by Monique Minahan
The womb. Love is made here. Life is made here.
Swadhisthana is the seat of our right to feel and represents the duality (and sometimes dueling nature) of separation versus attachment, two concepts I became intimately familiar with while carrying and birthing my son.
A chakra often characterized for its sexuality, I find its watery dimensions to be layered with both humanity and divinity. Growing up in a society that exploits sex and a religion that denied it, I observed it too often reduced to one or the other. The sexual energy this chakra represents spans desire, sensation, pleasure, need and emotion. Much like water changes form to become ice or snow, this chakra’s energy can shrink or expand commensurate to our awareness of it.
As the life inside me grew from hiranyagarbha, the universal womb where all is in its potential state, into my baby, I began to tune in to this chakra on a physical level like never before. The process of creating and carrying life plunged me down into my fears, opened up new depths of emotion, and baptized me more fully into my humanity. It didn’t wash away the ugly or the shameful or the unacceptable – but they were revealed to me without the lens of judgement. I could feel it all, be it all, allow it all.
The space of the womb expands greatly in weight and size during pregnancy. Once baby is born the energetic space is still expansive, but the weight is gone. For weeks I stacked heavy blankets on top of my pelvis to physically weight down swadisthana chakra. The sudden weightlessness felt ungrounding to me, as if the watery energy was struggling to find its boundaries after the enormous experience of childbirth.
I choose a simple mantra for my practice today, the beeja mantra vam.
Pressing on the chakra’s front-body location with one finger, the pubic symphysis, and with another on its back-body mirror image, at the level of the sacrum, I recall that during labor the downward pressure in this space was enormous, an oceanic surge of power I didn’t know I possessed. I release the memory but keep the feeling of intensity in my body as I repeat the mantra.
I free my hands but not my attention. Emotions, memories and judgments surface and I practice allowing them instead of trying to repress them. Some days my mind is as wild as the ocean and all I can do is cling to the anchor of the breath while it swirls me around and around. Today my thoughts feel peacefully contained, like a river flowing downstream content within its banks.
As I end my meditation I return to hiranyagarbha. Some call it god, others universal consciousness. While I cannot grasp its mystery, I can understand it on a level that does not require words. Just presence.
Part 3 of a 7 part series. You can find part 2 here: Mooladhara, The Root.
Mo is a writer and yoga teacher who believes in peace over happiness and love over fear. She likes to set her sights high and then take small steps to get there. You’ll find her walking the dirt path behind her house with her little fluffy dog, practicing walking her talk by keeping her head high and her heart open. Contact: moniqueminahan.com