Release tension and build strength in surrounding muscles (chakra yoga)

This chakra is located at the base of the spine and the pelvic floor area, and it governs our basic needs. With a balanced root chakra, we should feel secure and stable in our lives, from our physical needs (food and water) to our emotional needs (stability and balance). Yoga can help balance this chakra by building a connection between us and that area, as well as releasing tension and building strength in the surrounding muscles.

1. Siddhasana Accomplished Pose

This simple pose is often done during meditation and at the beginning or end of a yoga class. With your heels pointed toward the root chakra, it will help you draw energy and attention toward that area.
Props: Mat, blanket
Precautions: Use caution or avoid this pose if you have recently had a knee or hip-joint injury or suffer from chronic pain in either of these areas.
Benefits:
  •  Promotes hip flexibility
  • Helps you feel grounded
  •  Comfortable seat for meditation
Instructions:
  1.  Come to a seat on the floor and sit up tall on the two sit bones at the bottom of your pelvis.
  2.  Bend both of your legs and bring your heels in toward the pelvis, bringing one foot in front of the other and aligning both heels with your pubic bone.
  3. Bring your hands to a resting position with your palms facing up on your legs.
  4. Inhale and lengthen your spine; exhale, spread your shoulders apart, and soften your ribs in toward one another.
  5. Hold for as long as you are able to or as instructed, if you are practicing this pose as part of a sequence.
TIP:  Place a folded yoga blanket under your hips and sit on the rounded edge of the blanket to promote a forward tilt of your pelvis. This alleviates any gripping you may feel in your hip sockets and knee joints.

2. Anjaneyasana Low Lunge (Variation with the Knee Down)

This straightforward pose opens the root chakra and the surrounding muscles and joints.
Prop: Mat
Precautions: Use caution or avoid this pose if you have recently had a knee or hip injury or suffer from chronic pain in either of these areas.
Benefits:
  • Promotes hip flexibility
  • Stretches the quadriceps
  • Relieves tension and stress
Instructions:
  1.  Begin on your hands and knees and bring one bent leg toward the front of your mat, placing the bottom of your foot on the floor between your hands.
  2. The knee of the front leg should be directly above the foot and tracking in line with the second and third toes.
  3. Bring the shin of the back leg and the top of the back foot down on the ground behind you.
  4. The hands should be on the ground, framing the front foot, and your gaze should be on the ground between your hands, keeping the spine long.
  5. Inhale and lengthen the spine; exhale and gently press the hips down toward the ground.
  6. Hold for three to five breaths.
  7. To come out of this pose, press into the ground with your hands and bring the front leg back under your hips in a hands-and-knees position.
  8. Repeat on the other side.
TIP: If you are feeling pressure or pain on the knee joint of the back leg, you can fold your yoga mat over to create a double layer of cushion under that joint.

3. Baddha Konasana | Bound-Angle Pose

This seated forward fold will stretch the hips in an externally rotated position, which is another great way to open up that area. It is also very calming and will help center your energy toward the root chakra.
Props: Mat, blanket, blocks
Precautions: Use caution or avoid this pose if you have recently had a lower-back, knee, or hip injury or suffer from chronic pain in any of these areas.
Benefits:
  • Promotes external rotation of the hips
  • Calms the body and mind
  • Releases tension and stress
Instructions:
  1.  Begin in a seated position on the floor, sitting tall on the two sit bones at the bottom of your pelvis.
  2. Bend both legs and bring the bottoms of your feet toward your body to meet sole-to-sole at the center line.
  3. Hold your ankles with your hands; your knees should be out to either side of you.
  4. Inhale and lengthen the spine, then exhale and fold the torso forward.
  5. For a deeper hip opening, while you are bending forward, bring your elbows to both knees and gently press the knees down toward the floor.
  6. Hold for three to five breaths.
  7. To come out of this pose, on an inhale, slowly bring the torso back upright and release the legs from their position.
TIP:  Place a folded yoga blanket under your hips and sit on the rounded edge of the blanket to promote a forward tilt of your pelvis. This alleviates any gripping you may feel in your hip sockets and knee joints. Also, if your hips are particularly sensitive while stretching in this direction, you can place blocks under your knees for support.

4. Ananda Balasana | Happy Baby Pose

This joyful pose takes place while lying on your back and can be done anywhere, from your yoga mat to your bed. It requires deep hip flexibility, but it can be modified to suit your needs.
Prop:Mat
Precautions:Use caution or avoid this pose if you have recently had a lower-back, knee, hip, hand, or wrist injury or suffer from chronic pain in any of these areas.
Benefits:
  • Promotes deep hip flexibility
  • Stretches and opens the pelvic floor
  • Releases tension and stress
Instructions:
  1. Begin by lying flat on top of your yoga mat on your back.
  2.  Bend both legs and hug them in toward the chest.
  3. Take hold of the outer arches of your feet with your hands and bring the bottoms of the feet to face the ceiling.
  4. Bring your knees in toward the armpits.
  5. Hold for three to five deep breaths.
  6. To come out of this pose, slowly release your hands from the feet and bring the legs down.
TIP: If you cannot reach your feet, you can hold on to the hamstrings instead, which are located at the back of the upper legs.

5. Prasarita Padottanasana | Wide-Legged Forward Bend

This pose combines the power and stability of a standing pose with the calming nature of a forward fold. It is great for releasing tension from the lower back, hips, and neck, the areas of the body where we hold it most.
Props:Mat, blocks
Precautions:Use caution or avoid this pose if you have recently had a lower-back, knee, hip, hand, wrist, or arm injury or suffer from chronic pain in any of these areas.
Benefits:
  • Promotes lower-back flexibility
  • Releases tension from the back, hips, and neck
  • Calms the body and mind
Instructions:
  1.  Step into a wide-legged stance, bringing your feet a bit wider than the length of one of your legs.
  2. Bring your hands to your hips, bend your knees, send your hips backward, and fold your torso forward and down with a straight spine.
  3.  Once you are folded over, bring your hands to the floor with your palms flat and elbows pointed back behind you.
  4. Allow your head to hang over freely; release control.
  5.  Hold for three to five breaths.
  6.  To come out of this pose, press into the floor with both feet and slowly roll up to an upright position.
TIP:  If your hands do not reach the floor, you can bend your knees generously or use yoga blocks under your hands to bring the floor to you.

6. Upavistha Konasana  | Wide-Angle Pose

This pose provides hip and inner thigh opening, with the calming aspect of a forward fold. It is another great pose for stretching all the key areas of the root chakra, such as the hips and pelvic area.
Props: Mat, blanket
Precautions: Use caution or avoid this pose if you have recently had a lower-back, knee, or hip injury or suffer from chronic pain in any of these areas.
Benefits:
  • Opens the hips and inner thighs
  • Calms the body and mind
Instructions:
  1.  Come to a seated position on the floor, sitting up tall on the two sit bones at the base of your pelvis and your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Stretch your legs open to either side and flex your feet, bringing the legs as far open as you can while keeping your knees and toes pointing toward the ceiling.
  3.  Inhale and lengthen the spine, then exhale and fold the torso forward, stretching the arms out in front of you, looking down.
  4.  Place your forehead on the floor if you are able to and keep the knees and toes pointed at the ceiling.
  5.  Hold for three to five breaths.
  6.  To come out of this pose, on an inhale, gently and slowly walk the hands back in toward the pelvis and bring the torso upright.
  7.  Bring the legs back in toward the center line of the body.
TIP:  Place a folded yoga blanket under your hips and sit on the rounded edge of the blanket to promote a forward tilt of your pelvis. This alleviates any gripping you may feel in your hip sockets and tension in the inner thighs.

FINAL TIP:

While chakra yoga is a great way to heal your body and mind from many ailments, it is best to practice it in conjunction with consulting medical professionals. Chakra yoga is an excellent supplementary tool for improving your overall health and well-being, and it can be used along with treatments your physician prescribes or recommends. As long as you consult your doctor, listen to your body, and be kind to yourself, you will achieve a great amount of healing and balance.

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