During my first Yoga Teacher Training, we learned a small amount of information about the Chakra System. As it was sandwiched between a bazillion other things to learn like how to assist a handstand and what the hell is pranayama etc. etc. the Chakra System was a topic I knew there was so much more to know about.
Now I’ve had the chance to dive a little deeper into the Chakras, (attempt to) figure out what it all means and how we can change our bodies, minds, and our lives by tapping into, balancing, cleansing and awakening these wheels of energy.
It may sound all woo woo but this stuff dates back to between 1500 and 500 BC where the system first originated in India. AND it’s scientifically proven that we are ENERGY. So this stuff makes sense if you open your eyes, mind and heart just a little bit more.
Let’s get the basics down pat first.
What is the Chakra System?
Chakra in Sanskrit (yoga language) translates to wheel. In the main Chakra System we will look into, there are 7 energy wheels. These form up and down the spine, which is also known as Sushumna Nadi.
A Nadi is an energy line, we have 72 000 of them within our body, running down and around every nook and cranny. They are the lines in which prana or chi travel through the body. Prana = life force.
Sushumna Nadi is the central Nadi of the body. Yes! Like the central nervous system.
The Chakras are points along this central Nadi where a heap of the other Nadis cross-intersect to form these moving wheels of energy.
When the Chakras are aligned, open and spinning, we feel a sense of ease and flow within life. Energy flows effortlessly to us and through us. When they are blocked, clogged or unbalanced you can feel like life is a drag, everything is hard, low energy, like you’re forever walking uphill.
We want to cleanse and balance these wheels of energy to promote vitality and a sense of flow, to add brightness and lightness to life.
There are 7 Chakras in the main system:
- Base (Muladhara)
- Sacral (Svadisthana)
- Solar Plexus (Manipura)
- Heart (Anahata)
- Throat (Vishudda)
- Third Eye (Ajna)
- Crown (Sahasrara)
That’s definitely a nutshell definition BUT I want to get into the how to – the good stuff – so you can actually start to cleanse and balance your own Chakras.
During this series, I’ll be sharing how to awaken, balance and cleanse each Chakra.
Today, starting with the Base Chakra, or the Root Chakra, or in Sanskrit: Muladhara Chakra.
What is the Base Chakra?
The Base Chakra, Muladhara, represents our connection to the Earth. It is our root, our foundation. It is found at the base of your spine.
We always start with the base, the beginning (it’s a very good place to start). If we don’t have a strong base or foundation, each step we take can feel unsettled and insecure.
When our Base Chakra is balanced we feel a sense of security and stability. We feel a sense of trust in our place in the word. That we are exactly where we are meant to be.
When Muladhara Chakra is balanced and aligned, we cease to attach our security and stability to other people, places and things, instead, we find our own root support, we realise that our stability and security, our solid foundation can only come from within.
We cease to exist primarily in our heads and rather choose to fully inhabit our body.
When our Base Chakra is blocked, clogged or misaligned, you might feel unfocused, you may have a fear of your future (especially financially and job instability), you might feel this overwhelming desire to be outside more, you might feel floaty, like you’re feet aren’t on the ground or lack energy.
Whether you feel these or not, just know that any focus on clearing Muladhara Chakra and grounding to the Earth is a good thing. In this day and age where we spend so much time connecting to our devices and the media, any grounding energy work we do can only bring goodness.
In my opinion, I don’t think you can ever be ‘too grounded’.
How can we start to awaken, cleanse and align our Base Chakra?
The colour for our Base Chakra is red. We can visualise a glowing red at the base of our spine.
The Bija Mantra (or the seed Mantra, a one-word syllable, and vibration) is Lam (said like Luuu-uuum). We can chant this mantra out loud or even within our minds. This vibration will awaken our Base Chakra, literally bring it to life.
Breathe with Mudra
The Mudra (mudra = energy seal or lock created with the body) we can use is Earth Mudra (where we bring thumb and ring finger to connect, all other fingers outstretched), or I like to use Ganesha Mudra, where you monkey grip the fingertips, hold them at your lower belly or chest and pull the elbows out wide.
Using these Mudras we can begin to breathe in and out through the nose.
Taking the breath all the way down to the base of the spine, feeling Muladhara Chakra begin to spin and awaken. As we exhale feel the energy sink deeper down in toward the Earth, grounding, connecting.
We can do Yoga!
Yes! We can do yoga. Some of my favourite postures to include in a grounding Yoga class are:
- Uttanasana (a simple forward fold).
- Warrior 1 and Warrior 2, focus on grounding down through the feet.
- Anjaneasana, or low lunge.
- Tree pose, Vrkasana, a simple balance to really test your connection to the Earth.
- Salabasana and Dhanurasa, as this connects belly to the Earth, feels amazing.
- Downward facing dog, so simple but having your feet and hands earthed can really bring this connection into the body.
- Malasana, or yogi squat, takes our centre low toward the Earth.
- And of course, Tadasana, or mountain pose. Once again, simple, basic, but oh so powerful.
Yoga doesn’t need to be fancy, in fact, less is more. When practising these postures really focus on drawing the energy down through the body and in toward the Earth. Feel stable. Feel secure.
If you’ve never tried the life-changing practice of Yoga or you’re keen to create a consistent practice, I’d love to invite you to try MerryBody – our online Yoga and Pilates Studio.
If you’re looking to transform your body and your mind, it’s the only gym membership you need. Within the classes we cover each and every one of these postures, we even have a class dedicated to ‘Grounding Yourself’ and awakening Muladhara Chakra!
Ground yourself (literally)
The element for the Base Chakra is Earth. Go outside and walk (shoes off preferably!). Breathe in the fresh air. Really feel every step. Feel how the Earth below you supports you. Always. It’s always there to catch you when you fall, no matter what.
A quote to inspire your Base Chakra
“When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each colour of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the Earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of your life.” – Christy Ann Martine
I love that quote.
Let me know how you go and what you feel when you start to awaken the magic of Muladhara Chakra.
Next up, it’s all about the Sacral Chakra!
Carla (Your MerryBody Yoga Teacher).