YOGA POSES FOR THE SACRAL CHAKRA
Primary chakra - Sacral
Secondary chakra - Base and Heart
The basic Butterfly Pose is a seated position with the back tall and the soles of the feet together. It strengthens the back and gives a fairly intense stretch through the hips. A lot of people tend to be concerned with pushing their knees to the floor. If you can do that without straining, fine. Otherwise, do not worry so much with the knees. Focus instead on keeping the spine straight, as if you have your back against a wall. Have you feet as close as you can to your body because it gives you a greater stretch.
Take a moment to breath deeply and assess your posture. Feel the sit bones on the floor. Tighten the abdominals just enough to hold them in, not so that you can't breath properly. Feel how each vertebrae stacks up on top of the one before it so that your back is straight. Relax your shoulders and engage the outer thighs, gently pulling the legs to the floor. Remember that just because you pull with the thighs doesn't mean that the legs will move. If the legs don't move please don't worry, continue to use the muscles in your thighs to pull down, but don't force them into place. Stay focused on the straight back.
When you are sure you are in the correct alignment, extend your arms upward and feel the spine lengthen. Feel your tail bone dropping onto the floor and the centre of the chest lifting up. Keep your shoulders relaxed as the chest lifts, Take a few deep breaths and then try to reach up a little higher. When your back begins to feel tired, stretch3 your body forward, actively reaching and stretching. After a few breaths, roll back up into the butterfly pose concentrating on the spinal alignment.
The butterfly pose is a very stable way to sit as long as you don't allow yourself to drop into the lower back by slumping down or forward.
Primary chakra - Sacral
Secondary chakra - Throat
Lie on your back and walk in toward your bottom. Lift your hips in the air as high as you can. Your feet should feel secure on the floor, and you should feel your shoulders against the floor, If you feel a lot of pressure in the neck, you can place a rolled up towel under the neck and shoulders.
Feel the strength in your back. You need to extend up through the tail-bone, focusing on lifting rather than arching your back. If you think of it as solely an arch, you will place strain in the lower back. Ultimately you want to strengthen the back, not place stress in the vertebrae.
When you are sure you are lifted as high as you can without dropping into the arch for the lower back, pay attention to your knees You want your knees to be directly over your feet. Feet can be hip width apart or slightly wider, but try not to open the legs too far or it starts to create instability in the knees as well as placing strain on the back.
Primary chakra - Sacral
Secondary chakra - Base
This challenging but very effective balance stretches the quadriceps, hips, back and shoulders. Start by grasping your foot the same way you would do for a quadriceps stretch. Push your knee toward the floor, pull the heel toward your bottom, and feel that your spine is straight and tall. If you have balance problems please remain at this phase of the pose until your balance has improved. The stretch you get through the front of the leg and hip make up for being unable to hold the extended balance.
If you feel steady in the balance, reach you free arm forward. As you do so, extend the knee back, lean your chest forward, and open out the leg while you continue to hold onto your foot. You will feel your body tilt forward, but if you lift the chest as you arch into the back, you will find that you can stretch further out. Make sure that you don't drop forward. Think of the pose as opening out and lifting up. If you experience cramping in the hamstring or foot during this pose, you probably haven't warmed up enough. Do a few more stretching poses that are less strenuous, and then try again.
The focus of the pose is the sacral chakra, but you are likely to feel an activation throughout the lower chakras.
You may also find that if you are having trouble bringing yourself into balance in the pose, if you focus on your sacral chakra by feeling the muscles in the abdomen engaging, you will be better able to maintain the balance.
Warrior Pose 1
Primary chakra - Sacral
Secondary chakra - Solar Plexus and Heart
Warrior pose 1 is a very popular and familiar pose, as well as a very effective one. Not only does it strengthen and stretch many sets of muscle groups, it enhances expansion into the sacral chakra and begins to clear the way into the higher chakras. It can be a nice pose to use as you transition from opening the second chakra to a pose that opens the third chakra so that the energy can move without restraint. The better the flow of energy, the more easily the kundalini can rise.
To get into this pose, you step into a nice deep lunge. Keep the front leg in a fairly deep bend, but make sure you knee stays over your ankle. If you over extend the knee beyond the foot and ankle, you open yourself up to injuries caused by joint instability. One way to solve over extension in the lunge is to step out with your feet further apart. If you are flexible enough to over extend you are flexible enough to step more openly and do the pose more correctly. It will be harder to keep your balance as the feet move further apart, but you will build more strength and improve your flexibility when you do. So its worth it to go ahead and take wide lunges.
Keep your hips fully turned in the direction of your front knee and actively drop the tail bone toward the floor,, engaging the abdominal wall to support your back. Doing this should activate your base chakra and begin to draw energy up into the sacral chakra, which is where you want to hold your focus.
Ideally you need to keep your back leg straight, however, its perfectly acceptable to bend the back leg a little until the muscles stretch out, especially if you are having difficulty keeping both hips turned forward. The heel of the back foot can be lifted from the floor, which makes the pose more of a balance and keeps the back leg aligned with the hip and the front leg. Alternatively the heel can be rotated inward to get the foot flat. Rolling the heel in makes balancing easier, but creates a more powerful stretch through the hip.
When your legs are firmly in place, raise your arms over your head and feel the centre of the chest lift. Warrior Pose should be a fairly low pose, but that will all depend on how deep a lunge you can maintain. It may take practice to get into a low warrior pose without arching into the lower back, over extending the knee of the front leg, or rotating the hips open.
The most frequent problem that people have with the warrior pose is a tendency to roll the hips open. If you have your right leg front, you need to actively pull the left hip forward and visa versa.
Crescent Moon Pose
Primary Chakra - Sacral
Secondary Chakra - Solar Plexus, Heart
Begin by stepping out into the lunge, just as you would for Warrior Pose 1. Lower the knee of the back leg to the floor, extend your arms upward, push the hips forward, and feel your centre of balance. This is Kneeling Warrior Pose. Also like warrior pose 1, you want to keep your front knee over your ankle. Lengthen the spine so as not to exaggerate the curve of the lower back.
Crescent Moon Pose is Keeling Warrior Pose with a back arch added. Feel the chest lift up out of the hips and lower back as you go into the arch. This will give you support through the back. Push the hips forward and think of yourself as reaching back and up rather than curving backwards and down. It is more like a lift than an arch, though the back will definitely be arching. As you back into the lifted arch, you should feel the energy surge up from the sacral chakra into the power chakra.
People who have a slipped or collapsed disc, shouldn't perform the crescent moon pose but the kneeling warrior should be fine.
Primary Chakra - Sacral
Secondary Chakra - Heart and Crown
Start by lying on your back. Walk your feet in toward your seat and sink your back down into the floor. You want to try to keep your lower back as close to the floor as possible. The lower back does naturally curve, so you may find it impossible to keep the back completely flat against the floor in this pose. There is nothing wrong with that. It is simply important to remember not to give in fully to the arch, but instead to feel the back always pulling downward.
Keeping the back pulled toward the floor, roll the knees open to the sides, and press the soles of your feet together. Open your arms wide to the sides so that your chest, hips and ribs all feel open. Breathe deeply and allow your limbs to sink further down into the floor. You can relax into this stretch and let gravity do the work for you, as long as you remain aware of the shape of your back.
Goddess pose is very rejuvenating. If you are looking for a method for stress relief, this pose is a good place to turn.
To begin this pose, sit on your heels. Extend the right knee front and the left leg back, the back leg is straight, and the front leg is bent with the knee against the floor. For anyone with serious knee or hip problems, you need to remain there and simply stretch forward.
If you don't have these types of physical difficulties move forward into the rest of the pose.
Rotate the front knee open to the side and the foot of the front leg under your hip.
Rotating the leg open like this often causes people to roll over onto the hip of the forward leg. Make sure you do not allow this to happen. You want to keep the hips level and centred, which for some people will mean that they are raised quite some distance off the floor. If you need to place a rolled towel under the hip of the forward leg to hold you in position more easily.
Making sure to always keep the hips level, walk your torso forward and reach the arms out as far as they will go. Once you have reached out as far as you can, it is fine to relax into the stretch, letting gravity pull you toward the floor. For those who cannot sink down very low in the posture, you may choose to rest your weight on your forearms while you stretch. If you find you need to keep your hips more lifted, you can place a rolled towel under the hip of the forward leg to help you hold in the position more easily.
Since you are stretching and activating several large muscles at the same time in this stretch, you need to hold the pose for a fairly long time to get the full benefit. Hold the pose for no less than 45 second before changing to the other side. As you stretch and lengthen into the pose, you can visualise the bright orange sacral energy warming your lower back and hips. This may help you remain in the stretch.
Warrior 1 Pose
Crescent Moon Pose
Visualise the energy of the kundalini moving around and through the chakra to open and activate.
As with all things this will only come to you with practice.
As with all exercises, if you have a pose that concentrates on one side of the body don't forget to change over and do the pose on the other side of the body.