Chakra balancing ... and what are chakras?

I started getting into chakras almost 5 years ago, when I was invited to teach Nia dance at a retreat organized by Dara Mckinley, founder of the Goddess Process.

Dara expertly wove energy work (via chakras), divine femininity, sensual movement and creative play in an experience that was both deeply healing and incredibly freeing for the women involved.

Since then, I have continued my own study of chakras and how an awareness of our chakras can provide an interesting perspective on the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges we may be facing, and how balancing our chakras can deepen our healing.  There are many ways to look at our beliefs and perceptions and to change them.  Using the wisdom of your body and in particular your energy system is one powerful way to access this information.

But first - what are chakras? As described by Chakras are spinning energy centers located throughout your body that influence and reflect your physical health as well as your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. There are seven main chakras that begin with the root, or base, chakra at the base of the spine, ascending in a column to the crown chakra at the top of the head. Each chakra is associated with a particular color along with certain functions. All of your chakras must be open and clear in order to achieve optimum health and balance. Open chakras allow energy to flow cleanly and easily, resulting in an increase in energy and awareness along with arousing your natural intuitive abilities.

If you don’t already know about chakras I encourage you to read up on your own. It’s fascinating stuff and worth a few minutes of google time.

I was inspired to write about chakras today because I’ve been doing some deep healing work around the second (sacral) chakra in the past few weeks. This chakra is also the chakra that most frequently needs rebalancing for my clients, and has probably been one of the most recurring chakras in need of attention in my life as well.

The second chakra is located in the mid-level of the abdomen, more or less between the belly button and the pubic bone. The colour of its aura is orange. When your second chakra is balanced, you love life, feel generally optimistic and happy and take healthy satisfaction in sensual experiences.

This chakra governs life lessons involving blaming and guilt, sex, power and control and is the base for your sense of morality. The Second Chakra is the base of your creativity, manifesting, money and prosperity. Information kept in this Chakra involves your emotions and feelings, and feelings of duality. Your personal magnetism, your patterns of control, and your sociability also emanated from the Sacral Chakra. An imbalance in the Sacral Chakra may manifest as an eating disorder, alcohol and drug addiction, intimacy issues, impotence, frigidity and depression. This chakra governs the uterus, ovaries, vagina, cervix, large intestine, lower vertebrae, pelvis, appendix, and bladder. Physical symptoms of an imbalance in this chakra can include lower back pain, sexual impotency, urinary problems, reproductive health problems and appendicitis.

I’ve struggled with second chakra issues long before my awareness of what chakras were. Reproductive health issues (years of extremely painful periods), sexual trauma / intimacy issues, addictive tendencies, recurring urinary track infections, and lower back pain were all very present through my teens and 20s.

Learning about chakras gave me a new tool to address what the medical profession would simply prescribe stronger drugs for. As I began deeper level emotional healing, as well as exploring creative and healing modalities such as dance, art, meditation, and learning about the connection between nutrition and chakra balancing, I began to feel more in control of my healing - it was like discovering a missing piece of the puzzle. As I began to renegotiate my relationship to alcohol, and finally have the most connected, sober sexual intimacy I had ever experienced, I finally felt that I was stepping into a more empowered place - where I could finally claim the benefits of a balanced second chakra.

When I became pregnant and learned about the “deformity” in my uterus, which led to months of hemorrhaging, hospitalization, bed rest and a baby born 6 weeks early via cesarian section - it became clear to me that I would need to revisit the second chakra healing on another level.

While I am deeply and irrevocably grateful for my pregnancy and birth of my daughter, the medicalization of my pregnancy (numerous hospitalizations during and leading up to birth) and the ensuing cesarian section were also traumatic. The invasive surgery felt like a form of sexual trauma: the physical and energetic act of “slicing” through my most sacred feminine organs, placing tubes and catheters inside of the most intimate parts of me, the numbness that continues to this day, the disfiguration, the feeling of being “robbed” - which is difficult to explain to any one who has not experienced this particular form of trauma.

In the weeks since the birth of my daughter, I have embarked on a new but familiar healing journey. I recognized the importance working through these feelings NOW so that I can ultimately be stronger as a woman, lover, partner, and mother.

Here are some of the things I did to rebalance my second chakra. These can apply to all forms of second chakra healing and rebalancing, whatever the cause or outcomes you are experiencing. I encourage you to find what works for you. This is also an incomplete list... I’ll include links at end for further resources and study.

  • Orange: I’m not usually a big fan of the colour orange. HOWEVER, when it comes to healing, I’m willing to give it a go. I covered the lamp by my bedside table with orange fabric which creates a lovely, second chakra glow. I had orange flowers in my hospital room and requested them for my room. Orange gemstones are also powerful.

  • Essential oils: Orange blossom and other floral scents such as rose, rose wood, ylang ylang, neroli, jasmine and hibiscus can all be used to help balance this chakra... I also began using Dr Bronner’s Rose scented body wash.

  • Cooking and enjoying sumptuous foods: good quality chocolate, honey, tropical fruits, orange foods, dairy and dairy alternatives are all said to balance a second chakra. If you are leaning more towards an overactive second chakra, ie addictive tendencies, than your challenge is to enjoy these foods in moderation. Feel pleasure indulging and eating, without going overboard. There’s a lot written on this topic, including my friend Carla Golden’s “The Healer’s Diet” - let me know if you want to know more.

  • Intimate touch: Where I used to melt into hugs and caresses, I found myself now recoiling. About 5 days after the surgery, my mid-wife was the first to place her hand on my abdomen and I felt like throwing up. I gradually began inviting her touch, asking my partner to simply place this hand over my belly for a few minutes a day, and giving myself massages with rosehip oil and arnica.

  • Alternative healing: I booked accupuncture sessions to help with energy blockages. Reiki could work well, as would massage. Find what appeals to you.

  • Expressing my feelings: This one is tricky when I keep hearing from even my closest friends that instead of expressing my sadness and feelings of loss around the cesarian, I should be grateful to have a baby and that sacrifice is part of motherhood. Gratitude and sacrifice do not cancel out the feelings of trauma, loss and sadness. I need to honour the complicated feelings I have, in order to heal.

This mantra helped validate this part of my process:

My feelings are healthy. Part of the miracle of being alive is having the capacity to feel, to learn and experience the world through my senses. I do not confuse this wonder with the greater wonder of love. I can allow myself to feel without fear. I am guided by the voice of my Higher Self, not controlled by my body. My body seeks only genuine and healing pleasures that are healthy and balanced.

What I have written here is not meant to convince your rebalancing your chakras will ultimately “fix” or cure physical or emotional ailments. Take what resonates with you, and leave the rest. That being said, I know from my own experience and that of my clients that using this information as part of the holistic healing toolkit, especially when it comes to interwoven issues around addictions, sexuality, intimacy, power, and feelings can be really empowering.

I’m curious to hear if you’ve used chakra balancing before? What have been some of your experiences?