Most yoga teacher training programs spend a portion of training on the chakras, and it all starts with your root chakra. By better understanding your energy centers you can better navigate how you’re feeling physically and emotionally.
In case you missed my previous blogs on chakras, you can check them out here:
In this post, I’ll be sharing root chakra insights and different practices such as yoga postures, essential oils, and affirmations you can do to create more balance in the area.
Then practice the 36-minute Root Chakra Yoga Class with me:
basic principles of root chakra
Your root chakra is the first of your seven major energy centers that run along your spine from the tailbone to the crown.
In Sanskrit the root chakra is known as muladhara. Mula translates loosely to “root,” and dhara to “base” or “support.”
Your root chakra, located at the base of your spine, connects to the earth when you sit. It provides a literal connection to the physical world, giving it its grounding and rooting characteristics.
Your first chakra is also associated with:
🔴 Color red
🌎 Earth element
🌳 Grounding, gravity
🧯 Safety, security, survival
🦶Legs, bones, feet, spine
Your first chakra represents dependence on a family unit for survival. This urge for survival is the root of all beings and is the primary drive of muladhara chakra. Your sense of safety stems from having your basic needs met like food, water, shelter, and clothing.
When your first chakra is energetically balanced you feel safe and secure. You have good health, stability, prosperity, and feel grounded and connected in your body and to the planet.
root chakra imbalances
Many articles refer to chakras as either being opened or closed, however, I prefer Anodea Judith’s explanation. Your chakra energy is either balanced or blocked, and the blockages result in either the chakra holding too much energy (excessive) or not holding onto enough (deficient).
Two of our kleshas (the five afflictions of the human condition found in the Yoga Sutras) are attachment and avoidance. Now let’s apply those to our chakras.
When you find yourself overly attached, that’s considered excessive. Think of a traffic jam or a cluttered closet. Conversely, when you’re in avoidance that leads to chakra deficiency, an empty, echoing room.
Deficient imbalances in muladhara chakra: Your body might be underweight and feel untethered. Your thinking may seem scattered, confused, or distracted. Emotionally you might feel fearful, anxious, and have poor boundaries.
Excessive imbalances: Your body might feel heavy, lethargic, or overweight. Your thinking may feel dulled or sluggish. Emotionally you might feel greedy, fear change, or have rigid boundaries.
When there are blockages in your root chakra this may physically manifest as issues with your feet, legs, bones, large intestines, and/or eating disorders.
root chakra balancing postures
Healing strategies for your first chakra include reconnecting your mind and body. As with all seven chakras, the best way to integrate is through a yoga practice.
Muladhara energy responds well to standing and foundational postures because they provide grounding and rooting. Standing asanas also strengthen your feet, legs, and spine.
Take for example, in Tadasana (Mountain) we talk about the four corners of your feet to allow for the most stable foundation. During yoga asana classes, the instructor might have you pause in Mountain in order for you to “connect to the earth,” or “root down to rise up.”
👉 I love symmetrical standing postures for root chakra work because both feet are providing the foundation.
Think: mountain, chair, standing forward bend, five pointed star, goddess, and wide angle standing forward bend. However, you can practice any standing pose (such as pyramid or tree) to balance root chakra energy.
Need some root chakra balancing? Hit play on the above video and practice with me!
more root chakra balancing practices
In addition to practicing physical postures you can complement your chakra balancing with corresponding foods, herbal teas, essential oils, crystals and stones, affirmations, and journaling prompts.
Eat foods with grounding and anchoring qualities. Root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, parsnips, radishes, beets, onions, etc. Red fruits and vegetables like apples, strawberries, tomatoes, and red cabbage. Protein-rich food such as eggs, meat, beans, tofu, soy, and peanut butter.
#2 Herbal Tea
Dandelion root, sage, ginger, elderflower
#3 Essential Oils
Ginger (root), patchouli (earthy), cedarwood (grounding), vetiver (earthy). Dilute in a carrier oil and rub on the soles of your feet or at the base of your spine.
#4 Crystals and Stones
Red and black stones like hematite, black tourmaline, smoky quartz, bloodstone, red coral, and garnet. Also ruby which stimulates our basic instinct for survival, and red jasper, which provides grounding and stability.
- I am safe.
- I am grounded.
- I am stable.
- I am rooted.
- I am connected.
#6 Journaling Prompts
- How do I define stability?
- How do I feel about my body?
- My fears are. . .
- My family unit is/was. . .
- How can I increase stability in my life?
Other activities that provide root chakra balancing benefits are massage and touch as well as spending time in nature, sitting under a tree, or walking barefoot in the grass.
FINAL TIPS FOR YOUR root chakra
Health and vitality in muladhara chakra can help you strengthen and balance the others because your first chakra is not only the foundation to your physical and spiritual body, it is the foundation for the rest of your chakra system, too.
When your root chakra is balanced, you’ll feel safe, secure, and stable. Only when you feel secure can you investigate and express your feelings in your higher chakras.