My husband and I moved to a new city this past weekend. Moving is nothing new for me…I’ve moved more times than I can count over my 30-something years on this beautiful planet. This latest venture got me thinking about my connection to roots, family, stability and security.
The Root Chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of your spine. This chakra is related to safety, tribal/family ancestry, grounding, instinct and survival. When we take time to ground ourselves and really look at our origins, we connect ourselves to our past. By connecting to our past, we can better understand decisions and choices we make in the present moment and how those choices will impact us in the future. In addition, we better understand that we are where we are as a result of our upbringing, our history and our source.
Most asana practices, particularly in the West, begin with this notion of “rooting down into the earth.” We connect to where we are through Muladhara to better situate ourselves for our practice. In addition, we also “root down” when beginning our meditation practice as it can help us feel safe, secure and more willing to let go of any thoughts, behaviours or habits that do not serve us. By becoming more familiar with our roots, we become more familiar with the truth of who we really are.
For many years, I felt very nomadic and unstable. The constant moving and uprooting of family, friends and home was quite intense. As a young child, I didn’t necessary have the tools at my disposal to be able to cope with that amount of constant change. However, in examining this, I’ve also discovered my ability to adapt and flow with ease in new situations. I am much more willing to go on new adventures and try new things. As I explore my root chakra further, I begin to better comprehend my connection to family, friends and space and how I can participate in ways that serve me, rather than ways that do not.
This chakra can become unbalanced quickly if there are minor or major changes in life including travel, moving, loss of friends and family, loss of home or financial security. Anything that is a perceived threat to our safety and security can cause an imbalance in this area…therefore, it is important to pay close attention to Muladhara when experiencing major life changes.
In order to further explore balance, and open Muladhara, one can practice Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I), and Bridge Pose. One can also practice opening the hamstrings and calf muscles via Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold) and Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Fold). A restorative pose to open Muladhara is Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose). You can meditate on the colour red (it is the colour of this chakra) or use red crystals and gems to enhance the energy in that chakra.