Rise and Shine: Illuminating the Elusive Chakras
June 19, 2015
Yoga Styles for Days but Which to Choose?
June 23, 2015

Your Base Power: Ganesha and the First Chakra

 

“To lose our connection with the body is to become spiritually homeless. Without an anchor we float aimlessly, battered by the winds and waves of life.” —Anodea Judith

 

No matter the reason for beginning a yoga practice, every student arrives at a point in the yogic journey when they learn about chakras, our body’s energy centers. There are seven major chakras vertically spanning the midline of the body, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. When the chakras are open, they allow a free flow of energy which facilitates a balanced and healthy life.

Each chakra governs a particular area of the body, element, emotion, and mental state. In addition, the chakras are associated with particular deities. The deities represent an aspect of us. They mirror our emotions and behaviors, and reflect back to us the subconscious feelings, habits, and thoughts that thwart or foster our growth.

Meet Ganesha

Muladhara - Root ChakraThe first of the seven chakras is muladhara:  the root chakra, which is associated with the earth element. In our body, the earth element is represented as our bones, tissues, and our connection to the ground. Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, governs muladhara chakra. With his elephant head, human body, and portly belly, Ganesha is one of the most recognized deities of the Hindu pantheon. His job is to clear obstacles, grant new perspectives, and guide us to recognize our strength and wisdom.

Ganesha blesses all beginnings and as the deity of the first chakra, he asks us to connect to our bodies and to the earth. For many people, there is disconnect from our bodies. We move through daily routine without conscious attention to our actions. We swallow a pill to numb pain, eat quickly or distractedly, spend more time in our head than our body; when we do pay attention to our body, we berate it.

Make your spirit at home

Ganesha, commonly depicted with four arms, holds a goad in one hand to prod humans forward on the path to enlightenment. Muladhara chakra establishes survival, stability, and security. Without a strong connection to your body or to the earth element, how can you expect to listen to your breath or manifest intention? When you align your body and emotions, you manifest your ability to live a full life.

Your body is home to your spirit. Like any home, there needs to be a strong foundation. What helps you find stability? Does stability mean money, clothes, paid mortgage or rent, a good job, food in the fridge, a close-knit family, or a friend to call? The more solid your foundation, the less likely you will be blown over by life’s unexpected events.

Arriving at the mat

When we first get on our yoga mat, we tune into our body and our breath. To ground down and tune into the sensations in our body is to acknowledge pain, limitations, and where we feel good. This is akin to the mala beads in Ganesha’s hands which represent the continuous process of knowledge; we never stop learning. We must constantly return to our base. To move forward and upward, we must tune inward to the signals of the body. Reconnecting to the first chakra allows us to remain stable in our yoga practice, in our day-to-day routine, in our awareness, and inner trust.

Like a tall tree with deep roots, to grow and expand a strong connection to body and to earth is vital. Ganesha’s large head represents our own capacity for expanded awareness. We forget that the universe is within us. To live our best life, we must open our big Ganesha ears and listen to the wisdom within, build a solid foundation, and from there tune into our full abilities.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CHAKRAS EBOOK


Gain a better understanding of the chakras as a whole and the yogic practices associated with each as you journey through this ebook.

Kimi Marin
Kimi Marin

Kimi Marin discovered yoga over a decade ago looking for an activity to complement running. Over time, yoga became a way of life. Kimi teaches yoga to help others find clarity in their mind, body, and spirit. She guides students through their practice by riding the waves of breath, continually aligning breath and body into a rhythmic flow of consciousness.
Kimi has a master’s degree in literature, and loves to combine the power of stories with yoga. She often weaves the myths and stories about various poses into the class. Her transformative Yogic Lore workshops are a fun combination of stories, asana, meditation, and mantra.
Kimi was featured in Origin Magazine’s Inspire Series, was the featured ambassador for Ahnu Footwear June 2013, and her writing has been published on several blog sites. When Kimi is not teaching or writing, she can be found playing in nature with her dog and husband. Learn more at http://kimimarinyoga.com/

Comments are closed.