Here’s the second chakra entry (betcha can’t guess how many more there’ll be ;-]) I teach a lot of classes which focus on balancing chakras. The second chakra class is always heavy, I have to come to it with a lot of energy and courage. But I also find that students respond really well to the work. Last week one of my students told me that she felt fantastic and happy all day after a morning second chakra class – like something had been lifted. The area can introduce us to important aspects of our psyche that we tend to repress or bury. And of course asanas can really shift the energy.

The second chakra, called svadhisthana, is the next step in the journey. The color of this chakra is moonlight white and its mantra is “Vam.” These are the shape and sound of the liquid factor from which the second chakra is created. This second great element of the universe which emerges from the solid factor. As liquid emerges from solid, the second chakra emerges from the first. “I’m here” exclaims the joyful baby Brahma, “now what?”

According to Carl Jung, it is from this second chakra that we dive into the deep, murky waters of the subconscious mind. The svadhisthana chakra contains these waters in its cup-like crescent moon shape. The yogis identified such tendencies as indifference, lack of common sense and cruelty as emanating from this chakra. So, the second chakra is not only about the strong subconscious drive to reproduce ourselves and all the behaviors that drive elicits, it is also about other instinctual behaviors that often manifest as the “darker” side of our psyche.

Whereas the first chakra is, on a cellular level, about breaking out from the primordial soup into prana-infused uni-cellular life, the second chakra is a place of increasing complexity, where we move into the reptilian mind. There is nothing wrong with reptiles per se. If we look disdainfully on alligators for abandoning their young to fend for themselves we are doing so through the eyes of our more developed human heart chakra. We can’t judge reptiles for being reptiles, but we can understand that there is a big problem with a reptile living in a human body.

When reptilian behaviors arise in human beings, there is a second chakra imbalance. Psychopathic or sociopathic cruelty, self-destructive behavior and “cold-heartedness” emerge from imbalances of the second chakra. But the word “Svadhisthana” also means “that which sustains itself.” The diety who presides over this chakra is Vishnu, the one who sustains life. In other words, even though life can deliver tremendous trauma, abuse and victimization, there is a sustaining hope for the preservation of life, for life to continue for healing to happen. Vishnu is often called “Ananta” which means “The Infinite One”. In other words there are infinite possibilities for healing and wholeness. When the spiritual warrior dives into the waters of the unconscious in her practice, she must come face to face with the darker side of herself as well as the dark side of others. The fullest expression of self embraces its own “negative” tendencies in order to bring them to light and transform them. This is the path of the tantrics – to meet life’s challenges with strength and fortitude while embracing everything, even our darkest moments and our deepest challenges, as an expression of the Divine.


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