Grounding the root chakra
Updated: Nov 25
Grounding the Muladhara Chakra is an essential exercise, for the body and mind, that should be done on a daily base.
Like a tree that is rooted in soil, to prevent falling over and not dying we also need to tend to our connection with the earth. Grounding for humans is done energetically. It helps us to prevent restlessness, feelings of insecurity, living in fear, and being short-tempered or reactive.
I have been walking barefoot everywhere I go ever since I arrived in Thailand, 6 years ago. In early 2021, I found myself experiencing more and more injuries and pain around my feet and legs. I got quiet and asked myself ‘why is this happening, what is the reason for this?’. A voice from within came forward suggesting that I should sit and meditate more in order to ground myself.
A lot of research has been done on the benefits of walking barefoot. It is not only beneficial for the physical body but also for the subtle body, otherwise known as the energy body.
The subtle body is where the chakras are located.
People I connect with often describe me as being very grounded and down-to-earth. It’s true that my behavior and way of thinking is well trained and practiced when it comes to this sense of calm and grounding but I don’t always feel this way. Quite often, I experience restlessness, fear, and insecurities. Like many, I am very good at hiding these feelings and am able to avoid showing them to the outside world. But then, when it comes to physical problems, it’s not as easy to hide. When I was struggling with my feet and legs, I could no longer hide that I was having problems with being grounded!
I was eager to resolve this issue so I got quiet and asked myself again, “What do I need to do in order to ground myself more?” I got the feeling that I needed to meditate more. Which I did. I sat still more. I slowed down. No running and rushing from place to place. But I didn’t feel a difference and couldn’t understand… should I meditate even more?
In June 2021, I read about a Vipassana meditation retreat that was to be held here in Koh Phangan. I avoided signing up for a while, but something within kept telling me this was something I needed to do. It seemed unavoidable. I had to go there. I had to go deeper into meditation, my practice at home wasn’t deep enough.
During this retreat, I got an insight - into a grounding exercise that helped me more than any other similar exercise. I sensed it would help me to heal my feet, legs, knees, and kidneys. It would bring me more safety, security, and rest.
Like a tree
Your physical body is similar to a tree. Your legs are like the roots, your hips and core like the trunk, your arms and head like the branches.
When tree roots are weak, the tree is then weak as well. Everything above the roots is affected. When the roots are strong and firm, then everything above is aligned and healthy.
In contemporary society, people experience life predominantly from their heads. Because of the frenzied state of the world, this causes them to allow themselves to be influenced and led by fear and insecurity. We are losing grounding because we spend so much time focused on feelings coming from within, like anxiety and worry, but also, and most especially, on things projected onto us by the outside world – through media or the opinions and views of family and friends.
When we are properly grounded – standing strong, firm and connected to the earth like a tree – it is much more difficult to lose our sense of security and balance. When others project their fears or insecurities onto us, we are less likely to become ungrounded or uprooted because we are more connected to our sense of self (our core), which empowers us and gives us strength to trust in ourselves, our beliefs, our needs, etc.
The wind can blow as hard as it wants, when we are firmly rooted it has no effect. The same goes for us humans when it comes to projections from others. These projections are sure to blow our way, day in and day out, but, as long as we remain grounded, they cannot sway our personal balance or sense of self-assurance.
To make yourself stronger than you are now, ground yourself more! Shoot energetical roots out from under your feet, down into the ground. As you become more attuned with your connection to the earth, you will notice yourself standing more firmly on the ground and projections from outside yourself will have less of an effect on how you feel within.
It’s not possible to be completely immune to feeling triggered or affected by the outside world. If and when something does get to you within, try using the mindfulness technique while meditating. This will help you to make note of what is happening within you so that you can simply make note of it, acknowledge it and let it pass away.
The Grounding Exercise
You can do this exercise from anywhere. You don’t need to be directly connected to the earth itself. This can be done indoors (at home, in an apartment, in a skyscraper tower, or even while you are on a flight) or outside in the garden, at a park, on the beach, etc. It really doesn’t matter where you are while you’re feet are connected to the ground. When you visualize roots going through everything below you, into the ground, then you become energetically connected to the ground beneath you.
Some people find this exercise easier to do standing up but it really doesn’t matter because the roots you will visualize are not physical, they are manifested energetically. If you find it easier to do this outside on the earth, you are free to do so.
Personally, I recommend taking your shoes off when you do the exercise. I would even go so far as to advise everyone to walk outdoors without shoes more (and indoors as well). In the West (when I still lived in the Netherlands) I noticed a lot of people wear shoes even when they are at home. If you were meant to wear shoes on your feet, you would have been born with footwear on your feet! Shoes are great if you have to cover long distances when you walk, or if you need to cross hot stones and coarse, rocky terrain. But otherwise, you are meant to roughen up your feet and remain connected to the earth.
After taking off your shoes, place your feet fist-width apart.
Stamp 2-3 times firmly on the surface so that you can feel where you are standing.
Bring your thoughts and attention to both of your feet at the same time. If you can’t concentrate on both, start with one foot and then the other.
For this exercise, we divide the sole of your foot into 4 points (see photo).
We connect points 1,2 and 3 to the ground.
Then we connect 1,2,3 with point 4.
After this, we connect point 4 to the perineum.
The perineum is the area between the genitals and the anus.
This is where the Muladhara chakra is located.
After you have stamped your feet, bring your thoughts to the left foot in point 1. You should feel a sensation as you concentrate on this area in your thoughts.
The sensation can be heat or maybe tingling.
Visualize point 1 taking root in the ground. Once you feel the surface beneath you sucking your foot into the ground at point 1, then you have validated point 1.
Now you proceed to point 2 and repeat the steps from point 1.
After point 2, you go to point 3 and repeat the steps.
Once you have validated points 1, 2 and 3 by visualizing roots pulling you into the ground, then we can connect these 3 points with point 4.
Continue visualizing points 1, 2 and 3 going into the ground.
After getting the 3 points to 4, visualize a line (root) going from point 4 to the perineum.
You should feel sensations in your feet, leg, and body. They may be the same or different in each area.
After you’ve done your left leg, repeat the exercise with your right leg. If you are able to do both feet at the same time, please do so.
Try doing this exercise daily for 10-15 minutes.
In the beginning, it takes 10-25 minutes to do this but, depending on how much you practice, you may notice that you will eventually be able to do the exercise in 30 seconds to 1 minute. At first, it takes a while to go over the points and connect the roots but the more you practice, you’ll notice that turning your attention to each point will lead to an automatic energetic connection with the ground.
Do this exercise regularly and you’ll notice yourself becoming more rested, you’ll have fewer problems with your legs and feet, and your kidneys will also feel less tension which positively affects your ability to manage feelings of insecurity and fear.
After you have done this exercise for at least 3 weeks and are able to speed up the process, you can do the follow-up exercise.
If you find yourself struggling to experience sensations in the body, or if you’re not able to bring your awareness to each point, try the Body Scan meditation first. This might give you more clarity and understanding of how sensations can be felt in the body.
Follow Up Exercise
After you have the grounding exercise under control and are able to shoot roots in the ground from all the six points as soon as you think of them, all while connecting the four points to the perineum, then you might be ready to continue on to this follow-up exercise.
Place your mind, your focus, on your adrenal glands. They are located on your kidneys. Then connect each adrenal gland to the perineum. If you are able to do both at the same time, please do so. If not, first connect the one and then the other.
After doing this, remain focused on this connection for some time: the 6 points in the ground, the 6 connected to point 4, point 4 connected to the perineum, and the adrenals connected to the perineum.
Now bring your awareness to the perineum and visualize one large root growing out into the ground.
Keep standing in this position for as long as it feels comfortable for you.
Enjoy the exercise 🙂