(2nd installment of the chakra series I'm teaching to my yoga students on Tuesday evenings!)
For tonight's class, we worked on the 2nd chakra, Svadhisthana. We focused on balancing emotions and having the ability to experience pleasure.
The 2nd chakra is located at the sacral plexus and lower abdomen. Its element is Water, and its color is Orange. One of the affirmations for this chakra (which I had my students use) is: “I deserve pleasure in my life.” Each chakra has a basic, inalienable right, and for the 2nd chakra this is: The right to feel and have pleasure. We started the class meditating on this idea of allowing ourselves to feel and have pleasure. This can be a very new and difficult concept for some people.
Before our meditation, I informed the class of what an unbalanced 2nd chakra looked like. If the 2nd chakra is excessive, or has too much, you may exhibit the following characteristics: pleasure addiction, strong emotions, oversensitive, and/or obsessive attachment. Conversely, if the 2nd chakra is deficient, or has too little, you may feel the following: rigidity in body and attitudes, poor social skills, denial of pleasure, and/or lack of desire, excitement.
I read the following passage(s) from Anodea Judith’s book, Eastern Body, Western Mind, while the students were meditating in sukasana (easy pose):
If we think of the body as a vessel for the soul and spirit, then the element of earth in chakra one provides support and containment for the fluid essence of chakra two, much like a cup holds water. Without appropriate containment, water flows out and the cup runs dry. With excessive containment, however, water cannot flow at all and becomes stagnant and dull. Ideally, we want to have a cup that is capable of filling, holding, and emptying. The task of the first chakra was to build this container. In the second chakra we look to its contents.
In the first chakra, we learned to ground, stabilize, and focus. Now, in the second chakra, our challenge is just the opposite–to let go–to flow and move, to feel and to yield.
During our flow, I had my students pay special attention to their sacrums and the energy there. One of the postures we did to help open up this 2nd chakra, was bridge pose. We also worked on half pigeon, and in doing so, made the intention to release any emotions that were not serving us any longer.
I ended the class by echoing the affirmation for this chakra: telling my students that they each deserve pleasure and good things.
Next week: 3rd chakra, Manipura (The Solar Plexus)