Let’s have a look then at each of the 7 main chakras in more detail, starting with the base or root chakra, mooladhara, to give it its correct name.
As you might have guessed from it’s name, mooladhara sits right at the base of your spine, providing firm energetic foundations, just as the coccyx and sacrum joints are the firm foundations of your spine. The colour associated with this chakra is a beautiful ruby red and it is all about the earth element and how we connect with the earth. Always brings to my mind the earthy red tones of the Australian outback.
One of the things that always interests me about the chakras is how their qualities seep into our every day language. Have a read of these common phrases :
We talk about practical people being “grounded” or with their “feet firmly planted in the earth”. We like people who are authentic,”walk their talk” and are “down to earth”. When we find somewhere we class as home we “put roots down”, we might even feel “uprooted” if we have to move. These are all words associated with the root chakra and the earth element.
When our base chakra is in balance we feel secure about ourselves and also about our lives in general. We are observant and make good judgement calls. Fear and insecurity, shyness and lethargy are all signs that we need to work on mooladhara.
The chakras also affect our physical health. Hip, knee and feet problems, arthritis and sciatica, constipation and some auto immune disorders are signs that the base chakra is out of balance.
Fortunately there are lot of things we can do to nurture this chakra. I’m a visual person and find it very comforting to focus on flooding the area around the base of the spine with translucent ruby red light, particularly if I feel my world is being rocked a bit, it brings back calm and stability. Do this whenever you need to, it’s really beautiful done whilst sitting in on the earth. You can then focus on your connection with the earth, feel as if you are putting roots down…become so connected that you can feel the earth breathing with you…as you inhale, feel the earth expand with you…as you exhale, feel the earth beneath settle and relax as you settle and relax. I guarantee, a few breaths like this and you will feel as strong and stable as a mountain. And talking of mountains….
The Mountain pose, the foundation of all our standing poses, is a great posture to bring strength, poise and calm. Once settled in the mountain, move into any of the standing postures, the balances will bring strength to the legs and improve your balance function, allowing energy to flow upwards from the base. Triangles work particularly with the earth energy. Physically, they work on the legs, hips, core & spine and improve digestive function (really good for moving sluggish bowels!), on a deeper level they encourage us to open up to creativity, to see it all around us and to be creative ourselves.
In Dru Yoga we have the beautiful Earth Sequence, to help us feel grounded. This is a wonderful sequence for working all your joints, toning the legs, improving balance and building calm, peaceful energy.
You can also feed your chakras, quite literally! To nourish mooladhara stock up on plenty of root vegetables – think about how comforting warming stews and soups are. I’m not an aromatherapist, just an interested party, so check out contra-indications, but I’ve always loved Vetivert essential oil, a very smoky, earthy scent. I put a drop right at the base of my spine if I’m ever feeling discombobulated. It’s great for relieving that horrid swaying feeling, as if you’re on board ship, you sometimes feel after you’ve been traveling too!
Enjoy your base chakra, and next time we’ll take a look at the sacral chakra. Ix