(I teach a Power Vinyasa class on Tuesday evenings. I told my students I would be posting a blog entry after each class in case anyone wanted a refresher, so here it is!)
Today I led my Power Flow class through the first chakra, Muladhara. We worked on cultivating grounding, stability, and security.
The 1st chakra is located at the base of the spine/coccygeal plexus. Its element is Earth, and its color is red. One of the affirmations for this chakra (which I had my students use) is: “The earth supports me and meets my needs.” Each chakra has a basic, inalienable right, and for the 1st chakra this is: The right to be here and the right to have.
As I led my class through their flow, I reminded them to bring awareness to their “grounding” of a posture–how they can best feel stable and strong in it. With this idea of grounding, we also discussed balance and imbalance.
If your first chakra is unbalanced, it can fall into two categories: excessive (having too much muladhara), or deficient (not having enough). For an excessive 1st chakra, you can exhibit the following traits: obesity, overeating, hoarding, greed, sluggish, tired, fear of change, or rigidity. If your 1st chakra is deficient, you might feel: disconnected from the body, underweight, fearful, anxious, restless, poor focus and discipline, poor boundaries, or financial difficulty.
In order to balance the 1st chakra, you want to practice yoga postures that create feelings of security. Some of these postures include: Tadasana, Janu Sirasana, Shalabhasana, and most Warrior poses. In these postures, you work with feeling the earth support you, and trusting this support.
When your 1st chakra is balanced, you may feel any of the following: good health, vitality, grounded, comfortable in the body, trusting, secure, relaxed, stable, or prosperous. Balancing this 1st chakra is so important, because damage to this chakra is reflected in all of the other chakras.
Delving deeper into this chakra, we learn the traumas and abuses consistent with a 1st chakra that needs healing. These traumas, according to Anodea Judith, can include:
Abandonment, physical neglect
Poor physical bonding with mother
Malnourishment, feeding difficulties
Major illness or surgery
Physical abuse or violent environment
Inherited traumas–parents’ survival fears (i.e., holocaust survivors, war veterans, poverty conditions)
How do we heal these traumas? Practicing yoga is one way, but a few others include: physical activity (aerobics, weights, running, dance), a lot of touch (i.e. massage), bioenergetic grounding, reclaiming right to be here. Healing these traumas is immensely important. Author Anodea Judith states:
Healing the split between mind and body is a necessary step in the healing of us all. It heals our home, our foundation, and the base upon which all else is built.
I ended my class telling each student: “You have the right to be here. You have the right to exist."
Next Tuesday: Svadhisthana (Sacral Chakra)