Svadhisthana- the Sacral Chakra

Our second chakra, Svadhisthana, the Sacral Chakra is located at the sacrum, lower belly- 2-3" below navel. Svadhisthana means sweetness, dwelling place of the Self. The color associated with this chakra is orange. The seed syllable is VAM (VANG). The element is Water. Qualities of water- flow, formlessness, fluidity, surrender. This chakra is the center of motion for the body, called "seat of life".

The sense associated with this chakra is taste. The chief operating force is the attraction of opposites. This chakra forms at 6-24 months. The tasks given to this chakra include sensate exploration of the world, locomotion, and separation from symbiotic fusion. In the body, the sacral chakra is associated with the ovaries, testicles, womb, kidneys, bladder, circulatory system, sciatic nerve, urinary tract, hips, sacrum. The key issues of this chakra are relationships, violence, addictions, movement, sensation, and emotions. The needs of this chakra are separation vs attachment, safety & support to explore, emotional security, stimulating environment, self- gratification, and the development of one's own personality.

Yantra/symbol- 6 vermilion petals, contains 2 lotuses, at the base of the middle lotus- crescent moon containing makara/ crocodile, which represents its sensuous, watery & deceptively strong energy. Also believed to represent consuming desire & passions which must be harnessed in order to pass onward (animal instincts that lurk in the vast depths of the personal unconscious). On the crocodile rests the bija mantra, VAM. The images of the god & goddess display peaceful emotions. Characteristics of flow, cleansing & movement. Symbol- white, blue, or silver crescent- also a reminder of the moon's influence on all things watery (including the ebb & flow of emotions)

Color Orange- Orange is the color of joy & wisdom. It stimulates feelings of sociability. It is tied to our emotional health & to the muscular system of the body. Orange can assist in healing conditions of the spleen, pancreas, stomach, intestines, & adrenals. Individuals experiencing emotional paralysis or depression can be helped with this bright, uplifting color. It can be used to revitalize the physical body & assist with food assimilation. It makes a good tonic after a bout of illness, for it is good in eliminating negativity in the body. Too much orange affects the nerves and should be balanced with shades of blue.

Purpose- The 2nd chakra mounts a defense system around the body to protect it from toxins in food stuff, nervous disorders, & contagious diseases. It's related to fertility, giving birth & all other aspects of creativity. It corresponds with the original life sustaining energy behind sexual impulse.

Healthy-balanced characteristics- Activation of chakra translates into maternal love & charity for others, resulting in harmonious relationships characterized by forgiveness & comfort. Vigorous, sensitive, strong, sense of aesthetics. Creativity, joy, happiness. Fulfillment, sensation, grace, desire, fluidity, sensuality. Spontaneous enjoyment of experience, exploration of the senses & play- characteristics- stimulating our ability to learn & develop as individuals. Open to world around you. Energy, compassion, grounded intuition, emotional stability, zest for life. Nurturance of self & others. Good work/life balance.

Demon- guilt- curtails the free flow of movement, largely by taking the pleasure out of it

Traumas- tactile & sensate deprivation, emotional environment, enmeshment (not allowed own identity), sexual abuse, emotional abuse, volatile situations, neglect, coldness, rejection, denial of child's feeling states/ lack of mirroring, overuse of playpen or restricting normal movement, religious or moral severity, inherited issues from parental figures

Blocked or impeded- may lead to negativity & jealousy, which results in miscommunication. Dysfunction may lead to overbearing parental love based on control & domination. We become fixated on something we refuse to admit to ourselves is actually inappropriate or unrealistic. Emotional over sensitivity or unhealthy dependency on someone else. Failure to respect boundaries. Irritable, shy, controlling, lack of creativity, intimacy issues, shame of our body/sexuality, trust issues

Deficient characteristics (not enough Water)- depleted due to rigid boundaries that lets very little energy into core, as a result there is a seeking outward for energy (image- dried up stream, trickle). Leads to the sense that life is mundane, boring, meaningless. Rigidity, lack of emotional or physical flexibility. Repression of feelings- fear of sensuality, sex, pleasure or enjoyment, as well as, guilt over feelings & desires (can result in frustration & bitterness). Excessive boundaries- not respecting boundaries but having walls up. Mistrust others, antisocial, follow the crowd, worry what others think, fear of change

Excess characteristics (too much Water)- movement of energy outward rather than inward due to weak boundaries & an inability to contain & harness energy (image- flooding, fire hydrant- water spraying everywhere). Very strong emotions, expressed without boundaries or with large mood swings. Overly sensitive emotionally, poor boundaries with others (letting people walk all over you), emotional dependency, acting out sexually, addictions to pleasure, greed, not feeling you are enough & overcompensating with stuff, eating feelings, selfish, arrogant, overly proud or conceited, emotionally high strung, sexual or pleasure addiction

Physical Ailments- impotence, frigidity; uterine, bladder, or kidney trouble; stiff lower back, sciatica, low sex drive, pelvic pain, digestive problems, lowered immunities, fatigue, menstrual problems, trouble conceiving, issues during pregnancy, premature ejaculation, non-orgasmic, loss of appetite for food (or sex or life)

To energize and heal- Drink more water, find time for movement everyday, cultivate healthy sexuality, spend time in or by the water, aromatherapy, experience & express emotions, journaling, crying, yelling, kicking, asking to be held (healthy release of emotions). Yoga, art, nature, music, dance, martial arts, meditation, trance dance, examine sense of self, get in touch with emotions, release feelings of anger/hurt/guilt. Get support on any emotional issues. Create opportunities for pleasurable feelings in your life. Spend time with positive, uplifting people. Silky sheets on the bed, dessert for dinner, wear something that makes you feel fabulous, dance naked

Creativity- manipulation of the senses & the world. Process is very personal. Where stress creates blocks & rigidity, the sacral chakra creates life- energy to move around them, much as a stream will divert its flow to move around a build-up of debris in its path. Creative activity is like this diverted stream of energy, restoring the quality of flow back into the systems of the body

Sexuality- Sexuality is an important essence to understand & preserve. Sexuality is a life force. Yet our culture either represses or exploits this. Chakra is weak if you struggle to see yourself as "sexy" & sometimes wonder how anyone could desire you. You find it difficult to open up in relationships. Have a tendency to end up in sexually incompatible relationships & find yourself wondering if you'll ever find "the one". Rarely have the time or desire to have sex

Pleasure- Natural inclination to move towards pleasure & away from pain. Some pleasurable activities deplete our resources. In other cases, pleasure enables us to move more deeply into the body and, feeling fulfilled, have a foundation for power, love, creativity, & meditative concentration Learn to relax & release tension, impulses flow freely without fear of suppression. Pleasure & sensation are essential.

We are taught that pleasure is a temptress waiting to lure us away from the true path. We are taught to repress our need for pleasure. We don't easily allow ourselves enjoyment of simple pleasures- time for a little extra sleep, a leisurely walk, or comfortable clothing. Suppression of primary pleasures creates a need for overindulgence, turning pleasure into pain. If we are plagued by guilt & feel we must suffer- and feel burned out often- not a healthy chakra. We wind up giving away what we want or going without pleasure because we feel our duty lies in sacrifice. Pleasure supports life & gives us the will & energy to do the tasks we have set for ourselves. We choose the things we want, as well as, the jobs we do. Pleasure sustains us when life is challenging & it recharges us for our work.

Emotions- flow of consciousness charges the body, cleanses it & heals it. It is a movement of our life force through which we achieve change. We form our emotional identity as a child- which enables us to identify different emotional states later in life, both in ourselves & others. Emotions are a complex, instinctual reaction to pleasure & pain. They begin in the unconscious & through movement, are allowed to come into consciousness. To block an emotion, we restrict movement. The emotion may remain in the unconscious yet still wreck havoc on our lives. It takes energy to repress emotion, so releasing emotions releases tension.

Gift of this chakra- experiencing our lives through feelings & sensations. We live in a society where feelings are not valued, where passion & emotional reactions are frowned upon. We are taught not to "lose control". We get disconnected from our bodies, our feelings. Flexibility in our bodies= willingness to feel old emotions that are stored in your body.

Nurturance- caring for; feeding with energy, love, & touch. Simple act of touching- importance to healthy functioning- helps grow to greater emotional stability than those deprived. Without touching, the important mind/ body interface may remain seriously underdeveloped. Saying to another "we are here". Less separate, less ego, more connection. Exercises for the whole body- involve touching & nurturance (such as massage & healthy sexual activity). Simple self nurturing activities- long hot baths, showers, swimming. Nurturing ourselves is the first step in receiving or giving nurturance to others.

Go with the flow- Flowing in harmony with our own energy & surroundings- requires flexibility & ability to change focus- to let go when things are no longer useful or helpful to us. The energy of this chakra allows us to let go, to move, and to feel change & transformation occurring within your body. It allows you to experience this moment, as it is, in its own fullness.

Trauma/pain- registered in this chakra. Life energy/chi- tightly gathered in this area. Any threat to it causes turbulence & upset. Chakra maintains the flow of life- helps remove fragments of trauma locked within different systems of the body. Scars can last a lifetime, affecting how we think & feel. Each event distorts or locks away energy that we need for our everyday lives. It takes a lot of psychic energy to separate memories of pain from our awareness- like unwanted baggage- they can load us down.

Affirmations- "I feel". I am overflowing with the inner power of creation. I am the creator of my life. I am trusting of the Universe. I acknowledge my uniqueness. I am a sensual & creative being. I attract only whole & nurturing relationships into my life. I embrace life with passion & feel abundant joy. I am radiantly beautiful, healthy, & strong. Without any fear, I feel all of the emotions that arise in me. My body is sacred. I am a creative & radiant soul. I am open to receive all that life offers. I forgive my past & embrace all of the positive moments of the present. I have a healthy state of passion & sexual desire in my life. I embrace life with passion & enjoy plunging into joy & happiness. I release & let go of the old to welcome the new. I have healthy boundaries. I feel pleasure & abundance with every breath I take. I value & respect my body. I am open to touch & closeness. I am allowed to create my own space, my own life.

Aromatherapy- (good in a bath) jasmine, sandalwood, neroli, cinnamon, tangerine, orange, rose oil, ylang ylang, grapefruit, bergamot

Foods- liquids, juices, herbal teas, water (good for cleansing the kidneys- enough liquid to remain healthy), mango, orange, melon, passionfruit, papaya, pumpkin, nuts, honey, chocolate, carrots

Yoga Poses for the 2nd Chakra- Some of the many yoga asanas to free the flow of energy in the 2nd Chakra: Baddha Konasana, Goddess, Dragon, Tree, Eagle, Standing Splits, Pigeon, Gomukasana, Janu Sirshasana (some pictures above as well)

A short 2nd chakra flow here.

Research compiled from many sources, including my own knowledge and experience. Some other great resources include "The Book of Chakras" by Ambika Wauters, "The Chakra Bible" by Patricia Mercier, "Wheels of Life" by Anodea Judith, and "Eastern Body, Western Mind" by Anodea Judith. So many, so little time!

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