Otherwise known as the Muladhara, the first chakra in yoga philosophy is the root chakra. The root chakra is the chakra of survival. Based on the earth element, it’s located at the base of the spine. The first chakra is responsible for your feelings of safety of internal security. It is the pinnacle of our feeling of basic human needs and physical identity.
In order to be able to live our lives to the fullest, the root chakra supports our energy and feelings to be able to do so. The base of the root is a connection to the earth so when sitting into our root chakra, we’re really connecting with the world. The colour associated with the root is red or gold; a symbol of strength, connection, passion and vitality.
Focus on the Root Chakra
Ask yourself the question, do you feel you have enough support? An imbalanced root can cause a holistically negative outlook on life. If you’re feeling lost, without direction or excessively anxious, a blocked root chakra could be the reason. It can cause your life to be ruled by fear where it shouldn’t and you may start to look at every opportunity as a potential risk, rather than a positive.
Root Chakra Blocks
Another way the root chakra can manifest an imbalance is through the traits of acting greedy and paranoid, or the opposite. Root imbalances can often result in the desire to control food intake to the point that it may become unhealthy.* The fight or flight mechanism in our brains comes from the energy at the root so when either one is over-active, it’s due to a block in your chakra. Other symptoms of a blocked chakra could range from eating disorders to back pain, restlessness, anger and feeling unsafe.
Healing the Root
Learning to find your own security from within is crucial to finding balance in your root. Being able to feel safe without anyone but yourself is key to a strong root. Finding a calmly natural environment such as a nearby park or a lake can be your base for reconnecting with the earth around you. Take your meditation outside and make a special effort to feel the world beneath you. Activities such as running and hiking will allow you to feel connected to the earth with each step you take.
Aromatherapy is a helpful way of healing the root. Oils such as rosemary and sandalwood are rich and earthy and will help with grounding. Similarly, foods such as root vegetables; beetroot, parsnips and carrots contain the right energy to heal your chakra.
In your meditation, repeat these mantras:
I am safe and grounded. I am my own source of security.
Everything I do is connected with the earth. I am stable and I am at peace.
A very simple way to balance your Muladhara is to sit in half lotus while you meditate. The Malasana pose will really root your feet into the ground as it supports your body weight. If you find it difficult to practice all the different poses in yoga, an easy one is the forward fold. Secure your elbows and fold as far as you can. Allow your head to hang and relax your shoulders. Feel the gravity pulling your whole self back to the earth and back to centre. Find security in this pose; from nothing other than yourself and the earth.
*If you or someone you know is affected by an eating disorder, seek medical advice immediately.