Muladhara Chakra or the root plexus is the first chakra in the evolution of man. It can be activated by various means including mudras, asanas, mantra and visualisation. Each chakra has a physical, mental and spiritual aspect. It is relatively easy to activate / awaken the Muladhara Chakra. Some of the standard methods to awaken Muladhara are listed in this article.
How to awaken Muladhara Chakra?
Few techniques to activate Muladhara Chakra from Hatha Yoga and tantric texts are mentioned here.
Muladhara chakra is related to the earth element. The earth element represents the sense of smell. In tantra, Muladhara is related to the sensory cortex in the brain pertaining to smell.
Nasikagra Drishti (also known as Agochari Mudra) can be done in any comfortable sitting posture like Padmasana, Siddhasana, Vajrasana, Sukhasana, etc. Keep the spine straight and place the palms on the knee. To start with, gaze at the tip of the nose for few seconds and breathe normally. If there is any discomfort in the eye muscles, relax and release the gaze. Try it again and again, till you are able to gaze at the tip of the nose without any discomfort for a long period of time. You can hold the breath also for short durations. When practicing for long durations, just breathe normally and slowly.
Nasikagra Drishti not only helps to awaken Muladhara chakra, but also improves concentration and induces higher states of meditation.
Mula Bandha is another Hatha yoga method to awaken Muladhara chakra. Mula Bandha or the root lock is classified under mudras in the classical Hatha Toga texts. For doing Mula Bandha one has to know the location of the Muladhara chakra. In males, the chakra is located in the perineum, between the anus and the genitals. In females it is located near the opening of the cervix.
Sit in Siddhasana or any meditative pose like Padmasana or Sukhasana. Inhale and contract the chakra location (perineum in males and opening cervix in females), hold it for as long as it is comfortable with the breath held inside and then release it. One can also use Jalandhara Bandha (Chin lock) along with Mula Bandha. While releasing, release Mula Bandha and then Jalandhara Bandha. This is practice of Mula Bandha.
The other way is to rhythmically contract and release the perineum (or cervix in females) with holding of breath. Practice this for few minutes. This can also be done when you are relaxed and sitting on a chair.
Esoteric Tantric Visualisation and Worship of the Chakra
In Kundalini tantra, every chakra is esoterically described as a flower with many petals. Each chakra also has many other aspects like Bija Mantra (seed letter mantra of the chakra), letters on each petal, presiding deity, deity related to the element and many other aspects.
In tantric tradition, each chakra is visualised and worship is offered to each part of the chakra using mantras and hand mudras. This has to be learned from the qualified kundalini master.
Description of Muladhara Chakra from the tantras
In tantra, Muladhara is esoterically described as a flower with four petals, crimson in colour. On the petals is found the seed letters Vam, Sham, Shham and Sam written in golden colour. In the centre or pericarp of the flower is a yellow square symbolising the Bhumi Tattva or element of earth and is surrounded by 8 spears. Within it, in the lower part is the Bija or letter Lam. Inside it is the Bija of Indra, with four arms and seated on elephant Airavata with 7 trunks. He is yellow in colour and has the thunderbolt in his hands. In his lap, is the Child Brahma, who is red in colour and has four faces and four arms in which he holds staff (Danda), gourd (Kamandalu), Japa mala of rudraksha beads and gesture of dispelling fear.
Inside the pericarp of the flower there resides the Deity of the Muldahara Chakra called Dakini. She is red in colour and has four arms
On the elephant’s back, in the centre of the yellow square is a red inverted triangle. The inverted triangle symbolises the feminine force or Shakti or Goddess. This Shakti or Goddess is Tripura. Inside the triangle is a Linga or symbol of Shiva which is smoky in colour. Coiled around the Linga is the Kundalini Shakti in three and half coils, as lustrous as lightning.
There are various tantric traditions to visualise the chakra and offer worship to each element present in the chakra. These practices have to be learned from a qualified tantric master. It is passed on only from Guru to disciple in a sacred atmosphere.
In some traditions, worship is offered only to the letters present on the petals of the chakra (Vam, Sham, Shham and Sam in this case) and the main deity associated with the chakra to awaken the Muladhara Chakra.
In any case, mantras and hand mudras for worship has to be learned from a proper master who has been initiated through a lineage and is beyond the scope of this article.
Breathing through the Chakra
Another easy way to awaken the Muladhara chakra is to breathe through the chakra. Sit in any meditative pose with spine erect. Breathe normally. Take you attention to the location of the chakra (Perineum in males and cervix in females). Take a slow and deep breath and imagine that you are breathing in through the Muladhara chakra and then breathing out slowly through it. Continue this process for 5 to 10 minutes. When we breathe through our nostrils, we feel the air coming in and going out. Same way, visualise and imagine that air is coming in through the chakra and going out through the chakra. This is only a visualisation. This process, helps to remove lot of blocks and to awaken the Muladhara chakra.
Seed Mantra Chanting and concentration on chakra
Yet another way to awaken Muladhara chakra is to concentrate on the location of the chakra and chant the seed syllable mantra of Muladhara chakra, which is – Lam. Sit in any comfortable meditative posture with spine erect. Chant mentally the Bija mantra Lam very slowly and with full awareness. Continue the chanting and concentration on the chakra as long as you are comfortable. One may start from 5 minutes and go up to 1 hour of this practice.
Listed above are just few of the standard methods used to awaken Muladhara chakra and in no way exhaustive. Methods may vary according to traditional and lineage and may include use of mantras, sound frequencies, hand mudras and other Hatha yoga and meditative practices. Select the methods that suite you the most.