Find Your Ground

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THIS. IS. EXCITING.  

The Chakra Series starts today!

Over the next seven weeks, we're going on a chakra journey.  Thanks to the wellness boom, you've probably encountered this term before, but how deeply have you actually delved? The chakras are an energetic system of organization in the yoga practice.  Each chakra has certain qualities attributed to it: colors, sounds, elements, personality traits. Each week, we'll dissect what energy and qualities the chakra holds, explore the chakra through discussion, and honor it through movement. 

This week, we're starting from the bottom.  Let's get interested in the ROOT CHAKRA.

MULADHARA

Color: Red
Element: Earth
Mantra: I Am
Like the name suggests, this chakra is all about rooting, finding your ground, your basic physical/emotional needs, and stability
Too much feels like: unable to take action, feeling stuck
Too little feels like: flitting from one thing to the next, anxiety, fear


Have you ever felt like you were spinning in circles, floating through life instead of actively participating in it? Have you ever felt like you didn't belong, like there was no place you could call home? Or maybe it felt like you were stuck, unable to move forward or back and every choice you made only kept you exactly where you were?

Feeling ungrounded is a common symptom of this modern life.  We live on our screens and in our heads.  As a gemini, my mind is master and works harder better faster stronger than Kayne ft. Daft Punk. It's easy to get lost in our thoughts, lose the connection to the ground, and feel like we don't have a home. Connecting with the earth and people IRL has become less common.  Walking barefoot in the grass or exploring the woods is either hippy-dippy or crunchy granola.  

Especially if you are moving through your twenties, figuring out your passion, encountering true adulting for the first time, the ground can feel so far away.  It can feel like there is no support, that home base is nowhere in sight. 

When your root chakra is unbalanced, everything else seems to fall apart.  It's like any structure that you build (oh yes my parents are both civil engineers so I know all about bridges and buildings and highways): if the foundation is whack, the building will crack. When you don't feel like your basic needs are being met, how can you thrive?  

Looking at the root chakra, we've got to explore what makes us feel like the ground, the earth, the universe, has our back.  Sometimes we forget. From a physical world POV, is there a place, a routine, an activity, that reminds you that you live in the HERE AND NOW?  Is there a lifestyle that allows you to feel safe? What makes you feel stable?  

From an emotional POV, what is going to make us feel cared for?  As we grow up, it becomes our own responsibility to care for ourselves.  How can we practice self care as adults much in the same way our caregivers provided that feeling of safety and support when we were children? Sometimes, we are lose the roots we have in our own lives.  We move through the world like zombies.  Many times, this happens after trauma.  Our zest for life and our ability to manifest intention is stifled because we no longer actively participate in our own lives.  

Here's where you get to play: Get a journal out and free write for just five minutes about the things that make you to feel safe and stable and the things that don't. Use the questions above as a springboard. The most important part of the free write is to keep going.  Don't think about what is flowing out, just let it go. Let it flow.  You'll surprise yourself with all of the answers you have. 

Come back and share what you've found.  Drop a line in comments or send me a note via contact me. 


PRACTICE

People may stare, think I'm crazy, judge my body or my movement, but I find one of the quickest ways to root myself is to practice, even if it is just for a few minutes, barefoot in the grass. Use this flow below to find the ground and learn how to lean into its support, whether your standing on your hands or your feet.

Stand at the top of your mat in TADASANA.
Close your eyes and feel the ground underneath you.  Wiggle your toes. Shift the weight on your feet. Feel the support of the ground, the very center of the earth, travel up your feet, pull your quads up, travel up your spine lengthening the crown of your head up to the sky. 
Sweep your arms up and overhead. URDHVA HASTASANA.
Bow down over your leg UTTANASANA.
Bring your fingertips to your shin bones, half way lift.
Step back to PLANK.
Lower half way down, CHATURANGA
Lift your heart, URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA
Lift your hips, ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
Roll forward HIGH PLANK
Step right foot outside of right hand, WIDE LOW LUNGE.
Step left foot outside of left hand MALASANA
Drive heels into the ground, stand up URDHVA HASTASANA
Sit down, MALASANA
Repeat three times.
Vinyasa
From down dog, right foot forward, WARRIOR ONE
Interlace fingers behind back, DEVOTIONAL WARRIOR. Shake out your head.  Let go of your need to be right or perfect.  Let go of your expectations and your judgements.  Breathe.
Shift the weight forward and fly into WARRIOR THREE.  Find the support of the ground underneath the right foot.  Even though it feels unsteady, the constant reorganization of weight on the foot, know that the ground is always there for you.
Draw your hands to prayer, heart center, guide left knee up to chest for STANDING BALANCE. Extended your arms up to the sky. Take up space.  Feel the relationship you have to the earth.  From it's support, flying is effortless. 
Step feet together, TADASANA.
Sweep arms up, sit hips low, UTKATASANA.  
Wing the arms behind you, stretch your legs long, rise onto the balls of your feet, DIVER'S POSE.
Place hands to the ground for BAKASANA.  Whether it's your hands or your feet on the ground, learning how to use the support of the earth to hold our bodies up is the work of Muladhara.  Root what you have into the ground and watch as you rise. 
Step and fly back to CHATURANGA.
Inhale, URDHVA MUKHA. Exhale ADHO MUKHA.
Repeat on left side. 

Root Down. Rise Up. Find your ground so that you can soar and have a place to come back to at the end of the day. Remeber that this life is a journey and all of the "answers" we find today may change tomorrow. AND THAT'S OKAY.  As you grow and change, so will the things that keep you grounded.  Keep Exploring!
-KC