Chakra Series: Root Chakra

Root Chakra (Muladhara) मूलाधार

The root chakra, traditionally illustrated in the area of a body which connects with a floor in a pose, is our most primal, instinctual chakra. It connects us to our basic needs and serves as the bedrock for our other energy centers. It includes fulfillment of necessities like water, food, shelter. But it also represents safety and a freedom from fear. When you are connected to your root chakra, you feel grounded and centered and safe.

rootchakra

Lets think about Erickson’s stages of development. People who have a strong root chakra usually had a successful trust vs. mistrust stage in their lives. They learned to view the world as a safe and stable place by being loved and cared for consistently by their parents.

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There are other ways to develop weak root chakras. Children of parents who had transient relationships may have difficulty committing. Military children may have difficulty putting down roots in a community after relocating so frequently most of their lives. People who have been traumatized in other ways or who simply developed a “free spirit” may not connect to their root chakras as deeply as others.

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And that is ok. Not everyone has to connect to every chakra as deeply as the others. It is what makes us all unique and different.

During pregnancy, the root chakra may be associated with nesting – the instinct to prepare for baby before he or she is born. It may also refer to the security and confidence that the pregnancy and birth will be successful. Connecting to that feeling is important, even though we may all have doubts. The anxiety produced by worrying too much will not help you psychologically or physically as you prepare for your little one.

pregnant-meditation

This chakra is traditionally connected to Ganesha, the elephant goddess. She is the goddess of beginnings and the eternal child. She is also the remover of obstacles.

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Seated meditation is a powerful way to connect to the earth and this chakra and help you feel more secure. Visualization of roots of a tree growing from the base of your spine through your legs and into the floor beneath you is very useful. Deep, steady breathing like Ujjayi Pranayama can help you feel grounded.

Wanna chant? There is something seriously powerful about chanting repetitively. A good one for this chakra is:

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

A loose translation might be:
Om = Salutations! Everyone wake up!
Gam = The secret power sound of Ganesh.
Ganapataye = Another name of Ganesh, the breaker of obstacles.
Namaha = Yo! Ganesh! You da God!

The pronunciation is also pretty easy:
Om = ohm or aum
Gam = Somewhere between “gahm” and “gum”. In some dialects, it is “guhng”.
Ganapataye = gah-nah-paht-ah-yeh
Namaha – nah-mah-ha

Here is what it sounds like:

If you want to add a physical practice to awaken this chakra, try this sequence below (this sequence is safe for pregnancy as well). I went ahead and used the english names so as not to confuse you with the sanskrit. Each pose includes a link to an instructional page about that pose. For the asymmetrical poses, do them on each side before moving on.

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  1. Cat/cow
  2. Child’s Pose
  3. Downward Facing Dog
  4. Gate Pose
  5. Mountain
  6. Extended Triangle
  7. Warrior II
  8.  Pyramid
  9. Wide Legged Forward Fold
  10. Staff Pose
  11. Head to Knee Pose
  12. Staff Pose
  13. Urdhva Hasta Dandasana
  14. Heron Pose or Three Limbed Forward Bend
  15. Staff Pose
  16. Savasana (side lying savasana if you are pregnant)
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