MULADHARA – Root Chakra
The 7 chakras are a series of primary energy centres located in the energy body or ‘Pranamaya Kosha’, though they have reference points in the physical body and affect us on the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental planes.
The first of these chakras is called ‘Muladhara’, literally translated to ‘root-base’, located around the perineum between the genitals and anus. This chakra is related to fundamental needs: stability, home, job, food, security; on physical and emotional levels. People who have been neglected as children may find their sense of security & stability as adults compromised and therefore can experience high levels of vulnerability in these areas; working with the Muladhara chakra enables grounding to bring about healing for these issues, finally allowing peace and security to reign.
Each of the chakras is associated with an element and Muladhara is the element of Earth. Earth represents solidity, density – it’s the densest of all the chakras – and is concerned with our physicality, the ‘matter’ of our body. My belief is that within our human condition the most important of the chakras to work with is Muladhara.
Many spiritual practices seek to elevate consciousness and connect with the Higher Self by moving energy upwards, which in itself is wonderful. However, if the root chakra is overlooked or neglected, we miss an incredible opportunity to be grounded in the here and now and to fully enjoy this incredible opportunity to live in a body, on Earth. While past lives, future lives, and non-physical existence are ideas which may call our attention, what we have full and irrefutable knowledge of is our current, unique, physical life.
Working with the Muladhara chakra relates to our connection to the foundation of life. Keeping this foundation strong enables us to create building blocks to move our awareness through the rest of our being. Having a wide, solid, stable base and good connection with the Earth allows us to not just access higher states of consciousness, but actually embody them by bringing them back down into our physical reality.
“Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots.”
YANTRA and MANTRA:
The aligned nature of our physical world means the light-spectrum not only corresponds with the notes on the musical scale, but also with the chakra centres, so we can use the colours of the rainbow to help us identify with each chakra; the colour associated with Muladhara is red. We can also use the ancient Sanskrit word ‘LAM’, which is a ‘bija’ or seed mantra, to bring focus and attention to this area. The symbol ‘LAM’ or लं can be found within the mystical diagram or Yantra for Muladhara. The outside is a 4-petaled lotus, generally coloured red and the inner square
represents the Earth. The down pointed triangle represents Shakti or feminine energy.
To tune into the energy of LAM we can simply visualise the symbol in our mind’s eye, or focus upon its image, especially when seen within the Yantra; alternatively singing the word out loud for a few repetitions brings us into the vibration of this sacred word. If singing out loud is inappropriate, we can repeat it mentally. Any of these methods will allow the frequency of LAM to bring nurturing energy to Muladhara.
It might be helpful to picture the chakras as vortices which allow energy to flow in and out in a spiralling motion, acting as a kind of energy funnel – drawing in and pushing out. Muladhara opens downwards towards the Earth and acts as the base for the three principal ‘nadis’ or energy channels which flow around the body.
The main channel is Sushumna nadi, which flows from root to crown and connects us from the Earth to the Cosmos, while the secondary Ida and Pingla nadis relate to the feminine and masculine respectively; the moon and sun; left side and right side of the body, and help achieve balance. Although the paths of Ida nadi and Pingla nadi are distinct and flow around the body as far as the 6th chakra or third-eye in the centre of the forehead, they too have their source in Muladhara, which acts as the floor of these three important energy systems.
“Muladhara is the smallest aperture in your being from where the light enters into you, and you enter into existence.”
The western view of yoga typically focuses on the asanas, or postures, and often overlooks the true meaning of yoga, which is: union of the finite with the infinite. To achieve any state of yoga, or union, it is necessary to first achieve grounding; and to do this we work with Muladhara.
A very simple yet effective way of practicing this is to just sit on the Earth, directly on the ground. While doing so, focus on your root chakra and allow yourself to tune into that feeling of connection with the Earth. If you are able to be in a beautiful place in nature this will enhance your experience and boost your wellbeing.
Another way is to walk barefoot on the ground, wherever you can, or just take your shoes off and either stand or sit with your bare feet directly in contact with the Earth. If it’s impossible to be outside you can stand barefoot in a room and feel grounded by gravity, feeling connection to the Earth rising up to meet you and uniting you with this physical realm. The soles of the feet contain secondary chakras which are related to the root chakra, acting as an extension of that primary energy centre.
It’s advisable to bring this feeling of groundedness into all of the asanas or postures, just by focussing on your connection with the Earth and allowing a feeling of stability to be present during your practice. Doing so will bring nurturing energy and healing to the Muladhara.
Simply focussing on the breath and picturing it being drawn into the root chakra and pushed out again from there is also a very powerful way to energise this area and bring about grounding; especially if you can sit directly on the ground outside, but if not, inside will do. Closing the eyes and feeling this energy flowing with the breath can bring immediate results.
Sometimes we need to ‘ground’ when it’s just not practical to sink into a posture or sing a mantra, and at these times we can use affirmations to connect and strengthen Muladhara, for example:
“I am safe and secure”
“All my physical needs are met”
“I am fearless and grounded”
“I am a part of nature”
Any of these work well in the moment, though if you choose to work with the affirmation over a period of time it will be most effective. Writing it down and putting it somewhere you will see it often, such as your computer, phone, fridge, bathroom mirror, as many places as you like, will act as a reminder and help with internalising this new belief.
Many people like to decorate the phrase to make it eye-catching or attractive, and if there’s time and materials available you could experiment with mandalas, sigils or just let your imagination go wild. Make sure the sign is abundant with red, as this is the colour of security. Leaves, berries, fallen twigs, anything you find from nature during this lovely autumn season are also great. If you prefer, then just writing and the text and repeating it out loud is sufficient in asserting this affirmation into your being.
This past week as part of our Loving Yoga Practice, we have been connecting with Muladhara, and all classes are available now on Class-ify. Click the link below to start your FREE, 7-day trial and see for yourself how tapping into this grounding chakra energy can have a positive impact on your being.
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With infinite love, Andi