Chakras exist within us as streams of energy. They dictate emotion, feelings of fear and adequacy, insight, love, and all complex and simple emotions, thoughts, and tendencies. They are the metaphysical, subtle attachments our physical body has the the ether around us.

Clearing the chakras begins with the foundation: the Root Chakra. From here, we start our journey dealing with three more physically, more “matter” related chakras. These chakras are associated with our more carnal, basic desires and drives.

The Root Chakra

The Root Chakra is our first chakra and deals precisely with stability, our sense of center, and our feeling of comfort. This is our grounding chakras, linking us directly with the physical world that our bodies exist within.

In Sanskirt, the Root Chakra is called Muladhara. It physical operates (imagine a vortex or wheel of energy) at the base of the tailbone, in the place of the first three vertebrae, the bladder and colon. It’s consideration the foundation of being – the seat of our energy and the beginning of our pranic flow.

Here are some symptoms of a blocked or unbalanced root chakra:

Symptoms of Unbalanced Root Chakra

  • Loneliness and insecurity
  • Lack of confidence
  • Anxiety and phobias
  • Digestive/excretion problems (excessive constipation)
  • Lower back pain
  • Impotence

Element, Color and Senses Related to the Root Chakra

The Root Chakra is most related to the element of earth – a literal and figurative association with grounding. It’s from this “basic” chakra that we derive our survival center. The feelings of fight or flight, courage, and resourcefulness all find home in the chakra. In the same way the ground is the foundation of the earth, this chakra is the foundation of our being.

The Root Chakra is often associated with the color red (usually with a yellow square center). Red symbolizes life, vitality, endurance, and appetite – the very drivers of our survival and existence as beings within the universe.

The Root Chakra is also associated with the sense of smell. Because of this, it’s often encouraged to focus on this sense when balancing the chakras, by cleansing your space, refreshing the aroma, and utilizing aromatherapy to clear your mind and spirit.

“By meditating thus on Her who shines within the Muladhara Chakra, with the luster of ten million Suns, a man becomes Lord of speech and King among men, and an Adept in all kinds of learning. He becomes ever free from all diseases, and his inmost Spirit becomes full of great gladness. Pure of disposition by his deep and musical words, he serves the foremost of the Devas.” – Purnananda Sawma

Tips for Balancing the Root Chakra

  • Use aromatherapy to cleanse your space. Ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are a few good examples.
  • Focus on yoga asanas (poses) that focus on grounding your body
  • Take a walk in nature
  • Meditate while sitting on the ground
  • Practice the mantra Lam

Next up, we’ll cover the second chakra or Sacral Chakra.

For more information on the chakras, explore the complete guide: