Yogic Energy: Root Chakra
Growing up in Jamaica, travelling and especially living abroad was regarded as a high accomplishment and for many the only way to gain a better way of life and provide for their family. As a child, I would listen to the stories painted by those returning home from abroad, lavished in fancy clothing and jewellery. They would convey glorified images of abroad and it would seem as if the streets there were made with gold. Some of my classmates would boast their new school supplies and accessories bought for them by their family members living abroad while others would tell of their summer excursions spent in America. My curiosity and desire to travel and live abroad was born.
As time passed, my mother and sister migrated and later on I was able to travel and soon, I too was given the opportunity to migrate. However, when that day came to leave Jamaica I was inconsolable. I held tightly onto the doors not wanting to leave, mortified by the fear and uncertainties of starting over. You see, I was pretty much settled in Jamaica having attained my University schooling and was working and living independently. I knew that migrating was the best choice for me as my immediate family was already living abroad and I could only expand from this experience. In that moment I grappled with questions that weighed heavily on my mind such as the fear of failure, concerns about a new culture, the varied weather conditions particularly the snow and the tenure to find new employment and felt deeper into despair. Thankfully I was persuaded by my friend who was with me that things will work themselves out given my nature of resilience and preservation. Years later, through my yoga journey, I came to realize that the feelings I experienced on that day were the result of a blocked Root Chakra.
Located at the base of the spine, the pelvic floor, and the first three vertebrae, the root (Muladhara) chakra is responsible for our sense of safety and security. This chakra relates to whatever grounds us to stability in life and includes our basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and safety, as well as our more emotional needs such as letting go of fear. When these needs are met, we feel grounded and safe, and tend to worry less. However, fear might turn into greed and paranoia if the root chakra is overactive.
Events that threaten our basic survival needs such as war, famine, natural disasters and pandemics such as Covid 19 are all dwelling within energies of this first chakra. Root chakra energies can also be generational, creating unconscious generational patterns. We must strive to identify these energy blockages buried within our unconsciousness. All of the seven chakras are important and interconnected with each other and usually balancing one chakra will create change in another chakra. It is important though tobalance the root chakra first, before we proceed to others, or we will lack the stability and rootedness necessary for true transformation and personal growth.
How do we balance our root chakra especially in light of current events? Here are a few suggestions:
Anchoring yourself in your environment – In my new home country finding friends wasn’t easy but I was careful of whose energy I was allowing in my space. I was lucky to find a donation based studio a few months after settling which not only catered to my physical needs but more importantly, provided a space for support and friendship. Therefore, seek to be around people who uplift you and support you. Be mindful of what information you absorb, filter those that do not serve you or perhaps cause you angst.
Connecting intimately with the earth – Go outside and walk on unpaved paths, dig your hands in the earth, plant seeds. If you do not have access to a garden, find a park and pay attention to every step you make. Make a mental note of your experience of having your feet in direct contact with the earth. You may also take a comfortable seat so that your sit bones connect with the earth and imagine a crimson light moving up from the base of your spine, absorbing all its energy while focusing on your breath knowing fully that you are supported by the universe.
Physical activity promotes root chakra health- Any movement involving your feet and legs are helpful to balance your root chakra. In Jamaica, dancing is in our genetics. I remember having on replay the song “She is Royal” done by Taurus Riley, a Jamaican Reggae artist, tapping my feet and moving my hips to its rhythm. This song served as a source of strength reminding me of the power I have within.
Overcoming feelings of insecurity by learning self-reliance – the use of positive affirmations about you and the world you are in and how you fit in can help to balance your root chakra. I would remind myself that I am safe; I am powerful, rooted and strong. Reinforcing these affirmations promotes self confidence and fortitude.
Yoga has significantly aided me to find stability and given me the space to fit into my new environment. The fear of change that pervaded me on that day has significantly subsided through time. Understanding of my Root Chakra serves as a constant way to introspect to observe and to address issues that no longer serve me. I am able to identify and address blockages and imbalances through a heightened awareness of this energy source especially in light of recent events of the pandemic and protests regarding systemic racism that coerced me to revisit of my childhood memories of being affected by colorism. Through this understanding and my faith I am better able to find solace knowing that changes are underway as we become more mindful of each other through visible support diffusing more love and empathy for all lives.
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