Each of the seven chakras are governed by spiritual laws, principles of consciousness that we can use to cultivate greater harmony, happiness, and wellbeing in our lives and in the world.
– Deepak Chopra
Chakras are energy centers in the body that play an important role in our physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Understanding this mind-body energy system is essential for becoming the most vibrant, healthy, and radiant version of yourself.
The word chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word cakra, meaning “wheel.” It was first mentioned in ancient Hindu texts circa 1,500 BCE. Chakras (pronounced “chuhk-ruhs”) are dynamic energy centers within the human body that help to regulate the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states of being.
Positioned throughout your body, from the base of your spine to the crown of your head, each chakra has its own vibrational frequency, characteristic, name, and color, and governs different areas of the body.
In defining the 7 chakras and exploring the meaning of each, it is essential to understand one thing: You are energy.
This invisible energy called Prana, is a vital life force which keeps us vibrant and healthy. The ability of your energy centers to function optimally is what keeps you psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually balanced.
The foundation of the chakra system consists of seven major chakras within the body. As mentioned previously, they each serve a purpose and are all interconnected.
The upper three are considered the spiritual chakras. The spiritual chakras focus on a connection to our higher self- that version of ourself that is tapped into our purest expression of love, wisdom and power. The lower three chakras are considered the physical chakras. They ground us. Both the spiritual and physical chakras care connected in the center through the heart chakra.
Before we begin exploring the 7 chakras, let’s take a moment to discover your energetic centers that lie within.
For beginners, these chakra exercises may seem odd. Just go with the flow. You may sense the prana energy centers very lightly, very intensely, or not at all.
Remember that whatever happens, is okay.
Think of this exercise as an introduction; you’re tuning in for, perhaps, the very first time:
- First, start by making sure you’re in a quiet space. Sit quietly for a moment and take a few deep breaths. Let tension and stress slide away for a moment. Just be in the moment, with your body.
- Now, bring your attention to the base of your spine, your tailbone, and imagine a bright spinning red light. Feel it pulsing and rotating with your breath. Sit with that for a moment.
- Next, move your attention up your spine to the area a couple of inches below your belly button. Feel the warmth of a bright, orange spinning light. Again, notice how it moves with your breath.
- Now, guide your attention to a couple inches above your belly button. You’re probably familiar with this area because when you feel strong emotions like love or fear, you likely feel it here. Notice how you can sense the intense yellow light rotating in that spot.
- Bring your attention further up to the center of your chest where your heart is. This area harnesses a bright green light. When you’re touched or moved, you might instinctively place your hand over this spot. Connect with that area now.
- Then, bring your attention to your throat, the dip in between your collar bones. Imagine a bright blue light spinning in that area. You may feel the urge to swallow or clear your throat.
- Next, move your attention up to the space between your eyebrows, your third eye. This area holds a deep indigo light. Imagine it spinning and becoming brighter.
- Finally, shift your attention to the very top of your head. Imagine a vibrant, spinning violet light that shines right out of the top of your body. This light connects you to the universe. Feel the peace that comes with noticing this light.
Opening Meditation by Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life
You are about to go on a journey. It is a journey through the layers of your own self. It is a journey through your life, through the worlds within and around you. It begins here, in your own body. It begins now, wherever you are. It is your own personal quest.
Make yourself comfortable, for the journey is not short. It could take months, years, or lifetimes, but you have already chosen to go. You began long, long ago.
The Root Chakra
Our journey begins at the base of the spine, home of the first chakra. This is the foundation of our entire system- the building block on which all other chakras must rest.
The first of the physical chakras is the root chakra which represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.
At the perineum, base of the spine
Survival and stability
Orientation to Self
Base of the spine, legs, feet, rectum, immune system, and large intestine
Stillness, security, stability
Lotus with four petals
Survival, security, acceptance, grounded
Grounded, solid, steadfast
To feel safe and secure, to manifest our basic needs, and to cultivate healthy physical sexuality
Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, pelvic pain, impotence, frigidity, kidney problems
UNDERACTIVE ROOT CHAKRA
If we do not balance this chakra before we progress to the others, out growth will be without roots, ungrounded, and will lack the stability necessary for true growth.
If there is an imbalance in the root chakra, you may experience anxiety disorders, unfounded fears, or nightmares. Physical imbalances can manifest as problems in the colon, with the bladder, with elimination, or with lower back, leg, or feet issues. In men, prostate problems might occur. Eating disorders may also be a sign of a root chakra imbalance.
Underactive root chakra — When a chakra is underactive, it means that the chakra is experiencing a blockage or is not distributing the flow of energy. When your root chakra is underactive, it can affect your overall health.
Signs of an underactive root chakra:
- Feel disconnected
- Lack of focus
- Feelings of fear, anxiousness or restlessness
- Lack of stamina
- Trouble obtaining financial security
- You struggle with weight and body issues.
- You feel unsafe and/or unsure of your life path.
- You frequently suffer from lower back pain.
OVERACTIVE ROOT CHAKRA
Overactive root chakra — When a chakra is overactive the chakra is distributing too much energy. It is working in overdrive and bringing imbalance to the chakra. When your root chakra is overactive, it affects your overall health.
Signs of an overactive root chakra:
- Anger and annoyance towards people and events in your life.
- Dependent on others’ security
- Rigid boundaries
- Difficulty accepting change
HEALING THE ROOT CHAKRA
ROOT CHAKRA GEMSTONES
Ruby, garnet, black tourmaline, bloodstone, obsidian, onyx, red jasper, lodestone, smoky quartz, fire agate
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THE ROOT CHAKRA
Myrrh, vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, cedarwood
ROOT CHAKRA INCENSE
ROOT CHAKRA FOODS
Can help heal your root chakra include beets, rutabagas, garlic, ginger, turnips, potatoes, onions, and parsnips. Try them roasted with salt and olive oil for an easy grounding meal that is also delicious!
Especially red meat, is also grounding (think: earthly mineral stews and bone broths). If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, red beans and lentils are a great protein source for your root chakra, as are eggs, tofu, and peanut butter.
Hearty harvest grains
Grains such as bulgar, buckwheat and whole oats, provide your body with complex carbohydrates and are a valuable source of fiber. When buying grains at the grocery store, always opt for whole-grains that are made cereal grains that include the whole kernel. When you’re shopping for whole-grain products, look at the ingredients and make sure the whole grain is at or near the top of the list.
Such as red apples, watermelon, pomegranates, and berries — can help to recharge your root chakra.
Spices like chives, paprika, and pepper can be added to root chakra foods for an added boost of healing.
If you are a tea drinker, enjoy a cup of rooibos and hibiscus tea (hot or iced) to help heal your root chakra.
Yoga for Your Root Chakra
Yoga is a great way to achieve energetic balance and alignment of the mind, body, and soul. Learn to work with the chakras in your yoga practice.
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
- Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Malasana (Squat)
- Uttanasana (Standing forward fold)
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Guided Meditations To Balance the Root Chakra
Mudras for the Root Chakra
Mudras are hand gestures or movements during meditation, and often used during yoga. Mudras carry specific goals of channeling your body’s energy flow; ultimately with the intention of drawing yourself inward.
There are two primary mudras, or hand gestures, associated with the root chakra:
The Muladhara mudra is created by bringing your palms together in a prayer at your heart, then interlace the pinky and ring fingers so they fold inside of the palms. Extend the middle fingers so the tips touch and then interlace the thumbs and index fingers so they form rings around each other, with the fingertips touching.
Prithvi or “Earth” mudra
The Prithvi mudra is created by touching the ring finger to the thumb, with the rest of the fingers extended.
Affirmations to Balance the Root Chakra
Affirmations designed to reinforce the balanced Muladhara chakra tend to emphasize the individual’s connection with and rightful place in the world. The safety and security of one’s position need to be stressed.
Affirmations for the root chakra might include statements like these:
- The world around me is a safe place
- I am a part of this world
- I am immersed in abundance
- I am at peace with the people and things around me
- I am safe, protected and guided in this world
- I release any doubts and fears
- With every breath I release the fear and anxiety within me
- I love my body and trust its wisdom
- I am at home in my body
Activities to Balance the Root Chakra
Chakra balancing is the process of restoring the harmonious and balanced flow of prana or energy throughout the body. Your chakras are in constant fluctuation. Practicing chakra balancing and aligning is a regular and sometimes daily activity to explore.
- Wearing red clothing
- Walking barefoot on the earth
- Dig your toes in the sand
- Raking leaves
- Eating red foods like apples and beets, protein, root vegetables
- Playing with children
- Exercise, dance and movement
- Meditation (specifically those that connect you with your body and the Earth)
- Grounding practices
- Get out in nature
- Practice letting go. Get rid of old junk and things the are no longer useful.
- Have sex
- Practice gratitude
- Recognize abundance in your world
- Practice self-reliance
- Create safety in your environment
When Your Root Chakra Is In Balance
- You are content with your body.
- You are confident with money, managing it well and always having enough for what you need and want.
- You feel like you belong and have a strong a connection with your family and/or friends, and as a result, feel wanted and loved.
- You feel safe and sure about your life path.
What Is Revealed In My Root Chakra?
- Do I feel safe and at ease with my body?
- Do I have stamina and strength to fulfill my life’s purpose?
- Do I feel safe in my home and environment?
- Do I live in fear or in peace?
- Are my survival needs taken care of?
- Am I rooted in my body and on this plane of existence?
- Do I trust the process and journey of life?
- Do I trust my soul’s unfolding?
- Do I feel centered?
- Do I feel supported in material and non-material ways?
- Right to be here
- Do I feel worthy of living?
- Do I feel a sense of belonging in my community?
Your chakras will show you what they need, as long as you find the place of stillness to listen. Let intuition be your guide on this journey. When your chakras are aligned and fully activated, your intuition works in sacred unison with your emotions and your physical body to achieve balance, contentment, and happiness in your daily life. When there is misalignment, energy is unable to flow harmoniously. Maintaining balance requires commitment, but with mindfulness and conscious practice, you hold the power to reclaim the wholeness and harmony of your mind, body, and spirit and open up a world of greater joy, possibility, and wisdom.
Chakras are a complex yet so beautiful system to work with and explore.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll explore each of the seven chakras, not only to provide an understanding of their meaning and symbolism, but to explore and work through potential blockages to find an energetic balance in body and mind.
Click the image below for the free ROOT CHAKRA Download
Your body’s chakras are the key to your health and a happy life.
– Amy Leigh Mercree
Acknowledgement : This information is based on Wheels of Life and Chakra Yoga be Anodea Judith, PhD., Chakra 7 by Carol Tuttle, Deepak Chopra, as well as my own insights.