Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Muladhara - Root Chakra

Muladhara means “root” and “support.” It is the root of your being and establishes the deepest connections with your physical body, your environment and the Earth. Muladhara is the most instinctual of all chakras — it is your survival center. Your fight-or-flight response is initiated from this chakra. This is your primal, animal nature.

This chakra is located at the base of the spine. The verb associated with the first chakra is “I am.” The first chakra is usually about survival.

A well-functioning first chakra opens us to our power and stability and allows us to grow. We are grounded, and this grounding brings us rest and solidity and stillness.

When this chakra is clear and energy flows through it freely, we feel secure and confident that we can easily fulfill our needs. On the other hand, blockage in this area can cause us to feel anxious and worried. When the first chakra is malfunctioning, one of the manifestations of that malfunction is obesity. Through the first chakra, we work to understand and heal our bodies. The challenge to us is to accept our body, feel it, validate it, love it. Eating is a first chakra activity. When we eat, we are nourished, and our physical body is supported. Eating grounds us.

All of the seven chakras are important and interconnected with each other. Usually, balancing one chakra will create change in another chakra, but it is important to balance the root chakra first, or we will lack the stability and rootedness necessary for true transformation and personal growth. We cannot grow and change unless we feel safe and secure.

Since yoga is both a physical and spiritual practice, yoga poses are not only exercises for your body, but also for your mind, emotions and spirit, making it the perfect practice for balancing your chakras. The best root chakra yoga poses are those that enhance your connection with the Earth — poses that keep you rooted and grounded.

The most basic of all poses in yoga is Mountain Pose. Almost every yoga practice begins with this simple pose. Mountain Pose encourages your connection with Earth, connects you with your own body and grounds you in the present moment.

Warrior One Pose - Virabhadrasana 1 is a strong asana that creates a firm connection between the Earth and your body. This root chakra yoga pose allows your prana to move through your body, rooting you through the first chakra.

Bridge Pose - Setu Bhandasana is a dynamic root chakra yoga pose that allows your feet to be firmly rooted into the Earth and your spine engaged in the release of excess root chakra energy.

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