Women have a tendency to please. Perhaps it’s part of our genetic code that imparts in us a more nurturing aspect. While this doesn’t go for everyone, many women would admit that in both daily life and in the bedroom, it can be difficult to put ourselves—and our pleasure—first.
Being out of balance with our mind and/or body can also make prioritizing ourselves extra challenging. For those with a strong mind-body connection, it can be clear exactly where we are feeling out of alignment. For others, we may need to approach ourselves with a whole-body scan and start from the bottom up. Cue chakra work.
Cristi Christensen, seasoned yogi, Olympic diver, global empowerment coach, and author of her latest book, Chakra Rituals, has a very intimate connection to the human body—namely her own. Being an Olympic athlete has lent her a deep sense of awareness in her body, but chakra work is what keeps her steadily in her center so that she can feel her absolute best, inside and out.
Christensen uses chakra work as a type of active meditation. It’s a great gateway for those who avoid meditation because it’s too difficult to turn “off” our thoughts—the active work keeps us engaged and in our bodies. Her latest book is a guide for these types of practices, and we adore them all. Right now, in this stressful world, we are honing in on our own pleasure.
Her chakra meditation for sensual awakening helps us to reclaim our body and supports our ability to experience pleasure. It leaves us feeling empowered to access pleasure for ourselves, and not just for others. But first, of course, remind us what chakras are again?
“Chakras are energy!” Christensen tells us. “Spinning wheels or vortexes of dynamic power, color, and light. Traditionally, there are seven main chakras, or energy centers, housed in seven distinct areas of the body. They run along the spinal column from the base of the pelvis to the crown of the head. It’s important to understand that there is no hierarchy among them; each one holds its own genius, consciousness, and superpower!
“The chakras as a system provide us with an evolutionary road map for our awakening, healing, and transformation, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This map will restore your wholeness, your wildness, your aliveness, and your health on every level—body, mind, heart, and soul. They will help you live a life on fire—grounded in power, love, joy, creation, connection, and purpose.”
It’s safe to say we’re on board with giving this practice a try. It only takes our body, no other instruments, so it’s easy to try this anywhere. To better understand each chakra, here they are at a glance via Christensen.
Chakra 1: Foundation—your body, your roots, your family, your home for this journey of life
Chakra 2: Emotional intelligence and flow—sensuality, pleasure, joy, desire, and sacred sexuality
Chakra 3: Empowerment, transformation, confidence and esteem, justice
Chakra 4: Love, intimacy, vulnerability
Chakra 5: Expression, creativity, the power of voice and sound
Chakra 6: Intuition, imagination, vision, wisdom, and insight
Chakra 7: Divine grace, gratitude, higher intelligence, and opening to a wider range of consciousness
Of course, when we aren’t sure where we are out of alignment, we can start from the ground up and nurture each energy center a day at a time. Christensen led us on a beautiful practice honoring chakra 2—for sensuality and pleasure—and it was a testament to how powerful just one chakra meditation can be.
This type of mediation was sexy, but not the typical, commercial way we think of “sexy.” It was personal. It was thoughtful. It was intentional. In this practice, not only can we get out of our heads and into our bodies, but we can light up our pleasure center, cultivate self-love, and put ourselves in the “mood.”
We know that physical practices can be meditative, but it can be a challenge to find which ones work for us. That’s where Christensen’s rituals come into play. They change how we think about meditation, and what it is.
“Chakra meditation is the savoring of the feeling of aliveness, and all textures, flavors, and tastes of the life force. Nothing is left out or denied, nothing is suppressed. It is a place to give ourselves full permission to be who we are, to honor our instincts, dance with desire, flow with our emotions, awaken our senses, and be with the rhythms of life. The gateway into this practice is a woman’s body. That is why I often use techniques that include touch, all kinds of movement, breath, mantra, and sounding—we are not trying to get our minds to stop thinking, but instead building an intimate connection with the life force flowing through us. True intimacy and sensual pleasure begin with you,” Christensen reminds us.
“When you soften into your own skin, you naturally begin to connect to your juicy, feminine essence and energy. Sensation leads to pleasure, and pleasure is enjoyment. Through the power of touch, breath, and self-love, we can rediscover with tenderness all the hidden places within the body whose sole function is for your enjoyment.
“Conscious physical touch can melt the tension, stress, and even the inner icebergs that keep us numb. As we inhabit our bodies more and more, we remember that our whole body is sacred. And that our womanly form is meant to be enjoyed. Enjoy yourself, first and foremost, and then if you decide you want to invite someone into joy, then that is your choice.”
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