Inhale. Exhale. Pause.
Notice where on Earth you are.
Feel where your body connects to the planet. Feel how gravity is grounding you to Mother Earth. Breathe in a sense of belonging and of being completely right where you are.
Our chakras, according to Swami Saradananda‘s wonderful guidebook, Chakra Meditation, are “seven focal points of radiant power, or vital energy, within the subtle body.” Translated from Sanskrit as “wheel,” these seven energy centers can be visualized as gears, constantly shifting our subtle energy upward and downward.
Muladhara chakra is the Sanskrit name for our root center and literally translates to “root support.” The element associated with this center is earth; the sense is smell; and the color is red. The core issues are energy, identity/ego, safety and security, roots and ancestry. In other words, the root is our foundation and personal ground of being.
In a recent interview with Deepak Chopra, he explained how Donald Trump is stuck in his root chakra. When our energy stagnates here, we can become egomaniacal and extremely paranoid. Our insecurity, if not healed, can lead us to feeling incredibly uncertain, unsafe, and unsupported. The feelings, of course, become unhealthy, narcissistic behaviors and words that lash out in a fruitless effort to protect our little selves, by keeping others at a perceived safe distance.
Perhaps right now, most of us on the planet could use some grounding, balancing, and healing of this primal, primary chakra. May these be of benefit.
Six ways to connect with the root chakra.
1. Connect with the soles and the soul.
Practice a walking meditation. Walk in exaggerated slow motion, noticing the act of walking. Feel gratitude for the ability to move in this mundane and miraculous way. Focus on the soles of the feet. Notice the heel touching the ground, next the ball of the foot, then the toes. Walk more slowly than you’ve ever walked before. There is no destination. The act of walking is itself the practice. Simply walk and breathe, nothing more, nothing less.
Aromatherapy is a fancy way to say smelling stuff. The essential oils that activate muladhara energy include patchouli, sandalwood, ginger, thyme, basil, and clary sage. We can burn or smudge cedar, sage, or patchouli, in the form of incense. Wearing gems and stones, such as hematite, smoky quartz, beryl, black tourmaline, and garnet, assist in healing and aligning root energy. It’s also useful to place these gems and stones on our meditation altars.
3. Eat earthy foods.
To counteract feeling too airy, spacey, or ungrounded, we can intentionally eat meals and snacks that root us and reconnect us with the earth element. These include veggies that grow in the ground (beets, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes), as well as beans, nuts, tofu/tempeh/soy, and pumpkin or sesame seeds. Eat these comfort foods in small portions, mindfully and slowly, savoring their density and deliciousness.
4. Give love to your knees, ankles, and feet.
Our root chakra governs not only the base of the spine but also our legs and the many joints, bones, and muscles they contain. Practice hatha yoga poses that stretch and stimulate the feet, ankles, and knees; kneel on the knees or sit on the feet. Treat yourself to a reflexology session. Take some time each day to put your feet up, either on a pile of cushions or in legs-up-the-wall pose, in order to rest your feet and knees, letting the blood flow in the opposite direction for a good five to ten minutes, maybe more.
5. Practice the grounding cord visualization technique.
Sitting on the ground, ideally but not necessarily in nature, imagine a red ball of light glowing at the base of your spine, your muladhara chakra. Visualize a cord of light, about two inches in diameter, extending from your root center, down into the Earth. The light can be any color you wish, any shade which resonates with you, and makes you feel at one with Mother Earth, our home.
Imagine this grounding cord growing and deepening until it makes contact with the Earth’s core. Maintain this visualization as the anchor for your meditation practice, returning to it gently but firmly over and over again, each time the mind wanders away into thought. When your formal practice is complete, imagine the root chakra releasing this grounding cord as the light dissolves gradually into the soil.
6. Embody elephant power.
According to ancient yoga philosophy, the ruler of muladhara chakra is the part-elephant, part-human god, Ganesha. Connect with the spirit animal energy of the elephant: mighty, powerful, enormous, sensitive, and wise. An elephant never forgets. Ganesha is the lord of new beginnings, abundance, the remover of obstacles, and the patron saint of writers.
One classic Sanskit chant of devotion to Ganesh is: Om Gom Ganapate Namaha.
This is the MC Yogi album, Elephant Power, which is filled with catchy tunes devoted to Ganesha.
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Image: Flickr/Nagarjun Kandukuru
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock