"When we live in exile from our sensate reality of the body, we live in exile from the source of our aliveness. The only place that we can reconnect with this aliveness is in the body. Of course we all have bodies, yet few of us truly inhabit our bodies. We may live a short distance from the body divorced from our feelings, sensations, intuitions, and instincts. The body may seem like a foreign land that we have read about but never personally visited. And just as we may come to know a foreign land through the stories we've heard and the pictures we've seen, the actual reality of the place can never be known until we have walked, eaten smelled, touched, and been there ourselves. When we begin to live in the body again, we take of citizenship in our personal residence. In this way we come home to the body." -Donna Farhi
Before I begin I would like to acknowledge that the inspiration and a great deal of the insight from this post comes from the book The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. The wisdom that she shares throughout the book on the intersection of inequality and spiritual community is profound and I encourage you to seek out this book to go deeper into the small pieces I touch on here in this post.
In light of the events last week, I have seen and heard many in my yoga community (which for me is also my spiritual community) speaking to this idea of oneness. I have long been a proponent of the same message. When I feel unable to hold injustices perpetrated against myself or others, I harp back to holding the space for myself and my students that we are all one. This reminder that underneath all of our differences we are spirit in form. Yet as I've sat with this in the last few years, it has rung increasingly hollow and I have had trouble reconciling the injustice and injury I see with this philosophy of oneness. When I picked up her book, I began to understand why.
The 1st chakra, is deeply connected to the physical body and to our experience of being in present in any given moment. The 1st chakra invites us into the laboratory our of bodies and invites us to fully experience each opportunity that comes along. Furthermore, we invite the essence of Shakti into the practice. We often speak about the 1st chakra as the home of Shakti, and the 7th chakra subsequently the home of Shiva. It is their union that animates all life and their meeting in our own bodies that invites Kundalini to awaken and rise up the spine. ¬†In my own experience, I think of Shakti as this heavy, Earth Mama energy. She keeps us grounded and connected to all of life, and like the Earth, is the birth place of all living things.
Below you will find some practices to help you further explore embodying the 1st chakra:
Yoga teacher, sound healer and explorer of the inner landscape. Join me!