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September 29, 2018

Feeling Anxious? The Reason may Not be What you Think.

If you’ve ever hopped into a yoga or meditation class, there’s a good chance you’ve heard mention of the word “chakra.”

Whether it’s in relation to opening one up or engaging with it during our practice, there is a lot to learn when it comes to understanding our chakras.

But, for those new to the term, you may be asking yourself, “What even is a chakra?”

Well, in short, the word “chakra” can be translated from Sanskirt to mean “wheel” (this refers to its description as a spinning energy center within the body). Each of these wheels is said to coincide with specific physical, neurological, and emotional processes.

Beginning at the base of the spine and working their way up to the crown of the head, all seven of the most commonly discussed chakras are associated with specific colors and vibrational sounds.

As described by HuffPost writer Maria Rodale, a simple way of thinking about the function of the chakras is a “physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual inventory of your health and well-being.” So, when one is blocked, it is common to feel off in some way or another.

Taking stock of one’s state on a comprehensive level helps individuals set the stage for change, whether that be through therapy, traditional Western medicine, diet, or lifestyle adjustments.

Muladhara,” the first or root chakra, is all about grounding. It dictates our ability to feel safe in both ourselves and our surroundings. So, it is no wonder that if we’re struggling with this chakra, we’re probably feeling anxious.

Other emotional symptoms associated with Muladhara include guilt, fear, depression, codependency, and restlessness.

If you’re interested in working with your Muladhara chakra, but don’t exactly know where to start, here are four easy suggestions:

Get quiet
Whether it be through meditation or going on a long walk, anything that can help us exist more closely to ourselves is a positive thing. And, while it sounds simple enough, stepping away from all of life’s distractions can actually be more challenging than you’d think. So, there is certainly no shame in starting small.

Try setting a timer for five minutes in the morning or before you go to sleep. You can use this time to journal or create a gratitude list. It may sound silly, but, in my experience, the more I made quiet time a part of my routine, the more I began to crave it.

Move around
Physical movement forces us out of our heads and into our bodies. When this happens, we have the opportunity to connect with ourselves and our breath in a way that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Plus, there’s something to be said for the health and mood-boosting benefits that come from adding a bit more activity to our day. So, whether it’s a light jog or a sweaty Vinyasa class, do what works for you.

Try “earthing”
Yes, it’s a thing. Drop what you’re doing and find some natural earth to dig your toes into. After all, there’s no better way to feel grounded than to physically root into the space beneath us.

Sport some red
Whether you opt to stock up on healthy, red-hued foods or sport your favorite crimson sweater to work, engaging with the color of this chakra is a great way to explore its power. If you’re creative, maybe even consider painting or coloring with cherry shades.

When all is said and done, learning about our chakras is just another way of learning about ourselves.

So, next time you feel the urge to tune in, why not start with Muladhara?

Exploring this system may not be a cure-all for our struggles. However, it is certainly a great tool for learning to look inside.

And, after all, isn’t that the point?

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Sam Maracic

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