Opening the Sacral Chakra

The Sacral Chakra is the home to our sexual energy. It is also the seat of our emotions. Someone with a balanced sacral chakra is warm, open, and friendly. However, they are also comfortable setting boundaries and requiring people to respect them. Sexually speaking, they will be comfortable with their sexual desires and secure in their body. They feel safe being intimate with their partner and they welcome their partner’s fantasies and needs, while still ensuring they protect their own needs and stay firm in their own self.

Someone with an overactive sacral chakra will come across as very friendly and outgoing, but also clingy, demanding and inappropriately affectionate. In the bedroom, they will be a very giving and dynamic lover, but it will feel frenetic and even compulsive. People with overactive sexual chakras can suffer from sexual addiction, or they may give into sexual activity when they really don’t want to, just because they so desire intimacy and someone’s attention and love. They often end up feeling used and empty, causing the vicious cycle to begin again as they desperately seek for the love they crave.

Someone with an underactive sacral chakra will feel cold, removed, and distant. They might imagine that they are always on the outside looking in, watching other people live, love, and play as if they are watching characters in a movie. They feel disconnected, lost and unable to be truly intimate with anyone, even their own spouses. Sexually speaking, they will struggle to reach orgasm. They might feel dirty or ‘grossed out’ by sex and sexual discussions. Although they deeply desire connective, passionate sex, they feel shut down and unable to get past the block of ice within them.

What can cause an underactive/overactive sexual chakra? I find that sexual trauma can cause these issues, for both men and women. Someone who was molested as a young child may grapple with feelings of shame, rage and humiliation. Even though the pain is decades in the past and the person believes that they have ‘moved on,’ that trauma is still stored in their body. Even those who HAVE worked through their pain and those who feel healed and whole again will need to often check in with their sacral chakra to make sure it is in balance. Just like someone who has a past physical injury likely finds that the spot feels tender after too much exertion or a change in the weather, so too will people with past sexual trauma find that their sacral chakra can become blocked during times of stress. Or it could be triggered by something like seeing a rape scene in a movie, hearing about a case of sexual assault in the news, or seeing the name of your rapist on Facebook.

When this happens and your chakra gets overloaded, it is crucial to get into your body and bring balance back to your sacral chakra.

One great way to do this is by opening your hips. Any exercise that you can do to help open your hips (such as swimming, belly dancing, barre, Pilates, etc.) is wonderful, but it is also important to perform yogic hip-opening poses with intention and healing in mind.

Here is an exercise that will help to open your sacral chakra and release stored pain from sexual trauma:

Begin by sitting in butterfly pose on the floor. (Sit firmly on the ground with your tailbone rooted to the ground. Curl your feet in front of you so that the soles of each of your feet are glued tightly together. Lean forward and grasp your feet with your hands, feeling the stretch deep within your adductor longis and your adductor magnus—your inner thighs.) Note: If this pose is too uncomfortable for you, please don’t force it! Instead, simply sit cross-legged. You may put a pillow underneath you if it is too painful to sit directly on the floor.

Now relax your shoulders. Breathe in deeply, imagining that you are pulling the breath from the earth, up through your groin, through your lungs and out your mouth. Continue breathing in this manner. Check in with your facial muscles. Are you clenching your jaw or knitting your brows? Make sure you to keep your face completely loose and relaxed.

Now, I want you to invite your past self into the room. Speak out loud, if you can. Call yourself by name. (For purposes of this exercises, I will use the name ‘Alex.’)

Alex. Alex. Come into this space. Be here now. Bring everything with you. I can take everything that you have. Everything that you are ashamed of. Everything that you are afraid of. I know you are so scared. I can hold that fear. I can hold that hurt. I can be a vessel for all of it. This body is for you, for all of you, even the parts you want to run from right now.

You don’t have to use these exact words by any means. I encourage you to use whatever words feel most natural for you. If speaking out loud is too hard or you don’t have the total privacy you require, you can merely close your eyes and visualize the invitation being said aloud.

Now that you are wholly present and that your trauma is being invited and welcomed, you may suddenly feel incredibly stiff and ‘locked up’. Bring intention to the places in your body that feel cramped and crowded. You may begin to feel as though there is an incredible weight in your lower abdomen. You may even feel like you suddenly need to urinate. Women, you may feel cramp-like or bloated feelings like you sometimes get during your menstrual cycle.

This is all okay. This is good. You’re on the right track. Now it’s time to release that energy and get your chakra back into balance.

Move into downward dog position. (Start on hands and knees. Keep your fingers slightly separated and firmly on the floor. Now gently lift your knees from the floor and press the ground away from you as you lift your pelvis and send your tailbone to sky.) Hold this downward dog for a moment, feeling the stretch down your hamstrings and in your lower back.

Next, take your right leg and lift it slightly off the ground. Bending your knee, tuck it forward and send it front of you. As you do so, gently lower your body to the floor, so that you are left leg is long and flat on the ground behind you, hip secure underneath you. Your right leg should be curled in front of you.

This position is called Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or pigeon pose. Depending on your flexibility, you may opt to keep your arms straight and your hands planted firmly on the floor. But if you are able, I encourage you to lean forward and rest on your elbows. Here you may keep your head facing straight ahead, or gently look down with your neck relaxed if it is more comfortable.

For those who are more advanced and who are really seeking a deep stretch, you may lean all the way forehead and place your head on the ground.

The pigeon pose is one of the main hip-opening positions in yoga, and it will not only feel good physically, but it will also begin to move some energy through that blocked sacral chakra. Settle into the pose and get comfortable. Don’t focus on whether you are stretching enough or lamenting your lack of flexibility. The point of this exercise is not to twist yourself into a pretzel but to get energy flowing through the seat of your sexual desires, your second chakra.

Once you are comfortably in pigeon pose, move your awareness to the hips. As you feel your muscles release and awaken, almost breathing a sigh of relief, imagine that you are releasing more than just muscular tension. As if you are wringing out a sopping wet rag, imagine energy being wrung from out of your sacral chakra, pent-up tension coming out in a natural, loving flow.

When ready, go to back to downward dog pose. Move your left leg in front of you this time, with your right leg firm on the floor. Another wave will hit you. You may feel a sudden spark of energy as if you suddenly hopped into a cold pool. Then, the release. The slow feeling of pain melting away from you. Opening. Breathing. Allowing it all to come, and it all to go.

Hip-opening exercises can be incredibly emotional for some people. Pigeon poses in particular have a reputation for making people cry. If you feel as though tears are coming, just let them flow. Don’t try to stop them. Don’t try to force them. Just witness them. Let them be. Your tears are as natural as the rain that comes from the sky.

Stay in this pose for a few minutes. Now return to downward dog. Finish with a few inhales and exhales. Slowly stand up, letting your upper body hang over for a moment, gently swinging your arms back and forth and bringing energy back through your entire body.

Once you are standing, close your eyes. Notice how your inner thighs feel. They will likely be tingling a little. They are awake. They are open. You may feel lighter, both physically and psychically, as though you have released a weight from deep inside you. Check back in with your lower abdomen. That feeling of cramping or bloating will likely now be gone.

Do this exercise whenever you feel like you need to ‘move’ some sexual trauma or whenever you feel like you need to get back in touch with your true desires, sexually or otherwise.

And you can take the Quantum Love Quiz here to find out more about your chakras and whether your sacral chakra might be under or over active.