This morning’s class in the chakra balancing series focused on the 2nd and 3rd chakras: Svadhistana and Manipura respectively.
Svadhistana – the sacral chakra – relates to sexuality, reproduction, sensuality, intimacy, desire, control, emotional expression. It relates the water element and its all about the fluids of the body: tears, lymph, urine, saliva, sweat, sexual fluids and more.
To tune into your sacral chakra, here are some suggestions:
Go for a long swim, luxuriate in a hot bath with essential oils of cardamom and sweet orange, eat sweet potatoes, sprinkle cinnamon on everything. Do/wear the things that make you feel sexy. Express your sensuality through movement-based practices, as we did this morning through our flip cat/cow/figure of 8 movements. This part of you needs tending always. Look for the sweetness in life. Stop and smell the roses, as they say. And then walk on.
May you feel each of your feelings fully, and then surrender them to the flow.
Questions you may wish to reflect upon:
What do I want?
What turns me on/off?
How do I express my sexuality?
How can I relax and go with the flow?
How do I adapt to change and new situations?
With whom am I intimate?
How do I honor my higher self?
What lessons are my relationships teaching me?
Suggestions for asana practice for Svadhistana:
Hip and groin openers such as baddha konasana (Cobbler’s Pose) and crescent moon pose
Ocean breathing: relaxing your abdomen fully on the inhale, filling the lower belly as well as the lungs and exhaling naturally and effortlessly.
Yin yoga style pigeon pose and saddle pose, releasing muscular effort and using gravity to open the tendons and ligaments of the hips and reposition the sacrum.
Practicing next to or submerged in water — a pool, a river, a lake, an ocean. Water is the element of the sacral chakra.
Manipura chakra is concerned with integrity, willpower, digestion, energy, achievement and sense of self – with one’s inner fire and ability to assimilate all that life brings our way.
Located at the solar plexus, the Manipura chakra is the seat of your power and transformation. In the same way that fire turns matter into heat and light, this is where you take what you’ve been given and make the best of it.
Without a strong third chakra, we remain stuck in the sameness and drudgery of a passive life. Manipura is action, doing, going through the eye of the needle, breaking inertia.
Manipura controls our digestive fire (appetite/ digestion/ metabolism) and also our sense of self- ie self control/ will/ esteem/ vitality. How we control our temper and moods is indicative of the health of this chakra, likewise, the nature of our attitude towards eating and diet also highlights balance or imbalance in this area.
3rd chakra essential questions:
How do I act with strength and compassion?
Am I speaking and behaving with integrity?
What will I achieve today?
How shall I express my personal power?
Am I following a wholesome diet that is conducive to healthy digestion?
What negative habits do I need to give up? What positive habits should I cultivate in my daily life?
Practice suggestions for Manipura:
Uddiyana bandha (abdominal lock): exhaling and pulling the abdomen back and up
Any and all twists
Medium to fast sun salutations to warm the muscles, produce sweat and get a great cardiovascular workout
Core strengtheners like boat pose (navasana), double leg lifts, plank pose, crunches and so forth
To ignite your inner fire: Practice under the hot sun, in a heated studio or near a toasty bonfire. Boil sliced ginger for a tea, build a campfire, eat a spicy curry, go for a run, massage some sandalwood into your sternum, make a plan and execute it.
As always, please feel free to comment – questions or your own experience of the class or your home practice – anything goes!