How is your month shaping up? Whether you are back to work, back to school, back to the gym, have chosen to embrace Veganuary, (is anyone sure how to pronounce this yet?!) dry January, or maybe both – there is potentially a lot of action required to manifest change this month, after the joys of the festive season!
In terms of healthy living, this time of year may seem like the optimum to start a new health regime, but it is one of the hardest months for many people to get moving – nights are still dark, many are back at work and the winter blues can set in. If you have tried to embrace change in January, you may have found it a real struggle.
If we look at the seasons in nature, winter is a time where there is much growth and replenishment going on underneath the service. The changes are happening at a base level and the green shoots have yet to show. If we reflect on our own lives, January also represents the perfect time to investigate what needs to happen beneath the surface for change to occur. To do this we need to go inward, rediscover what helps us feel connected and nourished so that we too can re energise and cultivate our own version of green shoots in our life.
In energy medicine we look at how our physical bodies connect to and interact with our energetic selves or the seven major chakras. The word ‘chakra’ is sanskrit for ‘wheel or disc’ and signifies one of the seven basic energy centres of the body. These wheels of energy are believed to connect our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves. It is acknowledged by millions across the globe that for optimum health we need to keep the energy flowing in all our chakras.
The chakra associated with feeling connected and nourished is our ‘base chaka’ or ‘root chakra,’ often depicted as an earthy red spinning wheel or lotus flower. When this chakra is flowing freely it can help us to enhance our sense of connection at a primal level, and strengthen our own personal well of resilience. This can stimulate positive effects internally and within our immediate environment – which is great for ourselves and everyone around us!
This base chakra or ‘Mudladhara’ is located at the base of our spine and is linked to our sense of survival, grounding, vitality, connection to our bodies, and the ability to live in the present moment. It is also linked to the reproductive glands and symbolises the root of our existence. When this area is blocked or stagnant we can feel ungrounded, disconnected, unsupported and sometimes fearful. This can also manifest in feelings of lethargy, and in some cases unexplained lower back pain. When flowing freely it is linked to health, prosperity, security, creativity and dynamic presence. So it’s pretty important to our health and wellness!
Winter is the perfect time to boost this base chakra energy to help us implement positive change in our life.
So if you are finding it hard to get down the gym, cut the carbs or do some more meditation, maybe first look inward to investigate what really makes your soul sing and what gives you energy. Any change will be easier to create if you are feeling nourished and resilient.
Here are my top tips for strengthening the base chakra:
1. Find some earthy inspiration
Who or what ignites your fire and inspires you? Make time to be around and connect with those people or take up those hobbies that make you feel alive. One of my favourite sayings is ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup.’ I cannot emphasise how appropriate this saying is when thinking about revitalising our base chakra. As human beings we cannot ‘run on empty,’ so doing whatever relaxes you and brings joy and creativity into your life is what you need to do more of. (A healthy dose of salsa dancing might be one way to invigorate your base chakra!)
2. Use strong Affirmations
An affirmation is a statement that can be used to send positive reinforcement to your whole being and to spark change. Affirmations which help boost your base chakra should focus around whatever you feel is out of balance. For example if you feel insecure and tired, your affirmation could be ‘I am secure and safe’ or ‘I am healthy and rooted.’ Saying these affirmations a few times each morning with intention, either during meditation, after yoga practice or even after you’ve just brushed your teeth, can help start your day in a positive way and give your base chakra a boost.
3. Wear red
Your base chakra is linked to the colour red. Bringing more red into your life, for example, through the clothes you wear, can immediately give a boost to the way you feel about yourself. This colour is vital and vibrant and certain shades can also be earthy and sensual, so try a shade that works for you.
4. Explore Complementary Therapies
There are many types of complementary therapies that can help with balancing the chakras. The trick is finding the one that has the most benefit for you. Ayurvedic massage works directly with all the chakras of the body and is a treatment with a real focus on nourishing the chakras and bringing them back into balance. Holistic Massage therapy and Reflexology are both very grounding treatments. Incorporating specific essential oils into these treatments like earthy Sandalwood or Neroli can also help to encourage a sense of stability, warmth and grounding.
5. Practise your postures
Certain yoga postures are also associated with energising the base chakra. I find that chair pose is very helpful, but mountain pose, warrior pose and sun salutations are also recommended by some yogis. Taking time to nourish yourself mentally with quiet meditation following your yoga practice will also help to replenish your base chakra and strengthen your root energy.
So what are you waiting for? Focus on nourishing yourself and get ready to embrace positive change! This is your year.