Module 2: MULADARA Chakra
You have the right to be here.
To fully occupy your body and live the life you dream of.
You have the right to get any and everything you need to support this anytime.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of BKH, it’s time to journey deeper into the path of yoga. The rest of the modules are structured around our energy or “subtle body” made up of the charka system and thousands of “nadis” or energy channels. We will also explore the other limbs of yoga within each module as well. Our first main energy center is located at the very base of the spine corresponding to the feet, legs and the perineum. The hands are both root and heart chakra areas and the nose is associated with this center because the sense function of chakra one is smell. Chakra one is our foundation, our “root support” which is the literal translation of muladhara. This is arguably THE most important chakra and often the one people spend the least amount of time on. I’ve found in spiritual circles, the yoga world, and the new age movement there’s often a great deal of talk and attention given to the upper chakras such as the heart and third eye centers. Indeed these are vital, but those centers are not able to function optimally if we’re not balanced here at the base.
Most yoga practices are focused on liberating energy, moving it up the spine to enlightenment. But that’s not the direction of birth, or digestion. To make things happen, to put something into the world, we move downward. Starting with an idea in our heads, we visualize it in our mind’s eye. We verbalize the story, and start to build relationships from our heart. We center ourselves (in the solar plexus), begin to create, and finally see the physical object in the world.
I call muladhara “the body image chakra.” Just as a tree needs strong roots to grow tall and weather storms, we need to be grounded into the body so we can move upwards effectively to higher vibrational living. We cannot be grounded if we are at war with the body. Period. Grounding means being connected to the Earth and our environment. It’s feeling present, really being present. It’s feeling safe and supported even when also feeling other emotions. It means feeling strong, centered and self-assured. It makes perfect sense that the element of the first chakra is earth. We ARE earth. Our bodies are made up of the same material as the earth and her other living forms. You matter because you ARE matter. Chakra one represents the physical identity and how we interface with the physical realm we’re undeniably a part of. Our capacity for peace and self-empowerment is directly related to our ability to accept being an embodied soul and to identify with and meet our bodies needs. These are the areas chakra one governs. Issues in these areas speak to a need for some root chakra attention:
body/physical health & body image
boundaries & structure
family & other significant relationships
home & environment
finances & work/career
security, trust, worthiness
Isn’t it interesting that we habitually deny our bodies and the messages they send us? That our culture values this abandonment of body through the “no pain, no gain ” and “mind over matter” mentality, the devaluation of rest, constant distraction, etc. The orientation of muladhara is self-preservation. The primary purpose here is survival so the soul can have it’s evolutionary experience. We are not, however meant to stay focused on this function alone. It’s quite easy to get stuck here as evidenced by our obsession with our bodies and food both collectively and individually.
You don’t have a soul; you are a Soul. You have a body.
You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are.
It’s through the Gift Of Embodiment that the soul can serve the highest consciousness fully as the quotes above speak to. We need this sacred vessel to live our Divine Dharma a.k.a. “cosmic purpose,” life purpose, our dream, calling, etc. We need to be grounded in the body, feeling fully through the 5 senses, nurturing it with love and compassion to be able to manifest what we truly want. The desires we have to move beyond merely existing is the soul expressing it’s natural state of infinite expansiveness, infinite potential. When this center is imbalanced we feel unsupported. We struggle with structure and healthy boundaries yet we become “control freaks.” When we try to control life, the less of a positive influence we have on it. Control is a natural response to the core emotion of fear.
Everything that is not love is fear.
-Yogi Amrit Desai
As previously discussed, fear is born of pain, pain is the result of experiences that disconnect us from our True Nature of Divineness. The above quote points to a hard and fast truth; there are ultimately only two fundamental emotions: fear and love. Though most of us think we know what these are, I find there’s a great deal of misconception about emotion. More to come on that in module 3. For example, most of us think of fear as being solely related to survival such as the fear of being murdered or dying of cancer. I find what’s more pressing along the soul journey is fear in it’s many other forms: anxiety, anger/rage, agitation/annoyance, guilt, shame, grief, depression, etc. Many emotions are fear-based. Especially those most difficult to experience, the ones that make us want to “crawl out of our skin.” I believe that our most fundamental fear is not of physical death, but of not being loved and accepted. This is the most primal human hunger and what we mistakingly think thinness will bring us.
Love is anything that creates a sense of lightness and ease such as peace, joy, gratitude, calm, acceptance, compassion, grace. Interesting enough, love can be as hard or even harder to experience than fear. If we are ungrounded, it will feel uncomfortable, we will struggle to trust it and likely find a way to destroy it or punish ourselves for it. This happens when we are not grounded into our worth and working through the fear of BEING The Embodiment Of Love.
This is my all-time favorite quote. Read it mindfully and take 10 minutes to sit quietly with it. Afterwards, journal about these questions: Do you have fears around being BIG a.k.a. empowered? If so, what are they and how do you self-sabotage to keep yourself small?
The FAT Experience is rooted in Maya and the 3 Malas. The concept of the Malas comes from Tantric yoga scriptures that provide us with an explanation of the nature of the Universe in a chart of principles of existence called “The 36 Tattvas.” It describes how “the One” (Source or God as it resonates for you) becomes “the Many” (all that exists). In other words; what is the Universe and how do I fit in? It’s one thing to conceptualize “oneness,” it’s quite another to experience it consistently. We’ve all had moments where we feel this deep sense of interconnectedness, more often though, we feel separate and different. This experience of differentiation comes from a power called Maya. Maya has three ways in which it operates; these are the Malas. They are:
Anava Mala: The deep seated feeling of unworthiness. A belief that we are inherently broken, damaged, incomplete, “bad.” This gives rise to feelings of insecurity and sadness. This Mala is connected to the heart.
Mayiya Mala: A perception of difference, separateness between us and the world. This creates comparison to others giving rise to feelings of jealousy and anger. This Mala is connected to the mind.
Karma Mala: A sense of “not enoughness” which causes perfectionism thereby limiting creativity and authentic power. It gives rise to feelings of worry and fear and keeps us from acting on our behalf and prevents us from fully servicing others. This Mala is connected to the body. (hence Body KARMA Healing)
These Malas come with being human. Incarnation creates the illusion of separation from Source (God, the Divine, etc) and many world religions and cultural beliefs and attitudes foster this idea that we are “less than” what created us. I understand yoga philosophy to view our humanness differently than that of the original sin concept. Let’s begin our look into the first two limbs of yoga for a fresh perspective. Here we begin our study of the yamas and niyamas with ahimsa and ishvara pranidhana: non-violence and surrender.
Even without indoctrination and cultural conditioning we’ll have to deal with these insecurities. As such, there’s no need to get upset about it or even trying to “rid” ourselves from these distractions and distortions. The work, rather, is to become observant and respond instead of react. Cultivating discernment helps us see that even though we think certain thoughts, have taken on certain beliefs, or are feeling particular emotions, it is not who we are. Through awareness, we work with the Malas, rather than against them to remember our True Nature. This requires healing the wounds to our wholeness. That journey requires us to face our fears, feel them through and express what’s in our hearts. Our yoga practice gives us that sacred support.
Pause here and join me in learning these basic yoga postures for grounding into your worth.
Each chakra has a basic human right attached to it. Muladhara supports our right to be here, to have. Here on this earth, here in this body. Constantly trying to alter the body, especially forcing it to be smaller by restricting amounts or types of foods eaten and pushing our bodies through workouts traumatizes this energy center leaving us in a state of constant unsettledness. It’s a denial of this basic right and a resistance to our unique life. It leaves us ungrounded, which is ironically the main reason we become obsessed with food! Eating is grounding so trying to change your body actually perpetuates weight imbalance. Don’t just take my word for it, look to your own experience for evidence. Accepting your body now, right where it is, empowers PEACE.
You are a power source. We are a BIG deal us souls grounded on earth at this time of great transformation. Our energy bodies act much like the electrical energy we’re familiar with from science class. When grounded in the body we’re “stable” enough to deal with “surges” of emotion inherent to the life experience. These can move through us, down into the earth, instead of getting stuck and blowing us out. Stuck energy creates The FAT Experience.
Most of us are ungrounded due to hectic lifestyles and disconnection from our bodies because of a culture that values mind over matter, our individual traumas and Maya stated above. Yoga teaches us how to ground proactively instead of waiting until something happens that takes us out of the game against our will. All too often we have to learn the hard way. If we choose to connect with compassion we can bring more ease to our evolution.
Exploring & Healing Muladara Chakra
Let’s dig deep into healing here so you can move forward with your bright life. Take some sacred time and space to complete the following journal prompts. Write from your heart, not your head and let go of perfection. Just get it out. Bring it to the light. The process is important, not the product. Journal things out even if you think you’ve worked on this stuff before.
The first time I felt unsafe was…
The first time I felt fat was…
The word fat to me means…
My greatest fear other that physical death is…
I feel unworthy because…
My unworthiness feels true because of these life experiences I had:
Here is what I want to be different about my lower body:
I believe changing my body (losing weight, getting more toned,looking younger etc.) will change my life by…
If my wildest dreams came true I would feel…
I’m afraid if I get what I want that_______________will happen.
When I connect to my lower body these are the thoughts, beliefs and feeling I have:
I often ignore the following cues from my body…
When I was younger I was told these things about my lower body:
I most struggle to Eat In Alignment when I feel…
I also struggle to Eat In Alignment during these times of day, in these situations and/or around these people:
When I’m anxious I…
When I’m angry/mad I…
I’m most judgmental towards myself and others when I feel…
This is my list of things, activities, people that help me to feel safe, supported, worthy:
Here’s the Module 2 Practice Guide. Read through it and begin working the practices into your daily life.
Time to get Creatively Expressing! Grab your journal, art supples and, for the first part of this activity, a trusted friend or family member to help you out. You’ll need item 5 from your Soul Supplies list: a 3×6.5ft sheet of banner paper.
First, tape your paper down on a firm floor surface. Lay down on the paper in corpse pose: flat on your back, feet a little wider than hip distance apart, arms out to the sides with palms facing up. Next, have your friend trace your body. Yep, that’s right. If doesn’t have to be exact and in fact it usually turns out a little wonky. If this is really unsettling, take 15 min. or so to ground yourself through the PHAT Practice or an easy walk or gently yoga. Once complete, step back an gaze at the image. Spend some time alone with it or you could do this with a therapist. Journal the feelings and thoughts that come up as you sit next to the image down on the earth. Allow any feelings that arise to move through. Feel free to move your body to express them non-violently; cry, laugh, scream if you are called to.
After some time connecting in this way, write the rights of the root chakra within or around your lower body drawing somewhere. Be creative with where it goes. Then take your favorite color of marker, or crayon or paint and firm up the boundary of the body retracing the line your friend drew. After that, write in the words “I AM WORTHY” anywhere you are called to on the sheet. To take it to the next level, also write or paint these statements on your own amazing body! Now put on some music that has nature sounds in it or has a strong drum presence. As you listen, decorate your lower body in earth element images. Be creative, express, connect, enjoy!