Often the yin practice is characterized by a Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach, but let’s take some time journeying through the 7 chakras and relate each of them back to yin. First up: muladhara chakra, also known as the “root chakra”.
Chakras are believed to function like energetic wheels that transport energy and travel up the spine to the crown of the head. This foundational chakra, the root chakra, is all about security, foundation, stability and belonging. As this chakra is the base of the others, the state and health of its function will affect all the above chakras performance as well. As you work on releasing congestion and bringing things back into balance, you will feel an overall improvement throughout your energy centers.
About the Root Chakra:
- Mula | “root”
- Adhara | “support” or “base.”
- I am
- Base of the spine
- Pelvic floor
- First 3 vertebrae
Yin is a wonderful practice specifically for this chakra. Practicing yin can be very grounding, steadying, and nourishing for an uprooted spirit. Almost all of the yin postures are seated positions. Among those, a large majority stimulate release in the hips and lower spine. The time spent in the poses enhances the meditative quality of the practice, which deeply grounds the practitioner.
I love reading from “Yoga of the Subtle Body” by Tias Little when speaking to the energy body. He highlights much of the energetic overlap between chakras as well as other energy maps (such as the meridians of TCM, etc) in his book. Click below to get your copy (affiliate link).
Learn more about the root chakra and yin yoga in this weekend’s webinar (sign up for the access link to watch live OR later if you can’t make it live).
Yin Sequence | Root Chakra
- 2 Blocks
Corpse (5 min)
First, find a reclined position. Take time here to let the body surrender into the pull of gravity. This will help to ground you as you begin your practice. As you deepen into the breath, imagine the bowl of the pelvis expanding and contracting with the breath. Perhaps, imagine a red light radiating around the lower spine and front pelvis.
Consider the mantra “I am at home in my body” for your practice today.
Bridge + Feet to Wall (5 min)
Make your way into bridge pose, supported on a bolster or a block. This will stimulate the lower spine, the physical location. of our root chakra. Rock the pelvis side to side and then settle into stillness. If you’d like to try another grounding element, support the heels of the feet on two blocks and take the soles of the feet to a wall.
Toe Stretch (3 min)
Make your way up to a table position, moving through spinal movements as desired. When ready, curl the 10 toes under and shift your hips back toward the heels. If you have the ability to sit up, you can apply more weight into the feet. After your time is up, come out of toe stretch and wiggle the feet out a bit.
Sole Stimulation (2 min each foot)
When ready, cross the top of one foot to the sole/arch area of the other. Sit back and apply pressure until you find a stopping point that suits your body’s needs. When done, come forward and take a brief down dog to stretch and release.
Swan (1 min upright, 4 min folded)
Slide one knee forward and set up for your swan pose (pigeon). Stay upright for the first minute and encourage the exhales to settle deep into the bowl of the pelvis and lower back. When that first minute has passed, slowly make your way into “sleeping” swan by folding forward. Utilize support to encourage the sense of safety and security that the root chakra provides. After you’re done, sit up for a gentle twist for several breaths. Complete on the second side when ready.
Dragonfly (5 min)
Open the legs into a wide V position. Place a bolster at the groin and slowly fold forward. Take your time to settle in and release here.
Caterpillar (5 min)
Draw the legs together and place a bolster and/or block on the thighs. Fold forward and allow the spine to round. Breathe into the lumbar spine and feel the backs of the legs as you breathe. You may notice a cooling stream of energy after the first couple of minutes traveling from the hamstrings to the pelvis.
Supported Savasana (as long as you’d like)
Close your practice with a long savasana, Consider sliding a bolster under the knees to alleviate any pressure in the lower back so the energy can freely travel up the spine. Adding blocks under the heels is very grounding if you have the option!
Access a full length video of this practice below if you wish to be guided through…