Friday, September 11, 2009

Root chakra- Muladhara- Grounding, not just for rotten children anymore.

In Western culture today, speaking energetically as well as on other levels the human species seems to be becoming more and more ungrounded. As we move away from family dinners and stable homes we create new challenges for our species to find ways to be a part of something physical and real as we move deeper and deeper into our own thoughts and the imaginative world created by society around us.

The Root Chakra Summarized:
From a yogic viewpoint, looking at the 7 main chakras in the body, assessing for deficiencies and excesses as chakras are known to have, its pretty common to find issues in the Root Chakra in many Westerners. The Root Chakra, located at the area of the tailbone, is our power center for all our physical needs for survival, food water, shelter and in today’s society money which is necessary to meet these needs. The Root Chakra provides the foundation for all the other chakras much like the roots of a tree are necessary for support of the trunk and branches above it. Also like the roots of a tree the Root Chakra is responsible for pulling up energy into the system from the world beneath it so that this energy can be manifested into growth for the systems above it. Energy is also brought down through the crown chakra but if energy is not being received from both ends the system isn’t complete and functioning as well as it could be.

Root Chakra Issues:
As the world moves further towards what I like to call a ‘Cyber State’ people find themselves having more trouble understanding their own bodies. As demonstrated through repetitive strain injuries, chronic back problems and chronic fatigue, issues like these (which take a long time to be created in the body) show how little we hear what our bodies have to say until they are shouting at us. People may not understand what being aware of the physical body has to do with having enough money, or getting a stable job because they don’t see the connection but becoming more aware of what’s happening physically with ourselves connects us with the profound knowledge the body already possesses which we can not gain access to unless we begin to hear what the body has to say and trust in its message. If you don’t know what your body needs then how can you expect to make the right choices in the physical world around it to gain the physical things you need to survive? Today’s society seems bent on thinking its way out of its problems, assuming the mind has all the answers, and certainly there are answers in there but if there is a disconnect between the mind and body your mind is operating with out all the information.
Another issue with our lack of connection with the physical and the poor energy flow through the Root Chakra is a feeling of floating and an inability to create. Without being grounded in the physical world around us people commonly feel lost, resembling helium balloons without a tether they float from one thing to another unable to figure out why they can’t connect with the world around them. Some people theorize this relates to the obesity epidemic. As people feel more and more disconnected from the world around them their first instinct in to weight themselves down in a subconscious hope for feeling some sort of grounding or permanent belonging. Inability to ground into the physical also means that while our minds are active with imagination and ideas it is becoming increasingly challenging to make our thoughts manifest into something real and tangible. Without a physical connection our thoughts become nothing more than vapors that slip through our hands.

Healing our Root Chakra- Finding Grounding:
Luckily, many issues of this chakra are not as complicated to start healing as other chakras can be. The main focus of the Root Chakra healing process is finding ourselves in our bodies again and feeling our connection with the physical world around us. One of the first easiest tips is finding our connection with the ground just as we do in Tadasana. To simplify what I’m saying “Notice how the bottoms of your feet feel connected to the ground.” Noticing where the body connects to the physical world around us we begin to take our awareness into these areas and notice the ground holding us up and our firm connection with it. A lot of times this becomes tricky if we find ourselves ‘thinking’ about our connection with the ground which is yet again rerouting the experience through our minds. Instead simply ‘feeling’ the connection without mental judgment opens up our awareness that we are really here. A second idea is to take all situations to a physical level. Are you feeling angry? What does that feel like in the body? What are the physical manifestations? Heart is pounding, muscles are clenched and so on, and then just taking the time to exist in the body with these sensations. Absolutely any physical activity you would like to participate in offers a chance for grounding if you take the time to ‘feel’ what’s happening instead of ‘thinking’ about what you feel. And the real trick is not to be discouraged if you don’t feel the connection right away, it takes time to reopen the paths of communication with the body, but as your physical awareness and connection improves stability in your life from your new, stronger root foundation will bring changes with it.

-So a long winded summary of the first chakra. Most of the info was collected from different sources I’ve been reading, most lately from Anodea Judith in Eastern Body/Western Mind who provided a lot of the information on healing, which strangely echoes a lot of the stuff I’ve read from Eckhart Tolle and other people I’ve met on the yogic path.

I’m hoping to keep moving through the chakras as I move through my this book, I apologize for the long windedness of the write up.

Otherwise I’m starting yoga at Algonquin College next week. I got to help out at the frosh this week and met tons of the new students so now I’m super pumped to get to put them through some poses and see where we go with that. This weekend is supposed to be beautiful and I get to take my nephew Conner out for his birthday on Sunday. So excited about that. I’m hoping to get him outdoors in the nice weather even though I know he’ll just want me to take him to Midway. He’s only 6 but he’s already a world class negotiator so we’ll see who wins this one.
Have an awesome one!!
*Conner and I playing that game where you cover your eyes and the other person tells you what to draw, I guess Conner didn't trust me not to cheat, good idea.*