With brightly colored Gothic and Renaissance architectural elements from on floating marble palaces and a history of important symphonic and operatic music, the glories of the past are evident around every turn.
Venice, one of the most unique and lovely places in the world is also voted by Travel and Leisure, UCity Guide and countless other sources as the most romantic city in the world, receiving over 12 million visitors a year. The main draws are its beautiful architecture, numerous art collections and important historical landmarks.
Venice has been known as "City of Water", "City of Bridges", and "The Floating City."
Because Venice is on a lagoon, the water plays a crucial role in transportation. It is especially unique because it has no roads. Venice is a city of 117 small islands, separated by over 150 canals and linked by nearly 400 bridges, it was enhanced during the Middle Ages by the dredging of soils to raise the marshy ground above the tides (wood pylons, rammed through the silt into the clay lagoon floor).
The resulting canals encouraged the flourishing of a nautical culture which proved central to the economy of the city. By 1300, Venice was the wealthiest city on the European continent, with valuable trading privileges with the Byzantines, as printing capital of the world.
This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. Today those canals still provide the transport of goods and people within the city.
In the ancient Sanskrit language Water is known as Ap. The Element of Water, as a part of The 5 Great Elements, represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world, and everything that is liquid. Water forms saliva and sweat, as well as urine, semen, blood (these liquid producing organs can be found in your sacral region).
Water can be associated with emotion, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism.
Water is also associated with our second chakra, the Sacral Chakra, Svadhisthana.
Being outside and relaxing near open water can help open your Second Chakra. Lakes, rivers, streams or the ocean are all useful. If possible, wade in or dangle your feet in the water to help the energy flow. Taking a bath or a shower can also contribute to balancing your chakra while providing the relaxation needed to keep your emotions flowing.
The Sacral Chakra is a universal symbol for the soul and the area where new life is generated.
Because the Second Chakra of water is the center of feeling, emotion, pleasure, sensuality, intimacy, and connection, I find it to be a fascinating connection that the "City of Water" is also the "Most Romantic City in the World!
Travel and Leisure states, “What can be more romantic than a gondola ride down a canal, or a walk over narrow bridges, getting lost through narrow lanes, and ending up at monumental squares? If you're not yet in love, you will be.”
Romantic ideas are marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized with an emphasis on individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature. According Urban Dictionary, romantics love nature, old things like castles and churches, poetry and beauty, and have a tendency to get carried away by ideas. The weather and colors and beautiful things make them act differently than others.
The entire city of Venice is one work of historic art with mysteries, adventures, and stories told in every piece of breathtaking architecture and fairy tale canal. You can sit in St. Marks Square as “small orchestras play an evening waltz,” suggesting an idealized view of reality, and relating to love and connection in intimate relationships.
The term Casanova originated from a Venetian’s autobiography. The modern definition of a casanova is a man who is seduces or attempts to seduce women as a matter of habit, who is passionate about women and has many lovers. This behavior can be known as romantic, but it's also missing the mark and beauty of a sacred intimate connection.
Story of My Life, by Giacomo Casanova, is an 18th century book by this Venetian merchant-traveler. His autobiography journals many adventures that center around Venice. From GoodReads, “Seducer… poet, self-made gentleman, bon vivant, Giacomo Casanova was not only the most notorious lover of the Western world, but a supreme story teller. He lived a life stranger than most fictions, and the tale of his own adventures is his most compelling story, and one that remained unfinished at the time of his death. This selection contains all the highlights of Casanova's life: his youth in Venice as a precocious ecclesiastic; his dabbling in the occult; his imprisonment and thrilling escape; and his amorous conquests, ranging from noblewomen to nuns.”
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Do you have to be in love with someone to feel romance?
In my opinion, no. My visit to Venice was solo. I embraced this experience of passion, adventure, and inspiration for creativity from my Sacral Chakra. The images of art and architecture remain in my mind and heart.
The unfortunate side of the quaint back-alleys which make Venice such a delight to visit is that it is remarkably easy to get lost. However, getting lost in Venice is part of the experience of the city.
It took me hours to find my hotel. Even maps provided by hotels are frequently inaccurate, and the maze-like structure of the city can become very confusing with very few street name signs. On the plus side, the tight cluster of little islands that comprise Venice is completely surrounded by the Lagoon, so it is not possible, no matter how lost you become, to leave Venice on foot. Sooner or later you will come upon a piazza that you can locate on your map.
The number of photogenic canals, hidden restaurants and shops where glass blowing is done almost guarantees that there is no such thing as a "dull neighborhood" therefore, excitement, adventure and creativity can be absorbed by strolling and getting lost among the streets.
Lets take a closer look at the meaning of the Sacral Chakra.
Sacral means relating to the sacrum, or sacred symbols. The sacral region, sacrum, is a very sensitive area in your body. At the bottom of the spine, it lies between the fifth segment of the lumbar spine and the tailbone. Sacred is something considered worthy of spiritual respect.
The miracle of creating new life takes place around this area. Therefore, the act of intimate physical bonding (sex) is something to be considered worthy of spiritual respect.
Brachmacarya is one of the Yamas (associated with how we treat others), the 1st Limb or Petal of Pantajali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga Philosophy, involving our sexual relationships. It was originally associated with living a life of chastity and can also be translated into “walking with god.” It represents a virtuous lifestyle that includes simple living and meditation. It involves control of the senses a practice of moderation; to resist the culture of overindulgence and bringing self-restraint into our lives.
The practice of brahmacharya also evokes a sense of directing our energy away from external pleasures which seem great at the time but are ultimately fleeting, and instead, towards finding peace and happiness within ourselves.
Brahmacarya concerns the step of summoning the courage to step away from the downward spiral of desire that manifests in forms such as addictions to drugs, chasing the opposite sex, and overindulgence in comfort foods for pleasure. Let addictive cravings go to feel free flow of creativity.
Courage of a Lion to step away from desire.
In our modern culture today, Brahmacharya is not about committing to a life of celibacy, but instead, it’s about balance.
Ask yourself, does my sex life fill me with knowledge and energy or confusion, concern, anxiety, or stress?
The 2nd chakra is partly about desire, and when it’s off balance, sometimes we attempt to fill the resulting void with a “quick fix”. Society tells us that if we’re single, we need to get out there and “get some” from random strangers and that repressing those desires leads to a repressive soul. This is far from the truth. However, on the other extreme, people who were raised in an environment where emotions were repressed or pleasure denied will be more likely to lack energy in the second chakra.
Some signs that we are out of sacral balance include: emotional instability, fear of water, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, overly needy, insufficient boundaries, and addictions in which there’s a constant need for stimulation (entertainment, partying) or frequent emotional drama.
One way to treat the act of sex as worthy of spiritual respect is to choose carefully and only become intimate with someone who shares mutual respect, admiration, and dedication (love).
From an energetic standpoint, spending some time in celibacy has the benefit of helping you consolidate and clear your energy field, because you are not dealing with the powerful energy lines from another person that sex creates. The root of all attachment is fear. As a 32 year-old woman, I’m not afraid of growing old without a having a baby. Society tries to push me to find a mate to make babies with. If it is meant to be, then I will find that person and the act will be spiritual. However, in the present, I’m thoroughly enjoying the peace of a re-balanced Sacral Chakra, “the dwelling place of the self.”
Balanced energy in your Sacral Chakra is about maintaining a healthy sexual life and honoring and respecting your body without having it rule you. It’s also about having a form of creative expression; enjoying art, beauty, and sensory experience; being able to experience emotions without being overwhelmed by them; being adventurous and open to change.
A balanced second chakra leads to connected feelings of wellness, trusting nature, devotion, abundance, modesty, compassion, meditativeness, sincere warmth of friendliness, and creativity.
At that time when I was visiting Venice, in 2009, I was involved a semi-long distance romantic relationship. I felt a decent balance in time spent alone and time with my partner.
Recently, I’ve left an intimate relationship that was not balanced. I gave too much of my time and energy away and I was not spending enough time cultivating my creativity.
I’m taking this time now to restore my Sacral Chakra and not try to fill the void of desire with dating, partying, and over-eating.
Whenever I feel a tinge of loneliness, I read, walk, do yoga, surround myself with natural beauty, and express this inspiration back through adventurous travels, painting, writing, and meditation.
Everything you create, a poem, a drawing, or a website, originates from the energy of Second Chakra.
We create when we find a new solution to an old problem. Any time we take raw materials, physical or mental, and transform them into something new, we are using our creative energy.
In opening your Second Chakra energy, you must take risks and not be afraid of failure.
According to David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art & Fear, “The need to make art may not stem solely from the need to express who you are, but from a need to complete a relationship with something outside yourself. In making art, you declare what is important. Making art is dangerous and revealing…it precipates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be… Artmaking grants access to worlds that may be dangerous, sacred, forbidden, seductive, or all of the above.
To see things is to enhance your sense of wonder both for the singular pattern of your own experience, and for the meta-patterns that shape all experience.
Your work may provide clear evidence that you are different, that you are alone. Make friends with others who make art, and share you in-progress work with each other frequently. It’s all a matter of balance and making art helps achieve that balance.
Zen teaching: When you start on a long journey, trees are trees, water is water, and mountains are mountains. After you have gone some distance, trees are no longer trees, water no longer water, mountains no longer mountains. But after you have traveled a great distance, trees are once again trees, water is once again water, mountains are once again mountains.”
My water paintings represent a form of romance by creatively channeling zest and passion for life.
My Mantra for a Balanced Sacral Chakra
The universe is full of sweetness and beauty.
I live life passionately with refinement in behavior.
I have vitality, longevity, and good health.
Pleasure is a sacred part of my life.
My life is balanced with peace and pleasure.
I am at home and at ease in my body.
I find balance in my relationships between myself and others.
I allow my emotions to flow through me in a healthy way.
Expressing creativity nourishes my spirit and brings me joy.
Yoga Poses to Cultivate a Floating Balanced Sacral Chakra:
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
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Fun Yoga in the Park
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad