My post today is going to be all about svadhisthana, the second chakra. I started my chakra series last week, so if you missed it, make sure you read about what the chakras are and catch up with my muladhara post. I’ll give you a minute to catch up.
Alright, feeling grounded? Let’s dive in to this, then!
Svadhisthana, or the sacral chakra, is the location between your navel and your genitals. The sacral chakra is primarily associated with relationships, emotions, and sexuality. It focuses a lot on boundaries, pleasure, and nurturance. Svadhisthana is often called the “seat of life” and is the base for movement. The color associated with the sacral chakra is orange, and the lotus flower at this level has six petals. The mantra most commonly related to svadhisthana is “I feel”. A person who has an excessive or deficient sacral chakra will either have rigid emotional boundaries or have none at all. Empathy is hugely important with this chakra, helping an individual understand how someone else is feeling. When our sacral chakra is balanced, we have no problem being in touch with our feelings and understanding other’s emotions in that moment. We feel confident with our sexual identity and are happy with our perceived body image. It is suggested that movement of this chakra helps bring emotions from the unconscious and assists individuals find positive pleasure outlets (Judith, 2002). Geroux at Cora and Bodhi suggests that individuals who have deficient svadhisthana are afraid of intimacy and change, while individuals who have excessive sacral chakras have no boundaries with lots of considerable highs and lows (2014). Opening up this chakra leads to creativity.
I’m going to be honest here and self disclose a bit. I had a hard time thinking about how I was going to apply this chakra to counseling. I don’t often work with couples, which my mind so easily made the jump from this sexual chakra to couple’s counseling. It definitely has a place there. But what about with other individuals? How can I apply this to my own practice with clients? It’s often taboo to talk about sexuality with others, although I feel quite comfortable bringing up sex with my clients (it’s often them who feel uncomfortable!). But why is it taboo? It’s normal and natural, right? But when I was researching, and empathy was brought up, it clicked. So often I’m discussing with my clients how the other person in a situation may feel; I try to flip it back to help them understand what the other may be thinking or feeling. Our actions have consequences, be they good or bad ones. Empathy. Being in touch with our emotions. That’s it!
Balancing this chakra is such a good idea for those clients that just have a hard time opening up, or feel uncomfortable discussing their deep “dark” feelings. Why aren’t we doing sacral chakras with all of our counseling clients? It just makes sense to me. Some presenting issues that jumped out at me are body image issues, sexual identity, intimacy issues (and this can be with friends, romantic, or family), boundary work (which is oh, so important!), substance abuse, and empathy work. All of these issues can be worked on in a counseling setting and can benefit from working on the svadhisthana chakra. Put a emphasis on having your clients start phrases with “I feel”, to ease them in to being open with their feelings. I love to use this technique when facilitating a family session, because it can be so easy to fall in to the trap of passive aggressive statements that hint at what’s really being felt but is done in a hurtful way. Of course always, as the counselor, ensure that the conversation stays on a positive track. Guided meditations in a counseling session can center on feeling statements, discussing what emotions were brought up during the meditation.
Unfortunately, I do not have pictures this week of an asana sequence for you. This week was hectic and we were out of town this weekend until about an hour ago, where I promptly sat down and began to type this. Maybe later this week I can add a bonus post with asana pictures. Some suggested poses include:
-pigeon pose (one of my all time favorites)
-cat/cow sequence (another fave)
-upward facing dog
-supported bridge pose
-and frog pose
(Coyle, 2013; Geroux, 2014; Judith, 2002).
So, what do you think? Did I leave anything out? Have you tried any of these techniques with counseling or yoga clients before? I would love to hear your opinions!
Happy om’ing, and namaste.
Coyle, K. (2013). 10 hip opening poses to awaken your root and sacral chakras. Retrieved from http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/02/10-hip-opening-poses-to-awaken-your-root-and-sacral-chakras-kristen-coyle/
Geroux, C. (2014). Chakra 2 – svadhisthana – sex & emotions. Retrieved from http://coraandbodhi.com/chakra-2-svadhisthana-sex-emotions/
Judith, A. (2002). Wheels of life: A user’s guide to the chakra system. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.