The Root Chakra - Muladhara
Muladhara Chakra is the first in the line of Chakras. It is the grounding Chakra, the one that connects you to the earth and your own physicality. Our most basic instinct – for survival – lies within this Chakra, as do our needs for food, sleep and shelter.
Muladhara Chakra is your source of power. When it is out of balance this affects everything related to your personal stability, safety and security. It controls how you deal with money, your body and your family: your roots.
An imbalanced root Chakra, which is low in vital energy may mean that you may suffer from low self-esteem, feel out of touch with your body and sexuality, you may constantly worry about money or never feel satisfied with your work or home. It can also lead to self-destructive or addictive behaviour – eating disorders, smoking, drug taking – or to illnesses such as lower back pain, depression, sciatica and constipation.
On the other hand a root Chakra which is imbalanced by being too strong can lead to isolation, materialism, bullying behaviour or selfishness.
When this Chakra is balanced you feel physically secure, confident, healthy and happy with your body and sexuality. You trust the Universe to take care of you and the world does not seem a scary place to be, you begin to realise that just for today you have a roof over your head, food on the table and some money in your pocket. Life is great – all your primary needs are met.
Physically, the root Chakra is located at the base of the spine between the pubic bone, tailbone and sitting bone. Its centre is the perineum, in the middle of the pelvic floor between the anus and genitals.
The pelvic floor is influenced and affected by the muscles of the legs and the feet. The integrity of the pelvic floor depends on the proper alignment of the legs and the balance of the feet, which act like the roots of a plant. We need our feet and legs to be firmly balanced in order to find grounding and stability.
This is where yoga can really help, especially poses like Virabhadrasana I, II and III (warrior 1,2 and 3) which help to strengthen the legs and root them firmly to the earth. Lengthening the backs of the legs can help too in poses such as Supta Padagusthasana (reclining hand to big toe pose) and strengthening the legs in Setu Bandasana (bridge pose).
To do a few other practical things to help to energise this area encourage red into your life, like wearing red underwear, eating grounding foods like beetroot, parsnips, carrots and potatoes etc. Furthermore do not underestimate the grounding effect of hugging a tree, or allowing your feet to sink into soft sand or spending time in nature to re-connect to the earth.
In short, to build a solid life, we need a solid base.