Nurture your root chakra for a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem…
According to Eastern tradition, there are 7 major energy centers or “chakras” throughout the body. Ancient yogis believed that one reason yoga was so powerful is that it helped to move energy or “prana” through these chakras, keeping them open and balanced, and thereby promoting physical and mental health. If energy becomes blocked in any of these energy centers, it can cause symptoms of mental, physical, or emotional imbalance – such as anxiety, depression, poor digestion, lack of self esteem, or fatigue. Keeping your energy centers open and your energy flowing properly, they believed, is key to maintaining good overall health.
Many yogis today still incorporate energy work into their yoga practice, but even if this isn’t your thing, simply doing yoga on a regular basis can stimulate your body’s systems and help keep them healthy and balanced.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at each of the major chakras and how they connect with your health and well-being. We’ll also share some tips and yoga practices for balancing these important energy centers.
This week, we’re diving into the first chakra, known as the Root Chakra, or Muladhara. This foundational energy center is located at the very base of your spine, and it is associated with the Earth element, and is typically shown as the color red on chakra charts. This chakra is believed to keep us grounded, strong, and secure. It is also related to your sense of self, and your instinctual urges such as those for food, sex, and survival. It is also where many of our deepest fears may reside. When this chakra is out of balance, symptoms may be low self-esteem, anxiety disorders, self-destructive behaviors such as eating disorders or drug or alcohol abuse, or colon, bladder, prostate, and other physical lower body issues.
Here is a bit more about the root chakra, according to Chopra.com:
Located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, the root chakra is responsible for your sense of safety and security on this earthly journey. The word Muladhara breaks down into two Sanskrit words: Mula meaning “root” and Adhara, which means “support” or “base.”
How to Balance Muladhara
While meditation does connect you to a higher spiritual plane, it also serves to ground you. You may not always be able to trust that the world will give you what you need to survive, but connection to your higher self and trust in a power higher than yourself will give you what you need to feel safe.
It does not matter if you call that higher power Consciousness, Mother Nature, God, or Spirit. Connection to universal energy will bring you a sense of peace and stability. The animals in the forest have no idea if and when they will find food each day, yet somehow they trust in nature to provide for them.
Try this: The sense organ that corresponds to the first chakra is smell. While meditating, focus on the tip of your nose to help align the root and bring forth the qualities you need to balance your root chakra.
Yoga Asanas that help to open and align Muladhara are…
- Pavanamuktasana, Wind-Relieving pose
- Janu Sirsansana, Head to Knee Pose
- Padmasana, Lotus pose
- Malasana, Squatting pose
Women can also practice Kegel exercises, and both men and women can do Bandha yoga—where you lock or tighten certain areas of your body—to help bring strong energy and strength to the area of the first chakra.
Read More at Chopra.com…
Or try this root chakra-balancing class…