5 Yoga Practices For Balancing the Root Chakra

When we are afraid, we live in our heads. Our minds create “what ifs” about the future and re-run our mistakes from the past. We disconnect from what is happening in the present moment. Our connection to reality is lost.
Prolonged bouts of insecurity, fear, or anxiety can make us overly-cautious. We may experience anal-retentive tendencies or feel helpless, trapped, and overwhelmed. The energy of the Root Chakra (located near the tailbone and anus) becomes imbalanced due to worry, fear, and insecurity.
To regain our equilibrium, yoga teaches us to stabilize our feet, ankles, knees, and legs. It provides practices that draw our attention out of our heads and down into our bodies. Through these five simple practices, you can bring balance to the Root Chakra.

Here Are 5 Root Chakra Healing Yoga Practices For Stability, Endurance, Vitality, and Strength:

These practices include a breathing technique (pranayama), a hand gesture (mudra), a healing sound (mantra), and two yoga postures (asana) for greater root chakra stability.

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

In Mountain Pose, you feel the earth beneath your feet. Stand in this pose for just three minutes to benefit your feet, ankles, knees and legs. As you stand, play with shifting your weight off center by leaning a little forward, then back, then to the right, and then to the left. Find the place where your weight is evenly distributed and firmly press your weight into the earth.

2. Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

In addition to providing a generous stretch for the backs of your legs and inner groins, this pose brings your head low to the earth. If you are able to touch the earth with your hands (or even the top of your head) let this add to the foundation of the pose. Hold this pose for five or more long, deep breaths.
When you come out of the pose, hold your hips with your hands, press into the earth with your feet, and rise up with a long flat spine.


3. Earth Mudra (Prithvi or Agni Shaamak Mudra)

This mudra can be done in either of the previously mentioned poses, or done from a seated position with your hands resting easily in your lap. To form the mudra, join the tip of your ring finger to the tip of your thumb on each hand and extend the remaining fingers away from your palms.
Holding the mudra for increments of five to ten minutes throughout your day will increase the earth-like qualities within you – including stability, strength, vitality, and endurance. An alternate name for the mudra (Agni Shaamak Mudra) indicates that holding the mudra can also reverse the effects of emaciation, inflammation, and an overactive metabolism.
Want to learn more about mudras? Read Common Mudras, Their Meaning, and How to Practice Them.

4. Cooling Breath (Sitali Pranayama)

Use this pranayama to counteract any irritability that comes out of fear and indignation (especially road rage). You can perform five to ten rounds of this breath to feel its benefits. Additional benefits include both reduced hunger and thirst, as well as increased feelings of coolness and calm.
Curl the side edges of your tongue together (until it looks like a taco shell) and inhale air through your curled tongue. Close your mouth and press your cooled tongue to the roof of your mouth as you exhale through your nose.
If you cannot curl your tongue, nothing is wrong with you, it is genetic. Instead, stick your flattened tongue halfway out from your lips and inhale through your mouth. Follow the same instructions as above for your exhale.
Recommended Read: Pranayama Explained + 5 Techniques to Get You Started

5. LAM (Muladhara Bija Mantra)

In addition to body positions and breathing techniques, yoga also gives us sound and vibration to work with imbalanced energy. The Root Chakra vibrates with the sound “LAM” (pronounced L-UH-M).
For the greatest impact, chant this sound aloud while you focus your attention on feeling the base of your spine. If you are in a public space, try chanting the mantra silently until you feel more connected to your body and to the present moment.

Heal Your Root Chakra With Grounding

You have everything you need inside of you – that is the ultimate teaching of yoga. The earth beneath your feet is composed of the same elements as the cells inside of your body. Root yourself to this notion whenever you feel your worry arise and use these practices as you see fit.
Want to learn more about the root chakra? Check out “Root Chakra 101” to learn more about this chakra and how its balance impacts your life, or have fun assessing your chakra balance using this online quiz.

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Hannah Leatherbury

​Yoga found Hannah in the midst of an existential crisis fifteen years ago. She now teaches in the metro-DC area. Her recorded meditations are freely available on her audio blog and through the Insight Timer app.

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