root chakra

This image is symbolic of the root chakra, called muladhara in Hindi.

The Muladhara is home to the first chakra. From a physical perspective, it is the first building block of our entire system, and the base foundation on which all the other chakras unfold. When this chakra is strengthened through our ‘root’, it is solid, deep, healthy, and stable.

Physically, the movement is downward towards the base of our spine, down the legs to the feet and into our gut. It is comprised of the bones, large intestines and the fleshy body providing the basis for our consensus reality. This solid matter is necessary in order to build on a firm foundation.

Located in the perineum at the base of the spine, its element is earth and its function is grounding, gravity, firmness, stability, security, stillness and home/family.

Root consciousness is primarily concerned with survival. When out of balance, our growth will be rootless, groundless, and lack stability for longevity. A balanced Root Chakra gives us a sense of trust: in the world, in the Earth to support us, and in ourselves to manifest what we need to survive. Imbalances lead to feeling off centered and ungrounded, with chronic aches and pains, and at its worst, greed, fits of cruelty, self-centeredness, lust, and fear.

This Chakra connects us to our tribal bonds, which satisfies our need for logic, order and structure. When taken to the extreme, this can lead to the undesirable effect of ‘group think’ or a ‘mob mentality’ of following the herd for fear of being excluded or considered an outcast. Examples of tribal mentality can be seen in political, military or religious affliliations and in most extreme examples, cults and terrorist sects.

Although we all want to belong and build a firm foundation to express our feelings and beliefs, when taken to excess, this Chakra can hinder our individuality and self-expression. When we follow orders without the inclination or freedom to question authority, we run the risk of losing our equilibrium and being trapped by this first Chakra. According to Carolyn Myss in her book ‘Anatomy of the Spirit’, these tribal bonds can lead us to a collective willpower that encompasses our strengths and beliefs, but also our weaknesses, superstitions and fears.

She further notes that energetically, this Chakra connects to the health of our immune system, which relates to the body the way tribal power relates to the group, by protecting the entire body/tribe from potentially damaging external forces.

When examining this first Chakra, the key is to be well balanced and grounded, but mindful not to be excessively rigid or stagnant with too much attachment to tradition and the way things have always been done. Nor do we want to go to the other end of the spectrum by being so flighty that we lose touch with everyday life and reality.

Ideally the gift of this Chakra is living in the present with resilience, resourcefulness and calmness. By staying centred and grounded in our ‘Root’ we can protect ourselves from absorbing unwanted energy from outside influences, and establish a firm foundation in order to pave the way to higher states of consciousness.

Asanas for Balancing Muladhara Chakra:

  • Squat
  • Lotus
  • Mountain
  • Child’s Pose
  • Staff

In the video below, I will demonstrate the yoga poses you can do to get in touch with your root chakra!