Sanskrit Name: Muladhara | Location: Base of Spine | Element: Earth | Color: Red | Crystals: Red Jasper, Bloodstone, Black Tourmaline
As with any house, building, or relationship, you need a solid, healthy foundation to create a long-lasting structure or friendship – and this is no different for our bodies. Chakras are linked to major aspects of our bodies that provide good physical and mental health, overall wellbeing, and happiness. Located at the base of the spine along the first three vertebrae, the root chakra is known for being the foundation in which we build from birth our reliable, strong, and healthy foundation for the rest of our lives.
The Root Chakra Symbol
The symbol that signifies the Muladhara is a vibrant red – a color that symbolizes strength, vitality, life, and instinctual needs – with a four-petaled lotus flower. This is often represented with a circle that has four petals and a downward-pointing triangle. This root chakra symbol represents the earthly elements that the root chakra energies are grounded in, as well as the spiritual connection we have to this earth. This world is meant to provide us with all that we need, but we do not always feel this way. It is important to understand our root chakra on a deeper, more spiritual level to help us remain grounded, secure, and stable in our lives.
Understanding the Root Chakra
The Muladhara, or the root chakra, is the first of the three chakras of matter, along with the sacral and solar plexus chakras. Muladhara is a combination of two Sanskrit words, with mula meaning “root” and adhara meaning “support/base.” As the name suggests, the root chakra is essential in providing a safe, grounded, and stable structure for our lives. The Muladhara is comprised of all that grounds you and your individual needs, both physically – food, water, shelter, and safety – and emotionally.
As many psychologists have shown over the years, having these basic needs met when you are a young child can help create a sense of safety and trust in the world around you, just as animals are taught to trust that the earth will provide for all their essential needs. However, many people do not experience security in their childhood years, which paves the way to insecure feelings about life in general throughout adulthood. This is usually the most obvious sign of an imbalanced or overactive root chakra.
At one point or another, every one of us will struggle with a blocked root chakra – especially if you have childhood trauma that equated to an insecurity of basic human needs. The Muladhara is a very primal, instinctual energy center that is an element of the earth, which is why it manifests feelings of security or insecurity regarding our basic human needs for survival. While the root chakra can provide stability, grounding, lack of fear, and a strong foundation for our lives, when the Muladhara is deficient or excessive in energy, we experience the opposite.
Signs Your Root Chakra is Blocked or Overactive
When your root chakra is out of balance with the rest of your chakras, chances are it is either excessive (aggressive) or deficient (passive). If the Muladhara is overactive or excessive, you might feel full of energy, but in a very reactive way. You most likely have too much energy flowing into your root chakra that needs to be filtered out in some way, leading to anger, agitation, and hostility. This leads to a lot of anxiety, suspicion towards the people around you, and a tendency to withdraw from the people and activities in your life that you love.
Other signs of an overactive root chakra are overeating or undereating, creating habits based in fear, becoming a workaholic, greed, and anger. Essentially, an overactive root chakra means that your body – your foundation – is overcompensating for your fears of not having enough which leads to an unfulfilled day to day life.
On the other end of the spectrum is too little energy flowing into your Muladhara, which means your root chakra is blocked and deficient in life force energy. This is particularly noticeable in people with childhood experiences that made them question their security and stability for needs like food, shelter, water, and love. Instead of becoming more lively and aggressive like with an excessive root chakra, people with a blocked root chakra become sluggish, apathetic, depressed, and become reclusive.
There is so much fear that starts to take over when your root chakra is blocked that it is a struggle to remain optimistic, secure, and happy. This leads to an introverted style of anxiety coupled with physical ailments that start to manifest. As fearful habits start take over your life because you are scared of not having enough, it may be time to finding ways to deal with deep rooted trauma while working to balance your root chakra. If your root chakra is not cared for, no other chakra can work optimally because the foundation is struggling.
How to Balance Your Root Chakra
Whether you hear it referred to as balancing your chakras or opening your root chakra, it is all the same. What you are looking to achieve is a strong, stable foundation that keeps you grounded and moving forward through all of life’s hardships and successes. Once you have developed ways to treat and manage underlying trauma (either through therapists, group meetings, reiki, spiritual guidance, etc.), you can start to find new ways to view life, ground yourself, and learn to trust the world again with childlike wonder.
One of the best ways to start balancing your root chakra is to meditate. It’s the new buzzword, but maybe that’s because it actually works. When you start to become more mindful, aware, and in tune with your breath, you can start to objectively evaluate situations without emotions and past experiences clouding your judgement. Mindfulness techniques can help ground you back to the earth and the reality of situations when you start to feel insecure – and it allows you to have a more positive attitude towards difficult situations.
Furthermore, since the root chakra is an earth element, it is vital to stay grounded and keep your root chakra open by getting outside. Whether you hike, backpacking, climb, ski and snowboard, snowshoe, or just go meditate in your local park, you are connecting to all that the earth and root chakra can do for you. It can be scary to trust the world when it has shown you plenty of hardships, but this connection the spirituality of nature can help provide feelings of trust, happiness, and a fulfilled life.