Guide to Understanding the Root Chakra + 18 Methods to Restore Balance

What is the Root Chakra?

  • 1st Chakra
  • Sanskrit Name: Muladhara
  • Location: Base of spine. Specifically located at the perineum – found between the genitals and anus.
  • Color: Red
  • Element: Earth
  • Spiritual Attributes: Survival, Grounding, Safety, Security, Sense of Self, Physical identity, Basic needs, Foundation of life

In the system of 7 chakras, the root chakra (also known as Muladhara in Sanskrit) is the 1st. The grounding root chakra is found at the base of the spine, or more specifically, at the perineum between the genitals and anus. The root of our physical being.

Healthy, Balanced Root Chakra

The root chakra is quite literally the root, basis, or the starting point of our development. It is here that we become grounded with the spirit of the earth. The Muladhara supports us as we grow and develop our sense of physical self. It is the chakra of basic needs, safety, and security.

Physically we obtain our sense of safety and security through means of basic needs being met, such as getting enough to eat and drink, physical exercise, intimacy, interconnectedness, as well as plenty of rest.

Externally, we obtain this sense of safety and security by obtaining the desired housing, clothing, transportation, and of course, financial security.

What is it like to have a healthy, balanced root chakra?

  • You feel as though you belong
  • Increased sense of self-worth, self-love, self-trust, and self-admiration
  • Are in control, or have a sense of being in control of yourself, your life, and your surroundings
  • Stronger ability to live as your authentic self.
  • Feel strongly connected to nature, other people, and your surroundings
  • Have a healthy relationship with money, no longer having a sense of fear or insecurity in financial matters.
  • Are secure in your relationships, both intimate and platonic.
  • Additionally, you have healthy relationships with family members, or at least have come to a place of forgiveness and comfortable distancing if necessary.
  • Feel physically strong and capable.
  • Are less defensive.

Two Types of Disruptions

There are two types of disruptions to the adequate flow of energy to the root chakra: Deficient and Excessive.

Deficient Energy Flow – a low flow of energy, blocked, introspective, passive.

Associated with:

  • anxiety
  • highly emotional
  • being critical of self
  • inability to be comfortable with the authentic self
  • isolating oneself from others
  • suspicious of others
  • fear of needs not being met

Excessive Energy Flow – too much energy flow, agitated, irritable, overreactive, aggressive, too much focus on outside influences.

Associated with:

  • aggressiveness
  • being excessively angry with others and with life in general
  • hoarding for fear of never having enough
  • greediness
  • paranoia
  • stifling emotions, holding them in tight

Symptoms of an Unbalanced Root Chakra

Tree that has fallen on its side with the root system sticking up in the air.
Photo by Xiang Gao 
  • Feel out of place and have a hard time being your true, authentic self around others.
  • Often feel spacey, with your head in the clouds.
  • In addition, you may even feel dizzy and/or “disconnected”
  • Unable to properly focus on even menial tasks.
  • Excessively worry about the future, especially regarding finances.
  • Suffer from anxiety from a constant fear of loss.
  • Have trouble maintaining relationships with friends and family.
  • Also, you tend to isolate yourself from others.
  • Tend to do everything yourself because you have a hard time asking for help.
  • Have a deep-seated fear of losing control.
  • Easily offended and are on the constant defense.
  • Tend to be a workaholic, fearing loss of financial support.
  • Cling on to material possessions. You have a hard time getting rid of anything for fear of being without or never having enough.
  • Tend to be overly emotional OR
  • Have a hard time properly expressing your emotions
  • Have issues with lower back, hips, legs, and/or feet.
  • Struggle with eating disorders. Either not eating enough, or eating too much.
  • Tend to carry extra weight around the hips, buttocks, and thighs (for those that are overly emotional) OR
  • Have underdeveloped hips, buttocks, and thighs (on the smaller side) and tend to look “pinched in” (For those that have a hard time expressing their emotions. You are literally holding them in)

Common Reasons the Root Chakra Becomes Unbalanced

view of person's feet balancing on a tree limb.
Photo by Filippo Ruffini 

Starting as early as childhood, there can be many reasons why one’s root chakra can become unbalanced. Discovering the root of the blockages is the first step towards healing yourself.

  • Raised in a dangerous area, constantly living in fear of harm.
  • Suffered physical and/or emotional abuse or neglect.
  • Grew up in a poor household where you had to frequently go without.
  • Had to fight for your fair share of food in a large household.
  • Constantly fought for attention from parents and siblings.
  • Strained relationships with parents as a child, and an adult.
  • Was not allowed to fully express yourself.
  • Experienced trauma.
  • Loss of loved ones.
  • Too much time spent indoors.

Methods for Healing the Root Chakra

1. Get to the root of it.

Really take the time to look at the list of causes above. Moreover, think of any other situations in life that may have caused your root chakra to become unbalanced. To move past blockages, you must first uncover the original cause.

2. Give yourself permission to be your authentic self.

What is holding you back from being who you truly are to the core? Is it your fear of not being accepted? If this is the case, start small. Practice being your true self with a handful of people that you know will be accepting of who you really are. Once you get comfortable with expressing yourself with those people, then add more one at a time.

If you find that there are many people that will not accept you, then those aren’t your people. Find your tribe. Find like-minded people that have the same interests. Then limit your time spent with those that don’t. You will be much happier for it in the end.

3. Grounding Root Chakra Affirmations

Repeating affirmations daily can help you to overcome blockages in the Muladhara by rewiring the way your brain thinks. Just by repeating these affirmations, you can open yourself to the flow of grounding energy. Try picking a few that resonate with you and repeat them to yourself throughout the day.

"My Spirit is grounded deep in the earth"
  • “I am centered and grounded”
  • “My spirit is grounded deep in the earth”
  • “I am connected to nature and my surroundings”
  • “I allow myself to feel safe and grounded”
  • “My home is safe and secure”
  • “I am always safe”
  • “I have the power to overcome my fears”
  • “The universe protects and loves me”
  • “My needs are always met”
  • “I am financially secure”
  • “My future is financial secure”
  • “I am open and receptive to abundance”
  • “Abundance flows to me”
  • “I attract positive abundance”
  • “I live an abundant, prosperous life”
  • “My life is successful”
  • “I create the reality that I desire”
  • “I have the power to change my life”
  • “I am well”
  • “I am secure in my body”
  • “I love my body and my spirit”
  • “I vow to express my true, authentic self”
  • “Everyday, I share my true self with others”
  • “I release self-limiting fears and beliefs”

4. Visualization Exercise

Sunlight beaming through trees in a forest

Get comfortable and raise your vibrations

Find yourself a comfortable place to lie down. Take a few long, deep breaths and try to clear your mind of the day’s worries. Feel yourself rising to a higher vibration, connecting you to the universe and your Higher Self.

Close your eyes and imagine with your mind’s eye white, healing light pouring over your from the universe like sunlight beaming down on the forest floor through the treetops. Starting from the top of your head, allow this light to permeate every cell of your body.

Be conscious of any sensations

Feel the warmth. Feel the vibrations buzzing through you to the core. (It’s ok if you don’t feel anything at all at first)

Clear blockages with healing red light

Rest your hands on your hips or groin region, turning your attention to this area. Now imagine the light turning a warm, beautiful shade of crimson red and flooding your pelvic area.

What do you feel? Can you feel any blockages? Does your pelvic floor feel pinched or closed off? Does your lower abdomen feel tight? Do you have pain or tension in your lower back, hips, lower abdominals, or pelvic region?

Release physical tensions

Imagine your rib cage separating from your center, your sides expanding with every breath. Feel your abdomen release and drop to the floor. Notice the separation between your upper abdomen and lower abdomen. Imagine your stomach elongating, creating space in the vertebrae of your spine.

Now imagine that you are creating space between your hip bones and allowing the lower abdominals to release the pelvic bone. Once you feel a release in these areas, focus your attention to your pelvic floor. Imagine the groin opening wide allowing you to be receptive to the flow of energy in this area.

Breathwork

Fill that newly opened space with air from each long inhale. Sending the air first towards your back and then down, filling your entire belly while you imagine the breath going all the way down into your open and receptive groin region. When the stomach and ribs can expand no more, hold that breath there for a few seconds.

Slowly release the breath. Feel the stomach return to the earth as you slowly exhale until your lungs are completely empty.

Continue to repeat this breathing technique while you imagine that the healing red light is blasting each blockage into a million tiny pieces. See these pieces swirl around your root chakra, then dissolve into the red light. Feel your pelvis become lighter as you release your burdens into the light.

Send it back to the universe

Now, send the healing light back up into the universe like a beam of light shooting out of your root chakra into the sky. Surrender it. Be free of all that was holding you back.

To conclude your practice, fill your entire body with the white, cleansing light again, and sit with any new sensations that you may feel.

It is absolutely ok if this exercise doesn’t fully heal your root chakra the first few times. Remember, it took a lifetime to build-up your blockages, so you can’t expect them to disappear instantaneously. Keep practicing.

5. Meditation and Chanting

Practicing meditation has amazing health benefits, including:

  • calming the nerves
  • lowering blood pressure
  • strengthening the immune system
  • reducing pain and inflammation
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • improving sleep
  • and so much more.

Find a meditation practice that you feel you can stick to and see how you can benefit in a short period of time.

While meditating, if you find it hard to fully clear your mind it is helpful to chant (either out loud or in your mind). Chanting some of the affirmations listed in #3 will work wonders.

Additionally, consider chanting the sound “LAM” (Lahm) as it can help to release the tensions held in your root chakra. Check out the chanting meditation video included below.

6. Yoga Poses for Healing the Root Chakra

Check out Yoga Journal for their wonderful Root Chakra Tune-Up practice.

In addition, check out this full Grounding Root Chakra yoga practice with Brett Larkin:

7. Pranayama (Breathing Exercise)

Check out the following video for a nice visually guided breathing exercise. I suggest that while doing this exercise, imagine your breath traveling down toward your root chakra while activating your perineum muscle on the inhale (kegals for the women out there, and pulling the groin and anus up for the gents), and releasing it down to the earth on the exhale.

8. Aromatherapy

Image of essetial oil bottles
Photo by Kelly Sikkema 

While you are doing the above visualization, meditation, and physical exercises, you can switch on your essential oil diffuser and add one or a blend of the following essential oils:

  • Sandalwood
  • Myrrh
  • Frankincense
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Vetiver
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cypress
  • Carrot seed
  • Cedar Atlas
  • Lavender
Before using any essential oils, it is always best to check for any contraindications with any existing conditions that you may have, pregnancy, allergies, or interactions with medications.

9. Herbal Teas | Supplements

The best way to consume medicinal herbs is usually by making herbal teas.

Follow the link above to learn the best way to brew your tea using one or a blend of the following herbs:

  • Burdock Root
  • Cloves
  • Dandelion leaves or root
  • Rosemary
  • Chives
  • Astragalus
  • Ashwagandha
  • Lotus Root
  • Elderberry
  • Valerian
  • Blue Vervain
  • Cleavers
  • Red Clover
  • Oat Straw
  • Catnip
  • Meadowsweet
  • Hawthorne
  • Hyssop
  • Echinacea
  • Garlic
  • Cedar

If you have a hard time coming around to herbal teas, you can always try these herbs in capsule form.

Before consuming any herbs, it is always best to check for any contraindications with any existing conditions that you may have, pregnancy, allergies, or interactions with medications.

10. Crystal Healing

Energy Muse
Root Chakra Crystals Poster – Digital Download Available

Adding healing crystals to your meditation or visualization exercises is an excellent way to amplify your healing process. Try using the following crystals and check the link above to learn more about placement.

Don’t be daunted by complex crystal placements. Just using one crystal at a time will help you achieve amazing benefits.

  • Bloodstone
  • Carnelian
  • Garnet
  • Hematite
  • Obsidian
  • Red jasper
  • Smoky quartz
  • Tourmaline
  • Tiger’s Eye
  • Septarian

11. Practice Daily Gratitude

Heart Chakra Healing: Image of pink journal that says "Today I am grateful"

Rewire your brain for happiness by practicing daily gratitude.

12. Add These Colors to Your Surroundings

The root chakra is associated with the color red. Additionally, since it is also associated with the earth element, earth-tones are beneficial.

Try incorporating more red and earth-tones to your wardrobe, home decor, office decor, and anywhere else that you spend your time.

13. Spend More Time Outdoors

woman frolicking in a field
Photo by Emma Peneder 

The best way to receive grounding energy is to be in the great outdoors. Try to spend as much time outside as you can. Take a walk in the woods or along the shoreline. Frolic in an open field.

Simply walk down the sidewalk in your neighborhood or lie in your backyard. Sit on the stoop of your house. Whatever is easiest for you to make it outside, just do it.

14. Go Barefoot

Better yet, while you are spending time outside, go barefoot (weather permitting)

15. Eat More of These Foods and Spices

image of purple and orange carrots
Photo by May Lawrence 

Since the Muladhara literally translates to “root”, it is safe to assume that root vegetables are considered healing foods specifically for this chakra. Additionally, adding protein-rich foods and certain spices can be particularly helpful.

Try adding the following foods to your diet to help support the root chakra:

  • beets
  • beans
  • carrots
  • celeriac
  • chives
  • daikon
  • eggs
  • ginger
  • horseradish
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • jicama
  • kohlrabi
  • meats
  • paprika
  • pepper (black)
  • potatoes
  • parsnips
  • peanut butter
  • radishes
  • rutabaga
  • soy products
  • turmeric
  • yams (or sweet potato)
  • yuca

16. Listen to Grounding Nature Sounds

Image of a lightning storm
Photo by Josep Castells 

Especially if you don’t have the ability to open up the windows and listen to actual sounds of nature, try putting on various nature sounds in the background while you work, meditate, or relax.

17. Take a Cold Shower

Feeling like your root chakra energy is a bit on the sluggish side? Nothing awakens your primal energy like taking a cold shower. It gets you right out of your comfort zone while getting your “fight or flight” endorphins going.

If you are anything like me, it is absolutely impossible for me to jump into a cold shower unless. You might find it easier to start warm, then ease into the cold.

18. Move Your Body

Long-exposure shot of person dancing
Photo by Ahmad Odeh 

Lastly, exercise is one of the most important things you can do to bring balance to your root chakra. The Muladhara energy thrives on movement.

Do whatever makes you feel good! Walking, running, dancing, aerobics, bike riding, swimming. Any type of movement is beneficial.

What other methods have you used to ground your spirit and heal your root chakra? Have any of these methods been successful for you? I would love to hear from you!

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