Muladhara, the root chakra is located at the very end of the spine and is activated by the perineum and pelvic floor. Being the root chakra, Muladhara is associated with the element of earth. Its qualities include survival, family, primal, and materialistic concerns.
Muladhara is the epitome of groundedness, or the feeling of being well-established—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even economically. The glands associated with Muladhara are the reproductive glands—the ovaries and testes, which serve as a function of procreation, fundamental to survival.
When Muladhara is out of balance you may feel unstable, unhealthy, or disconnected. Frequent traveling or moving, illness, and money or family concerns can all contribute to an imbalanced Muladhara chakra. Through yoga, this chakra can be rebalanced to help reestablish your stable ground.
The Prana Vayu, or quality of life force, governing Muladhara is apana—the downward, outward movement of stagnant energy. As we exhale apana is carried out on the breath, helping to ground us. Asanas, or postures, that serve to balance Muladhara include standing postures, which can only be practiced through the establishment of firm contact with the ground. Legs Up the Wall pose is a grounding restorative posture that can also be practiced for extended periods if desired. In meditation, chanting the mantra LAM brings your awareness to muladhara chakra and visualizing the yantra, a golden square, is what balances Muladhara, bringing about its grounding qualities.
When feeling disconnected in any way, begin by focusing on your connection to the ground, and to the aspects of your life that feel steady. Without a grounded Muladhara chakra, our prana flow is impeded. To encourage the rise of Kundalini energy up the central Sushumna nadi, or the main energy channel that runs up the spine, begin to establish groundedness in your life and yoga practice by balancing Muladhara chakra.