Chakra in Sanskrit means wheel. These wheels move energy through the body in yoga traditions, though they cannot be seen or touched. When the chakras flow together in harmony, they regulate spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health. There are 7 main chakras in total: Sahasrara, Ajna, Vishuddha, Anahata, Manipura, Svadhisthana, and Muladhara, and each of these contains specific nerve centers in the body and impact physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual states.
The first chakra, or base chakra, is called the Root Chakra or Muladhara. It’s known as the seat of Kundalini, symbolized by a red lotus with four petals. It is the energy found at the base of the spine, and it surrounds the bladder, the colon, and the first three vertebrae. It is associated with one’s survival instinct, being guarded, and connection to the world around us. When balanced, it keeps one grounded and stable for everyday situations.
We must keep these chakras unblocked. Otherwise, the energy will not be able to flow. A blocked chakra may lead to uneasiness and negativity. It prevents your energy from flowing and balancing the body mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Since the root chakra is the foundation point of all spiritual journeys and the physical body, it can affect all the other energies or chakras in the body; if blocked, it will affect the other chakras negatively.
Signs of a misaligned root chakra can be seen physically in the lower parts of the body, including the genital area. It may manifest as eating disorders, kidney stones, issues with digestion, constipation, prostate problems, colitis, hypertension, and impotence. It may also manifest as a struggle for survival, guilt, resentment, anxiety, insecurities, depression, lack of focus, and feeling stuck.
7 Yoga Poses to Heal and Unblock Your Root Chakra
1. Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend Yoga Pose)
A yoga pose is an effective cure for stomach problems, strengthens the spine, increases blood circulation, helps reduce menstrual issues, and reduces belly fat.
How to do it:
Stand up straight with the inner thighs near each other. Inhale deeply while stretching both arms overhead. Exhale while bending at the waist and reach to touch your feet with both hands. Allow your head to release towards the floor while the forehead moves toward your knees. Hold this position and inhale while standing back up. If your body does not allow you to reach the floor, modify the pose by placing yoga blocks on the outside of your feet and reaching for them instead while your head releases downward to any degree that feels right for you.
2. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
Relaxation and meditation pose that helps in regulating sexual energy as well as digestive difficulties such as constipation and bloating.
How to do it:
Kneel with both knees close together, and the toes are touching each other. Sit back on the heels allowing the thighs to rest on the calf muscles. Relax and keep the upper body straight, including the head. Close your eyes and while concentrating on each inhale and exhale of each breath. If this causes discomfort in the knees, try placing a yoga block, folded blanket, or bolster between the feet at a height higher than your heels and sit on that instead. If this is challenging for your ankles, try rolling a yoga blanket and placing it on your mat. Drape the tops of your feet over the blanket before sitting back to the heels or prop.
3. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose)
A pose that helps stretch the hips while strengthening the lower body (thighs, calves, and ankles). It is also helpful for stimulating circulation and digestion.
How to do it:
Stand up straight and spread your legs into a wide stance. Turn your right foot outwards by 90 degrees and your left towards the right to about a 45-degree angle. Stretch your arms out sideways until they reach shoulder height. Exhale while bending your right knee towards a 90-degree angle (allowing the thigh to move parallel with the floor). Press into the outer edge of the left foot to avoid collapsing to the inner arch and help create a long, strong back leg. Hold the position and breathe normally for a few rounds of breath. Repeat on the left side.
4. Vriksasana (Tree Pose)
A reasonably famous balance pose is useful for rooting down, hip opening, and strengthening the lower body.
How to do it:
Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Shift your weight onto your left foot. Lift right heel and place it on the inner left ankle allowing the right toes to stay on the floor while the right knee opens to the outside of the body. Find balance in this position. If you want to make the balance more challenging, lift the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left calf or the inside of your thigh. The toes of your right foot should be pointing towards the floor. Experiment with moving the arms to the sides or overhead. Allow your left foot to feel rooted like a tree while you take a few rounds of breath. Repeat on the other side.
5. Sasangasana (Hare Pose)
This pose is great for massaging abdominal organs, which will help prevent constipation and indigestion. It also helps strengthen the pelvic region and improve kidney function.
How to do it:
Start in a tabletop position. Walk your hands back towards your outer ankles while rounding your back, tuck your chin gently towards your chest, and move the top of your head towards the floor.
6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
A pose that lengthens and strengthens the lower body stimulates digestion, reduces stress and anxiety, and decreases back pain.
How to do it:
Stand up straight with your feet spread wide. Stretch your arms up and out to the sides at shoulder height. Turn the right toes to a 90-degree angle and the left toes to a 45-degree angle. Allow your hips to hinge as you extend your right arm as far as you can to the right, reaching beyond your foot. Then, tip forward at the hips allowing the right hand to move toward the right shin, a yoga block in front of or behind the right leg, or the floor. Your left arm will be extended in a straight line from the right so that it’s upward towards the ceiling. Slowly turn your head to look up towards the left hand. Take several full rounds of breath before coming up and trying it on the other side.
7. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
A pose helps improve balance, build strength in the lower body muscles and improve digestion and elimination.
How to do it:
Stand up straight with feet hip-distance apart. Put your weight onto your left foot. Life the right leg and cross it over the rooted left leg. Beginners can rest their right toes on the floor or a block on the outside of the left foot. To challenge your balance, hook your right foot on the outside or backside of your left calf. Maintain this position while you cross your left elbow over your right elbow weaving your arms and bringing your palms together.
These are just some of the yoga poses that can help with unblocking root chakra. Aside from asanas, other things could help with aligning this root chakra. Root chakra stones are an example of this. Obsidian, Bloodstones, Red Carnelian and Red Jasper are traditional root chakra stones. Our diet may also affect the alignment of the chakra. Foods explicitly linked to the root chakra include protein-rich foods, root vegetables, and red foods.
Once the root chakra is unblocked, the following work will be on maintaining a healthy root chakra.
Once you are able to recognize when you need more grounding, focus, or determination, you will be able to use your yoga practice and knowledge of your chakras to find a sense of harmony and balance in your life.
In conclusion, practicing yoga poses that unblock the root chakra can help to restore balance and bring grounding energy into the body. This can be helpful for those who feel scattered or overwhelmed and can help to improve overall well-being. If you are interested in trying out some of these poses, be sure to consult a yoga instructor to make sure you are doing them correctly. And remember, the key to success is consistency, so try to practice these poses regularly for the best results.