What is the Root Chakra? Activate, Balance, and Heal
This post is dedicated to all things root chakra, your body’s first energy center. This is the first of a seven-part series on the seven main chakras. For more information on chakras, including what a chakra is and an overview on the seven chakras, check out A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding and Unblocking Your Chakras.
Also, be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page for some awesome freebies! You’ll receive 35 free printable affirmations and 30 journal prompts to open and heal the root chakra. Don’t miss these powerful healing tools!
Discover More About Chakras
Discover more about chakras using the links below, plus get journal prompts and affirmations for each of your body’s main energy centers! And for deeper insight into chakras as well as guidance on profound chakra healing, check out my Ultimate Chakra Healing Bundle, which includes a Chakra Healing eBook, Chakra Healing Workbook, and 8-Week Chakra Healing Guide. You can also discover more in my online shop.
What is the Root Chakra?
To begin a series on chakras, it’s fitting to start with the root chakra for many reasons.
For one, it’s often called the “1st” chakra. Located at the base of your spine, the root chakra is the lowest energy center on your body. When you hear someone refer to 1st chakra, 2nd chakra, 3rd chakra, etc., this means they’re usually starting with this lowest energy center and working upwards.
But even deeper than that, the root chakra is your foundation. You can think of this like a foundation of a house, holding the house up and keeping it safe and secure. You might also compare it to the roots of a tree, keeping the tree steady, stable, and supported.
Without this strong foundation keeping these structures upright, any strong gust of wind could knock it down at any moment.
This is the same for us.
Why Balancing the Root Chakra is Important
We may not think of ourselves as having foundations because we are constantly moving.
However, even though we’re on the move, most of the time, we have one or more body parts, most often our feet, connected to the ground. This is our physical foundation.
Beyond our physical foundation, we have a foundation of basic needs we need to survive. You might think of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs here. At our most basic level, before anything else, we have physiological and safety needs, such as food, water, warmth, rest, security, and safety.
So without a solid foundation to support us, it would be difficult, likely even impossible, to fully meet our other needs such as intimate relationships and creativity.
This is why it makes sense to start with the root chakra. Because without a balanced root chakra, it would be nearly impossible to find balance in our other energy centers. Likely, some would become overstimulated while others would become understimulated.
It’s important to remember that even though these seven main chakras are all separate energy centers, they act as one complete system. When one is out of balance, it’s likely this will affect one or more of the others.
In this post, we’re going to cover all things related to the root chakra: signs of balance and imbalance, affirmations, journal prompts, how to heal an imbalanced root chakra, and various associated attributes.
Root Chakra Attributes
- Sanskrit Name: Muladhara (Mula: “root”; Adhara: “support” or “base”)
- Location: Base of spine
- Color: Red
- Body Parts: Legs, tailbone, kidneys, prostate, bladder, colon
- Symbol: Lotus with four petals
- Element: Earth
- Mantra: LAM
- Gemstones: Obsidian, Hematite, Bloodstone, Red Jasper, Black Tourmaline, Garnet, Onyx, Smoky Quartz
- Essential Oils: Cedarwood, rosemary, sandalwood, basil, and patchouli. (Earthy scents.)
Signs of a Balanced Root Chakra
A balanced root chakra is associated with feelings of steadiness, security, safety, and ease. Again, you can think of yourself as a tree with your roots firmly holding your place in the ground. The wind may come, but it will not bend or break your solid foundation.
We also associate a balanced root chakra with how our mind and spirit feel inside our body. Generally speaking, there’s a sense of safety in one own’s body. You can move with ease and feel secure just as you are.
Here’s a list of signs and feelings attributed to a balanced root chakra:
- Feelings of safety and security
- Feelings of being at ease in one’s own body
- Rooted in the present moment
- All basic needs are being met
- Firm in your place in life
Signs of an Imbalanced Root Chakra
As we associate a balanced root chakra with feelings of safety, stability, and ease in our bodies, an imbalanced root chakra results in feelings of instability, restlessness, and fear. This can manifest in many ways. For instance, when the COVID-19 pandemic started, one of the main news headlines was how people were hoarding items such as toilet paper. While this seemed unreasonable and greedy, believe it or not, it actually makes sense.
You see, the pandemic shattered a lot of people’s safe and stable foundations. Because of this, many overcompensated by trying to gain back a feeling of stability. Hoarding and greed are two ways we overcompensate when our foundations are shattered. So by hoarding extra toilet paper and food items, this was an attempt by many to restabilize their shaky foundations.
Here’s a list of signs and attributes of an imbalanced root chakra:
- Excessively negative
Physical Signs of an Imbalanced Root Chakra
An imbalanced root chakra doesn’t just affect our emotions; it affects our physical body as well. As this energy center is located at the base of the spine, an imbalance of energy most often affects the body parts and organs in the surrounding areas.
I just want to note that I often see “eating disorders” listed under the physical symptoms, and I listed it below, but as many of us know, an eating disorder is much, much more than a physical thing. This also involves our mental and emotional health. When our foundations aren’t stable, food is often used as a means for taking back control. Undereating and restricting food is often a way for one to exercise control over their lives, especially when it feels like the external world is completely out of control. Overeating can also be a result of an unsteady foundation, especially overeating comfort foods, as one looks for an easy way to bring themselves comfort in the midst of uncertainty.
But no two stories are ever the same, and I don’t want to oversimplify something as complex as an eating disorder. Here is more information about eating disorders from the National Eating Disorders Association.
These are some of the physical ailments you may experience with an imbalanced root chakra:
- Digestive Issues
- Eating Disorders
- Lower Body Pain
Root Chakra Affirmations
I absolutely love affirmations and try to incorporate them into as many areas of my life as possible. And luckily, it’s really pretty easy. Affirmations can be used pretty much anytime: when you first wake up, while you’re in the shower, as you’re commuting to work, while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, or before you go to bed at night.
To make the most of root chakra affirmations, first set the intention to balance your root chakra, and be intentional with your words. One of my favorite ways to use affirmations is to incorporate them into journaling, or even by keeping a journal solely for affirmations. The key here is to always use the present tense and to feel the positive emotions associated with the words as you repeat or write them down.
And for more grounding root chakra affirmations, check out my post, 35 Root Chakra Affirmations to Remain Strong, Steady, and Grounded. And be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to get your free printable affirmations and journal prompts!
- I am safe and secure.
- I am rooted in this present moment.
- I am grounded.
- I am exactly where I’m meant to be.
- It is right to be exactly as I am.
- It is right to be exactly where I am.
- I have everything I need.
- I feel safe in my body.
- My body takes care of me.
- I inhale trust and exhale fear.
- I am always supported and protected.
- I feel peaceful, grounded, and secure.
Root Chakra Journal Prompts
Journaling is one of my favorite self-care practices, and it’s a great method for healing chakras and realigning your energy. I like to journal for thirty minutes first thing after I wake up so I can set my intentions for the day and start the day off with some positivity. However, everyone’s journaling practice is different and personal to them. Choose the time that works best for you, and allot as much or as little time as you can allow, even if it’s just ten minutes.
And for more powerful journal prompts, check out 30 Journal Prompts to Open and Heal the Root Chakra. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this page to get your free printable affirmations and journal prompts!
- What in my external world helps me to feel safe? What about in my internal world?
- What does it mean to me to be grounded? How can I cultivate the feeling of being grounded in my life?
- In the middle of a busy and hectic day, what can I do to help myself to feel centered?
- Reflect on this statement: “I am exactly where I am meant to be.”
- Describe yourself as though you are a tree, with roots that keep you secure to the ground no matter how the wind blows.
- Are there any situations, places, or common experiences in my life that don’t make me feel rooted, secure, safe, and/or grounded? What can I do to help myself in these moments (or change the situation)?
- Visualize your highest self walking through a beautiful, open field with your bare feet touching the ground. Describe this experience, including how it makes you feel.
- Write a compassionate love letter to your body. Use affirmations to affirm that you feel safe, supported, and at ease in your body.
Activating & Healing the Root Chakra
Below are 8 powerful practices for root chakra healing. For deeper insight into how to open, balance, and heal the root chakra, check out my post, Root Chakra Healing: Open & Balane the Root Chakra.
When you feel like one of your chakras is imbalanced, color therapy is one of the most common and prominent ways to bring that energy center back into balance. Color therapy is immersing yourself in the color associated with that chakra. For the root chakra, this means immersing yourself in all things red. Eat red food. Wear red clothes. Light red candles. (If they’re earth-scented, that’s even better.) If possible, surround yourself with as many red items in your immediate environment as possible. You could even have some painting materials on hand for these moments. Let your inner creative come out and paint an image entirely in the color red.
Affirmations journaling is especially powerful in these moments. Affirm to yourself that you are safe and secure and exactly where you are meant to be. You can also use any of the journaling prompts above. I also like to visualize that I’m my highest and most authentic self and write as my highest self. For the root chakra specifically, you can write as your highest and most centered self living your safest, most grounded life. Describe the feelings of being secure in your body as well as feeling secure in the present moment.
Walk Barefoot in the Dirt
The root chakra is associated with the earth, so this is the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature and let your bare feet touch the ground. Of course, this may be more difficult for some depending on where you live. If possible, try to find a place to immerse yourself in nature for a bit. Our nature is truly our foundation, so this allows us to (no pun intended) get back to our roots.
Each chakra has associated yoga poses to help heal imbalanced energy. For an imbalanced root chakra, choose poses that allow you to feel balanced and safe. Some poses might include Mountain Pose, Downward Dog, Tree Pose, Lunge Pose, and Warrior II.
Here’s a great video from Yoga With Adriene specifically dedicated to the root chakra.
For an unguided root chakra meditation, visualize a glowing red light at the base of your spine. See that light get brighter as you inhale and bigger as you exhale. You might also visualize a red lotus flower at the base of your spine.
Here are some root chakra guided meditations using the free Insight Timer app:
- Root Chakra Love by Hannah Devries
- Root Chakra Therapy by Cory Cochiolo
- Root Chakra Meditation by Sarah Da Silva
I mentioned this one in the journaling section, but if you’re unable to sit down and write, repeating affirmations either silently or aloud is a powerful practice. You can do this while you’re getting ready for the day, showering, commuting to work – anytime, really. You could also combine this with other practices on the list, such as taking a walk in nature.
Use crystals associated with the root chakra to activate this energy center. A powerful way to receive the healing power of the crystal is to hold it during meditation. You can also carry crystals around with you during the day. A few examples of gemstones associated with the root chakra are obsidian, hematite, onyx, bloodstone, red jasper, black tourmaline, and garnet.
Here’s a few more posts to help you get started with using crystals and gemstones to heal the chakras:
Use earth-scented essential oils, such as cedarwood, rosemary, sandalwood, basil, and patchouli.
With any of the practices above, don’t forget to be intentional with your actions. For instance, if you light candles or use essential oils, do so with the intention to heal or activate your root chakra. Then, let these intentions be your guide as you take the next right step in balancing your energy centers.
For more information on how to use essential oils to heal the chakras, check out my post, A Guide to Essential Oils for Chakra Healing.
And there you have it: how to activate, balance, and heal the root chakra, plus journal prompts and affirmations to help you on your journey! Have any other questions about the root chakra? Leave a note in the comments below!
For more more chakra resources, plus uplifting affirmations and self-love encouragement, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram!
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Hi, I’m Zanna! I’m a blogger/freelance writer living in Boise, Idaho. My mission is to help you break through the barriers holding you back from accessing infinite abundance and to inspire you to gather the courage and confidence to follow your dreams.