I almost hate to admit that I usually take my tree down and put all of the holiday decorations away the day after Christmas. I am always so relieved when my house and life get back to normal. My youngest daughter is only twelve years old and she still believes in the magic of Christmas so I feel a little guilty about my impatience to have the holidays come to an end.
This year was especially challenging because I came down with the flu on Christmas day. But, despite my 101 degree fever, I singlehandedly took down an eight foot Christmas tree and returned every last Santa, snow man, and Christmas bauble back to its place in storage.
From Thanksgiving until New Years Day, most of us experience a real disruption in our routines. Our work schedule changes, we take vacation days, our kids are out of school. We may have parties to attend, shopping to do, or celebrations to host. Although these are wonderful problems to have, this disruption in our routine can affect the way we eat, sleep, spend money, and care for ourselves. The lack of sleep and healthy eating can lower our resistance to illness. The tendency to overspend can weigh on our minds and put us in a fragile emotional state. Anytime our routine gets disrupted, we are apt to feel off balance.
Yoga philosophy teaches that we have an energetic pathway in our bodies called the shushumna. It begins at the base of the spine and ends at the top of the head. Within this energetic pathway, there are seven energy centers called chakras that are responsible for specific physiological and emotional functions. Everything in life is energy in some form or another. Our chakras are like conductors, taking in and processing this energy. Stress and fatigue, like we often feel during the holidays can weaken our ability to process energy in a healthy way. This can negatively affect these energy centers and make us feel off balance or may even lead to physical or emotional illness.
Our first chakra, muladahara, is our root energy center. It is connected to our basic need for food, water, and safety. It involves the physical structure that supports us. Our bones, legs, feet, and tailbone are all included in the first chakra. Exercise like walking, hiking, weight training, and yoga will keep our physical bodies strong which in turn strengthens and balances the first chakra.
This chakra is also connected to money. Getting our finances in order and/or financial planning will strengthen and balance this energy center. Overspending can disrupt our first chakra and lead to ill health as we worry about how we will support ourselves and families.Trusting that we have enough money when the unexpected occurs is very important to staying emotionally healthy and balanced.
Our first chakra is ultimately about feeling safe, supported, and connected to something bigger than ourselves. Having a routine gives us a feeling of safety. When we have a routine we know what to expect. This helps us to feel somewhat secure in our lives. We don't always admit it to ourselves but deep down we are aware of the reality that we actually have very little control over what happens. Establishing a routine that supports us physically, emotionally, and spiritually, strengthens our bodies, minds, and spirits which can ultimately help to keep us healthy.
Wishing you a healthy, happy, secure, and peaceful 2015.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras