a blog by Ellen Davies

The Root Chakra: What grounds you?

The Root Chakra: What grounds you?

The first chakra, the Muladhara (or root) is associated with issues of grounding, survival, stability, and self-sufficiency. When this chakra is open and balanced, we feel a sense of belonging. We deserve to be here and to be happy. 

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From time to time, we can lose our sense of groundedness. Sometimes we’re too busy living our lives online, relying on social media to fill a need. 

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Maybe we aren’t grounded because we numb ourselves to reality. If we are in denial about things, for example, then we are not fully secure. Admitting denial can be painful, not least because we have to be humble and admit we were wrong. “All those times I said I was fine, that everything was fine? I was wrong.” 

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Experiencing big changes in our lives also makes us feel ungrounded and unstable. Moving, divorce, death—any of these can knock us off balance and leave us questioning our place. Even happy events like marriage and the birth of a child can do this. 

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The root chakra is associated with our basic, primal instincts and our survival. In terms of our five senses, this chakra draws on the sense of smell, because smell helps most with our survival. Think about how you might sniff food in order to check that it is safe to eat, or even when you notice that a situation doesn’t “smell right.” 

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The root chakra is associated with the element of earth, and by now you can probably guess why—because it is all about grounding and stability.

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Physically this chakra includes the legs and feet. When you think about your survival and stability, that means standing on your own two feet, right? Think about a time when you had a physical problem with your legs and feet. Sprained ankle? Knee pain? Plantar fasciitis? These are all related to issues with the root chakra. 

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You might be skeptical about this at first. (I know I was.) Let’s say you sprained your ankle. Let’s say you were walking down the city street and accidentally tripped on the curb, and boom—sprained ankle. You could blame it on the crumbling pavement, or wet pavement, or even your shoes. But if you really think about it, there might be something else going on in your life. Maybe your lease is about to expire, and you don’t know where you’ll live when it does (instability). Maybe you’re worried about money (survival). Maybe you just moved to a new city and are having trouble adjusting (feeling grounded). 

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It is a big step when you are able to go back and pinpoint a situation that may have caused the physical issue. This leads you to a new level of awareness. 

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So what do you do with the information? How can you heal and rebalance the root chakra? Here are some suggestions. See what works for you. 

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Practice yoga asana. Most of the standing poses in yoga can help you feel grounded, such as Mountain, Warrior, Pyramid, Lunge, Triangle, Angle, Chair, and balancing poses like Tree. Focus on the feeling of connection to the earth. Press down through your feet as you practice and notice how that can make you feel both firmly attached and lighter. 

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Connect to the earth. Any time spent outdoors in nature is good for rebalancing the body’s energy. If possible, try walking barefoot, and be fully present with that sensation. Meditate on your connection to the earth. Think about drawing the earth’s energy up from your feet and legs and into your body. 

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Practice mindfulness. Is there a situation in your life right now that you are avoiding? Sometimes things happen and they are upsetting or stressful, so we push them away. Or we might numb ourselves to deal with it, or deny it exists altogether. If we can sit and breathe and be in the situation, often this can help ground us again. Brené Brown calls this “embrace the suck.” As in, the situation sucks, but if we stay with it and allow ourselves to be fully present, then the energy can flow, the emotion passes through us, and new insights come in. 

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Meditate. Set a timer for at least two minutes. (Most of us can successfully meditate for two minutes, but if you can go for 10 or 20 minutes or longer, go for it.) Breathe deeply. For a mantra, use the affirmation for the root chakra: “I am stable.” You can also chant the bija mantra (or seed mantra) for the root chakra, which is “Lam.” 

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Study the bible or other spiritual texts, and let their ancient writings offer comfort or guidance. Many bible verses (the Psalms in particular) have been set to music, so listening to music or singing is also a way to ponder the scriptures. 

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What grounds you? If you are feeling unstable and insecure and overwhelmed by big changes in your life, you probably already know, at some level, what you need to do. The problem is stopping the world so you can find the time, right? But deep down, you know what to do. Give yourself permission to do what you need to do. 



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