Yesterday as I walked into Tompkins Square Park in the East Village I began to slow down and notice people sitting on the park benches soaking in the beautiful weather. Generally when I am walking around the city I’m speed walking, rushing to my next class or back to the office for a client. At times that can make me feel flighty and ungrounded. It then struck me – I had an entire hour to spare! So I thought why not sit in the park and do nothing for a little while?!
What I find living in NYC is I don’t spend enough time in nature, which is no surprise since there is more concrete than grass here. I am outside constantly, but not in green leafy nature. Taking the time to sit in the park has a strong grounding affect on me.
The muladhara (root support) chakra is our first chakra and the most primitive mode of consciousness. When balanced we feel grounded, rooted, and secure. It is all about survival and if it is off balance in an excessive way then you can see this show up as being overweight and hording. The excessiveness in this chakra can come from traumatic experience. When someone is depleted in this chakra we can see it showing up as anorexia.
In life things are always changing. So, if we don’t have a strong connection to our roots, to our sense of security, it can be difficult for us to function in a balanced manner.
I find when I am not feeling secure I try to ground myself by filling my belly with heavy comfort foods. That is the quick and easy fix, but it is not the right thing to do. When I take time out to be with nature to connect my feet with the earth I begin to really feel that sense of security and grounding.
The root chakra can also find balance by practicing yoga postures like Tadasana (mountain pose), Virabhadrasana (warrior 2), and other standing postures that root you into the earth.
If mantras and chanting are your thing chanting the bija sound of the first chakra can support you. Each chakra has a bija associated with it, for the root chakra it is LAM. Go outside and sit on a park bench or in the grass. Find a steady seat and chant LAM to yourself or out loud 108 times. (If that seems to daunting start with 3 in a row and go from there).