The chakras (meaning wheel or cycle) are culmination points for nadis (channels) of prana (energy or lifeforce). A useful analogy when considering chakras is to envision nadis as highways, filled with cars (prana) and the chakras are the intersections and roundabouts where these highways meet.
The chakras reside on the sushumna nadi, which is the central channel of energy that is aligned with the spinal column.
Let’s look closely at the base chakra.
Known as the base or root chakra, this can be visualised as being located at the floor of the torso or base of the spine. It is the seat of our primal energy.
This is our foundation and if it is imbalanced the prana is not able to easily flow freely throughout the rest of the chakras and beyond. You may even be able to feel the subtle energy changes when this chakra is out of balance.
Muladhara connects us to our instincts, the physical world and is our place of security and survival. It unites us to our ancestral heritage, family conditioning and patterns.
It presides over our sense of belonging, particularly in a tribal sense, our personal boundaries and financial and material security and goals.
It has the element of earth and kundalini (Divine cosmic energy) is said to reside here (we’ll explore Kundalini in future posts) and governs all forms of elimination from the body and the kidney, bladder, large intestines, rectum, anus, legs, bones and teeth.
The residing deity for this area is Brahma, who is a powerful creator God that is believed to create the Universe when awakened through four layers of sound.
Some of our deepest existential fears and survival anxieties can reside in this chakra space and it is here where we realise our most basic level of self awareness, known as the “me”. Your first seven years of life are concerned with the base chakra.
Each chakra possesses its own yantra, which is a symbol used as an instrument to connect to the deeper meanings of the chakras. The muladhara chakra’s yantra is often depicted as having four vermillion coloured petals, with a seven tusked white elephant in the centre. The elephant is often accompanied by the kundalini symbol of a coiled serpent. The petals each represent a state of bliss: bliss of union, highest bliss, innate bliss and heroic bliss.
Here are some practical ways that you can increase the vitality of your base chakra:
- exercise and diet
- explore nature
- create a safe and comfortable home space
- wear red
- get more sleep
- sit/lie on the floor
- wash your feet
- direct your breath into this area
- practise moola bandha energetic lock
Asanas that fortify muladhara:
- Tadasana (mountain)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog)
- Vkrsasana (tree) (visualise the roots of your tree growing into the centre of the earth)
- Malasana (squat/garland)
Images that represent the essence of the chakra:
- tree roots
- red circle
- clay pot
‘The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground’, Buddha.