Imagine building a house without a solid foundation. It doesn’t matter how beautiful a structure you’ve built, how high the walls, or what stone counters or floors you’ve installed, it’s basically a house of cards that can be blown apart with even the slightest upset. The root chakra is the first chakra because it represents your foundation. Balancing the root chakra provides stability and secure survival patterns. It provides a safe environment for all other chakras to open.
Located at the base of the spine, the root chakra, or Muladhara in Sanskrit, is responsible for feeling grounded and safe. The name Muladhara translates to “root support.” Only when we feel grounded are we able to feel safe in any situation. Without a root, plants would have no means of support. This is the primary difference between someone who is calm and collected even when they have very little versus someone who has it all, yet constantly struggles for more. The element of the root chakra is Earth, symbolizing the solid ground in which we securely plant our being.
Security in the 3D world is formed during infancy. In psychology this is called attachment theory. A child who is securely attached to his or her parents feels safe. The parent has met the child’s needs. For example, if baby cries, the parent will do his or her best to quell the baby’s nerves. The parents have the baby on a routine for feeding, sleeping, etc. The baby is well taken care of. The baby learns that he or she can trust that its needs will be met and therefore the baby feels safe.
Babies who have parents who are fickle or neglectful develop insecure attachments. They learn that their needs will not get met all of the time, or in extreme cases, not at all, and consequently the babies learn that the world is not a safe place. From birth, their root chakras form an imbalance that can affect the relationship with themselves and others for the rest of their lives.
Root Chakra Imbalances
This shows up in myriad forms. The one most familiar is anxiety. I’m not speaking of the normal doses of anxiety that you get when there’s a big project due, or you’re getting evaluated for a job or a promotion. Chronic anxiety flares up when we don’t feel safe. These feelings make it hard to deal with reality. You don’t believe you can accomplish a task no matter how small or big. You are consumed with worry to the point you don’t even start. Concentration and focus become nearly impossible. This is a clear indication that the root chakra is imbalanced.
Another tell-tale sign that the root chakra needs balancing is insecurity. These behaviors show up as extreme shyness, inability to say no, fear-based thinking, and carry a scarcity mindset. In other words, nothing is ever enough.
Greed also arises with a root chakra imbalance. When materialism becomes the most important facet to a person’s life, it is a clear indication the root chakra needs work. Think of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
Anger and irritation are additional behaviors of a root chakra imbalance. We become annoyed that we don’t feel an inner sense of security and lash out at others unintentionally. The lack of control we feel over our own lives triggers insecurities.
Common Physical Manifestations
- Lower back pain
- Low energy
- Leg pain
- Feet issues
- Colon problems
- Eating disorders
Balanced Root Chakra
When the root chakra is balanced we feel confident. We are able to take responsibility for ourselves and feel secure that we are in control of our destiny. Feelings of calm blanket our lives regardless of the circumstances. We feel at peace with what we have, yet do not let fear get in the way of our goals. A balanced root chakra is how children are able to leave home and create new adult lives, how people go back to school, begin new hobbies, start businesses, and travel the world.
How to Balance
- Get back into nature. Hike, camp, lay in the grass— anything to reconnect with the earth
- Practice yoga. This can be done for free with a YouTube video or join a class.
- Wear red. Red is a symbol of strength and power. It is our life force.
- Eat more red fruits and vegetables.
- Practice sound healing. The root chakra is associated with the key of C. You can sing, play an instrument, use your own song bowl, or have a sound healing done professionally.
- Practice meditation with healing crystals. Guided meditations can be found for free on YouTube, or on apps like Calm, Headspace, and others.