Anatolian people believe that three radiations of heat fall into the air, water and earth to herald the beginning of spring. The first radiation fell into the air last week. First into the air, then into the water and then the earth… In my previous post, I had written about the yoga classes I thought in the week when the radiation fell into the air and how we tried to prepare our bodies to changing weather conditions and the spring. The radiations herald the beginning of spring. And, we can prepare our bodies to the spring by practicing in line with these elements.

The raditations would start falling into the air, heralding better and warm weather conditions. The first into the air on February 20, the second into the water on February 27 and the third into the earth on March 6 (March 5 in leap years).

We had worked on the element air and water so far. This week was the week of the element earth. The element earth was related with “muladhara chakra” (root chakra) and it was located in the coccyx. The root chakra was life. “Muladhara chakra” was related with our being and body, environment and the world and was regulating the deepest connection with ourselves. This chakra was also about all survival issues like nutrition, shelter, home, family, how to make a living. It was about whether we feel secure, how we survive, how we make a living and our roots.

As this chakra was about the element earth, we should focus on grounding. Standing asanas and balancing asanas (poses). I decided to deep in all standing poses and make a balancing pose the peak pose of that day. We worked on deep grounding under the soles of both feet throughout the class. We stayed long in “tadasana” (mountain pose) at the beginning, middle and end of the class. I asked the students to give all the weight on the toes and then on the soles in this pose and observe the difference. Then, I asked all students to raise their body on the tips of the toes and then put the soles back on the ground. We tried to see how we feel on our roots by shifting the balance to different parts of the feet.

The first balancing pose we tried before the peak pose was “vrksasana” (tree pose) We tried to get rooted well under sole of one of the feet and tried to raise our spine from the top of our head. “Think of the plant lotus. It has its roots in the mud but it has a beautiful flower. Now when staying in this pose, think that we can raise from our roots even if they are muddy and we can blossom flowers. Extend your spine and your body by thinking this way. Even if the roots are muddy or it is clear and clean, we can grow from those roots. Think of a tree and assume that you root it out. It can only survive for a short time. Just like that tree, we cannot survive without the roots. Therefore, we should accept our roots as they are and grow and raise ourselves on those roots.”

The peak pose was “ardha chandrasana” (half moon pose). After the first trial, we bent the up leg and tried to grab the foot with out hand. At the same time, we were grounding from the foot and hand on the floor.

After a “vinyasa” (flow), we sat down and got into “dandasana” (staff pose). “In this pose, just observe which parts of the body are touching the floor.” The heels, calf muscles, hamstrings and sitting bones. Then “paschimottanasana” (sitting forward bend) and the same parts of the body are on the ground. We ended the class with “marichyasana” (Sage Marichi pose). The sole of one of the feet; the heel, calf, hamstrings of the other side and the sitting bones of both sides were on the ground. This meant that one part of the body was always touching the floor. There was always a kind of grounding.

During “savasana” (deep relaxation of resting pose), I asked the students to totally leave their bodies on the floor and surrender to the element earth. Totally get rooted and grounded.

Those with root chakra imbalance were greedy, insecure people with financial issues. When the root chakra was not working well, we were not feeling secure and we could always look around as if something bad would happen. Moreover, we could be deeply affected by fear. If the root chakra is overactive, that person could be so materialistic. But when we have solid roots, we can build a solid life over those roots, just like a building with a solid foundation.