"Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
- J.R.R. Tolkein
You've probably heard about the 7 chakras — the main energy centers in the body that run from the base of the spine all the way to the crown of your head.
You may even know where each of these lie — but do you know what they influence? Or how to tell if one of them is blocked? Or how to balance a particular chakra?
In this post, we'll take an in-depth look at one of the most blocked and most often tense energy fields in our body — the root chakra. We'll cover what the root chakra is responsible for, signs of a blocked root chakra, why balancing the root chakra is important and techniques of root chakra healing.
Table of Contents
- What is the Root Chakra?
- Understanding the Root Chakra
- Signs of an Unhealthy Root Chakra
- Psychological Signs
- Feeling Insecure
- Operating Out of Fear
- Lacking Support Systems
- Obsessing About Finances
- Trust Issues
- Lacking Authenticity
- Physical Signs
- What is Root Chakra Healing?
- Balancing the Root Chakra
- Root Chakra Exercise
- Root Chakra Yoga
- Root Chakra Meditation
- Root Chakra Healing Foods
- Root Chakra Earthing
- Root Chakra Essential Oils
- Root Chakra Herbs
- Root Chakra Bathing
- Root Chakra Healing Affirmations
- Root Chakra Catharsis
- Root Chakra Breathing
- Root Chakra Therapy
- Root Chakra Healing Crystals
- Choosing Root Chakra Stones
- Root Chakra Cleansing with Crystals
- Key Takeaways
What is the Root Chakra?
"Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots."
The first of the seven chakras, the root chakra is located at the base of the spine where the tailbone is and its energy is associated with raw instinct, fight or flight (survival), and safety.
The root chakra also called the "base" chakra, gives all the other chakras a strong foundation by nurturing proper energy flow in the body. When this first chakra is off balance, the effect can trickle up and affect the other energy centers in the body as well.
The root chakra is also called the Muladhara chakra — "mula" meaning root and "adhara" meaning foundation and is known to be the source of "Kundalini" energy, a vital energy force that rises from the base of the spine.
The root chakra is associated with the colors red and black, and its element is Earth.
Understanding the Root Chakra
It's important to understand what the root chakra does and how you may feel when your root chakra is balanced, blocked or overactive.
When most people talk about an imbalanced chakra they are often referring to it as being closed off, "passive" or blocked, but that's not always the case. Your root chakra may also be overactive, "aggressive" or excessive, which manifests differently than a blocked chakra, restricting energy flow.
So, to break it down energy-wise:
- Blocked root chakra: Not enough energy flowing in
- Overactive root chakra: Too much energy flowing in
- Balanced root chakra: Just the right amount of energy flowing in
Now let's take a look at how each of this would actually manifest in your life.
Balanced Root Chakra
When the root chakra is balanced you'll feel safe, grounded, confident and secured in reality. You'll have the courage to face whatever life throws at you. You'll feel worthy and be inspired to take on new challenges. If you're wanting to go after a major goal in your life, or are on the verge of starting something new, having a properly balanced and aligned root chakra is imperative.
Blocked Root Chakra
A blocked root chakra may cause you to feel fearful, suspicious and anxious. This anxiety may lead to feelings of insecurity, causing you to feel threatened, easily panic and even suffer paranoia. You may also experience low self-esteem and feel unhappy about your health, and constantly worry about your wellbeing. Blocks could also manifest as physical symptoms with pain in the lower back, fatigue, depression, anxiety, unhealthy weight, and constipation.
Overactive Root Chakra
An overactive root chakra can lead to self-centeredness, greed, bullying and getting angry at the smallest things. You may tend to get aggressive and become agitated easily. You may also be a workaholic or be prone to excessive hoarding.
Signs of an Unhealthy Root Chakra
"I am grounded. I am secure. I am worthy."
It's very common to have an imbalanced root chakra. Anyone who has ever faced trauma, struggled with finances, encountered tough times growing up, or experienced difficult life situations such as divorce or abuse, will most likely have issues with their root chakra.
At times, you may not even realize why your root chakra seems misaligned. Just remember that any life situation that can make you insecure can block the root chakra. It could be a break-up, a family conflict, a lost job, or the onset of a sudden illness.
Pay attention to your body, what you are thinking and what you are feeling, and this will help you to identify issues and start to heal the root chakra.
You can also start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do I have what I need to live comfortably?
- Am I struggling with finances? Or am I obsessed about money?
- Do I make decisions out of facts or fear?
- Do I feel connected to where I live, the people, my surroundings and nature?
- Are my roots strong enough to support me wherever I am?
- Do I constantly worry about my family, or have unwarranted fears such as the world ending?
- Do I have the courage to face my current life situations? Am I insecure?
A balanced root chakra will help you to feel at ease, secure and grounded. Imbalances can manifest both psychologically and physically.
Below we'll cover some of the sure-fire signs of an impaired root chakra.
1. Feeling Insecure
This is not a short-lived feeling of insecurity that can subside, like suddenly braking while driving to avoid an accident, but rather a constant lingering feeling of insecurity that persists and is constantly on your mind. This could mean worrying about your health, kids, finances or world peace. You may also tend to get paranoid about small insignificant things, that are inconsequential in the larger scheme of things.
2. Operating out of Fear
You may feel that you take abrupt decisions and operate out of fear or raw survival instinct, instead of taking the time to make more well-rounded and well-informed decisions, based on facts and perspectives. Fear actually becomes a motivating factor and driving force in your life, and this can happen when you feel you lack strong support systems.
3. Lacking support systems
If you feel you're constantly struggling and facing challenges in getting your primary needs met, meaning getting food on the table, paying the rent, and keeping a roof over your head, this can make you feel threatened, insecure and unsafe. Working on healing the root chakra can help you to identify this vicious cycle, empowering you to stay strong and rise out of your current situation.
4. Obsessing about Finances
When you genuinely lack support systems that's one thing but obsessing over money when you do have enough and feel like it's never going to be enough is something else. You're plagued by thoughts of becoming poor, losing everything, or you work extra-hard to pacify your constant anxiety. You may also panic when a family member overspends, or feel like you are the only one who needs to be in total control of the finances.
5. Trust Issues
It's hard for you to trust others and you tend to look at people or their intentions with suspicion. This could mean that you generally don't ask for favors even if you need them as your thoughts are clouded by this constant mistrust. The only person you feel you can rely on is yourself.
You may have an unwarranted reason to get anxious about your health, such as a fear of contracting a serious illness, like dying from cancer. This can then lead to lingering thoughts about what will become of your family and become a domino effect of negative thinking.
7. Lacking Authenticity
It's hard for you to be comfortable in your own skin, and so you find it difficult to be your authentic self in front of people around you. This could be because your foundation, upbringing or "roots" may not be strong enough to support you, no matter where in the world you live. This could mean you also often feel disconnected with people and even with your surroundings and nature.
Apart from psychological issues, you may also experience physical issues that indicate that your root chakra is out of whack. Some of these include:
- Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
- Racing heartbeat, restlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Eating disorders (binge-eating or starving)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Lower back pain
- Lethargy and constant fatigue
- Digestion issues
- Problems with your legs and feet (circulation issues, swelling, restless leg syndrome, cramps)
- Weight gain in the bottom half of your body (buttocks, thighs, and love handles around hips)
- Cold extremities (hands and feet)
What is Root Chakra Healing?
Energy healing work involves making sure that all the chakras, spinning wheels of energy in the body are functionally optimally. Balanced chakras mean your mind, body, and soul are working in alignment, optimizing you for success and helping to manifest your intentions.
"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light."
- Theodore Roethke
Imbalances in any of the chakras can lead to issues in the overall chakra system, causing discontent. Root chakra healing is especially important as it is the foundation for the rest of the six major chakras. By working on removing blockages, opening, clearing and activating the root chakra you not only strengthen that chakra but lay the groundwork for the rest of your chakras.
Balancing the Root Chakra
As discussed above, although each chakra is important to your physical, emotional and mental well-being, it's a good idea to start at the foundation — the root chakra.
Learning how to balance the root chakra can have a deep impact on your thoughts, how you feel and your overall sense of well-being.
Below we'll discuss various root chakra healing and balancing modalities that you can incorporate in your daily life, which can help you to feel grounded, boost confidence, drive motivation, dispel fear, instill a sense of security and cultivate happiness and contentment that will filter through all areas of your life.
1. Root Chakra Exercise
The first chakra is about the physical self, so any activity that makes you more aware of your body is encouraged to activate, strengthen and secure this chakra.
Physical activity is an absolute must if you're looking to balance the root chakra. This does not necessarily mean you have to work out in the gym but it can also be playing a sport you enjoy, doing martial arts, going for a walk every day, or performing daily household chores such as washing the dishes and vacuuming.
Exercising the perineum muscle (the area between the anus and groin) is also an effective way of stimulating the root chakra. Simply contract the muscle as you inhale, and relax the muscle as you exhale for 3-5 minutes. You can do this standing, walking or even while sitting in an office chair at work or watching TV.
2. Root Chakra Yoga
Certain yoga poses are also targeted to the root chakra and affect root chakra functioning. The standing Vrikshasana or "tree pose" and the lying down Balasana or "child's pose" are very effective for cleansing this chakra.
Watch the videos below (each under 2 minutes) to learn how to do these simple but effective yoga exercises:
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Child's Pose (Balasana)
You can also create a 'crystal grid' by placing root chakra crystals around your yoga mat. A crystal grid is a geometric placement of crystals that is highly effective for transforming the energy of a space. Your yoga mat then also becomes a 'sacred space' for you as you workout.
3. Root Chakra Meditation
You might think that meditation is an activity that does not really focus on the 'physical', but on the contrary, meditation can make you very aware of your body and is great for balancing the root chakra.
Root chakra meditation involves focusing on the specific area of your body associated with the first chakra, the area right under the tailbone, the energy center of the chakra.
Follow the steps below for root chakra meditation:
- Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Sit straight, close your eyes and breathe deeply as you relax your muscles.
- Focus on your breathing. Inhale as deeply as you can pulling the air up your abdomen, rib cage, and chest and exhaling it out in a downward motion.
- Focus your attention on the area of your root chakra, under the spine. Visualize a red glow emanating from this area and slowing expanding into the entire area. Feel for any tightness and as you do this feel the area getting warmer, looser and more relaxed. Imagine this red glow extending down your lower body, your legs and the soles of your feet, anchoring you to the earth.
- When ready slowly open your eyes and keep breathing until you are ready to get up and get on with your day.
You can combine root chakra meditation with crystals to amplify the effect. Simply hold the root chakra stone you want to meditate with, in your hands. You can also choose to lie down and place the stone directly on your root chakra.
4. Root Chakra Healing Foods
Incorporating foods associated with the root chakra can have a profound impact on balancing and aligning the chakra. It goes without saying that following a healthy diet will impact your overall well-being, but consuming certain foods linked to the root chakra specifically can be especially beneficial.
Protein: Foods high in protein are grounding, strengthening, and boost emotional stability (proteins are built of amino acids that control brain chemistry, directly impacting emotional health). Examples include meats, eggs, beans, tofu, spinach, and nuts.
Red-colored foods: Associated with the color red, these red foods are all base chakra balancers. Incorporate into your diet apples, tomatoes, antioxidant-rich red berries like cherries, strawberries, and raspberries, and pomegranate.
Root veggies: Eating root vegetables that grow in the earth keep you grounded and aligned. Think beetroot, sweet potato, garlic, ginger, carrot and more.
5. Root Chakra Earthing
Harnessing the elemental energy of the earth can be deeply balancing and relaxing in healing the root chakra. Get your hands (and feet) dirty by intimately connecting with the earth, through direct contact.
This means strolling in the woods, working in your garden, and walking barefoot in the grass — any activity that actually makes skin-touch contact with the earth is best.
Practice "earthing" which involves walking (barefoot) on the earth or grass to draw in the earth's energy and recharge your energy field. When walking, it's also important to consciously be aware every time your feet touch the ground.
If you don't have much greenery around you, invest in some indoor plants and make it a habit of watering and nurturing them daily.
6. Root Chakra Essential Oils
Earthy essential oils can be very helpful in grounding and balancing. Essential oils contain potent chemical plant compounds which are proven to cross the blood/brain barrier and influence emotions and biological body functions.
Aromatherapy using oils linked to the first chakra can instantly help you to relax and feel grounded. Diffuse the earth-scented or flower-based oils below to reap the benefits:
7. Root Chakra Herbs
Just like essential oils, herbs have also been used for centuries to heal. Herbs carry powerful vibrations, connecting us to the earth. They help stimulate the chakras and affect us on a physical and an energetic level.
Herbs help to detoxify, and different herbs can be used for different healing benefits. They can help with everything from boosting immunity, alleviating digestive problems, calming the mind, reducing stress and more.
There are specific herbs that can help to activate the root chakra and help in grounding. These include dandelion root, ginger, sage, cloves, and ashwagandha. Incorporate these herbs into your diet or drink a grounding root chakra herbal tonic or tea to reap the benefits of these incredible herbs.
8. Root Chakra Bathing
Water is an excellent cleanser, not just physically but also to cleanse out and eliminate stagnant, heavy energy.
Taking a shower or laying in a warm bath can be incredibly relaxing and an excellent way to clear up blocked energies. Mindful bathing can help you embrace who you are, and love yourself for who you are.
Adding earthy or flowery essential oils such as sandalwood or ylang-ylang, or salts to your bath can help energetically cleanse and release pent up emotions.
9. Root Chakra Healing Affirmations
Affirmations, which are basically positive statements that you repeat multiple times daily, especially in the morning when you start your day, can be very effective in opening and clearing blocked chakras. Affirmations work on the subconscious level, and can actually help to reprogram the thought patterns of your unconscious mind.
Research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that affirmations can "protect against the damaging effects of stress" and boost problem-solving.
Repeating affirmations targeted directly to the root chakra, as seen below, will help you clear this chakra and heal blockages.
Affirmations are also great when used in combination with crystal healing or while doing yoga poses, or even while taking a walk as you connect with the earth.
10. Root Chakra Catharsis
“The method of repression is to not express. If you feel angry, you don’t express it. You suppress it, you don’t allow it to come out. My method is quite the contrary. If you are angry, express it.”
The word catharsis means purifying or cleansing and is a process of 'release,' to find relief from repressed emotions. You can practice catharsis to let go of strong emotions such as fear and self-pity.
So for example, if you feel anger and keep it within and don't let it out, you may be a ticking bomb, ready to explode at any time. Instead, releasing this pent up energy through methods such as dynamic meditation, dance, crying, jumping and shouting may help to clear and cleanse out these blockages.
11. Root Chakra Breathing
When our root chakra is depleted it means we may not be deriving enough energy from Mother Earth. Breathwork is not just about breathing; mindful breathing such as the "pranayama" is actually energy breathing — it helps draw energy in, gives it direction and replaces what's missing in our energy field.
See this brief video below to understand how to use pranayama breathing to activate the root chakra:
Mindful breathing is an excellent way to feel grounded and a simple practice you should incorporate in your daily routine.
12. Root Chakra Therapy
Exploring the cause of your limiting beliefs such as your fears, insecurities, emotional pain and self-image, and getting to the root of your core beliefs to reflect and resolve them can be a deeply liberating process.
You can do this by daily reflection in a journal, talking to a trustworthy friend, reading self-help books or visiting a therapist. Reflecting on and discussing issues that will help to better anchor yourself in your surroundings, identify your authentic self, and empower you to discover your true aspirations will help to open your psyche from a mindset of scarcity to that of abundance.
By reprogramming some of your deep-rooted beliefs around money, relationships, and your body, you can find inner peace and balance and feel strongly grounded to face the world.
13. Root Chakra Healing Crystals
The use of healing stones for chakra cleansing can restore balance in the root chakra. Just like each chakra has its own frequency, each stone has its own vibration. Using root chakra crystals, you can restore energy deficiencies in a blocked root chakra, or balance excessive energy in an overactive root chakra.
The key is to pick stones (usually corresponding to the color of the chakra), which carry the matching vibrational frequencies of that chakra.
Root chakra crystals include red and black stones such as garnet, red jasper, bloodstone, carnelian, black tourmaline, hematite, jet, smokey quartz, black onyx, and rhodochrosite.
A chakra healing kit like the one below, has everything that you need to get started with root chakra healing and more!
- 7 Chakra Set Tumbled Stones
- Rose Quartz
- Amethyst Cluster
- Crystal Points
- Chakra Pendulum
- 82 Page E-Book
- 20x6 Reference Guide Poster
You can hold root chakra healing crystals in meditation, wear them as jewelry, place them in your surroundings, carry them on your body or use them for chakra cleansing.
Choosing Root Chakra Stones
Explore the root chakra stones below to see which ones work best for your healing purposes. You can also experiment with a few different stones to find the right one for you.
A green-colored stone with red "blood" like specks, bloodstone is an excellent cleansing stone that helps to unblock and realign the energy of the root chakra. Physically, it helps to improve circulation, detoxify and purify the blood. Bloodstone also brings confidence, promotes self-esteem, and is a powerful grounding crystal that helps to ward off anger, intolerance, and irritability.
15. Red Jasper
Struggling with insecurities and erratic mood? This stone is for you. Red jasper helps to draw out tension and stress and bring emotional stability. Wear red jasper to ease stress and connect with the grounding energies of the Earth. Red jasper also helps to eliminate negative energy and stabilize the aura, helping you to feel safe and secure.
16. Black Tourmaline
A must-have stone for cleansing and balancing, black tourmaline is a highly purifying stone as it repels and alters negative energy, within a person or space, making it the ultimate protection stone. It also works very well to ground excess energy, bringing balance and stability.
Garnet awakens the root chakra and helps bring security and stability. Known as the stone of passion, garnet activates both sexual and kundalini energy. It also stimulates courage while calming anxiety, helping you expel fears and empowering you to face life situations.
Hematite is a powerful stone with earthy energies that can help you to harness the power of the earth, dispelling negativity and bringing strength. The earth element is responsible for practical thinking, materialistic possessions, and decision making. Hematite can help to draw in these energies so you can think clearly and logically, problem-solve, and make better decisions.
19. Red Carnelian
Don't have the courage to step out of your comfort zone? A stone of courage, carnelian has strong vibrations associated with bravery and strength and will motivate you to keep going and stay strong. It helps to calm fears and build endurance, keeping you grounded and stable as you face the world.
Obsidian is a deeply protective stone and shields you from traits such as anger, anxiety, and fear. It also helps to clear up emotional baggage, allowing you to break free from your past and move on. A powerful grounding stone, it can reign in scattered energies, restoring harmony and bringing balance.
Root Chakra Cleansing with Crystals
A root chakra cleansing and grounding ritual is a simple but powerful way to connect with your first chakra.
Grounding yourself using root chakra stones can give you the energy and strength you need to give your very best in the present moment. This helps you to live with mindfulness today, and also plan for an optimistic tomorrow.
Choose your favorite grounding root chakra stone and follow the steps below:
- Cleanse your space and your stone by smudging with Palo Santo. This will draw out any built-up negative energy in your space and in your stone, prepping it for use.
- Stand barefoot on the ground, and as you hold onto the stone, close your eyes and breathe in. Imagine a glowing red light radiating from the stone. On every exhale visualize breathing out your fears, emotional turmoil, worries, and insecurities.
- Now visualize the glowing red light flowing through your lower body and flowing into the earth from the soles of your feet, which are firmly anchored to the ground.
- Do this for 5-10 minutes or until you feel calm and relaxed as if a burden has been lifted off your shoulders. End with a prayer or note of thanks.
- The first, 'Muladhara', or root chakra is located at the tailbone and is associated with raw instinct, survival, and security
- A balanced root chakra helps you to feel grounded, safe, confident and courageous to face your circumstances
- A blocked or overactive root chakra can lead to fear, insecurity, anger, over-work, panic, and anxiety
- Physical symptoms of a blocked root chakra include depression, fatigue, low back pain, digestive problems, and sexual dysfunction
- Root chakra healing is especially important as it serves as the foundation for all the other chakras in the body
- Balance the root chakra by exercising, yoga, meditation, eating foods and using oils and herbs associated with the root chakra
- Affirmations, connecting with the earth and focused breathing techniques can also help to activate the root chakra
- Performing root chakra cleansing using root chakra stones is an excellent way of clearing energy deficiencies and balancing excessive energy in this chakra
Awesome! Thanks for writing such a comprehensive post.