The Chakras and Psychotherapy — Root Chakra

I thought I’d write about the sim­i­lar­i­ties between the Indi­an Chakra Sys­tem and Psy­chother­a­py (and human development.) 

Finding Stable Ground 

I got to think­ing about the word “sta­ble.” Now, ignor­ing the “home for hors­es” def­i­n­i­tion, sta­ble means,

1: not chang­ing or fluc­tu­at­ing (the patien­t’s con­di­tion was list­ed as sta­ble)
2: not sub­ject to inse­cu­ri­ty or emo­tion­al ill­ness (a sta­ble per­son­al­i­ty)

Source: Mer­ri­am-Web­ster’s Med­ical Dic­tio­nary, © 2002 Mer­ri­am-Web­ster, Inc

Now, of course, the word also has to do with sta­bil­i­ty, or “the capac­i­ty of an object to return to equi­lib­ri­um or to its orig­i­nal posi­tion after being displaced.”

I find it inter­est­ing that lan­guage con­cern­ing the body is often used to describe men­tal or emo­tion­al states – for exam­ple, “He does­n’t have a leg to stand on.” Or, “She just can’t stom­ach him.”

Try this one, then: “After the acci­dent, Joe seemed per­fect­ly sta­ble, but Mary became increas­ing­ly unstable.”

What did you think?

I would guess that you made an assump­tion about Joe and Mary’s men­tal or emo­tion­al state, not about how well they were stand­ing. Yet, from a Body­work per­spec­tive, how a per­son stands says vol­umes about how they “are” in the world. 

No one can be “stable” if their physical core is ready to fall over. 

You need to “get” that the frame­work I’m pre­sent­ing here is not “right.” It’s just a way of look­ing at things – a per­spec­tive. And a per­spec­tive is like this – you and I are stand­ing a few feet apart, look­ing at some­thing. No mat­ter what, our per­spec­tive (how we see the thing) will be dif­fer­ent. If we stand in the same place, it’s still dif­fer­ent, because time is involved, and all things change over time. Also, my eyes are dif­fer­ent from yours (obvi­ous exam­ple – you may be colour-blind…)

My favourite per­spec­tive, then, is east­ern. I describe things from a Chi­nese, Japan­ese and Indi­an per­spec­tive. The feet, legs, anal area, and First Chakra area are inter­con­nect­ed, and have to do with sta­bil­i­ty, secu­ri­ty, sense of being enti­tled to occu­py space, and also (at the First Chakra/anal lev­el) the hold­ing onto ver­sus will­ing­ness to release past trau­mas and sex­u­al confusion. 

Almost every­one holds some blocked mate­r­i­al at the First Chakra lev­el. If I am unwill­ing to “let go of my crap,” then my life will be about cling­ing to past hurts, abuse, con­fu­sion, trau­ma. This, in turn, leads to issues around bal­ance and stability.

(Anoth­er Body­work expres­sion – “He seems to be well bal­anced.” – where did you go with that?) Bal­ance and sta­bil­i­ty are what we call Root issues, and are also about feel­ing root­ed to the ground.

I think you get the drift.

Or, maybe not. This per­spec­tive takes get­ting used to. First of all, it’s about the con­nec­tion between the way our body “is”, and how we car­ry our­selves, and our men­tal and emo­tion­al states. In oth­er words, the realms are close­ly inter-related. 

Because most peo­ple can’t see their bod­ies, and because it’s hard to see some­thing dif­fer­ent about our­selves (we’re used to see­ing the per­son in the mir­ror, so we miss the obvi­ous phys­i­cal signs) we are con­stant­ly pro­vid­ing illustrations. 

A while back Dar­bel­la and I invent­ed a Work­shop we called “The Grid.” We took pic­tures of peo­ple from the front, side, and back, and then imposed a Grid over the pho­tos. In this way, peo­ple could see the way their bod­ies tipped off of what we call neu­tral. I nev­er got per­mis­sion to use those photos. 

I’ll just show you a cou­ple of por­traits from my days as a com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­ph­er. I have releas­es for these. These pic­tures might just help you to see that how peo­ple stand on the ground is a great indi­ca­tor of who they are and where they are stuck.

dancer forward

This first pic­ture is of a dancer (I did PR pho­tos for their dance troupe.) In every shot, she is lean­ing for­ward, ahead of her cen­tre of bal­ance. Rather than get into def­i­n­i­tions (i.e. “head­strong”) just feel the insta­bil­i­ty in her pos­ture, now that you are aware of it.

double curve

Sec­ond pic­ture, health club own­er. I asker her to stand nor­mal­ly and turn 45 degrees to camera.
Notice: her legs are col­lapsed at the knees, (“weak kneed”) her pelvis is thrust for­ward, this to com­pen­sate for her upper body falling back. (“a push-over”) Again, just feel for what you sense in the picture. 

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