I’ve started a series to explain how each chakra (or energy centre) in the body works, and what happens to your health and wellbeing when they're blocked. If you’ve done yoga, meditation, reiki, kinesiology or acupuncture, you’ll likely have heard a bit about chakras, and having a bit of extra knowledge about their function can really help you identify where you might be hitting emotional blocks in your life.
Chakras are located in the energy field just outside your physical body and are the avenues through which your life force (chi, prana etc) flows. Or not, as the case may be ;)
For this first entry, I’ll look at the base chakra, known to some as the root chakra. It’s concerned with our material needs (money, food and shelter), our family, our safety and our connection with our bodies. So people who have an imbalance of energy in this chakra might struggle attracting and keeping money, could be materialistic and struggle to sit still (i.e. are unable to stay grounded).
This chakra is located near the base of your spine and because it is the first energy centre in the body to develop (up until one year of age), it is heavily influenced by your parents. People who had one or both parents absent in their lives, or whose parents had a volatile relationship, often end up with a base chakra imbalance because that affected how they shaped their concepts of belonging and safety.
This chakra is also influenced by your parents’ attitudes. If your parents constantly complained about a lack of money you may grow up to be overly fearful about ending up in poverty – or even resigned to it as a fait accompli (the attitude of ‘people like us will never have enough money’). Equally, if your mother was constantly worried about all the myriad things that could go wrong in the world, you may have absorbed that energy in the base chakra (because it’s all about safety).
Just to make it clear, this doesn’t mean that your parents are responsible for your lot in life. Even though you may have taken on their beliefs or been influenced by your upbringing on an unconscious level, you’re not destined to follow your parents’ example – you determine your own path. Your choices are your own. However if a belief has taken hold at a young age it may have created an energy block without your awareness, and some chakra-specific meditations or energy healing (reiki, kinesiology, NSA, etc) will help you shift it.
(Image: the base chakra symbol)
The base chakra is also associated with belonging and how you fit in to the world. If you are not at peace with where you came from – particularly if you are disconnected from your ancestry or ethnic make-up in ways that make you feel lost – that will manifest in the base chakra.
People who have a deficient energy flow in the base chakra often have some of these characteristics:
· Poor attention span
· Difficulty sitting still (the overachiever, who never feels like they have enough or are enough)
· Refusal to listen to their body (particularly in messages about nutrition and rest)
· Exaggerated fears about their safety
· Chronically disorganised lives
· Lack of boundaries
· Perennial financial struggles (they can never ‘catch a break’; whenever they come into money they lose it somehow)
Some of the qualities of people who have excessive energy in the base chakra include:
· Obsessed with material items, and constantly upgrading cars, electronic gadgets (FYI there is nothing wrong with enjoying objects, but attaching your value to your material possessions is problematic)
· Fearful of change
· Rigid ideas about how the world SHOULD be
· Constantly constipated (ie they can’t let go!)
Physically, base chakra imbalances show up in the intestines, legs and feet, bones and teeth – although, of course, if you have issues in these areas that doesn’t *necessarily* mean you have a base chakra imbalance.
To rebalance your base chakra, here are some ways you can ground yourself and find balance:
· Spending lots of time in nature
· Learning how to be still regularly (meditation and yoga are helpful)
· Addressing your attitudes towards money – remember that it’s OK to ask the Universe for more money, but the pursuit of it as a means to happiness is flawed
· Practising acceptance and learning to let go
· Using regular affirmations to assure your subconscious that you are safe, you have everything you need, you belong and you are enough.
So there it is – all about that base. I’ll give you a rundown on the other six chakras over the coming weeks.