The Sacral Chakra
The Sacral chakra is a personal favourite of mine. Of all of the lower chakras, I find this to be the most fascinating and mysterious. The second out of seven chakras, it follows the root chakra (below it) and precedes the solar plexus chakra. It is associated with our emotions and our ability to feel joy and pleasure - this includes finances. The sacral chakra governs our emotional body and just like the fluid nature of our emotions, this chakra is appropriately represented by the element of water. It is most commonly associated with feminine energy, fertility, cycles (life and death) and creation – of life and ideas.
Name, Symbol & Meaning
Svadhishtasana is the Sanskrit term for sacral chakra. It is derived from sva– “self” and shthana- “place”, and can be roughly translated as “one’s own dwelling place” – this chakra is therefore often referred to as “One’s Own Place”. Due to its association sexuality, sensuality and our ability to feel joy, it is also known as the “Pleasure Centre”.
The sacral chakra symbol consists of a six-leaf orange lotus flower, which contains within it, two concentric circles that form the shape of the crescent moon. Each element of the sacral chakra symbol carries with it a deep meaning and represents the specific attributes, functions and characteristics of this chakra.
In Hindu religion, which coincides strongly with yogic philosophy, the orange colour represents purity (purification, purified energy). Here we can draw some parallels with the water element of this chakra, as water is used in many spiritual and non-spiritual practices for cleansing and purifying. In general, the color orange is often associated with vitality; this supports the some of the other associations of this chakra – for example, its association with the sexual organs and reproduction, they produce life (literally!) – vitality in its highest form.
The six petals on the orange lotus traditionally symbolizes the Hindu/yogic equivalent of the ‘seven deadly sins’ that are to be overcome to balance or purifythis chakra - anger, hatred, jealousy, cruelty, desire and pride. In numerology the number 6 is also associated with the following: female/feminine, harmony, love, compassion, domestic, healing and beauty. It is also not uncommon for the sacral chakra to be depicted with 16 lotus petals instead of 6.
The concentric circles, which form a crescent moon within the sacral chakra symbol holds several meanings, the one most relevant to the sacral chakra is that of cycles-menstrual cycle, cycle of life and death and the cyclical nature of life in general. These circles represent the constant changes we experience in our day-to-day life – some mundane, some life changing.
The Sacral Chakra & The Physical Body
Within the human body, this 3-dimentional-energy center is located in the pubic area (roughly 3 inches below the navel).
Associations, Functions & Characteristics
Seed (Bij) Sound:“VAM”
Developmental Stage:Begins around the age of 2
Key Themes: fertility, creativity, sexuality, self-awareness, and emotional awareness
Physical Association: reproductive and (lower) abdominal organs, reproductive organs, lumbar plexus, pelvis, kidneys, and the bladder/urinary system.
Gland: reproductive glands (ovaries & testes)
Imbalances in the sacral chakra can occur early in our lives, often in early childhood when we start to become emotionally perceptive of ourselves and those around us.
These imbalances often manifest themselves in our emotional body and can affect how we perceive and most importantly how we experiencethese emotions. The development of sacral chakra imbalance can often occur in environments where: emotions are repressed or overexpressed (“drama”), pleasure is denied, sexual abuse is present. The sacral chakra governs our ability to feel joyand pleasure,which is vital to our life experiences – to what extent can we feel pleasure? How easily do we open ourselves up to opportunities that will bring us feelings of pleasure?
Physical Associations of Sacral Chakra Imbalance:
· Lower back pain;
· Tight hips;
· Weak pelvic floor
· Urinary/kidney dysfunction;
· Abnormal menstruation;
· Infertility issues
· Impotence, pre-mature ejaculation
Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Associations of Sacral Chakra Imbalance:
· Emotional volatility and hypersensitivity
· Feeling emotionally numb (inability to feel emotions with depth or at all);
· Inability to feel pleasure;
· Overindulgence in activities one finds pleasure in e.g. gambling, sex, drinking.
· Sexual obsession/ lack of sexual desire or satisfaction;
· Feeling stuck in a particular feeling or mood/holding grudges;
· Poor boundaries (especially emotional and sexual).
Using affirmations during meditation or any other mindfulness practice is an effective way to address sacral chakra issues and imbalance. Any affirmations that include any of the themes associated with the sacral chakra will work. Here are a few examples that you can use:
Ø I love, enjoy and respect my body;
Ø I allow myself to experience pleasure;
Ø I am well nourished;
Ø I create the reality I want for myself;
Ø My creative abilities are endless.
Asana for the Sacral Chakra
There are many yoga asana that can be practiced, which target the sacral chakra. My favorite pose to practice to work on my sacral chakra is Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose) – “uttan” – deep stretch out, “pristha”- back of the body. This is a deep intermediate level hip-opening pose that increases flexibility and strength. Lizard pose targets the glutes (gluteus maximus especially), hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps.
Lizard pose step-by-step instructions:
Begin in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). On an exhale, step your right foot forward to the outside (pinky finger) edge of your right hand. Both arms should be to the left (inside) of your right leg.
Lower your left knee down onto the ground and un-tuck you’re your left toes (so they point behind you). Ensure that your right knee isn’t moving beyond your right ankle, and distribute your weight evenly across both hips.
Sink your weight down into your hips and check in with your body. Draw your left hip forward and your right hip back to square your hips toward the front of your mat. If you feel comfortable, lower down onto both forearms. Keep your chin lifted and the chest open.
To move even deeper into the pose, curl your left toes under and press up into the ball of your left foot. Actively lift your inner left thigh and press your left heel back while reaching your chest forward.
Remain in your expression of the pose for 5 to 10 breaths. To come out, plant your palms down on the mat and step your right foot back to Downward-Facing Dog, resting there for several breaths before repeating on the other side.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.