May 7, 2012

The Hero in Me. ~ Elizabeth Reese, PhD

Vishnu is a hero from the Hindu culture who is known for his commitment to protect the earth.

While Vishnu makes many OHMazing Journeys, a hero is truly extraordinary because they make compassionate, helpful choices a way of life everyday.

As seen in this sculpture of Vishnu from our partners at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, he holds several tools to assist him in his heroic work. One of these tools is a chakra, a wheel or disc. There are numerous interpretations about Vishnu’s chakra and how he used it with most suggesting it destroyed evil, bad choices.

We, too, have chakras in our bodies that also are powerful tools. When nurtured in helpful ways they help us feel better, stronger, and more able to make heroic—or OHMazing™—choices. Here, I would like to reflect on our most grounding of the internal wheels in our bodies, our root, base or Muladhara chakra. These ideas are appropriate for heroes and “she-roes” of all ages.

This first chakra is located at our perenium or seat. It is represented by the color red governs our ability to be truly grounded, sense of survival, and flight-or-fight response. Cultivating these feelings of groundedness can be achieved in many ways, including via mindful breathing and healthy posture.

One of my favorite teachers, Christina Sell, describes a great grounding practice as “Root to Rise:” whether sitting, squatting, or standing, exhale and extend your base chakra or tail bone toward the earth to “root.” On your next inhalation, extend the crown of your head toward the sky to “rise.” Another great technique for getting grounded through breath is Flower Power/Flor Fuerte pranayama.

When we feel grounded and strong, we are more likely to make healthier choices for ourselves, others and the earth.

There are many elements of yoga, and I mean the 8 Limbs of yoga, that invite us to nurture this grounding, first chakra. You and your kids can join us at Wanderkind at Wanderlust Colorado, July 5-8, where we will spend a full day exploring the hero and heroine in each of us.


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