Stepping firmly into 2017 with our Root/Muladhara chakra makes for a strong foundation for the New Year. In Sanskrit, Mula means root and adhara means support. Any new beginning requires new roots, new groundings and a support system.
The central theme for the Muladhara chakra is stability, the will to live, self-preservation, sense of trust and security, balance, and groundedness. The element associated with this chakra is Earth. The root chakra also relates to our family roots and our ancestral roots which means this lifetime and our past lives. Physically, this center is related to our buttocks, down our legs and into our feet. Ironically, prior to leaving on my eight week journey through India, I rolled my heavy suitcase over my left big toe which became infected. Now this toe nail is black (not so pretty!), and I’m waiting for it to slowly grow off. As my new toe nail grows in, my old nail and old fears are releasing into Mother Earth.
One of the reasons for my traveling to India was to strengthen my Muladhara chakra. We can do this by overcoming fears and I have had a lot of fear in my root chakra with survival. My ancestral bloodline is strong with my paternal grandfather having escaped from Buchenwald concentration camp and my paternal grandmother being a Taino Indian healer from Puerto Rico. However, there are recent studies showing that trauma from our ancestors can be passed on to future generations. One of the reasons I take leaps of faith in life is to overcome this fear.
My journey to India, began in the exciting city of Rishikesh which is considered the “capital of yoga” as it is full of yogis, yoga teacher training courses, meditation centers and ashrams! Rishikesh is a holy city where alcohol and meat are prohibited. It is located at the base of the Himalayan Mountains and the sacred Ganges River flows through it.
There’s three major tourist towns within Rishikesh; Ram Jhula, Laxman Jhula and Tapovan. I began setting my roots in Rishikesh by taking yoga classes in the mornings then spending the afternoons by walking through and exploring all three sections of the city from noon until evening.The streets in Rishikesh are full of people from all over the world, many Indian tourist, stray cows, stray dogs and many, many monkeys! (I was warned not to walk with food in my hands and not to look into the eyes of a monkey). After 2-3 days, it was all fascinating yet I wanted something deeper.
I heard about an Osho ashram north of Rishikesh and intuitively knew I needed to go there, yet I really liked my private room which was only $11 a night and had a marvelous view of the Ganges. Truthfully, I was a little fearful and uncertain of moving because I didn’t want to disturb my comfort.
Since, I wasn’t moving forward from my comfy room, the Universe gave me a little nudge and here comes the overcoming fear part…
One evening, in the middle of the night, I awaken to a loud noise coming from my bathroom which I had the door locked from the outside in. I jump out of bed. Since the nights are chilly and the room has no heat, I actually go to sleep fully dressed in yoga cloths and a sweatshirt. Next, I grab my purse and walk to the front door to leave. Slowly, I open the hotel door and hear noise outside as well. Immediately, I closed that door and locked it. Now my heart is beating a mile a minute and I’m locked in my room with noise out the front door and the loud noise that I heard earlier in my bathroom. I’m thinking that there’s probably not a 911 system in India and I can’t even google to see if there is one because the WIFI wasn’t working at night. There’s no one that I can call, so I start looking around the room for a weapon but I don’t have anything except for my wits. After standing in the middle of the room for which seemed like eternity, I hear monkeys chattering outside and realize that it’s monkeys making this noise! I wait 10-20 minutes longer until there is no more noise and finally open the bathroom door. The monkeys tried to come in through the window in the bathroom and knocked over items I had on the windowsill which made the loud noise and woke me up.
FEAR…my dear friend and one of our newest yoga teachers, Mary Procacci, described fear as, False Evidence Appearing Real which she read from the book, Seven Prayers That Will Change Your Life Forever by Stormie Omartian.
Even though the noise was caused by monkeys when I was in the midst of this situation, the truth for me at that time was that there was a person trying to break into my bathroom or already in there. My experience that went through my body was 100 percent real. The quickened heartbeat and the rush of adrenaline sent my body into the “fight or flight” survival mode.
The next night the monkeys came back but this time I was prepared with a metal bar which I went and banged against the window a few times and the monkeys went away! No monkeys are chasing me away, including the monkey talk in my own mind!
At this point, I decided to finally take the leap of faith and visit the Osho Gangadham Ashram which turned out to be spectacular. I shared a room with a woman from Israel and met some inspiring travelers from around the world. My daily schedule at this ashram consisted of dance meditations which release repressed and blocked energies so that our energy can flow and dance into bliss and joy. Here’s the daily meditation schedule at the Osho Gangadham Ashram. Some of these meditations may seem strange at first, but keep an open mind!
6:30 a.m. with Dynamic Meditation: 10 minutes of chaotic breathing, 10 minutes of exploding, so totally going mad-scream, shout, cry, jump, dance, 10 minutes of jumping and chanting “Hoo, Hoo, Hoo”, 15 minutes of staying completely still, then 15 minutes of dance celebration. (Notice there was absolutely no sitting during this meditation.)
4:00 p.m. Kundalini Meditation: 15 minutes of shaking, 15 minutes of dancing, 15 minutes of being completely still, and 15 minutes of dancing slowly and 15 minutes of Savasana.
6:30 p.m. Evening Meditation begins with 20 minutes of high energy dance celebration, then 10 minutes of sitting in silent meditation, then a video where one of many Osho talks was played.
~Each section of the meditations had dynamic music accompanying it.~
According to Osho, these unique meditations “break through old, ingrained patterns in the “bodymind” that keep one imprisoned in the past, and allow the freedom, the witnessing, silence and peace that are hidden behind these prison walls to be released.”
After practicing these meditations for five days along with my own daily practice of yoga on the beach, I felt an incredible, overwhelming sense of joy and freedom! (I wanted to stay here for a month but once again, the Universe had another plan and that’s part of a future story.)
Oh and the food was so lovely. It was absolutely delicious and not too spicy. The swamis that managed and owned the center, along with the cooks were caring and helpful. I even had the opportunity to lead Chakra Dance and was invited to come back and lead a yoga retreat here. Hmm…maybe next year!
By overcoming fear, I stepped into the next absolutely amazing part of my journey.
Are you ready to overcome false evidence appearing real and move into the next step in your journey of 2017?
One step that is sure to assist by leaps and bounds is Blissful Yoga’s upcoming Vision Board workshop that I am leading on 1/15. Allow your Soul to take that leap of faith into your own wishes, desires and dreams.
What other small steps can you take right now to get started on your firm ground for 2017?
“Do any action totally and you are free of it and you don’t look back. And the real man never looks back, because there is nothing to see. He has no hangovers; he simply goes ahead. His eyes are clear of the past; his vision is not clouded. In that clarity one comes to know what reality is.” Osho