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Know Your Chakras Series Part 1: The Root Chakra {Muladhara}

October 21, 2015

By Luminary: Tara Koenig

This is the first post in a series of 7 about the chakras. At their core your chakras are the 7 main energy systems within the body traveling up the spine. Roughly translated they mean wheels, after all; energy is never still. Energy is constantly moving and changing, much like your body. I recently taught a seven week series where each week we would focus on a different energy system within the body. I always like to use the Baptiste approach to all new practices, which include Asana (the physical yoga practice), Meditation, and Inquiry (or self discovery). I find when combining these three practices you get a sense of self as a whole – body, mind and spirit. Try giving each chakra a week or two of focus to really feel a difference. 


The First Chakra: The Root Chakra {Muladhara}

The first chakra to explore is the Root Chakra. Located at the base of the spine, this is our energetic connection to the earth. Our root chakra is how we ground ourselves. When we create a dynamic contact with the earth we gain presence and become aware of the here and now. When we are grounded we feel secure, safe, and content and we can cope with daily stressors. By balancing the root chakra we can create a foundation on which everything rests. We need to balance our root chakra before balancing the others. From an energy perspective we need to root to the earth in order to let the other energies travel up towards the crown.

Our root chakra is also associated with survival. From the basic needs of human life (food, shelter, warmth, rest) to the modern day financial and living needs, our root chakra is responsible for giving us a sense of safety and security with our surroundings.

Physical dysfunctions associated with an imbalanced root chakra: Chronic low back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal tumors/cancer, depression, and immune-related disorders. Weight gain or loss is common; IBS, anemia and a poor immune system are all related to an over or under active root chakra. 

Some things to try on to help open and unlock your root chakra are;

  • Wear red or black clothing. The Bloom, Ginkgo and Lotus leggings are perfect to wear in a grounding practice. I’m wearing my lotus leggings in the photos! 
  • Use gemstones such as smokey quartz, red jasper, ruby, bloodstone and black obsidian. I typically use gemstones as jewelry, but others like to place stones beside their bed or on an altar. 
  • The essential oils that I use to ground myself are cedarwood, frankincense and patchouli. Give yourself a foot massage using any of the oils in a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba. 
  • Dancing, jumping, stomping or any physical movements that you feel in your feet. If available to you, walk outside barefoot. 
  • Meditate, seated or lying down meditation focusing on how you are connected to the ground. Picturing a glowing red orb right at your seat can help you focus on this energy system. Some students enjoyed using the seed (bija) sound LAM as they meditated. 

Some questions to journal or discuss with a friend or partner:
  • What belief patterns did I inherit from my family?
  • Do I have everything I need to live comfortably?
  • Do you I have a personal code of honor or core values? What are they?
  • Do I feel connected to the natural environment around me?
  • How do I like to ground myself? How do I connect to mother earth?
Key yoga poses associated with the root chakra:
  • Knee to chest
  • Little Bridge pose
  • Malasana (yogi squat) 
Root Chakra Affirmation
I am safe in the world around me. I belong in this world. I am at peace with my surroundings.

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