As we explored in Yoga for Root Chakra, our chakras are energy centers located throughout our bodies. The second of the seven chakras, the sacral chakra, is located at the center of your lower belly, a few inches below your navel. As with any of your chakras, this energy center can come unbalanced. Neve fear! There are a variety of yoga poses you can practice to bring energy back to your chakra.
Your Sacral Chakra
Sanskrit Name: Svadhisthana, meaning “the dwelling place of self”
Location: The lower belly and back of your body at the lumbar vertebrae
Element: Water, giving the chakra an energy of flow and flexibility
Symbol: A circle with six petals and a crescent moon. The circle represents water and indicates the relationship between the phases of the moon and flow of water
Behavioral Characteristics: Emotions, relationships, sensual pleasure, and creativity
When Imbalanced: You will feel ruled by your emotions, lacking in sexual desire, or simply feel stuck in a certain mood
Yoga Poses to Balance Your Sacral Chakra
Your svadhisthana energy located around your lower belly and lumbar spine is said to be the base of your reproductive energy in addition to your sensuality, and creativity. To stay connected to positive emotions and your passions, your sacral chakra must stay balanced. Our “sitting-bound” lives, from our chairs to our cars, often inhibits energy to the sacral chakra. A more hip-focused yoga practice can bring balance and energy back to this chakra. As stated by Mary Beth LaRue, co-founder of a yoga-based coaching business Rock Your Bliss, “Ultimately, hip-opening asanas teach you to loosen your grip on life and let things ebb and flow. And finding a sense of fluidity in your day-to-day life transforms all of your relationships, including your relationship with yourself.”
These poses from Yoga Journal will focus on opening your hips and bringing energy and balance to your sacral chakra:
- Virasana (Hero Pose): Kneel on the mat and slide a block under your seat. Focus on pressing the tops of your feet into the ground as you lengthen the spine and head upward. Let your hips sink in and relax as you focus on deep inhalations and exhalations.
- Balasana (Child’s Pose): From virasana, move into tabletop and make circles with your hips to build energy and heat. Continually expand these circles and eventually sink into balasana, breathing deeply into your hips.
- Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge): Lengthen your tailbone towards the earth as you press the top of your back foot into the mat. Draw your hips towards your midline and grow tall through your waist for the best release.
- Ardha Hanumanasana (Monkey God Pose): Frame your front foot with your hands, then shift your hips back as you straighten your front leg and flex your foot. Think about lengthening your heart and pushing it forward as you deeply inhale and exhale into your front leg.
- Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose): Take a wide stance with your feet and point your toes towards the corners of your mat. Draw your lower belly in and focus on lengthening your tailbone towards the earth. Ground through your heels and toes, find slight movement, slowly sway from side to side like flowing water.
- Virabhadrasana (Warrior II): Line up your front heel with the arch of your back foot and ground down through both feet. As you lunge forward, accept and allow all sensations and emotions to run through your body.
- Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior): Begin by taking the same stance as Warrior II. Then, flip your front palm towards the sky and gently lean into your back leg. Feel your body move into the shape of this pose as you ground your lower body and soften your upper.
- Prasarita Padottanasana C (Wide-Legged Forward Bend C): Take a wide stance with your feet facing forward and interlace your fingers behind your back. Then, gently fold at the hip and let your head hang heavy. Align your hips over your heels and focus on engaging and lifting your pelvic floor. Breath into your sacral chakra to invite energy in and exhale to expel old energy.
- Mandukasana (Frog Pose): From tabletop, move your knees away from one another and keep your feet in line with your knees. Your feet should stay flexed as you move down to your forearms and sink back into your hips. This is a great hip opener that can surface a variety of emotions. Focus on breathing into your sacral chakra, accepting these emotions.
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend): With your legs extended in front of you, begin to ground your sit bone and fold gently at the hips. Work your hands to your thighs, knees, or feet, wherever is most comfortable for you. Focus on stretching your hamstrings: this a great counter to all the hip openings you have focused on for your sacral chakra.
- Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose): Lying face-up, bring the soles of your feet together. Enjoy all the space and energy you brought into your hips and sacral chakra.
Invite creative thoughts, passion, and emotions into your practice as you move through these poses. Focus on being as fluid as possible without concern on mastering each asana. Your sacral chakra and hips will thank you.