There are many days when life feels overwhelming. If like me, you wear many hats within a day—a mom, a boss, a wife, a leader, a friend, a woman—you may feel overwhelmed and out of balance.
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. At one point, I feel so far into depression that I secluded myself from my family and friends. I was on autopilot for a long time. I never want to go back to those days, where life was joyless, lethargic, and uneventful.
After many months of soul searching, I stumbled across a YouTube video about Chakras. Chakras are the 7 divine energies flowing within our bodies at any given time. The health of your chakras directly correlate to the health of your mind, body, and emotional well being.
The Seven Core Chakras are:
- Root chakra “Muladhara”
- Sacral chakra “Svadhishthana”
- Solar Plexus chakra “Manipura”
- Heart chakra “Anahata”
- Throat chakra “Vishuddha”
- Third Eye chakra “Ajna”
- Crown chakra “Sahasrara”
Muladhara “The Root Chakra”
The first of the chakras is the Root Chakra or the Muladhara (pronounced moo-lăd-ă-hārr-ăh). It is located at the base of your spine. The Muladhara is centered around the earth element and is commonly linked to your feelings of safety, survival instincts, stability, and foundation.
A good analogy for your Muladhara: imagine yourself as a plant. To grow strong and tall, to withstand the wind, the rain, and the harsh weather around you, you will need to stretch your roots deeply into the soil and ground yourself to the earth. Your roots are your foundation. This is where you gain energy and take in all the nutrients that you need to grow strong, to flower, and to produce seeds.
Your Muladhara is the basis or the foundation for the other energies flowing through your being. It is the fundamental element of life, encompassing your need for shelter, sleep, food, and self-preservation.
Grounded. Safe. Balanced.Tweet
Often seen as red energy, your Muladhara connects you to mother earth and helps you maintain balance in your life. Red is the color of vitality and strength. It stimulates your instincts and lures you into action. This color red can often be seen at the dawning of a new day. It is an awakening from dormancy to active awareness. Recognizing your Muladhara and balancing this energy within yourself is the start of spiritual transformation and intentional self-awareness.
The Root Chakra Symbolism
The Four Petal Lotus
The Muladhara is portrayed as a red, four petal lotus flower with a square and inverted triangle in the center. Many different theologies revolve around the meanings of the four petals of the lotus.
The Human Psyche
One theologist believes the four petals of the lotus flower represent the four central aspects of the human psyche.
This is representative of spiritual awakening and self-awareness.
The Four Goals of Human Life
Another theologist believes the four petals represent the purusartha, or the object of the human pursuit. This is one of the foundations of Hindu philosophy.
- Dharma: Morality
- Artha: Economic Prosperity
- Kama: Emotional Fulfillment
- Moksha: Spiritual Liberation
The purusartha is easy to understand if you think of it as your life’s pursuit, the goal of your soul while you here on this plane of existence for this short time.
What is the first thing you think about when you visualize a square? The square represents a solid foundation. It has four stable sides, each supporting each other.
To understand the square symbolism, think about a house. Most houses are square in shape. They have four walls that support the roof. These four walls provide shelter from the weather, protection from the outside world, and a steady foundation for the roof above your head.
The square is the foundation, the here and now, your current predicament. It represents your current state in this physical dimension at this present point in time.
The downward-pointing triangle symbolizes the birth of your creativity and self-awakening. When starting from the tip, you begin with nothing, a speck of dust among an ocean of sand. But, as you travel upward, your knowledge and self-awareness expand bringing you closer to spiritual enlightenment.
This can also be looked at from the flat side going down. If you start from the flat of the triangle, this is the place where you are currently. This is your starting point of consciousness. You are aware of everything all at once. Therefore you are also unaware of the detail or the little pieces of energy that come along with self-awareness.
As you travel down the sides of the triangle the space within decreases. This is where you start to focus on the details of your life that lead you on the correct path of spiritual liberation and conscious thought.
Opening Your Root Chakra
There are many ways to open your Muladhara. Taking a walk through the woods. Working in your garden. Hiking a mountain trail. Do you see a theme here? Nature. If you want to open your Muladhara, you need to find your connection to nature.
If you are not a person who like to go outside, try cooking using fresh vegetables and herbs. Put some plants around the living room or a green shrub in your bedroom window.
Meditate with your windows open and listen to the bird song outside. Or if you are in an area (like a loud noisy city) you could try finding a roof top with a good view of the sunrise/sunset. Whatever your connection to nature, incorporate it into your daily/weekly/monthly life.
For me, I work in the basement of a hospital. We have no windows, sunlight, plants, etc. Spending most of my time surrounded by cement walls doesn’t help me to stimulate my muldahara. However, the hospital does have a prayer garden that I visit frequently, and on days when I am able to take a few minutes to have a break, I like to walk around the campus. The pink flowers on the trees and the flowering pears are beautiful in the spring. I love walking under them. It is like I am in a dream, walking through a rain storm of pink petals and bird song.
Finding those small moments to engage my Muladhara greatly improves my overall happiness and reduces my daily stress levels.
Meditation and Yoga
Meditation and yoga also help to open your Muladhara and increases your focus on what is grounding you both emotionally and physically. There are several different yoga poses you can do to help you ground yourself and open your Muladhara.
- Standing Forward Bend: This is where you stand with your feet together and bend over to touch your toes. While doing this focus on the pressure you are on your feet. Press down through your heels. Flex your toes as if you were standing barefoot in the mud.
- Garland Pose: For this pose you spread your feet shoulder width apart. Bend as if you were going to sit in a chair and then keep going until you are nearly sitting on the ground. Bring your hands into a praying position in front of your. Look forward with a soft gaze. Really dig you heels and your toes into the ground here. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Let the steady ground be your rock to help keep your balance.
- Head to Knee Forward Bend: Sit with one of your heels pressed against your inner thigh. Your other leg is straight in front of your with your toes bent toward the ceiling. Stretch your arms up over your head and then try to hug your toes. This is not an easy pose if you have little flexibility in your legs and sides. Your thighs will try to come off the ground here. Try to keep them pressed to the floor.
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose: Lie flat on your back with your hands out to your sides (Jesus style). Take the heels of your feet and put them together. Bring them as close to your body as you can while keeping your knees pressed firmly against the ground. Be mindful of your lower back here. It will want to arch. Keep your body glued to the earth.
- Wide Legged Forward Bend: Spread your legs a little wider than shoulder width. Bend forward and hug your knees while trying to fold your body in half. Do not over extend your back. The idea is to keep your black flat and stretch the back of your thighs as well as your shoulders.
As a child of God, I strengthen my bond with the everflowing energy of the cosmos. I am a being of light. Peace fills my soul. I am a survivor. My roots grow deep and ground me to the earth. I can stand on my own two feet in confidence. My life is by my design. My creator watches over me. Blessed be.