Yoga Bliss Gambia: Balance your Root Chakra

My Magazine 2022/06
6 min
Author: Melissa Kuwahata Daswani
Like the root of a tree which is fundamental for the life of the tree, the root chakra (Muladhara Chakra) is a foundation for all the chakras located along the spine and the whole being. Without a strong foundation, network of roots and a healthy operation you cannot effectively support the whole tree.

The same applies to your root chakra. Without a healthy and balanced root chakra, you are not able to support and balance the chakra system. It is important for this reason to regularly check in with the root chakra, and in-corporate practices that keep the root chakra balanced. As the name suggests the root chakra is situated at the base of the torso, at the perinium. It is the root of our being, establishing the deepest connections with the physical body, the environment and with Earth.

The root chakra governs the adrenal gland, spine, blood, reproductive organs, our sense of survival, security and stability. Any imbalance of this chakra can manifest as insecurity, anxiety, disconnection from the world, materialism, inability to focus, and sense of chaos. Physically it can manifest as pain in lower limbs, problems with the sexual organs, kidneys, and the adrenal gland. Adrenal gland controls the release of various hormones that are vital to our lives, one being adrenalin that stimulates our fight or flight response, as well as cortisol which is involved as a stress regulator amongst array of other functional regulation of our body. By bringing your root chakra into balance you maybe able to alleviate some of the symptoms that are brought on by the lack of or too much of the root chakra.

Before we go through our root chakra balancing asanas, I would also like to add that certain foods can stimulate our chakras. In this instance root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes and red fruits and vegetables will add to the balancing of the chakra.

Let us find a peaceful space for our practice. 

Throughout the practice it's helpful to focus on the root chakra. The colour of the root chakra is red, so you may like to visualize a red translucent ball deep at the seat of your pelvis or the perinium region. Keeping your focus throughout is progressive for your practice, it’s not always easy to maintain your focus, so if you notice that your focus has shifted encourage yourself to bring it back without self-judgement.

 

Come into a comfortable sitting position.  Lengthening the spine and opening the chest.  Close the eyes and start with a few rounds of natural nostril breathing.

Sitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

Open the mouth and curl the sides of the tongue inwards to create a tube.  Take a deep inhalation through the tubed tongue, draw the tongue back in and close your mouth, pause your breath.  Take a deep exhalation out of your nose.  Repeat 10 breaths.

 

Mountain Pose Tadasana

Stand with your legs together, knees touching, and draw the spine upwards.
Arms are placed comfortably beside the body with the palms
facing forward and the fingers extended.
Close your eyes, brining your awareness to your breath.
Notice the sole of your feet on the surface of the mat/ground.
Feel the grounding of your feet,
and the stability it brings to your body.
Stay for 12 breaths, or as long as you need to.

Chair Pose Utkatasana

Stand straight with your feet together, inhale to draw the arms up.  As you exhale bend your knees lower your hips to sit into an invisible chair.  The legs and feet are engaged to stablise the body, chest is opened broad with the spine extending upwards.  Gaze into the space between your palms.  Hold the asana for 6 to 12 breaths, and return to a standing position.

Garland Pose Malasana 

Stand with your feet mat width (or slightly wider) apart, toes turned outward.  Come into a deep squat, lowering the bottom towards the heels.  If you’re not able to keep the feels down you can place a rolled towel under your heels.  If you have knee problem you can sit on a stool to relieve the pressure away from the knees.   Bring your focus to your Root chakra and maintain a balanced rhythm of nostril breathing.  Hold for 6 to 12 breaths.

Warrior 2 Pose Virabhadrasana 2

Stand at the top of your mat, take a wide step back with your right leg, turning the toes out lower the right heel to the ground.  Bend into your left knee as deep as you’re comfortable.  Try to adjust your position so that your left knee is just above your left heel.  Allow your hips to open, and bring your arms up in line with the shoulders and bring your gaze to the tip of your left middle finger.  If you have shoulder problems you can bring your palms into prayer position in front of your heart center. Notice the grounding of your root chakra as you sit deep into the asana.  Take your awareness to your breath and hold for 6 to 12 breaths.  Repeat on your opposite leg.   If you have any knee issues, you can perform Warrior 2 sitting on a chair or a stool.

Staff Pose Dandasana

Sit on your mat with your legs extended, allow your hips to turn out so your spine can be drawn up straight.  Rotate the shoulders back, open your chest.  Flex your feet to turn the toes upwards, feel the engagement in your legs.  Keep your arms alongside of your body, palms placed down to the mat/ground.  If you’re not able to sit comfortably in staff pose, you can place a rolled towel under your bottom to help with the hip turnout.  Maintain your pose for 6 to 12 breaths. 

Bridge Pose Setubandha Sarvangasana

Lie on your mat on your back with your knees bent.  Keep your feet hips width apart, and your heels close enough to your bottom that you can almost touch the back of your heels with your fingertips.  Engage your buttocks and push your hips upwards.  Hold this position.  Bring your awareness back to the breath, taking deep breath in and out through your nose.  Maintain for 6 to 12 breaths.  If you’re not able to maintain this position comfortably due to neck or knee issues, you can place a rolled towel/blanket under your hip to assist with the asana.  In this instance, rather than pushing the hips upwards, allow your hips to deeply rest down into the support.

These six asana and breathing techniques are here to help bring a sense of grounding, security and stability.  Rejuvenating and balancing the root chakra is essential to the overall chakra system, as well as the well-being of the associated gland, organs, and the plexus of our body that affects our mind and health.  You can read more about chakra in the May Issue of My Gambia Magazine, and continue your chakra health journey in the upcoming issues!

Pictures sourced from tummee.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Kuwahata Daswani
Founder, Yoga Bliss Gambia and Yoga Bliss Creations
Melissa Daswani is a professional yoga teacher trained and accredited in Hatha Yoga from Rishikesh, India. She was introduced to yoga in the early adolesce by her mother who often practised yoga at their home and still continues to practice to date.
Melissa started to indulge in yoga with a keen interest in her 20’s after researching the benefits of practising yoga.
In order to expand her knowledge and practice, she initially enrolled on official training in India during 2009. Her initial stint in yoga teaching began in 2012 in Togo, followed by expanding in the Gambia from 2016. Melissa’s style of teaching incorporates the fundamental and crucial steps of yoga called Hatha yoga, which encompasses the basis of all other styles of yoga. Melissa believes that every individual has something to gain from Yoga which is not limited to mental, physical or spiritual.
Yoga is not a religion but more a spiritual exercise as well as a practice that can universally be incorporated into your daily routine. Melissa offers regular weekly classes in Fajara, the Gambia, which is open to all levels.
She also runs a weekly beach yoga class which is very refreshing and energizing.
It’s her love and dedication towards teaching which allows her the opportunity to share the essence of yoga and its benefits to people from all walks of life.
Whether you reside in the Gambia or a visitor in The Gambia, Yoga Bliss Gambia would love to welcome you to their next class.

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