5 Poses to Balance Your Sacral Chakra
This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.
The sacral chakra, commonly known as the second chakra, is focused on creation, sexuality, appetites, and habit formations.
When your second chakra is out of balance, you could experience unhealthy food cravings, hormone imbalance, blocked creativity, mental addictions, physical addictions, and pain in your lower-abdomen.
Meditative clearings, and energy healing work will do wonders if your second chakra is out of balance—but if you're interested in healing this section in the comfort of your own home, use these five yoga poses to push out stagnant energy- and make room for new habits that benefit you in positive ways.
5 Poses to Balance Your Sacral Chakra
1. Breath of fire
Balancing the second chakra comes from a place of strength—so what better way to heal your sacral than strengthening your lower abdomen? Take a seat on the floor, take one deep inhale in, one large exhale out, and then begin pulsing your breath out through your nose. Focus on your nasal exhale during this breathing exercise, and the inhale will happen naturally. Stay with this exercise for one to three minutes, and repeat throughout the day as often as needed.
This is a great exercise to do right when you wake up in the morning, as it activates your energetic body, by flushing out stale air buried deep in your lungs, and re-igniting those spaces with fresh oxygen.
2. Side plank pose
Crawling forward from your seat onto all fours, move yourself into a standard plank pose. Before shifting into side plank, take a moment to tense your abdomen, feeling all of the areas that get activated in your sacral space around your belly button.
Keeping your attention on your lower abdomen muscles, shift into side plank on your right side. Stretch your arm up and over your head, and focus on increasing the space between the floor and your body. Stay here for nine rounds of breath.
Float back into your center plank. Breathe into your abdomen for five rounds of breath, and when you are ready, shift into side-plank on your left side. Float your arm over your head, and create even more space between the floor and the outer edge of your body. Breathe here for nine rounds of breath, and rest in child's pose.
3. Lifted lotus pose
When you're ready come to a lotus seat on your mat, and lift, lift, lift! Lift your legs up, holding your body off the floor for as long as possible. For some of you this may be five seconds, and for others it may be a full minute—whatever you do, make sure you are testing your limits.
Lifted lotus pose works to strengthen the lower abdomen muscles, activating a strong energetic center right behind your belly button (which is also the heart of your sacral chakra). This is a low-risk pose, so if you are going to push it in any posture, this one is it. Repeat this posture up to three times for an added stomach slimming affect!
4. Half moon pose
Half moon pose is all about lower-core stabilization, while simultaneously remaining "open."
Start in Warrior III on your right side, and tighten your lower abdomen. Squeeze your butt muscles, and focus on stretching your back leg out into a metaphorical wall behind you. As you kick into this wall (with feet flexed), stretch your arms out, and slowly place your right arm on the floor, keeping your left arm in the center of your heart. Shift your attention back to your lower abdomen, squeeze your muscles a little bit harder, and then reach your left arm up for a complete open to your left side, holding this pose for as long as you can. Shake out your arms and legs, stretch your butt muscles—and when you're ready, repeat on the left side.
Half-moon pose helps you cultivate strength, balance, and grace in your second chakra. This pose, when focusing on the lower abdomen area, will help you gage how your second chakra is doing. Is it open? Is it strong? Is it stable? Is it in alignment with the other energetic centers in your body? Use this posture as your litmus test, and rebalance your body accordingly.
5. Camel pose
Sitting with knees on the ground, bring your hands behind your back, and squeeze your glutes while pushing your hips forward. If you feel flexible enough, reach your right hand back to rest on your right heel, and then reach the left hand back to rest on your left heel. Keep focusing on tightening your glutes in this posture to protect your back, and stay in the pose for at least five rounds of breath.
Camel pose is one of the most intense postures that works to open up your lower abdomen, making it one of the best postures for emotional release. If your back is sensitive, don't push yourself in this pose, or over-extend—just focus on reaching your limit, and breathing through any intensity you experience. Be sure to only engage in camel pose when your back muscles are warmed up, and feeling loose.