Muladhara: Bringing Balance to the First Chakra

You might have already heard about the Sanskrit word Chakra that translates directly into” wheel”; and from the yoga perspective it makes reference to a wheel or disk of energy where matter and consciousness merge. This energy is also called Prana, a term that stands for vital force or cosmic force and according to Hinduism philosophy it is a vitality that impregnates everything, even inanimate objects. We all have seven principal chakras that begin at the base of our spine and proceed all the way up to the crown of our heads, but the one on which we will be dedicating our attention to in this article will be the first one: Muladhara.

Muladhara is found at the base of the spine, encompassing the first three vertebrates, the bladder and the colon and as expected the two Sanskrit words that compose it mean “root” and “support”. Being one of the three chakras of matter, this one embodies our sense of stability and safety in our lives. Basic survival needs such as water, food, shelter, and safety are intrinsically connected to this chakra. When this one is aligned we feel calm and secure despite whatever may be happening around us; if there is an imbalance or blockage in this chakra, however, we will be haunted by fear and mistrust even when external situations do not directly call for these feelings.

Some of the expressions of a Muladhara chakra that is imbalanced may be recurrent nightmares, thoughts of fear, or eating and anxiety disorders. Whereas physical symptoms might appear as bladder, colon, or intestine problems and lower back, leg, or feet discomfort or issues.

Five asanas or yoga postures that can aid you with unblocking and re-aligning this first chakra are:

Malasana or squatting pose

Janusirsasana or head to knee pose

Pavanamuktasana or knee to chest pose

Padmasana or lotus flexion

Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle pose

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(Look great while you meditate. Shop the above look here.)

Meditation is definitely recommended for opening and bringing a chakra back to balance. In this case, by learning how to re-connect with your inner Self and the cosmic Self through the practice of quietness, stillness, and concentration you will gradually get closer to the undoubtable truth that affirms how real safety will always come from within and will never come from outside of The Self. The more you experience this unbreakable refuge and sanctuary that lies within you, by silently sitting alone in meditation position, the more this peaceful state of being will be able to accompany you throughout your daily life.

Maximizing Willpower for Your Diet

Nobody likes to diet. In fact, most experts seem to suggest that most diets are too restrictive to be useful for a normal person. The key to weight loss seems to be sensible eating, cutting down on simple sugars, and getting regular exercise. However, even doing that much can be difficult. When it’s late in the afternoon and you’re starving, a chocolate bar can look much more interesting than a carrot stick. This is where willpower comes in. Unfortunately, your levels of willpower fluctuate through the day, often running out just when you need it the most. Here are several tips for saving and boosting your willpower so that you don’t end up eating fast food in a weak moment.

What Is It?

Willpower is the ability to pursue long term goals over an extended period. Whether that means saying no to junk food, exercising every day, or curbing your shopping, willpower is meant to help you long term. Unfortunately, the amount of willpower varies by person, and can be depleted by overuse, mental tiredness, or emotional instability. While this is a blow to your goals, willpower can also be increased or better directed so that it can be useful to you in the areas you need it most.

Write the Goal Down

One of the problems with setting goals is that we forget about them in the face of more immediate concerns. To achieve your goal, and use your willpower in pursuit of it, you need to focus on it. Write the goal down and look at it often, it will help you remember why you are changing parts of your life. It is a simple step, but one that is vitally important if you really want to achieve your goals.

Work on Making the Target Behaviors Habitual

Habits are easy to perform. Every day we get up and brush our teeth. It takes no willpower or thought, most people just do it. Because most of our behaviors are habits, they don’t deplete our store of willpower. If you want to exercise, meditate, or some other regular behavior, then work on making it a habit. Do it at the same time every day set up cues around you that prompt you to perform the behavior.

One such cue might be setting your workout clothes out every night before bed, so that you see them as soon as you get up. Once the target behavior is a habit, you won’t have to use up any of your willpower to make yourself do it.

Feed Your Brain

Your brain is a muscle that gets tired. Make sure it gets a good mix of nutrients and vitamins so that it works at its peak efficiency.

Be Kind When You Fail

There will be times when you fail, you will forget to exercise, or you’ll eat chocolate, or break your promises to yourself. Don’t use these slips as an excuse to stop the behavior completely, and don’t beat yourself up. Accept that failure is human and move back into your healthier behaviors again.

Give Yourself Small Rewards

Because willpower is often used to ignore a short-term goal in favor of a long-term goal, it’s important that you give yourself small rewards to compensate. This does not include the food that you denied yourself in the first place. Set small goals that lead to the larger goal and reward yourself when you achieve them.

People spend their lives trying to obtain the willpower to stay on their diet, exercise regularly, or to do things that work towards their goal. With these tips, they can increase their store of willpower and hopefully start achieving the aims they set for themselves.

How And Why You Need To Learn How To Sleep Better Now

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a popular saying that can potentially harm you in the long run. We have known for a long time that sleep is crucial for self-care and without it, a myriad of health issues can arise. Just like you make it a point to brush your teeth twice a day and exercise daily, making sure you get enough quality sleep needs to be a priority.

Often, when we are busy and stressed, the one thing that seems to fall to the wayside is our sleeping habits. Unfortunately, sleep has adopted a stigma as more of a luxury than a necessity. The total opposite should happen in times of stress and as much as we would like to believe that more yoga, meditation and superfood smoothies will make us health goddesses, that is only part of the solution.

Prolonged sleep deprivation has been scientifically proven to be just as dangerous as drunk driving and the health consequences are seriously eye-opening, no pun intended.  Inconsistent quality sleep long-term can lead to an increased risk of stroke, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Pretty scary stuff. Plus, how awful do you feel the next day after a restless night, not so great. So why does society paint the picture that in order to excel in all aspects of your life, rest needs to take a back seat? This is a false representation of what we should be striving for and can actually backfire, ultimately causing complete burnout.

The root causes of why we are sleep deprived are numerous but here are a few of the more frequent offenders: anxiety, depression, clinical insomnia, stress, poor dietary habits and a combination of one or all of these. Experts have found that you may not realize you’re sleep deprived for a while, due to our reliance on caffeine or simply denial.

The bottom line is that we all could improve our sleep habits one way or another. Who wouldn’t want to improve the quality of their life? Well, one way of doing that is by getting enough quality shut-eye. If you’re ready to take charge of your sleep and your life, here are a few tips that can help you get there.
 1. Go to sleep at the same time every night, even on the weekends – Developing a consistent sleep schedule, one in which you go to bed and wake up around the same time is important for your circadian rhythm. For example, when you go to sleep every night at 10:00, your body prepares to start shutting down around that time because it knows you are about to turn in for the night. Same goes for waking up at the same time.

2. Create a bedtime routine – This will trigger your mind and body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for rest. Curl up on the couch with a cup of tea, blanket and a good book or even schedule your daily meditation practice for this time

3. Don’t stress it – The worst thing you could possibly do during a night of tossing and turning is to stress out about not being able to fall and stay asleep. If you find yourself restless one night after trying to naturally fall back asleep, remove yourself from your bed and relocate to another room. Sit on the couch and read until you feel your eyes getting heavy. Counting sheep is not always the best solution. 

Sleep is an essential part of overall health and wellbeing. One third of our entire lives are spent sleeping and it is a time when the body recovers and rests. Without the proper amount and quality, we are harming our health in the long run. Try one of these tips tonight and counting sheep with be a thing of the past.