Mūlādhāra Symbol – The Five Petal Lotus
Root Chakra – Our Grounding Energy Centre
The Root Chakra or Mūlādhāra in Sanskrit, sits at the base of the spine and marks the foundation of the chakra route up the spine. Very importantly, this first energy centre houses Kundalini Shakti – the primordial, vital, universal energy that lies at the core of every human being.
Our Root Chakra is the base from which the three main energy channels or nadis emerge: the Ida, Pingala and Shushumna. Therefore Mūlādhāra, which translates to root of existence, is a vital energy point that sets the foundation of the entire Chakra system and is the basis of our human development.
What Is Our First Chakra Related To?
Mūlādhāra is the most instinctual of all the chakras – it is your survival centre, your animal nature, housing the primal energy of fight and flight response. In other words, our first chakra is related to meeting our basic instincts of preservation, reproduction, nourishment, elimination… It is governed by the predominant survival sense of smell, then taste.
The Root Chakra is our centre of stability and security, vibrating with the energy of whatever grounds us to stability in our life. This includes our basic needs such as food, water, shelter, safety, as well as our emotional needs of interconnection. When we meet these needs, we feel grounded and safe.
Muladhara is associated with the physical body that includes the ovaries / testes, colon, kidneys, skeleton/bones, muscles, and arterial blood that flows through the left chamber of the heart, carrying oxygen and nutrients to our body tissue.
The energies of the Root Chakra help us to feel grounded and connected to Earth.
Root Chakra Basics
Sanskrit name: Mūlādhāra
Location: Between the perineum and the pelvic bone, near the coccygeal plexus
Symbol: Lotus with four petals
Corresponding Glands: Ovaries, Testes
Parts of the body: Colon, kidneys, bones, muscles, and arterial blood
Ovaries & Testes
Balanced Root Chakra
When in balance the Muladhara energy supports and nourishes us. As a result, we trust that life will unfold in the best possible way, we are grounded and centred; connected to Nature; in tune with our body; joyful and energetic.
Furthermore, having our first Chakra balanced is a prerequisite for the unfolding of the energies of the rest of the Chakras. Some of the signs of a healthy Muladhara are listed below.
- Satisfaction with life
- Overall sense of well-being
- Feeling grounded, safe and secure
- Trust that basic needs will be met
- Good health
- Physical fitness and strength
- Intestinal regularity
- Appropriate body weight
- Abundance of energy
Unbalanced Root Chakra
Common psychological symptoms of an unbalanced Root Chakra can be manifested as loneliness, insecurities, feeling ungrounded, unconfident, abandoned, indecisive, depressed, anxious, addictions, phobias and various obsessions.
On the other hand, an unbalanced Root Chakra expresses itself in physical symptoms such as lower-back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, constipation, diarrhoea, rectal / anal problems, impotence, water retention, and problems with groin, hips, legs, knees, calves, ankles, and feet.
Healing Your Root Chakra
There are various practices and methods which can help us explore, stimulate and cure imbalances in our chakras. Below I have included some of those, the main one being the practice of yoga. After all, the principles of the chakras come from the ancient yoga philosophy.
Root Chakra Yoga Poses
Those of us who are under the effects of scattered energies and constant chatter in the mind will greatly benefit from grounding asanas (postures). Returning to the body and re-establishing connection with the Earth is a sure way to slow down the mind and cultivate feelings of being nurtured and supported.
Examples of such grounding and comforting asanas are:
- Sukhasana (Easy pose)
- Balasana (Child’s pose)
- Malasana (Yogic squat)
- Uttanasana (Forward fold)
- Vira Bhadrasana II (Warrior II)
- Tadasana (Mountain pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (One legged forward fold)
- Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
- Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)
Moola means root and Bandha translates as lock from Sanskrit. The root lock or Moola Bandha is one of the three major energy locks in Yoga, which when performed, affect the body and mind on subtle energetic level. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we perform these practices with intention and full awareness. The bandhas aim to lock the energies in particular areas of the body and redirect their flow into Sushumna nadi for the purpose of spiritual awakening.
In this post, we will be looking at the first energetic lock – Moola Bandaha, whose physical location is in the region of the pelvic floor – just between the genitals and the anus.
This bandha is associated with Muladhara and practitioners perform it either on its own or as part of Pranayama (Breathwork or Breath control). Moola Bandha stimulates and activates the energy of the Root Chakra.
How To Practice Moola Bandha?
Note that the practice of Moola Bandha is a powerful technique and should be approached with care. Therefore, observe your body and energy while performing it and stop immediately if you start feeling uncomfortable.
- Sit in a comfortable position keeping the spine long.
- Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Be aware of the natural breath for a short while. Then focus the awareness on the perineal / vaginal region.
- Contract this region by pulling up on the muscles of the pelvic floor and then relaxing them.
- Continue to briefly contract and relax the perineal / vaginal region as rhythmically and evenly as possible.
Conntinue for a minute or two. Once you feel comfortable with the technique you might try it together with internal breath retention.
- Inhale deeply, retain the breath inside and bring the chin to the chest.
- Perform Moola Bandha by slowly contracting the perineal / vaginal region and holding the contraction as tightly as possible and do not strain.
- Hold it for as long as the breath can comfortably be retained.
- Finally, slowly release moola bandha, raise the head to the upright position, and exhale.
Practise up to 10 times.
Benefits of Moola Bandha
Moola Bandha bestows many physical, mental and spiritual benefits to the practitioner. Firstly, on physical level, it stimulates the pelvic nerves and tones the uro-genital and excretory systems. Secondly, on energetic level, it enables sexual energy to be directed either upward for spiritual development, or downward to enhance marital relations. And finally, practicing Mool Bandha energises the Root Chakra.
Root Chakra Yoga Sequence
Below is a short Root Chakra sequence which I recorded in the beautiful Danish countryside, not too far from the town of Ølstykke. On the day of the recording, I felt a strong pull to sit on the Earth surrounded by the beauty of the autumn colours. The soft leaf blanket on the ground had formed the perfect mat for me and the sun illuminated my set.
This sequence includes a number of grounding poses, the practice of Moola Bandha and finishes with a short grounding meditation. When performing the practice try to take it slow and easy, be loving and gentle with yourself. Above all, try to feel the pull of the Earth energy, allow yourself to let go and feel the support of the ground.
Three part breath (Dirga Pranayama) is one of the most calming, grounding breathing exercises you can do. As a result, it really works to help focus your attention on the present moment and get in tune with the sensations of your physical body. Therefore, this practice is great to use to balance and reconnect to your Root Chakra.
Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, relax the body and still the mind by observing the natural flow of your breath.
After a minute of doing so, start taking long, smooth inhalations into the belly, allowing the belly to expand with every inhale and contracting it back towards the spine with every exhale. Breathing should be through the nose – effortless and without any tension and discomfort in the chest, lungs or the face. After repeating 5 to 10 cycles, return to natural breathing for a minute or so.
Complete an inhalation, as in part 1, by expanding the belly. Then, draw in a bit more air and expand the lower part of the ribcage. Finally, exhale slowly pushing the air out first from the ribcage and then from the belly. Repeat for another 5 – 10 cycles and return to your normal breath for a minute.
Complete an inhalation as in part 2 , drawing air into the belly, then the lower ribcage and finally then take in a little more air, and continue expanding into the upper chest and collar bones. Then, slowly exhale starting from the upper chest all the way down to the belly, pulling it in towards the spine. Repeat for another 5 to 10 cycles.
Part 3 of the practice is also known as full Yogic breath.
Feed Your Root Chakra
Yes – there are foods that feed and stimulate Mulladhara! Use them with the full awareness that you are feeding your body with the Earth energy.
Foods that support and help balance the root chakra are root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, parsnips, radishes, beets, onions, garlic. Root vegetables are a vital resource because they are grown in Earth’s soil and contain the grounding and stabilizing energy of Earth.
Eating foods rich in protein like eggs, beans, tofu, soy products and peanut butter are also beneficial for balancing this chakra.
In addition, the Root Chakra is connected to bone, skin, and the adrenals which all need vitamin C to thrive. Red apples, strawberries, pomegranates, cherries, cranberries, tomatoes, red bell pepper, red cabbage, beets, and many more are a good source of vitamin C.
As an example of Root Chakra food, I include the below tried and tested recipe – warm, homely, nourishing and very tasty!
Beetroot, a close relative of spinach and chard, has an earthy sweet flavour, and a vibrant colour making it the perfect ingredient to use in a variety of both sweet and savoury dishes.
♥ ♥ ♥
A tart for dinner? You better believe it. This beauty combines the flaky, buttery puff pasty we practically drool over come dessert with creamy goat cheese and bold rosemary. We’d say it’s the perfect side dish or appetizer, but let’s be honest: no one will want to share.
Grounding Practices to Balance Muladhara
In order to reconnect to your Root Chakra try to get involved in any grounding practices you may think of. Namely, activities that are related to the Earth and nature, such as walk, sitting or lying on the ground, touching the Earth, gardening or hugging a tree. Similarly, the energy of water is also very grounding, therefore swimming or walking can be great therapies for your body and mind. If there is no open water around you – take a bath or have a shower. Splash your face, chest and hands with water. Eat root vegetables which contain the energy and warmth of the Earth.
In addition to the above try any of the below:
- Exercise, dance, move, make love
- Meditate by focusing on your connection to the ground
- Recognise abundance in your world
- Give and receive hugs and loving touch
- Practice self-reliance
- Create safety in your environment
- Chant the seed mantra LAM or the Do note from the Do Re Mi scale
- Use the colour red: wear it, eat red foods such as cherries, beets, apples
- Pamper your feet
- I am grounded
- I am safe
- I’m balanced
- I am cared for
- I trust that all my needs will be met
- I am grateful for what I have
- I feel protected in this world
- I am at home, wherever I am
- I am supported by Mother Earth
- I am deeply rooted
- I am connected to my body
- I have everything I need
- I nurture my body and flourishes
- I trust in the good of the world
- I am at home in my body
- I am supported by those around me
Root Chakra Stones
The use of crystals is another way to stimulate and balance the energy of the first chakra. Ancient civilizations have used their potent energy throughout the ages to build sacred chambers, raise towers, make ornaments, design jewellery and various objects with special energetic powers.
Some of the Root Chakra crystals can be found below. The way to choose your stone is to simply follow your inner feeling. Therefore, pick the one that attracts you the most and/or instantaneously.
- Bloodstone – Enhances vitality, strength and sexual passion.
- Tiger Eye – A stone of protection. It has the power to focus the mind. Particularly useful for dispelling fear and anxiety.
- Hematite – This stone has highly protective energy, grounding and balancing; it stimulates the mind and promotes courage.
- Fire Agate – Awakens the root chakra, sparking inner fire, inspires zest for life and earthly pleasures.
- Black Tourmaline – Dispels negative energy, protects and grounds.
- Red Jasper – Promotes grounding, stability and emotional balance; a protective stone.
Muladhara Sound Healing
Many might ask ‘What is sound healing?’ Here is a good explanation I found by Simon Heather:
Sound healing is the therapeutic application of sound frequencies to the body/mind of a person with the intention of bringing them into a state of harmony and health.
Each organism has its own vibratory rate. Every object in the universe has its own unique resonant frequency. Tap a wineglass and it will emit a ringing sound determined by its size, shape and the thickness.
Frequency plus Intention equals Healing
If we can find the right sound frequency coupled with the right intention then healing will occur. The same goes for the chakras – each one has its own specific vibratory frequency. Keeping the intention of connecting to your Root Chakra, use the power of sound to help stimulate and balance it, to heal any deeply rooted traumas and alleviate tensions from the physical, mental and energetic bodies.
When the idea of sound healing first came to me I joined forces with my partner James, who is a film score composer. This was at the time when I started planning my first Chakra Yoga course. My request was for a short piece to be used at the end of each chakra session where my students would simply lie down and submerge in the magic of sound – letting go, allowing and vibrating with the frequency of the music.
Subsequently, the whole idea materialised into his album Bodyscapes. I am glad to present the first piece from it dedicated to the Root Chakra.
Listen and stay present with the music and your body!
ROOT CHAKRA (396 Hz Solfeggio Frequency)
Original music composed by James Molloy
The Power Is Within You
In conclusion, there are many methods and practices that can help you ground, become more present and more connected to the body. Which one you choose depends entirely on you but importantly, work with focus and intention. Many of you have heard the phrase ‘where the intention goes the energy flows’. Therefore, practice with awareness and embrace your own healing energy. Unlike what we are taught by today’s conventional medicine, and contrary to the wide-spread belief that we need someone or something to heal us, I firmly believe that the power is within us.
Finally, if I am to give you one last tip, and that is to learn to be with your body, acknowledge and act on the signs it gives you, feed it with nourishing food and thoughts, give it air, movement, touch and light. Know yourself and remember that the only person that can heal you is YOU!