Exercising For Your Root Chakra

Exercising For Your Root Chakra

Our First Chakra, also known as the Root Chakra, is located at the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus.  Here is where we create a physical identity and a foundation for the entire chakra system. We learn to connect with our bodies and the physical world around us. To connect with the body is to connect with the earth. Our bodies are the home of our spirit. 

The underlying element of consciousness that forms this foundation is the instinct to survive.  When survival is threatened, we feel afraid. To be disconnected in your root chakra is to be disconnected from the body and kept in survival mode, which leaves us with feelings of fear.  If the first chakra is damaged, we are plagued with survival issues, including health, money, housing, or job problems. We can become hyper-vigilant, restless, and anxious. We can’t settle, relax or let our guard down.

When our first chakra is healthy, it allows us to be energetically grounded.  When we are grounded, we can be focused, present, and dynamic.  We are confident, yet contained, connected with our own source of support. Grounding physically happens in the body through the legs and feet.  We pull energy from the earth through the feet and legs and discharge energy downward into the ground. 

Now let’s get started with finding our root chakra and healing it through movement. To begin, let us wake up the feet with a few exercises.


Inch Worms

Position:

Seated in a chair, both feet firmly on the floor, spine upright, and not rested back.

Movement:

Begin with lifting and spreading the toes wide.  As you place them back on the floor, imagine you are grabbing a pole with your toes, wrapping your toes around the pole, and then pulling your heels towards your toes.  Your feet should creep away from your chair about an inch. Repeat these 3 to 5 times, then reverse.  You reverse the movement by wrapping your toes around your imaginary pole and then press them away from you, inching your feet closer to the chair, stopping where you started.


Piano Toes

Position:

Seated in a chair, both feet firmly on the floor, spine upright, and not rested back.

Movement: 

Lift your toes off the floor. Start by placing one toe at a time back on the floor, starting with your pinky toe and working to the big toe.  Now reverse the order starting with your big toe and working towards the pinky toe. I imagine fingers on a keyboard playing the scales.


Point and Flex

Position:

Seated in a chair, one foot firmly on the floor while the other leg is reaching out straight, spine upright, and not rested back.

Movement: 

With the leg that is reaching out, begin to flex and point the foot. When you are flexing the ankle, really reach out through the heel.  When you are pointing, really reach out through the space between the first and second toe.  Do these 3 to 5 times with one foot, then repeat this with the other foot.


Fascia Release 

(For more details on this work, you will want to reference our previous article “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now”)

Position: 

Seated in a chair, one foot firmly on the floor and a small ball under the other foot, spine upright, and not rested back.

Movement: 

While pressing firmly into the ball, move the ball up and down the foot. Ensure you move the ball from the bottom of the foot to the top, hitting the heel to the toes. Also, move the ball along the inside to outside edges.

Now let’s move to some standing exercise.  When standing, you need to be aware of the placement of your pelvis, knees, ankles, and feet.  Be sure to watch our YouTube video on the “Blue Belt.” You want to be aware of where your flashlights aim and make sure you have energy through all sides of your pencil legs.  Okay, let me explain what I mean by flashlights and pencil legs. 

  • Flashlights: Concerning your pelvis, you want to imagine you have flashlights on your sitz bones.  If your pelvis is in an anterior tilt, your flashlights will be shining out behind you. If your pelvis is in a posterior tilt, your flashlights are shining out in front of you. If your pelvis is neutral, then your flashlights are shining straight below where you are standing.  Therefore, it is essential always to be aware of where your flashlights are shining.
  • Pencil legs is a term I use when I want people to create space in their joints and not hang in the pelvis, knees, ankles, or arches of the feet.  I ask people to imagine their legs are a yellow #2 pencil.  Imagine you are reaching down from the pelvis straight through the lead (or you could say reach through the bone marrow of the bone) as well as the yellow fulling surrounding the lead.  This feeling of reaching through the lead and the yellow gives someone a sense of grounding their legs in a standing position.  This imagery can also be used in sitting. You will just need to imagine your pencil is pliable to allow for the bend at the knee.

Now that you understand pencil legs and flashlights, we can move into standing exercises for the legs.


Arches In, Arches Out

Position: 

Standing with your flashlights shining right underneath you and finding strong pencil legs.

Movement: 

Start to roll your ankle joint towards each other.  You will roll the arch in towards your mid-line, placing all your weight on the inside of the foot. Now roll your ankles away from each other, placing all your weight on the outside edge of your foot.  After you have repeated these 3 to 5 times, place the weight equally in the middle.  In this place, try and find your tripod of the foot by making sure you are weighted in the big toe ball, pinky toe ball, and heel center.


Alternating Knee Bends

Position: 

Standing with your flashlights shining right underneath you and finding strong pencil legs.

Movement: 

Start with bending one knee keeping in mind the knee is pliable and not breaking.  To help with this feeling, you will want to pull the heel backward as if you are trying to scrape mud off your foot. Be sure to lift the foot or heel when doing this.  This intention helps you connect to the back of the leg when bending the knees.  Now push through your pencil to straighten this leg and start bending the opposite knee. Go back and forth with this movement allowing the hips to create a figure-eight motion.


Mini Plié in Parallel and Turn Out

Position: 

Standing with your flashlights shining right underneath you and finding strong pencil legs.

Movement: 

Slightly bend both knees at the same time and then straighten them back up.  The intentions are the same here as they were in alternating knee bends.  You want to feel your heels pulling back when you bend the knees and push through your pencil legs when you straighten your legs. Do the 3 to 5 times in parallel and 3 to 5 times in turn-out.

Now that you have woken up your feet and legs and are firmly grounded into the earth it’s time to put this into action.  Go for a walk, run, or hike all the while being aware of your blue belt, flashlights, and pencil legs.  You will feel strong, tall, and firmly in your present moment.  Enjoy!

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