Muladhara or Root Chakra is our foundation and connection to the Earth. It connects to our basic human instinct for survival, security and stability.
Signs of imbalance: Anxiety, fear, scattered energy - feeling disorganised, lacking in focus or discipline.
Located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, the muladhara chakra is the energy centre for grounding, finding stability, and being able to trust yourself and others. The muladhara chakra is also responsible for taking care of your basic physical and emotional needs, feeling grounded and supporting healthy bones and nerves.
An imbalance here can be the result of excess stress, life changes, or difficulty establishing trusting relationships. If you’re feeling stressed, or unable to accept things out of your control, you may have a blockage in your muladhara chakra. (See our earlier post introducing chakras to find out what that means).
Questions to ask yourself: What do I need? What keeps me grounded?
Mantra: I am strong; I am safe, I am secure
To balance: Reconnect with nature, join groups that foster a sense of belonging.
Asana: Supta Baddha Konasana | Reclining bound angle pose
Start laying down, supine. Release your lower back by tucking your tailbone under. Bend your knees and rotate your inner thighs externally, allowing your legs to fall outwards toward the floor. Allow the soles of your feet to touch. Keep arms by your side with palms facing up or rest one hand on your stomach and one on your heart. Stay here for a minimum of one minute and focus on deep quiet breathing (remember a deep breath is not a ‘big’ breath - see our earlier posts). To support your legs you may use yoga blocks or rolled up blankets or towels under your outer thighs.
Chakras are symbols of the body-mind connection. Originally cited thousands of years ago in sacred Hindu texts, known as the Upanishads, chakras run along your spine and link directly to your endocrine system. Particular thoughts and emotions can affect energy flow to a specific chakra, which can then create an imbalance of prana (energy) flow to the corresponding nerve-bundle, major gland/organ.
An example of this that many people can relate to is experiencing ‘butterflies in your stomach’ when you are about to do something that challenges your confidence and self esteem – such as public speaking. Thoughts around how you will be perceived by others and a disruption to your confidence can have a very real affect on the body – particularly the solar plexus area (below the ribcage and above the navel - manipura chakra). This creates what is referred to as a chakra blockage. It should be noted that not all emotions create such an obvious visceral reaction in the body, and most people in modern society are disconnected from their bodily sensations, and it is not always obvious. Yoga helps to develop this internal awareness (interoception).
So basically, each of your main chakras harbours bundles of nerves and major organs as well as your psychological and emotional states of being. A blockage in any one of your seven chakras can lead to illness, so it’s important to understand exactly where each chakra is located and its role in your body.
It’s important to regularly check in with yourself and look for any signs of suboptimal prana flow. Under or overactive chakras can have a ripple effect.
The good news is that equilibrium can be restored with simple targeted yoga practices. We will share more on this in future posts.
“I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need.
I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you.
Let us work together for unity and love.” - Mahatma Gandhi