Root Chakra Ch 1 Reading

8.10.18 #8 Yoga Roots Root Chakra Image .png

Home, Health, Family, Safety, Support, Finances


Definition 

Mula = Root Network Dhara = Support or Foundation 

The muladhara is the reticulated root system of your body, used to draw energetic nourishment from Mother Earth, providing support, foundation, stability, and safety. 


ELEMENT 

The element of the Root Chakra is EARTH, symbolic of the Divine Mother who provides support, nourishment, home, comfort, and unconditional love. 

POWER 

The power of the Root Chakra is SUPPORT. When you feel supported, you feel safe because your basic needs (food, water, shelter, home, family) are met.  

SHADOW 

The shadow aspect of the Root Chakra is FEAR. When you feel fear, it is often because your basic needs are not being met or something is jeopardizing your safety, support, foundation, security, and even survival.
 

BALANCE 

Spiritually, Mother Earth always provides. When your Root Chakra is balanced, you feel safe and supported in your life, both physically and emotionally. 


Symptoms of Root Chakra Issues 

Illness or death of a close family member Traumatic accident
Debilitating or life-threatening illness or injury Hospitalization
Unemployment or other loss of financial income Relocation or move of your home Significant weight gain or loss
Eating disorders, overweight or underweight Aches, pains, or disease affecting the legs & feet Homelessness or a sense of not-belonging Hoarding
Neediness 


Anatomy – Feet & Legs

The body parts connected to the Root Chakra are the FEET & LEGS, including toes, heels, ankles, knees, thighs and calves, everything from the hinges of your hips to the tips of your toes. 

We spend most of our lives upright, on our feet, more often than not, paying little to no attention to how we align our feet to the ground and stack our legs on top of them. To become conscious and aware of how you use your legs and feet to support you is to connect consciously with the understanding that you are always supported. 

Symbolically, if Mother Earth is the provider of all your of basic needs and thus the Divine Goddess of Support, how you engage your feet and legs to her is significant to how you receive nourishment of support in your life. 

Foot Placement 

The “Latch” 

“Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” 

~Abraham Lincoln 

Think of your feet as the lips that suckle to the breast of Mother Earth. Like an infant nursing at his mother’s breast, the “latch” of the lips to the nipple is vital. One way to ensure a good latch of your body to the nipple of Mother Earth is to consciously place your feet, evenly distributing your weight. 

When standing unconsciously, it is common to shift your weight from one foot to the other as a means of sharing the burden of holding up your body. When you depend on one part of your foot to hold the majority of your weight, after a short time, the muscles required to support your weight will fatigue, so you shift your weight to a different position to apply the majority of the weight to a different group of muscles. 

If you latch your feet to the earth and evenly distribute the weight across all the muscles of your feet and legs, the alignment of your body provides support through the architecture of your bones, allowing your muscles to share the burden and last longer. The best way to latch your feet is to stand with your feet straight, like number ones,with your heels slightly out. Although it will feel like you are pigeon toed, when you look down, your feet are actually straight. 

Internal Thigh (Ad-ductor) Rotation 

The “Suckle” 

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. 

~Khalil Gibran


You adductor muscles are located on your inner thighs, and are quite possibly the most under-appreciated muscles of your legs. These muscles symbolize the action of “adding in” energy. Think of these muscles as little straws, or ducts, that suck in energy to your system. They AD-DUCT. 

An easy way to learn how to engage these muscles is to stand with your feet in Mountain Pose and place a yoga block between your thighs. The slight hugging of the block between your thighs (up by your groin) engages your adductor muscles causing a slight internal rotation of your upper thigh which creates a spiraling suction sensation from the arches of your feet right up your legs into your torso. 

This action creates both a rooting sensation down through your feet and a lifting sensation up your legs. In yoga, we 

call this apana (downward root) and prana (upward lift). Scientifically, the actions of prana and apana is application of the universal law of physics “the force of any action creates an equal and opposite reaction.” Thus, pushing down in your feet creates an equal and opposite lifting sensation in your upper body. Like a yo-yo or superball, the force pushed down caused a reverberation upward. Many yoga students report feelings of becoming more stable, balanced, rooted, plugged into the ground as well as lighter, freer, and more lifted. 

To engage your adductor muscles when stepping into warrior one, try planting your back foot first, pushing back into your back foot before placing your front foot next to your hand. When you step forward, take a moment to push back again, using the backward push to help lift you into the full warrior position. 

MULADHARA BHANDA - ROOT LOCK 

The location of the ROOT CHAKRA is also the location of the muladhara bhanda, root lock. Bhanda means lock, and it is meant to close off the senses as a means of turning within. Like the lock of a canal, this contraction is meant to prevent the leakage of energy. Another way it is commonly described by yoga instructors is as an engagement of the muscles that stop or block the flow of urine. 

Many styles of yoga asana practice teach the concept of holding Muladhara Bhanda throughout the practice. However, to hold a bhanda-lock as described above throughout the duration of any yoga asana practice is feasibly impossible. Perhaps a better translation of bhanda for application throughout asana practice would be “embrace” rather than “lock.” 

With just a simple action of consciously “latching” your feet to the earth and engaging your adductor muscles of your inner thighs, muladhara bhanda is easy to perform and provides just the right combination of stability and structure to align any position. In yoga and in life, muladhara bhanda can prevent injury and other issues by establishing a safe foundation. 


MULADHARA BHANDA - OFF THE MAT 

All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince. 

~Plato


You can do many little things throughout your day to remind your body of the support in your world and to connect with Mother’s nourishment. 

•Hug a block between your thighs while doing dishes, cooking, brushing your teeth, standing in line, or any other mundane home task that requires standing. 

•Place your feet in muladhara alignment as you take short walks, particularly on the beach or in the snow where you can see your footsteps to assess your heel alignment. 

•To relieve low back tension, sit up tall and root both feet into the ground in muladhara alignment and activate your adductor muscles by squeezing your two fists between your knees. 

•Take child’s pose allowing your whole body to become a pair of lips that nurse from the breast of the Mother Earth and breathe deeply to drink in the nourishment of unconditional love, support, safety, and foundation.