Is your Base Chakra healthy?
If you've been with Luminous for a while you'll know I view the chakra system as a framework - a memorable and beautiful one - for guiding wellbeing and self-improvement.
Chakras are a way to represent stages of human need and development and they are thought to nest along with major organs and nerve bundles of the body. That makes the system tangible... which increases its likelihood of being understood and used! Bonus in our busy world.
Anyway let's get to it - today we'll zoom in on the Base (aka the Root) Chakra.
The theme of the Base Chakra is about your orientation in the material world - how you feel physically emotionally and spiritually in relation to your most basic needs as a human being. This is super practical - food and water, shelter, protection-type stuff. It is located on your tailbone, your connection to the ground when seated. It is represented by the colours red, brown and black; the Earth element; our sense of smell; meats and proteins and rich earthy essential oils like vetiver, patchouli, and sandalwood (my fave!)
Chakra lore teaches that the Base chakra is the foundation of all the others, where the life force (Kundalini) sleeps. The implication being that if you're not doing well here it will affect all the others as well. So this is a good place to start!
When your Base chakra is 'flowing well' or, in other words, you're healthy in terms of your place in the physical world, you will feel grounded, safe, and generally secure in terms of your physical needs for food and water, protection, etc. You will have a sense of being stable, strong, and comfortable in your body as well as able to sit still. You will be physically healthy and feel that you belong wherever you are.
If your Base Chakra is under active - there's not enough energy flow or life force happening in this area of your life - you may feel disconnected from your body, with anxiety and restlessness. You may suffer from problems with your feet, knees, bones, joints, or have lower back pain. Emotionally speaking, you may lack self-discipline, be inattentive, and disorganised. You may also have poor boundaries...
If your Base is overactive - that is you're overcompensating in this area - you may overeat and/or be overweight; have a tendency to hoard things; be materialistic, greedy at times, and have a fear of change in your life.
Do any of those symptoms ring a bell for you?
If you've had trauma in your life around those basic human needs not being met - whether it was being raised in a less well off family, or exposed to threats in any way - physical emotional psychological - the emotions (energy) associated with these negative experiences can get trapped in your body and manifest in ways that aren't immediately obvious, like random physical pain or self-sabotaging habits.
The good news is there are plenty of things we can do to feel better in relation to the Base Chakra and to restore a healthy flow in this area. The first step is recognition - if this list feels a little close to home then maybe this one's for you!
Nourish your body well with hearty satisfying foods, proteins, root vegetables and earthy herbal teas - perhaps like chai. Increase your exposure to warming reds, browns and black; strong earthy colours, in clothes, home decor, artwork or jewellery :) Crystals like red and black jasper, black tourmaline, onyx, garnet like these pictured opposite are some of the many crystals thought to support Base chakra health.
Helpful affirmations include: "I am healthy, vibrant and strong","I am open to new ideas", "I release my past" or "I am grounded, present and completely safe".
Essential oils are one of my favourite and the most effective ways to feel better quickly - and Sandalwood is in my opinion one of the absolute best smells to help you feel grounded, serene supported and safe. Other lovely options include Patchouli, Black pepper, Frankincense and Cardamom. With oils I am a big fan of being led by the body's intuition - whichever oil you smell that you are attracted to is, I believe, the right one for that moment.
Primal movement is wonderful for the Base chakra (well, all of them really!) Tai chi, Qi Gong, free-form expressive dancing that encourages slower deep movements and deep breaths will all work a treat. Yoga is of course excellent - there are particular poses you can adopt that are thought to bring balance and wellness to the Base.
Download yourself a good app like The Breathing App by the Breathing Gang (Eddie & Sergey & Max) which is basic, free and beautiful, and guides you to simply breathe in and out for a count of 4 (or whatever you choose). You can set a timer for however many minutes you want to do. Put your legs up a wall, or better still a tree! Lay flat on your back with your arms out in a T and just breathe, following the app's notes. While you're there, remind yourself of those affirmations - "I am safe, I am here. I am grounded. I release my past it's no longer here. I am strong and healthy in my body."
As always, the proof is in the doing... there is an air gap between knowing and doing. But these are all very doable things so if you read this far I challenge you - pick one or two of these ideas and build them into your daily routine. Let me know how you go :)
*Ben Greenfield's Boundless: Upgrade your brain, Optimize your Body & Defy Aging.