Today Swami Saradananda, author of The Essential Guide to Chakras takes a look at the first of your major chakras – the root chakra – and suggests an exercise that will help you reconnect with its energy.
What is the root chakra?
The root (muladhara) chakra provides the energetic foundation of your body and mind and supplies you with the crucial energy of survival. This was the only focus of your life from the time you were in the womb until you were around one year old. During that stage of your development you required warmth, nourishment, stability and security; you needed to be safe and fed, but desired little else.
For the most part, you were unaware of the outside world. This chakra is the seat of your instincts. It grounds you and gives you the energy to endure life’s trials and tribulations. The fight or flight response is a manifestation of the energy of muladhara.
What are the benefits of the root chakra?
- Connecting with your body
- Insights into your relationships
- Freeing yourself from prejudices and intolerances
- Releasing yourself from inherited negative views
- Valuing all life
- Grounding yourself
- Feeling more secure in life
- Making commitments (and keeping them)
Root chakra exercise: standing on the earth with full awareness
You can practice this exercise daily, even while standing in a queue or waiting for a train. It enables your mind and body to reconnect with the energy of the muladhara chakra.
1. Stand up tall with your feet parallel to each other and hip-width apart. Your heels will be directly beneath your hips. Close your eyes and slowly shift your weight between your two feet, until you are satisfied that you have an equal amount of weight on each foot.
2. Notice whether your tendency is to stand back on your heels or more on your toes. Gently rock forward and back until you can feel that your centre of balance is directly over the mid-point of your arches.
3. Next, shift your weight onto the inner edges of each foot, then the outer. Make sure that all parts of your feet are supporting equal amounts of weight. Feel the ball of each toe and make sure that all ten of them are firmly pushing into the ground.
4. Experience your shin bones pushing down into the ground. Keep your knees straight, but not locked. Feel your thigh bones pushing back, as your tailbone moves forward. Keep the lower ribs tucked under.
5. Bring your shoulder blades together slightly, so that your breastbone floats upward slightly. Keep your head erect with your chin parallel to the ground, and allow your breath to be rhythmic. Stand as tall as possible, as though an invisible string is pulling your body skyward. Experience how, when your body is firmly rooted, your mind feels freer.
6. Now that your physical posture is grounded, begin to draw parallels between this and the various issues in your life. Ask yourself the question: “Where do I stand in life?”
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