As we continue the journey to explore the space where mind and body meet, we take our attention to Svadhisthana Chakra, the second Chakra in the Chakra System. This is the Water Chakra and is associated with the moon, feelings and emotions, reproduction and sexuality. It is located in the bony bowl of the pelvis and is linked to the sexy sex organs.
After the stability of the earth element in the first chakra we get in touch with the fluidity and movement of water, in the second chakra. Interestingly, this Chakra develops at around 6 months of age, around the time we begin to see beyond our mothers face and start to notice the world. As this Chakra develops it brings movement and exploration, we start to curiously explore through our senses, listening, watching, touching, smelling, tasting whatever we can. At this age, as we shove anything into our mouths, we learn the difference between eating soil, and the taste of chocolate or ice cream, we feel the difference between the touch of a soft animal and the touch of a sharp nail. We are learning the difference between pleasure and pain. The seat of pleasure resides here in this Chakra, and as we explore more of the world we move towards pleasure and away from pain. Pleasure allows the body to relax and invites energy to ‘go with the flow’ like the water element, moving easily through the body. The word Svadhisthana is often translated to ‘the sweetness of life‘.
As adults out in the competitive world, and caught up in our work obsessed culture we are taught to sometimes deny or delay pleasure, which can lead to stress and contraction of this Chakra. On the flip side constantly seeking pleasure can also turn into cravings and addictions also causing an imbalance, in the form of an excessive second Chakra. When related to sexuality, in someone where this chakra is closed, they may deny feeling sexual, alternatively, if this Chakra is in excess it may lead to sex addiction. Of course these are extremes and most people’s Chakras are in various stages of development.
How can we help to balance these two extremes?
The Chakra System is fascinating, complex, and profound, and deep chakra work can take years! If you want to dip your toe in, Yoga offers simple tools to open awareness and start the journey.
One way is to use the breathing technique Nadi Shodana (visit my blog on this technique) to benefit from opposing energies. Nadi Shodana helps balance the two halves of the brain through the nadi’s (energy channels within the body) the Ida and Pingala. The feminine and masculine, the moon and the sun, the yin and the yang. This breathing technique is also fantastic to slow us down when we are crazy busy or overwhelmed, helping us to relax and enjoy moments of pleasure throughout the day.
This second chakra is also linked with our emotions and the sensations and movement they create in the body. As a small child, we only know how to express our emotions by laughing, screaming or crying and our feelings and emotions rule our bodies. As we develop through the chakra system we move into the higher realms of self development and self knowledge and our emotions no longer rule our life, as much.
Using Yoga and Meditation to observe and release emotions
We can use meditation and yoga to become aware of the vibrations of the different emotions and the sensations they create in the body, allowing them to arise and dissipate just like the ebb and flow of water. The mantra to focus on while meditating on this chakra is ‘let go and let be’.
Another aspect of this Chakra is change with first two chakras Muludhara (Yang/Earth) and Svadhisthana (Yin/Water), we have the two polarities, these two elements together bring about transformation and change.
‘Change is a fundamental element of consciousness. It is what commands our attention, awakens it, makes us question…….Without change there is no growth, no movement and no life. Consciousness thrives on change.’ – Anodea Judith, ‘Wheels of Life’.
When this Chakra is open and functioning we are open to change and transformation allowing energy to move through this Chakra increasing the flow of energy throughout the body.
As I mentioned Chakra work can be powerful, deep and complex, the idea of this blog is just to give a taste of each Chakra….next week we will move from water to fire as we journey to the Manipura Chakra also know as the Power Chakra!