So it is now the holiday season! Many of us look forward to spending the holidays with our family and friends during this special time. As much as we may picture a perfect holiday gathering, it doesn’t always work out that way. We can have all these great intentions going in, but after a few hours we seem to forget all of those great intentions and we drop into old patterns again.
You can feel like you have grown so much in the past year through your yoga, meditation and personal development, but then seemingly regress once you spend a few hours with family that you haven’t seen in a while. You do your best, but the longer you are around them, the harder it is to be a “perfect yogi”.
The truth is that you have changed over the years and you haven’t regressed in your personal development. Also those members of our family have also changed, but when we are all get together we fall back into old roles again. Our family can be mirrors to ourselves and show us parts of ourselves we may not be so happy to see. We also have complex emotional relationships with each other that get triggered.
When we are with family or anyone else that may trigger an emotional reaction, it is important to remain grounded and completely aware of what is going on. The first chakra is the anchor that keeps us center even when we are in stormy seas. Remaining grounded is much easier said than done. It is especially difficult if the first chakra or Root Chakra is underdeveloped.
The Root Chakra has much to do with our feeling that we have right to be here, our sense of stability and trust. If this chakra isn’t developed, you will always feel like you are walking on shaky ground. It also represents the Earth element in the body. You will also have strong emotional reactions to events that seem to threaten your sense of security as you will come from a place of self preservation and survival. It is the same reaction an animal may have when threatened because it is acting on the instinct of survival. We can really do some terrible things when we feel like our sense of survival is threatened. We have nothing to lose and our reactions are not be equal to the situation.
There can be several reasons why the Root Chakra may be underdeveloped. This can be from taking on your parent’s own survival issues, to being neglected, having abandonment issues, to poor boundaries in the family, etc. When these issues go unresolved, they will continue to replay themselves throughout our lives as boundary issues with others (either too loose or rigid), financial instability, hoarding, attachment issues, undisciplined living and fear of change. When the Root Chakra is weak, we are disconnected from our body and we create crisis to get into survival mode and feel alive.
Being around family only amplifies these issues and can cause you to react. Also when Root Chakra issues are neglected, it is said that they can manifest as health issues in the colon.
If you feel like you need to develop your Root Chakra or just want to remain grounded around family during the holidays, Yogi Bhajan taught a wonderful meditation called Hast Kriya: Earth to Heavens. This meditation can be found in an excellent manual called, Reaching Me in Me, which also includes many other great kriyas and meditations that Yogi Bhajan taught.
This meditation helps with grounding down and connecting with the Root Chakra. It is one of the best meditations I have experienced for this. Yogi Bhajan said this meditation will also help, “Anger and obnoxiousness disappear from your personality.”
Guru Dev, the Master of Sat Nam Rasayan has said that this meditation will balance out the Earth element, make you loose your pride, create patience and takes away your anger. It also works on your basic wiring. Guru Dev has also suggested that the meditation can be used to help ground yourself after a mediation or kriya makes you or your students too spacey.
So if you are around family and can feel yourself getting frustrated, angry or reactive, it may be a good idea to excuse yourself and practice this meditation for 3-11 minutes.
Hast Kriya Earth to Heavens
Taught by Yogi Bhajan 1/31/96
Sit in Easy Pose.
Point out your Index finger and lock the rest of the fingers under the thumbs.
Take the hands down to the sides and touch the ground with the index finger and chant, “Sat.”
Bring the hands over the head and touch both Index fingers together and chant, “Nam.”
Bring the fingers down the sides and touch the ground with the Index finger and chant, “Wahe.”
Bring the hands over the head and touch both Index fingers together and chant, “Guru.”
Continue on with this cycle. The chant actually goes, “Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru.” This can be chanted along with Jagjit Singh’s Sat Nam Wahe Guru #2. If you cannot find that song, a good alternative can be Gurunam’s Sat Nam Wahe Guru Ji from Silent Moonlight Meditation. It has the right pace, but you will need to repeat it in order to complete 11 minutes. You can practice the meditation for 6-22 minutes.
In addition to the meditation, if you wanted to explore the Root Chakra through a yoga set, here are a few good kriyas:
Kriya for the Lower Spine and Elimination & Flexibility and the Spine – Sadhana Guidelines
Working the Lower Spine- Owner’s Manual for the Human Body
Kriya for the Balance of Prana and Apana & Kriya for Perpetual Youth- Physical Wisdom
To learn more about the effects of individual asanas, check out Kundalini Postures and Poetry by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa.
If you want to learn more about the chakra, here are some other great products: