As we enter the world our survival depends on our own personal tribe or as we call it today, family. It is through the tribe that we learn of protection, “collective willpower”, moral and ethical codes. We learn honor, loyalty, and how good it feels to belong and be surrounded by people of like minds. Similarly, we also absorb the fears and negative attributes. We learn that difference of opinion leads to exclusion, we develop the fear of abandonment, whether the world is safe or dangerous, abundant or scarce, educated or ignorant. Dis/Respect for other ethnicities and racial groups are taught by the tribe. In the beginning “All is one”: I am the tribe, for it protects me and without it I shall perish.
Physiologically, all “tribal” issues are connected to the immune system, blood, and lower part of the body. Individually, conditions like Lupus, anemia, constipation, are associated with the first chakra. Collectively, epidemics can be considered as a compromised “immune system” of the larger tribe; the more similar our attitudes are to those of the tribe’s, the more likely we are to be part of the epidemic. To prevent illness associated with these functions, familial issues need consideration and addressing o learn the difference between beneficial and toxic tribal beliefs.
The first or root chakra, Muladhara Chakra, is responsible for protection, elimination, and grounding. It is “located” at the perineum at the base of the spine. When lives become uprooted due to excessive travel, moving, changes in family or business (also “tribal“ changes), or when lives are lived mostly in the head (ungrounded), this chakra can become deficient giving one the feeling of being in a “survival crisis“. Greed, hoarding, and general “holding on” can be a sign of excessive first chakra energy.
In addition to addressing familial issues, one may also practice certain Yoga poses to balance out the first chakra and become more physically and emotionally grounded. Anything that stretches the feet, toes, and legs will be beneficial to the first chakra; standing poses and forward bends are perfect poses for this type of work. Holding a pose for a sufficient amount of time further grounds the body, mind, and nervous system.
When the first chakra is balanced, we feel strong and light, we stand tall on healthy bones, are flushed with warm, clean blood, and full of energy. The energy of the earth strikes a perfect balance between keeping our feet on the ground and our eyes looking up. We feel safe and protected, and therefore ready and able to face true change and challenge. Having discarded tribal teachings that no longer serve our higher good, we no longer fear seeking for our true selves, our own feelings and thoughts; we no longer fear exclusion. Having accepted ourselves as part of and yet different than the tribe, we welcome difference of opinions. Accepting that which is different from own given tribe makes us part of the biggest tribe of all. And when we are all part of that tribe, then we see “All is one” once again.
Myss, Caroline. Anatomy of the Spirit, NY, 1996
Asanas for the Chakra System, By Barbara Kaplan Herring