Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Base Chakra or building our foundation
As we all know foundation is important. When we build a house to have a strong and lasting structure, we need a strong foundation. And without a strong foundation we risk having unstable structure. The same applies to our body we need to be firmly grounded in our feet to be physically stable. However, we all have experienced trying to balance and still not be able to. The reason is that balance goes beyond our physical perception. Or our energy bodies and their corresponding chakras.
Now let us go back to setting up a solid foundation or Base chakra. Located at the base of the spine and differs by around two inches in men and women. Its within the perineal floor in the male body and the cervix in the female body. Here at our roots the evolution begins.
Vibrating with colour red, the Root chakra is our foundation from which we build up and grow. To expand we need to be firmly grounded in our roots. In Hindu tradition, the Root chakra is referred to as the “muladhara chakra”, a word derived from the two words meaning “root” (mula) and “base” (adhara). Also, in our root chakra, the earth element has it seat, which provides our energetic foundation too. When we feel lethargy or stagnation could be we have excess earth element or unbalance in the root chakra. It relates to our animal instincts, is where our fight or flight instincts are housed. We have been programmed to survive since birth and have done what we can at age. That's why often imbalance in the root chakra could be felt as not feeling secure .
"And without a strong foundation we risk having unstable structure"
It is related to our feelings of safety and security, whether it is physical or regarding our bodily needs or metaphorical regarding housing and financial safety. Does when we experience financial difficulty one place to look at is our Root chakra could be imbalances there to cause them or other way around. When we worry about money or losing our job affects our root as our stability and foundation are threaten. Especially now in times of global uncertainty and changes all the time both our collective roots like a nation (or the place you live majority of your time) and our personal roots are affected. That is why now is important more than ever to work on bringing us in present moment and taking breath by breath rather worrying excessively about the future.
On physical level corresponds with the legs, feet, spinal column, colon, kidneys, solid parts like the bones, teeth, and nails. One quite common malfunction is lower back spine problems, obesity, colitis, knee problems, arthritis, ME, headaches (or anything to do with being not grounded).
There is no one formula fits all or cases completely alike. For example, you moved to live in different city or country could influence your root chakra. Or you suddenly lost your job, or your business could unbalance the root chakra.
The Muladhara chakra also governs your auto -immune system and generative tendencies. When balanced we are stable, grounded, feel secure. When negative feeling insecure, greedy, even violent, excessive materialism
Root chakra at glance:
Location: Base of spine
Corresponds to the Adrenals glands
Affirmations “I am stable”, “I am connected to my body”, “I live, and I am connected to the material world I am living.
Beja mantra: LAM
Ways to keep your Root chakra healthy
Yoga and Asanas (poses)
It is vital to remember that movement and energy cannot be separated. The movement of energy in the body and physical movement go together. That is why movement is so important for our health and wellness.
Tadasana or Mountain pose
Take a moment to visualize a mountain, see the strength and earthiness it represents. Now come standing with your feet hip distance apart, hands by your side. Rock the hips side to side, back and forth and feel the weight distribution evenly on your feet. Engage the upper thighs and keep your pelvis neutral. Relax your shoulders, extend the fingers away of the shoulders. Imagine you are being pulled from the top of the head. Feel your body strong and stable. Notice your breath. Inhale through the nostrils, exhale through your mouth. Now breathe all away down to your feet. Breathe strength and stability. Imagine again the mountain you were visualizing. Now you are that mountain. Breathe again strength and stability.
Tip: Try practicing directly on a grass or soil
Vkrsasana or Tree pose
From the name we can see how well resonates with our root chakra. Tree symbolizes the depth and connection with earth. Visualize a beautiful tree standing tall and stable. See the base of the tree and visualize the roots as they are going deeper into the earth, deeper cutting through the different layers of the soil.
Bring your right foot below the knee or above the knee (towards the inner thigh on the left side). Create 90-degree angle if possible, with the right knee. Softly press the right foot into the left leg. Engage the left upper thigh and draw the left thigh up towards the left hip socket.
Now take a moment and direct your breath towards the foot of the standing leg. Imagine this foot being the roots of the tree. Feel going as deep as it should right now. Breathe here in the color red, nice clean, steady red. See your roots strong and stable. Stay here for another 5 to 10 breaths and swap the sides. Repeat the same process.
Tip: Bring your hands in lotus mudra and imagine the deep roots of the flower.
Virabadrasana 2 or Warrior 2
Standing strong and stable and deeply rooted are all qualities of a warrior. To be successful, the warrior must be grounded and the present moment. Now let us incorporate all these qualities in our peaceful warrior, earth warrior. Step the left leg back and turn it in 50 degrees. Bend the right knee above the ankle and turn the hips out to the side. Bring the hands parallel to the floor in line with the shoulders. Look over the right hand. Breathe for a moment here. Draw the energy from the earth up towards the groins, press the feet gently down. Again, lets come back to the peaceful earth warrior. Feel it subtle strength expanding with inhales and becoming even more stronger with exhales. Stay 5 to 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
From Warrior 2 turn both feet inwards. Press firmly the outer edges, engage the thighs. Inhale look up and roll the shoulders down and away from the ears. Exhale bend the knees and fold from the hips. First bring the fore arms on the upper thighs. Keep the spine long. You can stay here or fold deeper by straightening the legs and reaching with the hands towards the ankles. If you can fold any deeper hook your right and left big toe with your two fingers and your thumps. Inhale look up again, exhale fold from the hips, maintaining length in the spine.
Bring you awareness in your feet, imagine your feet being your roots. Allow them with the exhale to root deeper. Breathe in the present moment. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths. To exit the pose, bend your knees, inhale look up. On the exhale round your back all the way up.
Uttanasana or Standing forward fold.
Letting go and letting in support from the invisible realm and allowing yourself to just be.
From feet hips distance apart, bend the knees and round your way down on the exhale. Keep the bend at the knees and allow the hands to fall loosely. Rock couple of times side to side before you settle for some stillness and hold the opposite elbows with each hand. Allow you legs to be heavy and sinking nicely into the earth. Be still. Repeat on your mind with each exhale the mantra Lam. Stay here for 5 to 10 breaths.
A fabulous pose to ease a busy mind, Uttanasana helps us find center and calmness. At the same time, it slowly stretches the hamstrings and relieves tension in the entire back.
Tip: Try practicing directly on a grass or soil
Malasana - Squat-Pose
From the standing forward fold spread the legs wider than hip distance apart and slowly lower down into a squat. If you feel comfortable with stretch lower all the way down if not place a block or blanket under your tailbone so you are supported.
Spread the knees away of each other to a comfortable stretch. Inhale extend the top of the head up towards the ceiling, exhale draw the tailbone gently towards the pubic bone. Keep the whole spine and neck long. Melt the shoulders away of the ears. Spread both arms out and press them towards the inner knees. Stay here for five to 10 full breaths.
Tip: You can practice mula bandha with reverse breath. Inhale squeeze in the perineum muscles (imagine you want to go to a toilet and there is no one around and you have to hold yourself|) , you are drawing up and inwards. Exhale those same muscles.
Anjaneyasana or Low lunge
This pose creates an intense stretch for the psoas and quad muscles. These muscles are associated with our flight-or-fight mechanism and are deeply connected to the first chakra energy center. 5 breaths here allowing muscles time to transform any residual fight or flight energy into courageous yet calm inner strength.
Balasana- Child pose
Child pose is a perfect way to let go and feel supported by the earth. It could be done any time of the day. To dive in effortlessness allowing yourself to be taken care of and be present in your body. Especially at that time we are we can dive in into more Yin (Female) qualities to the opposed Yang energies almost everything now days is. Is probably one of the most famous yoga poses, you probably came across in yoga class. Extremely relaxing which improves blood circulation and fatigue with tones of other benefits.
From Low lunge, spread the knees apart, joining the big toes together. Sit back on your heels (if there is gap, place a roll towel between the heels and sitting bones). Extend your arms forward, palms wide open. Inhale look up, exhale fold forward. Stay and breathe deeply directing the air towards the hips and lower back. Allow your sitting bones to keep relaxing down towards the heels. Inhale lengthen your back; exhale relax your chest further down. You can also walk the hands to right and gently press the bow of the fingers down adding additional side stretch and shoulder engagement. Bring your awareness into hands. Imagine you have 10 roots coming out of both hands deeply rooting into the earth. Breathe in from the earth nutrition and health and breathe out instability, fear, worries.
Tip: Place a folded towel/ pillow under your head to be even more supported. You can work here with affirmation” I am supported by Mother Earth”, “I am been taken care of”.