Sacral Chakra: I FEEL
The Sacral or Svadisthana Chakra is the second of the seven main chakras that we will be exploring on our Journey through the Chakras. It is located just above the root chakra in the lower abdomen, about two inches beneath the navel, between the navel and the reproductive organs. It is the second chakra that relates to the physical body and on a physical level it is associated with the hips, sacrum, lower back, genitals, womb, reproductive organs, bladder and kidneys. The word Svadisthana comes from the Sanskrit words: Sva, meaning “one’s own” and Adisthana, meaning “home” or “dwelling place”, i.e. One’s Own Dwelling Place.
The Sacral chakra is associated with the element Water and as such, its energy is characterised by flow and flexibility. The function of the sacral chakra is directed by the principle of pleasure and it governs relationships, how we express ourselves in relationships and is the centre of sexuality, emotions, sensation, intimacy and pleasure. The sacral chakra also reflects what we gravitate towards or resist in our lives and is your centre of creativity.
It is symbolised by the colour Orange and by a lotus with six petals (image above).
A person with an open Sacral Chakra feels passionate, present in their body, sensual, creative, and connected to their feelings. They radiate warmth and sincere friendliness, they are open to the world around them. They have energy, compassion, grounded intuition, are emotionally stable and possess a zest for life.
On the other hand, in a society where emotions are often repressed, pleasure denied, it is easy for our sacral chakra to become blocked. Blockages in the Sacral Chakra can lead to a loss of creativity, low sexual energy, a feeling of dullness and a loss of emotion, sometimes even leading to depression. It can also lead to a fear of happiness or pleasure in the sense of self-sabotage.
So how can yoga help?
When we address the chakras in our yoga classes this manifests in a number of ways: the use of mudras that relate to the individual chakras which will be included when we sit in breath focus or meditation, through the inclusion of physical postures, or asanas, that specifically target the chakra in question and through the use of positive affirmations, visualisations and mantras again all focused on the individual chakra.
Mudras for the Sacral Chakra
A key mudra that works to activate and open the Sacral Chakra is Dhyani Mudra. This simple calming position is known as the “Meditation Mudra” and is great for spiritual connection. To form, rest your hands on your lap, in front of your sacral chakra, palms facing upwards, right hand resting on the left, thumbs touching lightly.
Physical postures (asanas) for the Sacral Chakra
A yoga class themed around opening up this chakra would involve working with movement in the hips and lower abdomen with the aim of opening, stimulating and moving energy into and through this area. By creating movement and openness in this area of the body we are seeking to balance the sacral chakra and remove any inherent blockages, allowing for emotional and sensual movement in our life and to learn how to open to pleasure. Balanced and open energy within this chakra allows you to let go, to move, and to feel change and transformation occurring within your body. When we relax our resistance to life and allow ourselves to accept what is, our hips start to let go, our reproductive organs become less tense and we open to experiencing our sensuality and sexuality.
Including postures that specifically work to open the hip and groin areas in your yoga practice – which lend themselves to balancing and opening up the sacral chakra – will help to remove any blockages. Here a a few:
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose):
This pose encourages openness through the hips and groin.
Upavista Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)
This open pose is a strong hip opener, stretching the inner thighs and groin area and lending itself to openness through the Sacral Chakra.
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (King Pigeon)
As with the others, this pose is a strong hip-opener and also helps to provide freedom of movement in the pelvis which in turn helps to free the Sacral Chakra.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)
Another strong pose creating freedom and space around the hips and pelvis.
Affirmations for the Sacral Chakra
Another way of opening up your sacral chakra is through affirmation and positive reinforcement. You can use this affirmation as a focus for meditation if you wish or just read it aloud and really believe what you are saying:
This affirmation works to support the energy of the sacral chakra and will help to release any blockages in this chakra.
Another way to open up this chakra would be through a focused meditation. By taking time to sit quietly and direct your mind to the area around your sacral chakra you are inviting positive energy and balance within. The breath focus I have included below will help to balance your sacral chakra. Try recording yourself reading the meditation nice and slowly, remembering to pause after each instruction and then playing it back to yourself so you can use it as a guided meditation/visualisation.
Guided Seated Meditation:
1) Come to sitting in a comfortable position, hands resting on your lap, palms facing upwards, right hand resting gently on top of the left in Dhyani Mudra [see image above], thumbs gently touching.
2) Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in to begin to calm your body and mind – bringing your focus to the breath for a few moments, breathing in and out through your nose. Gradually allowing the breaths to become slower and deeper.
3) With each exhalation allow your awareness to sink gradually down the mid-line of your body. Breathing in slow deep breaths and then each time you breathe out allowing this awareness to drop a little lower down towards the sacral chakra in the lower abdomen or the pelvis. Once your focus has reached this point, allow your awareness to settle at the site of sacral chakra. Each time you inhale and exhale take your attention to this part of your body.
4) Try to visualise the in-breath coming in through the lower abdomen and then as you exhale allow this breath or prana to spread throughout the rest of your body. Do this a few times.
5) Next time try to visualise breathing in a warm orange healing energy into the sacral chakra on the inhalation and on the exhalation allow this orange healing energy to spread throughout the rest of the body. Continue with this visualisation a few more times. Breathe into the sacral chakra, allow the in-breath to encourage you to sit up tall, then exhale and allow this breath to spread throughout the rest of your body.
6) When you are ready, return to natural breathing and then slowly open your eyes.
Each chakra has its own seed, or Bija, mantra which are one-syllable sounds that when said aloud activate the energy of the chakras. These Bija mantras have been universally used in meditative practice to harmonise one’s energy and purify and balance the mind and body. When you speak, or chant, the bija mantras aloud you resonate with the energy of the associated chakra.
The mantra associated with the Sacral Chakra is VAM (pronounced VUM), the primordial sound of sensuality. Chanting this mantra will work to remove any impurities that may be stored up in the sacral chakra and to clear any blocked energy that is being prevented from moving through to the other main chakras.
Never underestimate the power of simply bringing one’s awareness to any of the chakras in order to help release them – the adage “energy flows where attention goes” is all too true. This combination of hip-opening yoga postures, focused meditation and positive affirmations will first of all work to heal your relationship with yourself as a sensual being and then it will allow you to open up to both giving and receiving the energy associated with the sacral chakra to others.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into the Sacral Chakra, next stop on our Journey Through the Chakras will be the Solar Plexus, or Manipura, Chakra. If you missed the previous post on the Root Chakra click here.