Starting when I was about ten years old, I developed painful orthopedic conditions in my heels, ankles, and knees. I saw many different specialists off and on through my adolescence and into my twenties. My mother would often exclaim, "You're too young to be in this kind of pain!" And off we'd go to see another doctor. They gave me stiff orthotic inserts in my shoes, awkward knee braces for sports, inconclusive MRIs, and the advice to just keep taking lots of Advil for the pain.
Now as an energy healer I can see how so many physical problems originate from imbalances and distortions in our first (root) chakra -- what ought to be a vital energetic connection to the earth and one another. I can see now how my "stance," my orientation towards the world, was exacerbating my pain and impeding my healing.
When I sense in to a client's legs I get a clear picture of how they orient towards life -- whether they are stubborn or more of a pushover, if they are steered by fear, grief, or rage, whether they have self-confidence or need frequent reassurance from others, whether they feel isolated or connected and supported. We often store unexpressed emotions in our joints, and what is meant to be open and flexible might become rigid and painful, cutting off or distorting the flow of energy.
There are many different ways to open and heal our root chakras. Some are simple and intuitive, like walking barefoot on the ground as much as possible, being out in nature, eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Below are a few different exercises that can help clear, charge, and balance your root chakra.
Deeper wounds and disconnections, especially when they've manifested as injuries and illnesses, require more comprehensive holistic approaches such as energy healing. By compassionately excavating the painful stories that we hold in our bodies, we can address and clear the blocks that inhibit our natural connectedness and vitality.
Wake Up Your Feet
Our feet do so much for us, and we rarely give them the love and attention they deserve. This takes just a few minutes and feels great. A perfect practice for first thing in the morning.
While seated, massage down the midline of your foot, thumbs on the top of your foot, fingers opening up the sole by pulling out to each side. Then massage down each toe and in between the bones, pinching off the ends. Take your time and use as much pressure as you can handle comfortably, being gentle but persistent in the spots that feel tender. Before doing the other foot, take a moment to notice how vibrant and alive the first one feels.
Activate Your Legs
Chakra healing pioneer Anodea Judith teaches an exercise to increase the energy flow through our legs: Stand with feet firmly planted shoulder width apart, toes very slightly turned in. Inhale while bending the knees slightly, then exhale while slowly straightening the legs and pushing the feet down and out, as though trying to slide them apart (without actually doing so).
Do this a few times and you'll likely begin to notice a subtle trembling in your legs. This is good! It's the energy starting to flow. If for any reason it feels too intense, just stomp your feet a few times and shake them out.
Head in the clouds?
Sometimes we are just too stuck in our heads to find the energetic connection to our feet. If you are buzzing with distracted, scrambled energy, try taking a spoon (it has to be stainless steel -- test it by making sure it can attract a magnet) and rub the rounded part up, down and around each bare foot for a few minutes to reorient the electromagnetic field. Yes it is a bit odd, yet I highly recommend it. My kids especially love it -- I keep a spoon by their beds to help them settle down at night. It is also beneficial to settle your system after a long flight or if you've spent too much time in an electronics-heavy atmosphere.
Other ways to ground and support your root chakra
+ Yoga is great for grounding -- standing poses, like Mountain, Chair, Tree, Triangle, Warrior I + II, and certainly Savasana.
+ When seated for long periods of time, make an effort to have both feet flat on the floor, and take a few slow breaths with your palms resting on your thighs.
+ Finally, I always recommend Donna Eden's Five Minute Energy Routine as a fantastic daily balancing routine that has profound cumulative effects.
If we want to authentically and powerfully stand up for ourselves and others yet find it difficult, daunting, or uncomfortable, assessing our connection to the ground is a good place to start. I look forward to working together if you could use some help recovering ease, strength, and flexibility in your stance.