The ancient science of Ayurveda describes the human body as both physical and energetic.Every human being has seven chakras which act as interfaces that relay information between the body of flesh and bone and the subtle energy-body that operates our sensory and emotional response systems.
In this article, we give a detailed overview of the root chakra.
What are the Chakras?
Thinking of the human being’s nervous system as a powerful radio station provides a helpful analogy for visualizing how it works.
First, imagine the spine as a radio tower. Sensory information is transmitted to the spinal column via the five senses, which act as satellite receivers. Then, this information is sent up the vertebrae to the central control room, the brain, where it is displayed on the screen of the mind.
The chakras are energetic filters that direct the in-out flow of feeling and perception, based on your personal genetic program. When your chakras operate at peak performance, you feel amazing. However, when they are overworked, obstructed, or repressed, you experience various physical and mental ailments.
By adopting healthy habits and cutting out harmful lifestyle choices, you can bring your chakras into balance and experience a huge boost in happiness, well-being, and overall energy levels.
The Root Chakra at a Glance
Each of the seven chakras has defining features that make it unique. Below is the profile of the root chakra, known in Sanskrit as मूलाधार (muladhara), or the “foundation.”
Physical location: The base of the spine. By bringing your awareness to the coccygeal plexus, or the bundle of nerves around the tailbone, you can feel the energy of your root chakra.
Developmental stage: Conception to one year. In the womb and during the first year of infancy, human beings establish their initial relationships with their environment and the people in it. It is a time of orientation. This serves as the foundation for future emotional development. All of these areas are largely influenced by the well-being of the root chakra.
Chief domains: Security, trust, and personal boundaries. The muladhara chakra shapes our feelings about our body and our physical environment. It governs our most basic needs: food, survival, and safety.
Emotional challenge: Fear. An insecure or unstable home environment can lead to a poor self-image, poor practices of self-care, or various phobias. If you learn how to establish a healthy relationship with fear, you can strengthen your root chakra.
Element: Earth. The root chakra is the foundation for the entire nervous system. It regulates our physicality and sense of groundedness within the body.
Color: Red. The energy of the muladhara chakra is the color of red earth, like the clay used to build adobe homes. It gives support, stability, and safety.
Symbol: A lotus with four petals. The root chakra is the base and support for the entire chakra system. It is where your psychic energy is grounded. As a table stands on four legs, the four petals of the root chakra are like powerful feet grounding and balancing your head and heart and keeping them connected.
What a Balanced First Chakra Feels Like
A person with a balanced root chakra is comfortable with themselves and settled into their larger environment. They feel safe and that they belong. Likewise, the things in their life are organized. In their home, in their personal space — everything has its proper place.
When your root chakra is vibrant, you recognize the innate value and privilege of having a human body. The healing practice of gratitude, meditation, and other wholesome habits come naturally to you. You know how to take care of your health. You nourish your body with healthy meals, and you feed your spirit uplifting and positive subject matter.
Having a stable and active root chakra makes you feel safe and grounded. You know that you can control where your life is going, and you are happy to be alive.
Muladhara Chakra Rights & Identities
In her book Eastern Body, Western Mind, Dr. Anodea Judith explains that each chakra has a right and an identity.
The root chakra deals with the right to be here, to exist, to take up space.
Additionally, the root chakra governs our physical identity and our need for self-preservation.
The muladhara chakra is the support and base of the energy-body. The stability of the earth element provides a firm ground that allows the other chakras to properly function. It is through balancing the root chakra that we learn self-care, healing, and spiritual grounding.
Symptoms of Imbalance
Chakras display two distinct types of imbalance: they’re either too open or too closed. This causes the chakra to be either over-stimulated or suppressed. In some cases, a person’s energy-body may oscillate between the two types of imbalance.
An Over-stimulated Root Chakra
A person whose root chakra is over-developed is in some way stuck in life, although they may not realize it. They resist change, remaining rooted in the routines and habits that they are familiar with. They often seek to bolster their sense of security through excessive eating, hoarding, or strictly observing rituals that lack a deeper meaning. They are generally skeptical of spiritual and mystical experiences.
An excessive root chakra can cause feelings of boredom and defensiveness, as well as obsessive-compulsive behaviors. It leads to a rigid approach to life, an inability to take risks, and a fear of the unknown.
A Suppressed First Chakra
Persons with an underdeveloped root chakra dwell more in the realm of the imagination than in the real world. Their eyes wander frequently, and they have a habit of taking short, quick breaths. They may appear unkempt and give little attention to their appearance and physical hygiene. They spend excess time indoors and rarely get out into nature. In general, they feel unsettled and insecure in life. They are not likely to take a firm stance on moral and metaphysical questions, although they frequently contemplate supernatural and spiritual topics.
A deficient root chakra creates feelings of paranoia, low energy, apathy, and instability. It causes one to fidget, apologize excessively, and feel out of touch with their physical self and wider surroundings. Without the support of a strong root chakra, the rest of the energy-body is unstable.
Muladhara Chakra Health Issues
The chakra system reveals that all illnesses are at least in part psychosomatic. In other words, the condition of your mental well-being and subtle life will always impact your physical health.
- These are some of the health issues that can arise in a person whose root chakra is out of balance:
- Eating disorders
- Dysfunctions of the bowels or anus
- Tooth decay
- Poor health in general
8 Steps for Healing Your Root Chakra
If you recognize in yourself some of the symptoms of an imbalanced first chakra, there are many things you can do to help restore it to balance.
Here are some steps you can take to heal your root chakra:
1. Pay more attention to your body.
The first step is to become more aware of how your body is feeling throughout the day. Many people tune out their physiological signals, due to chronic pain, depression, or anxiety. It’s crucial to take time throughout the day to check in and periodically ask yourself: “How am I feeling?” Notice any areas of tension in your body and consciously relax them.
Paying attention to your body’s needs is vital to building up your root chakra. Remember that a building is only as sturdy as it’s foundation!
2. Organize and decorate your living space.
Keeping a clean and bright home environment can have a hugely positive impact on your root chakra. It is important for physical and mental health that you like your home and feel good where you are living. Without this basic sense of comfort and peace of mind, how can you feel grounded?
Have a regular time of day or day(s) of the week where you specifically focus on cleaning. It’s not only good for health and mental discipline — cleaning can be a powerful spiritual practice, too. As the saying goes, “cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
3. Exercise at least three times per week.
Going for long walks, jogging, swimming, practicing yoga, or participating in other physical activities like dance or competitive sports energizes the body. Physical movement not only brings life to the root chakra, but it also helps to soften any rigidity that may have developed there. Exercise is such a natural part of life that it’s no wonder people feel depressed or lethargic without it.
Being active gets the blood going, cleans the pores, and releases powerful neurotransmitters in the brain that make you feel upbeat and positive. It’s 100% worth it to somehow find a way to make exercise a regular part of your life. In the words of Nike, “Just do it!”
4. Give yourself abhyanga (self-massage) at least once per week.
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian science of medicine, strongly recommends a daily self-massage for maintaining good health. This detoxifies the skin, works the body tissues, promotes blood flow, and relaxes the muscles. If you can’t fit in a self-massage every day, try starting off at least once a week. What better way to relieve stress and cultivate a habit of self-care than a regular massage? Ten to twenty minutes is all it takes to make an immediate and noticeable impact. Trust me, you’ll feel the difference.
5. Practice yoga.
Yoga is especially helpful for grounding your consciousness, and many specific yoga asanas can be used to help strengthen your root chakra. Tadasana (mountain pose), trikonasana (triangle pose), and adho mukha svanasana (downward dog pose) are all especially effective. For more pose ideas an in-depth instructions, check out this article.
6. Wear red clothing.
The color red stimulates the energy of the root chakra and can help bring it into balance. Seeing different earthy shades — reds, browns, purples, etc. — helps us to slow us down. They’re naturally grounding. There’s a reason that red light has the lowest frequency of all lightwaves on the color spectrum. And that red is the color used on STOP signs and stoplights. Interesting, isn’t it?
7. Cultivate a relationship with Mother Earth.
Spending time in nature and appreciating the spiritual energy that animates the natural world is a powerful healing practice for the root chakra. Earth is the element of the first chakra. Being in nature, feeling the grass beneath your feet, hearing the sounds of birdsong, and seeing the vivid colors of flowers and trees all have a very positive and stimulating effect for the root chakra.
8. Practice meditation.
Chakra meditation, mantra meditation, and walking meditation are all great practices for healing the muladhara chakra. In fact, meditation is one of the most grounding activities you can do. The entire purpose, according to the Sage Patanjali, is to quiet the mind so that you can experience the pure awareness of the Self. Perfecting this process is tantamount to enlightenment.
Affirmations for Healing the Root Chakra
Below, we list affirmations which help to strengthen and nourish the root chakra. In addition, chanting and meditating on the Sanskrit syllable, LAM (pronounced like “lum-ber” with a nasal intonation on the “m”) will balance the root chakra.
“I am eternal. I am safe from harm”
“My body is a gift. My body is a sacred place.”
“God / The Universe provides for all my needs.”
“Life is meant for more than mere survival.”
“I am connected to the healing energy of Mother Earth.”
“I regularly fulfill my need for spiritual nourishment.”
“I want God / The Universe to be the center and focus of my life.”