My public classes have just completed a week of exploring the svadhisthana or sacral chakra. In case you missed these experiential sessions on the svadhisthana chakra, here are some highlights:
General Overview: You are capable of creating a sense of pleasure, fluidity, ease, and passion through activating and balancing your svadhisthana chakra. The svadhisthana chakra is the energy center of the body that asserts that your emotions, pleasures, and creative impulses are all vital to your wellbeing as a dynamic being.
The svadhisthana chakra can be balanced by the simple act of acknowledging what makes you happy and seeking to do more of those activities or alternately by letting go of what makes you sad or anxious. An in-balance svadhisthana chakra allows you to experience moments as they are without needing to control outcomes and to pursue your dreams with personal discipline. Balancing this chakra can also combat feelings of guilt, depression, or an out-of-balance sex drive.
The svadhisthana chakra asserts that “I FEEL!”.
The svadhisthana chakra rules the kidneys, bladder, and reproductive organs. It’s related to the color orange, the element water, and the planets Mercury, Jupiter, and the moon.
To activate the svadhisthana chakra through yoga, activate the lower abdomen, drawing the navel in toward the spine so that the pelvis is held in neutral while practicing poses that twist the spine, stretch the hip flexors (areas where emotion are stored), or challenge the entire core such as full boat, twisted triangle, or king pigeon. Sun salutations are also wonderful ways to create flow and activate this chakra.
15 minute home practice to activate the svadhisthana chakra:
Centering exercise: Start in a seated position with the hands in dhyana mudra (left hand resting on right, thumbs touching). Close the eyes and bring focus to the breath for several rounds of breathing. Next, as you inhale, envision orange, nurturing light drawing up from the earth, through your pelvis, toward your navel, and into your entire body. This fluid orange light brings awareness, peaceful happiness, and a sense of ease to the body. As you exhale, envision the orange light that is now within you, and send it back into the earth. Continue for several rounds. If you find this light visualization helpful, you can continue to use it throughout your practice.
Warm up: In your easy seated position, inhale the arms overhead and on your exhale twist to the right, feeling the low belly draw up and in. Hold for several breaths and repeat on the left side. Next, isolate the ribcage and bring the torso around in circles, keeping the low abdomen stable as you do this. Flow through one surya namaskar, focusing on drawing the low belly up and in. When the sun salutation ends in tadasana, activate the legs toward one another. Move the thighs back in space to create room for your lumbar spinal curve, and then tuck your tailbone under by activating your low belly in toward your spine. This should at once feel strong and easeful.
Activate: Starting on your right side, move through crescent lunge, high lunge with a twist, parsvakonasana and trikonasana. Try to hold each pose for at least 30 seconds, with each inhale, focus on lengthening the spine and expanding the ribcage. With each exhale draw the low belly up and in and twist the spine a little deeper (or in crescent lunge open the heart more to the sky. Repeat on the left side.
Next, take a wide legged forward bend. Relax here for at least 30 seconds, focusing on creating length from the pelvis to the top of the head with each inhale and drawing the low belly up with each exhale. On an inhale, bring hands to hips and stand, returning to the top of the mat.
Flow through a modified surya namaskar B. When you do warrior 1, exhale to twist, inhale the arms up again, lean toward the front foot to exhale to warrior 3, and inhale to dancer. Finally, exhale to step all the way back to flow through vinyasa and repeat on the other side. This is one round. Flow through two to four of these, flowing on the breath. The fluidity of this motion, as well as the twists and the movement through the lumbar spine and lower abdomen, help awaken the second chakra.
Integrate: Move toward pigeon. Take king pigeon or mermaid at first before settling into a more restorative pigeon. Hold for at least 30 seconds, focusing on deeply inhaling into the belly. Repeat on the second side. baddha konasana. From the pelvis, tilt slightly forward until you feel a stretch. Return to an easy seated position, and do an easy spinal twist both ways. Finally, practice alternate nostril breathing for at least 10 rounds. This balances the nervous system and helps to integrate the work you’ve done. End in savasana for at least two minutes.