The root chakra is one of the most important energy centres in the subtle body as it is the foundation for all the others.
When it's out of balance, it can throw all your other chakras out of whack.
Symptoms including insecurity, anxiety, clumsiness, overwhelm, pain in your legs and feet, and even worries about money can indicate an unbalanced root chakra. Click here for more information >
As always, yoga and essential oils are a beautiful way to realign your root chakra, helping you feel grounded, centered and secure again.
Yoga for your root chakra
Yoga postures will help you strengthen and balance your root chakra, helping to induce a sense of stability and security, and also cultivating self love and compassion.
Here are three of my go-to postures when I’m craving security, calm and soothing.
This pose will help you embody the qualities of a mountain - steady and unwavering no matter the weather. It offers focus, clarity, stillness and a sense of being present and grounded in the moment.
However, you'll most probably experience subtle movement too.
Don’t stifle it, just allow the flow of the breath and the beat of your heart to move through you. Once you've heightened this sense of awareness, observe how the mind begins to settle.
There are a few variations but the one I find myself exploring and residing in more and more is the version shown and explained below.
Exploring the pose
1. Stand with your feet hip width apart (or a little wider if you're feeling particularly unsteady).
2. Rest your arms down by your side with the palms open.
3. Keep your eyes open or closed and breathe deeply and steadily like a metronome .
4. Keep the soles of the feet evenly weighted, pressing down though the three points of the foot (heel, base of the big toe & base of the little toe) in order to rise up through the spine.
5. Keep the legs active and engaged but introduce a soft buoyancy though the knee joint to avoid over tensing or hyperextending.
6. Your gaze (drishti) should be soft and unwaering, focused about 3 feet in front of you.
Tree pose perfectly encapsulates the very essence of Muladhara, your root chakra. It's steady and grounded. Most important to notice when practicing tree pose, is that even though we appear still, we are in fact constantly moving. There are always fluctuations in the balance.
Just as in life, the idea in tree pose is that we can remain steady, we can feel our roots, whilst allowing the breeze to move though our branches. It will move us, it will make its sway, at times it may even unbalance us temporarily (or fall out of the pose), but it won't break us, it won’t snap our branches.
It's only when we resist this natural movement, when we try to become ‘rigid or stiff’ that we fall, like trees in a raging storm.
Explore tree pose anytime you need to feel connected to the ground, your body, your breath. During times when you feel unsteady or ‘off’ balance, the pose will help bring you back to home base.
Exploring the pose
1. Shift the weight onto one leg and rest the opposite foot on the standing ankle, below the standing knee or on the standing inner thigh.
2. Spread the weight evenly through the sole of the foot, toes spreading like root into the earth - a base from which to expand and grow.
3. Lift and engage the thigh to help steady your stance but acknowledge the tiny dance-like movements in the foot, working tirelessly to keep you supported, standing and balanced.
4. Resist collapsing down into the standing leg hip, rather elevate up and out of the standing leg. The more you're able to root down though the standing leg the more you'll feel this lifting action.
5. Explore the sensation of space through the length of your spine from the base to the crown. Notice how the sides of the waist lengthen effortlessly.
6. Breathe deeply.
7. Steady your gaze ahead of you, focusing on one spot, gaze soft but focused, keeping the back of your neck long with the chin very slightly drawing in to towards the little notch in your throat.
8. For days when balance and stillness seems elusive, rest your palms into Anjali Mudra (prayer pose) at the heart, thumbs resting on the sternum.
9. If this feels steady, explore taking the arms above the shoulders either shoulder distance apart or palms together (as shown in the picture).
Warrior II is fabulous for grounding our energy into the earth so we feel strong, steady and resilient.
Really focus your attention on the feet in this pose, imagining roots shooting into the earth that support and nourish you.
Exploring the pose
1. Stand facing the long side of your mat, feet parallel and roughly a legs length apart.
2. Turn the right foot to face the top of your mat with the back heel slightly out so that your back toes would be in line with the arch or heel of your right foot.
3. Exhale and bring your awareness to your right leg, bending the knee deeply but staying mindful that it doesn’t travel forward beyond your ankle.
4. Inhale and raise your arms so they're in line with the shoulders.
5. Exhale and feel as though you're landing into the shape. Shoulders are soft, gaze is steady, extending beyond your right fingertips.
6. Keep your back leg strong and straight.
7. Play with closing the eyes. Can you sense the crown of your head and pelvis are in line with the centre of your chest, where your heart space resides? You should feel like one is stacking effortlessly on top of the other so as you are not reaching too far forwards or leaning too far back.
If you notice that you're learning forwards in the pose, ask yourself whether you're projecting yourself too much into the future. Similarly, if you find yourself leaning back, perhaps your mind is focused in the past and you've been ruminating. Use this as an opportunity to realign both physically and mentally.
8. Spread your toes and root your feet into the earth while your upper body continue to rise towards the sky.
9. Keep the breath steady.
10. Your gaze should be soft but unwavering.
Essential oils for your root chakra
When you're feeling unsettled or in need of gentle reassurance, you're looking for oils that have a dark, rich and earthy quality to both their aroma and consistency. There are a number of oils you could try for self-soothing and re-rooting this chakra.
Scent is deeply personal so my suggestion is to try before you buy and use your sense of smell to direct you to the oil that'll help you the most.
Apply a few drops to the soles of the feet where you physically root into the ground, or at the base of the spine around the tailbone where the root chakra is located.
My favourite oils for realigning the root chakra:
This deep and spiritual oil is profoundly grounding and can help you feel calm, centred and re-connected when you're feeling anxious. Its woody, smoky and earth scent helps banish anxiety, burnout and insomnia.
Ideal for chakra issues related to fear and agitation. It calms the nervous system and eases tension, helping to relax both mind and body.
This sacred oil is gentle on the nervous system and works to harmonise the emotional body. With anti-depressant properties, it grounds excessive energy.
An uplifting oil that has a soothing effect and grounds us in the truth of our essence, of who we are and our place in the world. It promotes spiritual awareness.