What is the Root Chakra?
The Root Chakra, also known as Muladhara, (derived from two Sanskrit words, Mula meaning “root” and adhara, meaning “support” or “base”), is located at the base of your spine and creates the foundation for all the chakras that lie above it.
It is the “starting point” for developing and maintaining balance.
In the womb, the spinal cord begins to develop from the bottom up, starting with the Root Chakra, and moving up towards the Crown Chakra. Muladhara begins at the base of the spine and is the most instinctual Chakra—it is in this Chakra that our most instinctual sensibilities are formed. It is governed by our animal instinct to survive—our “fight or flight” response is initiated by the energy of the Root Chakra. At birth, Muladhara asks, “do I belong here?” and becomes the basis for our sense of stability and security.
The Root Chakra represents whatever it is in our lives that make us feel grounded. These needs can be different for each individual person, but usually include our basic physical necessities such as food, water, and shelter, but also extends to our emotional needs of feeling safe and interconnected.
The Root Chakra is the base of our life force energy and acts as the link between the outside physical world and our internal energetic system—it gives us the motivation to get up each day, eat, and procreate.
Psychologically, Muladhara helps us to feel connected to the Earth and gives us the opportunity to feel grounded or “rooted,” which helps us feel secure enough to allow our energies to flow and propel us positively forward in life.
The Root Chakra is the center for which self-esteem, integrity, and a sense of belonging is nurtured.
Root Chakra Imbalance
When the energies of the Root Chakra are imbalanced, stagnant, or blocked, the motivation to move forward, the “joie de vivre” or joy of life, and the sense of purpose and belonging in this world is compromised.
An imbalance in the life force energy of the Root Chakra can leave us feeling profoundly insecure, restless, without energy. This imbalance can manifest as anxiety, depression, rage, low self-esteem, resentment, and even suicidal thoughts. Without the grounding energy of a balanced Root Chakra, we no longer have a sense of belonging and may lose interest in the world and being a part of it. Mental signs of an imbalanced Root Chakra are pessimism, poor focus, and a negative outlook.
These feelings can be totally overwhelming, taking over our lives and affecting everything we do. So you can see why a balanced Root Chakra is so essential.
The self-worth and positive outlook we can achieve with the freely flowing Root Chakra energies is tantamount to moving forward in our lives in a positive manner.
How Do Root Chakras Become Blocked in the First Place?
It is believed that the Root Chakra actually connects us with the spiritual energies of our ancestors, their challenges, and successes. These ancestral “memories” are carried in our own Root Chakras, coupled with our own experiences, chances are, everyone will ultimately be challenged with an imbalance at some point in their lives.
The difficult histories of war, famine, natural disasters, etc. of those who came before us are all “recorded” in the Root Chakra. These experiences are passed down from generation to generation and create unconscious patterns of behaviors …The karmas of our past and current lives lie in the energy of Root Chakra.
These energies may lay dormant, but when met with the right conditions, they may present themselves in many forms in the body—mental, spiritual, physical, emotional, and/or psychological. We are continually adding to the “pile” of “seeds” in the Root Chakra, all of which will eventually manifest themselves in mental, emotional, psychological, physical, or spiritual forms.
Some physical symptoms of a Root Chakra blockage include (but are not limited to):
- colon issues
- bladder issues and issues with elimination
- lower back problems
- left arm, leg, or foot issues
- prostate issues
On top of these physical manifestations, an imbalanced or blocked Root Chakra can cause many adverse psychological symptoms, such as anxiety disorders, panic attacks, depression, and eating disorders.
Root Chakra Imbalances and Eating Disorders
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder stem from an inability to relate to the basic needs such as the body’s need for nourishment. When we feel secure, we develop a healthy Root Chakra, and our desire to eat, and stay alive is strong.
Trauma or abuse that has been imprinted on our Root Chakra, especially as children when the first Chakra is developing, can lead to eating disorders. Eating disorders are an all-consuming manifestation of a severely blocked first chakra.
Nearly half of Americans personally know someone suffering from an eating disorder.
Root Chakra Healing
With Root Chakra healing, we begin to feel secure in our choices, can set and work towards goals, and our love and excitement for life are reignited.
Courage, resourcefulness, and standing up to challenging situations and adversity are harnessed by the healthy flow of energy in the Root Chakra. When the Muladhara is open and balanced, we feel safe, and like we belong in this world. This is the foundation for building self-esteem and self-worth.
There is no hiding from the impact of trauma, whether inherited or experienced—these memories are permanently imprinted in the life energy of our Root Chakra, and will need to be processed and healed to maintain a healthy and balanced energy flow.
It is our responsibility to take charge of our own lives and identify and process the trauma that may be blocking the energy field of the Root Chakra.
But how do we begin to heal an imbalanced Root Chakra?
- Gemstone Healing—garnet, red jasper, black tourmaline & bloodstone—place the gem on the root chakra area (base of the spine), or wear
- Physical exercise—especially in the lower back and pelvic exercises
- Nutrition—eating red foods—strawberries, tomatoes, beets, pomegranate
- Nutrition — eating grounding foods — root veggies, animal protein
- Connecting with the Earth (grounding) —walking barefoot on the grass, gardening, hiking, swimming in a lake, etc. etc
- Asana yoga poses (Yin yoga)
- Reiki energy healing
- Essential oils—frankincense, myrrh, ginger, black pepper, sandalwood, rosewood, rosemary, cedar, clove
- Affirmations—“I belong; I am home; I feel safe and secure; I trust myself; I love myself
- Sound vibrations (specific sound frequencies are associated with each Chakra)
Root Chakra At a Glance:
- The Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine, is responsible for feeling “grounded”—for a sense of safety and security
- Also known as Muladhara —Mula meaning “root” and adhara meaning “support”
- Vibrational frequency: Red
- The energy of the Root Chakra is what makes us feel connected, grounded, safe, and helps us propel forward in life
- The Root Chakra is the first Chakra and provides the foundation for the rest of the chakras that follow
- The Root Chakra is the “starting point” for our seven energy centers and must be healed first before any of the higher Chakras can be unblocked
- Muladhara is the most instinctual Chakra, and survival instincts are initiated here (flight or fight response)
- When there is a Root Chakra blockage, we lose the passion for life
- It is believed that traumas, as well as positive karma, can be inherited and passed down from generation to generation