You’ve probably heard the term “root down, rise up” or have even been to a Yoga class where the teacher says, “Today’s intention is a grounding practice.”
But what does that actually mean?
When we refer to grounding or being grounded in Yoga, educators are generally referring to the Root Chakra, better known as Muladhara. Before I delve into the meaning being the Root Chakra, let me first explain what the chakras are.
Chakra or wheel, as it translates to in Sanskrit, is a vortex of energy governing the subtle fields of energy within us. While there are 314 chakras including sub-chakras, we generally reference the 7 “main” chakras in Yoga Science. These wheels of energy are not physically visible in the body, but rather the segments of the physical body are represented by their energetic forces.
The root chakra governs our foundation and stability, our finances, and relationship to our family. The element assocaited with the root chakra is the element of earth, and the color red is color commonly used to represent Muladhara. When we are uprooted from our environments or experience imbalances with our finances and sense of security, our safety, loss of job/income, then we may experience feelings of anger, anxiety, and worry. Fear is the underlying emotion which arises from an imbalanced root chakra.
During the Fall, commonly known as Vata season, we can begin to feel imbalanced. Vata is known as the air element, and the shifts in temperature from Summer to Fall create a turbulence of winds as the temperature fluctuates. Since we are comprised of all the elements, our internal “winds” can affect our moods and stability. Thus, grounding and rooting are needed.
A few ways we can ground ourselves is by eating nourishing foods like root vegetables. Fall is a season where potatoes, pumpkins, squash, cabbage, carrots, and other staples can be plentiful. Adding these foods, preferably cooked and served warm, can bring comfort and sustenance to our wellbeing.
We can also practice grounding with guided affirmations and Vata reducing physical practices. Here is a five minute guided Yoga practice with gentle movement, which can restore a sense of grounding within our nervous system.
The greatest way we can bring vitality to our being is to honor the elements within us. If you are tired, rest. If you are hungry, nourish. When we practice aligning with the seasonal changes, then we align ourselves with nature. As always, the greatest tool is our surrendering to the ebb and flow of the natural forces governing all life.
Use this short guided affirmation for the #rootchakra to help you stay grounded this Fall.
Leave a comment below if you’d like to learn more about the chakras.