11 Yoga Poses To Help You Balance Your Root Chakra
The Muladhara chakra, also known as the root chakra, is located at the base of the spine. It represents our connection to the earth. When this chakra is unbalanced, we tend to feel insecure and depressed.
The root chakra is responsible for our survival instincts, including self-preservation and procreation. When this chakra is balanced, we feel secure in our environment, comfortable in our skin, and able to accept ourselves for who we are.
What Is Muladhara Chakra?
In Sanskrit, Muladhara means “root support.” Muladhara is the first of seven chakras that comprise the human energy system. In yoga philosophy, it is associated with the element of the earth and corresponds to the perineum (the area between your anus and genitals). You can find this chakra at the base of your spine, just above where you sit on the floor. It’s a physical manifestation of our connection between body and mind; when balanced, we feel grounded in our bodies.
When working with this chakra in yoga poses—and life in general—we must pay attention to learn how best to take care of ourselves mentally and physically.
Where Exactly Is My Root Chakra?
While you may already know that the chakra system is associated with specific body areas, you likely haven’t given much thought to exactly where those places are. To help you get your practice off to a great start, here’s a quick guide on how to locate them:
- The Muladhara chakra is located at the base of the spine, between the anus and genitals. It is also known as your first (or root) chakra because it represents stability—the foundation upon which all other energy centers are built.
- To find this spot on yourself, place both hands on your perineum (the area below where your legs meet) or “tailbone.” You can also look directly below those two points for a slight indentation that marks where this foundational energy center lies. When practicing asanas for this chakra, try not to move too much or shift around in your seat; instead, try sitting still so that these exercises will have a maximum effect!
How To Balance Root Chakra
To balance your root chakra, try any of the following asanas.
This seated pose is also called the easy pose and is excellent for beginners to practice.
To do it:
- Sit on the floor with your legs crossed, back straight, shoulders relaxed, and hands resting on your knees.
- Rest your back against a wall or chair if possible.
- Close your eyes, take a deep breath, exhale slowly through pursed lips (like you’re whistling), and then let go of any tension in your body.
- If this position is uncomfortable, try sitting on a pillow instead of directly on the floor. Take a few deep breaths here before moving on to one of the other poses listed below.
Sukhāsana (Easy Pose) is an excellent pose at the end of your day. It’s simple, calming, and can help you relax after a long, stressful day. This pose is also good if you feel exhausted or need to relax.
2. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
The child’s pose is another good starter position that helps stretch out your lower back, hamstrings, and calves while helping you relax into each breath as you hold it for several seconds before exhaling slowly again.
This classic yoga pose calms the nervous system, relieves stress and anxiety, improves circulation, and stretches the hips.
To do it:
- Kneel on your mat with knees hip-width apart and sit back onto your heels so you’re resting on them rather than your toes.
- Lay flat on your belly with arms reaching shoulder level or crossed over each other in front of the torso (known as Anjali Mudra).
- Take several breaths here before returning to all fours by rolling onto one side into Uttanasana. When ready to release from Balasana, move forward into Ustrasana (Camel Pose) or Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog).
3. Root Chakra Asanas – Malasana
If done correctly, squatting can help improve digestion (by massaging abdominal organs) and strengthen the legs, core muscles, wrists, and hands.
This asana is called a squat, but it’s not as simple as that. You’ll bend down with your knees and twist your torso to the left and right.
To do it:
- Begin by standing straight and tall with feet together.
- Bend your knees as if you were about to sit on a chair, but keep your heels off the ground.
- While keeping your back straight, twist from side to side like a teeter-totter; this will help loosen up your spine.
- Now, slowly lower yourself into the squat position by bending at the knees and hips until they form 90-degree angles (more or less).
- Keep your weight evenly distributed between both feet so that neither is bearing more pressure than the other.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds and then slowly rise back up.
The benefits of this pose include improved digestion, better circulation throughout the body, and increased flexibility in your hips and spine.
If you’re new to yoga or have trouble balancing one leg for extended periods (or even if you don’t), try holding onto a chair for support before attempting this pose without any assistance.
- Read Also: Best Yoga Poses for Crown Chakra
4. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
This asana helps to stretch the hamstrings and calves, as well as the back and shoulders. It also strengthens the quadriceps, which are located on the front of your thighs. This can help improve blood flow in those areas, which results in better circulation and energy throughout your body. The final benefit of this pose is that it relaxes your mind.
To do it:
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Slowly bend forward from the waist and fold yourself over, bringing your head down to touch the floor if possible.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds or longer if you can manage it comfortably.
5. Mountain pose
This pose is excellent for releasing tension in the lower back, strengthening the legs and hips, and improving balance.
- Stand with your feet together or shoulder-width apart.
- Lift through your spine as you gently press your tailbone toward the floor.
- Reach out through the crown of your head with arms extended upward toward the sky, creating a slight backward bend in your upper torso that allows for more length through your spine.
- Bend both knees slightly and engage muscles on either side of them to keep them from splaying out to either side. Keep a soft bend at both ankles, but avoid locking them in place (this will allow greater flexibility throughout all joints).
- Bring attention inwardly to feel any tension in this position; soften it by breathing deeply into that area until you feel comfortable without holding onto anything specific.
6. Sun Salutations
Sun Salutations are a series of yoga poses that flow together, similar to the movements in a dance. They’re a great way to warm up, energize, and stretch your body. You can practice sun salutations as a standalone exercise or part of an entire session.
There are many variations to sun salutations, so you can choose whichever version works best for your body. The best way to get started is by doing a few basic poses and gradually adding more as you get stronger.
Anjaneyasana (Anjani = Vishnu’s wife; a = forward; yana = going; Shana = pose), also known as the Warrior Pose, is one of the best asanas for opening the hips and stretching the inner thighs. It is also suitable for opening up your chest and shoulders, which makes it an excellent choice for those with tight hamstrings or back pain.
To do it:
- Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides.
- Bend forward from the hips, bringing your hands to the floor before you.
- Keep your back straight, and make sure it does not curve or bend as you bring your hands closer.
- Bend your knees slightly and keep your feet firmly on the floor. As you bend forward, make sure that you keep your head up and look straight ahead. Be careful not to lower your chin too low or let it drop down toward the floor; this will strain your neck muscles.
- When you reach the floor with your hands, place them flat on the ground and straighten your legs to align with your torso.
- Keep your back straight, and do not let it bend or curve as you bring your hands closer to each other. You should feel the stretch in your shoulders, chest, and stomach muscles.
- Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds, then slowly return to standing.
The Warrior Pose is also excellent for those looking to burn fat, as it helps increase your heart rate and improve blood flow. It’s also an excellent choice to build muscle in the legs, arms, and shoulders.
8. Warrior II
Warrior II is a standing pose that strengthens the legs and stretches the back. It’s also a challenging pose, requiring balance, strength, and flexibility. But it’s worth it: Warrior II improves circulation, relieves stress and anxiety, and improves overall mood while strengthening your mind.
You’ll need to be in good health before trying this asana. If you have any injuries or medical conditions, consult your doctor before practicing yoga!
To do it:
- Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides.
- Look straight ahead, exhale, and bend your left knee, placing the sole of your foot on the ground outside of your right leg (your right leg will be bent at a 90-degree angle).
- Your body should now be in a V-shape.
- Keep your back straight and gaze forward. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
9. Bridge pose
Bridge Pose is a basic backbend that strengthens the back and chest muscles. It’s also a great pose after backbends, such as Cobra or Bow Pose, because it stretches out your lower back and helps you relax into deeper poses later.
To do it:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands under your lower back, fingers pointing toward your tailbone.
- Press into them as you slowly lift through your spine, pressing against their resistance.
- Lift until you feel a stretch in the middle of your back, and let go of any shoulder or neck tension.
- If you feel any pain in your lower back, stop here. If not, slowly lift your feet off the floor and take them toward your head until they are as close to it as possible without straining.
- Hold the pose for five breaths before slowly lowering to do another one or two repetitions.
For neck or back issues, feel free to skip this asana; it may not be wise to go into it if you’re experiencing any pain in those areas. If you want to proceed cautiously and keep yourself safe, place a block under your sacrum (the small bone at the base of your spine) for support while coming into Bridge Pose. You might also hold onto a wall or chair if you struggle to lift into this pose.
Finally—and most importantly—remember that when practicing Bridge Pose and other backbends, tension should come from contracting/squeezing/flexing your gluteal muscles (your butt!). This helps keep excess spinal curvature under control by activating core musculature throughout each repetition so that it doesn’t become an issue later on down the road!
10. Wide-legged Forward Fold
This pose is an excellent way to stretch the hamstrings, calves, and lower back. It can also help you release stress and ease tension in your body.
To do it:
- Stand with your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart, toes pointing straight ahead.
- Bend forward at the hips until your torso is parallel to the floor or as low as possible (keeping your back straight).
- Slowly walk your hands forward, bringing them in line with your feet.
- Hold a few breaths, then slowly walk your hands back to the starting position.
You can practice this pose in either a seated or standing position; however, if you are new to yoga or your back hurts easily, then begin sitting on the floor with one leg outstretched in front of you and the other bent at a 90-degree angle at hip level so that both knees are touching each other (see above).
If sitting on the floor is too challenging for you, then start by placing both feet flat on the ground next to each other while maintaining good alignment through your spine before bending forward as far as possible while keeping your knees bent and arms stretched out in front of them (as shown below).
This restorative pose is excellent for the end of your yoga practice. It will help you to relax and release tension in your body, especially if you add a bolster under your knees for more relaxation.
To do it:
- Lie down on your back and bring the soles of your feet together. If this is too hard, place a bolster or pillow under them instead.
- Straighten your legs as much as possible while lifting them towards the ceiling to parallel it.
- Exhale and release the pose.
Rest in Child’s Pose for a few breaths, then inhale and lift your hips to sitting.
11 Yoga Poses To Help You Balance Your Root Chakra – Conclusion
So, there you have it. These are some of the best exercises for balancing your root chakra. The key is to find a routine that works for you and stick with it!