Dear Beautiful Yogi,
This week we move up the spine and onto chakra number two. The second chakra is called svadhisthana (sweet abode). This chakra is located slightly above the first chakra (click here to read last week's newsletter on muladhara) and is situated at the sacrum. Rising above the heaviness of the earth element at chakra one, we discover the presiding element of the second chakra: water. While water is very heavy, it is not as dense or solid like earth. This chakra governs fluidity, emotions, sexuality, our reproductive organs, bladder and the movements of the hips. The seed sound for this chakra is VAM and the color is orange.
Water is essential to our existence. Not only does water make up a large portion of our bodies, we can only survive a few days without it. Water is cleansing, healing and powerful. Water moves around any objects in its way.
A balanced second chakra means we process our emotions effectively, have a healthy relationship with our sexuality and experience both strength and flexibility in the hips. We also take in plenty of water each day and we flow with life rather than fight it. We harness the power of water and use it for greater personal ease.
To experience this chakra and its element, there are three tools I will share with you.
THE FIRST TOOL is do a yoga practice focused on your hips! Move and stretch your hips in all directions: extension, flexion, abduction, adduction, plus internal and external rotation. Here are some suggestions for poses that move the hips in all these positions:
Our hips get very tight from sitting and various activities that create tension but not mobility. Creating physical ease at the hip joint fosters fluidity and mobility.
- Low and high lunges are excellent because they address both hip flexion (the front leg) and hip extension (the back leg). The thighs are stretched and strengthened.
- Standing poses like triangle and warrior 2 work the action of external rotation (the front leg) and also stretch the inner thighs.
- Warrior 1 is excellent for the same reasons as lunging plus you can really work on the action of internal rotation of the back leg.
- Always a favorite are the seated hip opening poses like pigeon, baddha konasana (cobblers pose) and double pigeon. These poses work external rotation of the thighs while on the floor.
THE SECOND TOOL is monitor your emotions. Emotions are powerful and many of us struggle with processing them or even just allowing them. Emotions are waves of energy. Become aware of your feelings. Try experiencing them and allowing them to flow, versus avoiding or resisting them. Sounds simple but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. This is an excellent practice for the second chakra.
Last but not least, THE THIRD TOOL is to immerse yourself in water! Being in or around water is a wonderful way to relate to its qualities. Take an outdoor swim in warm weather or a hot bath in wintertime. Hiking near a lake or river or taking a walk along the beach is nourishing, refreshing and healing. Take in the sounds of water around you.
A balanced second chakra means we flow with life, process our emotions well, are comfortable with our sexuality and experience ease and freedom of movement in the hips.
Go with the flow yogis,