Sacral chakra or Swadhisthana chakra is the sensuality centre of the body, a hub of creativity, emotions, passion, pleasure and giving & receiving acts. It is responsible for the existence of our individual consciousness, as it acts like a magnet to attract the reality, that mirrors the thoughts and feelings stored in this chakra. All your unconscious desires, especially sexual desire, is stored here.
It is associated with the element of water, the sense of taste, and the act of procreation. Sacral chakra is the seat of the self where, Swa means ‘I’ and dhisthana means ‘seat’. Symbolised by an orange lotus flower, the six petals are significant for our emotional connect, affection, delusion, destructiveness and feelings of contempt. An imbalance in the chakra can lead to sexual difficulties, confusion, purposelessness, jealousy, the desire to possess, overindulgence in food or sex and problems in the genital area, bladder, spleen etc.
The person with a balanced sacral chakra has energy, compassion, grounded intuition, emotional stability and a zest for life.
Here is a quick guide to the Sacral Plexus Chakra:
Location: Lower abdomen to the navel area
Glands/Organs: Ovaries, testicles, prostate, genitals, spleen, womb, bladder
Gems/Minerals affecting it: Carnelian, Coral, Gold Calcite, Amber, Citrine, Peach aventurine, and Gold Topaz
Foods: Liquids and orange fruits & vegetables
Yoga poses for balancing the Hara Chakra – Many hip-opening postures directly connects to your sacral chakra. When our emotions get blocked and held in our bodies, it takes the form of tight hips, low back issues and injury and blockages in sexual energy and our ability to release emotionally and physically. Here are some of the asanas to help you open and bring greater wellness to your sacral chakra.
Thread the needle & Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Bala Asana)
How to: These two beginner’s postures are great to open up the hips, sacrum and lower back area. Simply lie down on your back and bend your legs. Now, raise the leftt leg and hold the leg with the feet facing forward. Bring both your hands behind the leftt thigh and interlace the fingers. Lift the right leg and place on the thigh of the left leg, forming a 90 degree angle. Start pulling the left leg towards you. (Refer to Image above on left). Stay here for 5 to 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Ananda Balasana or Happy pose is an easy and effective technique for opening and stretching the hips. Lie down on your back with your knees drawn in towards your chest. Hold the outside edges of the feet with your hands, while you open the knees a little more than the width of your torso. The beginners may use a belt to hold the feet if they are unable to reach their feet. Make sure the knees are perpendicular to the floor and you keep pushing your legs towards the floors. Lengthen your lower back down to the ground, trying to touch the tip of your tailbone to the floor. Stay here for 1 minute. (Refer to right image above)
Why to: The Swadhisthana chakra opens up with any kind of hip opener postures. These easy postures can be practiced easily by beginners & experts alike. Apart from opening tight hips, they work on inner groins, calms the spine, relaxes the brain and removes fatigue too.
Baddha Konasana (Bounded Angle Pose) and Butterfly Pose
How to: Start by joining the soles of your feet together and forming a diamond shape with the legs and flap your legs 100 counts in butterfly pose.
Moving forward in a forward bend, while holding the joined feet with your hands from outside, try and touch your forehead/nose/chin on your feet. Beginner’s can stay in the middle, if they cannot touch their feet immediately. Poses are a gradual movement, stay where you are for a few breaths and try to go further. Make sure the neck in not hanging and the back is not hunched.
Why to: Stimulating the abdominal organs, it removes the energy blocks from the second chakra. Also, it will stretch the inner thighs, groin and open up the uterus. This is one of the reasons this asana is recommended highly for women.
Virbhadrasana (Warrior Pose-I)
How to: Standing straight with feet in alignment, gently take the left leg back three to four feet. Align your left heel behind your right heel and then turn you left foot out 45 degrees keeping your right foot forward. Now bend your right leg and form a 90 degree angle. Make sure the right knee does not cross the right toes. Keeping the torso straight, i.e. facing forward, gently raise your arms and form a Namaste mudra. Stay here for 5-7 breaths.
Why to: As the name suggests the warrior pose is all about strength. It strengthens the legs, arms and lower back. Working on the hip joints, it opens the pelvic area and improves balance, concentration, and core awareness.
Ek Pada Rajkapotasana – One Legged Pigeon Pose
How to: A variation of the complete pose, it helps to work on the pelvic region & hip area. After a warm up sequence, come in a downward dog position. Gently lift your right leg and place in a 60 degree angle in front of your body, making a proud pigeon pose (as given in the image on the left below). Make sure the stretched left leg’s knee is facing the floor and not sideways. Beginners might find space between the pelvis and the floor, for that they can place a yoga block/blanket/bolster to fill the gap. Press your pelvis down.
Moving forward, follow the Sleepy pigeon variation (shown above right side) in the same position. We will do a forward bend – first place your elbows on the floor and straighten your back, check if you can go further. If this feels comfortable, then gradually move forward by flattening your chest on the floor in a lying face down position. Stretch the forearms straight and pressed to the floor.
How to: This pose will remove all the blockages of the second chakra, it also stretches the chest, shoulders, legs, arms, and the core. Creating a harmonious environment for all organs, this variation regulates the energy by directing it from thighs to deep abdomen centre. Further, it activates the navel centre and helps us bear higher energy levels, illuminates & heals the abdominal organs, and maintains good health of the ovaries & testes.
Upavistha Konasana- Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend
How to:Sit in Dandasana or Staff Pose with the legs stretched straight in front of you, just open the legs as wide as possible. The knees can mildly bend, if you face difficulty in keeping the legs straight. With a deep inhale and exhale, go forward and place your arms as far as possible in front. Advanced practitioner can touch their forehead on the floor, while the beginners can slowly work their way into the complete pose.
Why to: The wide angle of the leg, opens up and stretches the hip joint, inner thighs and places the sacroiliac joints back to their position. The forward bending position of the torso, stimulates the muscles and organs of the abdomen and further increases the stretch on the legs.
Apart from the above mentioned postures, here is list of advance poses, which can be tried by the intermediate to advanced level practitioners: Hunamanasana or monkey pose, King Pigeon Pose, Kurmasana or tortoise pose, Natarajasana or Dance Pose, Padamasana or Lotus pose, Suppta Virasana or Reclining hero pose, etc.
Seed Mantra Meditation
How to: VAM is the seed or beej mantra of the Sacral Plexus Chakra. Sit cross legged or lotus pose away from any support and take deep breaths. Now, bring all your attention to the pelvic region focus on the root and start chanting ‘VAM’. Imagine the chakra opening with the energy flowing in a horizontal movement. Chant VAM three times, then chant ‘OM’ three times and feel the flow of the energy vibrating vertically from head to toe, going inside Earth. Now repeat the chant mentally beginning with VAM then for OM, three times. This is one set. Continue to chant VAM and OM, till you wish to.
Why to: The seed invocation is a form of a charged mantra. The sound when chanted resonates and reaches directly to the centre of the respected chakra and immediately activates it. Bid farewell to feelings like shyness, guilt, blame, sexual obsession, lack of power, sensuality issues, problems in the reproductive organs or genitals, menstrual problems, and hormonal imbalances.