by Monique Minahan
I sit on the Earth herself and hold a smooth rock in the palm of each hand. I dug them up when we moved into our house and I use them when I need extra grounding, like today.
Mooladhara chakra is rooted in survival and threatened by fear. It’s located at the literal “root” of our bodies; the Sanskrit word moola meaning “root” or “foundation.” Its location differs for men and women. For me, I visualize it deep in the cervix.
I start with the beeja mantra Lam because sound has always calmed and focused me on a deep level very quickly. The mantra lets me start low. From there I travel within. Deeper than I want to go.
I allow my thoughts to keep running, and for the moment I descend into the breath. It changes from a natural breath to ujjayi pranayam, and I focus on it like my life depends on it. Because in so many ways it does.
Once I feel grounded here, the rocks heavy in my hands and my breath steady and full, I feel safe to explore.
Now I can dance with fear. Now I can speak with fear directly. Now I can feel my fear without being swept away. I’ve been running from her ever since she showed her face during a recent illness.
Sitting with my fear is uncomfortable. It is sticky. It is all mud and no lotus. I want to run but I stay put. I stay present. I keep breathing, I keep observing, I keep listening.
Eventually I open my eyes for nasikagra drishti, nose-tip gazing. This is one of the traditional meditations for mooladhara and inviting my attention to hover just above the skin anchors my vision, which helps steady my mind.
Before emerging, I come back into my breath.
I visualize each successive exhale traveling down through the root of my body, into the ground beneath me, winding its way through layers of earth and liquid until it reaches the intensely hot inner core of our planet.
Then I imagine my inhale drawing all that earth energy back up, through layers of earth and liquid, up through the ground beneath me and into my root chakra.
Nothing outside me has changed, but something inside has shifted. Like the rocks I dug from the earth, I sense my fear has been unearthed, acknowledged and respected. In the pause before I move, I savor this moment of feeling both connected and free, grounded and lightened, human and being.
Part 2 of a 7 part series. You can find Part 1 here: Ajna, The Third Eye.
Mo is a writer and yoga teacher who believes in peace over happiness and love over fear. She likes to set her sights high and then take small steps to get there. You’ll find her walking the dirt path behind her house with her little fluffy dog, practicing walking her talk by keeping her head high and her heart open. Contact: moniqueminahan.com