“The quickest way to minimize the divine within
is to interfere with its basic rights”
Each of the chakras in the chakra system has a basic right – something that we are all entitled to as human beings on this earth. Looking at these rights and reflecting on how we feel about them gives us a good indication of what is going on with that particular chakra in our body. The basic right for the first chakra is The Right to Be. Do we feel that we have the right to be on this planet, to exist, to take up space, be ourselves and do what we came here to do? To go along with this is The Right to Have. Do we feel that we have the right to have not only the things that we need to survive, but also the things that we would like to have in order to thrive? This is a very basic concept and something that we are all entitled to, but many of us have problems or issues in this area. Take some time now or at some point throughout the day to really sit with these questions. Do I feel worthy of being here? Do I fully participate in my life, or do I tend to hold back? Do I apologize for being who I am? Do I feel like I need to justify my existence? Am I comfortable with the things that I have, or do I feel like I don’t have enough? By looking at how we feel about these rights we can recognize how healthy this energy center is. If we feel we are not claiming these rights in our life, we most likely have a block in this chakra. An important part of healing in this area is reclaiming these rights.
Each of the chakras has a “demon”. “The presence of the demon keeps the chakra from doing its job, but that challenge also forces us to bring more awareness to that job, so eventually we can do it better”, Anodea Judith. The demon for the first chakra is fear. By identifying and working with our fears, we can start to recognize what is standing in our way and what specifically is preventing us from claiming our rights in the area of this chakra.
Since starting my work with the chakras and specifically the root chakra, I have been working with and through a few of my fears. One fear (ironically) was the fact that I was terrified of teaching yoga. To make it even more ironic, my background is in education and I have been teaching in some form or another for more than ten years. But to me, teaching yoga seemed so much different. I may have a passion for yoga, but did I really have anything to offer? What if I put myself out there and no one was interested in what I had to share? What if I got up there and froze? What if I got booed? My thoughts went from bad to ridiculous, and I was having trouble with that basic right – The Right to Be. I didn’t feel worthy of doing what I wanted to do, even though something was tugging at me telling me I should at least try.
I wish I could tell you that I was brave and took the leap to face this fear head on, but realistically, it took a lot of time and a few people around me who encouraged me to first teach them a few yoga related things in order to ease into the idea of teaching. Eventually, I tried teaching a full class and found that it not only felt good, but also felt completely different from my other teaching (which I realize now was starting to burn me out). I found along the way that I didn’t always get the support from where I thought I would, but I did get support from people and places that I wasn’t expecting. My support, the beginning of building my foundation came out of the woodwork the minute I chose to take those small steps. I now look forward to teaching classes and know that at the moment this is where my heart lies – I have the Right to Be exactly who I am in this moment.
So start to take a look at your fears. Take a look at all of them, the big ones and the seemingly small ones and see if there are even simple steps you can take to start to work through them. Only by facing them will we eventually be able to release them.
To end, let’s take a look at a yoga technique that can help us to work with our fears once they have come up. Any of the warrior postures are good to do for the root chakra and in our work with facing fears. The warrior poses are powerful poses and are very grounding and empowering for our bodies and our minds. So choose one, or do a series and hold for a few breaths. Really notice your feet touching the ground and notice what areas of your feet are in contact with the earth which is supporting you. Feel the strength of your legs holding you up, forming a solid foundation. Then think about one of your fears, see if you can notice where this fear shows up in your body. Then feel your spine lengthening, feel yourself rising above this fear and direct your breath to either this fear or the area of your body where you feel it. On your exhale start to feel this fear leaving your body with the breath. You are not your fears!
Be brave, know that you belong here, and enjoy the journey,