The sacral chakra (svadhisthana chakra in Sanskrit) is the second of seven major centers of concentrated energy located in the body. It is also referred to as the second chakra or orange chakra.
In yogic philosophy, the chakras are located along the spinal column. They begin at the base of the spine and ascend to the crown of the head. Each chakra controls specific aspects of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
In this post, we’ll explore all aspects of sacral chakra and how they influence the body, mind, and spirit. You’ll also get some basic information on how to connect with, open, heal, and balance your svadhisthana chakra.
Table of Contents
What is the sacral chakra?
In Sanskrit, swa means “one’s own” or “self,” and adhisthana translates to “abode” or “seat.” Accordingly, svadisthana translates to “one’s own abode.” Another interpretation of the Sanskrit term is the “dwelling place of the self.”
The second chakra governs our emotions, sexuality, social connections, sense of balance, movement, and creative flow. It’s associated with the element of water, the color orange, the sense of taste, and the Hindu god Vishnu and the goddess Rakini.
What does the sacral chakra control?
As mentioned earlier, each chakra governs energy related to particular attributes of our physiological, psychological, and spiritual selves. Here are some of the associations of svadhisthana chakra with different facets of our lives:
Sacral Chakra and the Body
Svadhisthana chakra is located near the base of the spine, directly above muladhara (the root) chakra. Its kshetrum, or corresponding trigger point on the surface of the body, is at the pelvic bone near the base of the sexual organs.
In the physical body, the second chakra is related to our:
- sexual organs,
- reproductive system,
- circulatory system,
- lymphatic system,
- and eating and sleeping cycles.
The second chakra is also connected to the:
- lumbar area,
- and womb.
The sacral chakra also has a corresponding sensory organ, which is the tongue.
The Sacral Chakra and the Mind
The sacral chakra is connected to our sense of ease and harmony with ourselves. It also governs these aspects in how we relate to others and the world around us. In addition, it’s connected to our emotional processes, desires, and libido. Furthermore, second chakra energy controls our sense of creativity, imagination, joy, and balance in life.
The Sacral Chakra and Spiritual Evolution
The second chakra is our base for exploring human life beyond just meeting our primal needs. For one, it facilitates movement and our ability to change. It also helps us to “go with the flow” in our daily lives. Furthermore, a healthy sacral chakra enables us to consciously manifest our desires in life while staying true to our spiritual path.
Svadhisthana is also responsible for storing memories and emotional tendencies from our current and past lives. Because of this, a balanced second chakra prevents us from getting stuck in past behavioral patterns. It can also help to facilitate mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Sacral Chakra Symbol
Each of the major chakras is represented symbolically by a lotus flower in the form of a mandala. These seven energy vortexes and their symbols correspond to a specific color of the rainbow.
The svadhisthana chakra symbol is an orange lotus flower with six petals. The six petals stand for the six negative aspects of the mind that we can transcend in order to “purify” the sacral chakra. These negative aspects are hatred, anger, jealousy, lust, cruelty, and pride.
The center of the sacral chakra mandala contains two concentric circles that come together to form a crescent moon. The circles and the symbolism of the moon both represent the element of water and divine feminine energy. Accordingly, they are often interpreted to symbolize movement, flow, and the cyclical nature of life.
The color orange is associated with energy, vitality, warmth, happiness, and pleasure. In Hinduism, orange also represents purified energy. This is one theory of why monks, swamis, and spiritual renunciates often wear saffron-colored robes. On a vibrational level, the frequency of the color orange corresponds to the frequency of the second chakra.
Signs of a Healthy Sacral Chakra
When a chakra is in its ideal state, we fully embrace each of its positive qualities. Therefore, a healthy svadhisthana chakra is associated with:
- Comfort in your own body
- Balanced emotions
- Creativity and inspiration
- Healthy relationships
- Ability to move, change, and adapt easily in different situations
- Pleasure, joy, and harmony
Signs Your Sacral Chakra Is Blocked or Imbalanced
The chakras are moving wheels of energy that are connected through various energetic channels. Therefore, when one chakra is blocked, overactive, deficient, or otherwise not functioning at its optimum, it affects the flow of prana. This is our vital life force energy, which can affects all aspects of our selves.
Physical, mental, and emotional occurrences or patterns can all affect the sacral chakra. By recognizing the signs of a second chakra imbalance, we can identify issues at their source in order to heal.
Physical Signs of a Sacral Chakra Imbalance
- Lower back pain
- Kidney stones
- Sexual or reproductive disorders
- Hormone imbalances
- Hip tightness or injuries
Mental and Emotional Signs of a Sacral Chakra Imbalance
- Addictive behavior
- Emotional imbalance
- Low self-esteem, shame, guilt, or depression
- Overactive or underactive sex drive
- Lack of creativity
- Boredom in life
How to Open the Sacral Chakra
Fortunately, there are many different ways to guide svadhisthana chakra into a healthier state. Techniques for balancing, healing, or activating and opening the sacral chakra include:
- Dietary or lifestyle changes
- Working with crystals, oils, or other therapies
We’ll discuss details about connecting with and healing the second chakra in the following sections.
Sacral Chakra Mantras
Mantras are sounds, words, or phrases that help us to focus the mind and connect to specific vibrational patterns. To practice the following mantras, either chant them aloud or repeat them silently in your mind. You can do this while focusing on the sacral chakra or a second chakra quality that you would like to practice or balance.
In yoga, each of the main chakras is associated with a one-syllable bija mantra or “seed sound” that vibrates at a unique resonance. By chanting a bija mantra, we attune to its corresponding chakra.
The bija mantra for svadhisthana chakra is vam (pronounced to rhyme with mom).
In Hinduism, gods and goddesses represent different aspects of our own selves. The sacral chakra is related to the divine feminine force of flow within us. Thus, chanting mantras that invoke Hindu goddesses can help to strengthen the sacral chakra.
As mentioned earlier, the sacral chakra is represented by the goddess Rakini, who embodies pleasure, joy, and the synthesis between our inward and outward experiences in life. Thus, one example of a powerful goddess mantra for stimulating svadhisthana chakra is om rakini namaha.
Kundalini yoga is specifically geared toward cleansing and balancing the energetic body. Therefore, kundalini practices typically place a lot of emphasis on working with the chakras. The kundalini tradition recommends various mantras for each chakra.
Here are a few examples of mantras for the sacral chakra:
- Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru
- Sat Narayan Wahe Guru
(for inner peace)
- Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo
Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo
Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Namo
Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo
(for invoking the divine feminine)
Sacral Chakra Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements that help us to align our bodies and minds with a given intention. To work with an affirmation, you can speak it out loud, write it down, and/or repeat it mentally.
To balance the second chakra, an affirmation can be something very general like, “My sacral chakra is balanced.” However, it’s also helpful to craft a unique affirmation that resonates with your personal desires. Furthermore, writing an affirmation can stimulate svadhisthana chakra on its own since it’s an act of creativity.
Here are some examples of affirmations to strengthen sacral chakra imbalances:
- I honor my desires
- Sensuality is welcome in my life.
- I am flexible, adaptable, and open to change.
- All that I am is in perfect harmony.
- I deserve absolute and unconditional bliss.
Sacral Chakra Stones and Crystals
In general, crystals and stones of the symbolic color of each chakra tend to support that chakra. Therefore, second chakra stones are primarily orange, and include:
- Tiger’s eye
- Orange carnelian
Furthermore, aragonite star clusters are also known for balancing sacral chakra imbalances. As a healing crystal, they help us to balance our emotions and find harmony with nature.
When using crystals or stones for balancing svadhisthana, you can carry them in pockets near the sacral chakra. Or you can place them directly on your body below the navel.
Sacral Chakra Essential Oils
Oils derived from citrus fruits, flowers, or other subtle scents are conducive to second chakra health. They can help to invoke uplifting, sensual, or calm states of being. Oils extracted from plants, such as orchids, that have aphrodisiacal qualities are also useful for balancing the orange chakra.
There are various methods for using essential oils for aromatherapy. However, for connecting with svadhisthana, try massaging oils into the lower back or navel, or adding a few drops to a warm bath.
Recommended essentials oils to balance the sacral chakra include:
- Ylang ylang
- Sweet orange
Sacral Chakra Meditation
Meditation or guided concentration exercises are a great tool for balancing any chakra or area of life. Specific techniques for working with svadhisthana chakra include:
Connecting with Water
As you come into a meditation posture, imagine sitting near a large, moving body of water, such as a waterfall, ocean, or river. As thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations arise during your meditation practice, let them be carried away by the water’s flow. In this way, you can release stagnant mental energy and stay present in each new moment.
Focus on the color orange or imagine an orange light glowing below your navel center. Set the intention for this light to heal any sacral-related imbalance.
Either chant or mentally repeat one of the sacral chakra mantras or affirmations above. As you do so, maintain your focus on the orange chakra or its qualities.
A quick internet search can provide scripted relaxation or meditation exercises to improve or heal specific areas of life associated with svadhisthana chakra.
Sacral Chakra Mudras
The Sanskrit word mudra translates to “seal.” Although in yoga, we commonly associate mudras with symbols or gestures made with the hands, some mudras are formed using different parts of the body. Here are some examples of mudras that strengthen the sacral chakra:
Shakti mudra stimulates the sacral area of the body and strengthens the feminine qualities that comprise a healthy second chakra. To practice this mudra, bring your hands together in a prayer position and fold your thumbs into your palms. Then, wrap your index and middle fingers around each thumb. Keep your ring fingers and pinky fingers extended upward. You can hold this mudra in front of your heart or rest your hands in your lap, aiming your fingers down at the sacral area.
Thumb to Little Finger
The little finger represents the element of water. Thus, touching the thumb and little finger together can help you to ease into the flow of life, connect with your emotions, and invoke your creative potential.
Ashwini mudra is an example of a mudra made with the body as opposed to the hands. To practice ashwini mudra, begin with a deep inhalation. Retain your breath as you contract and release and then contract your anal sphincter muscles. You can do this quickly – —one or two contractions per second – and continue for as long as it’s comfortable to hold your breath in. After you exhale, breathe naturally for a few moments.
For those unfamiliar with yoga, practices like ashwini mudra might seem uncomfortable or strange. However, we tend to store energy in the lower body. So, exercises involving the base of the spine and the areas around our pelvic floor are incredibly powerful for clearing blockages and directing pranic flow.
Yoga for the Sacral Chakra
In general, any yoga posture that stretches or strengthens the hips, groin, or lower back will stimulate the second chakra. Additionally, by breathing deeply and directing your awareness on svadhisthana chakra, you will enhance the effects of each position.
Some examples of basic yoga postures that can be practiced by people of all ages, body types, and levels of fitness include:
Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)
Begin in a wide-legged stance with feet turned slightly outward with your hands on your hips. Inhale deeply, bringing your hands together in a prayer position in front of your heart. As you exhale, sink your hips into a squat (as far as is comfortable). Then, lengthen your spine and direct your awareness to svadhisthana chakra as you continue to breathe.
Reclined Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Begin in a comfortable position on your back with your feet planted on the ground underneath your knees. Carefully guide the soles of your feet together, keeping them as close to your hips as is comfortable. Let your knees fall away from each other towards the Earth. If your hips are tight, you can use cushions to support your thighs and knees. Relax your upper body and breathe deeply. As you rest in this posture, connect with the space around your hips and sacral area. Be mindful of any thoughts or emotions that come up by focusing your attention on the second chakra.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Sit on the ground or near the edge of a thin cushion with your legs extended out in front of you. Flex your toes towards your body as you press your thighs down towards the Earth. With a straight spine, inhale and extend your arms up. As you exhale, slowly fold forward, hinging from your hips. Grab your toes, ankles, or calves. Then, completely relax your upper body. As you breathe deeply, notice any areas of comfort or discomfort and release any tension you’re holding onto.
For those familiar with yoga, flowing from posture to posture (i.e. vinyasa-inspired sequences) can also help you to tap into your inherent sense of flow as you stimulate svadhisthana chakra.
Sacral Chakra Healing
Apart from the previously-mentioned ways to connect with the second chakra, it’s also possible to work through chakra imbalances with various healing modalities. These include:
Professionals in fields such as reiki, breathwork, hypnosis, and emotion-focused therapy (EFT) can all diagnose and heal issues related to the sacral chakra.
Dancing helps move stagnant or “stuck” energy in general but is particularly beneficial for cleansing svadhisthana chakra. This is because when we dance, we are forming constant connections between our minds, bodies, and environment in each moment.
In general, any movement that makes you feel good is good for you. However, for those looking for guidance, conscious-dance practices like ecstatic dance, 5Rhythms, butoh (Japanese dance theater), and Contact Improvisation are all worth exploring.
Eating orange foods, particularly those that grow in the ground (like pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, and butternut squash, is nourishing to the body and promotes a balanced sacral chakra. Orange citrus fruits, mangos, melon, passion fruit, and peaches also help to heal svadhisthana.
Additionally, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, coconut, seeds, and nuts nourish the second chakra. Since the orange chakra is related to the element of water, drinking lots of fluids benefits svadhisthana health as well.
The vibrational power of sound can influence each chakra according to its own vibrational frequency. Thus, sound healing techniques, like using singing bowls or gongs or listening to binaural beats, are especially helpful for chakra balancing. Voice is also a powerful way to work with each chakra. In fact, there’s an entire practice called “chakra toning” that was developed for this purpose. The sacral chakra corresponds to the note of “D,” and the Solfeggio frequency of 417 Hz.
Submersing ourselves in the element of water helps emotions to emerge and flow out of us. Thus, spending time connecting to water – regardless of whether you choose a river, ocean, or your bathtub – is therapeutic to svadhisthana chakra.
Obviously, bathing on its own is an act of cleansing. However, to work with your sacral chakra, you can set up an indoor or outdoor bathing ritual to purify or wash away anything that might be preventing it from functioning at its optimal level. There are no set rules to this. Feel free to get creative with scenery, music, crystals, scents, or anything else that allows you to connect with your sacral chakra.
During any healing process, keep in mind that the most effective way to balance your chakras (and, therefore, your entire being) is through intention, mindfulness, and a healthy lifestyle.