Chakra Two, Swadishthana, is located in the lower abdomen. This chakra model has the Water element installed in the second chakra, and the Water element governs fluids in the body, joints, especially hip and knee joints, as well as emotions of all kinds.  Especially damaging to the Water element are emotions of shame and guilt, and since there is plenty of that going around no wonder the Water element is so out of balance for many of us.  Stability and openness of the pelvis can be a serious issue, but also if one feels emotionally unstable or stuck, it can contribute to the feeling of being stuck in the body, as well.  So, when I see an imbalance of the Water element, first I try to help the person feel the joy of movement again, even if it is the simplest movement – as long as it is pain free, we can start relishing and enjoying the pleasure of it, and since the Water element also governs our ability to derive pleasure from life, it is a great way to bring healing.

To sum up, the health issues we often see with the Water element are:

  • sexuality, the shadow side, being unable to go with the flow and emotions, either because one can't express them in a healthy and appropriate way, if at all.  Inability to enjoy sexual pleasure because of guilt or shame about one’s sexuality, or, the other extreme, overindulging in sex, sexual perversion and compulsion.
  • Issues of the hips and our ability to be mobile (via the legs), but also our ability to move fluidly in life, to adapt to the realities of life, to be able to feel pleasure and delight in the senses, but without overindulging.  The Water element teaches us to allow pleasure without overdoing it and certainly without becoming addicted to one’s pleasure.  Don’t live in your shadow self, requiring more and more stimulation to find pleasure in life.
  • It can become out of balance if the body sustains an injury that requires immobilization, or due to a rigid diet that allows no pleasure from the food. 
  • When we are mentally stuck in our ways
  • Infertility, reproductive and prostate issues, urinary tract infections, clogged tear ducts, blood issues, menstruation, birthing, hip socket issues, some knee problems, Sacroilliac joint problems, sciatica, muscle pulls and strains, tendons, tendinitis and bursitis.
  • Emotions of guilt, and shame, or any strong emotions are indicative of an imbalance there.

Women have greater mobility in this area than men.  During menstruation and pregnancy the hormone Relaxin in the body increases mobility in this area even more, so for women most frequently what is needed is to bring more stability into the area with strengthening (see video).  For men, however, mobility and flexibility of the hip joints is often a challenge, so they should spend more time doing hip openers (see video). 

To cultivate fluidity, as you move from pose to pose, notice your transitions.  Fluid transitions and staying mindful between the poses indicates a good balance in the Water element.  Inability to move fluidly, and dropping mindfulness between poses (becoming distracted) indicates an imbalance.

In your Yoga practice:

  • tuck and tilt the pelvis (cat/cow)
  • asymmetrical poses, especially standing
  • windshield wipers, bound angle pose
  • all poses that open the hips and bring openness and stability to the SI joints
  • coordinate breath and movement together as seamlessly as possible, so that each enhances and supports the other

Pranayama: Complete 3-part Yogic breath, fluid transitions from part to part

Watch a companion video on strengthening the hips:

Or watch another video for Chakra Two