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“Seat of Life”
Seed Sound: VAM
Gem: Pearl: Strengthens water element, increasing calm and contentment.
Svadhisthana Chakra represents the element of water. It is located in the lower abdomen and encompasses the genitals and the womb. This chakra controls the Apana Vayu which is a downward movement in the body (defecation, urination, mensuration).
The basic function of the 6 petaled Svadhisthana Chakra is creativity, balancing water in the body, and regulating sexual activity.
Svadhisthana Chakra is Associated with:
Svadhisthana Chakra represents the water element. Water is not only peaceful and calming, it can create great change and even destruction. It is necessary for all life, and supports all of our bodies. Water flows and helps us to move forward on our journey.
Now that we stabilized through the Muladhara chakra, we can work on moving outside our base of support. Have you heard the saying that the only constant in life is change? I’ve certainly found it to be true. From our stable base, we now have the confidence and stability to be fluid with the continual changes that occur seemingly all the time.
It is not only necessary to feel balanced in change that occurs, we must also be confident in our ability to create the change we need to become better people and create more balance lives. We have ultimate control of our choices and therefore have more control over our lives than most people think we do.
Within Svahisthana Chakra we begin to realize the dualities. Yin & Yang, Masculine & Feminine, Light and Dark. And we understand that these are equal parts of the same whole. We can not have strength without weakness, or light without dark. This continues to advance our concept of change mentioned above.
Now we begin moving outside of our base. We step out of our comfort zone and explore the world around us. Because we became stable in the last chakra, now we want to experience the world and need to move outward from our base to make that happen. Movement takes us where we want to be.
Svadhisthana chakra is the seat of creativity. Here is where we tap into the expansive energy that advances the human experience and thought. When this chakra is open we easily produce ideas that solve problems within our own lives and for our communities. We may be able to create beautiful pieces of art that inspire. Most of us have unique creative abilities that are not limited to art or music. This includes, cooking, physical movement, crafting….anything really! How do you like to be creative?
Let’s take a moment to clear up some misconceptions about yoga and the concept of pleasure. Because I think a lot of people get confused about this.
Experiencing pleasure is a pretty amazing thing in human experience. We love to have sex, enjoy the food we eat, and sleep in comfortable beds. How are these bad things?
Pleasure is not it’s self a bad thing. It is the attachment that we have to comfortable and pleasurable things that causes suffering.
Let’s back this up. The ultimate goal of Yoga is “Chitta Vritta Nirodha”, which means calming the waves of the mind. That’s it! Easy right? What we’re working for is less of a roller-coastery human experience. Do you think that’s possible while chasing pleasure or avoiding pain?
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali explain that attachment to pleasure and avoidance of pain are equal in how they cause suffering, because both are important experiences that build our lives. We need these experiences for our journey and growth.
So for instance. There is story of a guru who is teaching this concept to his students. A student says “but what about ice cream? How can ice cream be bad? It’s delicious and makes people happy. What can be wrong with ice cream?” The guru says “Let’s say you decide to go down to the ice cream shop for some ice cream. You’re so excited that you can taste the ice cream on your tongue and just can’t wait to get there. Once you arrive you see a sign that says the ice cream shop is closed, and you are very sad and unhappy.” The ice cream itself is not a cause of happiness or sadness, it is the association we have with the ice cream that can cause problems.
If you simply love ice cream and don’t become unhappy when you don’t have it, you have a healthy relationship to the object, and there is no need to worry. Enjoy the ice cream in the moment.
We can look at the same relationship with pain. But we try to avoid uncomfortable situations right? Because it feels bad and makes us feel uncomfortable. Again, the situation itself is not the “bad thing.” is the suffering we project onto the subject that causes our pain. Each and every painful experience has the opportunity for us to grow and evolve in our journey, and if we leave the suffering behind and practice mindfulness & compassion, we become wiser more evolved human beings.
So I would say to avoid practices such as “going to your happy place” and “good vibes only.” These bullshit, surface skimming, un-mindful practices only strengthen our attachments and avoidances. How about we work on being more embodied humans and work on mindfulness and being grounded in the present moment. From there we can contemplate reality and strengthen our yoga practice.
Svadhisthana yoga is where to start to experience emotions. Does that thought just make you roll your eyes and make you aware of how emotions may cause suffering? Yes! You’re getting it!
So just as above, in our humanity, we have feelings! What a beautiful web of experience. The life-long practice with our emotions is not being attached or adversed to them. This is where we truly have the opportunity for advancement and growth.
For instance. Sadness. Who has felt sadness lately? It’s no fun right? We feel helpless and depressed. But it’s natural! If you lose someone who means something to you, it’s a human reaction to feel sadness.
The important work is not to identify with our emotions. You are a person who experiences sadness, you are not a sad person. You are not sad, you have the ability to comprehend sadness. Feel it! Then return to your steady, calm state. It’s the same as extreme happiness, experience the joy, and return to the middle way.
Sexuality is another subject within yoga that gets pretty jumbled up. Let’s clarify a few things.
Sex with a trusted partner is a healthy human experience. Renunciates within strict yoga practices may be encouraged to practice celibacy. And the thought behind this is to transform sexual energy into an advanced progression of consciousness. But here’s the thing, it’s really hard to do. And if you don’t do it properly, there is a whole lotta of problems that can occur, causing a lot more harm than good. Most modern “gurus” who encourage celibacy use it more as mind control of their students than for actual transformation.
Most of the developers of modern yoga such as Krisha Marachariya and BKS Iyengar were married, householder yogi, experiencing the journey of family, and how to navigate and grow within that structure. Celibacy does not equate to a yogic lifestyle.
I also want to touch a moment on Tantric Yoga. Does the word tantra yoga make you think of sweaty bodies, entwined in creative sexual positions? Though tantric yoga certainly can encompass mindful sexual practices, it is not exclusive to these types of activities. Tantric yoga is a beautiful system of taking worship out of the temples and bringing it into our daily lives. So instead of going to worship, and forgetting about spirituality the rest of the day, Tantra yoga brings the holy into every aspect of our lives, from brushing our teeth, to eating, to making love. Can you see how this can beautifully enrich our lives, and deepen our experience of being human?
People who have a strong and balanced Svadhisthana Chakra demonstrate increased creativity and imagination. They are productive people and have appropriate sexual desires.
Humans with weaker navel chakra are prone to sexual obsession and fantasy.
Malfunctions of the Svadhisthana Chakra can lead to addiction. People can become compulsive or have low self-esteem. The person may lose desire and have difficulty sustaining relationships. Physical symptoms may include anxiety, sexual debility, miscarriage, erectile dysfunction, uterine, bladder or kidney trouble, premature ejaculation, or a stiff lower back.
How To Strengthen Svadhisthana Chakra:
Spend time in nature near water or meditate near/in water.
Hydrate the body or simply take a bath.
Having sex is a beautiful, fun way to strengthen the Navel Chakra. You can do this with a loved one or take a solo trip.
Shatavari is a beautiful herb that strengthens the region of the Svadhisthana Chakra. Shatavri has an affinity for the women’s reproductive system and promotes vitality. Connect with your favorite Ayurvedic Practitioner to see if this herb is a good fit for you!
If you like Aromatherapy, try this Plant Therapy Blend of Coriander Seed, Geranium Bourbon, Orange Sweet, and Jasmine Absolute (sambac). It smells so good!
Journaling questions for Svadhisthana
1. When you were younger, what were you taught about sexuality or did you have to figure it out on your own? How has that affected you as an adult? Are you comfortable with your attitude toward your body & your desires?
2. Which is easier for you, to give or to receive? Explain why? How can you change your actions to be more balanced?
3. Are you a control freak? What are you afraid will happen if you can’t control events & circumstances?
4. What kinds of relationships do you have in your life? Do you have a lot of friends or just a few intimate friends? What about romantic relationships? Is there a theme that runs through your relationships with others? Write everything that comes to mind about the word “relationship.”
Svadhishthana Chakra is the center of our sexuality and connection with others. We experience movement and creativity to begin designing the lives we want to experience. Spend some with with the suggestions above to connect with this energetic center.