The Ultimate Root Chakra Guide – Everything You Need to Know About Your First Chakra
The Muladhara or root chakra is the foundation of your system. It relates to the Earth element and is associated with feeling safe and grounded. Energetically, this is where you plant your roots into the physical world. This is the first chakra to develop and as the base of the chakra system, it lays the foundation for expansion in your life.
This first chakra is the only energy center that opens downward, taking in energy from below. The themes of the Muladhara are your physical and material survival, your health, your physical body, your habits, and your instincts. Unfortunately, it’s the one energy center most likely to become blocked or imbalanced. If you’re experiencing problems or anxiety regarding stability in your finances, your career, or your living situation, chances are that your Muladhara is imbalanced.
Continue reading to learn all about this first foundational chakra, how to determine whether your root chakra is imbalanced and how to support yourself to bring the Muladhara back into balance – and make sure it stays that way.
The root chakra within the chakra system
The chakra system consists of seven chakras ascending along the spine from the coccyx area to the top of the head. There is also an eighth chakra better known as the aura that expands all around your body. A chakra is an energy center that directs life energy for the purpose of physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. The chakras influence the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious in all your behavior and tie together all aspects of being human – physical, mental, and spiritual. The first of these chakras is the root chakra.
Root chakra – Foundation for expansion and stability
|Name:||Muladhara / Root Chakra|
|Physical location:||base of the spine|
|Organ:||organs of elimination (e.g. colon)|
|Purpose:||foundation / security|
|Shadow:||fear / insecurity|
|Descriptive verb:||I have|
|Keywords:||foundations, basic needs, survival, security, habit, self-acceptance, stability, calm, balance, consistency, perseverance, vulnerability, common sense, loyalty, vitality, grounding, frugality, life force energy, connection to Mother Earth & nature, primal energy, the right to have, a basic sense of trust, assertiveness, home, family, roots, self-care, self-worth, relationship to mother, birth|
It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole. – Rupi Kaur
The Sanskrit name of the first chakra, Muladhara, combines the words mul (=base) and adhara (=support). Muladhara can be translated into “root support.” Therefore, the Muladhara is often called the root chakra. This name also reflects the ultimate purpose of this chakra, which is to serve as your foundation in physical life.
Further affirming its purpose, the root chakra is located at the very base of the spinal column at the perineum, about halfway between the anus and the genitals. Physically, it relates to the pelvic floor, large intestine, rectum, anus, perineum, bones, coccyx, legs and feet, teeth, nails, and the immune system.
The root chakra provides the foundation on which you build your life. It is centered around issues of survival, including taking care of the health of your physical body and managing your day-to-day needs. The first chakra supports you in feeling safe to explore all aspects of life. It is related to your sense of security, whether that’s physical (regarding your bodily needs and identity) or metaphorical (regarding e.g. housing and financial safety).
In the spectrum of chakra colors, the root chakra was given the color red, which symbolizes strength and vitality. This first chakra is often seen as the center of your vital life force. It is also the seat of the Kundalini energy before it becomes awakened.
The symbol of the root chakra is composed of a four-petaled lotus flower with a downward-pointing triangle. The triangle is a symbol of spirit connecting with matter, with a physical body. It represents you grounding yourself into the Earth and anchoring your energy into the physical world. With a strong and balanced Muladhara, you will always feel grounded and safe in your environment.
How to recognize an imbalanced root chakra
When the first chakra is balanced, it provides you with a strong foundation for life and a beautiful sense of safety and security. You feel grounded, centered, and at home both in your own body as well as on our lovely planet Earth. You are able to enjoy your physical existence fully regardless of circumstances because ultimately you know that you are not alone and will always be supported.
However, the root chakra can become imbalanced and disturb the delicate balance of the chakra system. Any imbalance affects your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing but an imbalance in the Muladhara is potentially even more serious than in the other chakras. Think about it: It takes stability and security to succeed in this world. But if your “house” isn’t built on a strong foundation, anything you put on top of it can never be stable and secure. You will constantly fear that your delicate house is going to collapse.
This is exactly what happens when the first chakra is out of balance. You find yourself in constant survival mode with everything looking like a potential risk. This results in feelings of instability, insecurity, anxiety, grief, and frustration. The main driver for your behavior becomes fear born from lack of security. This can manifest as self-centeredness and overindulgence, in extreme imbalance even greed, egoism, paranoia, and issues with control over food and substance intake and diet.
Other characteristics of an imbalanced root chakra may be:
weak constitution, lack of vitality, lethargy, existential fears, phobia, depression, distrust, mental debility, addictions/addictive behavior, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, avoidance of intimacy, feelings of not belonging, feeling like a burden, lack of confidence, egoism regardless of others, workaholism driven by a lack of self-worth, excessive negativity towards yourself or others, cynicism, hostility, poverty or lack consciousness, feelings of isolation, controlling or manipulative behavior, indecision, constipation, diarrhea, illnesses of the intestines and rectum and other excretory organs, obesity, hemorrhoids, blood pressure issues, panic attacks, hyperventilation, lumbago, sciatica, osteoporosis, lower back pain, disorders of the bones and skeleton, vein problems, varices, anemia, allergies, issues of the legs and feet
If you recognize any of those characteristics in yourself and are unsure whether your root chakra is imbalanced, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you take care of your physical body? Do you exercise? When was the last time you had a physical examination or went for routine dental care? Are you at your optimal weight?
- Do you actively seek information about your diet? Is your regular diet healthy, well-balanced, and free from processed food?
- Do you enjoy your work? Are you experiencing fulfillment or frustration in your job?
- Do you budget, save money, and actively manage your financial situation?
- Do you feel secure in your environment or are you usually anxious (about resources including time, money, and energy)?
Fortunately, an imbalance of the Muladhara doesn’t need to be permanent. There are many ways in which you can support your chakra to come back into balance. However, for sustainable change to occur, you also have to look at and process the emotions at the root of your imbalance. By learning about the chakras and how to bring them back into alignment, you can heal physical ailments, dissolve negative emotions and live a more fulfilling life.
Bringing the root chakra back into balance
There are many ways to balance your root chakra. The main idea is to work at growing your ”roots” in a safe and comfortable environment to strengthen your sense of connection and support. Below you can find different ideas that can help restore balance in your first chakra. Incorporate as many of them as you like into your daily routines and see your life change.
root vegetables, protein, minerals, non-water-soluble dietary fiber, red foods
gardening, hiking, grounding, connecting to the Earth, walking barefoot, dancing, drumming
Balancing yoga postures:
crow pose, chair pose, body drops, frog pose, Mulbhandh, front stretches, lying on the stomach, feet kicking buttocks
angelica root, clove, patchouli, lavender, pine, frankincense, cedarwood
agate, garnet, ruby, hematite, red jasper, red carnelian, obsidian, bloodstone
It is safe for me to be here.
I am here and I am real.
I am fully grounded and supported by Mother Earth.
I have enough. I know enough. I am enough.
I dwell in abundance.
Abundant, good health is my natural state.
I love my body and trust its natural wisdom.
Or you can join me for a beautiful all-levels-welcome root chakra healing yoga class this Saturday, November 5th at 9:30 AM CET. This is part of my limited 8-week online series “A Journey through the Chakras with Kundalini Yoga“. So if you’re feeling called to bring more ease and balance into your life by aligning body, mind, and spirit through the chakras, sign up here for the individual classes or bundle up and save 💸💸💸.
See you on the inside!
Written by Julia
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