When animals evolved, the root disappeared. For the new, free, mobile creatures, the means of absorbing nourishment became portable – just one aspect of their connection to the environment.
Other connections were needed to preserve these beings.
• Touch and taste allowed them to gather and select the right foods
• Hearing and sight allowed them to stay safe amongst predators – and to find prey
• Scent and smell will help woth both locating food and avoiding trouble. It’s likely to be the oldest of the senses, the first to evolve
So what was a single root system became a fivefold web of experience. The earliest animals were purely instinctive and lived within this experiential web completely. Later animals evolved a subjective evaluation of circumstances – emotions appeared. This allowed cohesive groups to form, with obvious advantages. Much more later, animals (specifically primates) developed a faculty of objective evaluation – reason and logic appeared. The animal groups could manipulate their environment in new ways – as we routinely do today.
All this leaves us today
• Needing connection, but built for freedom
• Enmeshed in the feelings these bring
• Confused because feelings don’t make logical sense
Muladhara chakra – as we studied it in Yogafurie’s recent Glow Workshop – is both
• The stability to accept and rest in the awareness of these apparently contradictory facets of life
• A place of clarity from which to appreciate and feel thanks for all the richness, colour, depth and perspective of our complex and ever-changing lifescape.
Meaning and Physicality
“Muladhara” is often translated as “root support”. I feel this might be a loss of detail. “Mula” relates to English words such as: own, first, prime, basis, firmly fixed, cause, beginning…. Adhara related to words such as: regard, respect, honour, attention, care…. This gives us a composite meaning that could reflect more the appreciation of means and capability of connection, rather than the connection itself.
Muladhara chakra is associated with the lower pelvis, and here we can work very well with the pelvic floor with many Yoga practice techniques, both asana and pranayama. Of course,
movement in the pelvic floor is intimately related to movement in the breath diaphragm, and is reflected more subtly in the throat and the soles of our feet. Our exercises can create freedom for the pelvic floor, but it’s connection to the rest of the system only becomes more and more apparent as practice progresses. Freedom in connection, freedom through connection, is the message for Muladhara chakra.
The seed mantra for Muladhara is the syllable “LAM”. Of course, the precise pronunciation isn’t quite the Anglicised LAM but it’s a good place for us to start. LAM can be vocalized deep in the body system, and you can use it to feel vibration in your pelvic floor. Of course, it will vibrate for all sound we make, as sound affects the breath diaphragm and the two really are connected in a very physically real and visceral way.
Muladhara is associated with the Earth element. Of course, if we agree that all in this universe is one then there is no separate Earth element. But as a concept it works – in connection with sun and water and air, Earth is the nourishment vehicle and the ground for all life. It’s the primary point at which the subtle action of sun, wind, rain and air can move into a form physically available to living beings. In this sense, prithvi mudra is useful for practice.