It was an absolute joy to teach the first class in a 5 class series on chakras this morning at our tranquil Stellenbosch yoga studio.
We focused on the root or base chakra, Muladhara, and the crucial role it plays in supplying us with the energy of survival. It was all about being grounded, inviting stability and balance into our bodies, lives and our practices, on and off the mat.
As often happens in teaching, I started with a clear and practiced class plan to move through, and ended up having to cut out an entire section because the cues that I was getting from the class were that it felt right to go a lot slower than I had planned. The collective balance and stability in Vrksasana was a thing of beauty. We finished with one of my favourite guided meditations for grounding, and the breathing and sense of calm by the end of the class was beautifully meditative.
I mentioned at the end of class that working with chakras can elicit some quite powerful emotions – some comfortable and others less so – and that it is sometimes suggested that one keeps a journal as you move your way through the process, to safely contain things that may arise. Some people choose to, others don’t so it’s entirely up to you but as promised, here are some questions relating to Muladhara that you may find interesting.
Root chakra concerns: survival, stability, physical needs, security, connection with the earth
Muladhara journaling – suggested questions:
Why am I here at this point in my life right now? You may want to begin by writing down your earliest memories. Are they happy ones?
What belief patterns have I inherited from my family?
Do I perceive the world as a dangerous place?
Do I nurture myself properly – both with food and with healthy ideas and impressions?
Do I often feel as if I don’t belong?
What keeps me grounded?
How do I connect with my physical body?
How do I connect with nature?
What makes me feel secure?
Where am I safe?
What gives me sustenance?
How can I share my stability and strength with others?
Being grounded simply means embodying the present moment. Balancing the first chakra means going to the places that scare you, sitting there, breathing, feeling your body, feeling your feelings completely, not wriggling away, not plotting your escape. A healthy root chakra is connected to both the earth and the sky, the grounded, solid quality of reality as well as the expansive spaciousness of acute awareness.
This is my meditation “toolkit” for Muladhara: an exquisite red silk scarf brought to me from India by my precious teacher and friend, Susie Roy, and a fragment of fossilized rock – millions of years old – that I picked up in the Cederberg last year. Both help me feel grounded and I gravitate towards them when I am feeling flighty or unsettled. You may find value in creating your own special place or objects for meditation as we move through the chakras together, and beyond.
Please note – if at any point you feel unsafe or as if you need support in this process, please go easy, look after yourself and reach out. And I am always available for questions and would love to help in any way I can.
I’d love to hear your comments, as always.