The base chakra – coming home to your body

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“When we balance our base chakra, we can develop a deep trust in our place in the world, and a strong sense of personal safety and security underlies every step we take in life.”

Natalie Southgate

The modern lifestyle creates a disconnect with the body, we become like a head with hands, thinking, thinking, doing, doing. Unless we habitually stop and practice meditation, dance or yoga, or spend time in nature, we may never really arrive in our body all day.

The wisdom of the body – from the soft lub-dub of our heart beat, to our churning guts, from our racing pulse, to our cold feet  – conveys a series of messages, if we only learn how to listen.

The body contains truths unique to our being. Just as one person may enjoy eating peanut butter by the spoonful, another may fall into analphylactic shock at the smallest trace of nuts. We are similar, but not the same and neither are our bodies. As you embrace this, you can settle into a beautiful relationship with the unique body, the exquisite system of flesh and senses, that is you.

The first chakra, located at the base of our spine, is called Muladhara in Sanskrit, meaning root support. Like the root system of a tree, our root or base chakra energetically grounds us in the physical world, including our own body.

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Many of us have sustained emotional and physical traumas in life which may have affected the formation and flow of our chakras.

This biography of our experience is energetically recorded in our chakra system.

These energetic imprints can upset the flow of subtle energy and cause our chakras to compensate by either restricting energy flow, becoming deficient or under-active, or by becoming overactive and excessive. Or even a combination of both.

‘So what?’ You ask, ‘it’s only energy,’ read on, and I’ll tell you why this kind of imbalance can have deep and far-reaching effects on your life.

Linked to physical realities of life – security, shelter, sustenance, family, tribe – the first chakra is associated with primordial trust. It is the chakra associated with our basic instincts for food, shelter, sex and survival.

If we are imbalanced in this chakra it can manifest as a lack of physicality, being underweight, spacey and anxious. Or it may manifest as an excessive physicality in being overweight and overly attached to the physical by hoarding, over eating and indulgence in pleasure, or over-accumulation of stuff.

If you imagine the root chakra like a plant in a pot, it needs a degree of support to keep the soil and moisture in, but too tight a restraint will not allow it to grow.

As this chakra provides our roots and our foundation for the rest of the chakra system, it is vital to have the base chakra in balance.

The lesson of Muladhara chakra is grounding, a full inhabiting of our physical bodies as the embodiment of our connection to the element of earth. To cease existing primarily in our heads and inhabit our bodies. To cease grasping onto people, places and things as the source of our security. To find our own root support.

Moving our bodies allows energy to flow again, it can trigger blockages to shift and cause accumulated energies to be released or redistributed and balanced.

Movement brings us into our physicality, brings our energy down from our heads into our roots, allowing a real connection with not only our physical selves, but the physicality of the world around us.

For those who, like myself, have a lifetime’s accumulated negative body issues, this takes patience and self-compassion.

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Making peace with the body I have avoided for many years is a process that does not come overnight.

After years of Chakradance practice, alongside many years of yoga and mindful meditation, I have found a degree of peace and comfort in my own skin that I have never before known. At times connecting with my body even brings me immeasurable joy.

Dancing the base chakra brings a sense of wildness and strength, but also a sense of support and groundedness. How can we bring this sense of groundedness into our work-life and home-life? How can we be mindful, stable and practical in our life?

And the beauty is, this practice can be a simple as sitting under a tree, walking barefoot on the grass, taking a deep breath of air, drinking fresh, clean water, enjoying an open camp-fire or candle flame, swimming in a river or ocean.

Bringing our selves, as nature beings, to nature without any need to do or change anything. Just being. Tuning into nature’s rhythms. And then the change happens. We become a little more aligned with the heartbeat of the earth. We walk a little lighter on her belly, with our feet bare and our hearts full.

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Natalie’s 5 Top Tips for balancing your base chakra

  1. Create a clean and healthy home environment, and spend as much time as possible in healthy environments, especially nature.
  2. Find a form of exercise that really suits you, and carry it out in a balanced way.
  3. Eat healthily and ensure that you are getting the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients for your body.
  4. Learn to listen to your body’s needs – know the signs when illness is coming on, or when you need to take a break etc.
  5. Limit the amount of toxins you put into your body, this includes alcohol and drugs, but also the toxins in the food you eat, the chemicals in your cleaning products etc.