By Dr Melane Van Zyl

What we can learn from it

I am revisiting the chakras for the umpteenth time. However, this time, I am privileged to learn from Anodea Judith, the Eastern Body, Western Mind writer. I promise anyone with a more profound interest in yoga or Jungian psychoanalytic therapy will enjoy this book.

The second chakra struck me as necessary regarding emotional, bodily, and relationship issues- things psychologists and psychiatrists work with daily.

So, doing Anodea Judith a bit of an injustice by summarizing her excellent writings severely, here are a couple of things the second chakra teaches us:

• The second element is all about water. Water takes on the shape of the container it is in. We should also be able to move like water and not be stiff and frozen like ice.
• Developmentally, this chakra correlates with a baby’s life when it starts exploring and noticing new sensations. Was the baby allowed to explore and gradually become aware that it is separate from its mother?
• So, how are you able to experience different sensations as an adult? Can you enjoy sensations without feeling guilty? Or are you overindulging?
• The baby realizes it is separate from its mother. Many crucial psychological theories are involved, including attachment theory, the good enough mother, and the good and bad breast.
• We become aware of polarities- our mother can be good or bad, bad it remains one mother. If we do not separate from our mother or realise that it is good and bad in everything, it can create problems with our self-image and relationships in the future.
• We should be aware that there are polarities in everything in life. There is you and me, inside and outside, male and female, hard and soft, etc. The idea of polarities brings the concept of boundaries- how far can I go with this? Boundaries make us feel safe. If we do not know where the boundary is, we will push until we are stopped. And if the boundary is not consistent, we will keep going. It is like water that fills the whole container; if the container changes, so do we. If I am unsure where I end and you begin, I will try to “merge” with your sense of self/identity.

Of course, we can do yoga poses and physical movements related to the second chakra.

To read more: Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith

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