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Thoughts from Vintage Yoga...

Mudras for Grounding the Root Chakra

Updated: Mar 31

“The Healing Journey” was inspired by the idea of the connection between the chakras, yoga, mudras, breathwork, ayurveda, and meditation. As I learned about the various aspects of yoga, I became curious about the interconnected nature of each modality. Keeping in mind that these practices are thousands of years old, I began to wonder, “If each practice has similar benefits, what will happen if I combine multiple practices together?”

Now that I am diving deeper into this journey of exploration, the connections between them is becoming clearer to me.

This week I’m learning about mudras that align with the Muladhara chakra. As I share what I’ve learned so far, I think you too will begin to see how it’s all connected.

Mudra is a Sanskrit word that translates as “seal,” “mark,” or “gesture.” In addition to hand gestures, mudras are also presented as eye positions, body postures, and breathing techniques. I will be specifically talking about hand gestures, which have been used in various religions, spiritual rituals, and for healing for thousands of years. For example, hands in prayer position is a common hand gesture used in Christianity. In yoga, this gesture is called Anjali mudra.

In spiritual practices throughout the world, the fingers are recognized as aligning with parts of the physical body, the emotional body, and even the natural world. For example, in ayurveda each finger is associated with one of the five natural elements: thumb to fire, index finger to air, middle finger to ether, ring finger to earth, and pinkie finger to water.

In the chakras system most practitioners agree that the thumb aligns with the solar plexus chakra, the index finger aligns with the heart, the middle finger aligns with the throat, the ring finger aligns with the root chakra (the base of the spine) and pinkie finger aligns with the sacrum.

This month, we will take a closer look at mudras that support the root chakra or Muladhara. Much of the information I share comes from the book “Mudras Yoga in Your Hands” by Gerturd Hirschi. However, I also refer to various web resources as well.

There are so many mudras, and it can be difficult to decide which ones to include in your wellness plan, so a good place to begin is by identifying which energy centers (chakras) in your body feel sluggish or blocked. For me, since I am just learning, each month I will explore different mudras and try to notice what feels “right” for me. When you begin to pay attention and listen to your body, you’ll start to notice what needs attention. You probably already know; you just don’t know that you know!

The first mudra to support the Muladhara or root chakra is Prithivi (pronounced prith – ee – vee ) I’ve also seen it spelled Prithvi (prith – vee). This mudra is said to increase energy in the root chakra. It creates a sense of inner stability and promotes a sense of security, which is in alignment with the Muladhara chakra. Prithivi stimulates the liver and stomach which in turn may improve the condition of the skin, nails, hair, and bones. (Keeping in mind that other healthy practices are also implemented.) The Muladhara chakra is also associated with digestion. When Muladhara is out of balance, you may experience issues related to the large intestine, such as constipation. The inability to eliminate waste may result in sluggishness in the body. You may feel heavy and toxins may be released back into the body.

To practice the Prithivi mudra, touch the tip of the thumb and the tip of the ring finger. Let the other fingers extend outward. It’s that simple! This mudra can be used as part of your meditation practice, it can be implemented into your yoga practice, and it can also be used anytime, anywhere. If you’re sitting in traffic in your car, or on the bus, train, or taxi to work, you can use this mudra to help ground you and prepare you for your day. That’s the beauty of mudras, they can be used anywhere, anytime.

Another mudra that activates the root chakra is Pran mudra. The Sanskrit word pran means “breath.” Pran mudra can stimulate vitality and improve energy, so it’s clearly a practice you don’t want to do at bedtime. When practiced regularly, you may experience an increased assertiveness or courage to do something new. Pran mudra is also credited with improving vision and clarity of the mind.

To practice Pran mudra, touch the tip of the thumb to the tips of the ring and pinkie fingers, allowing the middle and index fingers to extend in a relaxed manner.

As previously mentioned, you can practice mudras anytime, anywhere. So far, I’ve seen that most sources suggest practicing mudras for at least 15 minutes each day. That time can be broken up into three five-minute sessions. During these sessions, it may be useful to focus on slow steady breath. Also meditate on affirmations about safety, security, thoughts of connecting with the earth, feelings of courage and belonging. Practice yoga postures with focus on the feeling of being grounded in time, space, and place to cultivate more awareness as you go through your day.

And so there you have it, a few suggestions to help you get started on your healing journey beginning with grounding. In March, we move on to the second chakra, Svadhisthana. While we learn about this second chakra, I invite you to begin activating the Muldhara or root chakra by putting into practice the yoga sequence and mudras presented so far.

If you have any questions, please be sure to let me know. As I said before, I’m just learning, so my knowledge is limited but your good questions (or suggestions) will help enhance the journey!

With Love & Gratitude,

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