Muladhara Chakra (Root Chakra) – Complete Guide
The 7 chakras constitute the energy centers of the body. These chakras maintain a harmonious balance that preserves and restores overall health. The first and vital force of energy is the Muladhara Chakra.
The Muladhara Chakra is the foundation of the physical structure of the body. It is located at the base of the spine between the anus and the genitals. The word Muladhara is composed of two Sanskrit words – Mula meaning “root” and Adhara which means “base” or “support”.
Also called the Root Chakra, Muladhara is based on the earth element. The Muladhara Chakra radiates the color red. Balancing the Root Chakra creates a solid foundation for opening all the other six chakras. When the Muladhara Chakra is balanced, the person experiences stability, confidence, energy, and strength.
The Characteristics of Muladhara Chakra
The earth element – Prithvi
The energies of the Root Chakra helps in recognizing our strong connection to the Earth. Keeping us rooted to our inner self spreads positivity and happiness in life. It relates to our basic, primal needs of survival, stability, and support. It also represents the structure of our body, bones, flesh, and skin.
The strength of the red color
Each of the seven chakras has its own associated color. The main color of Root Chakra is red which symbolizes primal instincts of strength and vitality. The red color is powerfully linked to our physical and emotional needs of survival and self-preservation.
The physical focus of Muladhara Chakra
Food, water, shelter, and survival are our primary needs. The main focus of Muladhara Chakra is to satisfy these basic needs. Overeating, hoarding of material items, and greed for money are a few negative expressions for survival. These are the signs of an unbalanced Muladhara Chakra. When our basic survival needs are not met, our Root Chakra becomes dysfunctional causing a disconnection from our earthly values.
Emotional and mental health
A balanced root chakra can provide emotional strength like letting go of fear and anxiety. This results in feeling grounded and secure. An imbalance in Root Chakra can cause a variety of mental illnesses and stress which can also affect overall physical wellness.
Balancing the Root Chakra
The Root Chakra is believed to be a survival center, making it the most instinctual of all chakras. Stabilizing the foundation of the body is important to sense completeness.
Signs of a Blocked Muladhara Chakra
When the Muladhara Chakra is blocked and imbalanced, it can cause mental stress which is visible through one’s physicality. The symptoms of a Muladhara Chakra imbalance are:
- Feelings of lethargy or depression
- Unable to take action and/or manifest intention
- Feelings of being disconnected and isolated
- Panic attacks or anxiety
- Digestive disorders
- Health issues, such as problems in the colon, bladder, and lower back
- Unexplained aches and pains in the body
- Reproductive issues
Unblocking and Opening the Muladhara Chakra
Identifying and working on your chakras allows quick healing. There are several ways to unblock your Root Chakra. One of the ways is a meditation that focuses on grounding. Practicing yoga regularly also encourages physical and mental strength to the body.
Repeating positive affirmations helps set intentions to break old habits and create new ones.
Some positive affirmations that can help strengthen your Root Chakra are:
- I feel safe and secure.
- I have deep roots.
- I am grounded.
- I have found my peace.
- I trust more, I am fearless.
- I have self-love and I take care of my well-being.
- I am open to all possibilities.
Yoga Asanas for Root Chakra balance
The practice of yoga asana helps connect the body, mind, and spirit. This helps in unifying the circulating energy centers of the body. Specific yoga asana helps release excess chakra energy which is just as important as stimulating chakras to gain energy. The poses below are aimed at restoring balance through both stimulating and releasing energy from the Muladhara in order to allow for true transformation and personal growth.
Shavasana | Corpse Pose
Let yourself be fully supported by the earth beneath you and let go of all tension in your body. Remind yourself “I am safe, I am supported” with each inhale and exhale.
Surya Namaskara | Sun Salutations
Sun Salutations help you tap into that sense of inner strength and connection with the earth. You will feel a slow, steady heat building from within. A sense of power and focus as you connect with each inhale and exhale. You will eventually notice how the mind surrenders to the current moment as you work your way deeper into your moving meditation. Close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so.
Shashankasana | Child’s Pose
Let your whole body relax. Notice how it feels to be completely supported by the ground beneath you. Welcome this balance of surrender and support to carry you through your practice.
Ardha Setu Bandhasana | Half Bridge Pose
This pose allows your feet to be firmly rooted in the earth. At the same time, the spine releases excess root chakra energy as well as stimulates the throat and heart chakra.
Sukha Hanumanasana | Easy Monkey Pose
This pose creates an intense stretch for the psoas and quad muscles. These muscles are associated with our flight-or-fight mechanism and are deeply connected to the first chakra energy center. 5 breaths here allowing muscles time to transform any residual fight or flight energy into a courageous yet calm inner strength.
Malasana | Garland Pose
Our feet are our roots, and through the feet, we feel the energy of the earth. To awaken the fascia of the soles of your feet, gently tuck your toes under as you rest on your knees. Hold for one minute before releasing. Repeat three times.
Uttanasana | Standing Forward Bend
A fabulous pose to ease a busy mind, Uttanasana helps us find center and calmness. At the same time, it slowly stretches the hamstrings and relieves tension in the entire back.
Virabhadrasana II | Warrior II
Virabhadrasana means “fierce warrior”. This pose uses the body’s natural flow of energy to stimulate it while both feet are firmly on the ground, helping you dig deeper into your inner reserves of strength and determination.
Vrkshasana | Tree Pose
This yoga asana improves balance, concentration, and focus. It stimulates the Root Chakra that balances the function of large intestines and adrenals. It also strengthens and tones the tendons and ligaments of the feet. Tree Pose relieves the stiffness in hip joints, groin, and inner thighs.
Tadasana | Mountain Pose
Tadasana provides strength to spinal muscles and improves posture. This yoga asana restores the body’s natural alignment. Practicing this asana regularly expands mental awareness by experiencing calmness and peace of mind. Balancing and relaxing in the Mountain Pose allows us to feel centered and focused
Reconnecting with nature
Nature Therapy is one of the most effective ways of healing not only the Root Chakra but our whole being. As we spend more time indoors due to modern work culture, we lose our connection to nature and earth. Lack of exposure to nature can be toxic and mentally draining. This creates anxiety, lack of self-confidence, and blocked Root Chakra.
Sometimes, the only therapy that we need is spending time walking in rejuvenating nature. The feel of the grass beneath your feet, the smell of the ocean breeze, the sound of the chirping birds, and a moment of solitude underneath the shade of a tree brings peace and harmony.
When the Muladhara Chakra is awakened and energy is flowing freely, it brings positivity in all aspects of our lives. A healthy and balanced Root Chakra creates a strong connection to our earthly instincts. It improves overall confidence and increases the sense of self-worth. The energy of the Muladhara Chakra allows everyone to harness courage and perseverance during challenging times.
About the Author
Ram Jain (E-RYT 500) is a renowned yoga teacher from India and the Director of Arhanta Yoga Ashrams in India and The Netherlands. He has been teaching since 1998 and he is teaching yoga teacher training courses since 2009. In the past 10 years, he has trained over 4000 yoga teachers. Ram is also the creator of several online education courses, such as the 50 hours Online Yin Yoga course, the online Yoga Philosophy course, and the online Ayurveda course. Born and raised in India, his yoga education started from the age of 8 years as part of his school education. Over the period he has studied yoga and yogic philosophy in-depth from various reputed teachers.
Ram Jain is also the author of the internationally acclaimed book: Hatha Yoga For Teachers & Practitioners: A Comprehensive Guide to Holistic Sequencing