Sunflowers, Yoga and the Svadisthana Chakra - Aura Wellness Center

Sunflowers, Yoga and the Svadisthana Chakra

svadhisthana chakraBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

As the sun travels toward her yearly zenith point, her warmth and energy begin to permeate the earth, coaxing new life to emerge from its winter stasis. With each passing day, we begin to witness the perennial growth of abundant flowers and plants. The sunshine and warm temperatures also bring bears out of hibernation and the bees back to the business of making honey! Traditionally, the Incas worshiped the yellow color of the sun as a symbol of optimism, happiness, pleasure, and wealth.

If you live in a temperate climate that was quite cold this winter, the very advent of the spring like temperatures and the return of the warmth of the sun’s rays may be inspiring a new found hope and optimism for creative projects, both large and small. This energy of optimism is embodied by the resiliency of the sunflower. The sunflower is a classical symbol of the sun. The vermilion-tinged yellow of the sunflower is also symbolic of the Second Chakra, known in Tantric Yoga as the Svadisthana Chakra.

The Second Chakra is located a few inches above the Root Chakra and just below the navel area. It is strongly connected to one’s place in the world in terms of a sense of home and belonging. The Second Chakra is said to have six petals according to ancient Yogis. These petals resonate with the seed mantra “yam.” This chakra is also strongly correlated with the element water, which is depicted by the silver crescent moon. In the process of balancing the Second Chakra, we are asked to embrace the watery, emotional elements of life and to let life ebb and flow with the symbolic tides.

Although this ebb and flow of life experiences (and frequently the people in our lives) can be painful, allowing things to flow and change is critical to the health of the Svadisthana Chakra. The shadow aspect of the Second Chakra is a clamping down of one’s creativity and sexuality, as well as being mired in issues of jealousy and betrayal. Staying mired in these shadow emotions will ultimately close down one’s creativity and hamper a Yoga practitioner’s ability to sustain a nourishing home base. Symptoms of an unbalanced Second Chakra usually include an inability to experience pleasure, resistance to change and being out of touch with one’s own emotions. Second Chakra imbalances may also be manifest by discomfort in the hips, lower back and reproductive organs.

Healing a Second Chakra imbalance includes the ability to release deeply held physical and emotional tension in the pelvic and hip areas through Yoga postures. If you have a history of sexual abuse, you may want to seek the support of a professional therapist as you gently coax your Second Chakra back into a vibrant state of well-being. Along the path, you may become conscious of experiences that are best integrated with the help of a professional who can offer you therapeutic emotional support and perspective on your experiences.

* Restorative Seated Wide Angle Pose

Restorative Seated Wide Angle Pose is one of the most profoundly relaxing Yoga asanas for opening up the groin and pelvic areas of the Second Chakra. If you would like to practice this Yoga pose in a restorative fashion, you will need a Yoga bolster, a rolled up blanket, or a pile of pillows to rest your head on while you are in the posture. Seated Wide Angle Pose is usually practiced at the end of a Yoga class, just prior to Shavasana.

When you are ready to practice Restorative Seated Wide Angle Pose, come to a comfortable seated position on your Yoga mat with your legs in a wide-angle position comfortably far apart. Place your bolster, blanket or pillows in between your legs. With your next exhale, gently drape your upper body over your bolster, blanket or pillows and rest your forehead on the Yoga prop you are using. Allow your energy to cool down and rest on the support of the earth.

Let the stress and tension melt away as you breath deeply and evenly. For the next several minutes, just rest and relax as you allow your senses to be pulled inward. When you have completed your practice of Restorative Seated Wide Angle Pose, sit up and place your Yoga bolster or blanket to the side and come back into Easy Seat. Pause for a moment and feel the quietude within you before moving into the final poses of your Yoga practice.

© Copyright 2014 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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