Image Credit: Patrick Gensel
The Svadisthana Chakra is the second chakra, located near the tailbone. This orange colored chakra connects us to our emotional, creative, sensual and sexual energies and is all about the sensory pleasures in life. When the Sacral Chakra is balanced, we feel free to express our feelings and emotions, and feel open to intimacy, passion and sexuality. Yoga is one great way to bring this chakra into balance.
Five Yoga Poses to Balance the Sacral Chakra
If you feel like you are not fully capable of expressing your feelings and thoughts, if you feel disconnected with your passions in life, or if you feel overly emotional, you can try the following asanas to balance your sacral chakra. As we hold a lot of emotions in our hips, the poses will concentrate on opening the hips and at the same time opening ourselves towards life. These hip-opening postures should be done with a feminine softness and balance.
1. Butterfly pose
Creating space in the spine and hips, this yin yoga pose is similar to the yang pose Baddha Konasana, but without bringing the feet close to the groin, and without the focus on a straight spine. In butterfly, you want to have the back rounded, and the head dropping towards the heels as much as is comfortable.
Start from a seated position, and bring the soles of the feet together. Slide your feet away from you, so you have a diamond shape between the legs. If you have any discomfort in your knees, make sure you are sitting on a block to elevate the hips. You can also place blocks under your knees to lessen the pressure. Start coming down with your upper body, allowing the back to round. Stop at your limit, and do not pull yourself further, rather allow the gravity to take you further, releasing with each exhale. Stay 3-5 minutes, and come out slowly by walking the hands up towards the body, straighten the legs and lean back for a slight counter pose.
2. Upavista Konasana - Wide Angle Seated forward Bend
This is a great pose for calming the mind. It provides space in the hips and the back of the body, and strengthens your spine.
Start by sitting in Dandasana. Inhale and bend the knees, and as you exhale, take your legs out wide. If you find that your lower back is curving, or you are not sitting comfortably on the floor, you can sit on a block which will elevate the hips and ease the pose. With an inhale, take your hands behind the back, your fingers facing forward, and lift the sternum. Press your thighbones onto the floor, your kneecaps are facing towards the ceiling, and with the next exhale bring the hands to the front. Hinging from the hips, slowly walk your hands forward between your legs. As soon as you find yourself bending from the waist, stop going further and try to focus on bringing more length between the pubic bone and the navel. Stay anywhere between 1-4 minutes, and come out with an inhale, keeping your back elongated.
3. Sleeping Swan pose
The Swan pose is a Yin pose, of which the more active yang version would be Rajakapotasana, or Pigeon pose. This is a deep hip opening pose, stretching the quadriceps and hip flexors for the side of the leg which is pointed to the back. The intention of this yin pose is to relax the muscles and work into the deeper tissues.
Start from hands and knees, and slide your right knee between your hands. Be mindful of the right knee, and if the knee feels stressed, bring the right ankle closer to the hip. Center yourself so that your weight is even. You can support the upper body with your elbows, or lower yourself completely on to the floor. Stay 3-5 minutes, trying to release the muscles with every exhale. To come out, bring your upper body up first, tuck the back toes under, and come up to a Downward Dog.
4. Utthita Trikonasana - Extended Triangle pose
The extended triangle pose creates strength in your lower back and upper legs, while releasing tension in the hips and hamstrings. It also opens the chest and shoulders, and allows us to experience a beautiful balance of the entire body.
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. While exhaling, step your right leg behind you so that your feet are one leg distance apart. Leave your left foot facing forward, while you turn the right foot slightly inwards. Align the right heel with the left heel. Raise both hands sideways to shoulder level, palms facing the floor. Exhale, and extend your upper body over the left leg, rotate you upper body slightly to the right, and bring the left hand on your left shin or ankle. You can also bring your hand to the floor, or use a block. Stretch your right arm towards the ceiling. Focus on lengthening the spine and keeping the legs strong. Come up with an inhale.
5. Natarajasana - Dancer's pose
This great asana helps us to improve our balance and concentration, while stretching the thighs, groin and abdomen. After all, through wobbling we learn balance, and this pose will allow you to dance with life, and take it as it comes.
Start in tadasana. Shift your weight onto your left leg, and find a focus point ahead of you. With an exhale, bring the right foot up towards your buttock, and take a hold of your right ankle with your right hand. Inhale and lift your left arm towards the ceiling. With the next exhale, pivot from the right hip joint, tilting the pelvis and upper body forward. Your right thigh is parallel to the floor, and the upper body at an angle to the floor. Stay for few breaths, and feel the focus and balance. Come out with an inhale, bringing the upper body back, lowering the leg, and with an exhale release the right leg and the left arm and return to tadasana.
To find your place
To finish your practice come to Shavasana, the corpse pose. Relax the body, exhale out all tension from the body and mind, and feel the energy in your body. Appreciate your body as it is, and respect the things it finds pleasurable. Remind yourself: "I can express myself freely, I am passionate and enjoy life."