Welcome to your chakras, illuminating discs of swirling energy in your subtle body. In this series, the chakras become symbols, gateways to a deeper understanding of the self. Let their archetypes speak to you, teach you, whisper their secrets into you so that you may discover more ease, healing, and insight on this path.
Today we arrive at the second chakra – Svadisthana – located in your lower belly. (If you missed the first one – Muladhara – you can find it here.) Where the first chakra seeks to hold on and create structure, the second’s purpose is to let go and create flow.
While you are earth, you are – quite surely – also water. Everything ebbs and flows, drips, drops, pours, splatters, trickles, ripples, soaks, splashes… everything is nurtured and nourished by water.
Note: When I do this meditation, I put on “The Southern Sea,” a track by Garth Stevenson that runs for nine minutes. It’s divine.
Sit on the edge of a cushion, pillow or blanket. Weave your fingers together, touch the tips of your thumbs and rest your hands in your lap. Close your eyes. Connect to the rise and fall of your breathe.
Imagine you are sitting in a small boat, a canoe perhaps. With each inhale that arrives, feel the sensation that you are floating on top of the water. With each exhale, you are drifting further and further from shore. Feel the vastness of the ocean below you. The possibility of the sky above.
Now, imagine that a wave rolls underneath you and rocks your boat. And then another. And another. Feel them come and go, come and go, holding within them life’s ever-changing nature.
Think of the many waves of your life. Some have lulled you with their gentleness, their consistency and comfort, while others have been giant, drag-down tsunamis that you nearly drowned in. All have integrated into the great big ocean that makes up the tapestry of you. You are each wave, but you are also the entire ocean. Honor all that has brought you here.
Ask yourself: Do I give myself permission to feel the fullness of all of my feelings in any given moment? Think of what you have stuffed inside or shoved away… What part of your emotional landscape in waiting to be acknowledged? On the other hand, ask yourself: What parts of the past am I clinging to? What am I ready to let go of?
Roll onto your back into Baddha Konasana with the soles of your feet together and your knees wide. If you need some support, prop blocks or pillows underneath your legs. Place your hands on your lower belly. Feel the vulnerability of this position, your body’s expression of total openness and receptivity. Ask yourself: Do I allow for pleasure in my life? And feel the space to listen…
Dance, swim, DTR, take a warm bath with essential oils of cardamom and sweet orange, eat sweet potatoes, sprinkle cinnamon on everything. Do/wear the things that make you feel sexy. Express your sensuality through movement-based practices. This part of you needs tending always. Look for the sweetness in life. Stop and smell the roses, as they say. And then walk on.
May you feel each of your feelings fully, and then surrender them to the flow.
About the Author: Andrea – affectionately called “Anj” – is a Yoga Teacher based in San Francisco and Berkeley, where her Oms resonate down the block and around the corner. She is known for a bhakti-filled class with a whole lotta soul and a fierce flow. Andrea also writes, and edits. And travels, a lot. She takes her teaching on the road with yoga retreats around the warm world.