Root Down to Rise Up: Muladhara (Chakras 101, Part 2 of 9)

In Yoga philosophy, it’s taught that we have four natural instincts. Yep, only 4.

Food. Sleep. Sex. Self-preservation. That’s it.

These are our base instincts – the things that we’re designed to focus on as human begins or we won’t live for very long (or help to advance the species via having children i.e. sex).

When we’re babies, our base instincts drive our actions: there’s a lot of sleeping + eating involved, and we stay close to our parents to ensure we’re safe. Our sex instinct kicks in later on in life, but then becomes a major focus for decades.

So what does all this have to do with the chakras?

Chakras 101 @

There’s no better way to start than from the beginning or the “base” – the muladhara chakra. Being the “Root Chakra”, muladhara is associated with your base instincts + accomplishing or obtaining them on a regular basis. This is your wild, cave-man/woman chakra, if you will.

From tall buildings to our very own posture, you know that if you don’t have a stable foundation, the entire structure will crumble, so before we you live the vibrant, active, revolutionary life you dream of, you have to make sure your base is established.

As with all of the 7 chakras, each chakra has a specific location along the back of your body, along with associated body parts, colors, natural elements, sounds, senses, asana poses, + key physical/mental symptoms to tell if that particular chakra is spinning efficiently (instead of slow or out-of-control).

Meet your Root Chakra – Muladhara:

Location: 1 inch above the tip of your tailbone

Associated Body Parts: Pelvis, lower belly, digestive system (including the act of elimination), legs, feet

Color: Red

Element: Earth

Sound: LAM

Sense: Smell

Focus: Survival, grounding, stability, identifying with you body + its needs

When Spinning Slowly, you may feel: Fear, anxiety, jealousy, envy, resistance to structure, spacey, flighty, restless, inability to sit still, anorexic or underweight

When Spinning Too Quickly, you may feel: Slow, sluggish, resistant to change, greedy, “workaholic”, obsessed with material things or excessive spending, obese or frequent overeating

When Spinning Efficiently, you’ll feel: Faith, trust, patience, hopefulness, safety, comfortable in your own body, grounded, in overall good physical health

We’re only 1 chakra into this series + I’m sure you can see how easily your Root Chakra, with a focus on the most basic instincts, can be spinning slowly or too quickly from day to day, hour to hour. The only thing you can be sure of is that change will continue to happen, but how you react to that change is 100% within your control.

If you experience any of the symptoms of your muladhara chakra spinning too slow or out-of-control, there are a number of easy + delightful things you can do to help it return to spinning efficiently:

  • Wear Red: A little or a lot. Each time you see red, it can remind you to focus on the simple things (the base instincts) to make sure that you’re most basic of needs are covered before venturing forward.
  • Go Outside: Take a walk around the block or through a park, remove your shoes + feel your feet on the grass, spend more time around trees. We spend so much time away from nature in this modern age that there’s even a medical term for it now: Nature Deficiency Disorder. A great time to take a short, casual 5-10 minute walk is right after you finish a meal – doing so helps to stimulate digestion (also a focus for your muladhara chakra!).
  • Repeat LAM: Whether you do this during your meditation practice, Yoga practice, or while you’re sitting at your desk, on the bus, in your car … anywhere is good! LAM is the bija (seed) sound for the muladhara chakra + repeating it to yourself in your mind helps to balance the energy of your muladhara chakra (you may even feel a sensation, warmth, or increased sense of space in the area around your muladhara chakra). You can also repeat LAM out loud, but it’s even more effective when repeated within your mind.
  • Helpful Asana: To ensure your muladhara chakra is spinning efficiently, it needs to be challenged, which means that the most helpful postures are those that open up your pelvis (especially your hip joints + low back) and put your balance to work. Suggestions: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog), Tadasana, (Mountain), Trikonasana (Triangle), Utkatasana, (Chair) , Vrksasana (Tree), Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Seated Forward Bend)

Take a nice deep breath in … and then let it all go. This can be a lot of info to take in + the chakras are a great subject to come back to from time to time to freshen up on the facts + see where you might need to make some changes to boost the efficiency of your spinning chakras.

Up next: Svadhisthana a.k.a the Sacral Chakra (stay tuned!)

Catching up? CLICK HERE to read part 1 in my Chakras 101 series



What’s ONE new thing you learned about your muladhara chakra today? (If you’re learning about chakras for the first time, what’s ONE thing that you found the most interesting?)

COMMENT below, share your thoughts, + join the conversation!

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