The root chakra is literally the foundation of the 7 main chakra system, as such its health and proper functions are an absolute prerequisite for living a balanced and fulfilling life. Located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, the root chakra is responsible for your sense of safety and security , and anchors the higher chakras – and the human body – to the earth and the world around the individual.
The word Muladhara breaks down into two Sanskrit words: Mula meaning “root” and Adhara, which means “support” or “base.”
Balancing the root chakra creates the solid foundation for opening the chakras above. The root chakra is comprised of whatever grounds you to stability in your life. This includes your basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and safety, as well as your more emotional needs such as letting go of fear. When these needs are met, you feel grounded and safe, and you tend to worry less day to day.
Whether or not you feel secure now often has less to do with what you have at your disposal and more to do with how safe you felt as a small child. When you consider psychologist Erik Erickson’s stages of development, the first stage—trust versus mistrust—is closely related to your root chakra development. As infants, if your caregivers readily gave you what you needed to survive with consistency, you felt secure in the world. You felt that the world was a place that could be trusted to provide your basic needs. Yet, if your caregivers withheld or delayed in giving you what you needed, or if that giving was inconsistent, you may find yourself with first chakra blockages.
Imbalances in the Root Chakra
If there is an imbalance in the root chakra you may experience anxiety disorders, fears, or nightmares. Physical imbalances may manifest as problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues. In men, prostate problems may occur. Eating disorders may also be a sign of a root chakra imbalance.
How to Balance Muladhara
While meditation serves to ground you. 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, or Spirit. Connection to universal energy will bring you a sense of peace and stability. The animals in the forest have no idea if and when they will find food each day, yet somehow they trust in nature to provide for them.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
Other ways to open a blocked chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems.
Yoga Asanas that help to open and align Muladhara are…
- Pavanamuktasana, knee to chest pose
- Janu Sirsansana, head to knee Pose
- Padmasana, lotus flexion
- Malasana, squatting pose
Women can also practice Kegel exercises, and both men and women can do Bandha yoga—where you lock or tighten certain areas of your body—to help bring strong energy and strength to the area of the first chakra.
Although many meditation practices are effective on the Muladhara chakra, the best ones use a seated posture that allows the participant to concentrate on the chakra’s physical location. Imagining and exploring an anchoring connection reaching down from the pelvis into the Earth is useful. You will find this technique in the first video of our Chakra Meditation Series, Where we also visualize a glowing red orb at the base of the spine.
Affirmations and Mantras
Affirmations and Mantras designed to reinforce the balanced Muladhara chakra tend to emphasize the individual’s connection with and rightful place in the world. The safety and security of one’s position need to be stressed. Affirmations for the root chakra might include statements like these:
I am safe, secure and connected to the Earth
Chanting or toning sounds can also help bring you back to balance just like music brings people together. Sounds create vibrations in the body, and these vibrations help the cells work together in synchronistic harmony. The mantra sound that corresponds to the root chakra is LAM.