If you ever feel unstable in life, it may be that one of the chakras in your body is not completely in balance. Chakras, or energy wheels, are centers of energy within the subtle body, overlaying the physical body. It is through these chakras that energy flows within our body, and to feel healthy and fit, it is good to spend some time to review how in balance each of your chakras is.
What are chakras exactly?
The chakras were first mentioned in the Vedas, ancient Hindu texts, and later on in the Yoga Upanishads and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. They are centers of energy, each represented by a different color, sound and function. They vitalize the physical body, and draw in universal life force energy to keep the body in balance physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
There are altogether seven main chakras. If energy is blocked and cannot run through a certain chakra, it can lead to disturbances in the mind and body.
Muladhara - Red root chakra of safety
The root chakra is located at the base of the spine, symbolized by a red lotus with four petals. This first chakra relates to our foundation and base in life. The Sanskrit word Muladhara comes from two separate words, Mula meaning root, and Adhara meaning support or base. As the first chakra, this is an important starting point when beginning a journey to balancing these energy wheels in our bodies.
The root chakra connects us to our physical world. It relates to the physical energies, and it provides us with a sense of security and safety. Whatever makes you feel stable in life, elements such as food, water, shelter and even finances are governed by the root chakra. Also emotional needs relating to safety are based in the first chakra.
The color of the root chakra is red, which relates to self awareness. It is the area of survival and stability and your place on this earth. The color red provides the power from the earth and gives vital energy on all levels.
When your root chakra is balanced, you feel stable and you are not doubting your place in this world. You are in good health, you feel safe and grounded. The positive qualities of a balanced root chakra is a sense of stability, vitality, loyalty, prosperity and patience.
Imbalances in the Root Chakra
The possible imbalances in the root chakra are not necessarily relating to what we have in our lives at this very moment. Early childhood developments and the feeling of security once had, has a great impact on the development of the root chakra. The family wounds as well as cultural beliefs can also be stored here.
If you feel unsafe in any area of your life, whether in relationships, in your job or financially, you may have imbalances in the root chakra. And as energy flows upwards, blockages in the root chakra affect the energy flow towards the other chakras.
The imbalances in the root chakra can show themselves physically or emotionally. Physically this can show as constipation, having lower back or leg issues, prostate problems or even eating disorders. Emotionally the imbalances can show as increased feelings of fear or anxiety disorder.
If a chakra is not functioning optimally, it can be either overactive, or deficient.
Overactive root chakra
Those having an overactive root chakra may experience excessive feelings of anger and aggression towards others, and towards life. One can become greedy, materialistic and overly controlling. When the root chakra is overactive, the sense of security is found mainly from outside, resulting into inflexibility towards external factors in life.
Deficient root chakra
People with a deficient root chakra may feel disconnected from the world around them. One can have lack of focus and increased feelings of fear when dealing with others. Financial security can also be affected, and finding balance in this area of life is challenging.
Balancing comes from within
Connecting back with the feeling of trust is an inside job. The outer world may not know what we need, and if we hold it responsible for our happiness and feeling of safety, we may be waiting a lifetime. Therefore to find balance we need to find a way back to our deepest selves.
There are several ways in order to increase the balance of the root chakra. Meditation is a good way to connect again with the inner self, and to find a place where we are connected to the source.
The root chakra is connected with the sense of smell, and the element associated with it is earth. By being in nature, feeling the supportive earth beneath us and using the sense of smell to connect to the element of earth can have a positive effect on the root chakra.
Sound can also be healing. Hindu beliefs state that everything in the universe is made of sound. There are distinct sounds, or mantras, related to each chakra. Each chakra has a one syllable seed sound, Bija Mantra, which, when performed, activates the energy patterns of the chakra in order to purify the body and mind. The sound of the root chakra is LAM.
Yoga asana practice provides also a great tool to connect to the inner layers of ourselves, and to find the base of security and comfort within. In the next article we will provide asanas which are helpful in balancing the root chakra.
How is your Muladhara chakra?
To check if you may have blockages in the root chakra, you can ask yourself if there are areas in your life where you do not feel safe. Are there areas where you do not seem to be in control? As an affirmation, try waking up in the morning and before tuning into the world, tell yourself: I am part of this world, I am safe and grounded. I am stable, healthy and strong.