April 26, 2011

Get to the root of the solution: heal your muladhara chakra.

{Learn more about all 7 major energy centers — Fun with chakras! — brought to you by Yoga Freedom}

The body never lies. ~Martha Graham

Root chakra concerns: survival, stability, physical needs, security, connection with the earth

Root chakra essential questions:

  • What do I need?
  • What keeps me grounded?
  • How do I connect with my physical body?
  • How do I connect with nature?
  • What makes me feel secure?
  • Where am I safe?
  • What gives me sustenance?
  • How can I share my stability and strength with others?

Chant: LAM

1st chakra thoughts: Being grounded simply means embodying the present moment. We are all hard-wired with the victim mentality. It’s tough to get rid of the ego’s subconscious notion: “Why me?” (Or, “Why not me?”) Balancing the first chakra means going to the places that scare you, sitting there, breathing, feeling your body, feeling your feelings completely, not wriggling away, not plotting your escape. A healthy root chakra is connected to both the earth and the sky, the grounded, solid quality of reality as well as the expansive spaciousness of acute awareness.

1st chakra poem:
Spread your toes
Ground yourself
You are your own
spiritual guide
What you need is
within you
Pacha Mama

Your sole is your soul

Practice suggestions:

  1. Mula bandha, similar to Kegel exercises in which the pelvic floor is lifted inward and upward
  2. Grounding poses such as trikonasana (triangle), focusing on the soles of the feet and their connection to the earth in standing poses.
  3. Seated forward bends such as janu sirsasana (head to knee pose), focusing on the connection of the legs and pelvic floor with the earth.
  4. Yin yoga poses like supta badhakonasana (reclining butterfly pose), using the power of gravity to ground and connect with earth energy.
  5. Practicing barefoot outside, ideally directly on the grass, soil or sand.

Muladhara music:

I will survive by Gloria Gaynor
Human nature by Michael Jackson
What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong
Todo cambia by Mercedes Sosa
Ganesh is fresh by MC Yogi (the elephant lord Ganesha is the ruler of Muladhara chakra)

Root chakra readings:

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom. She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010 and has self-published inspiring books. She incorporates dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting, and pranayama into her teachings and practice. A former advertising copywriter and elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and translator. Michelle learned yoga from a book at age 12 and started teaching at 22. She met the Buddha in California at 23 and has been a student of the dharma ever since. Michelle is now approaching her forties with grace and gratitude.

Join Michelle for a writing and yoga retreat this summer at magical Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala!