Emotions are the language of the soul, spoken through the body, and the experience through which we find meaning as our story unfolds. Desire is the emotional impulse to move to something greater.ANODEA JUDITH (paraphrased)
SVADHISTHANA – SACRAL CHAKRA: SECOND IN OUR SEVEN CHAKRA SERIES
The Svadhisthana Chakra is associated with the emotional desire for freedom of expression. It maps to the body below the navel – encompasses our reproductive system and connects us to the cycles of life and creation. While the root chakra corresponds with the earth element, the Sacral Chakra corresponds with the water element. In Sanskrit, Saraswati means “the one who flows.” The goddess is associated with the creative, purifying, and healing properties of a river and is the patroness of art, music, and letters.
Since antiquity, the “flow” of a river has been a metaphor for creative expression. Positive psychology recognizes the state of “flow” as the optimal experience of engagement and enjoyment in the present activity. When this state of being is out of reach we refer to it as writer’s block. The word emotion comes from the Latin ‘emotere’ meaning “energy in motion.” When our emotional needs are suppressed by others, or when we set our emotions aside because we are not prepared to deal with them in the present, it is as if the river has been dammed; We might feel stuck, apathetic, and uninspired.
Saraswati is often depicted with four hands each holding a key to the wisdom within us: a book of Vedas – for humanity, mala – for manifesting unity, and a water vessel to signify discernment, a lute – representing harmony. Here are four practices inspired by the Goddess Saraswati to help us restore our flow:
- Saraswati Mantra: Chanting Om Aim Saraswati Namaha – invokes enlightened communications and creativity. Mantra means mind release. Chanting mantra brings us release from tension and back to the present. Here’s a link to a Spotify version by Harriet Emily and a video version – with a live call and response and the manta on-screen – by Krishna Das for you to chant along with.
- River Kriya: Discernment gives us the ability to separate what really matters to us from the chaos and clutter of our experience. This Kriya was traditionally practiced standing in a river. We now do it sitting in easy pose with our left hand over the heart and our right hand cupped in front of us. With eyes softened we raise our right hand as if splashing the river water over our shoulder as we exhale – metaphorically putting the past behind us so we can focus on what matters going forward. Do this for 3 – 11 minutes.
- Free Dance: Free dancing allows us to move through our emotions – taking us out of our head and into our body and giving our creativity physical expression. Stomping, clapping, and moving your body to River by Bishop Briggs should get your creative juices flowing.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation: Research has shown Loving-kindness meditation may activate the emotional processing in our brain and increase our resilience. This loving-kindness meditation is repeated four times. It starts with you (using the pronoun I/myself), then radiates out to the ones you love (using the pronoun you/yourself), next to those who have created challenges for you, and finally to all living beings. May I/you be filled with loving-kindness. May I/you be well in body, mind, and spirit. May I/you be at ease with myself/yourself just as I/you am. May I/you be safe and free from harm.