The fall season gently urges you to return to your roots. Yearly home bound journeys for Thanksgiving and early winter holidays fulfill your need for safe, secure, familiar surroundings during the harsh winter months. Families in small towns gather. Transient wanderers flock to airports and return home for their yearly visit. Those without a place to go often hope to be invited to a friend's house. Have you ever been far from home and asked what you're doing for Thanksgiving? It's almost instinctual for distant acquaintances to invite you into their home for Thanksgiving dinner when they realize your home and family are far away. Our cells seem to all know that this is not the time to be alone.
Colors of Thanksgiving are harvest colors that grace the feast table. Deep reds and oranges abound. Red is also the color of the root chakra in yoga and ayurveda, symbolizing the center of your body and world connected to your family, where you come from.
How Deep Are Your Roots?Explore your concept and ideas of home, which is the stuff of the root chakra. Sometimes, home and family are associated with stress, grief, rejection, or anger. For some, going home is very stressful, but worth it nonetheless. For others, home means an open door, an open heart. How can you heal your idea of home? Do you create a peaceful home for yourself, or your own family? Forgiveness, empathy, and compassion are powerful tools that can help you reconnect to your familial roots. Perhaps you have a chosen family of friends, or a favorite uncle, aunt, or cousin that evokes the heartwarming feelings of the season. Finding your way back to your roots this time of year amounts to recharging your batteries and feeling grounded. Reflecting on the concept of home offers a good grounding during the fall season when it becomes so easy to feel flighty, anxious, and lose your sense of belonging.
Take a moment to recall experiences of your childhood that seemed wholesome and heartwarming before the age of 7. Your roots are the identity you were born into. If your life feels scattered, or you feel far from home, finding ways to return to your roots can be a peaceful, restful practice. Most people naturally expand their horizons in their teens and 20s. Reclaiming your identity after these two decades of exploratory living is an essential but difficult challenge, which can include anything from relocating to your home town, reconnecting to the religion of your ancestors, rebuilding old friendships, or re-establishing traditions from your childhood. Rebuilding your foundation will give you a sense of satisfaction, belonging and confidence unachievable through other means. A prominent sign of deficient root chakra is losing touch with old friends.
Create a Nest / Build a HomeNurturing activities support the root chakra, such as serving a warm meal in your home, taking a hot bath, or meeting up with friends for a meal or cozy game night around a fire. The sense of belonging doesn't have to be reliant on other people. Acts of self-care and care of your home are ways of putting down your roots and strengthening your sense of "I belong." It can take twelve years or more to become rooted. Oil massage at home, or abhyanga, is one of ayurveda's great gifts to make you feel at home in your body and your world.
Practices to nourish your root
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TAMASICTamasic foods promote rest, sleepiness and stillness. Examples include wheat, mushrooms.
EARTHResembles earth (prithvi) in quality - heavy, dense, solid, stable, hard.
CALMS-HEARTAn herb that literally calms the heart. These herbs are helpful in the treatment of anxiety, sadness, depression, or other emotional imbalances in the heart. Related to the Chinese Herbal Category 'calms spirit.'
GROUNDINGEncourages feelings of stability and heaviness. Makes you feel settled, mentally relaxed. Mildly sedates the nervous system to ease stress. Can bring a spacey or anxious person back to earth.
DOWNWARDDownward-moving (Adho Gati Marga) substances move food downward in the GI tract, settle the nervous system, and relax muscles.
INWARDInward moving substances promote introspection, self reflection, stillness, or slow the system down.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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(5.00 out of 5 stars) 4 reviews, 18 likes
Excellent article, contains much wisdom. I had no idea it can take twelve years to restore the root chakra.
Great and alternative view on autumn, there is much we can do for ourselves taking advice of this article. Love everything about autumn myself, but I think we could even use your advice/thoughts on helping members of our family. Thank you.
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I copied your list of practices to read to my yoga classes. Great article. I really enjoyed it and learned from it. Thanks. Kathleen Lewis - Columbus Ohio