The first human talent, the talent of Acceptance, starts at the base. The first or base chakra (Muladhara in Sanscrit) is located at the base of the spine and is associated with your primal sense of security. It is your power centre that connects you to the Earth. Comprising of the bowels and anus, it also includes the legs and feet, your most consistent earthly connection.
This is the place where habits are formed, habits that often serve a real purpose at one time in your life, habits that support your sense of security. These are deep instinctual habits that are learned for survival. This does not mean that they are necessarily good or bad, or that they continue to serve you throughout your life, just that at one time they did.
“First you make habits, then habits make you.” Yogi Bhajan
In this first chakra you have the ability to make peace with your human nature, to accept your own existence. To do this you need to be grounded, to have balance in this part of your body and feel secure in your most basic existence. When you do not have this comfort in your own skin it gives rise to the shadow emotion of resentment.
Have you noticed how people who are steeped in resentment and bitterness are miserable, yet they hang on to their resentment because of its familiarity? In this case ‘better the devil you know’ just gets in the way of achieving real happiness. At its worse it can manifest in pain and dis-ease in the body.
Being at the base of the spine means that lower back pain can often manifest as a physical symptom of imbalance in this chakra. When you experience pain in this area it may be a good time to ask yourself what it is that you need to accept. Perhaps this is a good time to stop doing and start being, to meditate and allow yourself to let go and trust in the process of life, to accept what the Universe provides.
A good posture for letting go and accepting is corpse pose. In this pose you simply lie on your back, arms out from the body, palms up and relax. Allowing yourself to sink down into the earth, letting go of all tension. This is what is practiced in Savasana, the deep relaxation part of a yoga class. In this posture you are able to let go and accept as you become one with the Earth, connected and grounded.
Another practice that allows you to connect with this chakra is the root lock or Mul bandh. This is practiced by pulling up on the internal muscles of the anus and sex organs (pelvic floor) and in on the navel point. It is an energy lock, pulling the energy of the Earth up through the root chakra and lifting it into your higher chakras. This is a great practice for connecting with your base and getting grounded.
Other postures that help to balance this chakra are spinal flex, which loosens the lower spine and stimulates the spinal fluid, and crow pose or squats, which supports digestion, elimination and the spine.
The simple act of doing yoga and meditation on a regular basis is one of the most powerful acts you can undertake to bring you to a greater sense of security and acceptance. The act of breathing with consciousness, of allowing yourself to fill with the gifts of the Universe on each in breath and let go and let flow with the out breath.
In Kundalini Yoga there is a mantra that is known as a mantra of acceptance – Let go, Let GOD. We use the word GOD as an acronym for Generating, Organising and Distributing (or Destroying), the energetic principles of the Universe. By chanting this mantra you are letting go of control and giving your trust to the Universe. In trust there is peace, in peace acceptance.
The Eight Human Talents by Gurmukh & Cathryn Michon, 2000
The Kundalini Yoga Experience by Guru Dharam S Khalsa and Darryl O’Keeffe