Chakra 1 – Mooladhara (root chakra)


Mooladhara is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘root and support’ and is commonly referred to as the base or root chakra. It is located between the anus and perineum in a man or cervix for a woman. Mooladhara provides our body and mind with the Earth element and therefore with the qualities of solidity, structure and support at every level of our being. If the root chakra was out of harmony we would experience the feeling of being ungrounded, unbalanced and physically weak. Our thoughts would become confused, our mind would become unstable and our feelings fluctuate easily, because the grounding nature and solidity of our Earth element for some reason had become weakened.

The energy of mooladhara chakra flows downward in the direction of the Earth, creating a connection to the earth which enables a life giving vitality to enter our subtle energy system and maintain life. It has a contracting force like gravity which grounds awareness into the here and now, anchors it to the physical body and roots the body to its physical environment.. Like the roots of a tree, mooladhara provides an invisible bond to the wider earth, to our physical body, our biological history and tribal roots.

Mooladhara chakra is the energetic foundation of our chakra system and brings with it  the primal instinct to evolve and survive. It provides our personality with the motivation to succeed, with earthy vitality and an ability to deal with stress. It is immediate and essential in nature and governs the Adrenal glands which provide the adrenalin release to deal with stress and to protect ourselves in times of danger with a flight or fight response. People with a weakened mooladhara chakra are often in physical pain and fatigued, due to a lack of vitality and exhausted adrenal glands triggered by a constant stress signal from a weakened root.  Being linked to the basic essentials of this life, mooladhara is the survival instinct and the instinctual need for food, and security of a home and belonging to a tribal family group.

In the body mooladhara chakra is also responsible for the large intestine and our ability to excrete solids and toxic energy. Spiritually this means being able to learn from life experiences and not hold onto painful memories in some of them, especially associated to neglect and broken trust which are mooladhara issues. We learn to let go with a higher understanding, helping us to forgive, to take responsibility for our lives and move onward.

Mooladhara governs our sense of smell and the limbic system of the brain which is the most primitive aspect involved with self preservation and survival. The sensory organ associated with mooladhara is the nose, the sense associated to it is smell and the organ of activity is the anus. It also governs the function and development of the skeletal system upon which the body takes shape and is made firm, the legs in being a stable support structure for the body and its movement, and the feet being in direct contact to the physical earth. Mooladhara chakra is the link holding the blueprint and genetic inheritance of our biological family. So being the link to our physical body and blood link to our biological family, imbalances in the root chakra can manifest in the feeling of being disconnected from life, of not belonging to our own physical body, and to our family or society at large. So although the whole chakra system is an inter-dependent family, this root chakra is considered so vitally important because it is the foundation of all that follows.

Every chakra is more related to a particular phase of growth than the others and mooladhara is most active between our birth and 7 years of age. During this early period of childhood we are anchored to the physical world and the mother / father provider, learning safety, trust and the innate sense of belonging (or not). Mooladhara provides a level of awareness which is the deep unconscious aspect of our psyche and earliest part of our developed mind. As the deep unconscious and instinctual aspect of mooladhara is the most active energy of our early childhood, if this period was problematic in some way, our needs not me, trust broken, neglect or abuse in the family, then the child can lay unstable foundations not only in their psyche but also in its related areas of the body too. We may develop skeletal problems, exhaustive conditions, intestinal problems that seem to have no cause. We may develop problems with concentration, weak motivation and struggle in our ability to maintain good relationships with others due to deep rooted trust issues and fears. A weak mooladhara chakra will damage our ability to grow as a person, to provide and nurture, to go out into the world and fulfill our potential. Therefore its so important to work with Mooladhara chakra in our yoga practice again and again to strengthen the foundations of our energy and psyche.

During our yoga practice on mooladhara chakra, the attention is focussed more onto the stability of our postures, feeling connected and grounded to the earth beneath us, (our feet if we are stood up, bottoms if we are sat down, or body if we are laid down). The postures are designed to work on the related areas mentioned, the perineum, pelvis, spine, legs and also our balance and stability in the posture stimulating them. We are in fact enhancing the earth element of our being, grounding consciousness by taking our awareness from the head to the strong support systems of the legs, feet and earth.

Working on this chakra energy will make us feel calmer, stronger and more stable. A healthy root chakra will provide a person with natural enthusiasm, confidence and motivation, an ability to endure and keep going under stressful conditions. It produces a grounded person who is instinctive and vital; who feels a sense of belonging to nature and family. The strong and stable earth energy of mooladhara makes it a good focal point and antidote to stress and illnesses such as ME and other exhaustive conditions.

During our work on Mooladhara we will release the negative patterns related with its function, so its areas mentioned below in keyword associations may stand out in some way because these patterns are energy and as this negative energy is released it will manifest in the parts of the body it governs. Common symptoms are feeling ungrounded and chronic fatigue.

Knowledge of holistic therapy, healing reactions and the chakra system can help us to understand and integrate every single experience we have as part of our journey to greater healing and wholeness.

Keyword associations

Earth, Solidity, Structure – Trust, Home, Family, Belonging, Survival – Skeleton, Legs, Feet, Large Intestine, Anus, Sciatic nerve, Nose, Smell,  Adrenals  –  Vitality & Motivation