Chakra series: Easy to Understand Guide on The Root Chakra

Easy to Understand Guide on The Root Chakra

Muladhara is the Sanskrit term for the first chakra, often known as the foundation or root chakra. The word is a combination of mul, which means “base,” and adhara, which means “support,” and it perfectly fits the primary goal of the first chakra: to ground and sustain us in our daily lives.

This chakra, situated at the base of the spine between the reproductive organs and the anus  is your center of stability and home of the sleeping kundalini, the life force within us. Linked with the three energy channels that ascend the spine, ida, pingala, and sushumna, Muladhara is our primal center.

Though staying motivated can be hard, be gentle with yourselves and accept the days where you feel you failed, knowing that tomorrow will be a new day. One tip of advice, start with just one change, whatever that might be! It can be drinking warm water in the morning, or not using your phone for the firRoots have both masculine and feminine traits, and regardless of our gender, both must be engaged.

The masculine component descends, pushing out from the tiny seed we are, pushing down from your first chakra, through your legs, and forth with your feet to create a wide base. In turn, the ascending energy, the feminine side, nourishes and nurtures the seed by bringing nutrients and moisture upward through the legs to nourish the rest of the body.

Muladhara is the base of our entire system, the foundation on which all of the other chakras must rest, hence it is vital. There is an energetic pull inwards, toward the core, that is necessary for the root chakra. It clings to the bones, solidifies the body, and establishes edges and boundaries.

In the same way that the clay pot around a houseplant keeps the dirt firmly around the plant’s roots, keeping the water and nutrients in, allowing the plant to thrive. The dirt would become loose if the pot was broken, and the plant would tumble over and die.

The element earth, as well as all solid, earthly things, such as our bodies, our health, our survival, our material and monetary life, and our ability to focus and materialize our wants, are all connected to the root chakra.

What does this Chakra govern

The first chakra represents our most primal level of consciousness: our survival instincts. Designed to keep us alive, survival instincts are hardwired into the body, our nervous system responds instinctually, mostly operating below the level of conscious awareness. The instinctual feelings get programmed from the memories of our past and our racial and cultural heritage, a vast and powerful realm of inherited instincts.

In order to protect us, and help us survive, muladhara manages an array of body parts, including the lower extremities (hips and related bones and muscles), the immune system generally, the rectum, the elimination system, the large intestine, and parts of the genitals (for example, the vagina).

This chakra controls our sense of security and grounding in the world. It offers us a sense of purpose and passion, as well as a sense of stability and solidity. It teaches us how to keep energy in check and let it build up. It’s all about having the ability to feel safe, trusted, and prosperous.

What Imbalances This Chakra

In Anodea Judith’s system, this chakra activates from in utero to one year. In the twelve-chakra system, it awakens in the womb and during the following six months. 

Allow yourself to enter the mind of a newborn infant for a moment. You’ve just emerged from the warm and dark womb, where everything was supplied for you, into a brightly shining light and a frigid environment.

There is a terrifying sensation that did not exist in the womb. Things aren’t as readily available as they formerly were. You now need to learn to express your needs, and hope they will be met. You are completely reliant on your caretakers, which are your parents and family members.

If our basic needs are fulfilled as babies, we learn to believe that the world will provide for us, that we are safe, and that we may rest and enjoy our journey. The continuity between inside and outside remains unbroken and the state of fusion continues.

If on the other hand, our instinctual impulses do not get us the things we need in order to survive (many factors come into play: needs not met, noisy environment, poor mother bonding, difficulty keeping the food down, feeling unwanted, violence etc.) the nervous system does not get to relax.

We learn to distrust or ignore our instincts, and simultaneously perceive the world as hostile. We develop a growing distrust of the outer world, a dissociation from the inner world, and a feeling of helplessness and inadequacy at the core of our being.

This feels like having to constantly justify our existence, constantly having to prove that we are worthy. We start developing body image issues, an unhealthy relationship with food, 

The natural result of all that is Fear. Fear becomes imprinted in our nervous system, it becomes a habit, a second nature, and anything outside that state becomes uncomfortable. This habit of fear blocks us from receiving energy as our core becomes so tight, and wastes a lot of energy, having to be always alert.

An imbalanced root chakra can either be deficient or excessive. A deficient root chakra feels like we are ungrounded, we only want to be up in the fantasy world, we are not very embodied. We become attached to that sense of fear. 

An excessive root chakra may look like being overly attached to material things, overamping the survival instincts or it could be the instinct to eat a lot in order to survive. 

We can see worldwide the issues of a blocked first chakra. The financial crisis, environmental crisis, a health crisis. These are all root chakra issues happening on a larger scale.

How to balance this chakra?

  • Yoga with a special focus on the thighs and the perlis. Drawing energy up from the earth through our feet. Make sure not to block the knees for the energy to flow. At the end of this blog you will find a list of postures that can be used.
  • Meditation on the first chakra, grounding exercises. Check out this Meditation for the root chakra
  • Going out to Nature
  • Harvesting the chakra:
    • Befriending the fear and transforming it into an ally. Don’t think there is something wrong with me, I’m feeling afraid. Think of it as a wonderful delivery system, a message worth listening to and assessing. 
    • Catching yourselves having those “negative” thoughts and consciously changing the thought. Time after time you start reducing its power.
  • Research your birth and early childhood, put 2 and 2 together, see how your first year of life was and as you do that, see what comes up for you. Start writing down and externalizing your discoveries.
Yoga poses for your root chakra

Tadasana, Standing Mountain Pose

Dandasana, Staff Pose 

Bharmanasana, Table Pose 

Apanasana, Knees to Chest Pose 

Supta Padangusthasana, Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose 

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Bridge Pose Pushing through the core of each leg, press your feet into the floor, feeling how the soles of the feet make deeper contact with the mat and the solidity beneath you. Feel how your legs are energized by this action even before lifting your hips. 

Salabhasana, Locust and Half Locust Pose Extend energetically into your right leg, all the way down to your toes (position A). Keeping your knee straight, imagine that you are extending so much energy into your right leg that it lifts off the ground. 

Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose From your root chakra, extend through the core of your pelvis, up through the heart, and to the top of your crown. 

Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward Facing Dog Pose both your arms and legs become roots.

Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold 

High Lunge Pose 

Utkatasana, Awkward Chair Pose Lengthen through the crown and gaze up toward your hands. Let your eyes guide the movement of your neck. If your neck is strained, then simply gaze forward at eye level. 

U tkata Konasana, Goddess Squat 

Vrksasana, Tree Pose

A small recap
  • Location: At the perineum, between the genitals and the anus, base of spine
  • Color: Red
  • Element: Earth
  • Bija Mantra: LAM
  • Affirmations: “i am” , i am safe, i am home.
  • Glands: Adrenals
  • Physical body parts: Base of spine, legs, bones, feet, rectum, immune system, large intestine, teeth
  • Life lesson: To feel safe and secure in the “physical plane,” to manifest our basic needs, and to cultivate healthy (physical) sexuality
  • Physical dysfunction: Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal tumors/cancer, hemorrhoids, constipation, degenerative arthritis, knee problems, depression, immune-related disorders, weight problems, mental/emotional issues physical family and group safety and security, ability to provide for life’s necessities, ability to stand up for self.
  • Possible causes of energy blocks: Fear of being alive, guilt
  • Principles: Gravity, solidity
  • Purposes: Foundation, support, stability
  • Properties: Grounded, solid, steadfast
  • Deficient: Scattered, ungrounded, ephemeral, underweight.
  • Excessive: Heavy, lethargic, overweight.
  • Balanced: Stability, beautiful form Masculine Roots penetrating earth, pushing energy into matter Feminine Drawing nutrients up from the roots, drawing energy from matter.

Let the self-discovery journey begin! The next blog will be about Svadhisthana or our sacral chakra.

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