The Root Chakra

The Root Chakra is responsible for how we sustain ourselves on physical and emotional levels and can become a storage place for old memories and experiences from family life, and experiences that molded our sense of identity, ability and self.

During this sequence, be aware, compassionate and alert to emotions, sensations and memories and allow time and space to allow these feelings and memories to flow through you and come to completion.  Sometimes we avoid feeling these emotions because we fear they might overwhelm us. They won’t. You are the container for your emotions, you are the pathway for their expression and through expression you can reclaim the power they have bound up. That said, ensure you have the time and privacy to allow you to compassionately express what you may have stored up. Allow yourself a sensory experience you find soothing after practice: a bath, sitting on the porch wrapped in a warm blanket, a sauna or a massage.

During this practice, imagine a glowing red light engulfing your hips and on exhalation audibly, softly or silently repeat the syllable “Lam.” Lam is the seed syllable associated with the Root Chakra and you may feel its vibration.

Things you might want to have handy: Yoga Mat, Yoga Towel or Blanket, Yoga Strap, Yoga Bolster

It is recommended to perform the warm-up before starting this routine.

Step 1: Easy Pose
Duration: 2 minutes
Pose Review: Easy Pose

Elevating your hips on one or more blankets and supporting your knees if they don’t rest on the ground, press your sitting bones into the surface beneath you and lift your sternum. For the next 2 minutes, or 20-24 breaths, imagine a red glowing light engulfing your legs and hips while repeating, audibly or silently, “lam” with each exhalation. If your mind wanders at any time during this practice, bring it back to the light, your breath, or the sound.

Step 2: Garland Pose
Duration: 3-12 breaths
Pose Review: Garland Pose

Walk your hands forward, bring your feet to hip width and come onto your toes while lowering your hips. Bring your elbows to the insides of your knees. Lift through your pelvic floor and lengthen your spine by lifting your heart.

Step 3: Awkward Chair Pose
Duration: 3-12 breaths
Pose Review: Awkward Chair Pose

Reach your fingertips to the floor in front of you, and engage your pelvic floor while drawing your belly button toward your spine. Slowly, mindfully, lift your hips to a sitting position. Lengthen your spine by lifting up through your sternum and reach your arms out, hands above your head.

Step 4: Pyramid Pose

Duration: 3-12 breaths
Pose Review: Pyramid Pose

From Mountain, step back with your right foot 4-5 feet, toes turned slightly out. Draw up through your core and join your hands behind your back. Lengthen your spine by lifting your rib cage evenly up, and fold forward over your front leg, aiming your nose at your knee. You may keep your hands behind your back or allow them to rest on your shin.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 5: Standing Straddle Forward Bend
Duration: 3-12 breaths
Pose Review: Standing Straddle Forward Bend

Standing sideways on your mat, step your feet as far apart as you are tall and turn your toes in just a bit so you are in a wide, pigeon toed stance. Joining your hands behind your back and engaging the pelvic floor and core muscles to the spine, lower your spine by rotating your pelvis over your legs, stopping if your low back rounds or complains in any way. You may reach your hands to the floor or to blocks placed for that purpose. Allow your head to hang naturally.

Step 6: Triangle Pose
Duration: 3-12 breaths
Pose Review: Triangle Pose

From a wide stance sideways on your mat, turn your right foot forward (toward the short end of your mat) and your left foot in about 45 degrees. With your hands on your hips. Tilt your pelvis toward the right, lowering your torso to the right over your leg. Keep your leg muscles strongly engaged so you don’t hyperextend your knees. Draw your core muscles toward your spine and maintain its integrity. When you come to your furthest extension, open your arms out to your sides as if you were readying for an embrace.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 7: Downward Facing Dog

Duration: exhale
Pose Review: Downward Facing Dog

From all fours, turn your toes under, press into your hands and reach your sitting bones back and up, stretching the backs of your legs, and scooping your belly up and under your rib cage.

Step 8: Plank

Duration: inhale
Pose Review: Plank Pose

Drawing your heart forward and bringing your shoulders over your wrists, lower your hips only until they are in line between heels and shoulders.

Repeat Steps 7-8 up to 12 times, moving fluidly from your core to power your transitions. Imagine distributing the energy from your Root Chakra evenly along your spine. Rest in child’s pose when complete until your breath stabilizes.

Step 9: Pigeon Pose

Duration: 3-12 breaths
Pose Review: Pigeon Pose

From Down Dog, draw your right knee in to your chest and wave forward, placing your right knee by your right wrist and your right foot near your left hand. Lower your hips evenly toward the ground, supporting one side with blanket, block or bolster if they are uneven. Support your torso on elbow, or stretch out with your chest and forehead on the floor. Focus on sensations in the hips, breathing with the intensity, the sound of “lam,” or the color red.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 10: Goddess Pose

Duration: 12 breaths
Pose Review: Goddess Pose

From Staff pose, bend your knees and bring your feet together. Lower your torso back on your hands and elbows. You may support your torso on a bolster and your knees on blocks or blankets.

To come out, use your hands on the outside of your knees to bring them toward one another.

Perform the relaxation sequence to complete this routine.