Whether or not we allow them to, sometimes our desires dominate us. We think we need stuff – material possessions or status to feel good about ourselves. But the satisfaction is fleeting and we are still left for wanting more.
Instead, what we really need is to come home to ourselves. When you are feeling like you’re unfulfilled and life has no meaning, you may be needing to nourish yourself.
Nourishment doesn’t just exist on a physical level. There is moving energy within us called Prana. It is an unseen energy that flows into, out of and within the body. Through the Nadis or energy channels, the flow of prana is transmitted to every molecule in the body to align and balance us.
This pranic energy is collected at specific hubs or spinning wheels called Chakras which are located along the axis of the spine – each one a concentrated field of prana that has specific characteristics. Our chakras direct the flow of prana to all of the body systems and, more importantly, allow our energetic flow to connect us with the energy of the universe.
All real healing is based on Prana – the life force energy – and the amount we can keep actively flowing through the Nadis.
The chakra energy that is responsible for our self-nourishment is the sacral chakra. In Sanskrit, it is called Svadhisthana, which means self-abode. As you can see, the orange sacral chakra is located just above the red root chakra.
Last month, I talked about the foundational qualities of the root chakra (in terms of physical security and mental grounding). And, now we will see how this foundational root energy gives rise to the energy of the self-abode. Because both chakras are physically connected – the pelvic floor (root chakra) and the pelvic bones (sacral chakra) – they form the launch pad for the energy to take off skyward.
The sacral chakra is located at the level of the sacrum. Another word for sacrum is sacred. In the yogic view, we see the sacrum as the sacred self.
It is here that we restrict or hold onto feelings over our lifetime. All of us experience emotional trauma and emotional hurts which get buried here and may be difficult to access over time. Emotional trauma can cause the brain to be in fight or flight and over time emotional stress can cause loss of creative potential and a focus on fear rather than love.
We identify the nurturing quality of yoga’s quieting poses with the sacral chakra and its connection to honoring self. Reclined Cobbler’s Pose and Reclined Twist are nourishing postures but they also focus on the hips and the movement of the pelvis. The ideal pose to align the pelvis is Chair Pose or Utkatasana– without overly arching or over rounding your lower spine, you can practice balancing the action of the front and back pelvis until you feel lightness and ease.
It’s interesting to note that people often come to yoga when they are feeling emotionally incomplete – luckily there are many poses and techniques that can assist in generating flow in the sacral area.
For instance, the hand gesture called jala mudra, which is the Sanskrit name for water.
Place the tip of the right thumb over the right little finger using light pressure. The little finger is connected to the water element and also to the kidneys and self-esteem. Extend the other three fingers away. The water mudra energetically relieves congestion. Because it is balancing the water and fluids in the body, upper and lower torso retention and congestion can be relieved.
In the next post I will provide some nourishing essential oils for our 2nd chakra energies…
…until then, if you want to learn more about cultivating sacral energy, come join us at our free zoom class Monday, June 14th at 5pm (PST). I will be accompanied by Chinese Medicine Expert, Kayo Malik as we continue our 7-part series: Yoga & the Chakras. Together, we will explore how tools such as yoga, acupressure and essential oils can balance our energetic centers. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.