I’m excited to announce a new series here on the blog! This is going to be a little different from the usual content here… In addition to being a holistic health coach, I am also a yoga instructor. Most people know about the physical benefits of yoga: flexibility, strength, balance. Yoga also helps to balance your subtle body – or your bodies energy.
The work chakra means “wheel” in sanskrit. Chakras are energy wheels in our body. We have 7 main chakras that run along our spine, from the base of our spine to the crown of our head. These energy centers are both separate and connected – meaning if one energy wheel becomes stuck, it can affect the others. Practicing yoga can help to balance your chakras.
Each chakra is associated with a physical, emotional and spiritual part of our body. Additionally, chakras have a sound, color and natural element association. There are also foods that nourish certain chakras.
Ok, so let’s get into it. Each month I’ll be writing about a different chakra. Today, I’ll be talking about the first chakra – also call the Muladhara or root chakra.
The root chakra is located at the very base of your spine. The root chakra gets to the root of who we are, our foundation and our basic survival. It’s associated with feelings of belonging, acceptance, safety and feeling grounded. It’s element is earth. It’s color is red and its sound is “LAM.”
Different yoga poses can activate certain chakras. Here a few poses related to your root chakra.
This pose activates Muladhara energy like to no other, as you literally are standing grounded with 2 feet on the earth with a strong foundation. Stand tall and lift all 10 toes off the ground, and slowly lower them down. Close your eyes. Lift up from the inner arches of your feet, and feel a line of energy running up your legs to your hips to the base of your spine. Turn your inner thighs slightly inward and lower your tailbone down. Scrunch your shoulders up to your ears, and widen them down your back. Turn the palms of your hands forward. Balance the crown of your head directly over your pelvis. Focus on your breath, and visualize the color red.
From mountain pose, widen your feet to at least as wide as the short side of your yoga mat. Bring your hands to heart center. Slowly squat down, bringing your tailbone towards the ground. With your palms together, use your elbows to resist into your knees to help lengthen your front torso. Close your eyes, and stay here for 10 deep cycles of breath. This pose also brings us down to earth, and is the natural way humans used to sit. In Western culture, we sit in chairs all day and then suffer from tight hips and lower back issues. This is a good pose to practice when you want to feel calm and grounded.
Lay on your back, extend your legs and arms long, and completely release into your mat. Close your eyes. Feel an energetic exchange between you and the earth. The earth is here to support you. The phrase of the Muladhara chakra is right to be here. So just be, here in savasana, completely relaxed, for at least 5 minutes.
Nourishment through Nutrition
You can also nourish chakras through the foods you are eating. The root chakra is all about feeling grounded, so root vegetables are a great way to eat to connect with this chakra. Here are some recipes to try: