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Yoga for the Root Chakra

Muladhara (Root) Chakra

What is the root chakra? How to awaken it and connect with your Muladhara energy.

Location – The base of the spine, deep in the pelvic region

Association – Feet, legs, pelvic floor

Colour – Red

Element – Earth

Meaning – Stability

Crystal – Red Jasper, known to reconnect us with the earth and its grounding energy

The first of our seven primary chakras, the Muladhara (or root) is considered to be our foundational chakra.

Located at the base of the spine, it is associated with the feet, legs, and pelvic region. When our Muladhara energy is in balance, we feel safe, strong, and stable. A blockage in this chakra can manifest through feelings of fear or anxiety, negativity, or cynicism. Physically, symptoms may include colon or bladder problems, as well as issues with the legs or feet.

To engage with this chakra, you want to create a feeling of strong, stable foundations. Focus on your connection to the earth through your feet and legs, lift up through the knees and thighs and engage the pubis. Use every breath to keep you in the present moment and allow the flow of the inhale and exhale to bring steadiness to the body.

Why not try incorporating the five yoga poses below into your practice to awaken your Muladhara energy and balance out this foundational chakra.

Tadasana (Mountain) Pose

Stand with the feet hip distance apart, spread the toes and ground down through all corners of the feet. Activate the legs, engaging the thighs and picking up the kneecaps. Ensure your pelvis is in a neutral position and the spine is tall, the crown of the head is reaching up towards the ceiling. Roll the shoulders away from the ears, widening the collarbone, and allow the arms to hang by the side of the torso, palms facing out. Engage the Mula bandha, lift the pubis.

Gently rock forwards and backwards through the feet, noticing the feeling of the ground underneath and the connection to the earth. Come to stillness, gently close off the eyes and breathe, feeling the strong, stable foundations you have built and the grounding of the feet with the earth. Hold this pose for up to a minute.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

From Tadasana, bend from the hips and start to bring the torso down towards the ground, lengthening as you go. Press the feet into the floor and lift the sitting bones. Bring the hands or fingertips to the ground, beside or just in front of the feet. Option to take opposite elbows with the hands if you do not reach the floor.

As you inhale, lift the torso and find length. With each exhale find space to fold a little deeper into the pose. Stay here for up to a minute. Come back up hinging from the hips, slowly with a nice long spice.

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

From Tadasana, bring the weight into the left (standing) leg, find your Drishti or focused gaze, and slowly start to peel the right foot up off the floor, coming to the tiptoes. Open the right leg out and bring the sole of the foot to the inside of the standing leg.

Pick the foot up and place the sole on the inner thigh of the left leg. Draw the right knee back to square off the hips and press the left leg down. Reach the arms up and overhead, sparking through the fingertips.

Hold here for several breaths before slowly releasing down. Repeat on the other side.

Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

From Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) on the right side, start to reach out with the right hand, extending the torso. Bending from the hips, take the right arm down towards the ground, torso following, so that the arm is on the inside of the right leg. Aim the fingertips or palm to the floor and the hand against the inside of the right ankle.

Leading with the fingertips, left arm extends up and over towards the right in line with the ear and turn the ribcage to open the chest. Face the palm down to the ground. Extend through the top arm, creating a long line down the left side of the body, from the foot all the way through to the tips of the fingers. Take the gaze up or down towards the floor. Ground down through the feet to stabilise.

Stay here for ten long breaths before slowly lifting the torso back up, following the momentum of the left arm as you bring it back over to the left. Repeat on the other side.

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Starting in Tadasana, step the feet wider than the hips, feet out turned slightly. Bring the hands to Anjali mudra (prayer position) and shifting the weight into the heels, start to sink the hips down, directing the tailbone towards the floor, keeping the torso up and open.

Come down slowly to a deep squat, bringing the elbows to the inside of the knees, lift the torso and open the heart space. You can gently move side to side to help further open the hips and settle into the pose. Come to stillness and take several nice slow breaths, breathing into any areas of tightness.

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