With the Chakras, the best place to start is at the bottom and to work our way up. The Root Chakra, known as Muladhara Chakra in Sanskrit, is located at the base of the spine around the coccygeal plexus and perineum. Unlike Chakras two through six, which open to the front and back of the body, The Root Chakra opens downward.
This Chakra holds sway over some of the most basic of human needs: survival, security, and stability. This is literally the foundation of all things. In discussing childhood development, we go back to the beginning: from the second trimester through the first year of life. This is where you learn who you can trust, who will feed, house, love and nurture you. From here, all things begin.
The color of this Chakra is red, and its element is Earth. When people speak of grounding themselves, they are talking about getting in touch with this Chakra. Muladhara holds sway over the legs, feet, bones, teeth, and large intestines. When energy workers ask of physical ailments and any of these come into the conversation, they know to start with this Chakra.
If one has an over-active Root Chakra, you might see indications of obesity or overeating, hoarding, greediness, sluggishness or overly rigid boundaries. Under-active Chakra symptoms include being dissociated from your body, being underweight, anxiety, poor focus, lax boundaries or chronic disorganization.
If one’s Root Chakra is balanced and healthy, you can expect to find good health, vitality, trust, a sense of safety and security, stability and prosperity.
What can cause an over- or under-active Root Chakra? Many things, which often go back far into our childhood: birth trauma, abandonment or physical neglect, malnourishment, a major illness or surgery, living in abusive environments; even inherited traumas, such as a caregiver’s own survival fears (survivors of traumatic conditions or events, life in poverty, etc).
Indeed, Fear is the “demon” of the Root Chakra, and is almost always the base motivator for every issue any of us have. We learn very early on to be afraid of what will cause us harm. This is not a bad thing! We learn to be afraid of fire because it burns. We learn to be afraid of loud noises because they mean something bad is happening. We learn to be afraid of that empty feeling in our tummy, because it means we need sustenance. We learn through our fears and in doing so, stay alive. Indeed, in traumatic and abusive environments fear literally means the difference between life and death.
The problem comes when we hold on to the fears long past their usefulness. They become so ingrained that we don’t realize they influence our behaviors. Our fear of not having enough means we hold on to everything. Our fear of being hungry means we eat more than we need. Our fear of being physically, emotionally, or sexually hurt means we refrain from meaningful relationships. Our fear of being betrayed by our body means we stop listening when it tells us things.
So, how does one start to heal Muladhara Chakra?
Grounding meditations – including walking or moving meditation – can be extremely helpful in re-establishing a connection with your body. In fact, most positive physical activities can help with this process, including: aerobics, dance, yoga, massage or bodywork (for those who are okay with being touched). Being out in nature is a very grounding experience and highly recommended. Often, mantras or other affirmations also work well for people. Root Chakra affirmations include:
- It is safe for me to be here
- The earth supports me and meets my needs
- I have the right to be here
- Abundance and prosperity are mine to enjoy
For deeper work, going inward and addressing the fears as they arise can help you determine how to move past them. Many times, it can be as simple as acknowledging a fear to be real. You can then ask: is it still serving you? Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes it is no. Sometimes, you realize it was never yours to begin with and you inherited it from someone else. Once you determine what your fear is, you can begin the process of letting go.
If any of this resonates, I highly encourage you to research deeper into the world of the Root Chakra yourself. You will find there many suggestions for help in healing your roots, as well as a wealth of information on the Chakras in general.
Finally, for physical, mental and emotional ailments, always seek assistance from the appropriate trained professional. I am in no way, shape, or form a medical professional or a trained counselor; just a well-meaning person who believes you deserve health and happiness.
Judith, A. (2004). Eastern Body, Western Mind (2nd Edition). Celestial Arts Publishing, Berkeley CA.
Judith, A. (2012). Wheels of Life: The Classic Guide to the Chakra System (2nd Edition). Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, MN.
Mercier, P. (2000). Chakras: Balance Your Body’s Energy for Health and Harmony. Godsfield Press, New York, NY.