Well alright! Moving on to the next chakra in our glorious rainbow.
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, the utterly destructive fantasy that I was sold (and is next level now), is that it is of paramount importance to be gorgeous, and YOU CAN BE! Just buy THIS and THAT and bingo – ticket IN. I thought that if I worked hard enough at it, I could LOOK and BE the part. I would be perfect and desirable, like the swimsuit models in my dad’s copy of Sport’s Illustrated. I believed that if I just tried hard enough, bought the right stuff, I could be like them. And dude, I absolutely couldn’t. And I could never forgive myself for that. I always fell short (and continue to).
We were literally indoctrinated when we were kids. And children are sponges. My little Ray watched one of the OG Sesame Streets, and the show had a whole production about how you should drink more milk. And after we turned off the TV, he went STRAIGHT to the fridge, hollering: “I need some milk!” It was seriously creepy. Creepier still: watched it with him and I also wanted some.
Tyranny of Beauty
My latest intrigue is astrology (of which this post has nothing to do, don’t worry). Recently, I was listening to a podcast purportedly about astrology, interviewing a “smart guy”. He has published a couple of books, channeled advanced math shit, recalled past lives, speaks a gazillion languages, is an artist, an entrepreneur, and a generally fancy-pants person, so I guess we care what he has to say, despite him knowing nothing about astrology. On an astrology podcast? All. Righty. Then he talked about launching Juvederm (a filler for the face to decrease lines) for the big pharma company he worked for, and I was like: “Byeee”.
Thanks so much, smarty, for contributing to the problem. Launching the bazillionth product for women who are aging, as if aging itself is a pathology, and making a $101.4 million profit in the first 9 months on the market.
In times gone by, elders were revered, not told they were lacking. Wisdom was a thing. Products like Juvederm are preying on our middle-aged insecurities. I wish the podcaster had called him out. As humorist Samantha Irby says: “Wow. No thank you.”
How can we be ENOUGH, when we are under a constant barrage of advertising that gets smarter and smarter; that uses psychological research to get us to spend?
And listen, I’m not knocking beauty treatments. If you want fillers, OK! Part of me wants to do it all! And if it brings you joy, I say go for it. What I am talking about is the cultural tyranny of beauty. Corporations dictating how we should look and be.
The challenge of the sacral chakra is knowing we are enough, and knowing when enough is enough.
That’s what the sacral chakra is all about. Being enough.
The sacral chakra boils down to knowing that what we HAVE and what we DO are good enough.
The sacral chakra is ALSO about is deciding when to say when.
To be able to recognize when to stop, or when something is enough, is a very important boundary for maintaining health. Knowing where to draw the line will save our health and vitality.
The sacral chakra is about not only knowing that YOU are enough, but also knowing when you have had enough, done enough, bought enough.
The life issue for this chakra is to know that WHO YOU ARE IS ENOUGH. When we do not get acknowledged for what we do, the unconscious inclination is to DO MORE to please them (all the people). But when we know that we are enough, then we make healthy decisions for our well-being.
Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll
The sacral chakra is the center our appetites: sex, food and other yummy pleasures. And the challenge of this chakra is balancing over-doing it with not giving ourselves enough.
Knowing when to say when includes the food and substances we put in our bodies, as well as what we do with our energy. We each have a finite amount of energy to “spend” each day. Do you give it away to people and situations that don’t bring you joy? Figuring out where our physical energy goes on a daily basis can raise our awareness so that we can make conscious decisions about where we would really like to spend it. We can be intentional with our allotted amount.
Balance is the key
If we are too indulgent, we burn up life fuel that are needed elsewhere in the body for repair.
If we hold back too much and deny ourselves of fun times, we become dried up balls of stick in the mud. Finding the balance between control and letting go is essential for this chakra to shine.
We deserve to be happy and to enjoy earthly pleasures
This chakra is also linked to our feelings of DESERVEDNESS. When we feel that we deserve what we want in this life, we treat ourselves well. We give ourselves permission to have the things we want.
The sacral chakra is also interested in our PLEASURE. It deals with our ability to receive and allow pleasure into our lives. What is a pleasure for you? Do you treat yourself to the things you most want? Have you assessed what you want? Indulge ourselves we MUST. I repeat: we MUST indulge ourselves. K??
ALSO the need for balance is there. So we prolly have to choose one pleasure over another, and take several factors into account. We need to ask ourselves questions like: how expensive is this (in money and/or energy)? How much pleasure does this bring me? Is this going to come back to bite me? Is this my favorite thing or can I pass?
The sacral chakra is right above the root
The sacral chakra is in the sacrum, the bone that connects the lumbar spine to the tailbone and lower pelvis. It corresponds to the reproductive organs (ovaries, testes), kidneys, and adrenal glands.
Modern life has turned us into adrenaline junkies who constantly stimulate. This creates a lot of wear and tear on the body. Our poor adrenal glands! These wee glands sit on top of our kidneys and produce adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones. When we are constantly in fight or flight, these little guys get worn out. And we can get addicted to the adrenaline rush. People touch their phones 2,617 times a day! That’s a whole lotta input coming through. When we make our lives harried, complicated, drama-laden, pleasure is stripped away.
Color: Orange: coming in hot! Full of vital energy, deeply connected with the life force
Symbol: Lotus with six petals
Musical Note: D
Shadow Emotions: Sexual problems, shame, guilt, jealousy
Sensory experience: Taste
Physical Activities: Yoga, dance, swimming, walking
Spiritual Activities: Meditation, fasting, and celibacy
Archetypes tell the story
For the root chakra, the positive archetype is Mom/Nurturer and the negative is Victim. For the sacrum, the positive archetype is the Emperor/Empress and the negative is the Martyr. The empress loves abundance and feeling good, and she knows she deserves it. The martyr deprives herself of the pleasures of life, because she feels cheated of the goodness of life. She forbids herself from having the comfort she wants. The martyr is full of guilt and projects it on others as well, making everyone miserable in the process.
Are we balanced in here?
When this chakra is balanced, we feel physically strong and creative, with a clear sense of who we are and what our purpose is. We can express ourselves freely, both emotionally and sexually, without feeling ashamed or embarrassed about our desires or needs. In addition, we feel empowered and confident when approaching new experiences or challenges.
However, if the sacral chakra is out of balance, we may have some probs. For example, we may find it difficult to make decisions or communicate our needs. We may not even know our needs. This leads to feeling drained of energy or disinterested in activities that we normally like. If this chakra is blocked, we might have feelings of guilt, shame, low self-esteem, and sexual dysfunction.
Signs of a Sacral Chakra Imbalance
True story: all chakras can be either excessive OR deficient. An excess indicates that the chakra is overacting, while a deficiency suggests that it is underacting (again, similar to the doshas). Ideally, our chakras are balanced so we feel as though our needs are met and our bodies and minds are in sync.
Childhood trauma, repressed emotional or creative expression, and sexual dysfunction are all things that can contribute to an imbalance in the sacral chakra.
Excessive Sacral Chakra
Some signs that our sacral chakra is overactive include being overly emotional or needing constant validation from others. We might become selfish or have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. Other signs are overeating and consuming too much food, alcohol, caffeine, or anything, really (Guilty, capitol “G”).
- Feeling overemotional
- Sexual addictions
- Unhealthy attachment to others
- Manipulative behavior
- Use of sex to avoid dealing with emotions
- Mood swings
- Feeling ruled by emotions
- Poor boundaries
Deficient Sacral Chakra
One sign that our sacral chakra might be under-functioning is if we feel emotionally numb or emotionally blocked (there are times we need to be emotionally numb; we cannot always be wide open, let’s recognize that). Other signs could be a lack of sexual desire, impotence, infertility, and difficulty connecting with others on an emotional level.
- Lack of creativity
- Sluggishness and laziness
- Low sex drive
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Inability to express emotions
- Lack of excitement and joy
- Feeling unworthy/unloved
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Controlling behaviour or codependency
- Inability to be spontaneous
- Fear of change
Knowing your BOUNDARIES and LIMITATIONS
While it would be irresponsible to say that our sacral chakra is solely responsible for the person that we eventually “decide” to be (life is multi-faceted, multi-layered, multi-dimensional), this chakra is mightily involved in things like our creativity, our sense of sexuality and even our sense of freedom.
The sacral chakra thrives with a combination of healthy discipline and enough pleasure to counter stress. The body, like a bank account, needs to be replenished. Appreciating our own physicality without becoming compulsive or obsessional conserves energy and creates health. It fills our energy reserves that our system can withdraw from during hard times.
Oh, balance. Why so elusive?
As Ayurveda teaches, each person’s limits are unique. People are sensitive to different substances and experiences and can tolerate differing amounts. Also, we all have personal tastes in terms of what brings us joy. What is good for one person could be poison for another. Think about how an introvert is drained by being around other people and an extrovert is energized by being around other people. We are all rare gems.
The Mythical Monster of the Sacral Chakra. Do NOT piss off.
The crocodile stands for the mythical sea monster that rules the sacral chakra. He reminds us that we need food, rest, exercise and pleasure. When the monster feels deprived of it’s creature comforts, it becomes irritable and unhappy.
Heed the MONSTER!
What the sacral chakra wants from you:
- Honor the physical body – enough food, water, rest and exercise
- Accept the need for pleasure
- Respect your physical limits
- Create good experiences
- Acknowledge your sexual being-ness
- Respect the physical world by keeping your stuff in order and for valuing cleanliness, order and beauty in the home
- Think about where your physical energy goes
- Know that it’s OK to have “appetites” and needs – and give them a place in your life.
- Let yourself HAVE the joys of life. Know that you deserve what you want.
Sacral Chakra Affirmations
(make up your own if these feel clunky!)
- I honor my body and treat myself respectfully
- I attract people who treat me with respect
- I love my life
- I trust my feelings and I express myself
- I am a creature of light
- I love who I am exactly as I am
- I am enough
- I am grateful for the joy of being me
- I welcome sensuality into my life
- It’s my birthright to receive pleasure
- Sex is a sacred connection
- I embrace my vibrant sexuality
- I enjoy pleasure in all areas of my life
- Creating art nourishes my soul
- I honor the sacred body in which my soul resides
- I am comfortable in my body and I treat it with care
- I allow my creativity to flow through me freely
- I breathe in powerful golden light
- Hero’s Pose (Virasana)
- Cat Cow (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
- Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)
- Half splits (Ardha Hanumanasna)
- Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana) – also called horse pose
- Wide legged forward fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)
- Frog Pose (Mandukasana) – hurts so good!
- Seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana)
- Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
- Reclined butterfly (Supta Badha Konasana)
Kundalini Breathing for Sacral Area
See the second kundalini exercise below to use both of these excellent breathing techniques
- Breath of Fire (mouth closed, fast “sniffing” through nose – rapid inhale and exhale)
- Cannon Breath (mouth in a firm “O” shape, breathe through the mouth loudly, keeping inhale and exhale equal)
Kundalini Yoga Exercises for the Sacral Chakra
- Bridge Pose (above, Right) or pelvic lift
- For the Adrenals: Sit cross-legged in Easy Pose. Interlace your little fingers in front of your lower belly, with your thumbs up (above, Left). Now pull the fingers apart in opposite directions and do the breath of fire for three minutes. Next: Stay in Easy Pose and do Cannon breath, relaxing your hands in your lap and breathing loudly through the mouth. Do for 1-3 minutes. This one is fun!
- Sat Kriya, see video