Like most people, I’m constantly trying to get better at balancing everything in my life/work. Keeping all the balls in the air so to speak and not dropping the ones that matter. A few weeks ago, lots of things happened that felt like I was dropping all those balls, one by one – it felt like life as I know it was unraveling before my eyes, like I’d lost my footing in it and also like I’d lost my sense of “I am”.
I’ve been going to a Kundalini yoga class every week though, and coincidentally – or not! – we were focusing that particular week on the Root Chakra. According to Sada Nam, an amazing teacher, in the western world we often have misplaced ideas about chakras, always aiming to develop the higher ones – the more spiritual ones, like the brow and crown chakras, in an attempt to connect energetically with the infinite. In fact, she says, if the lower chakras are aligned and open, the higher chakras tend fall into alignment too, so the energy can flow through the whole body.
So, what to do to strengthen your very first chakra – the foundation, the base – the root chakra? Located at the very base of your spine, this is the one which gives you your sense of stability, of feeling you’re in the right place or at home – a sense of belonging and of your right to be here, your right even to exist. It’s also very bound up in the material, physical world and in family.
If your root chakra is off balance – which may be caused by all sorts of life events such as moving home, losing someone close to you, losing a pet, splitting up with a partner, changing jobs, going through a transition – you may literally feel wobbly on your feet. Physically, you may have lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins or problems with your legs, while emotionally, you may feel needy, anxious, unsafe, or fearful. You may feel like you don’t fit in, like an outsider – isolated, suspicious or even paranoid. You may be depressed, or prone to addictions or obsessive compulsive disorder. You may be unduly concerned with food or money – the basic necessities of life – you might be in trouble financially or stingy with your money. You also may feel unworthy or undeserving, insecure or inadequate. Hmm, quite a list.
If you resonate with any of those, what then can you actually DO to strengthen or balance this root chakra? Well, a good starting point is anything that connects you, or reconnects you, with the ground – walking instead of driving, sitting on the floor rather than sitting on a chair and choosing to take the stairs, not the elevator. You could also massage your feet, paint your toenails, do leg squats – simply pay more attention to the part of you that supports you and connects you with this earth.
The Kundalini solution I tried, (and which works by the way!!), is a kriya (a daily practice with a definite outcome) that involves 52 ‘frogs’, which are a bit like squats but more fun, several minutes of Sat Kriya, which connects yourself with your Truth, and relaxing flat on the floor doing absolutely nothing at all, (not even relaxing!) for 8 minutes.
But there’s always more you can do… and I love the idea of turning a chakra-strengthening practice – walking – into a creative event by making a little movie out of it, which is exactly what Jacques has done here in The Walk project;
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”11229846″ caption=”Turn walking into an artwork” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”on” viewend=”on”]
These are the rules : You are walking. We see your feet. You stop and you look forward: we discover the landscape (the street, the place, the scene). Then you walk again, and the camera comes back to your feet. For sure, everyone that takes part in the Walk project will be strengthening their root chakra, whether they know it or not…
And the 7 chakras underpin the whole Artists Adventures course…
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