The basics of the 1st Chakra (Yogic process we will use on this journey) help us understand how instability in this very first energy center can cause an inherently difficult infertility journey to be even more difficult.
Since the 1st Chakra is the foundation for all the other Chakras, it makes sense that it is formed during the 1st year of life. The 1st Chakra is all about feeling safe and confident in self and the world.
This sense of safety is first established when the bond with the parents, primarily the mother is firmly rooted. We know based on the care we receive from our parents, that we’re ok in this world and that other people are ok too. We are nourished and provided for.
The total dependence we experience on others is reciprocated with love and attention.
At least all of that is true in the best case scenario! When there is divorce, mental illness, addiction, or abuse in the home, a child’s ability to relax and trust is compromised. It is not safe enough to let your guard down. So many of us who have grown up with familial instability often live our entire lives with fear and mistrust. We mistrust ourselves and mistrust the intentions and reliability of others.
Of course, this is in varying degrees. And most of the time we eventually become “fully functioning adults.”
But often when infertility hits, those feelings of not being safe or secure are intensely triggered.
We lose the ability to repress feelings of being let down by the world/god and ourselves. Deep longstanding shame and doubt emerge.
And although some women reading this might say:
“That wasn’t my experience in childhood at all, so what’s this got to do with me?!“
This my dear friend has to do with you because even if you had the idealistic childhood, something as traumatic as infertility can cause cracks in a very stable foundation.
Or even completely shatter it.
Our sense of self-worth and even womanhood comes into question. We WANT to be strong. We want to shout:
“I am just as much of a WOMAN, infertility does not change that!”
But every time we get that period, it gets harder and harder to shout that affirmation. Suddenly it becomes a whisper. And then we don’t say it all anymore. We drop your head in shame and avert our eyes.
We put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. Whether there’s a “firm foundation” or not, we have a damn goal to achieve!
So for all women here, it can only HELP to strengthen the 1st Chakra, our firm foundation.
Feeling strong within YOURSELF first and foremost will greatly assist you through infertility and to the other side. Whatever that other side may be. And the tools to do this are found internally.
The exercises found in the Explore YOU (1st Chakra) section will strongly plant your feet in the truth. The truth about your worthiness and value. That in and of itself provides the confidence needed to step through each infertility hurdle. And it will be your anchor as you progress through more and more challenging fertility treatments and decisions. Ultimately it allows you to hold your head high with grace and dignity after a diagnosis that threatens to crush even the strongest spirits.
I have included further information below regarding the 1st Chakra. This is an introduction to the nitty-gritty details that my Yogi friends will probably be more interested in than others. So proceed forward to Step 2: Healing your broken heart with Mother Earth (in a non-hippy way) now to begin!
1st Charka (Muladhara)
Location: Base of spine
Function: Safety and Security. Solid foundation. Strongly rooted sense of self. Primal animal nature
Age of Development: 0-12 months
Prominent sense: Smell
Top Concern: Fear
Bija Mantra: LAM
Animal: Elephant or Cow
Crystal: garnet, red jasper, black tourmaline, bloodstone
Mudra- There are 2 Mudra options for deeply connecting to the 1st Chakra:
1. Prithvi Mudra: Hold the ring finger (earth element) down with the thumb (fire element). Keep Mudra in front of chest.
2. Bhu Mudra: Keep the pointer finger and middle finger extended, the thumb (fire element) holds down the pinky (water element) and ring finger (earth element). Touch the extended fingers to the earth.
*Prithvi and Bhu are Hindu Goddesses representing Mother Earth*
Dosha– The goal is to balance the Earth energy (grounding) and decrease Agni (fire).
The Pita Dosha is dominated by a fiery disposition and is often physically hot due to the dominance of the fire element in them. 1st Charka work is needed for the Pita Dosha to help reduce not only how physically hot they feel, but any mental agitation as well.
The Kapha Dosha, on the other hand, is already dominated by the Earth element. So why then do they need this element increased you may ask? There are many things that can dim the shine of the peaceful Kapha person, including laziness and digestion issues. In this case, 1st Chakra work is needed to kick-start their inherent Earth element into action to restore balance.
A red Lotus with four petals. A yellow square within the lotus with a downward facing triangle within the square:
There are 4 Petals on the lotus, each representing a function of the psyche:
1. Mind (manas)
2. Intellect (buddhi)
3. Consciousness (chitta)
4. Ego (ahamkara)
Each petal also has a Sanskrit syllable with the 4 human tendencies known as vrittis.
Yellow square: represents the Earth
Downward Triangle: there can be 2 meanings:
1. The downward motion of the triangle refers to energy pulling in and driving down into your roots (grounding). Also, the pointed part of the triangle represents a seed that is firmly planted in the ground. Once this seed is planted, it is then able to expand upwards (enlightenment/awareness).
2. The downward triangle is also a representation of Kundalini. Kundalini or primal energy is said to lie dormant at the base of the spine (like a snake). Once awakened it rises up from the 1st Chakra, awakening all other Chakras by traveling through the Sushumna Nadi (central energy channel of the spine). Once it arrives at the crown of the head, this accumulated energy produces enlightenment. This sounds really pie in the sky but it really just means our unrealized potential or untapped energy ready to unfold.
We all need to return to stability and security at different times in our life. Major events or trauma like infertility can alter our sense of gravity, leaving us feeling anxious and fearful. This is the exact moment that the 1st Chakra can help us. Simple steps such as getting out into nature or my Healing your broken heart with Mother Earth (in a non-hippy way) exercise firmly establish our feet back onto the ground. We are then able to move forward with confidence and make decisions from a more centered state of mind.
Continue on to the next exercise: Healing your broken heart with Mother Earth(in a non-hippy way.)