May 16, 2012

The Hero in Me. ~ Elizabeth Reese, PhD


Grounding ourselves with Muladhara chakra.

Vishnu is a hero from the Hindu culture who is known for his commitment to protect the earth. While Vishnu makes many OHMazing Journeys, he is a truly extraordinary hero because he makes compassionate, helpful choices a way of everyday life.

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 and bad choices.

We, too, have chakras in our bodies that are also powerful tools. When nurtured, they help us feel better, stronger, and more able to make heroic—or OHMazing™—choices. Here, I would like to reflect on the most grounding of the internal wheels in our bodies, our root, base or Muladhara chakra.

Students practice engaging Muladhara Chakra during a recent Yogiños: Yoga for Youth® Instructor Training in Crested Butte, CO. (Photo/Elizabeth Reese)

These ideas are appropriate for heroes and “she-roes” of all ages.

This first chakra is located at our perenium, or seat, and is represented by the color red. It governs our ability to be truly grounded, our sense of survival, and our 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 Eight 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.

Photo credit: David Perrone

Elizabeth “Beth” Reese, Ph.D., E-RYT, RCYT, is the founder and executive director of Yogiños: Yoga for Youth®. A yoga practitioner for over 13 years, Beth is the mother of three OHMazing yogis under the age of 13. Her oldest daughter, Jordan, is part of the inspiration for Yogiños: Yoga for Youth® as she learned to navigate challenges associated with Sensory-Integration “Disorder” through practicing all 8 Limbs of yoga.Yogiños: Yoga for Youth offers classes for children and families as well as trainings for classroom teachers, yoga instructors, parents, and others interested in bringing yoga and healthy choices to all ages.[email protected] and here.



Editor: Ryan Pinkard

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