The root chakra is the first chakra, located at the base of the spine, between the tailbone and the pelvic bone. It is based in the earth element and is associated with grounding and the feeling of safety. This chakra lays the foundation in your life. It is associated with your basic needs in life as well as your physical identity and security. When you feel unstable or unsupported, this is the chakra that deals with those issues.
When your root chakra is out of balance you will feel like you are constantly in survival mode. With a constant feeling of insecurity, everything seems to be risky and this attitude can dominate everything in your life related to the root chakra. A blocked root chakra elicits fear based behaviors and an overactive root chakra elicits greed based behaviors.
A person with issues related to their root chakra may be excessively negative or critical. They may seem extremely greedy and avaricious. Eating disorders relate to the root chakra. The person feels the need to control their food intake in one form or another to provide the feeling of security that they are missing from a blocked or overactive root chakra.
The root chakra is also called Muladhara (Sanskrit: मूलाधार). The positive attributes are strength, vitality and growth. The negative attributes are laziness, self-centeredness and domination by your desires. The four functions of the psyche – mind, intellect, consciousness, and ego – originate from Muladhara. Being that this is the foundational chakra, everything starts from this chakra and expands. That is why it is represented by red and and upside down triangle. Red is the color of movement and activity, and the upside down triangle represents starting from one point and expanding outward and upward. The triangle pointing downward also represents spirit connecting with matter, or rooting itself in the earthly existence.
To open and clear your root chakra, typically you want to engage in earth related activities or connecting with nature, such as hiking or gardening. Anything that provides a feeling of stability to your life helps to improve the condition of your root chakra. You want to get rooted in safety and security in life. A few simple yoga poses you can try are Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Legged Forward Bend), or Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II). Chanting the mantra sound of Muladhara LAM while meditating on feelings of safety and security, imagining shining light clearing and activating your root chakra, getting brighter and making it spin quickly is another manner you can use.