Chakra 2 – Sacral Chakra (svadhisthana)

Last week in our chakra series we looked at the root chakra, our chakra of survivability and grounding.  If you missed that post, check it out here!  This week we’ll be learning about our second chakra, the sacral chakra or svadhisthana.  We’ll continue to reference a book by Anodea Judith called Eastern Body, Western Mind, available here

Although each of the chakras are independent of each other, they are interconnected in their functionality.  The root chakra lays the foundation for how we’ll view the world, and ourselves.  From this platform, the sacral chakra deals with our ability to experience healthy pleasure, be confident and informed in our emotions, and accepting of change.    

Attributes of the Sacral Chakra

The sacral chakra is located about two inches below the belly button.  It’s associated with the color orange, and the water element.  It is our chakra of movement, sensuality, creativity, and emotional intelligence.  It also allows us to feel passion and explore our desires.  With a healthy sacral chakra, we are in tune with our basic right to feel and experience pleasure. 

Judith says that the second chakra develops somewhere between 6 months and two years and is all about how we were taught to view both pleasure and our desire for it.  If guilt was associated with pleasure, we begin to believe that what we desire is wrong in some way.  From this place of guilt and shame we learn to deny our desires, and to avoid them rather than to investigate what they might be about on a spiritual level. 

The sacral chakra is located about two inches below the belly button.  It’s associated with the color orange, and the water element.  It is our chakra of movement, sensuality, creativity, and emotional intelligence.  It also allows us to feel passion and explore our desires.  With a healthy sacral chakra, we are in tune with our basic right to feel and experience pleasure.

“Desire is not the trap, but the fuel for action.  It is the object of our desires that often gets confused.  When we understand the deeper needs behind our desires, we are more able to satisfy ourselves at the core level.”

This concept extends to our feelings and emotions, and how we were taught to handle them.  Issues with the sacral chakra can arise if we did not learn how to explore our emotions and the messages behind them.  Judith says that our emotions are sacred, that they are the Universe’s way of guiding us in our behavior. 

When we’re in this stage of our life, we’re experiencing all kinds of emotions, and we don’t hesitate to express them.  We look to the reactions of our caretakers to determine whether these emotions are “normal”, or whether we should be concerned.

When our emotions are greeted with patience, understanding and guidance, we learn to accept them as part of being a human.  If we were encouraged to trace our feelings back to their root, we learn that our feelings all have meaning, and that exploring them can often bring about clarity in our daily lives. 

“Pervasive feelings of fear, frustration, shame or anxiety initiate the quest for change and the beginnings of transformation.” 

Things that Affect Sacral Chakra Development

Second chakra development is about how we were taught to view pleasure, and our own personal desires.  If our home environment was one that denied pleasure or associated it with guilt, we may have sacral chakra issues.  Judith lists some insightful questions to help us look at this concept in our own lives:

“How was pleasure regarded in your family?  Was it frowned upon or indulged in?  Did your family take time for vacations, laugh together, and play?  Was there a predominant message that hard work and self-sacrifice were necessary for survival or the means to spiritual fortitude?  Were work and play, self-discipline, and pleasure, brought into balance?  How do these attitudes reflect in your own orientation toward pleasure?”

Sacral chakra development is about how we were taught to view pleasure, and our own personal desires.  If our home environment was one that denied pleasure or associated it with guilt, we may have sacral chakra issues.

Here are some other situations that can affect sacral chakra development:

  • Enmeshment
  • Emotional manipulation
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect, coldness, rejection

During the time in our life when the sacral chakra is developing, we’re beginning to identify ourselves as individuals, and comparing ourselves to others.  We are discovering our individuality, and everything that comes with it.

It’s essential that we learn that our feelings, emotions, desires, and experiences of pleasure are all completely normal and do not need to be feared or denied.  It’s also important to understand we’re not weird for having them. A balanced sacral chakra emanates acceptance of self and the journey of life.

Even more helpful is when we can learn to investigate our pleasures and emotions to find their root and what they are telling us to do. It’s when we learn to self-study that we can approach life’s ups and downs and the feelings they cause with curiosity instead of dread.

How to Know if Your Sacral Chakra is Blocked

A person with sacral chakra issues could experience a wide variety of issues, but they will all be related to sensuality and intimacy, understanding emotions, and change.  The sacral chakra affects our ability to connect with others intimately and emotionally, so a person with imbalance in this area might experience difficulty relating to others on these levels.  They may also be out of touch with their emotions, and therefore not understand or tolerate the emotions of others. 

The sacral chakra is responsible for our feeling of joy in life, the zest of being alive.  A person with an imbalanced or blocked second chakra might have difficulty having fun or associate it with guilt.  Enjoyment of life may be regarded as an afterthought to our daily duties, or as something we’re undeserving of. We might look at others and envy their happiness, while we function on more of a survival level. 

We can’t learn about the sacral chakra without discussing sex.  Sensuality is a major component of this chakra, so an imbalance creates a spectrum of issues from fear or avoidance of sex to sexual addiction and everything in between.  A healthy second chakra translates to a healthy view of sex, and an acceptance of our sexual desire as part of being human.    

Judith lists a few more potential indicators of a sacral chakra issue:

  • Inability to sense one’s own needs
  • Pessimism
  • Difficulty separating feelings from reality
  • Seeking completion through others

Yoga Poses for the Sacral Chakra

At Inspiring Actions, we understand that almost everyone has chakra issues on some level, and we have the resources to help you along your healing journey.  Practicing asana (the postures of yoga) is one of the best ways to correct chakra imbalances, and to learn about where they came from in the first place. Our classes in Hudson and River Falls, Wisconsin, as well as online, provide a safe space for you to quiet your mind and pay attention to the guidance of your body and your intuition. From this place of clarity we can begin to identify which of our chakras may be energetically imbalanced so we can seek out appropriate healing.

Below are three poses specifically for the sacral chakra. Practice them on their own, as part of your regular practice, or with us at Inspiring Actions! Join us next week as we learn about chakra three, the solar plexus chakra (manipura).

Goddess pose (Utkata Konasana)

To do goddess pose, Start in a wide-legged stance, toes pointing outward.  Bring your hands to heart center/prayer, and bend at the knees to a comfortable yet challenging level.
For an added stretch, lift the heels to balance on your toes.  You can extend the legs straight again and repeat as many times as feels comfortable.

Warrior Two and Reverse Warrior (Virabhadrasana II & Viparita Virabhadrasana)

To do Warrior Two pose, start in a wide-legged stance, toes pointing forward.  Pivot your feet so front toes point forward in one direction and bend the front knee.  Extend the arms out straight, with the arm corresponding to the front leg out in front of you, and the arm corresponding with the back leg behind you. 
For Reverse Warrior, bring the front arm up as you bring the back arm down, resting the back hand anywhere on the leg that feels comfortable.  You can bring your arms back to center for Warrior Two and go back to Reverse Warrior as many times as you’d like.  In both Warrior poses, imagine a line of orange energy radiating from the base of your spine through the crown of your head, as it replenishes and renews your sacral chakra. 

Frog pose (Mandukasana)

To do frog pose, start in tabletop and extend your knees as far out as you can.  Extend the lower legs so your feet are in line with your knees.  From here, come down onto your elbows on the floor.  If that doesn’t feel comfortable, leave your arms extended to hold yourself up.  However you end up, focus on your breath.  As you exhale, try to release any tension you may be holding, or relax further into areas where you feel resistance.

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