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Life in the 7 Chakras with Andrea Brook

  • Broadcast in Fitness
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Welcome to Part - 1 of a 7 part series.

Chakra 1 - root support

Western and eastern perspectives on healing and dis-ease at a deep and rooted level.  

Let's explore what inner-emptiness means; why people sometimes feel alone and separate and what you can do to experience a greater sense of worthiness and belonging.

Please send comments or questions to Tina@LifeDr.com and we will briefly recap and answer some of them on air before we journey into Life in the Second Chakra.

All Life's Best!


0:00 Tina Morrison

Hi! I am Tina Morrison. I am here today with Andrea Brooke, founder of theothergirl.com. Hi, Andrea.

0:06 Andrea Brooke

Hi Tina. Good to be here.

0:08 Tina Morrison

I am so happy that you are here today. This is always an exciting topic when I am talking with Andrea. And today, we are going to look at Eastern and Western perspective on healing and disease at a deep and rooted level. We are going to explore what inner emptiness is and why some people sometimes feel separate and alone, and what we can do to create a greater sense of worthiness and belonging. So let's speak for a moment about the work you do in your practice.

0:35 Andrea Brooke

Great. Thank you. I have been a yoga teacher and spiritual counselor for about 13 years now and what I do is I work with individuals to help them to facilitate change by looking at how our physical body, our mental and emotional energetic body and our spiritual body are all connected, and we look at what is happening in the body in ways of limitations or pain or perhaps even capability, ways that they are feeling really good, and then seeing how they correspond with the thoughts and emotions that are occurring and then a general overall feeling of who they are in the world. And we put that together and create practices, both physical practices and breathing techniques, meditations, and then things that they can do in their day-to-day life to help them to really create the changes and create the reality that they desire.

1:42 Tina Morrison

Fantastic. So, some of our listeners have never heard of the word chakra and today we are going to be talking about chakra one. What is your definition of a chakra system and its purpose?

1:56 Andrea Brooke

A chakra is literally translated as a wheel and so it is a wheel of energy in the etheric body. The etheric body is our energy body that surrounds our physical body. The Yogis believe that the energetic body governs the physical body. And so first we have the energetic experience which is sort of like all the different things that have happened to us, and then the thoughts and emotions that we attached to those experiences that we have had. So these experiences and how we feel about them create an energetic pattern and that energetic pattern then affect how our physical body runs and how we move in this world. So this wheel is almost like the vehicle on which we move through the world. And if we look at a wheel, it is either in balance or it doesn't have enough air in it or it has too much air in it, and that it is out of balance, and we call this excessive or deficient. And then what we want to do is to bring that wheel into balance.

3:15 Tina Morrison

That's a fabulous metaphor. In psychology, we sometimes use a pie, a whole pie, and so when that characteristics or pieces of the pie get out of balance and someone does just like when we are eating, pieces of pie gets too big and it is not as healthy for us and so I like that metaphor of the wheel as well. Andrea, what are some symptoms you have seen in people with first chakra issues and what does that look like in your practice?

3:47 Andrea Brooke

I think we need to start with the basic right of the first chakra, which is the right to exist, a feeling of being of value and worth in this world and that because we feel we have that value, then we take good care of ourselves. We nourish our bodies. We spend time with our body, maintaining our body, in addition, our home and our family and our tribe of people, our part of this first chakra experience. And so when we feel that we have a right to exist and have worth, then in this first chakra experience, we move through our life. We make money. We establish jobs. We have families. We buy homes or create places in which to live where we feel good and we feel relaxed, and we feel that we are supported and nurtured. When we have issues with the first chakra then we see these things fall apart. Suddenly, we experience problems with our bodies, disease in our body that often indicates some sort of imbalance. The first chakra deals with the body as a whole as well as the speech, and then also like the area around the sit bones, so the base of the torso. And so when we have issues around these parts of our body, then we can say, "Oh, something is out of balance here." So symptoms can be within the physical body as a whole or those specific areas. Or we start to realize that we have a lot of issues with our family, be it our family from childhood or our current family.

5:50 Andrea Brooke

Maybe we are struggling with mortgage payments, this is a big problem that's going on in the Unites States right now, is that the mortgage crisis and all the foreclosures. And so these are first chakra issues, about security and stability, and foundation, and so we can see it within that. And other parts of this are that we will have struggles around relationships with money, relationships with how we can maintain a regular income so that we know we can cover our basic needs. The basic needs, we make that basic right, so again is this right to exist.

6:46 Tina Morrison

And I noticed when you talked about the sit bones and the feet, and these are all areas that do help you root into the ground, into your chair, into the couch, into your bed, and can you speak of that and how come these parts of your body are so important in helping you feel more grounded and rooted?

7:09 Andrea Brooke

The element of the first chakra is earth and so it is with the bottoms of our feet that we experience our connection to the ground. Muladhara is at the base of the spine and so as a result, the area around the sit bones and how we sit on the ground, how we connect with the earth and then our body itself which is earth. We found this homeless temple or our body and so it is actually made of the same elements as the earth. It is born of this earth. It is a physical reality in this earth. And so what happens is when we have imbalances in the first chakra, we have imbalances that are related to earthly experiences. Muladhara means root support and it is how we root down and how we are supported upwards. And so really anything that we can look at that says, "Hey, this is how I am grounded," or "This is not being grounded."

8:21 Tina Morrison

And we have spoken before about how these issues get rooted. What is your belief in that regard?

8:27 Andrea Brooke

The first chakra -- well, the chakra system is fascinating. The way that our chakras are first energized relate with the first 18 years of our life. And the first chakra is first energized while we are in the womb through to about six months of age. And so that means our first experience of the first chakra are all the thoughts and feelings and ideas that our parents had about us and this is a beautiful thing. Our parents think, "Oh, I am going to have this child and it is going to be an astronaut." And then we are born and we have a fascination with rocket ships and they say, "Yes! My child will be an astronaut." But may be that is not what we are going to be. And so there are all these concepts and ideas around who we are that then we have to live up to. And then if we are not interested in science, then there is something wrong with that or bad about that and we feel _9:27_ where this lack of worth comes from because we feel like we are not living up to the potential, the vision of what our parents held for us.

9:38 Tina Morrison

I would like to take a step back further before we were born and let's look at how the first chakra issue get rooted before we are even born.

9:55 Andrea Brooke

Well, this is a fascinating thing because a lot of times we think about how many kids nowadays are born in the situation that they are unwanted. We have all of these adoption practices that are set up so that people can find ways to move on in their lives without their children.

10:25 Tina Morrison

Foster care.

10:25 Andrea Brooke

Foster care.

10:27 Tina Morrison

And even people who are bringing children into the world and aren't wanting them.

10:31 Andrea Brooke

Yeah. Or even in places where there is war, coming into a place that is really unstable and even dangerous, and a great deal of fear around that. And even if our parents were able to or did not want us, were they able to, did they feel that they had sufficient income and grounding to be able to give us what we needed or were they frightened that they didn't have those things and that they themselves had an insufficient amount of stability to offer a child. If you can imagine that a mother who is feeling all of these fears, the womb literally tightened. We tense up when we feel fear, and so the womb itself would have tightened up and held us from being able to really stretch out and grow and be nourished in the way that we needed to be nourished.

11:34 Tina Morrison

And also, the baby takes on those feelings of the mother and those insecurities and so we are really literally born into that. We are taking that on and manifesting that in our world.

11:50 Andrea Brooke

I think you touched on a really important word which is insecurity, and anytime that we feel a sense of insecurity, we are really looking at some first chakra things. It is this sense of security -- I would like to say that if I feel safe, then I feel that I can be vulnerable. And when I don't feel safe, then I have to be strong, I have to make things happen. But it is really in our vulnerability when we are open to opportunities, when we feel we can take on any opportunity, and that vulnerability let us open up, let's us receive what is coming to us. Again, if I don't feel that I am worthy of receiving, then I am going to block that. And if I feel frightened, then I am going to block anything coming in because I feel like I can't take it. I can't do it. I can't handle it.

12:47 Tina Morrison

You don't deserve it.

12:48 Andrea Brooke

I don't deserve it. And so really, security is such an important part of being able to have a healthy first chakra, having a healthy ground, having a healthy foundation and having a healthy sense of integrity in the world.

13:07 Tina Morrison

Healthy sense of self.

13:08 Andrea Brooke

A healthy sense of self, exactly.

13:11 Tina Morrison

Let's talk about how many people focus externally on things outside of themselves versus focusing on what is true for them and what they want in their life. How do you see that in your practice?

13:23 Andrea Brooke

This is such a powerful thing. I think the thing that I am most interested in dealing with individuals in particular is they have a first chakra imbalance, hopefully even if they don't. It is helping them to ground in themselves. I imagine for you, a lot of the discussions that you have in a therapy session are about mom and dad and all the things that happen. [Crosstalk] Yeah, exactly. And the storylines around my life and who I am, but that storyline is often related with what other people thought of you, in particular, whether your mother and father are proud of you or not and how you feel about yourself as a result of that. So what is fascinating is that a lot of our issues as adults are reflections of these really old, deep-seeded issues that came from our relationship with our parents and from the relationship of our family. So what if we were able to acknowledge what those were, so in other words bring in to a state of awareness, a state of consciousness, what it is that is our storyline. What we are currently rooted in. The ideas, the concepts, the fears that we are rooted in right now as a result of our past and be able to look at that and say, "You know what, today is today and I would like to move forward from this moment. And what I am right now is who I am in this moment. And so can I root in a sense of self of who I am right now? Can I take away these ideas around me that are placed upon me by others, and can I instead say this is who I am and I find a feeling of worthiness and value in my own self. I feel safe being me and being me in the world, and I am secure in my own integrity."

15:36 Tina Morrison

Acceptance of ourselves and the entirety is the key to moving forward in our lives. Andrea, so how do you work with first chakra imbalances and help people create a greater sense of self-worth and experience a greater sense of worthiness in your practice?

15:56 Andrea Brooke

For me, I believe that consciousness is perhaps the most important part of all of this, is being able to become...

16:04 Tina Morrison


16:05 Andrea Brooke

Aware. Exactly. Here is what has been happening, here is why that is taking place and here is the choice I am making today. And so we can make conscious choices. We can look forward and say I am choosing to be healthy. I am choosing to be healthy in my body, in my thoughts, in my emotions and to feel connected to this greater sense of self, which is really connected to all things which is really part of earth itself as well as part of just the energy around us. And so first I create a self-practice, a yoga practice, a physical practice that works with yoga poses, that helps to bring into balance the first chakra. For those individuals who are familiar with yoga practice, these are down dog, child pose, standing forward bend, mountain pose, many, many others, a lot of the seated postures.

17:10 Tina Morrison

All the poses that help you to feel more rooted and grounded in your being, in your body and feel more comfortable in your skin, more secure and grounded call it in your skin.

17:21 Andrea Brooke

Exactly. Exactly. And also hip opening postures like pigeon pose for example, because then you are working with opening up that base of spine area of the body which in yoga...Yeah, and also in your mind. I love that. In yoga, we see the lower hips as being like storerooms, storehouses of old emotions, old thoughts and ideas. And so when we open up the lower hips, we are opening up the storerooms, so we can go inside and we can start looking around and we can say, "Wow, somebody told me this about myself and you know what, that doesn't certainly and I don't want it anymore." And we can let that go. This manifest in our physical reality as well by people who have on storage basis where they just stuff all the stuff that they don't want anymore and yet they are paying to keep it. Why not just go through it and give it to somebody who needs it, who will use it, who does want it and let it go?

18:25 Tina Morrison

Letting go. That's right. Letting go.

18:28 Andrea Brooke

Exactly. So a lot of the physical yoga practice is about doing postures that one, help you to let go, and two, help you to feel stable and strong and rooted and grounded. And then in addition to a yoga practice, we also look at what kinds of things can we do day to day. Gardening is a really important one, being able to go out and grow garden, grow flowers, grow food, grow the things that nurture and nourish you to really feel whole and happy and to give yourself that pleasure. So you are really digging into the grounds and creating a relationship with the ground, so gardening is great.

19:12 Tina Morrison

And also your -- and I am doing this --that I have my own garden and it is so healing in a way that, "Wow, gosh. I am in charge of creating this nourishment for myself", and that is a very healing experience in itself.

19:26 Andrea Brooke

It is so beautiful. I love your garden.

19:28 Tina Morrison

Thank you. Thanks. Thank you. [Crosstalk]

19:32 Andrea Brooke

To be here to have seen it and to share that experience, so I feel like, "Yes, here we are in your garden, in your home and it is such a reflection.

19:38 Tina Morrison

Environment is so important. And their environment is so important. It not only speaks to who you are, it shares who you are with others, but it also reflects back to you, how you feel comfortable in your own space. What is my environment telling me right now? Is it am I happy here? Do I feel comfortable here? Do these colors reflect back to me something that makes me feel joyful or is it dark and gloomy and is that why I am feeling dark and gloomy? So our environments at work are so important, the company's mission statement, how we feel at that company, if it is a mission statement that we believe in or are we going some place and doing work eight hours a day, seven days a week, things that we don't have any connection to at all. So you and I have had such amazing conversations regarding first chakra issues and how they are reflected even globally, and I would like to take some time looking at that.

20:45 Andrea Brooke

Yes. I like to think about different countries and what chakra that country relates to. And the first chakra country is one where really it is about basic survival. The countries where they are really looking at how do we simply just have a home and have water, and have our basic needs met. And so we look at that and I think Haiti is a wonderful example of a first chakra country.

21:20 Tina Morrison

It is.

21:21 Andrea Brooke

It just experienced this huge earthquake and so how telling is that that there was an imbalance in the first chakra of Haiti, that literally the earth shook in that imbalance. And then suddenly, what happens is people are desperate for, I mean their houses have been destroyed, their family members have died, and they are desperate just to get basic food and water.

21:48 Tina Morrison

Really shook up the world.

21:50 Andrea Brooke

Exactly. Exactly. And that just stated that the earth itself is a living being and we are all part of that earth. I often give people this experience when they are lying in shava-asana, which is the pose that you take at rest at the end of the yoga practice, and I will say, "Okay, close your eyes and in your mind's eyes see your body lying here on the ground, and then pull back, and see this building here on the ground. And then pull back and see this city inside this country here on the ground and then pull back and pull back and pull back until you see the earth. And then recognize that you, your body, is part of the earth. It is earth. And we are all interconnected." And so we manage an imbalance like what happened in Haiti on the planet earth, it affects every single one of us.

22:58 Tina Morrison

That's fabulous. It is so true. And every time we get together we have just amazing deep conversations and I love talking with you and thank you so much for being here today.

23:12 Andrea Brooke

Thank you, Tina. I really appreciate it. It is wonderful.

23:16 Tina Morrison

So this is nearing the end of life on the first chakra and we are going to be moving through all the chakras in the next several weeks. And so we are actually going to open up the phone line to offer insights and the opportunity for you to connect with us on the air and so please stay aware and look out for notes from us where we will be able to connect with you soon.

23:52 Andrea Brooke

And also, if you are feeling like this related to you, that perhaps you do have first chakra imbalance, then I encourage you to go out into nature and just go sit. Put your sit bones on the ground and sit and breathe and be and feel that connection to the earth. And then when you come home, clean your house and make it look as beautiful as you are.

24:22 Tina Morrison

Beautiful, Andrea.

24:23 Andrea Brooke

Thank you.

24:24 Tina Morrison

Thank you so much. And thank you for listening and let us know any comments that you have and we look forward to meeting you here again soon.