The chakra system is a heavyweight when it comes to finding balance of mind, body and soul. At the start, I had no idea of the power to be found within the Sacral Chakra. Think of your chakras as energetic wheels, which connect and balance our three bodies—physical, emotional/intellectual and spiritual.
These benefits are waiting for anyone who has the motivation to step up and work for it. This is why I have made chakra healing a key element of the work I do with my clients. (Learn more about chakra healing sessions here.)
It is my goal to present a beginner’s practice, chakra by chakra, to help anyone who is seeking change, which is why I am putting together this series of beginner’s guides. This is the 2nd of the series, the first in which we discussed the Root Chakra and can be found here.
Here we will explore and discuss the second major chakra—the Svadhisthana, or the Sacral Chakra. This is the center of our fluidity, adaptability, creativity, boundaries, and sexual energy.
“Meditation on the pure lotus, which is named the Swadhisthana, frees you from the control of your enemies, such as egoism, ignorance, lust and greed.” ~ Sat-Cakra-Nirupana, verse 18
Work with Swadhisthana if you:
- Feel oppressed by guilt or shame
- Struggle with hateful jealousy
- Fear change or feel stuck in life
- Feel apathetic, empty, or devoid of joy
- Struggle with respecting the boundaries of others
- Your behavior is selfish and destructive in your pursuit to satisfy your needs
- Struggle with self-control or creativity
- Feel disconnected from life and those around you.
This chakra is located a few inches below your navel, around the area of your reproductive organs. Imagine that it encompasses your tailbone and lower abdomen. It’s color is orange. It is our link to the element of water and our ability to go with the flow. It is important to work with this energy in order to grow spiritually, as rigid and egoic thinking holds us back from growth. This chakra also governs our inner balance between masculine and feminine.
This is your center for creativity, emotions and intelligence. The ability to think outside the box and find creative solutions to the challenges you face comes from this chakra.
Positive aspects of Svadhisthana manifest as:
- your ability to enjoy life and all its pleasures without being a glutton or a slave to pleasure, i.e. being able to indulge in a healthy manner.
- Too much indulgence and no self-discipline may indicate excessive Svadhisthana energy, while a healthy ability to balance some pleasure and indulgence is indicative of healthy Sacral energy flow.
Negative aspects include:
- Suicidal depression and heavy emotional disorders.
- If you struggle to find joy in life, this may indicate deficiencies or blockages here.
- An excessive need for methodical, by the book living, compulsive behaviors, and dualistic thinking become an issue when Svadhisthana energy is deficient.
- Needy and selfish clinging, and self-gratifying demands, behaviors and consumption at other people’s expense
- Do you find yourself unable to let loose, relax, and have fun, especially around others?
- Do you constantly judge yourself and everyone around you? Energy gets stuck here and we feel flat, apathetic, and as though we are outside looking in.
- Do we respect other’s boundaries when seeking to fulfill our needs, or do we bulldoze our way over everyone else to selfishly take care of ourselves at any expense to others?
The Sacral Chakra strongly relates to “I, me, mine.” It is about our personal needs and feelings.
It governs how we relate to other people—especially to how we go about attempting to fulfill our needs.
Svadhisthana also directs sex, sexuality and the genitals, all reproductive organs and the endocrine gland. It governs all liquid elements of the body—blood, lymph, tears, saliva, and urine. It helps with kidney function. Imbalances here may manifest as physical issues relating to reproduction issues, arousal or performance dysfunction, shame or anxiety around sex, eating disorders, addictions, or urinary tract problems.
How do we heal the Sacral Chakra
I have found that deep, emotional and intelligent yoga practices are one of the most healing activities for Svadhisthana issues. Incorporating yoga breath work into healthy sexual activity can be highly therapeutic, while expanding our capacity for pleasure and joy.
The mudra (I use the water mudra) joins the pinky finger with the thumb, in an “O” shape, with the other three fingers pointing out. The top of the hands should be turned toward the floor.
To begin a Sacral Chakra meditation practice, start simple:
- Sit down cross-legged, or lie down.
- Start your breath work to become still and present. If you use stones, orange calcite, brown or red aventurine or ruby are great for opening Svadhisthana. Any orange colored or very light, watery blue stones will resonate here.
- Begin to focus and visualize your breath traveling to the lower abdomen and tailbone, as you picture the color orange.
- Take at least five deep, cleaning breaths that you send to your chakra. Breathe in slowly to 10, hold for 10, breathe out slowly for 10. (Start with five seconds if needed.)
- As you breathe, picture the breath cleansing your chakra. Picture the spinning disc of orange energy, glowing cleaner and brighter with each breath you take. See it. Let it show its shape to you. Imagine orange water flowing through and cleansing.
- Use a mantra as you breathe in and out. “I am perfect as I am and I love myself and my body. I am not my body, my body is a beautiful temple. With self respect comes healthy boundaries” “There is flexibility in the waters.” “I am creative, inspired and capable.” “I embrace my fluid and sexual nature. I am safe in my willingness to compromise.”
- Picture a beautiful flowing stream, creek or body of water. Feel how the water refreshes and cleanses, giving vitality and life to all things. Play water sounds in the background with Tibetan singing bowls. (You will find a link at the bottom for one I enjoy.)
- Flow through yoga asanas that open the Sacral Chakra—Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold—directly activates Swadhisthana), Janu Sirshasana (Head to Knee Pose), Ushtrasana (Camel Pose), Malasana (Goddess Squat Pose), Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II), Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior Pose), and Sethu-bandhasana (Bridge Pose).
- Don’t rush through, but rather practice the asanas, to build your feelings of stability and strength in them. It’s all about finding the best version of the pose for you, at any given moment. Holding and breathing into the asanas is where the magic happens.
Why heal the Sacral Chakra?
So much of our neurosis and compulsions arise from imbalances in Svadhisthana. When we suppress or try to ignore the problems just grow. Suppression is like Miracle-Gro for destructive behavior. We must face what lies here in order to be free of the issues our imbalances may be creating.
When I finally shined the light on my Sacral Chakra it allowed me to empower myself—to take charge of my life again, and to stop being a victim of circumstance.
The goal of working with Svadhisthana is all about tapping into the flow of creativity, flexibility, sexuality, flow, and balance. Here we connect to water. Also, we embrace all aspects of ourself. We find a place of healthy respect for our self and others. Thus we tap into our inherent adaptability and ability to create and change. We no longer fear change. Nor do we have need to cling to rigid thought patters that do nothing more than serve the ego, keeping us divided.
Keep in mind, this is meant to be a beginner practice.
Chakra work is something that goes deep within, tapping into an infinite source of ancient connectivity. If you quiet yourself, your chakra will tell you what it needs. Believe it or not, they will work to heal themselves once you start giving them the energy and attention to do so.
Many of our problems occur because, like a wheel, one spoke out of alignment results in a flat tire. When all chakras are open and running in a balanced state we find harmony within our mind, body and soul. Remember—have fun!
I would love to answer any questions or comments below! I look forward to hearing about your chakra work.