In Sanskrit the word “mula” means base.
As in mula bandha, muladhara: the root chakra which connects us to the root of ourselves, our foundation, our security.
Years ago, I was asked by my financial advisor: “Where do you find your security?”
I hadn’t really thought about where my security lay before, until the moment that challenging question was in front of me.
As people on this planet, we are all very different, in the way we lead our lives and the paths we choose to follow, and in the values that bring us security. Security lies in the form of what sets our foundation and what are we willing to invest in, for some: physical appearance, a home, a vehicle, nice things that money can buy; for others security comes from support, love, and time with family.
After soul searching, I realized that for me, in my life, I feel secure when I am healthy. Physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy to sustain my life, be productive, learn, connect, and love.
A few months after this realization, I was put to the test as my toxic gallbladder, full of gallstones, rooted in the heritage of my family, (deep-seeded Karma) had to be removed! I remember, the first week post-surgery, it was so difficult to do any kind of motion that involved using my stomach muscles — so everything — sitting, standing, laying down, getting up, using the bathroom; it was all painful. Not by choice, but rather by intervention from my body, I spent the weeks after my surgery completely off my yoga mat. Not long after, I started to feel the effects. Physically, I felt sedentary, fatigued, and tired; mentally, I felt super stressed and really down. I broke into tears one night because I just felt so unlike myself, so unhealthy and disconnected. I realized what an amazing tool yoga and meditation has become for balancing my stress levels and ability to cultivate happiness — without it I felt lost. A few weeks into my recovery I was able to practice Restorative Yoga, and my world started to feel more comfortable, I felt like my calm healthy self again.
Coming to the realization that my health was my security, and then having my health compromised, shook me to my foundation, the base upon which I stand.
Good health is an investment. We invest in retirement funds, stocks, businesses, real estate, beautiful belongings to fill our real estate — but why aren’t we investing in ourselves too?! Why not practice self-love… everyday? After all, our bodies are the vehicles, the vessels, in which we will live out our lives on this planet. These vessels, big, small, healthy, or laden with karmic dis-ease, are gifts. And what a better appreciation for the gift of life than loving it — self-loving! All the riches in the world aren’t worth it — if you are not healthy and alive to enjoy them.
For me, I have learned this gradually over time, with age much realization has found me. Investing time into loving myself started slowly and now it has become priority for me.
These are a few of the simple, (yet very fulfilling) ways that I have found to practice self-love and invest in my vessel of life!
- Waking with the rising sun.
This was one of the hardest shifts in my adult life. Throughout my 20’s and early 30’s I was a total night owl, not a morning person at all. However, with much practice, I have learned to love the feeling of aligning myself with nature and waking with the beautiful rising sun, hearing the birds chirp outside, observing the stillness and silence of the early morning, and looking forward to so much potential from the day ahead! I’ve found that if I wake up early, I am also ready to go to bed early that evening, so the cycle naturally populates itself, once started.
- Abhyanga: Ayurvedic Self-Massage
What better way to love your self than with daily self-massage? I love to practice Abhyanga in the morning, before or sometimes after my shower. I use Organic Cured Sesame Oil, the smell used to bother me, but I have grown to love it. I rub warm oil over my entire body from the crown of my head to the tips of my toes! Massaging over my whole body, I am able to notice moles, birthmarks, sore muscles, thin or bony parts of my body, and even plump parts of my body. And I have grown to observe and love all of the special pieces and parts that make me — me!
- Clean Eating
Eating clean, organic, whole foods is much easier and cheaper than we make it out to be. I stock my kitchen with lentils, rice and quinoa; and each week I buy fresh produce from the market. I’ve found many ways to get creative with these basics: mexican or asian rice bowls, curried veggie soup, and one of my favorites dahl lentil tacos. Get that recipe here!
When we eat clean, we will feel it, our bodies will reward us with robust health and vitality.
- Yoga Asana and Meditation (didn’t see that coming, right?)
Lets get real. Most of us don’t “have time to workout”. I hear it all the time, and I believe it! Which is why it is imperative that we choose to make the time. Just as with any investment, we manifest what we put into it. Fill space in the day, each day, cultivating connection with yourself, mind and body. I have learned to make space in my day for an asana practice and 2 meditations. These practices may not be the longest asana or meditation practices of my life — but I make time each day to get something in. And after each asana practice or meditation I feel so much more like myself than before! Its like the feeling of coming home.
- Take Days off
Yes, of course, take those vacation days. Enjoy those vacation days! But I make time to take regular days as chill, off-days. Once or sometimes twice a week, depending on how I am feeling, I take the day off from doing any kind of working out and I just give my body time to relax. During my moon cycle, I take off the first and second day from any strenuous activity, especially working out. I enjoy these days as off-days, which gives my body time to recoup and restore.
And last but definitely not least:
- Jyotish: Vedic Astrology
Based on place, date, and time of birth: Jyotish is the chart which maps out our lives. I had my first chart reading in 2012 and I was instantly in love with and totally accepting of the life that I have picked. I was able to understand my dharma, or just want I am on the planet to do. And now, with the path illuminated, I am able to make moves and investments in my self and in my life that are life and dharma supporting. I have my chart read as often as I can, which helps me to bring myself back into alignment and truly understand just where I am.
“Where do you find your security?”