Chakra means wheel or disc. In yogic physiology, chakra also refers to energy centres. Whilst there are various chakra points located all over the body, we normally refer to the 7 situated along the shushumna (energetic equivalent of the spinal cord). Each newsletter over the next year, i will discuss a different chakra- you can do the test to see if yours is aligned, or a bit out of kilter.
Mooladhara Chakra- your base chakra
Mooladhara means “root support”. Mooladhara chakra is your survival chakra and related to the earth element. Whilst the study of yoga is often seen as a spiritual pursuit, it also emphasizes the importance of being grounded, staying connected with not only the earth, but your community, your job, family. From this strong foundation, the more lofty ideals will flourish. To find out if your mooladhara chakra is healthy or needs more work… answer this mini-quiz:
- 1. In terms of punctuality, I am:
(a) always early waiting for everyone
(b) quite punctual- i manage my time well.
(c) always late- i can never get anywhere on time
- 2. In terms of finances
(a) I am vigilant about managing my finances- I know where every cent goes. I save well.
(b) I pay my bills on time and budget well
(c) I never seem to be able to manage my finances or pay bills on time. I am often in debt
- 3. I honestly believe that
(a) People with money are more respected and ultimately have a better life
(b) Money cant buy happiness or love
(c) People with money have better lives
- 4. Regarding my career/ profession
(a) I am a workaholic. I work long hours and have a high powered job
(b) I love my job.. but make sure the life/ career balance is even
(c) I have changed my job many times. I haven’t really found a career I like.
if you picked mostly Bs… then your mooladhara chakra is stable. You are satisfied with your “material” presence- your career is rewarding, yet doesn’t consume your whole life, you can manage time, finances, relationships. You enjoy your domestic life. You know money isn’t everything, however you understand that in order to survive, managing your finances is important. People around you find you reliable, trustworthy and grounded. You’re punctual because you manage time well. You’re rarely in unmanageable debt.
If you picked mostly As: Prana is “stuck” in this chakra. You believe that people will deem you successful if you are earning a certain amount, driving a prestigious car, living an expensive lifestyle. You may be a workaholic, materialistic, flashy. You may surround yourself, or aim to surround yourself with similar people. This “imbalance” can lead to insecurity, greed, jealousy, negativity- all weaknesses associated with prana not being able to rise to the higher chakras. Remember- you are not your objects. Could you be comfortable with yourself if you owned less?
Suggested yoga practice: lighten up your practice. A vinyasa/ dynamic style would be suitable- but if you’re a type A personality, don’t force or strain the postures. Inversions, back bends, arm balances will all free your soul from your material shackles. People who answered A to most of the questions may also feel pain/ tightness in their lower back or sciatic nerve pain. Twists release the spine, and work towards being comfortable in ustrasana.
If you picked mostly Cs- then your mooladhara chakra is in flux. Artistic, creative, spiritual people often struggle in this area. They may be quite open in the upper chakras (communication, creativity, inspiration, compassion) , yet may be completely “ungrounded” or “all over the place”. If you know people who are always late, change from job to job, can’t manage their finances, are up and down in relationships… it’s due to instability in this area.
Suggested yoga practice: grounding, balancing postures. Hold asanas for long periods of time. Try not to let your thoughts fly off. Standing postures, warrior postures and lots of challenging balancing postures. calming the mind with forward bends and meditation is good too. Regarding issues with the lower back- work on back strengthening postures such as shalabasana and dhanurasana. Core work is often also necessary to keep your lower body grounded and stable.