The first in our monthly series covering the seven energy centres of the subtle body.
The First Chakra – Muladhara (Root of Existence)
Location: Base of the Spine / Perineum (some traditions believe the root of the chakra to be in the tailbone, the “flower” of the chakra extending into the pelvic floor and legs)
The First Chakra is primarily involved with our physical form. Our body, our health and our survival. It relates to our ability to look after ourselves – recognising and meeting our needs, creating safety and security from which we can explore, and maintaining a healthy body so we can thrive.
A healthy first chakra allows us to be grounded. When we are grounded we can be present and focused, standing on our own two feet, feeling safe and socially engaged. Without grounding we are unstable, and often lose our balance, fly off the handle or lose our grip on reality. Being grounded is an essential prerequisite to spiritual experience – it provides a foundation from which we can begin to safely explore higher states of consciousness. It is also a vital component of resilience, our capacity to recover from stress. In the modern world, with its emphasis on the mind and increasingly sedentary activities such as watching TV or spending time in front of a computer, many of us have become woefully disconnected from our body and therefore lack sufficient grounding.
The development of the First Chakra is said to be most influenced by our time in the womb and the first year of our life. The easrly relationship with our mother is key. If the mother was anxious about the pregnancy, or not wanting to be pregnant, or in an unstable relationship, then an imbalance in the First Chakra may develop. Similarly where the child’s needs are not met for whatever reason in the first year, where the parents have issues about meeting their own needs, having an overly anxious mother, or an inattentive mother can all cause issues with the First Chakra, None of these issues are insurmountable – they just mean that you will have to work harder to balance this centre, to stay grounded, safe and to meet your needs.
Bones, teeth, immune system, large intestine, legs, rectum, & adrenal glands.
Basic needs, grounding, security, survival, trust, self-preservation, calm or fear, habits, unconscious, elimination.
Grounding, nourishment, trust, health, home, family, prosperity, appropriate boundaries.
Obesity, sciatica, lower back pain, constipation, frequent illness, issues with the legs, feet, knees, base of the spine and buttocks, problems with bones or teeth.
Good health, well grounded, the ability to be present. Comfortable in the body, a sense of trust in life, feeling safe and secure. The ability to relax and be still. Stability, prosperity, a healthy relationship to money and possessions. Self-acceptance, loyalty, stability. Healthy relationships and boundaries.
Disconnection from the body. Underweight. Fearful, anxious, restless, unable to settle. Poor focus and discipline. Financial difficulties. Poor boundaries, and chronic disorganisation. Distrustful.
Obesity, overeating. Hoarding, greed, material fixation. Sluggish, lazy, tired. Fear of change, addiction to security, rigid boundaries. Selfishness, unable to let go, obsession. Feeling burdened.
Food, gambling, shopping, work.
Cedar, Clove, Cypress, Marjoram, and Myrrh.
Agate, Black Tourmaline, Bloodstone, Garnet, Obsidian, Ruby, and Smoky Quartz.
Physical activity / exercise. Reconnect with the body (learn to listen to the body and be embodied). Lots of touch and massage. Examine your earliest childhood relationship to your mother. Healthy eating including lots of root vegetables and red coloured foods (beetroot, sweet potatoes, chilli). Work with the feet, eg foot massage or walking barefoot on the earth, sitting with your feet touching the ground, being aware of the feet as you walk. Embodied meditation, being present in the body. Eating salty foods and avoiding sweets. Earthy smells. Spending time in nature and gardening. Dancing, Tai Chi, Yoga, TRE, running and walking. Leg based exercises.
Crow Pose, Chair Pose, Frogs (all squatting postures), Body Drops, any standing postures or seated forward bends, mulbandh / root lock, Spinal Flex, Savasana, Table Pose, Gyan Mudra.
Mantra (Bij or Seed):
Lam (pronounced Lum) – meditate on the tailbone, perineum, pelvic floor, legs and feet – inhale and exhale silently (or out loud) Lam into the area. Become aware of the sort of energy that exists in this part of the body.
Sit in a comfortable meditation posture, hands in the lap. Pull in the Navel Point and apply mulbandh / root lock. Mentally view the entire body. Scan through each area and every cell systematically. As you do this your mind will send many thoughts. The thoughts will be whatever is associated with the feelings and memories stored in that area of the body. The subconscious will also release thoughts. Each thought will naturally invite you to action or identification. Don’t get caught up in the thoughts, stay neutral and let them go. Whether the thoughts are true or false does not matter. Simply witness the process and free the body to be neutral and present and healed. Continue for at least 3 minutes.