Yin yoga, hatha yoga, yoga nidra, and balancing poses are all helpful practices to slow down and stimulate the root chakra. Discover which yoga style is best for you.
The energy of the root chakra has long, slow vibrations. Like the color red associated with it, these are the slowest waves on the visible light spectrum.
By slowing down or resting, we give the body a chance to rejuvenate & heal itself. The mind is able to regain presence in the body and find its center. This leaves us feeling more calm, present, and patient as we move into higher vibrational activities throughout the day like working, thinking, communicating, and so on.
An underactive root chakra may be experienced as feeling fearful, mistrusting, anxious, insecure, impatient, disconnected or out of touch from reality. Each indicates a need for rest and nourishment because when the body does not have these basic survival needs adequately met, it becomes disconnected from the mind and the emotional body takes control.
A nourishing self-care practice will help keep you in control of your mind!
Yin is the slowest yoga flow there is. So if you are constantly in your head, which causes stress and suffering, or struggle with being present and patient, then a yin yoga practice (especially in the morning) could be exactly what you need. This style of yoga involves holding gentle asanas (poses) for several minutes. It is deeply relaxing, but is actually very challenging for individuals who are used to a more active practice. Observe and continue through any phases of fidgeting or feeling restless to ground your energy for the day.
Hatha is another slow yoga flow. In hatha, each asana (pose) is held for about three to five breaths. Whereas yin yoga is a restorative practice focused on connective tissue, hatha yoga is a strengthening practice focused on the muscles. A hatha yoga practice is perfect for when you want the grounding effects of yin yoga, but also want the more traditional yoga experience of stretching and strengthening.
If you are used to doing yoga flows, than yoga nidra might feel more similar to a nap than yoga. Yoga nidra means to "sleep with awareness" and is a practice designed to help you quickly enter delta brain waves, which are typically only reached for 15% of a full 8 hour sleep cycle. In yoga nidra, you are not quite awake, but you are also not quite asleep. It is a deeply healing and restorative practice that can be tremendously helpful when feeling exhausted, beat down, or even suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
If you are experiencing grief, depression, or despair, you know what it feels like to be tired even after sleeping a full night's rest... or maybe even more than that. While you may "blame" the mind for your never-ending desire for sleep, the body-mind connection cannot be ignored and in periods of grief after trauma or major loss, your body needs more restoration. Yoga nidra offers a wonderful restorative practice that you can do any time of day to allow your body to do it's natural healing work.
Achieving balance in the physical realm is the quickest way to guide your mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies toward balance as well. Since the root chakra is the foundation of the energetic body; improving your balance, aka stability, will strengthen your root chakra. Tree pose, eagle pose, and warrior three are all great yoga poses to help improve your balance.
I can’t count the number of times, I’ve helped to calm a friend down as there mind was running rampant with thoughts and fears, simply by asking them to go into tree pose. It is very hard to entertain extra thoughts when you’re focused on not falling down, aka being present exactly where you are.