Friday, March 23, 2012

Stand your ground! Muladhara Chakra One

The first chakra: the root chakra is Muladhara. Located at the very tip of the tailbone, this spinning red disc has a unique combination of influences and responsibilities. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, chakras work on the concept of vibration. We can’t see the chakras, but curiously enough most of the chakras correlate to an area in the body with a lot of nerve ganglia or to a specific gland. The ancient yogis might have been picking up on the energetic activity in these areas when they felt certain energies were being emitted from these wondrous centres.

We cannot see thoughts and emotions either. But there are numerous situations where we can almost ‘feel’ the energy in a room. For example, many of us will sense ‘negative’ energy if we walk into a room after a confrontation—the air literally seems thick with charged tension.

Each thought and emotion has a unique vibe to it. If we are receptive and open, we can pick up on each other’s moods. Moving from abstract to more concrete, while we can’t always see them, we know words create sound waves and our actions create innumerable ripples into the unknown. Everything we think, speak, and do creates a vibration, and the chakras have unique vibrations associated with them.

The chakras, as spinning discs, can get clogged; they can slow down, or stop working all together. Or conversely they can spin out of control. In order for our bodies to function properly, the chakras must be in balance.

Muladhara is our root, our very foundation and its element is Earth. If Muladhara is spinning blissfully and balanced it helps us feel grounded, secure, and safe. When it is not spinning properly we feel unsafe, ungrounded, as if we have no roots; we feel lost or we jump from one thing to another in an effort to camouflage our lack of stability.

Since Muladhara’s realm governs our feelings of safety and security, it is influenced by our jobs and our families. If we were born into a world where we felt safe and secure, if we grew up always feeling safe and protected, if we live now with a family that supports us and nurtures us, where we feel secure and safe then Muladhara will be balanced. If any one of those experiences left us feeling vulnerable, or if we felt we had no one to turn to, no one to protect us, if we felt threatened, then Muladhara may not be functioning properly.

The same holds true with our jobs. We live in a material world, and we are material boys and girls. We need money to function in society, too little of this resource causes us to strive and work harder to obtain it. Financial stability, or lack thereof, will be felt in Muladhara. Without a solid financial foundation, we feel unstable—we feel as if our world could topple at any moment. And it may. Aparigraha is one of the Yamas and Niyamas in yoga—the Yogic Ten Commandments so to speak. Aparigraha teaches us not to grasp, not to try and hold onto things—that everything is transient: that things change. For example, in Muladhara’s realm, Aparigraha teaches us that trying to hold onto a particular financial status or lifestyle may not be conducive to our well-being. When we feel we need to hold onto things, we will fear their loss. This fear causes stress. We need to let go of this fear: this need to control and hold, in order to find peace of mind.

Muladhara is also influenced by our sense of boundaries. If we have healthy boundaries we will have a healthy first chakra. Any time we let others step on us, undermine us, or trample us our boundaries are compromised. Boundaries—what you are willing to do or not do, your morals and values—are unique to you and you alone, but when other’s take advantage of you or push your boundaries, Muladhara is there to help guide you, to give you the conviction you need to stand your ground.

How do we balance the first chakra, or any chakra for that matter? Awareness. We need to be aware when we are not feeling good and we need to put into words what it is that is bothering us. Are we stressed about money, or debt? Are we unhappy in our jobs? Are we in a relationship that compromises our right to feel safe and secure? Muladhara is here to highlight areas that may need some extra TLC in our lives. Like we say in our book LIFE, it’s all about taking baby steps, always moving toward feeling better, toward a life of happiness and fulfillment. Being aware of the areas of our lives that cause conflict or tension is the first part of the equation. We can’t change things if we are not aware there is a problem. We need to make a commitment to move toward happiness and peace, one step at a time.

Once we feel safe and secure in our lives, once we respect our boundaries and stand our ground we will have a healthy, happy Muladhara and a happy, healthy self!

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