalini energy makes its way upwards through the chakras leading to an incredible spiritual awakening. Read more about it here- The Incredible Kundalini Energy

What are the Characteristics of the Root Chakra?

The Earth Element

Sitting at the root, the Muladhara Chakra is connected to the earth element. It provides us with a sense of balance, foundation and purpose. When balanced and energy is free-flowing, the Root Chakra allows us to be more calm, centered and balanced. Emotions and thoughts are positive, stable and in harmony. 

The Color Red

The Root Chakra is associated with the color red, which denotes power, bravery and self-awareness. The color brings us a sense of belonging, community and provides vitality and strength. 

Energy of the Root Chakra

The Root Chakra stores positivity, stability and connection. It allows us to channel our inner needs for belonging by connecting with our surroundings. It allows us to take care of our well-being, physically, mentally and emotionally. The Root Chakra gives us the opportunity to let go of fear. 

How to Balance the Root Chakra?

When the Root Chakra is blocked or imbalanced, it may cause pain in the intestines and lower body. Physical symptoms of a blocked root Chakra include weight gain, weight loss, constipation, pelvic pain and incontinence. In this case, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with yoga poses is helpful too. 

Mentally, a blocked Root Chakra will make you feel unstable and distracted. You will tend to rush from one task to another, feel lethargic and exhausted and an inability to take action. Feelings of being stuck or unable to move forward also occur. With a blocked Root Chakra, there is increased chances of stress, anxiety and depression

Aligning the Root Chakra will allow you to stay calm and channel continuous, steady energy throughout the body. A balanced Root Chakra will dissipate stress and worries about belonging, relationships and purpose. 

Here are a few ways to balance the Root Chakra or Muladhara Chakra.

Yoga postures for the Root Chakra

Many yoga poses target the Root Chakra. What that means is, these yoga poses will work on the base of the spine, pelvic region and surrounding areas. When you join a yoga class with an experienced, certified yoga teacher, they will always include yoga poses that work towards releasing blocked energy. Poses that connect you to the earth are most beneficial for the Root Chakra. A few examples of yoga poses for the Root Chakra are the most standing postures, Tree Pose (Vrikshasana), Garland Pose (Malasana), Lotus Pose (Padmasana) and Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana). These poses ground you and allow energy to flow freely. 

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Breathing exercises for the Root Chakra

A few breathing techniques beneficial for balancing the Root Chakra are Oceans Breath (Ujjayi Pranayama) and Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama). These practices will energize, calm and center the mind and body. 

Muladhara Chakra meditation

Meditation sends a powerful energy through the body and mind. It allows you to connect with nature, a higher power and your real self. Meditations that are helpful are meditating on the Beej mantra LAM, nose tip awareness, body-scan meditation, focused meditation, perhaps on the color red and a lotus with four petals. 

Grounding practices

Connecting to the earth element through grounding practices such as walking barefoot on grass, deep breathing in the midst of nature, chanting, lighting incense sticks or essential oils, and meditation outdoors will foster feelings of connectivity and belonging by activating the Root Chakra. 

In Conclusion 

When the Root Chakra is open, energy is flowing freely allowing you to feel safe, connected and confident. Similar to a blocked Root Chakra, an overactive Muladhara will induce feelings of panic, anxiety and fear. So, keeping it balanced and staying grounded is important. To actively keep the Chakras balanced we recommended making yoga practices a part of your daily lifestyle. Shvasa’s online yoga classes with certified yoga teachers inculcate various practices that help in keeping the energy free flowing. 

What is the Root Chakra in Yoga?
Shvasa Editorial Team

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