The Root Chakra

Muladhara Meaning

The Sanskrit name of the Muladhara Chakra is Prithivi. The name means root center because it is literally at the energetic root of your being. It can be felt at the base of your spine, although this energy can be felt in every cell of your body. We can visualize the nervous system as the roots through which we draw energy from the body into the chakra realm.

• Muladhara, the energy of compression, is the creative force underlying the material world, pulling particles together like building blocks to manifest the earth element.

• At the molecular level this energy is the strong integrative power that holds each individual atom together; the nuclear core of the material world.

• At the universal level it is the gravitational pull that holds individual stars and planets together, and creates what we experience as the gravity of the earth—that pull that keeps us on the ground.

• At the physiological level it is the force that empowers cells to gather nutrients for growth, as in children’s bodies where an abundance of this energy is required. Hormones and neuropeptides produced by the sex glands reflect this energy and distribute it throughout the body.

• At the psychological level thoughts stimulated are around the self, possessions, survival, and acquisition.

Chakra 1 Muladhara Mandala
Chakra 1 Mandala

ELEMENT = Earth

The earth element is the primary force in material creation. The energy / power of gravitation, (energy that draws in upon itself pulling in towards the center). It is a strong binding power that holds together the physical components of the universe. We could say that it is the force that holds the energy in patterns which give us the impression of physical matter. On the large planetary scale we know this force exists as gravity, a strong power that keeps the earth intact. This dynamic force is always influencing us on the outside, but it also affects us on an internal level. Just as we take gravity for granted, we often overlook the importance of this integrative power upon our physical beings. On the microcosmic scale, this same energy keeps each atom in our bodies intact and gives each cell its integrity, each organ its individuality; it gives us our individuality, keeping our bodies from melting into the ground beneath us. Once we lose that force we do in fact dissolve back into the earth. The Sanskrit name of this elemental force is Prithivi.

Muladhara Energy Vortex

Muladhara chakra is the name given to this center of energy in the Sanskrit language. The name means root center amongst other things, because it is at the root of your being. It can be felt at the base of your spine in its pure essence, though this energy is present in many areas of your body (each cell actually). We can visualize the nervous system as the roots through which we draw energy from the body into the chakra realm. Feeling this energy emotionally can be the beginning of developing confidence, which becomes quite strong as one works with many of the techniques supporting Muladhara.

hydrogen-atom-without-neutron muladhara root chakra 1 philosophy
Figure 1a

Quantum Understanding of the Root Chakra

All that is solid is held together by the force of this center. This works at the subatomic or quantum level, then upwards and outwards as these particles add up to become the building blocks we refer to as molecules, and these group together to become parts of cells, then complete cells. The cells group themselves into organs and glands, and these form an organized group that integrates into a complete body. All is made with the building blocks of the universe, and these blocks are held together with the same kind of energy: that primary force of Muladhara. Within the center of the blocks known as cells are the genetic patterns that determine what the form will be. Each cell has its own holographic image built in so that it “knows” its place within the structure. Similarly, each part of the body follows a development blueprint that is within its own core, while at the same time being part of the greater picture.

This idea of the small blueprint being part of the larger one, and simultaneously reflecting it, takes us back to the concept of macrocosm and microcosm, the atom being a small model of the solar system (Figs. 1a & b); the structure of the universe being reflected in our own molecular structure.

muladhara root chakra 1 philosophy
Figure 1b

If we look out as far as we can in every direction of space we see stars radiating energy towards us in the form of light. That is why we can see them, but they are also sending a wider spectrum of electromagnetic energy which we do not see. As these energy waves cross at various angles they create different phenomena here in the material world, and when that angle is 90 degrees the waves wrap around each other in a binding dance that creates atoms, and appears to us as matter. One of the primary symbols used for this energy bound together is the yellow square. Yellow is the color we see when we look at fire or the sun, so we may think of it as the color of energy in general.

Muladhara Chakra Symbolism

Another classic symbol used for one of the aspects of Muladhara by each of these cultures is that of the serpent. The snake, moving in waves like energy, was depicted in many scenes to tell the story of what energy was doing in a variety of situations. What we find in the first chakra symbolism is a serpent curled up and resting. In India it is curled up in three and a half coils and referred to as the dormant Kundalini Energy. The energy of the universe in motion takes the form of electromagnetic waves; when this energy condenses into matter, it spirals around itself, giving us the coiled of the serpent. In the material element of the earth we find the two crossing energy waves circling around each other in a vibrant cosmic dance that is contained and bound within every atom. This condensing effect is present throughout the body, though its impact is strongest at the base of the spine.

kundalini snake muladhara root chakra 1 philosophy

Physiological Energetic Connections to Chakra 1

As the root chakra, this energy is strongly connected to the coccygeal and sacral plexuses, as well as to the sex glands; the first of those being more directly related to the dormant force of Kundalini (it is called Junda in Sanskrit), while the latter is the more general area where this energy vortices. Note that many modern yoga books relate the sacral plexus to the second chakra. Swami Gitananda was specific in pointing out that Muladhara is definitely vibrant in the area from the sacrum to the coccyx. The contracting feeling of this energy is noticeable in a muscle that is held tight. In the center of the chakra it becomes the most solid form of bliss. In this case as in many, the experience is required to make the difference between theory and knowledge.


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Micah Lyn is an Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Instructor registered with the Yoga Alliance. She offers a variety of private yoga classes, therapeutic yoga sessions and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Los Angeles Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Trainings, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.

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