"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
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:
"Those who dwell among the beauties and the mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." ~ Rachel Carson
The governing element of the 1st charkra is Earth. The 1st chakra rests near the base of the spine at the perineum. And the exploration of the element of Earth through the 1st chakra brings focus on running energy from the 1st chakra into the earth. This can be done in your seat or standing. In a standing pose, the legs provide a vehicle for that energy to travel downward and connect with the Earth, and vice versa, to travel back upward and feed the chakra. The practices listed below are opportunities to open to Earth energy, and whatever you experience beyond that is true and accurate and represents your own knowledge around Earth in your body. Rather than having an expectation of what your experience will be open up to all the possibilities. Truly we are our own masters and have the best knowledge about our own energetic systems.
The 1st chakra, also known as the Muladhara chakra (or root chakra) is located at the base of the sushumna nadi. The nadis are energy lines running through the body, much as we speak of meridians as energy lines in the Chinese Medicine system. The sushumna is one of the the three most often discussed in yoga as it is the channel that runs up and down the spine and feeds all of the major chakras. The sushumna begins at the perineum and runs all the way up to the crown of the head. The 1st chakra is located at the perineum, at the beginning of the nadi.
In my study and experience of the 1st chakra, I have found to be that it is very much about grounding, stability and structure in our lives. It is our sense of being grounded into a place, and into our own bodies. It is very much about our relationship to our physical bodies and because asana is a physical practice, can be very much rooted into our asana practice.
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