The root chakra is the first chakra. It is located at the base of the spine and is associated with the Earth element and the color red. The Sanskrit name for the root chakra is “Muladhara,” meaning base, foundation, or root support. This chakra is associated with safety, survival, security, basic needs, physical identity, and grounding. For this reason, the keywords are “I am.”
Balancing the root chakra creates a solid foundation for opening the chakras above it – similar to laying a strong foundation to support a home. It is the head of the river, so to speak, and if it is weak or polluted, the chakras downstream of it will soon become polluted and weakened as well.
The root chakra represents what provides you with stability. It is what grounds you. This includes basic needs, food, water, shelter. It also includes emotional needs and a feeling of balance. When the needs are met, you feel grounded and safe, your stress is low and you don’t carry worry with you day to day. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless.
The feeling of safety and security is not limited to what you have now. The sense of safety and security can go all the way back to childhood when the root chakra underwent development. It can go all the way back to infancy. Did your caregivers provide you with what you needed to survive? Did you feel secure in the world? Or were love or basic needs withheld? You may have chakra blockages.
Physiological: The root chakra encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon.
Imbalance: An imbalance in the root chakra makes the person feel as though they are constantly in “survival mode.” This can manifest itself in being overly stressed and with the experience of anxiety disorders. A person may live in fear or experience nightmares. When the chakra is imbalanced, it is common to become easily annoyed with people and situations, lash out at others, or become materialistic. We may be unable to allow change or to let go. This is when we get stuck in situations that don’t serve us. The same mundane routines. The same unsatisfying job. The same lousy relationship.
Physical disorders may result from a chronic imbalance and may include insomnia; colon or bladder issues; constipation; lower back, leg, or feet issues. Eating disorders may also be associated with an imbalance in the root chakra.
Non-physical disorders may include anger and being short-tempered; greediness; impatience; and feeling stuck.
Restoring Balance: The following practices may be helpful in restoring balance to the root chakra.
- Diet and exercise. As with many things, a healthy diet and exercise may help restore the chakra balance.
- Meditate (search for Chakra Meditation on your favorite music app). Focus on the red spinning wheel at the base of the spine that is the root chakra. The mantra sound that corresponds to the root chakra is “LAM.”
- Practice yoga. Poses associated with aligning the root chakra are the knee to chest pose, head to knee pose, the squatting pose. Kegel exercises can also help.
- Go out in nature. Take your shoes off and really feel the earth. Breathe in the fresh earthy scents. Focus on individual items in nature: the beauty of a leaf, an ant crawling on the earth, the way a rock sparkles in the sun.
- Implement sound therapy (search for Chakra Meditation on your favorite music app). Chanting or toning sounds can also help bring you back to balance. Sounds create vibrations in the body, and these vibrations help the cells work together in synchronistic harmony.
- Use stones to help you focus on the root chakra. Stone associated with the root chakra include red jasper, bloodstone, red carnelian, garnet, hematite, and smoky quartz. Lava is also associated with this chakra.
- Use essential oils to connect with your root chakra. Essential oils associated with this chakra include sandalwood, patchouli, cypress, elemi, cedarwood or cedar, rosewood, frankincense, clary sage, vetiver, carrot, cardamon, clove, oakmoss, and ginger.
The more in tune you become with your emotions and physical body, the easier it will be for you to sense when your chakra is out of balance. Becoming aware when you are experiencing imbalance will make it easier for you to intentionally apply tools to help you regain your balance.
You may not always be able to trust that the world will give you what you need to survive, but connection to your higher self and trust in a power higher than yourself will give you what you need to feel safe. It does not matter if you call that higher power Consciousness, Mother Nature, God, Spirit, or the Universe. Connection to universal energy will bring you a sense of peace and stability.