By Faye Martins
Chakras are energy centers or vortexes that lie along the spine beginning in the genital area all the way up to the crown of the head. According to ancient Yogic wisdom, there are seven major chakras along the Shushumna Nadi or energetic pathway of the spine. The First Chakra or Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine in the general area of the perineum. In Sanskrit this chakra is called the “Muladhara Chakra.”
The Muladhara Chakra is primarily concerned with basic survival needs such as food, sex, elimination of waste, a sense of being grounded on the earth and shelter. Some of the life events that can cause an imbalance or stagnation of energy in the Root Chakra are losing a home, job, spouse and/or experiencing financial duress, such as having to declare bankruptcy. Holding extra body weight, hoarding an unnecessary amount of possessions or holding on too tightly to money are all symptoms of an unbalanced Root Chakra.
The Root Chakra is associated with both emotional and physical grounding in the earth element. When we have a feeling of security and safety, we are comfortably connected with being on the earth. The color associated with the Root Chakra is red and the energetic vortex of this chakra vibrates at a slower pace than the other ascending chakras. The body parts that are associated with the Muladhara Chakra are the feet, legs, base of the spine and the large intestines. Experiences in life that make us feel uprooted or jeopardize our sense of safety and security unbalance and often stagnate this chakra.
The ability to stand on one’s two feet and stay in one place are key elements to healing and balancing the Muladhara Chakra. Additionally, stretching the hamstrings helps to alleviate a sense of fight or flight that is generated and perpetuated by tightness in this area. Uttanansana or Forward Bend Pose and Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Pose are wonderful poses for nurturing a sense of being grounded and centered. Both of these poses will help to calm frenetic physical and mental activity in both the body and the mind.
Uttanasana or Forward Bend
To practice Uttanasana, stand at the top of your Yoga mat in Samasthiti with your feet parallel and hips’ distance apart. With an inhale, raise your arms over your head. With an exhale, slowly bring your arms down along the sides of your body until they reach your knees, shins or toes. Hold this position for three to five full breaths. With your hands on your hips, slowly come up as you inhale.
Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Pose
To practice Janu Sirsasana, sit comfortably on your Yoga mat. Slowly bend your right leg and bring your right foot in toward your thigh. Your bent leg will form a triangle. Only bend your leg as far as it is comfortable. With an inhale, raise your hands over your head. With your next exhale, slowly bend over your straight leg resting your hands where they can comfortably reach on your knee, shin or ankle. Take three to five full Yogic breaths. Release, coming up slowly with an inhale. Repeat on the left side.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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