Our body has the very first chakra called Muladhara, or Root chakra. This Kundalini power or SHAKTI passes through various energy vortex or centers i.e CHAKRAS. As Kundalini pierces through these CHAKRAS and moves upwards, an individual discovers a new facet of being, higher level of consciousness and gains control over his sense and motor organs. Knowing about the chakras is the beginning or knowing our own body.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the first CHAKRA and discuss its properties and components as described in various Scriptures like SHATT CHAKRA NIRUPAM, Lalita Sahatranama, Vijyan Bhairav Tantra and explained in commentaries of various learned Gurus of Yoga. This is the entry point for a practitioner who wants to unlock the full potential of human consciousness.
MULADHARA; MOOL= ROOT, ADHAAR=BASE
COLOR- RED like VERMILION
LOCATION- the base of the spine, near anal sphincter below genitals
LOTUS- 4 PETAL
DEITY-Brahma, Shiva, Shakti, Airawat
DIRECTION- All eight directions
ORGANS- EXCRETERY ORGANS
BEEJ MANTRA- LAM / LAANG
BENEFITS of Muladhara Chakra
HEALTH+KNOWLEDGE+SPEECH+BLISS; One who works assiduously on this chakra which shines with the brightness of thousands of suns, gets command over Speech. This person gets to enjoy the benefits of great health and becomes receptive of knowledge that leads to the path of enlightenment. As this chakra is energized one gets detoxified of physical and mental toxins thus feeling pleasantness and purity inside. Command over speech helps in worshipping Gods and Goddesses with hymns of praise, love, and gratitude. The fruits of such SAADHNA or worship further enhance the joy of devotees.
The KUNDALINI POWER represented by a serpent residing at MULADHARA CHAKRA in a dormant state is coiled three and a half times. The Face of the serpent is facing downwards. Downwards because normally all our life energy is flowing downwards towards the sexual center. Sperm or ovum is considered to be the final product of anything that we consume. The tendency of Sperm is to flow out after a certain limit.
The four sound that resonates in the chakra are VAM, ZAM, SHAM, and SAM but it should not be misinterpreted by its BEEJ MANTRA. BEEJ MANTRA being associated with the element root chakra embodies is LAM, that of earth. Just Like earth holds everything this chakra provides a base or platform for growth. While four resonating sounds are depicted by bright golden color, the BEEJ MANTRA is considered to be Yellow Colored.
As there is 8 direction in total, this chakra is surrounded by 8 tridents or SHOOLS.
Importance of Mother Earth: Element of Muladhara/ Root Chakra
Out of the five elements that constitute this physical body, this chakra is the seat of element Earth. Earth is defined as the mother to all living creatures, providing all necessary means of livelihood, nourishment, and procreation. The food we eat, the water we drink, gravitation that helps us stay grounded, forces that allow are various body movements on the ground, water, and air, wood that we need for construction and fire, all metals and minerals are gifts from Earth. Similarly, Muladhara provides the very foundation of the Physical aspect of life.
Issues due to Imbalanced Muladhara/ Root Chakra
Suppose a person suffers from vertigo, what will be his condition? That person cannot maintain proper balance while standing or sitting. Walking a few steps will make him dizzy and he would fall on the ground. The person with such a condition will not have any confidence traveling a distance leave alone compete in a race. Not being in equilibrium with the gravity will always keep him disoriented, dependent, disinterested in surroundings, and low on passion to perform.
Exactly is the case with a person whose Muladhara is not balanced. A constant feeling of being aloof, uprooted from the beauty of existence, unattached to people, and nature. Not being able to take control with confidence, ambiguous about the next step or stage of life. Always trying and failing to maintain balance in all aspects of life, fear of falling before trying something new becomes the main problem area with unbalanced root chakra.
Apart from this identity crisis, a weak ego structure, becoming accident-prone, and dependent personality syndrome stems from imbalance. The behavioral pattern of such an individual shows the excess sexual activity as a person finds himself in constant need of glorification depending on intimacy with others. Frequent panic and fear attacks, inability to focus, and to still become a common day to day trouble too.
Since no endocrine gland is located in the vicinity of this energy whirlpool, the adrenal gland, sitting atop kidneys, is most often associated with it. Epinephrine and norepinephrine excreted from these glands activate the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) response.
So along with the psychological issues, at a physiological level, the common symptoms are eating disorder and obesity, hemorrhoids, constipation, sciatica, knee trouble, bone disorders. These symptoms can lead to more specific diseases such as Anorexia, obesity, osteoarthritis, autoimmune disease, kidney, and spinal issues, fatigue, cancer, and AIDS.
Ways to Balance the Chakra
MUDRA- SHIVLINGA MUDRA and MAHAVEER MUDRA
As Shivalinga, in the chakra, on which the serpentine energy is coiled by default, is facing downwards indicating the flow of energy. It is but natural to use this hand posture to activate and invigorate the sleeping power. This Mudra helps remove all carbonic gases from muscles, makes blood circulation rapid, and keeps cervical nerves healthy.
Mahaveer should not be confused with the founder of Jain Sect, it’s a name for Lord Hanuman too. Hanuman is considered as an epitome of great power, selfless service, unwavering faith, and complete surrender to the divine. Once Hanuman, innocently asked Devi Sita Why His revered Lord Ram gives more attention to her than him. Devi Sita laughed on Hanumans’ innocence and said it’s because the vermilion she puts on her hair attracts attention. Taking it by heart, Hanuman poured a sack of vermilion color on his body, dancing and chanting the name of his beloved Lord Ram, he went into a state of divine bliss. Corresponding the vermilion to red color of the root or Muladhara chakra and fist mudra of Mahaveer to the power of devotion, this Mudra is very beneficial for Root/Muladhara balancing.
All though there are four sub sounds as there are four petals of a lotus at Muladhara or Root chakra, the sound LANG/LAM is the essential beej (seed) mantra. The utterance of this beej mantra brings the entire physical and Etheric body in balancing resonance.
ASANA (Yoga Pose) for Root Chakra
As root chakra is at the base of the spine near the anal outlet, all posture that allows hip opening should be practiced. To receive energy from Earth, cross legged sitting positions like
- Padmasana The Lotus Pose
- Siddhasana The Accomplished Pose
- Swastikasana The Auspicious Pose
- Sukhasana The Easy Yoga Pose
Postures should be practiced.
- Baddha Konasana the Bound Angle Pose
- Malasana The Garland Yoga Pose
- Rajakapotasana The King Pigeon Pose
- PRASARIT HASTPAD ASAN
PRANAYAMA (Breathing Exercises)
KAPAALBHANTI meaning illuminated skull area. Although, it is traditionally not considered pranayama, a cleansing activity like NETI kriya. Kapaalbhanti has a tremendous effect on all three abdominal chakras. A light massaging internally happens as the person focuses on exhalation more than deep inhalation. Sitting in a cross-legged posture, keeping a finger in one of the above-mentioned mudras, gently closing the eyes, and exhaling forcefully from nostrils is the simple and effective way of energizing your Muladhara or Root Chakra.
With each exhalation, the lungs squeeze, lifting the diaphragm upwards and hence pushing the muscles around the navel inside. Repeated practice of this technique not only cleans lungs from CO2 but also helps in any knot at physical or energy level to open. This practice also improves digestive and excretory functions allowing unrestricted flow of energy in the lower abdominal area.
BANDH for Muladhara Chakra
BANDH or locks are of significant importance in Chakra Cleansing and Kundalini awakening. Usually, three Locks are considered very important as per traditional texts. First is JALANDHAR or NECK lock, second in UDDIYAN or abdomen lock and the third one is MOOLBANDHA or ROOT lock. These three can be practiced together or separately. For root chakra, second and third are more important. When you sit in a cross-legged posture, try to exhale as much as possible. Now, keeping focus at the navel region, try to pull in the stomach muscles as if trying to press the navel towards the vertebral column. Holding the position for 10-15 seconds and then inhaling gently and relaxing the muscles is called UDDIYAN or abdomen lock. Similarly, after exhaling, trying to pull up the muscles of the perineum and holding it for 10-15 seconds is called the MOOLBANDH or ROOT lock.
Understanding the Muladhara Chakra should be the first step for a practitioner. Once the anatomy and symbolism are clear, only then a deep dive into practice is advisable under a learned Guru. Balancing methods can be varied like Pranayama, Asanas, Mantra, Sound, crystals, Guru’s grace or combination of two or more such techniques. An important point is the receptivity and conviction of the person taking the path.