The first chakra is our foundation, the seat of the physical body. As the root chakra, it is the root for the other six major chakras as well as connecting us to the earth. It’s located at the base of the spine, and is more internal for women than for men.

The 1st chakra corresponds to the tail bone and the lower lumbar vertebrae. It’s heavily connected to our bones and the whole body. The constant gravitational pull from the earth through your legs is how we stay grounded and rooted and healthy. Someone with a weak 1st chakra will often look as if their legs don’t reach the ground.

Many of us have the feeling of “not wanting to be here,” mainly because our first chakra is dysfunctional, even though it may seem that it’s because we have such incredible life problems.

Our body’s trillions of cells house so much wisdom from our ancestors, and our “home” in our solid bodies gives us security and protection.

Key root chakra issues are safety and trust, nourishment, health, home and family. Distortion in this chakra typically show up in the adrenal glands, and at the base of the spine, legs and feet, bones, the rectum, immune system (which shows up in a higher chakra also), and the spine.


• Difficulties in utero or during the birth experience
• Any kind of abuse—physical, sexual, emotional
• Any kind of surgery or major illness
• Accidents, especially car accidents (including witnessing an accident), natural disasters, and crisis like the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles, 9/11, Katrina, and the tsunami in Indonesia
• Experiencing or witnessing any kind of violence
• Moving, especially before the age of 18
• Abandonment, like when a parent leaves the family or your partner suddenly splits


• Do I sometimes feel like I’m not really here?
• Do I have trouble keeping my focus and being disciplined? • Do I tend to be fearful and anxious?
• Do I have any phobias?
• Am I restless and can’t seem to settle down?
• Do I lack organizational skills?
• Am I physically weak?
• Would I really rather not exercise?
• Am I unreasonably resistant to change?
• Am I on cruise control a lot, preoccupied?

If a chakra is dysfunctional for a long period of time, a disease condition will frequently show up in that same area.


• Eating disorders
• Issues with legs, feet, or tail bone
• Rectal or colon cancer
• Immune system problems
• Osteopenia, osteoporosis, or any other bone disorder • Adrenal insufficiency

The 1st chakra is all about survival—our need for food, shelter, safety, sleep. If our survival is threatened in any way, our adrenal glands give us an extra burst of energy and heightened awareness so we can escape. That’s why the adrenals are connected to the 1st chakra.

These days, chronic stress can keep our adrenals stressed. Are you under chronic stress? Do you live in a stressful situation like:

• The job from hell?
• The relationship from hell (partner, in-law, child, etc)? • Unbearable housing situation?
• Constant multi-tasking?

It is not necessary or advisable to try to remember a traumatic event that you have repressed since childhood. All that is needed for healing is to know how you feel today. If you really want to explore old traumas, work with a qualified therapist or practitioner.

We live in a very ungrounded culture, thinking even natural processes like elimination, sex, birth and breastfeeding are somehow “dirty.” In the words of Joni Mitchell, we’ve taken Paradise and put up a parking lot.

We’ve lost touch with the earth. We:

• Ignore our internal clocks
• Sit in traffic on freeways
• Spend too much time in electro-magnetic fields
• Work and live under artificial lights
• Spend little time outdoors, connected to nature
• Don’t know what it means to live in the present moment

Do you really wonder why so many of us are on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication? To help your first chakra, you can:

  • Spend 5-10 minutes outside every day.
  • Walk outside at least once a week in nature.
  • Walk barefoot.
  • Sit with your back against a tree, or hug atree.
  • Do yoga, Pilates, martial arts, bone-buildingexercises.
  • Meditate for at least 15-20 minutes a day.
  • Gently stretch your body, breathing into areas of pain and stiffness.
  • Focus on your breath—even 1 minute gets you in touch with your body.
  • Get regular massage, touch is so essential. Foot massage is especially grounding.

    Grounding Exercises:

    1. Get a massage or give a massage.
    2. Sit down and do absolutely nothing for 5 minutes. Just look out the window. No conversation, TV, music, or other stimulation. You may be surprised how hard this is.
    3. Ride a bus or train standing, without holding onto anything. This is one way to test your core strength and your ground.
    4. Put on a CD of drum music and dance barefoot.