Yoga for the Root Chakra

The root chakra, positioned at the base of your spine, houses the raw, static life force energy known as Kundalini. Also known as the 1st chakra or Muladhara in Sanskrit, it governs your “survival instincts” and is associated with red — the color of vitality and energy. When the first chakra is open and balanced, you feel grounded and at ease with the world around you.

Yoga for the Root Chakra, Yoga for All

Incorporating yoga into your daily routine is a great way to open and balance your body’s chakras. Although a series of yoga poses are intended for individual chakras, the asanas (or poses) ultimately benefit the entire body. It is impossible to energize one energy center without affecting the rest of the system.

Basic Asanas to Support the First Chakra

In practice, yoga poses are referred to as asanas. These postures are intended to improve your overall physical, spiritual, and emotional health when practiced regularly. Adapted from the word asanam, which is Sanskrit for “seated posture,” basic asanas for the root chakra not only ground you, but also bolster your primal nature. By strengthening your core and lower extremities, you also increase stamina.

To open and balance your first chakra, introduce forward bends and standing poses to strengthen your core, legs, and feet. Unsure where to begin? Start with these:

  • Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) — By stretching the legs and hips, standing forward bend strengthens the knees and thighs which allows for stable grounding and opening of the root chakra.

  • Garland (Malasana) — Frequently used to lead into standing forward bend, garland pose strengthens the ankles and lower back to help activate the first chakra.

  • Head-to-knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana) — Benefiting the spine, hamstrings, and groin muscles, this pose stimulates kidney and liver function and increases energy flow through the first chakra.

  • Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana) — As you stretch your inner thighs, knees, and groin muscle, reclining bound angle pose also stimulates organ function in the bladder, kidneys and reproductive organs which helps balance chakra energy.

  • Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) — An asana similar to the standing forward bend, this position helps stretch and strengthen the legs and spine, which helps open and activate the root chakra.

  • Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) — This pose helps strengthen and stretch the legs and ankles while nurturing a strong core. Mastering this pose will increase your stamina which is key to maintaining a balanced first chakra.