What is a chakra?
Simply put, a chakra is a center or vortex within the body that manages energy. There are major and minor chakras – some have many jobs to do and others have only a few. Most people are familiar with the main seven chakras, which are Hindu in origin. Some cultures follow a system of dozens of chakras that are placed throughout the body, creating a light network.
Chakras can be compared to organs of the body because they are made of energy, have specific functions, and work in tandem with other organs in the body. Our chakras are very powerful and they serve many purposes. If one of your chakras is too open or too closed, you may experience stress, physical symptoms, and emotional issues. If a certain energy is sitting within one of your chakras, you may even feel pain in the areas associated with that chakra.
The seven main chakras we’ll be discussing in this series are aligned with the spine. Today, we’ll be looking at the Root Chakra.
The Root Chakra
Name and meaning: The Sanskrit name for the root chakra is Muladhara. The name combines two words mul, which means “base,” and adhara, or “support.” Since this chakra governs the base needs we require for survival, this makes perfect sense.
Color: The color you’ll see associated with the root chakra is red. This is because red is the color of the goddess Shakti, who represents energy, awakening, and movement. You may also see Muladhara shown with black, which represents matter.
Location: The root chakra is nestled at the base of the spine in between the hips.
Associated gland: Adrenals
Purpose: To root and sustain us in our daily lives.
Activation: According to Anodea Judith, the root chakra is first activated between utero and one year. Others believe that it activates in the womb and within the first six months of life. The Hindu system tells us that muladhara activates between one and seven years old. The chakra becomes activated when we experience the essential things we need to survive. Eating, drinking, sleeping, and feeling secure in the world contribute to an activated root chakra.
Body parts managed: Due to its base location, the root chakra manages several body parts including the hips, muscles, bones, the bladder, rectum, immune system, coccygeal vertebrae, the large intestines, and parts of the genitals. However, the “action” body parts associated with this chakra are the feet.
Associated illnesses: When your root chakra has experienced trauma, it can contribute to any of the following conditions:
- Eating disorders and obesity
- Chronic fatigue
- Leg, knee, and foot problems
- Addictions such as alcoholism, drug use
- Sexual dysfunction
- Reproductive issues
- Blood deficiencies
Psychological traits: The root chakra is associated with our most base feelings such as fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and joy. If we don’t feel a sense of security or safety, then our root chakra will be out of balance. If you believe you are worthy of existence, you are on your way to having a healthy root chakra.
When it’s unbalanced: Deficiencies will start showing up in your life if your root chakra needs some attention. You may be underweight, full of constant fear and anxiety, unfocused, and feeling unloved are common with an underdeveloped root chakra. If your chakra is overactive, you may experience the need to overeat, hoard belongings, fatigue, and fear change.
When your root chakra is balanced, you’ll experience a sense of ease, security, and prosperity. You will be grounded in reality and feel in control. You are adventurous, able to manifest what you need, and feel motivated.
Balancing your root chakra: There are many things you can do to balance your root chakra. You can listen to guided meditations that focus specifically on this chakra and help you bring it into a state of balance. You can have reiki or energy work done. You can also explore aromatherapy by using essential oils such as sandalwood, cedar, ginger, or rosemary to name a few.