Are you feeling aimless, broken, fearful, or untethered in life? Do you feel a lack of a deep connection with your inner self? Are you just going through the motions of each day?
Pay attention to these feelings. They can be an indication that it’s time to heal and reconnect with your Muladhara, or root chakra.
Your Muladhara provides a sense of safety and security as you move throughout your world. Its meaning is found right in its name. Mula means “root” in Sanskrit and Adhara means “base” or “foundation.”
What is the Root Chakra?
One of the primary seven chakras in Hindu tantrism, it is one of three chakras of matter which start at the base of the spine, or kundalini. Within your physical body, it includes your pelvic floor and the first three vertebrae.
There’s an easy way to understand the role of your root chakra and how the chakras balance within you. Imagine being the builder of the beautiful earthly temple that is your body. Before doing anything else, you’d first create a foundation. You’d put it in firm and nutritious soil.
Your root chakra is the foundation that provides balance and stability for the entire temple of your being. A strong root chakra infuses you with boundless vitality because you are always working from a stable and reliable base.
What Does the Root Chakra Do?
In the chakra system, the root chakra helps you feel grounded in your life. It is affected by all of the basic needs for survival, like water, food, and shelter. But it also involves so much more.
The status of your Muladhara is affected by the larger and more complex emotional needs in your life, like a sense of security and releasing yourself from fear. If you spend much of your time feeling unsettled and insecure, your Muladhara will become imbalanced.
According to Shawna Freshwater, Ph.D., who is a neuropsychologist and holistic healer, our root chakras are intertwined with the first task we undertake after birth. This is the act of asking ourselves the question “Do I belong here?” It’s an instinctual and natural process of questioning the world that comes with being a conscious being.
An Imbalanced First Chakra
How do you know if the energy center of your first chakra is out of balance? The first clue is that something feels “off” deep within your body. An imbalanced Muladhara is inseparable from your physical well-being.
The second clue is that something seems inconsistent or incomprehensible in your life. Everything feels blocked up or broken. You may even find it difficult to express yourself verbally.
To go back to the mental image of the temple, an imbalanced root chakra is like a building with a broken foundation. Your body’s vital foundation has developed cracks and fissures that prevent it from fully supporting you.
An imbalanced root chakra can result from many things. These may include childhood trauma, stressful experiences, grief and loss, misplaced priorities, physical ailments, poor nutrition, a lack of exercise, and not caring for our own personal hygiene.
Sometimes a single event is so overwhelmingly traumatic, it can shake our entire sense of self. Other times, an imbalanced chakra is the result of many small things that have built up within us until our Muladhara itself begins to suffer.
Common physical symptoms and signs of an imbalanced Muladhara chakra include:
- A general lack of well-being and body-wide health
- Anxiety disorders
- Chronic fears
- Persistent nightmares
- Colon and bladder problems
- Kidney stones
- Eating disorders
- Cramps in the legs and feet
- Weakness in the legs
- Pain and stiffness in the lower back
- Chronic back problems
- Prostate problems in men
Opening And Healing the Root Chakra for Safety and Security
In the same way that a temple’s foundation will not simply fix itself, a root chakra imbalance will not suddenly heal itself without extra attention. An imbalance in your Muladhara requires introspection and loving care. Here are some paths to opening a blocked root chakra.
Stones and Crystals
Gemstones and crystals can help you realign your chakras. By placing one of these earth elements on your lower back, you can channel feelings of restoration and balance. The stones associated with the root chakra are red and black in color:
- Carnelian: This reddish-orange stone cleanses and activates the body, providing fresh feelings of strength and courage.
- Garnet: Reddish-purple garnets are associated with peaceful feelings like balance, calmness, and serenity.
- Red jasper: These earthy red stones are used to feel a connection with the earth that brings balance and cleansing.
- Black tourmaline: This black gemstone is used for spiritual grounding and exploring deeper feelings within oneself.
- Bloodstone: Bloodstones are very dark green with red spots. They promote self-esteem, repel negativity, and restore balance.
- Obsidian: The black organic obsidian is a stone that provides inner balance and is thought to bring protection from outside influences.
Time in Nature
Spending time with mother earth can be restorative for your mind and body. If your root chakra feels out of balance, start taking consistent walks outdoors. See if any changes occur in your thoughts and physical self.
An affirmation is a positive, inspirational message that helps you feel renewed and refreshed. The root chakra affirmations tend to contain “I am,” “I have,” and “I live” statements. Here are some examples:
- I Am Safe
- I Am Prosperous
- I Am Strong
- I Am Stable
- I Am Secure
- I Am Powerful
- I Am Successful
- I Am in Control
- I Am Exactly Who I Should Be
- I Am Connected to the Earth
- I Am At Peace With the World
- I Am Energetic and Vibrant
- I Have Nourishment and Support
- I Have Everything I Need to Thrive
- I Have Financial Security
- I Have Love
- I Have Health
- I Have a Body That Supports Me
- I Live in the Temple That is My Body
- I Live in a State of Prosperity
- I Live Courageously
- I Live Life to the Fullest
- I Am A Life Force
- I Am Truth, I Have Truth, and I Live Truth
Root chakra meditation is a form of clearing and cleansing the mind through thought. Although people usually associate meditation with reaching a higher state of consciousness, it also reaches your lower level – the Muladhara at the very root of your body and mind.
Try meditation to ground yourself and feel a connection between your body and the Earth. Explore the difference between feeling “low” and “high” within the mind and body.
Mantras are harmonizing sounds that can be repeated to create vibrations for an overall restorative effect. A mantra can a sound, word, or phrase that builds into a vibration across the body.
The mantra Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu is often used to share peace with all beings. The specific mantra sound for the root chakra is lam. Try repeating this sound, over and over, until it becomes a sound that resonates throughout your body.
A mantra can be combined with meditation and/or an affirmation for optimal restoration. Try saying the meditative mantra “I am strong, stable and at peace,” while you do the following exercise:
Sit with your feet or hips planted firmly on the floor or stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Picture a red orb or lotus flower at the base of your spine. Begin repeating a mantra and feel how the orb or flower seems to shift as you repeat it.
Did you know that our sense of smell is our deepest sense? It’s intertwined with childhood memories and big events in our lives. Smell can help us reprogram negativity, restoring balance to our root chakras. Try this technique: Meditate while using aromatherapy with a restorative essential oil like:
- Ylang ylang
Certain yoga movements have a restorative effect on the Muladhara. According to the Chopra Center, the best yoga poses for your root chakra include:
- Pavanamuktasana, knee to chest pose
- Janu Sirsansana, head to knee pose
- Padmasana, lotus flexion
- Malasana, squatting pose
- Tadasana, mountain pose
The Red Chakra & Root Chakra Symbol
The traditional Muladhara chakra symbol has four sections bearing the Sanskrit letters va, scha, sha, and sa. It is symbolized by a lotus with four petals and the color red, with a center syllable of lam. The tattwa, or central truth, of the chakra is related to the Earth and represented by a yellow square.
Other, more abstract, versions of the root chakra symbol replace the Sanskrit letters with four simple red lotus petals. This interpretation of the root chakra may include a downward-pointing arrow. This symbolizes a connection with deep feelings and low areas of the body, like the pelvis, perineum, lower back, and legs.
What Can We Learn from the Muladhara?
As you spend time thinking about your root chakra energy and its effect on your body, mind, energy flow, and life, consider these broad themes and further ideas to explore:
Symbols: The Muladhara is symbolized by the lotus flower and its petals. What place, if any, does the lotus flower have in your daily life? Is there a way to connect with this shape and reconnect with your root chakra?
Smells: The essential oil of soothing lavender is universal across all chakras, and spicy smells like cinnamon and ginger are specific to the Muladhara. Try adding these smells to your life and seeing how they impact your mental health and physicality.
Thoughts: In your meditations and affirmations, remember the importance of deep, low feelings that reside in the base of your spine. This is the essence of the root chakra.
Mantra: While meditating, try humming lam, which is the central character of the root chakra symbol. How does it make you feel?
Healing Your Root Chakra and Living Your Truth
By nurturing our precious Muladhara, we can begin to heal ourselves from trauma while shaking off the fears and frustrations of day-to-day life. This is a liberating experience of personal growth. We nourish ourselves deeply, from the inside out.
I welcome you to discover how to open and heal all of your chakras, find balance, and live your fullest life through my new book “Chakra Guide.”