I am very excited to collaborate with Leigh once again. Leigh and I have taught many programs together and each time I am impacted by Leigh’s truth and grace. She embodies the finest qualities of a teacher on a path of learning. Leigh walks the steep and treacherous path of healing with confidence, faith, and humor.

It is a delight to share her insights with all of you.

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I was taking a virtual yoga class the other day from one of my favorite teachers, Seane Corn, and she said something that resonated: “There is no separation between the mind and the body.” While I knew this, hearing it during the coronavirus pandemic was like hearing it for the first time.

Our lives have been completely turned upside down and we are in a fight/flight state of mind. It is important for us to acknowledge that we are all experiencing trauma and loss right now. And our bodies and minds are feeling and holding that stress. For some of us, it has been more traumatizing than for others, but we are all experiencing it at least on some level. The practice of yoga reminds us that everything is connected. In fact, the word yoga means “yoke,” or union, connection. Anything we have ever experienced as traumatic (both major and minor) in our lives is held energetically in our body. The body remembers. Limiting beliefs, disempowering stories, toxic thoughts, attachments, unresolved and current traumas that create tension, holding, contraction, and dis-ease in our bodies and minds.   

With COVID-19, everything has been heightened, magnified, and also put into perspective. I don’t know about you, but when my anxiety was at its worst, especially during the first few weeks in quarantine, any little issue I may have been dealing with before, and especially old, worn-out thoughts and stories (stories I thought I had resolved long ago) came back with a vengeance. Did that happen for you too? Is it still happening? Are you feeling unmotivated, tired, easily distracted and unfocused too? Why is that? We are currently in a first chakra crisis. {The word chakra means “wheel.” There are seven major chakras, or bundles of energy, located along the spine that also correspond to seven major nerve ganglia that emanate from the spinal column.} Physically, the first chakra, called Muladhara chakra, is located at the base of our spine, extending into the legs and feet. It is associated with the earth element, and its central focus is to ground us. When we aren’t feeling grounded, safe and secure, the first chakra is compromised and we go into fight/flight mode.  

  Here is a little more information about the first chakra, along with some journal questions that you might find helpful if you’ve been feeling fearful, anxious, a loss of control, frenzied, spacey, or ungrounded during these unsteady and unpredictable times.  

Chakra 1 | Muladhara:  Root Support, Foundation

LOCATION: Base of spine, extending into the legs, feet, large intestines

COLOR: Red

ELEMENT:  Earth

CENTRAL FOCUS:  To ground you

PRACTICES: Grounding, widening the base, opening leg channels, 

strengthening the legs, cultivating stillness, stability

POSES:  The base of every pose but especially relevant to standing 

poses. Tadasana (mountain pose), Warrior poses, balancing poses 

(such as Tree), seated poses and forward bends, reclined bound angle

IMBALANCED:  Underweight or overweight, spacey, frenzied, ungrounded, 

fearful, anxious, lower intestine issues (constipation), pain in the lower extremities, immune-related disorders, eating disorders

BALANCED:  Stability, beautiful form

BIJA (SEED) MANTRA OR STIMULATING SOUND: Lam

RESONANT OR CLEARING SOUND: Oh as in Road

MANTRA:  I AM.

JOURNAL QUESTIONS:  

  • How do you define yourself?
  • What are some of the labels you’ve placed upon yourself, your place in your family, your work, your world?
  • What words would you use to describe your current attitudes about your life right now?
  • What belief patterns did you inherit from your family?
  • Are there any that are no longer valid? Any that still hold true?
  • Do you have any unfinished business with your family members? If so, list the reasons that prevent you from healing your family relationships.
  • How did your parents show/not show you love, attention, care?
  • How does your current home situation and living space compare to how you grew up?
  • List all of the blessings that you feel came from your family.
  • If you are now raising a family of your own, list the qualities that you would like your children to learn from you.
  • What do you consider to be your survival strategies and coping mechanisms?
  • What makes you feel safe and secure?

The first chakra is the beginning, where we came from. Our relationship with those who raised us and other family members and our relationship with money and finances. You can think of the first chakra like you would the foundation of a house or roots of a tree. Many of us already, naturally through our life experiences, have small cracks in our foundation. And we can ignore these small cracks for years without consequence. However, what seemed like a small crack five weeks ago may have turned into a deeper, longer, broader crack that can no longer be ignored. This forces us, and maybe it’s not necessarily a bad thing, to acknowledge and also deal with what is calling for healing in our lives right now. To address the tension and contraction, my recommendation is to GET IT MOVING. Yoga asana, movement, breathing, meditation, journaling and even chanting are wonderful practices that can shift what is stuck and get the energy flowing again. And not only that, these practices reconnect you to yourself, your center. To address the fear and anxiety that many of us are feeling right now, practices specific to the first chakra that focus on the foundation of poses, opening the leg channels, grounding breaths that expand into the belly, and spending time in nature and gardening are all ways to encourage energy flow in the body. Through knowledge of the chakra system and corresponding practices, we cultivate a greater sense of ease, lightness, expansion, understanding and compassion. We activate the part of our brains that allows us to relax, rest, digest and process.


My work views all the elements of being a human—the physical, emotional and mental—as deeply intertwined… It is from this whole-person perspective that we can best identify the underlying causes of our struggles and empower ourselves to heal.
There are many ways I can help you no matter where you are on your spiritual path.
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