[I was asked by two of my wonderful yoga students Hilary and Lexi of www.lexiandjones.com if I could write an article for them on yoga and sexuality with Valentine’s Day in mind. Originally published on 14th February 2015 on their blog under this link:
I am including it here also but do check out their website dedicated to “Celebrating the Middle years with exercise and cocktails!” :-)]
Re-Ignite your Fire with Yoga
Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year when we are forced to contemplate the state of our love lives, for some people this might mean “lack” for others “abundance”, regardless of which camp you are sitting in, yoga can help!
Around this time of year I like to focus on the “heart” in my yoga classes, this might either manifest as an exploration of the heart chakra which would relate to physically expanding the area around the heart centre as well as opening oneself up to inviting love in or instead one could focus on the sacral chakra which is associated with the reproductive organs and is the centre of sexuality and emotions. In true Lexi and Jones style, for the purposes of this article I shall be focussing on the latter.
The sacral or Svadisthana chakra is located in the lower abdomen between the navel and the reproductive organs and is the second chakra of the seven main chakras. Physically it is associated with the hips, sacrum, lower back, genitals, womb, bladder and kidneys and it governs relationships, how we express ourselves in relationships as well as representing desire, pleasure, sexuality, sensation and procreation. 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. In a society where emotions are often repressed, pleasure denied, it’s no wonder our sacral chakra can become blocked. When blocked, this can lead to a loss of creativity, low sexual energy, a feeling of dullness and a loss of emotion, sometimes even leading to depression. By working to open up our sacral chakra we want to allow for emotional and sensual movement in our life and to learn how to open to pleasure.
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.
But how exactly do we unblock our sacral chakra? One way we can do this is by including particular postures in our yoga practice which lend themselves to balancing and opening up the sacral chakra which thus helps to remove blockages. These would be postures that specifically work to open the hip and groin area which include, amongst many others, Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), Upavista Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend) [image below]
or Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (King Pigeon) [also pictured] which help to provide freedom of movement in the pelvis which in turn helps to free the sacral chakra. Simple movements such as hip circles in standing yoga postures can also help to activate the sacral chakra.
Another way to open up this chakra would be through a focussed 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
Come to sitting in a comfortable position, hands resting on your lap, palms facing upwards, left hand resting gently on top of the right in Dhyana Mudra [see image below], thumbs gently touching.
This simple calming position is called the Meditation Mudra and is the mudra for the sacral chakra.
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.
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. 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. Breathing 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.
When you are ready, return to natural breathing and then slowly open your eyes.
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:
“I acknowledge my uniqueness.
I am a unique manifestation of divine energy in physical form.
I acknowledge the physicality and sensuality of my body.
I am a sensual and creative being.
I attract only whole and nurturing relationships into my life.”
This affirmation works to support the energy of the sacral chakra and will help to release any blockages in this chakra.
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, focussed 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. Before you know it your cup of love will be overflowing and your fire re-ignited!