The second chakra, called Svadhisthana which means "sweetness" is located in the lower abdomen and is the seat of life and the house of change. It rules over the systems of reproduction and elimination. Imbalance here can manifest as lower back pain, pelvic instability, lack of clear boundaries and even addiction. When balanced we are able to go with the flow of life without resistance or regret. We joyfully engage in creative pursuits and are able to enjoy healthy sensuality without shame.
Location: Lower abdomen
Body Systems: Reproductive & eliminatory
Parts Affected: Pelvis, intestines, lower back
When Excessive: Overly emotional, lack of boundaries
When Blocked: Unable to connect to others
When Balanced: Creative, go with the flow
Mudra: Maha Sacral Mudra (see also Grounding Mudras)
Bija Mantra: Vam
Maha Sacral Mudra
Touch tips of thumbs and little fingers together, then touch the thumbs, little, and ring finger tips of both hands together; extend index and middle fingers, pointing fingers downward in front of lower abdomen.
Benefits: Activates breath in the pelvis, aids digestion and emotional processing
Practice Tips: Use to feel calm and grounded, also helps to process emotions
Adhama Svasa (Soft Abdominal Breathing)
Begin lying down with head and knees supported. Rest hands on abdomen and feel movement of abdomen. Notice fullness in the belly when you inhale and the relaxation in the belly when you exhale. Imagine a balloon in the lower belly that inflates when you inhale and deflates when you exhale and concentrate on the feeling of breath dropping down into that part of your torso with soft transitions between inhaling and exhaling. Emphasize a soft open belly so that the abdominal organs can expand as the diaphragm descends. Repeat for 1-3 minutes.
Benefits: Activates relaxation response, opens Svadhisthana Chakra
Practice Tips: Use when feeling overwhealmed or anxious
Begin seated in a comfortable cross-legged position with the hands resting on the knees. Move abdomen and chest in a circle forward, right, back and left as if you were inside of a barrel and trying to clean out the barrel with your shoulders. Allow the abdomen to expand and contract with your movements and with the breath. Repeat 5-10 times in each direction. This movement awakens Svadhisthana chakra and encourages the stagnant energy in the lower abdomen to be released.
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I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.