The chakras are psycho-spiritual centers located throughout our body. They are similar to old CD-ROMs because they are said to be spinning disks that record our life experiences. This post is the second in our Chakra 101 series. To learn more about the chakras, please visit this post.
The second chakra, also called the sacral chakra, is named Svadhistana. Svadhistana means “the self’s dwelling place.” This chakra is located in the sacral area just below the belly button. Our hips, pelvis, sacrum, and lower back are the parts of our body Svadhistana chakra governs. Health or difficulty in these parts of the body are all indicators of the well-being of our second chakra and all the experiences that reside there. Our emotions, creativity, and sexuality are all associated with this chakra.
The pelvic bowl: where we hold our emotions.
Svadhistana chakra holds emotions. For many reasons, many of us find emotions to be difficult to identify, understand, and work with. Emotions are complex psychological states of being. Many psychologists say they consist of three basic components: how we experience emotions, where in our bodies we feel emotions, and how we behave as a result of these emotions.
Emotional intelligence is a very important aspect of working with our second chakra. Our emotions only last about 90 seconds. However, our reaction to an emotion may linger for days, weeks, even years! Emotional intelligence means we are able to identify, understand, and manage our emotions in healthy, positive ways. When working with the sacral chakra, we can become more aware of our emotions while releasing our attachment to them. As we do, we glean invaluable information we can use in our day-to-day lives. Emotional intelligence empowers us to make clear-minded decisions in alignment with our highest good.
Creativity and shame.
Svadhistana chakra is also associated with our creativity, sexuality, and procreativity. Many people have a lot of shame around their creativity. Perhaps they were told that their creations were lacking in some way: they can’t draw, their singing voice is funny, and their writing was so full of corrections and harsh comments, that they don’t even want to keep a private journal for fear what they put on the page will be bad!
Shame blocks the creative process. Part of healing the second chakra is overcoming shame. The first step to doing this is to realize that the shame placed upon us is not ours to carry. It came from a source -such as traumatic experiences and other wounded people- outside of ourselves. Giving ourselves permission to release shame, no matter how long it takes to do so, is an important step to overcoming it.
Nourishing Svadhistana chakra.
There are many ways we can work with the chakras. The practices we choose should not only be relevant to the chakra we are working with, but also to be something that fit into our lives. As yoga practitioners, hip-opening asanas such as baddha konasana (bound angle post), malasana (a deep squat), and eka pada raj kapotasana (one-legged royal pigeon pose) can be quite liberating for the second chakra!
However, if we are having a creative block at work, we can’t conveniently roll out our yoga mat and strike a pose! Fortunately, there are other tools in our yogi tool kit to balance the second chakra that can be done anywhere!
Humans are creative beings. We don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to birth what is in our hearts to bring forth. To be human is to create! One practice for the second chakra is to make creativity as we define it part of our daily lives. There are many ways we can do this! Some people like art. Others enjoy sewing. Some prefer writing. If none of these speak to us, we can get creative about our creativity. Things like gardening, cooking, and even sequencing workout routines are all creative processes!
Our creativity is like a sponge. It can run dry. We can keep our creative sponge moist by regularly enjoying the creativity of others. Reading good books, listening to wonderful music, seeing meaningful films are just a few ways we can bring creativity into our lives… and stay inspired!
Finally, it is important for us to realize that what we do with our creativity is up to us. It is said that the great American poet Emily Dickinson kept her work hidden in a bedside desk drawer, not to be discovered until after her death! We can share our work with whoever we like, or not. When it comes to the second chakra, the point of our work, if there need be a point, is in the process of creating rather than the outcome.
Helpful mantras for Svadhistana chakra:
- I am enough.
- I am a creative being.
- I am human. Therefore, I have a right to create!
- My creations are not good or bad. They are simply mine.