My Vinyasa Practice

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For many of us who embark on the journey of Yoga, we start to notice subtle energetics within our body. One of the subtle shifts in our awareness is the sensitivity to the Chakras, or energy centers, within our subtle body, also called the Pranamaya Kosha (Energy Body).  These centers of energy correspond to nerve plexuses within our anatomy & physiology and reside in the Pranamaya Kosha.  Each of these energetic centers corresponds to emotional and mental states. If they are out of balance, we can feel the effects in all aspects of our lives. You may also like to read out guide on A Healthy Alternative To Kegels the practise of Mula Bandha.

The Muladhara Chakra, or Root Chakra, resides at the base of the pelvis and energetically innervates the legs and soles of the feet.  The vibratory mantra of this energetic vortex is the seed sound LAM.  In this asana practice, we will be using the mantra OM LAM Namaha to deeply connect to this energy center.  OM or AUM is the sound of the Universe, the vibration from which all other sounds come from.  Namaha is found at the end of most Vedic mantras, and is used as a stabilizer for the mantra in that it is translated as deep appreciation and gratitude.  When we use mantra in our asana practice, it can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and creates a calming response in the body and mind. Here you can see a sample yoga class that considers sequencing for the Muldhara Chakra:

  1. Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle pose
    1. Lay on the floor with knees bent and apart, soles of the feet touching, thigh bones supported by blocks
    2. Notice the flow of breath along the spine, from head to base of the pelvis
    3. Keep your attention at the base of the pelvis, with every exhale imagine the four points at the base of the pelvis (sit bones, pubic bone and tailbone) drawing closer together. On inhale, imagine them expanding apart.
  2. Chakravakasana – Dynamic Sunbird pose
    1. Come to a table top, hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Inhale to find length along the spine, on the exhale, slightly tuck the chin, bring elbows to floor and hips move back to heels, and chest and belly coming to thighs.
    2. 1x no mantra
    3. 2x Exhale OM
    4. 2x Exhale OM LAM
    5. 2x Exhale OM LAM NAMAHA
  3. Dynamic Vajrasana – Dynamic Thunderbolt pose
    1. Start in tall kneeling position, feel free to use blanket under the knees. On inhale, reach arms out to the side and over the head. On exhale, draw navel in and fold forward, bringing tops of hand to the low back as your chest comes to the thighs and the forehead touches the floor or a block.
    2. Inhale, expand arms up and out to the side as you come back to tall kneeling (6x)
  4. Tadasana – Mountain pose
    1. Come to standing with feet comfortable distance apart.
    2. Notice the weight distribution between the feet and how gravity moves down through the soles of the feet.
  5. Dynamic Uttanasana – Dynamic Standing Forward Fold pose
    1. Inhale brings arms over head.
    2. Exhale, draw navel in, fold forward, sweeping arms down so fingers can touch the floor.  Inhale return to standing position
    3. 1x no mantra
    4. 2x OM on exhale
    5. 2x OM LAM on exhale
    6. 2x OM LAM NAMAHA on exhale
  6. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog pose
    1. From Tadasana/Mountain pose, exhale and fold forward
    2. On inhale, plant hands and step feet back into Downward Dog
  7. Parsvottanasana – Flank pose
    1. From Adho Mukha Svanasana/Downward Dog, step right foot between hands. Bring left foot forward 8-10 inches and turn heel toward the midline to bring down.
    2. Keep right knee bent and chest and belly on thigh bone (use block under hands in needed). Connect to the outer edge of the left foot, and imagine energy from the Earth moving up through the inner arch to the pelvis.
    3. Press down with the right heel, and gently isometrically draw it back, bringing the pelvis into a more even position.
    4. If possible, start to straighten the right knee, keeping the chest and belly connected to the right thigh bone.  Stay 8 breaths, silently chanting the entire mantra OM LAM NAMAHA.
    5. Return to Downward Dog and repeat opposite side
  8. Adho Mukha Svanasana / Cakravakasana vignette – Downward Facing Dog / Sunbird pose vignette
    1. From Downward Dog, inhale and bring knees down into Tabletop
    2. Exhale, turn chin slightly, bend elbows to floor and bring hips back to heels.
    3. Inhale back to Tabletop, curl toes under and exhale into Down Dog.
    4. 1x no mantra
    5. 2x Exhale to Downdog chant OM
    6. 2x Exhale to Downdog chant OM LAM
    7. 2x Exhale to Down dog chant OM LAM NAMAHA
  9. Balasana – Child’s pose
    1. Rest in Child’s pose… notice the vibration of the mantra
  10. Apanasana – Downward Flowing Energy pose
    1. Come to lying on the back
    2. Exhale bring knees in to the chest, holding each knee with each hand
    3. Inhale, allow knees to move away from the chest, keeping a hold the knees
    4. Repeat 6x
  11. Savasana – Corpse pose
    1. Extend legs down, place rolled blanket or bolster underneath knees.
    2. Notice the grounding effect of the practice…

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