Journey Through the Chakras: Go With the Flow
The second chakra is Svadhisthana and is symbolic of water. It is associated with taking pleasure and is located in the sacrum, genitals, hips, knees and low back.
Svadhisthana represents ‘the right to feel’. If we cannot interpret how we feel then it is very difficult to know what we want.
The first chakra is about everything solid. This solidity creates foundation, which gives us the base of support to rise up from. The second chakra Svadhisthana is about water and the ability to go with the flow. The form transforms into formlessness. The principles of water are fluid, feminine, and rhythmic.
Qualities of Svadhisthana Chakra
Pleasure allows us to move more deeply into the temple of the body. Pleasure allows us to expand while pain creates contraction. Our sensations are so important to the experience of pleasure. When we taste good food, or take a deep breath in the outdoors, we are opening the pleasure centers and creating an extension of the spiritual dimension. Some may argue that we need to shut off our senses in order to tune into the subtler body. However the senses are the building blocks to our emotions and feelings. Without them we become lifeless and disconnected.
Unfortunately we are often taught to beware of pleasure. We don’t easily allow our self to do what we want and instead do what we should. Eventually this can lead to resentment and frustration. Svadhisthana invites us to turn on our pleasure centers and delve into the deep recesses of the feeling body.
The second chakra is where the emotional center of the body lies. In a balanced state we feel emotions, but do not get overridden with them. If this second chakra is turned on too much we are overly emotional meaning our emotions begin to cloud our rational judgment. When this chakra is repressed we are shut off from our emotions and we feel very little. Repressed emotion creates tension and tension creates lethargy. We need to find the way to send the emotion out (in an appropriate way). The absence of tension creates a harmonic flow between the mind and the body. This creates an even deeper pleasure within the body, allowing deeper connection with others.
Sexuality is the ultimate expression of Svadhisthana yet it can also be the reason why we have many issues with movement, sensations, pleasure, desire and emotions. In our western culture sexuality has been gravely misunderstood and mismanaged. This affects the natural flow of excitation throughout the body. Guilt is the demon of the second chakra. It halts our pleasures and self-esteem. To reclaim the second chakra is to reclaim our right to feel and our right to healthy sexuality.
Balanced Svadhisthana: Healthy boundaries, having passion in life and feeling alive, the ability to go with the flow and movements are graceful, nurturing of the self.
Excessive Svadhisthana: Change is necessary in order for the mind to stay active and alive. An excessive second chakra scatters the liberating energies too soon so it does not flow through to higher chakras. Therefore it is important to be honest with your self when exploring how much change is too much.
Depleted Svadhisthana: Fear of change, energy gets trapped in the structure of the first chakra and resists fluidity, becoming hard and stiff. Little passion and too much self-control. If we experience chronic tension in the hips, low back, and glutes try and tap into the current and flow of life.
Rituals to restore Balance: Connect with water. Take hot baths, drink more water, sit by the river or ocean. Add a flow and pulse to your regular yoga poses such as swaying and rocking the body. Change a routine (running route, clothing color, meeting place). Start with nurturing yourself and then begin to apply the principles to your relationships.
Y oga poses to restore balance:
- Sufi Grind: This deep rhythmic movement of circulating the hips, glutes and low back is wonderful to connect with Svadhisthana’s water element.
- Lunge Pose/ Anjaneyasana: Gently pressing in and out with the hip in sync with the breath.
- Pigeon Pose/ Eka Pada Rajakapotasana: Imagine the breath can reach right into the tension within the body and as you exhale carry that tension up and out.
The second chakra is the prime mover of energy. As the energy moves upwards, the soul is carried on the currents of emotions and desires toward growth. Through the solid base of our first chakra we are able to surrender to the prana and follow its natural course without losing our center.
Image Credit: Leslie Prentice
Chakras: What They Don't Tell You at Yoga Class
Six blind men lived in a village. One day a villager said, “Wow, there’s an elephant here today!” The blind men had never experienced “elephant.” After conferring, they decided to go touch the elephant and find out what the excitement was about. They gathered around the beast and each took hold of a different part.
The blind man holding the elephant’s leg said, “Hey, this elephant is like a pillar.”
Another, holding the tail, said, “No no! It’s like a rope.”
The third, touching the elephant’s trunk, said, “You’re both wrong — the elephant is like a thick tree branch.”
Another, holding the elephant’s ear, said, “It’s like a big banana leaf.”
“No. It’s like a huge wall,” said the blind man touching the elephant’s side. At this point one can only wonder at the patience of this elephant.
The sixth blind man said, “You’re all wrong. An elephant is like a solid pipe.” He was touching the elephant’s tusk, perhaps just prior to the elephant using it to toss the him over its shoulder.
Aside from the ensuing arguments about who was “right,” each blind man was correct in his perception — there was truth in each experience. In the Jain tradition, it is said the truth can be stated in seven versions or points of view, and the lesson is to be tolerant of the experiences and perceptions of others.
Thus it is with chakras. We’re like blind men with an elephant — each with our own view of the chakra system based on experience, exposure, what we’ve seen, read, heard, or been told — but ironically, it is the cherished belief in our “rightness” (about virtually anything) that ultimately blocks the development and unfolding of the subtle body’s energy centers. Defending any position can launch us into a state of emotional reactivity — the kryptonite of spiritual evolution.
“In different traditions, one can find wheels, flowers, angels, animals, animal parts, geometric shapes, children, the seven dwarves, deities, buddhas, yantras, or mandalas. But in fact, across the board, believing in any judgements which give rise to emotional reactivity is the one sure way to ‘block’ the performance of a chakra,” said Lar C. Short, author of The Way of Radiance and co-author of The Body of Light. By referring to the “performance” of a chakra, Short distinguishes these centers as activities (verbs) rather than things (nouns).
So gentle seeker, or finder as the case may be, suspend disbelief for this exploration of the paradoxical human chakra energetic system.