If it's not the toddler it's the cat!
Mental Health Awareness week had me thinking about our basic needs for survival.... food, shelter and the health of our physical body and safety, most particularly feeling ungrounded and "spacey" when anxiety kicks in. The first chakra, often referred to as the "base" chakra, is concerned with this connection to the earth and our basest needs for survival.
Located in the base of the spine, you can see from the picture above, that the corresponding colour for the first chakra is red. It's represented as a lotus with four petals. Interestingly all the petals of each chakra are even in number.. whether it's 2 or 1,000. You may know it as the "root" chakra, as the Sanskrit name is Muladhara, meaning "root". If the energy of this chakra is depleted or blocked, our connection to nature and the world around us may be weakened. As a result, we feel less stable in our ability to cope. In this condition, we may neglect our physical needs, (we "go off" food) and we may become unhealthy and weak as a result of this neglect.
On the other hand, you will instantly spot if this chakra is overstimulated. When this happens, people may become too attached to things of physical importance and place too much importance on material wealth & possessions. People whose root chakra is out of balance may have problems developing the "higher" levels of our nature, because they are afraid to risk losing these possessions. A miser or someone who never, ever pays for anything when you go out with them, is a person who is unable to enjoy their wealth for fear of losing it. Scrooge McDuck deffo has issues with his base chakra!
Some mystics also tell us that there are "minor" chakras - up to 122 secondary chakras and that there is one located below the feet, connecting us with the earth. If you haven't read my blog on the Sacral Chakra and you're still wondering what the heck they are, think energy circles located on a line from your spine to the top of your head (think motorway stops on the M1!)
Every chakra can be seen in relation to our personal journey of growth and self-awareness. The base chakra reveals our most instinctive selves. Our strongest instinct is that of survival and so, until we are confident that these basics of wellbeing are in place and we believe that they will always be available, survival will tend to dominate our thoughts and drive our actions. This doesn't mean, though, that we cannot achieve personal growth unless we become wealthy. It's often more a matter of trusting that our world is an abundant place and that all we need is available to us.
I'm sure that we have all either experienced, or know someone who has experienced, a time when their basic needs are under threat (for example, a job loss). At this stage, our basic need for survival will always take over if it is needed. Quite simply, to balance your root or first chakra, you need to aim for a position where your physical basic needs are met without these needs becoming an obsession. It's seems quite obvious when you think about it, that from an evolutionary perspective, man as a hunter, gatherer, is very much focused on the energy of this chakra. These days, an aromatherapy massage of the legs and feet, is one way of bringing our base chakra back into balance. Massage is very much concerned with the muscle tissue of the body and to boosting the immune system and these, together with the adrenal glands, are the parts of the body associated with this chakra. So when you engage with massage, you are balancing your most basic needs!
In the same way, walking is one of the best base chakra exercises. The connection you make with the ground during each step helps balance the first chakra's energy while strengthening and toning your legs and respiratory system. Choose places of beauty and fresh air to take long walks. Always start with slow, gentle walks; as your fitness improves, you can increase the pace and the length of your stride. I'd recommend taking a small back pack with you containing water and a high-energy snack in case you are inspired to walk further than usual, and don't forget to let people know your route and above all, stop, and take in the beauty of your surroundings. My favourite walks are alongside our local river (pic below) that runs the whole length between our village and the main town.
And talking of walks, as I've been writing this, I've been killing myself laughing. Our cat has taken to coming with us if we go on a walk around the corner to my mother. He usually only gets as far as the turning into her road, because there are a few small, yappy dogs who usually have plenty to say as we pass them & they put him off going any further. Today, however, my grandson was taken for a walk & the dogs weren't out so the cat walked all the way around to my mother's with them. The grandson came home, but the cat didn't. Fast forward half an hour later and my mother is ringing, pancking because Zorro, our cat, has decided to go into the bungalow and won't let himself back out again. So my daughter ended up going around to fetch him. The looks she had from the neighbours as she tried to coax him back home (our cat doesn't like being picked up, so it's very much a "good Zorro, come on Zorro..." as she tries to get him to follow her). Got as far as the turning and he stopped, dead. Refused to budge. Totally in "Slave, go home mode". So I get another phone call, this time from her. As I finish this blog, my grandson is playing beautifully, and my husband (armed with cat yoghurt) has had to go rescue my daughter and bring Zorro home! I'll let you know who wins....