Crossing the rainbow bridge

Anodea Judith was in London in October 2015, bringing together yoga, chanting, meditation, bioenergetics and Jungian psychology to deepen our understanding of the chakra system as a map of the human soul.  She describes the seven chakras spinning at the core of our being as a rainbow bridge, connecting spirit to matter, heaven to earth, mind to body and the masculine energy of pure consciousness, Shiva, with his eternal lover, Shakti, the primordial source of all creation.  The bridge has two way traffic; an upward current of liberation which enables us to access the transcendent and a downward current of manifestation, through which we realise our divine purpose in the physical world.  

A chakra practice for Winter

We begin at the beginning, with the Muladhara chakra, the root of life.  As time slows and the hours of darkness lengthen towards the solstice, we can light the fire, embrace the stillness that Winter offers us and take the opportunity to reflect on our place in the world.  Ironically, we initiate the long journey up by going down; down into the earth, the body, the unconscious and a primal place that is instinctually connected with the forces of nature.  Our physical body is the container through which we experience our journey across the rainbow bridge.  Informed by our early experience of surviving as a baby, the developmental task of the first chakra is to truly come into our body, claim our right to exist and engage squarely with life.

This gives us an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with our body, our sense of home and right livelihood, our financial situation and our ability to nourish ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Practices which connect us with our root chakra include opening the body through the deep poses of restorative yoga; cooking and eating wholesome foods, grown in the warmth to sustain us through the cold; long walks in nature that remind us of the earth’s rhythms; tidying and preparing the garden for the inrush of growth energy in Spring.  Anything that brings us into harmony with the here and now of the earth plane and our identity as a spiritual being in a physical body, will heal and balance the root chakra.