The (Muladhara) Chakra Approach to... Vitality, Self-Assurance, Grounding

My public classes have just completed a week of exploring the muladhara or root chakra. In case you missed these experiential sessions on the muladhara chakra, here are some highlights:

General Overview: You are capable of creating a sense of wellbeing, satisfaction, joy, and safety through activating and balancing your muladhara chakra. The muladhara chakra is the energy center of the body that asserts that at your core, you are whole, worthy, good, and joyful. This chakra asserts that not only are you good, but this truth is self-evident (read: you don’t need to do anything to prove or deserve it—you naturally deserve it and you are the proof!).

The muladhara asserts that “I AM!”.

The muladhara chakra rules the adrenal glands, the skeletal system, the legs, and the feet. It’s related to the color red, the element earth, and the planet Saturn.

To activate the muladhara chakra through yoga, engage your pelvic floor while practicing poses that challenge the legs and ground the feet such as warrior 1, warrior 2, tadasana, malasana, or durgasana. 


15 minute home practice to activate the muladhara chakra:

Centering exercise: Start in a seated position with the hands in gyan mudra (first finger to thumb). Close the eyes and bring focus to the breath for several rounds of breathing. Next, as you inhale, envision red, earthy light drawing up from the earth, through your pelvis and into your entire body. This wholesome red light brings awareness, vitality, and a sense of calm to the body. As you exhale, envision the red light that is now within you, and send it back into the earth. Continue for several rounds. If you find this light visualization helpful, you can continue to use it throughout your practice.

Warm up: Move through several rounds of cat/cow, feeling that the practice is originating from your tailbone. Flow through one surya namaskar, ending in tadasana. Enliven your tadasana by activating the legs toward one another. Move the thighs back in space to create room for your lumbar spinal curve, and then tuck your tailbone under by activating your low belly in toward your spine. This should feel strong and active.

Activate: Starting on your right side, move through crescent lunge, warrior 1, warrior 2, and parsvakonasana. Try to hold each pose for at least 30 seconds, with each inhale, focus on the activation of your pelvic floor by drawing energy up through the legs to the core of the pelvis. With each exhale send that energy back out into the ground and stretch. Repeat on the left side.

Next, take uttanasana. Relax here for at least 30 seconds, focusing on creating length from the pelvis to the top of the head. On an inhale, stand, sweeping arms overhead and exhaling your palms together in front of the heart.

Point your toes and your knees out slightly and enter malasana. Inhale, stand all the way up, opening to durgasana by bringing the right leg out to the side and squatting. Take a breath, and on your next exhale, return to malasana. Repeat on the left side. This is one round. Do as many rounds as you’re able, or continue for two minutes. On your final malasana, enter a seated position.

Integrate: Move toward baddha konasana. From the pelvis, tilt slightly forward until you feel a stretch. Hold for at least 30 seconds. Return to an easy seated position, and practice alternate nostril breathing for at least 10 rounds. This balances the nervous system and helps to integrate the work you’ve done. End in savasana for at least two minutes.