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Yoga is a practice linked to greater physical and mental health. One of the ways it is said to impact health is via the body’s chakras.
A chakra is an energy center. When energy can flow unhindered through the chakra, optimal health and self-healing are possible. Here’s what yoga practitioners, instructors, and future yoga teachers need to know about the sacral chakra.
There are seven chakras. Each chakra is assigned a number based on its position in the body. The sacral chakra is the second chakra. It is located near the lower back or pelvis, just below the belly button. Thus, it is often correlated with the bladder and kidneys.
This chakra is also often associated with the body’s sex organs. Thus, it is considered important to sexuality. The Sanskrit name for the sacral chakra is the Svadhishthana chakra.
The other chakras are:
First chakra: root chakra – bottom of the spine
Third chakra: solar plexus chakra –above the navel
Fourth chakra: heart chakra – the chest area
Fifth chakra: throat chakra – near the neck
Sixth chakra: third eye chakra – between the eyebrows
Seventh chakra: crown chakra –top of the head
The sacral chakra is connected with sexual energy and pleasure. In terms of the latter, this includes both giving pleasure and receiving it. The second chakra is also linked with creative energy.
The symbol for the sacral chakra is a crescent moon that sits inside two circles, which sit inside a six-petalled lotus flower. The crescent moon symbolizes constant movement and change. The circles symbolize the cycle of life. The flower petals represent the overcoming of negative emotion.
Colors are assigned to the chakra series based on their location in the rainbow. As the second chakra, the color of the sacral chakra is orange. Because of this, orange stones, crystals, and gems are thought to bring sacral chakra balance. Sacral chakra stones include tiger’s eye, orange calcite, and carnelian. Sacral crystals and gems include citrine, amber, and aragonite.
Meaning: sexuality, pleasure, and creativity
Symbol: crescent moon inside two circles, inside a six-petalled lotus
Stones, crystals, and gems: tiger’s eye, amber, and citrine
When your sacral chakra is open, you have heightened sexuality. You can both give and receive pleasure sexually. You feel sensual and stimulated.
An open or balanced sacral chakra is also associated with greater emotional health. You feel stable emotionally and are comfortable sharing your feelings. You also have an easier time setting healthy boundaries.
Energy flowing freely through the sacral chakra allows for higher levels of creativity. You find it easy to come up with new ideas.
If the energy in this chakra is hindered, some say that you have a blocked chakra. Others refer to this as an imbalanced sacral chakra. The reason for the latter is that not only can a chakra be underactive or “blocked” but it can also be overactive. Thus, it’s more of a balance issue.
Regardless of the terminology, when the energy is off-balance or blocked in the sacral chakra, it can result in:
lack of pleasure
trouble with the urinary tract
The sacral chakra is the chakra most associated with pleasure. Therefore, some research suggests that using substances that affect pleasure can cause the sacral chakra to become imbalanced. This includes alcohol and drugs. Excessive materialism may contribute to this effect as well.
Sexual trauma can also lead to an imbalanced sacral chakra. This includes being a victim of rape or some other type of sexual assault. Trauma in the form of physical or emotional abuse may affect the second chakra too.
How do you know if you have a blocked or unbalanced sacral chakra? There are a few signs to watch for.
Signs of an underactive sacral chakra include:
feeling emotionally detached from yourself or others
feelings of loneliness or isolation
having higher levels of anxiety
low sexual energy or not feeling pleasure sexually
lack of creativity
pain in the lower back or hip area
infections in the bladder or kidneys
prostate or gynecological issues
Signs of an overactive sacral chakra include:
feeling overwhelmed by your emotions
experiencing mood fluctuations (emotional highs and lows)
engaging in inappropriate sexual expressions
being overly affectionate with people who don’t reciprocate
Many steps can be taken to balance the sacral chakra, promoting chakra healing. While each one can provide benefits, using several strategies at the same time can help enhance sacral chakra healing.
Meditation is one option to consider. During meditation, focus on the sacral chakra. Envision it opening and the energy flowing through. Imagine that it is healing.
Chakra affirmation is another way to balance your sacral chakra. Choose a phrase and repeat it several times, encouraging your body and mind to make the affirmation true. “My life and body are full of pleasure and joy” is an example of a sacral chakra affirmation.
Surrounding yourself with chakra colors can also enhance balance and healing. Since the sacral chakra is orange, choose items with this color and place them in your environment. Hang pictures with orange in them on your walls. Visualize the color orange during meditation.
To take advantage of the healing powers of orange stones, keep them in a bowl on the nightstand by your bed. Alternatively, you might buy jewelry containing an amber gem. You can also purchase a chakra crystal tree that has gems from each of the chakras, inspiring healing of them all.
Certain essential oils are associated with sacral chakra healing. Among them are sweet orange and tangerine. Jasmine and sandalwood are two others.
As mentioned previously, yoga is good for chakra healing. That’s in addition to the other benefits of a regular yoga practice. Among them are reduced stress, increased strength and flexibility, and a stronger body-mind connection.
Any yoga pose that opens the hips is good for the sacral chakra. So are poses that release hip tension. This includes:
Low lunge pose
Reclined Bound Angle pose
Warrior 2 pose variations
If you are a yoga teacher, talk to your students about the sacral chakra. Then teach them the poses that can help bring this chakra into balance.
If you’re not yet a teacher and want to become one, yoga teacher training is a good next step. This type of training course can help prepare you for this important role. In it, you’ll learn yoga philosophy, history, and anatomy. You’ll also gain the skills needed to teach and modify each yoga asana (pose).
The ISSA Yoga & Wellness Academy offers a Yoga 200 teacher training certification course. This course is approved by the Yoga Alliance, enabling you to apply for the designation of Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) upon its completion.
Richardson, P. S. (2019). The Interrelationships of the Chakras and Mental Health. Phil Archive. https://philarchive.org/archive/RICTIO-31