The first Chakra – The Root Chakra – Muladhara
The Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine at the tailbone. This chakra is associated with the element earth and it represents survival, security and stability. It is the foundation of the entire chakra system, as it is the lowest of all the chakras on the body.
All material and worldy things are represented by the first chakra: the body, the earth, material and money. This chakra helps us to manifest the physical items which we need to stay alive and healthy. The color Red is associated with the 1st chakra. Of all the colors, red has the longest wavelength (700-635 nm) and slowest vibration (430-480THz) in the visible spectrum.
It can be tempting to think of the root chakra as “base,” “bad,” or “undesirable,” however this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Without the downward force of the grounding root chakra, we could never attain opening of the higher chakras. In order to be fully balanced and stable, we must be strong in our root chakra or first center.
The Root Chakra
The symbol for Muladhara is a four petal lotus flower. The number four is representative of the four directions of the earth – north, south, east and west. It also represents a strong foundation, think of four legs on a table or chair. If one leg is missing, the item will topple over.
As you can see in the picture to the right, there is also a triangle in the middle of the four pointed square. This triangle points down representing the downward, earth and grounding force of the root chakra.
The Root Chakra is also the home of Kundalini, or the serpent coiled three and a half times at the base of the spine. Kundalini is the name given to a goddess serpent representing the powerful Shakti energy. By practicing yoga and meditation, it is thought that the Kundalini Shakti will slowly uncoil and make her way up the chakras, opening each as she rises.
Blocks in the Root Chakra
Blocks in the root chakra are associated with fear, anxiety, instability and insecurity. The adrenal glands operate under the Root Chakra system and therefore the “flight or fight” system of reaction is activated here.
It has been said that blocks in the first chakra are the hardest to work through. In order to break through these blocks, we must practice and focus on grounding ourselves. Grounding involves learning how to be in and accept the here and now, the present moment, and the ever changing world around us. We must be an anchor in the sea of ever-changing circumstances.
The 1st Chakra is associated with the Ruby
We must also learn to be comfortable with having things, getting what we want and what we need. Many of us have a conscious or subconscious belief that we do not deserve to have what we want. We may associate getting what we want with being selfish or greedy. And to take this even a step further, many of us subconsciously do not believe we deserve what we need. We may always be living in a state of scarcity or not quite enough – not quite enough money, not quite enough work, not quite enough love, not quite enough time.
In order to work through the blocks of the first chakra, we must accept the fact that we do deserve both what we need and what we want. Contrary to popular belief, the universe is full of abundance, but we must first believe that we can have some of it. Of course, like anything in life, this can be taken to the extreme and greediness or selfishness can become a problem. However, most people have the opposite problem and they cannot come to terms with having and receiving what they want and what they need.
Yoga Poses to Work on the 1st Chakra
Standing poses, poses which stretch the legs and feet, and poses in which the feet are firmly planted on the ground will work on the first chakra. While in a pose in which the feet are on the ground, really feel as though your feet have roots and you are firmly planted and stable on the ground. Here are some poses to try: