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Muladhara: the Root Chakra

Sarah is a certified Hatha, Vinyasa, & Kundalini yoga teacher. She is an artist who believes in the importance of living a creative life.

Red and gold acrylic painting representing the root chakra, by Sarah O’Brien.

Red and gold acrylic painting representing the root chakra, by Sarah O’Brien.

The Chakra System

There are many ways to view the life and health of a person. One way is through the chakra system. A chakra is a wheel or disc of energy that spins in a certain direction and at a certain speed. These energy centers are located in various locations through out the body. There are seven major chakras, however there are more. They are all over the body, and some even extend past the physical body. Although most of us cannot physically see these centers, we can perceive their effects in the same way that we cannot see the wind but we feel it against our skin and see how its moves the leaves. In this system, all of the chakras are connected and influence one another. This means, that if you heal just one of your chakras, you heal them all!

Digital art by Sarah O’Brien featuring a Sphinx statute and red abstract painting.

Digital art by Sarah O’Brien featuring a Sphinx statute and red abstract painting.

The First Chakra

The first chakra is known as Muladhara. This Sanskrit word can be broken down into mula, meaning "root," and adhara, meaning "support" or "base." It is commonly referred to as the root chakra and it is located at the base of the spine. You can feel your root chakra by lightly tightening the sphincter muscle (this is the muscle you would use to prevent yourself from making a bowel movement). This chakra, like the roots of a tree, provides a nourishing foundation and gives us a sense of safety. The root chakra governs our basic needs such as food and shelter.


Healing Through Color: Red

Each of the chakras are associated with a different color. The root chakra is most commonly associated with the color red. All colors have a specific frequency and vibration. One way to balance the root chakra is by working with the color red. You can mediate on the color red and visualize it in your mind. This visualization may be of just color or an object such as a bright red firetruck or rose. If visuzaling the color proves to be difficult you can also repeat the word "red" silently in the mind. Another fun way to work with color is to wear it! A bright red scarf or even simply wearing red socks (even if you can't see them) will keep the color and its corresponding frequency close to you and in your mind as well. Some other ideas would be hanging artwork with prominent reds or making your own art. You don't have to consider yourself an artist to do this. Simply cover an entire surface of a paper or canvas with red paint, marker, or crayon and display in a place where you will see it often. Contemplate other ways in which you can use the color red. Perhaps even incorporating more red foods into your diet such as cherries, strawberries, beets, and so on. You will soon find your own way of using color that best compliments your life and personality.


Healing Through Crystals

Crystals are a wonderful way to balance the chakra system. You can wear them as jewelry, keep one in your pocket, or display them in your home. Feel free to experiment with what works best for you. Just like colors, each crystal carries its own frequency and vibration. Generally, you guessed it, red colored minerals are balancing to the root chakra. Some stones commonly associated with the first chakra are red jasper, garnet, bloodstone, hematite, and cuprite. When choosing a stone for yourself, let your intuition guide you. What we are naturally drawn to tends to be exactly what we need.

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Healing Through Movement

Sometimes, the best way to release stagnated energy is though movement. The root chakra is all about being grouded, so consider all the ways that connect you closer or deeper to the ground itself. Walking barefoot on the earth is an excellent first chakra exercise. Walking has been shown to have many balancing effects on the mind and body, it is also a great way to connect to the earth itself. Yoga poses that incorporate squats with the legs will also facilitate bringing this chakra into harmony. Always honor your body by paying attention to both what feels good and any discomfort. Consider listening to drum music and dancing with movements that are low to the ground. Feel stable and enjoy any movement that naturally arises without judgement.


Healing Through Soud

Sound is an extremely powerful tool that can be used to harmonize all of the chakras. Sound is frequency and vibration. One of the most powerful tools of sound that we posses, is our own voice. Your voice is more unique than your fingerprint, and vibrates through your body. Try humming as you cover your ears, listen and feel the vibration resonate. From a yogic perspective, different sounds create different effects within the body. Chanting LAM can harmonize this chakra. You can also say affirmations out loud and notice how your body responds. Do you stand a little taller? Feel a little stronger and more confident? Try these affirmations below or write a few of your own!

I AM safe and secure at all times.

I AM supported.

I walk in my power.

I ground myself to the earth, and the earth supports me always.

I feel at home in my body.

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