Standing Your Ground: How to Clear and Work with Your Root Chakra

Root Chakras

Do you have financial worries? Trouble finding or keeping a job? Is fear one of your primary emotions? Are you easily swayed by other’s opinions or ideas about how to live your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions — and at times I could have said yes to all of them! — then it’s possible your root chakra isn’t operating at its fullest potential.

The good news is, you can do a lot yourself to create health in your first chakra, and you can also work with a healer or intuitive to help you identify distortions or lack of function in this most basic and most important of chakras.

Root Chakra Basics

The root, or first, chakra is located in the area of the perineum or coccyx (picture a cone of energy directly between your legs). Also known as the base, or Muladhara, chakra, this energy center develops fully in our first year of life and governs all of our survival needs. In this stage, we are utterly dependent, and our fundamental, subconscious learning about trust and mistrust happen now. The time from conception to the first year sets a template for the first chakra that can impact us our whole lives.

The first chakra governs our instinctual patterns, all our habits — especially physical ones — and how well we can create a safe environment for ourselves. Our connection to abundance, nourishment (on every level), and physical health are all territory of the first chakra. So too is our ability to ground and create boundaries.

The color associated with this chakra is red. It governs the adrenal glands, the kidneys, and the spinal column. This chakra is, in a sense, the foundation upon which the rest of the chakras build.

Common First Chakra Problems

Our chakras, as energy centers for our entire body — physical, astral, emotional, mental, and spiritual — can function in a variety of ways. They can be balanced and healthy, deficient, distorted, or in excess. When I look at a client’s chakra, I can see if the chakra is misshapen, tilted up or down, if the structure has broken down, and how the energy is moving. 

A balanced first chakra will create a balanced person that is able to provide for themselves and nourish his or her own needs. The person will have energy, stability, and a connection to his or her right livelihood, along with a sense of trust in his or her self and the world.

If a person is fearful, mistrusting, and has the energetic defense of leaving his or her body when threatened, it is likely the chakra is deficient — not taking in enough energy. Likewise, if there is trouble maintaining good financial flow, it means the chakra isn’t performing to its potential. If I have a client who struggles to survive day to day, the first place we look to heal is the first chakra.

Excess shows up as overeating or obesity, sluggishness, rigid boundaries, averse to change, and even a hoarding mentality.

Using Your Intuition to “Talk” to Your Chakra

The good news is that there is much we can do to aid an ailing first chakra. And anyone can have first chakra issues, even those who have an ideal start in life. My first request is that you don’t judge yourself if you think your root chakra needs attention.

You can work with a practitioner to strengthen and balance your first chakra, and there are easy techniques to use yourself as well. With my clients, I teach them to “talk” to their chakras and use their intuition to find out what is needed.

To talk to your chakras, you need only a bit of quiet time and a space to be alone. Whatever meditation practice you have will work to relax you and get you into a receptive alpha brainwave state. If you don’t have a way to relax and tune in, try just watching your breath for a few moments, listening to quiet, inspiring music, or visualize walking slowly down a staircase. You can also try, when seated, looking up with your eyes to the ceiling (keep your head even, just look up with your eyes). Eventually, you will notice your eyes wanting to close; let them. At the same time, let your breath deepen. Now you are in an alpha state.

Next, simply make contact with your first chakra. Say hi! Tell it you want to understand what it needs and ask it for its wisdom about whatever your issue might be. You can speak silently or aloud. Even if you feel silly, allow yourself to make contact. No one is watching.

If you can, visualize your chakra. What does it look like? Is it round and full? Bent to one side? Deep red or rusty brown? Get a sense of how the energy is moving. Clockwise? Counter-clockwise? Not moving at all? Just trust your first impressions even if they don’t make sense. Then, visualize your first chakra outside of your body. Imagine it sitting across from you. Ask more questions, and ask for guidance. It’s almost like your chakra is another person, sitting in conversation with you. Let yourself enjoy this process and don’t judge it. Make a note of any impressions you get — no matter how small or strange.

One Client’s Experience

My client Peter came to me for an energy healing. He was habitually out of work, lived in a cabin in the hills with no utilities or in his truck, and typically had hugely fluctuating money issues. He was very spiritual, and at one time had been a monk. He was also highly educated, smart, and quite funny. But he was depressed about his life.

In the session, I found that Peter’s first chakra was still — meaning it was neither taking in or throwing out energy — and also quite rigid. There was a basic distrust of the physical world, of money, and women in particular. Over several sessions, I worked with his first chakra structurally and gave Peter a toolkit to work on his own. This included yoga postures, some breathing techniques, and working with specific crystals.

I also taught Peter to talk to his chakra. He was able to bring valuable information back to our sessions. He recognized, for example, that his mother’s mental illness during her pregnancy with him was impacting him now, and we created a ritual to forgive and release this energy.

By learning to talk to his first chakra, Peter was able to learn to take care of his own needs and not be dependent on a healer. We have check-ins, but I’m happy to say that Peter is much more grounded in his own power — which is the point!

Ways to Strengthen the Root Chakra

Physical activity is one of the best ways to strengthen either a deficient chakra or energize a sluggish one. Dance, running, or walking in nature are great. Weight training, especially for the lower body, is beneficial too.

Yoga poses and breathwork are incredible for all the chakras. The standing poses, especially warrior and balancing poses, squatting, and spinal flexing is recommended.

Personal growth work in the area of grounding, forgiveness of those who have abused your trust, and gently confronting fears are all of extreme benefit. Tapping, or emotional freedom technique, is perfect for working on fears and prosperity issues. A psychic advisor or healer can help identify past-life bonds that need to be cleared or other energetic issues associated with early childhood. Working with a Hakomi or another type of somatic therapist is excellent too.

The flower essences of mariposa lily, oregon grape, evening primrose, or chicory are helpful to address trauma and neediness that stem from childhood issues. Flower essences harness gentle but powerful plant energies and are available at most natural food stores or online.

The gemstones of moss agate, amber, bloodstone, red jasper, and obsidian are some that address root chakra issues and all have grounding qualities.

Wearing red, practicing and rewarding yourself for small acts of courage, and taking baby steps to cultivate trust in life are all doable and effective actions.

As always, it’s important to listen to your own intuition and body. If you feel you need help, get it! While most of the above suggestions are quite gentle, be aware that plants and crystals have powerful energy too. It’s always best to work with a guide or teacher if you are unsure what is best for you. Psychics can often guide you to the specific tools that will work best for you.

If you feel like your root chakra isn’t working to its fullest potential, an advisor on Keen can help.

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