I find myself drawn to big and mighty trees whose branches extend wide in all directions. I can sit for long periods of time, staring at their majesty and absorbing their beauty, strength and energy. It feels like communing directly with God.
But how does a tree get that way? Trees have a life force we cannot see – their roots. When the roots of a tree are strong and healthy, they extend wide in all directions beneath the soil, just as the tree’s branches extend above. Strong roots anchor the tree in the ground, providing everything it needs to thrive.
We too have physical and spiritual roots. When our roots are strong, we most likely experience a sense of stability, connection, and ease, also known as being grounded. When we are grounded, our bodies are also functioning optimally. Should you notice you are feeling off-kilter, restless, insecure, indecisive, or have low energy, then you may need to spend some time strengthening your roots.
Practicing yoga in general, and certain postures in particular, is one way to do that. And it’s my favorite. Yoga philosophy includes the concept of the “Chakra,” which literally means “spinning wheel” in Sanskrit. Chakras are believed to be unseen energy systems that run along the spine and that may become blocked or imbalanced, thus resulting in certain physical, mental and emotional symptoms.
The concept of the “Muladhara” or “Root” Chakra pertains to the earth and our foundation. The Sanskrit word “Muladhara” is comprised of two words: “Mula” meaning root, and “Adhara” meaning support or base. The Root Chakra represents the basics that bring stability to one’s life, such as food, water, shelter, safety, and trust. It is believed to be located in the vicinity of the base of the spine, pelvic floor, and first three vertebrae.
It is also believed that when the Root Chakra is in balance, we feel strong and grounded, and when it’s out of balance, we may feel unsafe and insecure. Physical symptoms may include sluggish digestion, bladder problems, a compromised immune system, and other lower body ailments.
Interestingly, some in the western culture have related the chakras to the positions and functions of our endocrine system, which regulates the hormones in our body. The Root Chakra in specific has been related to the Adrenal glands, which are a part of our endocrine system.
The following yoga postures are specifically linked to grounding and balancing an impaired or blocked Root Chakra. A yoga routine (or sequence of postures) is designed to slowly stretch and warm your muscles so that each posture prepares your body for the next before winding back down. To avoid injury, please ensure your muscles are properly warmed before practicing any of the postures below.
If a posture listed below is preceded by an asterisk (*), then generally speaking, it should be ok to practice without a warm-up, but you should always stop if you are feeling any serious strain or pain when practicing any yoga posture.
There are many yoga videos you can access online that demonstrate these postures. Just type any one of them into the search engine of your choice. One of my favorite online sites is “Yoga with Adriene”. Her video Root to Rise is also a favorite for grounding.
Sixty and Me have a list of yoga videos as well. You can check them out here.
Flying starts from the ground. The more grounded you are, the higher you fly.—J.R. Rim
Having strong roots and maintaining your grounding is important. It is the foundation from which all else grows. Like the tree, endeavor to extend strong, healthy roots into the ground, thus anchoring your mind, body and soul, while allowing your life to unfold in all its strength, beauty and splendor!
Please join in the conversation! How does a lack of grounding manifest in your life? What are the most effective practices you use to become grounded again?