Your Root Chakra | A Complete Guide to Muladhara, Your Survival & Security Center

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“Chakras are organizational centers for the reception, assimilation, and transmission of life-force energy. They are the stepping stones between heaven and earth.”

– Anodea Judith

Mystical, magical, brilliant and bright… A spinning disk of red light… Survival, security and stability are key attributes of the first energy centerMuladhara chakra.

Let’s ground into the Root Chakra and unpack:

  • History of the Chakras
  • Energy Channel Basics
  • Associations, Origins, Color
  • Root Chakra Location
  • Root Chakra Symbol
  • Indications of a balanced or blocked Root Chakra
  • Root Chakra healing, meditation, affirmations, stones
a woman meditating with the chakras on her

Chakra History

“The Seven Gods have seven spears and seven lights. They hold seven glories.”

– Rig Veda 8.28.5 – Translated by David Frawley

Described in the Vedas, a large body of religious texts from ancient India which are thought to have been compiled between 1500 and 500 BC, and derived from the Sanskrit root cakra – chakra means “wheel” or “disk”.

Chakras are concentrated energy centers of the body, often visualized and depicted as spinning wheels of light.

Rooted in the ancient philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism, chakras holds a prominent place in the science of yoga. 

The chakra system says that the human body consists not only of bones, tissues and organs, but also of energy fields layered around the physical being. These layers form the subtle body, or the energy body.

Energy Channels 

According to Eastern medicine, we have over 72,000 invisible channels called nadis circulating through our bodies.

They carry life force energy, referred to as Prana in Indian systems and Chi in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Prana is omnipresent and omnipotent, and continuously flows through three major nadis – which connect with the thousands of minor nadis to distribute prana throughout the whole body and beyond – along the spinal column.

the nadis flowing through the chakras on a graphic image

The three main channels start at the base of the spine and ascend through the head:

  • Sushumna Nadi – The central energy channel runs from the base of the spine to crown of the head.
  • Ida Nadi – The lunar energy channel represents Yin, which is symbolic of the moon, the left side of body, the feminine.
  • Pingala Nadi – The solar energy channel delineates Yang, noted as the sun, the right side, the masculine qualities.

Ida and Pingala Nadis crisscross each other as they spiral upwards and connect to opposite nostrils. Where Ida and Pingala intersect with each other and Sushumna, are the seven main chakras.

The Chakras

The chakras define cross sections of the physical human body, in the form of nerve plexuses, which house organ systems.

And understanding where the gross anatomy fits into this seemingly esoteric chaos tends to open (third) eyes to the perfect organization, deeper magic, and higher connections available when we unite with these inner sources that correspond to the elements out in the Universe. 

Chakras are responsible for lovingly taking in, incorporating and emanating energy to keep us functioning at optimal levels. When a major or minor chakra in our energetic body is blocked or not functioning properly, illness is more prone to occur – physically, psychologically and spiritually.

Wellbeing on all levels can affect and is affected by the chakras. Not taking in enough energy, through proper nourishment of the mind, body and soul, may lead to or be caused by depression. By bypassing feelings such as anger, or not speaking our truth, we may be unconsciously impeding healthy energy flow.

Physically, each chakra governs specific organs of the body which come along with hormones and emotions

When chakras are constricted, blocked, or too open, organs don’t operate effectively which contributes to disease, fluctuating energy levels, emotional imbalances, negative thought patterns and general lack of wellbeing.

Working with the chakra system is tapping into external and internal forces so that we may feel and function our best, in harmony with the world around and within us.

The ancient yogis understood that to change our life, we have to effect change from within. One way to alter our inner reality is working with the chakras.

the chakras represented by flowers
Chakra Spiritual Flower Energy”, by kirtlane, licensed under CC BY 2.0

What is the Root Chakra?

Muladhara – the Sanskrit name for the Root Chakra – translates to:

Mula – “root”
Adhara – “support” or “base” or “foundation”

The root chakra is all about grounding. Located at the base of the spine, Muladhara is associated with the color red and the Earth element.

The first energy center in the body is linked to our ability to root ourselves in the physical world. This is where our very basic needs and survival instincts reside.

Seen as the center of vital life force and the seat of kundalini – the dormant energy within us which stays coiled until waking to distribute its energy through the whole chakra system – the Root Chakra is the foundation for the entire chakra system. When balancing the chakras, Muladhara should be prioritized.

The timeline of establishing alignment, or unfortunately often the opposite, for this foundational energy center, is from the womb to twelve months of age.

Parents, or primary caregivers, are instrumental during the formation of Muladhara Chakra during this initial phase of living and are strong determinants of our first energy center’s wellbeing.

Big questions – such as, “who am I?” and “how do I fit into this world?” – are being answered at an instinctual level very early in life and largely determine whether one will build a stable foundation or program fear-based belief systems into the root of being.

Root Chakra Symbol

Each chakra symbol has a color associated with it, and other geometric elements inside and outside of the sacred circle. In some artwork, the Sanskrit bija mantra of the chakra is depicted in the center. A unique number of lotus petals always encases the entire symbol.

the root chakra symbol
Muladhara Chakra”, by Atarax42, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The symbol for Muladhara is full of stability and beauty.

  • The inverted triangle is the alchemical symbol for earth as well as the divine feminine, which points to the grounded energy of Muladhara. It’s also a symbol of spirit connecting with matter to ground us here for our earthly existence.
  • The square, the elemental symbol for earth, represents stability. It provides a strong foundation for the chakra system.
  • The four petals symbolize the four aspects of consciousness: Manas – mind, Buddhi – intellect, Chitta – consciousness, Ahamkara – ego.
  • Red, the color of the 1st chakra, which represents courage, passion and loyalty. It’s also the color of the spectrum most visible to the naked eye.

Balanced or Blocked

Balanced Root Chakra

When basic needs – such as food, water, security and safety – are met, the Root Chakra is in balance and one experiences feelings of:

  • Stability
  • Security
  • Trust
  • Safety
  • Grounded

Someone with a balanced Muladhara is likely to come across as confident but not arrogant, and feel energetic, stable, physically strong, clear in thought, centered and ready for life’s adventures.

a mossy tree root

Blocked Root Chakra

Interestingly, many people who are relatively balanced in the higher chakras are off-kilter in the base. This can stem from beliefs deeply engrained during upbringing through an array of potential first chakra quakes throughout childhood and into adulthood.

The Chakras spin and attract energy that is on the same frequency, and in turn sends it back out – like attracts like. The more positive energy a chakra consumes, the more positive energy it releases and the more positivity it magnetizes back. However, the same goes for negativity.

Presence and awareness are crucial when it comes to unblocking, attracting and manifesting.

Symptoms of Root Chakra Blockage

  • Mental – Immense worry, varying degrees of laziness, insecurity, poor focus, feelings of insecurity, lack of trust in others, allowing anger spiral and grow.
  • Emotional – Depression, anxiety, fearfulness, low self-esteem, excessive negativity, feeling of being abandoned, co-dependency, a tendency to cling to surrounding people for hope, support or care.
  • Physical – Lethargy, sluggishness or restlessness, colon pain, constipation, sciatica, lower back pain, hemorrhoids, prostate issues or menstrual cramps.

Root Chakra Healing

Root Chakra Stones For Healing

Everything in the universe has a vibrational frequency, including crystals and gemstones.

Crystals carry healing properties that connect to each chakra – and the elements within that resonate with that outside of us – uniquely. Stones hold vibrational energy that resonate with our energy centers to heal the body, mind, and soul.

Gemstones are believed to have a host of physical health benefits, such as reducing anxiety, blood pressure, chronic pain, and a lowering chances of disease. Emotional trauma, negative thoughts and energies are also thought to be released by working with stones.

So, let’s figure out which stone to use and how to use it!

a red stone

Root Chakra Crystals:

Ruby, garnet, smokey quartz, red jasper, obsidian, red tiger’s eye, black tourmaline.

Some believe that your stone will speak to you – notice if you feel a different vibration when holding a specific stone in your hand or near your Chakra. Or choose one from this list that you find beautiful!

How to use healing stones for the First Chakra:

  • Meditate – Hold the stone in your hand, or place it on or near the body part associated with this Chakra. Repeat a mantra or the seed sound to amplify balancing energies.
  • Decorate – Place the stones around your home to fill your personal space with balancing energy.
  • Wear – Keep stones in your pocket or bag, or wrap a stone in wire or string to wear as a necklace, bracelet, ring or earrings.

Root Chakra Essential Oils

It is said that essential oils can restore balance to the Chakras – oils, too, have a vibration and hold frequency. Apply them to pulse points, anoint the Chakra location, put a few drops in the bath or a diffuser. Here are some to consider:

  • Vetiver – This woodsy scent is great for easing feelings that disrupt your focus, such as restlessness, frustration and anxiety, and calming an overactive Root Chakra.
  • Myrrh – One of the oldest oils, renowned for promoting peace and wellbeing, stimulating the brain, enhancing feelings of purpose and connecting to emotions. Alchemize negative feelings into positive, and move forward with energy and focus.
  • Patchouli – Earthy, grounding and calming, this one promotes feelings of peace, joy and self-confidence, especially during challenging times.
  • Cedarwood – This oil invokes connection with nature which settles your environment and provides grounding and confidence during hectic moments.
a redhead woman inhaling an essential oil

Root Chakra Mantra

Each energy center has a one-syllable Bija, or seed, mantra that activates its vitality and power. Chanting the mantra can alter, purify and harmonize the flow of energy.

Focus your awareness on the physical location of the Chakra as you chant its bija mantra to feel connected, joyful and radiant.

Root Chakra bija mantra: Lam

Root Chakra Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts, encourage yourself, boost self-esteem, relieve anxiety, increase self-love, and expand upon the tangible as well as the mystical properties of the chakras. 

There are affirmations to help access and elevate willpower, endurance, your sense of security, connection with nature and stability with wellness including physical, mental and emotional health, spirituality… Even finances!

a woman with her eyes closed and hands on her chest

How to choose an affirmation

Simply choose an existing affirmation that resonates with you in the moment – reading it feels like a cuddle or elicits an emotional response or inspiration. Or create one for yourself – this may come to you intuitively, or you might be inspired by ours.

The affirmations here are only suggestions. Please feel free to add affirmations that feel empowering, leave behind those that do not, or come up with your own!

Root Chakra Affirmations

Root chakra affirmations can help heal and activate the energy center that provides your sense of survival, stability, confidence and security, and strengthen the base for the rest of the chakra system. By powering your intentions through affirmations, this chakra can be balanced allowing more alignment in life – internal and external.

Practicing these Root chakra affirmations can elevate your energy, strengthen your willpower and build your endurance. You may experience an increased sense of security and a stronger connection with nature and all around you. General wellness, mental health, spirituality and financial stability can all be positively, profoundly affected by working with Root chakra affirmations.

  • I am taken care of.
  • I am safe.
  • I am grounded.
  • I am financially secure.
  • I’m always provided for.
  • I trust myself and others.

How to Practice Root Chakra Affirmations

Everyone’s style varies – according to body type, time available, emotional and energetic needs, state of mind – and it’s likely that your choices will evolve through the short and long seasons of life pending how you’re feeling and what you’re seeking.

Here are some loose guidelines and tips to get started. Feel free to experiment and cuddle accordingly to suit your needs!

  • To practice root chakra meditation, find a sweet spot – many prefer a quiet place.
  • Get comfortable, like you would for meditation – seated or lying down, with the spine as straight as possible.
  • Focus on the base of the spine – the location of the root chakra. You might consider the ground, floor, cushion, chair, etc on which you sit as representative of the Earth. Notice the way that your Earth, actual or implied, presses up in support just as much as you ground down upon it.
  • Breathe. Consider trying sama vritti – often called equal or coherent breathing – where the length of the exhalation matches the length of the inhalation. No prescribed count, your own pace. Or try box breathing, where the inhale, pause during internal retention, exhale, and pause during external retention all match in duration – start with a count of four and build up.
  • Repeat your chosen affirmation over and over, committing it to memory if possible. Perhaps eventually softening your gaze or closing your eyes, if that feels safe, as you continue to say it aloud or silently.
  • As you repeat the affirmation, visualize the red, earthy color of the root chakra and imagine it flowing into your energy centre. This may appear as an expansion of the color from the centre across the surface upon which you sit, or an increase in vibrancy or saturation, with your inhalation, followed by the color shrinking back to a small point or soft glow with the contraction of your exhalation.
  • Truly, deeply engage, immerse in the sensation of the feeling of the words of the affirmation.

Final Thoughts

When your first energy center is aligned, you’re able to access calm, steady energy, and tap into feeling grounded and comfortable in your body and the world.

Working with your Root Chakra can help you to dig in – and feeling firmly rooted in your life sets you free to pursue dreams, cultivate relationships, create and be!

To learn more about Chakra Yoga, check out our Complete Guide.

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UK-based yogini, yoga teacher trainer, blessed mom, grateful soulmate, courageous wanderluster, academic goddess, glamorous gypsy, love lover – in awe of life and passionate about supporting others in optimizing theirs.

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