You are water, the essence of all forms, yet formless. You are the point from which each direction flows and you are the flow. You were the one that feels. You were the one that moves. You were the one that embraces the other.
– Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life.
The sacral chakra, Svadhisthana, is the second of the seven chakras.
Svadhisthana translates as ‘seated in one’s own abode.’ It combines swa meaning self and adhisthana meaning seat. This sentiment encompasses the idea that it is where you are established in your seat of creativity and deepest desires.
The sacral chakra is the space where we connect to others; relationships, passion, sex, intimacy, and desire are some of the main themes for this chakra.
It is also the energy center where we attune to our emotions. We can identify our feelings and see the boundary between ourselves and others. When in balance, we feel connected to how we feel and to those we care about.
Keep reading to see the sacral chakra themes, blockages, imbalances, yoga classes, and questions.
Sacral Chakra Themes
As humans, we are 70% water. It’s our natural inclination to embrace spontaneity, go with the flow, and adapt to new surroundings.
Yet, we may oppose change and go against our instinct. This is represented as a blockage in the second chakra, Svadhisthana.
Located in the sacral area close to the womb and the sex organs, the second chakra embraces themes such as fluidity, creativity, change, relationships with others, and pleasure.
As we move up from the root chakra, Muladhara, which connects us to our strength, groundedness, and a sense of surrender, we come to the second chakra, where we begin to explore how we express ourselves and connect to the world around us.
Balancing duty with desire, relating to others, and going with the flow are some of the central themes of the second chakra.
Orange is the color for the sacral chakra to express warmth, joy, freedom, expression, and change. Vam is the bija mantra for Svadhisthana. Water is the element to remind us to go with the flow, move with change, and feel our emotions.
The reproductive organs are the physical representation of desire and how we procreate and express sexual intimacy with others. The gonads are the primary reproductive organ, the male testes, and the female ovaries. The gonads are responsible for producing sperm and ova.
Emotions are a significant characteristic of the second chakra. Emotions are energy in motion and must be expressed.
A blocked or imbalanced sacral chakra can result from repressed emotions and disconnection from how you truly feel.
Another theme of this chakra is the idea of the empath in discovering our emotions and how we relate to others and adapting to fluidity.
The second chakra is how we create boundaries in relationships and come together with those around us.
Additional characteristics of this chakra include our relationship to sensuality and pleasure.
Guilt is the predominant emotion when this chakra is blocked or imbalanced.
We may feel guilty when experiencing intense emotions. Guilt also arises when we take care of ourselves and indulge in sensory pleasures.
The affirmation for this chakra is ‘I feel.’
Psychological Function: Sexuality, Desire, Pleasure, Creativity
Body Part: Hips, pelvis
Organ: Reproductive and sex organs, kidney, bladder
Blockages and Imbalances
An open sacral chakra allows us to connect to how we feel while honoring the space we take up with others.
We can move with what arises and maintain boundaries. There is space for activities we enjoy and time enough to get work done.
Spontaneity, play, acceptance for what is, and curiosity that sparks creativity abound when the second chakra is balanced.
Blockages at the second chakra look like rigidity, over-indulgence, hyper-fixation on a task or idea, lack of enthusiasm, lack of expression, disconnection from feelings, emotional repression, lacking libido, loss of lust for life, and loneliness.
Health problems associated with the second chakra include anemia, hip issues, spleen and kidney issues, cramps, and low energy levels. Hypersensitivity, anxiety, and depression are also associated with sacral chakra imbalances, though the issues manifest differently than when experienced at the root chakra.
The sacral chakra is immersed in relationships and creativity. It can be a creative block or a loss of connection with someone we love.
Any emotional turbulence or disorders from blockages result from a lack or loss of relationship with ourselves, our bodies, or our intimate environments.
Yoga Classes to Balance the Sacral Chakra
Move like water to stimulate the creative juices and express flow.
Focus on the second chakra with fluid and smooth sequences to spark inspiration and settle angst.
Take a sacral chakra class on Practice with Clara:
A meditation on creating inner harmony, this practice works with the idea of inherent paradox as we experience periods of stillness and flux in our lives.
This intermediate slow flow practice focuses on the second chakra, the pelvis area. There is a bit of fire peppered through the practice with an arm balance and backend.
Connect to breath and flow smoothly through dynamic vinyasa sequence to bring awareness to the second chakra and the water element.
Vinyasa Yoga to Embrace Creativity
Note from Clara Roberts-Oss on the origins of the style of yoga she teaches on the Practice with Clara Membership Site.
Prana Flow Yoga is the style that my teacher Shiva Rea created. When I met Shiva in 2003, I felt like I had come home. Because here was a woman creating movements that I’d been naturally doing on the dance floor and the nightclubs of New York City.
Prana Flow was born out of her creativity of playing with styles of dance, as well as yoga, and being in her own body.
Shiva realized that there was so much power in fluidity.
Prana Flow deals with what she calls moving meditation. So you start every class in the moving meditation, similar to the moving meditations for the rituals for the chakras in the coming weeks.
The idea is to remind ourselves of this flow naturally moving through us since we’re made up of at least 70% water. We walk around thinking that we’re mostly solid, even though we’re mostly liquid. And so connecting to that liquidity reminds us of our natural state.
In Prana Flow, we’re connecting to the natural contraction and release of the breath and the fluidity of your body with the breath itself.
Take a class on Practice with Clara to embody Prana Flow.
5 Prana Flow Vinyasa Yoga Classes:
Questions for the Sacral Chakra:
What is your relationship to pleasure?
How do you seek pleasure, and where?
Do you shy away from pleasure? Why or why not?
Do you indulge in pleasure? Why or why not?
Is a balance between duty and what needs to be done versus pleasure present in your life?
How do you relate to your emotions? What are your coping mechanisms when you experience intense emotions such as anger?
How do you relate to the emotions of those around you?
Would you consider yourself an empathetic person? Why or why not?
Do you move with the flow, or do you need more structure? Why do you think this is?
What do you create, and how do you express your creativity?
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A Brief Introduction to the Chakras
Chakra translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’ and refers to the energy points of the subtle body.
We have thousands of chakras in our bodies. The ones we focus on as yogis go up to our main energy channel, Sushumna, the spine, which starts at the pelvis and goes through the middle of the torso to the top of the head.
The seven chakras are located at Sushumna. The first one, Muladhara, is at the base. The second one, Swadhisthana, is just below the belly button. The third one, Manipura, is at the solar plexus, and The fourth one, Anahata at the heart. The fifth one, Vishuddha, goes to the throat. The sixth one, Ajna, is at the third eye center, the middle of the head. And then the seventh one, Sahasrara, is the top, the head, or just above the head, depending upon who you talk to.
It’s said that at the base of our pelvis sits our creative force known as Shakti or Kundalini. This is this dormant creative force that lives inside of the pelvis. As yogis, we want to ignite or awaken that energy to have it rise from the pelvis to our third eye center, where our consciousness lives. When the kundalini energy rises, it’s said that we are awakened or receive enlightenment.
When the chakras are open, the energy flows freely, and we are awakened.
The asanas and pranayamas help to move the stagnant energy that day-to-day life can create in the body. Yoga is a way to clear the stagnant energy by observing the themes and blockages of each chakra and then creating a practice to clear and move the energy.
Prana (energy) flows through the human body’s 72,000 nadis (energy channels). The Prana that moves through the nadis is also what feeds and sustains the chakras.
The body is our initial connection to the earth, and yoga is a tool to shift how we feel. We can always return to the practice- asana, pranayama, or meditation. We might use these as tools to shift states of dis-ease. The practice allows us to return to a place where we are grounded and feel a sense of belonging.