“If our roots are deep and watered, our fruit will be sweet.” – Mich of Rainbow Dreams
This quote guides us from the deep roots of the first chakra to the healing waters of the second chakra, Svadhisthana (pronounced “svad-is-thana”). It’s the energy center where our creative vitality resides, and where emotions, desires, hopes and dreams take shape.
The translation for Svadhisthana is the “sweetness of one’s abode.” It is the force in life that takes you by the hand, and for reasons unbeknownst to you, pulls you to your calling. It’s the reason that some of us are authors, and others are interior designers, architects, doctors, gardeners or environmentalists. This center holds a treasure trove of information about who we are: it is the home of passion and creative expression. In health and balance, the energy of the second chakra flows like the water element it represents. But when emotional fluidity stops in this chakra, life can feel like a dried up water source, cracked, barren and desperate.
The energy of the second chakra (the sacral energy center) is continually encouraging us to grow, learn and move through situations that challenge us, otherwise we will stop the natural flow of life in denial of our deepest longings. Our tender expressions of self need to be nourished by Svadhisthana’s flowing waters. When we stop that flow our precious systems are disrupted.
The second chakra is my greatest teacher. When trauma hit my young life, this was the energy center that I shut down because my emotions felt so vulnerable. I stopped the flowing qualities of the system because my roots were not strong or deep enough. Physically, I suffered with chronic infections in my bladder, kidneys and urinary tract, the physical organs that the second chakra energy supports.
These lifelong maladies began to clear up when my self-care practice of meditation, massage and yoga became a way of life. This was a turning point for me in understanding how to take care of my health and overall well-being. I began to understand the intricate relationship of my emotions to my physical body. I look back on it now and it makes so much sense to me: the second chakra is ruled by the water element, and at a physical level the water in my body was not flowing because I had shut down my emotional channels.
I think of Svadhisthana as the pool of personal truth. For so long I struggled with what that word “truth” meant to my life. What I know now is that personal truth is that non-negotiable place in our hearts that directs us towards that which means everything to our creative expressions in this lifetime. The energy in the second chakra responds lovingly to being real about the events of life. It encourages us to speak up about our deepest feelings and to give expression to anything that potentially dams up the waters of life. Being aware of what we are feeling, saying and ultimately projecting is the key to knowing the sweetness of Svadhisthana’s flowing waters.
Please remember that all practice recommendations are offered with the understanding that you and your healing team know what’s best for you. If any of these offerings feel like they would compromise your well-being, do not do them. Thank you for always checking in with your life first.
- Listen to music you love, sing along and move your body. Make your favorite song a personal anthem for what you’re having trouble expressing for yourself.
- Write letters to the people you love, and tell them how much they mean to you.
- Create a flower bouquet for your home or as a gift.
- Be with someone who makes you laugh and be really silly.
- Take pictures that make you feel good. Go into nature and catch some cool lighting experiences.
- Whistling is a great strengthener of the Svadhisthana, and skipping is wonderful too. Be a kid and remember what makes you feel really good inside.
Second Chakra Meditation
A beautiful way to rejuvenate Svadhisthana is to get in a body of water. This time of year we have access to oceans, rivers and lakes. Jump in, and think of diving into your life and opening yourself to every opportunity that presents itself. Then rise to the surface and be still. Feel the flowing currents around you. Imagine that each ripple represents the ever-changing events of life: flowing gifts, opportunities, and challenges, each of them moving through you continually. Recognize this as health. Nothing is stuck, all is moving, and movement is health.
Second Chakra Asana
There is a very simple yoga asana (postures that have restorative qualities) called Cat-Cow. It not only helps enliven the second chakra, but supports and strengthens the entire chakra system. Add this to your daily practices and you will feel a rejuvenation of the spine, mind and spirit.
Method: Come to tabletop, your hands and knees on the ground, and tops of the feet on the ground too. On the inhale, lift your head and allow the back and belly to drop down as though someone were sitting on your back. This is the Cow pose. On the exhale, tuck the tailbone so the upper back arches, as though someone had a string and was pulling your mid-back towards the sky. Then release your chin towards your chest, just like you’d imagine a scared cat would do. Move at your own speed and let the movement be initiated by breath: inhale Cow, exhale Cat. Think of a wave, and let the asana take on a beautiful fluidity.
Second Chakra Meal
The second chakra is all about creativity, expression and vitality. This time of year it is very simple to find nourishing foods in our local gardens, farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Look for orange fruits and vegetables that you love and create a wonderful dinner or dessert. Remember that the second chakra thrives on creativity and comfort.
Terry Walters’ Crunchy Quinoa and Cabbage Salad
“Black and red quinoa are surprisingly different from their ivory counterpart. I love them as much for their nuttier taste and crunchier texture as I do for their visual beauty. I believe that food should nourish all of our senses and multi-colored quinoas definitely deliver.”
1 cup black or tri-colored quinoa
2 cups water
¼ tsp sea salt, plus a pinch to add to quinoa
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 carrot, sliced into thin rounds
5 radishes, thinly sliced
3 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp ume plum vinegar
1 tsp coconut sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Place quinoa in rice cooker or pot with water and pinch of salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool slightly before fluffing.
Place cabbage in large mixing bowl and sprinkle evenly with salt. Firmly massage cabbage until it breaks down and softens (will reduce to about ½ original quantity). Add carrot, scallions and radishes and toss. Fold in quinoa and set aside.
In small skillet over medium heat, dry roast mustard seeds until light brown and just starting to pop. Remove from heat and add olive oil, ume plum vinegar, coconut sugar, lemon juice, zest, and pepper flakes. Whisk dressing and pour over salad. Toss to coat, fold in tomatoes, sunflower seeds and fresh parsley and serve. Serves 6.
Image via SoulStrand, Oprah Magazine.