Welcome to my Chakra Series! Last week, I wrote an article called “Chakras: The Basics and How You Can Heal Yours.” There was quite a bit of positive feedback on the article (which I GREATLY appreciated), and to continue on the subject, I decided to begin this series, which will explore and discuss each chakra in greater depth, one at a time. We’ll be looking at the basic information about each chakra, as well as signs of imbalances and blockages and a variety of ways that each chakra can be cleared for optimal healing.
So let’s begin with the root chakra!
Imagine attempting to build a house without first building a solid foundation. It would collapse—and so it is with our physical and spiritual selves. Balancing our root chakra creates a solid foundation for us to open all the other chakras and live a balanced life. We’ll talk about how to identify a blocked root chakra and how to balance it later on in this post. First, let’s talk about why the root chakra is important to us in the first place.
The Root Chakra
The root chakra (Muladhara) is located at the pelvic floor, at the base of the spine, and it is the first of the seven major chakras. In fact, it is also the first of the chakras of matter (i.e. having to do with the physical world), and it anchors us to the earth. The color of this chakra is red, it is associated with the sense of smell, and it is symbolized by a lotus with four petals.
Let’s remember that chakras are essentially swirling centers of energy within our bodies that mark the convergence of the physical and spiritual aspects of our beings, and that each chakra carries its own particular energy and purpose.
The root chakra is the energy center that corresponds to security, stability, and the fulfillment of our basic needs. These needs can be physical—such as our needs for food, water, shelter, and safety—as well as emotional, such as our needs to feel unafraid and emotionally secure. When the energy at this chakra is flowing, we feel safe, stable, and secure.
Unfortunately, this chakra—which connects us to the world around us—is extremely sensitive, and imbalances in its energy can sometimes date all the way back to childhood. For example, if we experienced intense mistrust or insecurity as children, it can be more difficult for us to experience the sense of connection and trust that stems from having a balanced root chakra. When it is imbalanced, it may mean that it is either underactive or overactive.
Signs of an Underactive Root Chakra
When the root chakra is underactive, we will likely have a difficult time connecting with the world around us, or perhaps even with our own bodies. This is because the root chakra is responsible for connecting us to the earth. We may also experience a serious lack of motivation for interacting with the world.
Signs of an Overactive Root Chakra
If the root chakra is overactive, we might attempt to compensate for the sense of disconnection we feel by trying to dominate and control the world around us. Materialism, aggression, self-destructive sexual promiscuity, and impulsiveness are all associated with an overactive root chakra.
Other Signs of Imbalance or Blockage
When the root chakra is imbalanced or blocked, there are a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms that may be experienced. It is important to note that the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being are very closely related, so it is common for physical ailments, for example, to be a sign of a deeper spiritual issue.
Here are some symptoms that your root chakra may be blocked:
Constipation, fatigue, urinary tract issues, lower back pain, leg pain, prostate problems (in men), eating disorders, codependency, restlessness, lack of focus, loneliness, feeling abandoned, anxiety, depression, guilt, resentment, fearfulness, addiction.
If you experience any of these symptoms (as we all do at some point in our lives), it is possible that there is a blockage in your root chakra. Thankfully, there are a variety of techniques and practices that can be used to clear the energy of this chakra and heal.
Unblocking the Root Chakra
As mentioned in the article I previously wrote as an overview of all the major chakras, meditation is a wonderful practice for balancing and clearing blockages. My go-to chakra-clearing technique involves the visualization of bright lights radiating from the locations of each of the chakras along my spine.
To begin meditating to heal the root chakra, sit or lie down comfortably with your eyes closed and your palms facing up. Begin to focus on your breathing and allow your mind to relax. As you are meditating, put your attention on your root chakra, which is at the base of your spine. Envision a bright red light radiating from that location, and allow the light to penetrate and heal you.
Affirmations are a powerful tool for attracting good things into your life! I’ve done a craft in the past in which I wrote affirmations on small slips of paper and put them into a jar. Then, each day (or whenever I needed to), I’d pull out an affirmation at random and read what it had to say. It always seemed to apply to whatever was on my mind, and it helped me attract more abundance and joy into my life.
Affirmations that help to balance the root chakra are as follows:
I am safe and secure. I am grounded. I have everything I need. I belong in this world. I am at peace with the world around me. I am where I’m meant to be. I am trusting. I am fearless.
Now, I have pretty limited experience with crystals. I used to keep moonstone in a tiny box by my bed to help me strengthen my intuition, and there was one time that somebody used crystals to balance and focus my energy (which was really cool, by the way). I guess I also have a Himalayan pink salt lamp in my room, which makes me feel so mellow. Does that count as a crystal? Anyway, I’ve caught a glimpse of how crystals can be used spiritually. I’ve also talked to other people who use crystals for healing, and everyone I’ve talked to has enthusiastically expressed that it works wonders for them. (Side note: If you have experience working with crystals, please tell me about it in the comments! I would love to learn more about it and hear what you have to say.) ANYWAY.
Look for these crystals to help you balance your root chakra:
Bloodstone, garnet, hematite, ruby, red jasper, carnelian, and smoky quartz.
You can wear these stones as jewelry or simply keep them with you.
I love food. So much. All of it. So imagine how excited I was when I realized that the food we eat can have a huge impact on our abilities to heal and be spiritually “whole”!
Believe it or not, the food we eat can actually balance our chakras and heal our spirits. To open the root chakra, you can focus on finding red foods to eat, such as berries, cherries, beans, apples, watermelon, pomegranates, and red peppers. You should also make sure to get plenty of root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, onions, radishes, beets, and garlic. This makes sense since they come directly from the earth, which is the very thing our root chakra connects us to.
The root chakra is actually associated with our sense of smell. Because of this, aromatherapy is a powerful and fitting way to clear any blockages that may exist. Look for the essential oils of patchouli, ginger, cedar wood, cloves, or rosewood. My experience with aromatherapy is not very broad. However, I’ve spoken with many people who love using aromatherapy for healing, and if you have experience with it, please tell me in the comments how it works for you!
Yoga has always been one of the most effective ways for me to open up my blocked chakras. I’m lucky because my mom is basically the best yoga teacher in the whole world (side note: she also offers meditation instruction, health consultations, life coaching, and a variety of other services, which you can read about on her website), so I have access to quality yoga instruction all the time. If you’ve never been to a yoga class, it would be a great practice to try, as the poses are incredibly beneficial to our physical and spiritual well-being.
If you are familiar with some common yoga poses, mountain pose, warrior one pose, hands-to-feet pose, and child’s pose are a few that can help us ground ourselves and balance our root chakra.
This is what child’s pose looks like—just one of the many yoga poses that can help us connect with the earth:
Since our root chakra connects us to the earth, it makes sense that spending time in nature would balance it and clear any blockages that may be present. In the past (and really, the present), I have had tremendous success with clearing my blocked root chakra by this practice. If you read my article about anxiety a few weeks ago, you know that I do sometimes struggle with anxious feelings, which can be a symptom of a blocked root chakra. Spending time in nature–whether hiking on a beautiful trail or simply sitting in the grass and reading a book–has been so healing. Honestly, this is the practice that I would stress above all the others. Meditating, using crystals, doing yoga, and eating healing foods are, of course, extremely healing, but simply spending time in nature seems to me like the most natural way to connect with the earth and balance the root chakra…or at least, it should definitely be done in conjunction with the other manners of healing.
Anyway, as you can see, there are so many different things we can do to open up our root chakra, which will allow us to connect with the earth, feel safe and secure, and create a firm foundation for the rest of our chakras to flow and flourish.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it was helpful! Let me know what you think in the comments, talk to me about crystals and aromatherapy, and stay tuned for the second piece in my Chakra Series, which will talk about the sacral chakra.