We live in a society that is seemingly more obsessed with sex and pleasure than ever. But in reality, it’s all too often that we idolize the physical perfection so readily available externally (fashion advertisements and fitspo blogs, for instance), and lose touch with our own inner sensuality. There are too many distractions from feeling grounded and joyful in our physical gifts. If nothing else, our busy schedules and daily stress ensure that we live disproportionately reliant on our upper chakras, and not give attention to our lower chakras.
In yoga, your sense of pleasure, spontaneity, and joy is rooted in your second chakra, Svadhisthana, located in the lower abs and the sacral plexus. The sacral chakra is represented by the color orange and the element water–and this flowing energy is integral to your ability to have fun in life. When your sacral chakra is deficient, you might be out of touch with your sensuality and weighed down by guilt. Balancing the sacral chakra is said to bring on Sweetness. Here are 5 poses that will get you in touch with your sacral chakra, and open your life to more joy.
1. Happy Baby: start on your back, your knees bent, and raised in front of your torso. Open your legs up, and reach around your thighs to grab the outside of each foot with your hand. Pull gently on your feet to bring your knees closer to your chest. Rock from side to side, and front and back, gently massaging your spine and working to open up your hips.
2. Cat and Cow: Rock up from Happy Baby and come onto your hands and knees so that you are in tabletop position. Rock your hips from side to side, then in big circles. Come to neutral; inhale, raise your head forward with an open chest, and curve your spine out (Cow). Exhale and curve your spine in, contracting your torso (Cat).
3. Vasisthasana (Balancing side plank pose): From Cat and Cow, flow through your vinyasa (sun salutations) and end in plank position. Shift your weight onto your right hand and face left, so that you are balancing on one hand on your side (side plank). Your left foot should be resting on top of your right foot. Reach out with your left hand and grab your left big toe with the first two fingers. Straighten your left leg so that it’s pointing directly up toward the ceiling. This pose massages the lumbar and coccyx region of the spine. Repeat on the other side.
4. Goddess pose: Stand with your feet about the width of your mat, feet turned out. Lower into a squat and rest your elbows against the inside of your knees to open your hips.
5. Pigeon pose: Sit with your right knee bent in front of you, and your left leg stretched behind you. Relax, bend your torso forward, and let your body weight open your hips. You can also further the stretch by lifting your back foot perpendicular to the ground, and resting the inner nook of your elbow against your foot. You can also reach your back foot with your hands, or release the back leg and come into a full split position.
Related: Yoga for New Beginnings
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Photo: Mary Hood Luttrell