I never understood what a chakra was until a few years ago. Even though I have been a student of Kundalini Yoga for nine years, I didn't fully grasp it, until my psychic told me my root chakra was out of balance and I broke my ankle shortly after. I knew Kundalini Yoga helped to balance the chakras, but that’s about it. Some of you may now be thinking, what is Kundalini Yoga? I am no expert in either chakras or Kundalini, so let’s break down the definitions by some experts.
According to www.suprapowers.com, the word chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “wheel.” If we were able to see the chakras, we would observe a wheel of energy continuously revolving or rotating. Clairvoyants perceive chakras as colorful wheels or flowers with a hub in the center. The Chakras begin at the base of the spine and finish at the top of the head. Though fixed in the central spinal column they are located on both the front and back of the body and work through it. Each chakra vibrates or rotates at a different speed. The root or first chakra rotates at the slowest speed, the crown or seventh chakra at the highest speed.
According to www.awarenesscenteryoga.org, (my Kundalini Yoga Studio in Pasadena, CA ) Kundalini Yoga is an ancient science that has been refined over thousands of years to help all people live to their highest potential. Kundalini Yoga blends many of the aspects of spiritual work into one practice: breathing, postures, meditation, chanting, and deep relaxation. It integrates the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your being.
In this blog, I am going to focus on the first of the seven chakras, the root chakra, specifically my root chakra. I mentioned earlier; my psychic told me that my root chakra was out of balance. She said that everything was going to be coming to a head and that I would see the light. Wait, what? What does “coming to a head” mean? She told me to buy a book about chakras. I bought Chakras For Beginnersby David Pond. Mr. Pond refers to the root chakra as the urge for survival. The root chakra is identified by the color red and is located at the base of the tailbone. This first chakra is your connection with your body and Earth. It is how you survive. When this chakra is unbalanced, the way you view life may be confused with insecurities. This chakra also referred to as Muladhara, is the center of manifestation, where we are trying to make all our dreams happen in our material lives.
I learned that my root chakra was unbalanced because of my tribal instincts and familial bond, my upbringing. My needs were often not met for one reason or another, and I was affected by the disease of alcoholism. Yes, I had basic shelter and food, but I didn’t have a sense of self because I often emulated who I thought people wanted me to be. I was a peacekeeper, often denying my desires and emotions to make sure everyone else was happy. My temperature matched my Mother’s. If she was sad, I was sad. If she was happy, I was happy. If she was depressed, I was depressed. We were enmeshed and co-dependent. I also didn’t have a father figure growing up. I saw my Dad two times a week, but I never experienced having a Father in the house. So, you can imagine how everything was clicking together once I started to familiarize myself with my poor root chakra.
So when the root chakra is out of balance, what happens? The next book I read was Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. This book rocked my world. Here is when I learned, “to give up the need to know why things happen as they do.” To let go needing to know why I was raised in a fatherless home, why I was affected by the disease of alcoholism, and why I broke my ankle in three spots on the beach with my Mom. Hands down that was the scariest thing that has happened to me because I was completely out of control. Severely breaking my ankle is what “coming to a head” meant, by the way. See, when the root chakra is out of balance, it can affect the health of your back, toes, immune system, rectum, and feet, according to Anatomy of the Spirit. Emotionally, it can affect the ability to stand up for yourself, and social and familial order and group safety. Physically, it can cause obesity, anorexia, anxiety disorder/depression and chronic back pain. For me, it was my back, ankle, and toes. In that order. I had a serious back injury on the job in 1999 before I even knew anything about spirituality, chakras, yoga or angels. This back injury has affected me continuously since then, but also introduced me to one of my loves, yoga. I have been practicing yoga for 17 years. Since that injury, I was in three car accidents where I was rear-ended. Coincidence? It all was becoming too fascinating to me. In September 2014, I broke my ankle while trying to enjoy a nice day at the beach with my Mom. It was symbolic the way it happened. I had cared for my Mom as long as I can remember and on this day at the beach, it was no different. I was so concerned with her getting down the 200 flights of dangerous stairs with no hand rails that I wasn’t even considering my safety. Lastly, I have had two hammer toe surgeries in the last four months that I am recovering from very slowly. All of these accidents and surgeries I now believe were divine interventions for me to take the time to work on myself. I needed to sort out my childhood and let go of the past. Having so much time off work opened the doors for me to build a deep connection with my angels, practice kundalini yoga almost three times a week, write my book Came to Believe, find my tribe and settle in with who I am at 40 years old.
In 2014, when the psychic told me about my root chakra, she suggested grounding myself. She asked me to plant my feet in grass fifteen minutes a day to reconnect myself with Mother, Earth. Interesting too, that my name is Tara. Terra means Earth in Latin. I didn’t start making this practice until after I broke my ankle. The psychic also told me I was unbalanced to the crown chakra. The crown chakra is the last of the seven chakras. It gives us access to the higher consciousness, spirit and the divine. This resonated with me, as I was told when younger that I was very intuitive and had psychic qualities. My name also means Star in Hindi and is the name of a Hindu goddess, the goddess of peace and protection. Tara is also the name of the female Buddha in Buddhism. (All Tara facts from www.wikipedia.com) Star, Buddha and The Goddesses White and Green Tara seem very related to the Crown Chakra.
I started “grounding” more frequently once I put all the pieces together of what I learned about my chakras. Grounding consists of planting your feet firmly on Earth and imagining roots entwined around your feet and legs. This can be done in the grass, in natural water or sand just as long as you are connected to Earth. When you are grounded, your consciousness is inside of your body rather than floating above the Crown chakra, which is where I was. Doreen Virtue also suggests on her website www.angeltherapy.com eating vegetables that grow in the ground, having a foot massage and wearing the crystal, obsidian to help with grounding. For those of us that are sensitive or empaths, we often like to float out of the real world to protect ourselves from negative or harsh energies. Meditation is a great opportunity to safely leave your body to reconnect to where you feel secure. I am also able to ground myself during my Kundalini yoga practice.
Let’s go back to what I learned from Caroline Myss, “give up the need to know why things happen as they do.” I was driving myself crazy trying to figure it out. Why would God do this to me? Would he want this for one of his children? I learned that by my always trying to answer the question of why I was living as a victim. It wasn’t allowing me to stay grounded or present. Now, I try to look at everything as an opportunity to learn and grow. I trust that my angels and my Higher Power know what’s best for me. It allows for more time to do what I love and what honors my soul and spirit.