Imagine there was a part of your body that, if you nurtured and nourished it, would bring you more peace, stability, groundedness, and even abundance? You’d want to take good care of that right, and probably shout “why didn’t they teach me this in school?!”
Well m’dear, I’ve got good news for you. This magical part of you does exist, though you won’t learn about it in school, or find it on an x-ray. It exists in your energetic body, and it’s called your root chakra. You might have heard of it if you’ve been around the self-development world for a while.
And I’m telling you, #thisshitworks
Settle in, get comfy, and lemme tell you all about my favourite chakra (I know I shouldn’t play favourites really but I really I always go back to this one…you’ll learn why shortly), and how you can work with yours to bring more stability and peace into your life, right now.
Who doesn’t want that, ya?
Let’s get started.
I was eighteen – not ready for a full-time relationship
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been fascinated by the human body. I studied health sciences in University (thought I was destined to be a physiotherapist) and loved all things to do with science. And although science was incredible – I intrinsically knew there was more out there, and that piqued my interest big time.
When I was eighteen, I saw a yoga ad in my local small town newspaper. I was a bit nervous, never having done yoga before, so I roped a friend into going with me and next thing I knew there were eight of us in a local woman’s basement, breathing into our bellies and easing our bodies into different poses.
It was great. I loved it. I’d gone for the workout and increased flexibility. Little did I know a seed had been planted that day too, a seed that would eventually grow into my current passion for understanding and working with energy and spirit. But I was too young for commitment. Yoga and I had an on-again-off-again relationship for a decade or so before finally, in my 30s, I was ready to settle down. Make it official. But I didn’t dive deep into 500 hours of yoga teacher training because I wanted to teach a class or pull off the perfect handstand (despite popular belief, twisting yourself into a pretzel isn’t necessary for yoga. Don’t even get me started.) I did it because I wanted to gain a better understanding of my own body, both physically, spiritually and energetically.
My scientific mind was blown
Learning about the chakra system (pronounced with a hard “ch” like “chocolate”) blew my scientific mind. It explained all the things that I couldn’t explain using my former “if you can’t see it it ain’t real” approach. I realized I could only intellectualize so much – at some point I was going to have to open my mind to other possibilities. It was a tough call for me at first. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of something in my body that no one could see, catch on a scan, or cut with a scalpel.
If you’re raising a skeptical eyebrow right now, I urge you to be open and stick with me…the chakras are really quite fascinating. Knowledge of them has been passed down for eons from the Tantric system (no I’m not talking about Sting’s sex life.) They describe how our bodies are filled with energetic pathways called nadi that carry our life force through us, and that where the nadi meet and criss cross they form points called chakras. We have seven main chakras in a vertical line from the base of our spine to the top of our heads. Each one corresponds with a different physical and spiritual developmental state, as well as having its own connections to different organs, glands, emotional or spiritual issues, ailments, even colours and sounds.
Most of us need a little grounding
As I explored, I learned that the root chakra is all about our connection to survival – body, money, home, job, stability. That taking better care of our root chakra brings us more peace in all those areas and makes life feel more stable and more manageable. Working with it brought me more knowing, deeper trust, and a growing sense of peace.
Pretty cool huh?
Most of us need a little root chakra TLC. My clients came to me saying they didn’t feel grounded or at peace, so they’d get some good ol’ fashioned grounding homework via the root chakra. Why? It connects us deeply to the element of earth, which helped them get out of the stress habit, ditch the flight or fight syndrome, and find ease and deep peace.
When the root chakra is out of balance we feel stressed out, ungrounded, harried, hurried, and pretty damn out of sorts. We lose our sense of our place in the world. We need a strong root chakra to strengthen our sense of belonging, our right to be here, our right to have whatever we need and want out of this life (that counts for spiritual awakening, more money, great sex, good wine, inner peace – the chakra system shows us that everything is divine, connected, and perfect.) The shadow of the root chakra is fear – which makes working on it extra important because nobody wants fear in the driver’s seat of their lives.
It’s no exaggeration to say that if all’s not well with your root chakra, you’re going to struggle to have the life you want. After all, you can’t build your dream house on a shaky foundation and expect it to stand strong, right?
It’s time to give your root chakra a little love.
Easy ways to nourish your root chakra
- Get earth lovin’! The root chakra is associated with the earth element, so get out there and make contact. Get your feet in the grass and/or your hands in the dirt. Eat food from the earth and feel the deep nourishment it provides.
- Look after your body with healthy meals, good sleep, and time for play (being a workaholic is a sure sign of a root chakra problem.)
- Journal – explore what’s going on in your life and body. Grab your journal (or open a doc on your computer if you must) and write out how you’re currently feeling about your body, home, career, finances, family, environment, fears, groundedness, your right to have, and your right to be here.
- Declutter and clean – get your home spic and span, and get your finances in order.
- Connect with your family, friends and community.
- Treat yourself to a foot or body massage – you can massage your own feet…it feels great albeit a little awkward at first.
- Let your inner wild mystic loose with some drumming or chanting (Check out this Ganesha chant. I LOVE it – Ganesha is the “remover of obstacles” so he helps blast through those limiting beliefs. I like to imagine myself riding an elephant that blasts away my troubles using his trunk as a power hose – I definitely recommend you try it!)
Two yoga poses for your root chakra
I love these two poses for energising and healing the root chakra. Be sure to only do these if it feels good, and if you feel discomfort, stop immediately.
Bridge pose – laying on your back, bend your knees and place both feet on the floor with your arms laying down flat beside you, hands down. Inch your heels back towards your hands and bring your heels back far enough so you can either touch your heels with your fingertips or get them as close your bum as you can. Take a few deep breaths and relax your body. You can also do a few pelvic tilts to warm up the spine a bit….do this by exhaling and flattening out the natural curvature of your spine so you get rid of that space between your back and the mat. And then inhale and roll your pelvis back into its natural alignment so the space returns.
Then, when you’re ready, exhale, and pick your hips up off of the floor by pushing into your heels and squeezing your glutes. Be sure to keep your knees in a straight line (they like to splay out in a ‘V’ shape sometimes so visualize squeezing a small beach ball between your knees) and take a breath. Check in with your neck and make sure it’s as elongated as possible (trick, you should be able to say your name ;). You can also clasp your hands underneath your pelvis by rolling your shoulders down so you can stay on top of them while in bridge pose. Stay in the pose for 30 sec – 1 min, breathing naturally and when you’re ready, exhale and roll down slowly, one vertebrae of your spine at a time as if you’re painting your spine on the floor.
Repeat as you feel necessary….just check in with your body.
Then be sure to do the counter-pose….knees to chest.
This will help undo any unease that may have crept into your lower back from pulling your hips up into bridge pose. Still lying on your back, slowly bend your knees to your chest. Take a deep breath in and wrap your arms around your knees (or bring your hands to your kneecaps). With each exhale, slowly pull your knees in a bit closer to help squeeze all the air out and imagine your tailbone moving closer to the floor (this is more energetic than physical). Feel the entire length of your spine and then begin to roll gently left to right to give your lower back a wee massage. Then, when you’re ready, you can also release one leg and extend it down towards the edge of your mat so that’s it’s straight but slightly off the floor. Then switch sides. End by bringing both knees back into your chest for a final hug, then extend both legs back down to the ground and enjoy a wee savasana (also known as corpse pose, savasana helps you experience the deepest relaxation while still being alert and clear of mind.) While in savasana, feel the support of the earth beneath you and exhale any of your cares or worries as they simply melt off of you and into the earth.
All this to say, taking care of your root chakra will help give you a strong foundation for your life. Like a tree growing roots deep into the earth, taking care of your root chakra will help you ‘find your feet’ so that no matter winds blow your way, your roots will be strong and deep.
p.s. want to learn more about the chakra’s? Keep reading about the sacral chakra here.
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