Sacral Chakra Meaning, Location, Color and Element
The second Chakra, also known as the “Sacral Chakra, “Navel Chakra” or “Orange Chakra” (Sanskrit: Svādhiṣṭhāna, in English “One’s own dwelling place”), is located in the area of the pubic bone, just above the genitals. Its main colour is orange, and it is associated with the element of water. It is the chakra of life-force, vitality, passion and creative impulse.
Overview: Sacral Chakra Table
|Names||Sacral Chakra, Svadhistana, Navel Chakra, Orange Chakra|
|Physical location:||At the base of the spinal column, at the level of the coccyx or tailbone. In the front of the body, it is at the level of the pubic bone.|
|Physical systems:||Sexual organs, kidneys and urinary system.|
|Nerve Plexus:||Lumbar Plexus.|
|Psychic aspect:||The unconscious dimension, the store of formless karma including all mental impressions and past lives. The unconscious source of all instinctive drives.|
|Spiritual function:||Involved in and responsible for the awakening of kundalini shakti in the first Chakra.|
A six-petalled vermilion or orange-red lotus. On each petal there is a letter: bam, bham, mam, yam, ram, and lam.
|Energy body:||Pranamaya Kosha|
|Ages of psychological development:||7-14|
|Quest:||A joy of life that lasts|
|Qualities:||Aliveness, Humour, Flexibility, Playfulness, Enthusiasm, Passion, curiosity, and totality.|
|Blocking Fears:||Moral shame, the pain of disappointment, one’s own energies within.|
|Catharsis:||Dancing and celebrating, trance-like states, intense forms of breathing, laughing meditation.|
|Best Bach flowers:||Clematis (to stop daydreaming and focus on the present), Wild Rose (to reawaken interest in life), Olive (to relieve exhaustion), Mustard (to regain joy of life).|
|Foods:||Orange foods, and life-force restoring foods, like nuts and seeds (and nut and seeds milks), Juicy and oily vegetables (like avocado), coconut, low-glycemic fruits (like berries and apples), sprouted grains, and creamy and soupy foods like smoothies.|
|Yoga Asanas:||Cobra pose, Hare pose, Bow (upward wheel) pose, Striking Cobra pose, Energy Block postures (Shakti Bandha).|
Breath of Fire, Surya Bhedi, Bhastrika, Kapalabhati.
The Second Chakra Main Function
The Sacral Chakra is the second of the 7 Chakras and stands for the flow of the creative life force through us. It is the centre of pleasure, enjoyment and passion. It allows us to deeply and intensely experience life as the movement of energy in us in the form of sensation, emotion and sensuality.
The Sacral Chakra is associated with the water element as the second Chakra governs and regulates the flow of energy in and through us: how much does our vital life-force flow within us in the form of energy, emotions, passions, excitements and creative urges? Do we permit this flow? Do we allow ourselves to experience the sensual intensity of life in both pleasure and pain?
The Sacral Chakra is associated with the sense of taste. It is all about a deep sensual experience of the world – about really tasting life. The Sacral Chakra expresses our authentic desire to interact with life in a joyful way, to participate in the creative dance of divine energy, to really feel, enjoy and taste being alive.
Through the Sacral Chakra we open to the experience of pure creative life force within us. Its association with the reproductive glands and organs beautifully expresses this on a physical level: The Sacral Chakra connects us to the fertile flow of life and our ability to become a channel for and expression of the creative force in this universe.
The Sacral Chakra is also associated with those organs which regulate the water balance in our body – another beautiful symbol for its deeper function as a regulator for the flow of energy.
Apart from basic vitality, the Sacral Chakra also governs the domain of emotion. It is the emotions that add the taste and color to the experience of the world, that makes our experience of life intense, real, and sensual.
Naturally the Sacral Chakra also has a strong connection to sexuality, which is yet another way of experiencing life in a sensual way and let our life force flow.
The Sacral Chakra is also the seat of passion in general, one of the strongest forces in us, that can be difficult to tame. Thus it is also considered to be at the root of unconscious desires as an overflow of passion that can transform into desires, addictions and obsessions. Finding the right middle-point between a joyful flow of passion and healthy restriction is the right measure our second chakra seeks.
Open Sacral Chakra
A balanced Sacral Chakra leads to a peaceful, yet passionate love for being alive. It provides the person with a constant sense of vibrating joy, passion, excitement and liveliness, that is not dependent on certain experiences that come and go.
The balanced person fully allows the flow of emotion. He is able to experience all emotion fully, without reservation, precisely because he does not depend on the experience at all. Since life itself is a source of excitement and passion, and is found in abundance in nature and the cosmos, this person is able to feel deeply connected to life’s nourishment and this all-encompassing life-force all the time, and therefore would be addiction-free and desire-free.
Such a person welcomes intense and thrilling peak experiences – like sexual heights, visiting beautiful places, enjoying delicious foods and entering creative ventures – while easily letting them dissolve when they come to their natural end.
Even pains and agonies, inherent in the full experience of life, are fully allowed by such a person – accompanied by a certain sense of curiosity and adventure, as negative experiences too are inevitable and natural part of life.
This person embraces life’s experience as a whole. He does not hunt for pleasure and does not avoid pain. The feeling centre is therefore so alive and breathing that it can sustain all other systems and functions of the body and mind – by providing them the sufficient amount of passion for everything one might be engaged in, from discussion to meditation to ambition-fulfilment.
A person whose Sacral Chakra is open has a deep conscious acceptance for his natural needs and desires and does not suppress them with guilt or shame, yet he is also not dominated by unconscious obsessions and desires. He is taking good care of himself and does not shy away from expressing his needs.
2nd Chakra psychological meaning and function
The second chakra connects us to the joy and wonder of life. While this naturally includes enjoying life and its many phenomena, at a deeper level it means finding the joy in beingness itself.
Thus the psychological themes of Svadhisthana are determined by our relationship to life’s excitement, expressed in issues such as enjoyment, passion and desire.
Life has a vast range of excitements such as peak experiences, intense feelings, adventures, creative ventures, surprises, new revelations and new opportunities. Yet sometimes we completely get out of touch with the feeling that life has something to offer at all. Life then does not seem as a vast range of opportunities and therefore becomes unexciting, dull and boring. In such a state we may feel a decrease of our life- force and even sink into varying degrees of depression.
Reconnecting again with our life-force and the vision of an exciting life is a great theme of the second Chakra. Of course, sometimes this suppression of our life-force is caused by a subtle feeling that we are not meant, or do not deserve, to enjoy life in totality, and that too much happiness is almost illegitimate. In such a case, we will need to remove the sense of restriction and allow the flow.
On the other end of the scale, when we allow our wish and drive for stimuli and thrill to overflow, our second Chakra might tend towards an excessive or compulsive indulgence in pleasures and feeling, eventually taking the form of desires and addictions.
Thus, the whole psychological learning within our second Chakra is about the cultivation of our positive passion, which leads us to find enjoyment, beauty and excitement in the healthy range of life’s experiences – and finally in existence itself.
Sacral Chakra Imbalance
The unbalanced Sacral Chakra is an intense decrease of a person’s interest in life – a ‘drying out’ of joy, passion enthusiasm and deep feeling. Life has lost its taste and juiciness and becomes dry, flat and cold.
As such life becomes a set of duties and pressures. Everything is something one “should” do, and even when one wants or craves something, it is just in order to fill some hole inside that never seems to be satisfied. Delicious food might be consumed, but without deep satisfaction; sexual indulgence might be experienced in abundance, but without true joy. Pleasures then become rather mechanical and artificial, and actually one turns to them because life seems so boring.
Such an intense decrease of passion for life can be caused by many factors. Traumatic experiences can lead one to conclude that feeling is dangerous and experimenting can cause pain. Moral imprints taken in in early childhood through educators such as parents, religious figures and teachers, can make one treat life as a place of reward and punishment. The general pressures and expectations of life, like family obligations, stressful work and time management, can lead a person to feel that life is duty.
In such a state, one disconnects from the general flow of life-force that natural life and life in the cosmos provide in abundance. There is a an intense narrowing down of the experience of life into a set of repetitive acts and habits, and one begins to take for granted the very mysterious experience of life itself. Nothing seems new, surprising or adventurous. Everything is predictable, including the experience of pleasure.
Depression can arise out of different experiences, which we interpret as life’s message to us that we must not experiment and test life’s possibilities too much. Disappointing experiences, like enjoyment that ends in pain, seem to imprint in us the feeling that life’s intensity is dangerous. Then we might minimise the intensity of our feeling, even preferring to remain dull and indifferent so that we cannot feel too much; throwing away both pleasure and pain from our body-mind system.
Sometimes other people’s excessive desire was fulfilled at our expense, like in the case of sexual abuse and people who drove us to their own peak experiences. This can further evoke in us the sense that we should not trust the intensity of life, particularly the one that is expressed in sexuality and physical intimacy.
Shutting down our feeling centre can take place also because of moral suppression, shame and guilt. The feeling that desires are improper and even “dirty” can lead us to turn off our positive passion too. Often, instead of positive passion we narrow down our possibilities and limit our excitement to one experience or substance. In this way, the whole of life seems rather unexciting, while only one experience or substance – such as pornography, drugs or extreme sports – seems worthy of experiencing and anticipating. This is where addictions and compulsions enter into the picture, depleting the reservoir of life-force in our second Chakra and making us depend on one experience or substance as the sole source of feeling and liveliness for our body and mind.
Psychological and spiritual Symptoms of a blocked Navel Chakra
Psychological and spiritual symptoms of the blocked second Chakra are depression and addiction.
One doesn’t find excitement in waking up in the morning; there is no energy and one often needs to drag oneself out of bed. Since life seems like a list of duties, there is a general feeling that “nothing exciting is going to happen today”. Excitement is only on very special occasions, such as going on a holiday, a new and exciting lover, or promotion in work.
Other than that, pleasures are more like artificial and predictable stimulations, like pornography, sweets and TV entertainment. The feeling centre is reduced into predictable responses to stimuli. There is no sense of life’s beauty: the blue sky is not noticed; people, even dear ones, are mostly taken for granted, as objects rather than a living phenomenon; meditation is more like a duty or an urgent need for relaxation, and mostly one’s prediction is fully verified and one goes to bed at night with nothing truly new that has happened during the day.
There is a general sense of low energy. The body might seem healthy, but the flow of life- force would be inhibited, and so the body-mind system would not be able to breathe fully. The outcome is that one can find energy reserves within oneself in a very limited and technical measure. Life is not overflowing within oneself, and the sense is that enthusiasm for daily tasks is derived from one’s energy reserves as if it were a “gas tank” – rather than a true and happy source of connection to life.
Physical Systems affected by the Sacral Chakra
The physical systems affected by the Sacral Chakra are, first and foremost, the reproductive and sexual organs: in the case of the male body, this includes the prostate gland, testicles and penis, and in the case of the female body this extends to include the uterus, ovaries and vagina.
Aside from that, the second chakra affects the kidneys and the urinary system as well as the adrenal glands. In terms of nerve network, the Sacral Chakra governs the lumbar plexus.
Physical Symptoms of a blocked Sacral Chakra
Any type of disruption in the urinary system, kidneys function and sexual organs may be considered psychosomatically-related to imbalance of the second chakra.
Disruption of urinary function as well as kidney function can be thought of as the physical parallel of all issues that revolve around flow. It is when life’s “juices”, so to speak, do not flow properly in the system of body and mind, or overflow excessively, that this can manifest in physical form as inflammations and inhibitions within these two systems that regulate the flow of water, and fluid in general, within the body.
When it comes to the sexual organs, mental, emotional and energetic depression or over- excitability can manifest as sexual dysfunctions: from impotence to numbness to pain in intercourse to premature ejaculation to the psychosomatic layer of Prostatitis (continuous pains extending from the area of the prostate gland). Sexual repression can also be responsible for unexplained pains in both lower abdomen and sexual organs. Infertility and difficulty to conceive may sometimes have a psychic layer caused by issues around one’s capability of taking part in life’s creative flow.
Sacral Chakra healing – Unblocking the sacral chakra
The key to Second Chakra Healing is correcting one’s relationship with enjoyment, joy and excitement. First and foremost, in the case of depression one would need to clear away the lasting impact of experiences that mixed enjoyment and pain; any experiment with life’s pleasures and experiences which ended in great disappointment and the conclusion that one must not let the flow of life move freely within the body and mind.
At the same time, we need to remember that at the base of such experiences what caused them to be lasting traumas is that we carried within us the expectation that life would only bring us enjoyment and pleasure without pain. We would like to guarantee that any experiment would lead us safely to pure enjoyment and satisfaction. However, pain is the other side of the coin, and dependency on experiences that come and go, in the hope that they are our source of joy, is truly the cause of our disappointment.
2nd Chakra Healing also needs the courage to re-experiment, even when there is the fear of failure and a strong wish to let go and withdraw. One should not avoid life’s experiences and rather needs to shake off the dust, stand on one’s feet again and let the flow happen.
Meditations and practices that enhance a direct connection with the life-force in the form of Prana or Chi can lead to the feeling that one’s connection to the life-force and to life’s nourishment does not come out only of specific conditions and peak experiences.
Healing the Sacral Chakra depends a lot on one’s capacity to feel joy even in just being alive. Learning to appreciate simple things and not only great and ultimate experiences is a major lesson in the process of healing. In addition, learning to appreciate the beauty of life all around, connecting to nature and finding the life-force pulsating in the moon, the trees, dogs and rivers can make one feel that nourishment is not gained only through special experiences.
Returning to the true source of nourishment, liveliness and joy within and without, also takes place through the process of letting go of addictions and obsessions. When there is the hope to get in touch with life’s sweetness through sweets, or with life’s beauty through sexual objects, one needs to redirect this confusion out of the understanding that all these are just symbols of a much deeper longing.
In general, one needs to heal the fundamental restriction which inwardly whispers that one shouldn’t feel overjoyed and overly happy. This restriction too can cause such addictions and compulsions.
Opening the Sacral Chakra
Opening Svadisthana is deeply related to a total freedom from all types of experience to feel happy. Since the human condition is all about hunting for pleasure and avoidance of pain, one needs to get out of the cycle and find the joy of simple being in the world and in the cosmos.
This joy is not necessarily an extreme experience and it is found in the feeling that life’s energy can overflow in this very moment. This puts a lot of emphasis on what is called in the traditions “Prana” or “Chi”-enhancing practices: making the “breath of life” grow and expand at the expense of experiences and pleasures.
The opening of the Sacral Chakra takes place by shifting from many types of pleasures to one and only type of pleasure, which is the very joy of being. For example, the high expectations put on the experience of sexual orgasm are caused by our wish to experience totality and ecstatic expansion, but when we realise that totality is an approach and ecstasy is an inner feeling that can continuously flow, we can drop unrealistic expectations from the sexual area of life.
Opening of the second Chakra has a lot to do with connecting with “real life”, as it is flowing below and above our thinking process. Life as found in nature and in the cosmos is always overflowing with joy and ecstasy. That is why communion with nature through meditative and Shamanic practices can make us feel the deeper harmonies of the life-force as it is flowing within and without.
Sacral Chakra Meditation
The meditations which are more suitable for the second Chakra are the life-enhancing type: any spiritual practice that causes us to feel the joy and ecstasy of life itself.
This includes all types of breathing practices which make us breathe more fully and enrich our body and mind with both subtle and gross prana. The various Yogic types of breathing exercises called “Pranayama” are excellent for that, but also any Chi-enhancing practices such as Chi-Kong or Tai Chi are deeply nourishing for the Sacral Chakra.
Aside from that, spiritual celebrations, trance-like experiences, ecstatic dancing and ecstatic group rituals, are all second Chakra awakeners. The Shamanic range of practices which celebrates our connection with nature are also very suitable. Laughter meditation – finding our inner smile and following it through, letting it relieve all of the muscle tensions as well as the suppression of the life-force – is highly recommended. Practices of transforming sexual energy into a more refined type of awareness and meditation, such as Tantric sex, can assist in learning how to constructively work with our sexual passions for the sake of deeper joy.
The second chakra is the chakra of joy. Yogic scriptures warned against the temptatious and addictive nature of this Chakra as a severe hindrance to spiritual evolution. However, when the second Chakra is properly balanced and awakened, it can cover our life with unconditional joy that makes us love what we do and in general, love being alive.
In such a state, meditation is enjoyment, and even the daily routine is underlain by a delicate and sweet sense of happiness. For this reason, using the Sacral Chakra to find the inherent joy of life within is vital for the fulfillment of our body, mind and spirit.