“To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.”
- James Baldwin

I have been using this James Baldwin quote for inspiration for my classes this week that have been focusing on our second chakra, the svadhistana chakra. In yoga we believe there are seven chakras, or energy centers, throughout the body located along the spine. This chakra is located at our sacrum, hips, womb. It rules our creativity, emotions, and sexuality; our ability to create art, ideas, and life. When this chakra is in balance we move with grace, ease and fluidity, our creativity flourishes and we live life sensually. Its element is water.

In class I invite you to focus on the upward and downward currents of your energy and breath, and to notice how they flow like water through the body. I invite students to truly feel the pose in their bodies and take note of any and all sensations that arise, whether they are physical or emotional. Rather than repressing these sensations as we so often do, I encourage students to bring their conscious awareness to the sensations, breathe deeply into them, and then notice how just by bringing our conscious awareness there and sending our breath to that particular area of the body, things change, sensations ease, the flow continues. Classes will focus on hip openers, therapeutic poses to remove lower back pain, and forward folds to move inward.

After class, students can consider the importance of the element of water as an essential ingredient of life. Let’s be thankful for all of the little things that we so often forget including our access to clean water. Finally let’s send our thoughts, prayers, and positive energy to the water protectors at Standing Rock.