Helloooooo Beautiful friends!
Today we’re exploring Roots. What Alkanet root is, what a root chakra is (what is a chakra to begin with?) and how to get and stay ROOTED and what that means.
The easy one - what is alkanet root… Alkanet root, also known as ratanjot, is a spice root of an Ayurvedic plant found in the hills of North India and the Mediterranean. It has many benefits when ingested and, more importantly for this discussion, has powerful anti-inflammatory and cooling effects when applied to the skin. We chose Alkanet root as opposed to activated charcoal for our face bar, Goatmeal & Honey, because we believe activated charcoal to be too abrasive for the face, particularly in the desert where we are located. Facial skin is much more delicate than most of the rest of our bodies which makes soothing and rehydrating an even higher priority when formulating the best combination for this area. We also chose goat’s milk, raw organic New Mexico honey, colloidal oatmeal and to superfat this bar at 6%. The results are phenomenal with reports of acne being eliminated, skin softening, as well as massive reduction in symptoms from people with eczema, hydrenitis supperativa (boils) and other skin conditions. You can read more about it here.
Now for the deeper questions… (see what I did there?)
What is a root chakra? What even is a chakra? Why does it matter to you and how to open and support your root chakra?
Chakra is a Sanscrit word meaning “wheel,” and refers to energy points throughout the body. Visualizing these points and breathing into them during exercises specifically designed to open and strengthen them can greatly improve our emotional and physical well-being. Each chakra corresponds to specific organs, bundles of nerves and energetic centers in our bodies. When all of our chakras are open, aligned and “spinning,” it creates a deep sense of peace.
The ROOT chakra is the first chakra and if you look at a chakra chart, it is usually red, the lowest in the line and is located at the base of the spine at the perineum, between the anus and the genitals. It is the link between the physical world and our internal energetic system. The root chakra governs all things related to survival. When this chakra is open and energy is flowing, we are at home in the world, walking securely in our safety and fearlessness.
Not surprisingly, if one holds trauma, the root chakra governs symptoms of dissociation, feeling ungrounded, unsafe, insecure and unbalanced. Specifically your home life may feel chaotic and unsettled or you may feel stuck/blocked in your life and rigid/inflexible. Physically this may manifest as pain/stiffness in your feet and legs or contrarily, as excess flexibility in your hamstrings with a low sense of physical stability.
So how do we open and support the root chakra?
The element of the root chakra is earth. It is a very physical chakra and as such, physical movement and exercise to activate is a must. It can be as simple as walking, particularly in nature. If you can put bare feet to grass, earth or sand, even better. Gardening is another simple way to begin to activate root chakra. What I find fascinating about this is that I have seen people instinctively do these activities for years when they are feeling ungrounded.
Gentle physical touch, a hug, a hand to hold or for some people a steady but firm squeeze or weighted blanket are also grounding.
Other activities like yoga, dancing, Pilates, hiking further connect you to your physical body
There are many specific yoga poses for root chakra and it’s too much to get into here, but my personal take away is that any time you focus your intention on being present in your body and couple that with movement and breath, you are making progress.
If you are struggling with disassociation in a severe way, possibly verging on an anxiety attack, try to slow your breathing and turn your attention to each of your senses in turn - RIGHT NOW, what can I see, what can I hear, what can I smell, what can I feel… Cold water on the face, opening the freezer door and standing in the cold air, or gently squeezing ice cubes in your hands can be useful too.
So we know physical senses are a huge part of being rooted/grounded. Scent is a big factor in that. All scent. However, if you find yourself craving earthy/woodsy scents, your body may be cuing you that you need grounding. Patchouli, Amber, Dragon’s Blood, Oud, Vetiver, Sandalwood, actually any wood - these all stabilize, strengthen and empower us. Or maybe you just love earthy scents and it’s not that deep. 🙂 Yes, we have all of these as soaps, candles, body butter etc. Shameless plug.
Grains, nuts, legumes, root vegetables and meats hold a lot of earth energy and are best suited for increasing the flow of the root chakra.
If you have read this far, you are a trooper. I have just one final thing to say. Many people have told me that they have trauma due to being raised in overly religious or twisted nationalistic/religious environments. I know I do. What’s crazy is that because of my background, I have a biblical encyclopedia in my brain that isn’t likely to be erased soon. So here’s the thing. Root chakra is closed and misaligned when fear is reigning. Connection, physical touch and love are the antidote. Ephesians 3:17-19 paraphrased a little, says, You, being ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE, will have the security and ability to comprehend the massive love that God has for you. There is another verse that says perfect love casts out all fear.
I have a strong dislike for fundamentalism of any kind and religion and politics are being mixed in ways that are dangerous these days. What I find fascinating is that there are certain threads that run through many religions and I believe these to be spiritual laws much like scientific laws, that don’t require our belief, they just are - like gravity.
1) Where your mind goes, your energy flows.
2) Love destroys fear which leads to hate for self and others. In hippie speak - love is the answer.
There are others, but that’s enough for today. Hugs, sunshine & love to you.
I am by no means a doctor or health expert. These are things I have learned through personal experience and practice. Please talk with your doctor if you are unsure about whether trying something here is best for you, specifically if you are pregnant or have recently been pregnant. I am a big advocate for therapy and if you have suffered severe trauma, I highly recommend it. You don’t have to do this alone.
On that note, if you are looking for domestic violence support but don't want to be tracked through your computer history, click on the blue butterfly link on our site and it will take you to a traceless resource center. Our DM's and phone are always open as well.