Are you worried about basic needs such as food and rent? Do you feel unsettled and keep changing projects, jobs, places? Do you have an unstable relationship with your family? Do you react to stress with excessive eating or drinking behaviors? Those signs may indicate that your Muladhara or root chakra is low.
What is Muladhara chakra and its characteristics? It is the first of the seven chakras, the root chakra, which lays the foundation of the energy system. It is the root and basis of existence, our survival center, our natural instincts. It connects us to Mother earth and provides a sense of being grounded.
- Etymology: mula means main, root and adhara means identity, basis
- Location: base of the spine (2nd bone of the coccyx)
- Symbol: red four-petaled lotus with a yellow square at its center
- Meaning: Physical identity, stability, grounding
- Elements: earth
- Mantra: the bija mantra is Lam; the sound vibrations of the four petals are vam, bam, sham, and sam
- Colour: red
- Frequency: 396 Hz
- Sense: smell
- Animal: serpent
- Deity: Indra
Why is Muladhara chakra important for all?
It is the foundation of the physical and energy body. Stabilizing it is key. If its energy is low, we are in a survival mode. We think only of basics of survival, both physical and emotional: safety, food, shelter, comfort and belonging. Unless the root is stabilized, we will not know health, wellbeing, and a sense of stability and completeness. We cannot settle and we keep changing projects, relations, hobbies, places. As a result of this lack of continuity, we may fail and think we cannot achieve anything.
An unbalanced chakra will lead to illness and diseases. For the root chakra, common physical issues include bowel and rectal problems, arthritis, urinary tract disorder, pain in the feet and legs; common psychological issues include feeling insecure / anxiety, stress or sluggish, greed and never feel contented or not good enough, addictions and compulsive behaviors (food, alcohol, drug, sex…), nervous system disease, feelings of disconnect or alienation, family dysfunction, hypochondria.
The soul and life force enter from this chakra. If you have a solid and stable foundation, later work with the other six chakras is easier. If the foundation of the building is loose, nothing can hold. Hence root chakra impacts all the other chakras, as a ripple effect. A well-balanced root chakra also gives you the sense of safety required to explore and to try new things.
How to activate Muladhara chakra?
Activating the root chakra through healing exercises can help restore the feeling of safety and grounding.
Meditation is one of the best ways to unblock your chakras. Visualize your root chakra as a bright red light shining out from the end of your tailbone. Let this glow slowly expand and make the whole area warm and relaxed.
Using sound: mantras and affirmations
Chant the bija mantra of the Muladhara chakra, LAM, during the meditation
You can also recite (or listen to) affirmations that relate to home and safety. By repeating these statements, we begin to create new thought patterns, behaviors, and actions that align with feelings of safety and stability. Examples are:
- I am always safe
- My home is safe and secure
- I have a healthy body and a healthy mind
- I am complete
- I belong
- I am grounded / stable
- The universe will always provide for me
- I am connected/anchored to the Earth
- I am financially secure
The root chakra corresponds to the frequency 396Hz, so you can listen to sounds or music at this frequency as well.
You can practice postures that open and stabilize the root chakra
- Uttanasa (forward bend) or Baddha Hasta Uttanasana (dangling)
- Utkatasana (chair pose) or Parivritta Utkatasana (revolved chair) or Garudasana (eagle pose)
- Virabhadrasana I and II (warrior I and II)
- Aschwa Sanchalasana (lunge) or Anjaneyasana (low lunge) or skandasana (side lunge)
- Malasana (squat)
- Shashankasana (Rabbit Pose)
- Paschimottanasana series (seated forward bend)
- Baddha Konasana (butterfly)
- Mandukasana (frog) or Prasarita Balasana (wide child pose)
Getting closer to nature
Walking meditation is a very interesting activity when we have imbalanced root chakra and tend to be unsettled. It deepens connections both with our body and the earth at the same time. You can practice mindful walking barefoot on the grass, sand, or dirt. This earthing technique allows us to recharge energy from the earth and release toxic free radicals at the origin of inflammation in our body. You can also simply spend more time in nature, go swimming in a lake or river, resting on the sand or grass, go for a picnic or camping.
Essential oils which can be used to balance and activate the root chakra tend to have deep, slowly unfolding, long-lasting scents, with more red colors. It can be used for massage or with diffusers, candles, or incense.
They include sandalwood, patchouli, cedarwood, cypress, black pepper, clove, red rose, camphor and sage. One need to choose according to its specific manifestation of imbalance (e.g. insecure, stress, bowel dysfunctions…)
Healing from past insecurities
Our sense of safety and security today is often strongly correlated to how safe and secure we felt as a child. The first stage of Erickson development model (trust versus mistrust) also closely relates to root chakra development. By healing from past events associated with home, family, safety, and security will help balance the root chakra.
Practicing Mula Bandha
Practice of the Mula Bandha (root lock) can help consolidate and collect the energy at the root chakra. With this exercise the perineal muscles are repeatedly tightly contracted and relaxed. It is a restraint system to channel the prana.