Last time, we discussed how to ground your first chakra: the muladhara, or root chakra. Now, we're moving up the body to the second chakra: the svadisthana, or the sacral chakra.
This chakra is located in your lower abdomen, between your navel and genitals. Its main functions are pleasure, emotions, and creativity. Repressing any of these functions can result in lethargy, addictions, an inability to cope with change, and depression. Physical ailments can include back pain, sexual dysfunction, and urinary and kidney infections.
Beyond nurturing your body with healing touch (massage or reiki) and becoming more aware of your emotions and needs, the poses below will open your sacral chakra.
First, make sure that your body is properly warmed up with a flow sequence. Do 5 to 10 sun salutations, integrating a vinyasa (exhale to chatarangua or knees/chest/chin, inhale to upward-facing dog or cobra, and exhale back to downward-facing dog) between each.
Now, let's move on to the poses.
Lie on your back, with your feet flat on your mat. On an inhale, lift your hips up and your arms up and over your head. On an exhale, bring your hips and arms down evenly, feeling each vertebrae press down into the floor. This flow is an activated bridge pose (dvipada pitham). Repeat five times.
Roll over onto your stomach. Press your forearms and palms into the ground to come up into sphinx pose (salamba bhujangasan). Imagine your tailbone moving back and down to lengthen and protect your lower back. Stay in this gentle backbend for 5 to 10 breaths.
Roll onto your back, pressing your feet against the floor. Move your hips slightly to the left, then let your stacked knees fall to the right side for an abdominal twist (jathara parivrtti). Cactus both arms and look over your left shoulder. If your left shoulder is up off the floor, place a block in between your legs to ground your shoulder. Stay here for five breaths, then move to the other side.
Roll up to sitting, then come into a downward-facing dog. Lift your right leg into a three-legged dog (eka pada adho mukha svanasana), then bring your leg forward, bending your knee and placing the right side of your calf on the ground. Put a block or blanket underneath your right thigh if you need a little more support. Press your fingers down by your side and puff out your chest, coming into a pigeon pose (kapotasana). Slowly bring your upper body down to rest on the ground. Stay here for 10 breaths, then come up into a three-legged dog and switch to the other side.
Supta Baddha Konasana
Come to lie down on your back with your arms by your side and your feet flat on the floor. Let your legs fall open into goddess pose (supta bodha konasana), with the soles of your feet touching. Tuck blocks or blankets under your knees for added support. Take 10 slow, deep breaths and feel the energy moving more freely through your sacral chakra.
Lie down with your forehead or cheek on the mat. Bring your hands back to hold onto your outer ankles, and on an exhale come up into bow pose (dhanurasana). Try to rest more on your lower abdomen rather than your hips or your ribs. Pull back with your feet to lift yourself even higher. Hold for 3 long breaths and release. Repeat a second time.