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Saturday, May 10, 2014

2nd Chakra: Sexuality, Self-Gratification and Emotional Identity

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{As some of you know, I currently practice Bikram Yoga (at BYEH in East Harlem 
on 116th Street off 5th Avenue) and I actually used to teach Hatha Yoga.  As I was 
writing next week's article for my weekly column on herbs, I was moved to share 
this partial article from my website on chakra healing, as it is an active and 
daily healing practice of mine.  I hope you get something out of it.  
If you do - send me a comment and let me know.}

2nd Sacral Chakra – Swadhisthana

Swadhisthana is the second or sacral chakra and like the 1st Root Chakra (Mooladhara) it is related to the unconscious mind, but here the seat of the self begins to emerge. Swadhisthana actually means ‘dwelling place of the self’. It is closely situated just behind and above the 1st Chakra, being located at the coccyx base of the spine, or approximately 1 inch above the pubic bone at the front of the body.

The 2nd Chakra is related to the element of water and like the nature of water it provides those qualities, enabling movement, change and flexibility to the body and mind. The 2nd Chakra is very important in self development because it is the storehouse of all our personal impressions and habits from past actions. The energy of the sacral chakra is the stream and connective thread through this life and all our previous lives too. Its energy contains all our personal past impressions and experiences of body and mind, whereas the energy of the 1st Chakra is our biological genetic inheritance to our past ancestors and essential source of vital energy.

The sense associated with the sacral chakra is taste, the sense organ is the tongue and the organs of activity are the sexual organs, kidneys and entire urinary system. Therefore the sacral chakra is responsible for purification of all bodily fluids through the kidneys, bladder and lymph system, and for the continuation of life through the sex organs and glands of reproduction. It governs the gonads and production of sexual hormones and therefore has a very strong influence upon our moods and emotions. The sacral chakra is also linked to the mobility of our joints and especially the hip joints and pelvic area.

The instinct for survival and material security is sought through the first chakra and although the function of the second chakra is also linked to these, its emphasis is more on sexual activity and relationships which nurture survival and make life easier. It has a stronger sense of pleasure and enjoyment for the self, whereas the root chakra is pure survival. Sacral energy is very creative and manifests through a desire for sex, for relationship, for food and drink, for material comforts and is the energy of mind which finds great pleasure in them. The driving force of this very creative energy is continuation and largely involved with forming sexual relationships and having children. Therefore its important to purify this chakra and remove the negative imprints so that we may connect to another person in a healthy way.

Through the accelerated development that comes through our yoga practice we come to a greater self awareness and through this increased wisdom we come to accept ourselves and our personal history which completes who we are. Then we can fully unite with another person without hurting ourselves. So purifying the experiences stored on the continuum of the sacral chakra and also the root chakra is vital for our well-being in relations with others. With wisdom of the chakra system we can focus on the sacral chakra through postures (asanas) and breathing (pranayama) and with our intention to heal we can uproot the unconscious learned behaviors and the patterns of disharmony and dysfunction, which limit our capacity and our self esteem and become more and more empowered.

The sacral chakra is considered a feminine energy and often depicted symbolically as a flowing river when active and a crescent moon when inactive. The root chakra equates to the urgent raw power inherent in the color black/red, but the sacral chakra is more refined through the joyful nature inherent in the color red/orange. Being emotional in nature and related to the element of water, the sacral chakra energy is normally fluid, spontaneous and can be very unpredictable sometimes. For this reason the animal associated to this chakra is the crocodile, denoting its hidden dangers just below the waters surface.

In its natural state the second chakra brings a joyful and spontaneous expression to the self, through activities such as dance, rhythmic movement, exercise and art. The creative character of the sacral chakra needs to express itself, to bring out the inner potential and actualize it in form, which makes them natural artists, performers and inventors. They are constantly seeking new experiences and are the the type to change and transform any technique they learn and improve it, which can aggravate but also complement those of the old school with a strong faith in tradition.

Through being related to the element of water, the sacral chakra has a flexible, aesthetic and inventive nature that can help us adapt to new situations. Like water it can help us move around, over or under the obstacles of life. If this chakra is blocked we will find it hard to make changes to our life and patterns of behavior and probably feel stuck in a rut all the time. We may hold on consciously or be totally unaware of our sub-conscious holding onto the fears which prevent us from unfolding and evolving into the wonderful people we have the potential to be.

Through studying the science of chakra and yoga healing we can gain a deep insight into the nature of  the root causes of suffering in human nature. When this wisdom is applied to yoga postures (asanas), pranayama (breathing) and meditation we gain highly effective tools which liberate the energy of mind through the vehicle of the body. Since the moment we were born our willpower has been guiding our actions in this life and they have had outer and inner consequences. The inner consequences are trapped in our energy field of body and mind and shape our character, our biases, tendencies and points of view. When negative they cause illness and suffering and isolate us from love and from truth. Chakra yoga is like peeling an onion where we gradually uncover the layers of our being and remove the history trapped within us and causing suffering, and we keep on unfolding until we arrive at the emptiness of our center; the self realized enlightened awareness. 

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