Root Chakra - Chakracize with us for the next 49 days!
The techniques of chakra yoga promote the flow of energy in the subtle body and nourish the chakras which are like energy wheels from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. When energy circulates freely through the body, positive effects occur and relieve us of blockages that we may have incurred in our lifetimes. To strengthen one of your chakras, you should follow the program for that chakra for seven days and then begin the next series for the next one going up the spine. This chakra cleansing takes 49 days as we have seven chakras. They are as follows: root chakra (muladhara), sacral chakra (svadhisthana), solar plexus chakra (manipura), heart chakra (anahata), throat chakra (vishuddha), forehead chakra (ajna), and the crown chakra (sahasrara).
Part I: Root Chakra (Muladhara)
Four petals of the lotus flower
Mantra or sound: LAM (sounds like "lang")
Central theme: stability, the will to live, self-preservation, sense of trust and security, groundedness
Pranayama to begin: Inhale, pause, exhale (grow your breath to an inhalation with a count of 8, pause for 4, exhale to a count of 8) Practice for 3 - 5 minutes in an easy seated (Sukhasana) posture.
Warm-up exercises will make your muscles, tendons, and joints more flexible. The flexible spine is fundamental for the development of the chakras because all of the chakras (with the exception of the crown) lie along the line of the spine.
backward roll with blankets on the mat (Nose to Knees pose) and hands on shins or ankles
seated Cat/Cow, grinding Cat/Cow by circling towards the knees and exhaling by arching away, or hands and knees Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)
Butterfly or Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana) with feet on block, then change to sit bones on block, then seated on the floor. You can incorporate the next pose while you open up the knees in opposite directions.
Neck Rolls - be very gentle. Begin with exhaling chin to collarbone and inhaling lifting chin and dipping head back. Then, right ear to right shoulder and left ear to left shoulder. Finally, taking your head in a slow, easy fluid circle counter clockwise and clockwise.
Deep Squat (often called Crow Squat in Kundalini or Prayer Squat - Malasana) with heels on a blanket if they lift off the floor.
Lying down, Apanasana or Wind-relieving pose with one knee at a time in towards your chest and the other leg extended on the mat.
Lying down Tree posture (Vrksasana) with heel of one foot into the groin of the opposite leg.
Mula bandha is said to cut through brahma granthi, the energetic knot of our resistance to change, which lies in mula-dhara chakra. On the physical level, practicing mula bandha creates attentiveness in the supportive musculature of the pelvis. This increases the stability of the pelvis, and, since the pelvis is the seat of the spine, its stability creates a safe environment for spinal movement. Thus, mula bandha strengthens—and teaches the importance of—the solid foundation that should underlie any movement.Mula bandha also lifts and compresses the bowel and lower abdominal region. This creates a solid foundation, a platform under the breath that makes it possible to increase or decrease the pressure inside the torso and facilitate movement. The bandha creates lightness and fluidity; when it is properly applied, the body is less earth-bound and more mobile.
Through gradual refinement, mula bandha becomes less muscular and more subtle, energetic, and etheric (human body's energy field or aura). This movement from outside to inside, from mundane to rarefied, from unconsciousness to enlightenment, is the basic pattern of transcendental yogic awakening. On an energetic level, mula bandha allows us to feel, restrain, and then direct our energies toward enlightenment. On a physical level, mula bandha consists of a contraction, a muscular lifting-up in the floor of the pelvis. Although the pelvis itself is primarily a bony structure supported with ligaments, the pelvic floor consists of muscle fibers and fascia (connective tissue). These tissues intersect and overlap in complex ways. - Jivamukti Founder David Life
Using mula banda or root lock, continue on with the following postures:
Sun Salute A and B (Surya Namaskar)
Warrior I and II (Virabhadrasana A and B)
Goddess pose (Utkata Konasana) and Temple pose (Mandirasana)
Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) using blocks against the wall
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
The root chakra lies in the area of the coccyx between the anus and the perineum. It corresponds to the base of the spinal column. It supplies the pelvic regions and large/small intestines with energy. The root chakra also governs the skeleton which gives us stability and the legs/feet a groundedness which binds us to the earth. The teeth, nails, blood formation, digestion, and the sciatic nerve are all influenced by the root chakra. There is also a close connection between this chakra the functioning of the adrenal and suprarenal (stress hormones - cortisone, adrenaline, noradrenaline) glands. The functioning of all the other chakras depends upon the proper development of the base chakra.
Positive Affirmations while in Savasana or Final Relaxation:
I trust in the power of life.
I feel at home in my body.
I am sustained and nourished by nature.
This Muladhara chakra develops in childhood ages 1 - 7. Blockages can be initially caused by misfortune during this time of our lives. Sometimes it may be a feeling of neglect, abandonment, or abuse. Other times it can be incurred later in life by a move, divorce, death in the family, or some other trauma involving the family unit. A disorder or blockage may show up as issues with fear, lack of trust, disorientation, egoism, or lack of self-control, and it may be exhibited in the body as constipation, back pain, sciatica, or issues with the bones or veins in our legs and feet.
Beneficial effects for the body include the following:
strengthens our body's defenses
harmonizes the cardiovascular system
detoxifies and improves the functioning of internal organs
heals circulatory problems
may help correct orthopedic problems
strengthens our metabolism
increases retention of oxygen
retards the aging process
Beneficial effects for the mind include the following:
mood swings become less intense
mental fatigue and depression are improved
relaxation and inner peace are experienced
sleep becomes deep and restful
overcoming addictions is benefitted
Beneficial effects for the spiritual life include the following:
improved powers of concentration
elimination of negative thinking is increased
disappearance of boasting or self-pity
clarity of mind and spirit
I hope you will find our practice helpful and will try some or all of these yoga postures on a daily basis as we endeavor to cleanse our chakras for the next 49 days!
P.S. I did a lot of research with this study on-line and with books that I have. A great source of my chakra study came from A Handbook of Chakra Healing by K. Govinda which I purchased at Barnes and Nobles.