By Adam Ruggiero
The svadhisthana, sacral chakra, sometimes referred to as the spleen chakra because of its location just below the navel, this chakra center taps into the energies of our creativity.
These energies encompass physical creativity, the powers of procreation and fertility; mental creativity, the ability to think outside the box and free the imagination; and emotional creativity, our insights into self as well as others, and to freely and uniquely express our feelings.
Over- or under-active sacral chakras may (respectively) result in feelings of neediness, oversensitivity, or lack of physical and emotional boundaries; or emotional opacity, being “shut off,” or a reluctance to engage in physical romance. Such imbalances often arise from repressive upbringings or overly unstructured social development.
It’s important to remember that most of us tick some of these boxes and the issues and triggers listed are generally extremes. The upbringings and imbalances we ALL experience at one time or another typically fall into some shade of grey. Identifying such energetic problems is subjective, but is only benefited by learning to hear and feel the signals our bodies send us. Any yoga practice serves to better put our mental selves in touch with our physical selves.
Just as the second chakra lay above the first (Root) chakra, so did our practice advance upward from the feet and legs to the hips, pelvis and low back. Progression through poses should particularly focus on fluidity in movements, and the strength-serenity dichotomy of water.
Try these Sacral Chakra Yin Poses
Reclining butterfly – engage belly breath; “diaphragmatic breathing.”
Knees to chest – hug yourself while pressing your sacrum into the mat – physically feel your sacrum.
Happy baby – a natural second chakra pose; connections with joy, pleasure and desire.
Dragon lunge– begin to clear the hips; these are the “junk drawers” of the body – soften just a bit with each exhalation.
Tadpole – the first stage of our amphibious progression; continuing to open the hips.
Frog pose – as your hips relax, evolve to the final stage with feet apart; picture an orange light emanating from the navel and allow your breath to empower your movements.
Crocodile pose – continuing to focus on water and the lessons its inhabitants teach us; this is a wonderful release from tadpole and frog – feel the navel press into your mat.
Sphynx – begin to develop the pose from Crocodile if your body desires it; the progressive backbend more fully opens the hips.
Sleeping swan – a final opener for the hips that also incorporates a pleasant quadricep and glute stretch; once again, soften with each breath.
Reclining twist – repeat: “I am joyful, spontaneous and creative.”
Legs up on wall with bolster beneath hips – massage for the kidneys, adrenal glands and mid-back.