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In pop culture, tantric sex has become synonymous with long-lasting sexual encounters. Yet tantra is so much more than sex; it’s actually a part of everyday life.

A key principle of Tantra is the chakra system – places of energy in the body. There are seven chakras, which all affect both our physical and emotional well-being.

Today we’re going to focus on Muladhara or the root chakra.

Muladhara: the root chakra

In theory, muladhara is the root of the body’s energy and plants us to the ground, just like the roots of a tree. It develops between conception and puberty, making it the first chakra to fully mature.

Characterized by the color red, the root chakra represents our survival instinct and sense of safety.

An open root chakra means a person feels vivacious, and energized.

When the chakra is closed we feel frustration, depressed, and anxious along with having a loss of energy and vitality.

Impact of a closed root chakra

When the root chakra is closed, or imbalanced, it can impact the state of your mental health leading to anxiety, depression, or even anger and rage.

If the root chakra is blocked, it may be because of a trauma you experienced at some point in your life – especially if it happened in childhood. Early traumas shape our survival mechanisms and defense mechanism, and when left unresolved, they can lead to mental illness.

The root chakra becomes blocked when our fight or flight response is triggered. When a person feels threatened the first thing that happens is the anus contracts and tension radiates throughout the body. Generally the body relaxes when the threat is gone, and the root chakra reopens.

However, a trauma is so emotional that it can jam the root chakra and leave emotional energy trapped. If left unresolved, muladhara won’t open all the way, and opens less and less with each unresolved trauma.

 

Sex and the root chakra

We know that sexual issues often develop in childhood. And we know that childhood trauma, especially sexual trauma, can take its toll.

For example, the painful intercourse many girls describe the first time they have sex, is mostly psychosomatic. The pain is caused by the fact that she thinks it will hurt, so she fears the pain. The body prepares for the pain by closing the root chakra, which tightens the muscles of the pelvic floor and reduces vaginal lubrication, which causes the pain and bleeding.

Ultimately it hurts, because she thought it would hurt.

Yet that hurt has set a precedent. Because she experienced pain during her first sexual encounter, she associates pain with sex. She will anticipate pain the next time she has intercourse, and thus the body will have the same reaction.

This recurring pattern of sexual dysfunction will not be resolved until she is able to open her root chakra.

How to open the root chakra

#1 Connect with your body

The first step in opening the root chakra is focusing on that part of the body. The root chakra is located at the base of the spine called the coccyx and can be accessed at the perineum.

In women, the perineum is located between the vaginal opening and the anus.

In men, the perineum is the space behind the scrotum and the anus.

Start by touching the chakra with your hand by placing and resting your hand on the perineum and breathe. With each breath retreat into that part of the body.

#2 Rebalance the body

Remember that the root chakra is the foundation of your body’s energy, so engaging the core of your body with physical movement like exercise, dance, or yoga can help.

#3 Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in your mental health and physical well-being. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, or even controlling your emotions. That is not a state conducive to rebalancing your root chakra.

#4 Stimulate the chakra

The chakra responds to touch, heat, and vibration. A warm shower helps cleanse the chakra and pampering your physical body with a massage can help the flow of energy in your body.

#5 Meditate

Meditation is a practice designed to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. As you mediate, bring the breath all the way down to the root chakra to focus your awareness and rebalance muladhara.

At the Center for Holistic Mental Health and Sex Therapy, we use both tantric principles and Gestalt therapy to heal the body and mind. Learn more about how we can help you.

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