Chakra Healing: How to Open Your Root Chakra

Feel grounded and safe by opening the root chakra.

Jul 19, 2019

(Sergey Shenderovsky / Shutterstock.com)

Do you obsess about money and live in fear of not having enough to pay for the basics like rent and food? Do you have issues relying on others and believe that you can only trust yourself? Do you have an unstable relationship with your family? Do you react to stress by binge eating or not eating at all? 

All of these signs indicate a need to balance your root chakra. Activating the root chakra through healing exercises can help restore the feeling of safety and grounding.

What Is a Chakra?

According to Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the physical and spiritual come together in the chakras. These swirling wheels of energy align along the spine, starting with the Muladhara or root chakra located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae.

Read more in the Complete Beginner’s Guide to the Seven Chakras.

In Sanskrit, Mula means “root” and Adhara means “support” or “base”. The Muladhara chakra serves as the foundation for opening all of the other chakras. Think of it like a house: a sturdy foundation on firm ground ensures the stability of a home for many years.

The Root Chakra at a Glance

Name in Sanskrit: Mula meaning “root” and Adhara meaning “support” or “base”
Location: The base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae.
Color: Red
Element: Earth
Signs of balance: Feelings of security, safety, and stability 
Signs of imbalance: Anxiety, nightmares, fear, pain in the feet and legs, weight gain (particularly in the bottom half of the body), feelings of disconnect or alienation

The root chakra corresponds to the earth element and to the roots we’ve planted, how strong they are, how deep they are, and how supportive they are. It consists of whatever grounds you to stability in your life. That includes basic needs like food, water, shelter, and safety as well as emotional needs like letting go of fear and anxiety. When in balance, we feel grounded and safe. When out of balance, we feel anxious, insecure, and vulnerable.

Opening the Root Chakra

1. Burn Muladhara incense and essential oils. 

Aromatherapy has powerful healing properties that awaken feelings of safety and security. To open the root chakra, try burning earthy essential oils, candles, or incense like sandalwood, cypress, cedarwood, rosewood, patchouli, cloves, black pepper, and ginger.

2. Repeat positive affirmations about safety. 

The repetition of affirmations helps set intentions for breaking old patterns and creating new ones. To open the root chakra, repeat affirmations that relate to home and safety. Here are some examples:

  • I am always safe.
  • I love my body. 
  • My home is safe and secure. 
  • I am financially secure. 
  • The universe will always provide for me. 

By repeating these statements, we begin to create new thought patterns, behaviors, and actions that align with feelings of safety and stability.

4. Practice postures that stabilize the root chakra

Yoga helps connect the spiritual and physical of the body through postures, called asanas. Connecting to the breath while holding asanas helps to release tension and open the root chakra. Such poses include mountain, squat, warrior, goddess, and child’s pose.

5. Reconnect with the Earth

If you, like many others, find it difficult to meditate while sitting still, you can try walking meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh recommends mindful walking to deepen connections with our body and the earth. We breathe, take a mindful step, and come back to our true home. You could practice mindful walking on the grass, sand, or dirt while barefoot to recharge your energy with the earth. This can also mean spending more time in nature, reconnecting with the earth.

5. Heal from the past insecurity.

Whether you feel safe now often has less to do with your current resources and more to do with how secure you felt as a child. Think of psychologist Erik Erickson’s stages of development. The first stage (trust versus mistrust) closely relates to root chakra development. Balancing the root chakra might mean slowly healing from events that happened in the past associated with home, family, safety, and security.

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5 Simple Meditations You Should Try Right Now
5 Great Meditation Apps to Help You Relax on the Go

ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.

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