Balance in life is all about energy management. Your energy management.
As energy beings we are made of energy. Everything we interact with is energy, all of varying vibrations.
Last week I talked about values and vision. I’m working on my new vision board collecting pictures, words, photos and planning where I’m going to place them. I’m also working on bringing my vibration into alignment with my vision. That brings me to the issue of balancing my whole energy system, starting with my base chakra.
A chakra is an energy centre, a spinning vortex of subtle energy. In Sanskrit the meaning of ‘chakra’ translates to ‘wheel’. It is generally accepted that you have seven main chakras and many minor ones throughout the body. We are going to work with the seven major chakras over the next few weeks in this blog.
“A chakra is a chamber in the temple of the body that receives, assimilates, and transmits life force energy.” Anodea Judith
In yoga we refer to life force energy as prana. Prana can be found everywhere in varying levels of vibrancy. It’s in the sunlight, the air, the food you eat, and it’s in and affected by the interactions you have moment by moment with people, places, experiences and more.
Your chakras receive, assmilate and express prana all the time. They are like portals between the outer world you live in and your inner world connecting your body mind as they filter and assimilate from your environment. How well you know and manage your energy is dependent upon how well you know and manage your chakra system. Yoga gives you tools to open pathways and raise your awareness of what’s going on inside. Everyone has the capacity to develop this awareness.
“Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” Eckhart Tolle
We will start with Mooladhara, the base or root chakra, associated with the element of Earth and the colour of a rich, ruby red. When balanced this chakra provides support, stability, and a solid foundation to feel grounded and stable in life. When unbalanced or deficient we may feel scattered, ungrounded, flighty and or fearful. If this chakra is in excess we may feel heavy and weighed down. When Mooladhara is out of balance, it can affect all the other chakras.
How can your yoga practice support your base chakra? By connecting with your physical body. Your body is your vehicle from which to begin this journey. To be deeply rooted in your body temple is embodiment. You need to be comfortable in your skin, notice and learn how best you can serve your body.
In our Dru yoga tradition we use activation at the beginning of a class to bring your awareness into your physical body by shaking, twisting and stretching with full awareness and presence. This helps bring you more fully into your body and become aware of your body in the space around you. The root chakra element of Earth will help you connect and ground your body. This is why, if you are currently attending regular classes with me, you will notice that I guide you to check in with how you are feeling in your body, heart and mind. This helps to bring you into the present and be fully mindful.
The key to entering your body according to Anodea Judith (2016) is to embrace the first chakra element, which is Earth. This element represents everything solid – not only the dirt beneath your feet but all material substance, especially the flesh and bones of your body. The essential properties of the Earth element are gravity and solidity, and they make an important pair.
Here’s an example of this at work. If you wanted to jump you would first have to bend your knees and push down into the earth to enable you to spring upwards. The pushing down activates and energises your muscles and this energy then can fill your legs allowing you to rise upwards. So you see that your yoga practice can benefit greatly by being aware of and practicing this principal. All this is relevant to managing your energy because when you can generate and manage this energy you can fill your body and direct this prana where it needs to go to bring balance into your whole being.
Try practicing this in Tadasana (mountain pose), setting up a great foundation to begin your standing postures from.
Once you have aligned yourself into Tadasana start to push down into the earth as you breathe in, bending your knees slightly, then exhale and slowly push down through each leg. As you do this your legs will begin to straighten; ensure the knees do not lock as that will block the energy flow and prana you are creating. Repeat this, breathing fully and slowly with all your awareness on grounding and bringing that prana up into your legs and imagine it filling your base chakra. Explore in your own practice and observe.
You can bring this practice into other postures like Vrksasana (tree pose, pictured left), Uttanasana (peace pose) and Setubandhasana (bridge pose). Try it with Adhomukha svanasana (dog pose) and also Bhujangasana (cobra pose) as you use the same principal with the arms and hands to push down.
I hope you enjoy exploring energising your base chakra and the self inquiry that comes with practicing at a deeper level.
Judith, Anodea. 2016. Chakra Yoga, 1st ed. Llewellyn Publications. USA.