As a certified online chakra teacher, I’m obsessed with sharing what I know about the Hindu chakra system.
I wish I knew about the importance of root chakra healing when I was constantly in arthritis pain flares.
The only thing on my mind was how I was going to get out of my bed to the bathroom in the least amount of pain.
Thankfully, I don’t have extreme pain days anymore. Thank the Lord.
I believe that experimentation and understanding the body and mind pain connection is imperative to manage and eventually reduce chronic pain.
Few people understand the important role the chakras also play in our well being. The desire to be loved, to love others unconditionally and to feel safe in a very demanding and sometimes scary world around us.
Do you suspect that one or many of your chakras are out of alignment? Do you feel blocked in a particular area of your life?
In this post, I’ll cover the basics of the root chakra.
You’ll learn what happens when your root chakra is out of balance and some issues that manifest when the root chakra gets blocked.
I’ll conclude with seven very simple ways you can start today to open your root chakra so you can feel safer in your body and your environment.
The root chakra at a glance
Sanskrit name: Muladhara (root support)
Developmental Stage: 2nd trimester to 12 months
Basic Rights: to be here and have
Sensory Experience: Smell
Life Issues: Grounding, trust, health, prosperity, the body
Spiritual Activities: Noticing the beauty and perfection of the natural world.
Type of Music: Drumming
The planet Saturn, which governs the principles of contraction, control, and limitation, rules the root chakra.
black girl long hair image
What is the root chakra?
At the base of the spine, the root chakra represents the foundation for the chakra system.
It’s connected to the element of earth, which is grounding, making us feel connected to ourselves and the world.
Without a firm foundation, we’ll have:
- difficulty manifesting what we want in our lives
- questions about our right to be here
- poor boundaries
Our bodies represent the physical manifestation of who we are and require boundaries in order to feel safe and have the satisfaction of knowing when enough is enough.
When we have a sound foundation, we can face any limitation from a position of strength. Limitation is a part of life and part of manifesting what we want in our life. Recognition of limitations or obstacles becomes clearer with a balanced root chakra.
The Root Chakra and Survival
One of the basic issues associated with the root chakra is survival.
If someone comes from a violent environment that left them traumatized, their body will remain in a fearful state even though the threat is no longer there.
The body remembers its traumatic experiences. As a result, fear of that event keeps their body fixed at the root chakra level and they become consumed with survival. To learn more about this, I refer you to the work of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. He has done extensive research in this area.
As you can see, root chakra healing is extremely important.
What happens when the root chakra gets blocked?
When the root chakra gets blocked or is out of alignment, it can manifest into many physical and emotional issues.
A chakra can be:
- Overactive (excessive)
- Underactive (deficient)
A balanced root chakra gives us a good sense of who we are, trust in our bodies, and allows us to relax and remain calm.
An excessive root chakra (too much energy in the root), can cause laziness, sluggishness and fear of change.
With a deficient root chakra (not enough energy in the root), someone may experience poor focus, financial insecurity, or be very unorganized.
As I mentioned, survival is one of the basic issues concerning the root chakra and is deeply wired into our brains and DNA, dating back from the beginning of time.
This primal need for survival isn’t something we can escape from. But the problem occurs when we’re in a constant state of survival mode with our bodies constantly pumped with stress hormones, keeping us in a state of flight, fight or freeze mode.
When in a consistent state of flight, fight or freeze mode, we can experience symptoms such as tight muscles, brain fog and physical pain (not a complete list).
If we feel threatened, we can’t focus on anything else as hard as we try.
You could recite money mantras until the cow comes home or wish upon a star. If your root chakra is out of alignment, you’ll most likely experience difficulty getting more of what you want in your life and experiencing what you don’t.
What are some root chakra problems?
When our root chakra is out of balance, many types of issues can manifest, which include but are not limited to:
Inflammation is a necessary biological process.
For example, when someone accidentally cuts themselves with a knife, instead of an apple on the cutting board, the body mounts an inflammatory response by sending T cells to the site to aid in repair.
The cells go on a search and destroy mission for the “bad guys aka foreign invaders” to overtake them so the body can heal the cut. After a few days, the cut looks and feels a lot better. Mission completed.
However, with chronic inflammation, the body doesn’t know when to shut off the mission and continues to flood the body with inflammatory cells. As a result, your body stays in attack mode 24/7.
When the body is in daily attack mode, it is very difficult for it to manage a chronic disease. Studies show that constantly elevated levels of inflammation increase pain levels in the body.
When I was experiencing the worst arthritis pain in my life, my pain level markers (CSR) were off the charts. No wonder I had difficulty as I tried to clean my house or run an errand to pick up items for dinner.
As the shadow of the root chakra is fear, I felt really nervous and scared that I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself or provide for my children.
Anxiety is the natural way your body responds to stress and can feel like fear of what’s coming.
For instance, you can’t stand your current boss so you apply for a new position. You get a phone call to go in for a job interview. Yes!!
You’re excited but also nervous because you are praying you’ll say the right things during the interview. This is completely normal.
But what if you don’t go for the interview because your mind goes on a worry spree? How will it go? What should I wear to come across as professional? What if they don’t like me? What if they ask a question I have no answer for and look stupid?
If anxiety becomes extreme for a long period, it may interfere with the functioning of your day to day life. Here, you’ll turn down the interview and stay in your crappy job working with your mean boss.
When the root chakra is out of alignment, fear, and for some anxiety, take over. It then becomes a destructive biofeedback loop that leaves you stuck, unable to take action, or pessimistic.
For some people, chronic pain diseases such as arthritis go hand in hand because they co-occur with each other (I have found this to be true with some of my coaching clients).
Trauma is a psychological or an emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event. It can overwhelm someone’s ability to cope and can diminish their sense of self and trust.
It’s pervasive and can occur at any age.
Traumatic experiences can include:
- Oppression or Racism
- Childhood neglect
Some of us come from backgrounds where we grew up safe and loved with our physical and emotional needs met. For example, if someone has experienced violence or suffered at the hands of an abusive relative, it can take an emotional, mental and physical toll on a person’s wellbeing.
If your body doesn’t feel safe at the root chakra level, you can be fearful and uncertain in situations and with people. You may lack trust in life and may doubt you can take care of yourself.
It’s been said that the root chakra is the center of the unconscious. All of our unconscious memories from birth and childhood live in the deepest part of our psyche, overseen by the root chakra. Our day to day actions, thoughts, and behaviors are driven by our unconscious memories.
How safe you felt as a small child deeply affects how safe you currently feel now in your life.
Stress is a response to a physical, emotional or mental pressure that results in chemical changes in your body that can increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
If you’re being chased by a hungry lion because you got lost from your African safari tour group, you’ll probably run in terror for your life (or you may drop to the ground and play dead).
Here, the stress response is beneficial because you don’t want to become the lion’s dinner. You want to survive.
But being conditioned to go after what you want with guns blazing keeps the stress response on high alert 24/7. The result can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Chronic stress is a constant over-activation of the stress response over a long period. The root chakra governs the adrenal glands.
If you’re constantly stressed out about running into a rude coworker or you’re $50 dollars short on this month’s rent, the elevation of your stress hormones will probably result.
You’ll consistently feel deflated, discouraged, and drained of energy. The worst case scenario may eventually lead you to burn out and overwhelm.
Root chakra healing is crucial. As energy moves up from the root to other chakras and back down again, you’ll be able to cope with challenges and take action on your goals and dreams.
7 Best Tips for Opening the Root Chakra
If you’re looking for ways to balance your root chakra, I suggest considering a few of the following in your daily routine:
Take a warm bath
Nothing beats a warm bubble bath sprinkled with a few drops of essential oil of your choice. A bath helps calm your mind. It’s a lovely way to show love to your root chakra.
Soaking in warm water helps to relieve sore, tight muscle tension and improves muscle circulation.
Explore inner child/shadow work
I could talk for days about shadow work as I’m currently in a tarot card Hanged Man suspended year. Many past life patterns and habits have revealed themselves as I continue my shadow work journey.
If you’d like to give it a go, start the journey by journaling on your earliest childhood memories with your mother.
In Astrology, the moon represents our sensitive side, the places of ourselves we keep hidden from others and what our early life was like with our mothers.
Shadow work is not for the faint of heart. But if implement this work into a root chakra healing practice and learn from what this part of yourself wants you to know, your life will be richer for it.
Connect to the Earth with daily walks
Walking is an excellent low impact exercise. You’re maximizing your time with a dally 20 or 30 minute walk by:
- Keeping your joints healthy (walking keeps joints lubricated)
- Connecting to nature and grounding yourself
Set up a mindfulness meditation practice
Mindfulness meditation is great for root chakra healing. You’ll benefit from becoming calm and focused, which are some qualities linked to balancing this chakra.
Studies show that a mindful meditation practice reduces chronic pain levels.
If you’re new to meditation, start out a few minutes at a time. It’s helpful to visualize a red cube because red is the color of the root chakra.
Dancing relieves tension and stress in the body. It also keeps you connected and aware of your body, which is amazing for the root chakra.
Try a belly dancing class or dance by yourself in a sensual dance. Let loose and have fun (a partner isn’t always required to have a good time!).
Treat yourself to a pedicure
Pamper yourself to a pedicure.
Imagine soaking your feet in warm water and having your feet massaged. Getting a pedicure feels wonderful and satisfies the need for the root chakra to the physical.
Eat grounding foods
Eating vegetables such as beets, onions, garlic and onion is effective for root chakra healing.
Red fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or apples contain high amounts of vitamin C. Several parts of the body use vitamin C like bones, teeth and adrenals. The root chakra oversees these parts of the body.
I’ve included a root chakra healing video. Put on your headset and listen as you work or before you go to bed.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Root Chakra Healing
The root chakra is the first chakra in the body. It’s imperative for this chakra to be balanced and open for our health and well being.
I wish I had known about shadow work or meditation when I was dealing with extreme chronic pain because I suffered so much every day.
Now, I dedicate time to balancing my chakras because I want to enjoy everything life offers.
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