Take Root

by Bernie McKnight

The first chakra, Muladhara, is also known as the root chakra. As its name implies, it is related to our personal sense of foundation.  Located at the base of the spine, the first chakra is the physical space where we connect with the ground or its representation (the floor, a chair).  Getting grounded is an important activity as it provides the stability from which we can efficiently move forward in both momentary and lifelong pursuits. Sending roots into the earth is a common image offered during grounding techniques.  While this is clearly a metaphor, it isn’t unusual to focus on the body parts that touch a chair or the floor, and have the sensation that some part of the self is descending towards the center of the earth.  Ground is useful to focus your mind first thing in the morning, at the end of the workday or any time your experience frantic, scattered feelings.

Getting grounded honors the first chakra. As we pay more and more attention to this energetic center we can begin to see the details of other information housed there, the nature of the foundation from which we rise.  As children and adolescents we are initially rooted in the traditions and values of our families of origin.  Maturing into adulthood we often find that at least some of our assumptions and habits do not serve us.  Trying out different practices is a common rite of passage, and when we find a practice that feels right for us, it can be very satisfying to set down roots in a like-minded community.

Transitioning out of the dormancy of winter and moving through April, a month whose showers bring with them the promise of flowers, offers the invitation to ponder the state of the soil in which we are rooted. Taking a bit of time to be still and connect with our first chakra, we can begin to notice if we are in the correct growing conditions.  And as we grow and change, the practice of taking in information through our root can tell us if we have found the grounds through which our needs can best be met.