Our Favorite Grounding Yoga Poses For The Holidays
Have you ever felt so wound up by the chaos of the holidays that by the time you're exchanging gifts and feasting with family, you're just ready for it all to be over with? Well ... what if I told you that it doesn't have to be this way?
If we take the time to slow things down and tune into our breath, we can avert the typical crises and approach the holidays with a bit of mindfulness and a sense of feeling more grounded. Our foundation lies in the Root Chakra (Muladhara), the first of which the other six chakras are built upon. It's what helps us feel grounded and safe. When this chakra is out of balance, the other chakras might be thrown off-kilter as a result. But we can find stability during these times of instability, by connected to a greater life force that lies within each and every one of us.
Our yoga practice helps us feel more rooted to the earth through the soles of our feet, as we honor our physical selves through movement in asana. The fusion of our mind, body and spirit through the connection to our breath, helps ease the flow of energy to our chakras and leaves us feeling more grounded overall.
So in order to balance our root, we must look inward with our focus and send our attention there, to help clear away any blockages.
We've rounded up a few of our favorite grounding yoga poses from some of MindBodyGreen's best yogi contributors. Here are six rooting asanas you can try when things start to feel a bit crazy this holiday, to help you find stability and calm.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Stand with your feet hips-width apart and reach your arms along your sides with palms facing your hips. Spread your fingers to engage your arms and feel grounded through the soles of your feet. Keep the heart lifted and gaze soft at the third eye focal point.
Notice your inhales and exhales as you feel rooted to the earth beneath your feet.
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Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
From Tadasana, step the right foot behind you at about 45 degrees and bed through the left knee. Inhale and reach the arms above the head and soften the shoulders away from the ears. Exhale to soften into the front bent knee, keeping it at 90 degrees.
If you press into the outer edge of your back foot, you will notice the hips square off more easily. This pose builds strength and steadiness, as it increases body awareness, improves circulation and energizes the entire body.
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Tree Pose (Vrikasana)
Standing tall with your feet hips-width distance apart, shift your weight to your right leg. Bend your left knee, and place the sole of your left foot into your inner right thigh or just below the knee, with your toes pointing toward the floor. Center your pelvis so that it is directly over your right foot. Press the sole of the left foot into your inner right thigh, while resisting with your outer right thigh. Place your hands into prayer with your thumbs at your heart center. Your gaze can be facing the ceiling or facing forward.
Hold for 2-3 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
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Squat Pose (Malasana)
Widen your stance and sit low into a Squat Pose (Malasana). Inhale to lift out of your low back, pressing your palms together at the center of your chest to lengthen your collarbones. Press the soles of the feet into the floor to feel rooted to the earth.
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Child's Pose (Balasana)
Come to all fours and reach your arms all the way out in front of you as you widen your knees and sit back on your heels.
As you release your arms to the floor find a light tricep stretch and a softening in the space between the shoulder blades. Allow the oceanic quality of your Ujayi breath to find peace and total relaxation.
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Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your feet should be hip-width apart and parallel. Your pelvis should be neutral. To find this, let your hips settle into the place where your pubic bone lines up with the top of your hipbones.
Once you're set up, push your feet into the floor to activate your glutes and slowly lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Pause at the top and then slowly release the glutes as you lower your hips back to the ground.
From here you can take Savasana for a few minutes, by extending your feet long in front of you and resting your palms face up by your side.
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Cover Photo: Stocksy