"Maybe you are searching in the branches, for what only appears in the roots." -Rumi
Chakras. Our internal energies. Our spiritual mind, body, and soul points…..there are so many ways to describe the phenomenon of these 7 beautiful aspects of our lives. My experience studying Chakras has been eye opening and helped me find myself as well as my love and desire to help people live their best life. The energies within us are a huge passion of mine and some of my favorite ways to work and understand the mind/body connection. Even to the point of how I personally realized that if I had known half of what I know now when I was younger, it probably could have saved me a lot of money in therapy. (insert a just kidding, but really - please use therapy too if you want!) Chakras simply put are organs in the body that manage energy. If you could envision a swirling vortex of colored light, it might help put a better visual to what we are referring to. Each chakra relates to a certain area of the body, a color, a physical element, and psychological and spiritual functions. The amount of information available is easy to overwhelm anyone whether you're just getting into the practice or those who have been studying for years about energy work, kundalini, and the chakras themselves. We are going to walk through a brief description through each series and add relatable yoga poses throughout. In my years as a student and teacher, the power of the pose is undeniably one of yoga's most powerful weapons. I am and will forever be learning and a student and I hope you enjoy my interpretations and journey.
Learning about our energies can be a life changing experience as we begin to view our lives from a different perspective. You get a chance to understand yourself through a completely new looking glass. Our first chakra or root chakra is our main base. It is the base of our entire chakra system and even the Sanskrit is called Muladhara, defined as "Root" and "Support" or "Base". This chakra can even be known as the core of survival. Where our "flight or fight" kicks in when necessary. Each chakra relates to years and this chakra is our younger years, ages 0-7. Ideally, as a child, we were taken care of, we didn't have to worry about our next meal, or the roof over your head or any other "adult" aspects of life. But what if you did have those worries or concerns? Self-preservation hardships at these ages can trickle into our adulthood leading to imbalances into our growing years. Chakra work is never a "once & done" practice. As the world around changes, so can your energies. They can be disturbed as an adult even if you had a wonderful, happy younger life. If you've had to move a lot, have an unstable home, or don't have a safe base, these are just a few examples that can lead to root chakra imbalances.
An unbalanced root chakra can lead to lethargy, the feeling of defeatedness, or the inability to finish projects. Contrary to that, a balanced root chakra can enable you to not only have more patience with yourself but the ability to have so much more with others around you. It maximizes your coping skills and can bring a smile to your face as well as one from the world. From my personal experience, having my root chakra balanced is always one of my highest concerns. I try to always incorporate root chakra poses as well as other small tips to help my mind, body, and soul stay as grounded as possible. (sometimes the world gets tough!)
The best part about working with energies is there are always a ton of great options to work on each specific area. With all the chakras, there are ideal yoga poses, oils, meditations, and crystals (among many other things) to help align yourself. Below you'll find some of my favorite basic oils, colors, and yoga poses and my vision with each pose to slowly take you through to help build your powerful root chakra.
1. Starting out with an easy pose, set your intention, close your eyes and try to still your mind for a few minutes. If possible use the essential oils there to help relax.
2. Child's pose to start off being supported by the ground beneath you
3. Malasana to Calm the mind while strengthening the lower back and opening the hips
4. Forward Fold to give your root chakra the opportunity to release energy into your body
5. Mountain Pose to help you Feel centered and focus on the present moment
6. Low crescent lunge to reconnect to your Fight or Flight Mechanism; Deeply engaging your first chakra energy, hold for 5 breaths to work the psoas and quad muscles
7. Warrior II Face your fears and doubts with virabhadrasana which means fierce warrior; brings strength and determination
8. Child's pose Finding your support again underneath you
9. Bridge Pose helps bring balance up to your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th chakras while grounded your feet and 1st chakra energies firmly into the earth
10. Savasana brings this flow to an end by being fully supported by the earth, reminding yourself you are safe and you are supported!
To help enhance any of your poses, mediation or flow, a fun easy way is to incorporate the use of essential oils. While there are many to choose from like Cedarwood, Rosemary, and Rosewood, one of my favorite and easy to find essential oils for the first chakra is Frankincense. Frankincense comes from tree resin and has a deep, sweet, woodsy scent that is great for grounding and helping exude happy vibes and feelings. It can help sooth racing thoughts, bring a better connection to the earth and can relax you without making you sleepy. One of my favorite secrets is putting a drop into my shampoo. This helps me feel like I'm shining from the inside out and can tackle the day with a little extra pep in my step!
As you can tell by just briefly touching the surface, Chakra and energy work is and can be a very full and rewarding adventure. Our lives change just as our needs and energies do. While these options work for me, the beauty with your journey is that is your own journey! You get to decide what works best for you. The first step in our journeys is the toughest but I encourage you to try a pose, grab an essential oil, wear a root chakra stone and open your mind to the possibilities of a potentially more grounded, happier, patient person, not only to love yourself but also those around you. So throw on your favorite red color outfit (or if you're like me, your favorite Moonchild Yoga Wear Daybreak set), grab your favorite root chakra essential oils and strike those yoga poses! Thank you for being a part of my journey from the humble yogi that couldn't touch her toes. - Leah M Ward