A new year is the time where many of us start to reassess and reorganize our lives. Out with the old and in with the new! We try to rid ourselves of bad habits and develop new, healthier habits. Many times it doesn’t take very long before we revert to our old ways, mostly because we haven’t changed the core of what helped us to develop that habit in the first place. For example, our overeating almost never has to do with an insatiable appetite for food, but almost always with a great need to swallow whatever it is we are feeling. To really, truly change the unhealthy behavior we need to go deeper, experience the emotions, and change that core energy. Yoga can help us to do that. Through breath, asana practice, and meditation, we can experience where our energy is stuck and use our practice to help get it moving again. Using our body’s energy system, we can heal our physical and emotional bodies. Often times, the healing comes unexpectedly as our practice progresses.
With all of that in mind, I decided that for the first 7 weeks of 2013 in my adult classes I would focus on balancing one chakra each week. Hopefully then we can all begin 2013 with a bit of a chakra overhaul, putting us in a much better place to fulfill any intentions we have set for the new year. Since the Sacral Chakra is of particular importance as far as overindulging goes, I chose that sequence to share here.
Svadhishthana (Sacral Chakra). “The Dwelling Place of the Self.” Associated with the element of water, it is linked to the moon and the tides. Ebbs and Flows. The Sacral Chakra is home to our likes and dislikes and also to impulse control. If we are unsatisfied with our lives or have addiction problems (with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, or whatever) our sacral chakra is probably out of balance. Rotating and opening the hips and aligning the pelvis can help balance this chakra. (Here is a link to a previous post with more info regarding our body’s energy system, chakras, nadis, etc.)
SACRAL CHAKRA FLOW
- Begin laying on the floor, eyes closed. Put your hands on your belly to feel your diaphragm as your breath moves it up and down. Allow yourself to relax and find your center. If it helps, you can visualize water washing away your worries, fears, etc. to put you in a centered place for your practice. When you are ready, open your eyes.
- Ardha Pavana Muktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
- Supta Padangusthasana(Reclining Big Toe Pose)
- Ananda Balasana(Happy Baby)
- Grab hold behind the knees and rock and roll up to seated or just find your way to a seated position.
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Onto hands and knees in table top…wrists under the shoulders, knees under the hips.
- Marjaryasana/Bitilasana(Cat/Cow Flow)
- Chakravakasana (Balancing Table aka Sunbird Flow) Bringing opposite elbow to opposite knee.
- Curl the toes under and press back into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
- Walk the feet forward into Uttanasana (Forward Bend or Rag Doll Pose)
- Face the wide side of your mat and come into Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
- Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Leg Forward Fold)
- Still in the forward fold, walk your hands first to the left leg (pausing) and then to the right coming into Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose or Intense Side Stretch) on each side.
- Coming back to the top of the mat, follow the breath, inhaling arms overhead, exhale swan dive and fold.
- Plant the palms on the mat and step back into Downward Facing Dog.
- Lift the Left Leg up behind you and gently bring it forward between the hands.
- Dropping the left heel to the mat and keeping the wide stance, rise up into *Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2)
- *Trikonasana(Triangle Pose) When following this link to the instructions for triangle pose, please keep in mind that not everyone can or should touch the floor in this pose. Listen to your body. Keeping the shoulders in one plane is more important than touching the floor. That can come with time.
- * Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
- *Anjaneyasana(Low Lunge)
- * Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Half Pigeon Pose)
- From Pigeon, find your way back into Downward Facing Dog, then lift the right leg and bring it forward between the hands, practicing all of the poses with * on the right side.
- Find your way back up to standing to practice your balancing pose.
- Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
- Straddle your mat and come intoMalasana(Yogi Squat or Garland Pose)
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Parighasana (Gate Pose)
- Come into Plank Pose and slowly lower to the floor.
- Flow into and out of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) with the breath. Inhale and lift up, exhale and lower. 5x
- Press back into Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Come up to seated and then slowly lower to a reclining position.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) Flow into and out of bridge with the breath. Inhale and lift the hips, exhale and lower them. 5x and then hold in Bridge for 5 breaths.
- Supta Matseyandrasana (Reclining Spinal Twist)
- Inversion of your choice.
- Come into your relaxation pose of choice, maybe Savasana or maybe Supta Baddha Konasana for this sequence.
- Close the eyes and focus on the breath. Allow yourself to become heavier with each exhalation. Visualize the color orange as it appears to you in your lower abdomen. (The Sacral Chakra is about 3 inches below the navel.) Each time your mind wanders, bring it back to that orange color in your abdomen.
* This is a long sequence, so take bits and pieces of it as you need. Hold each pose for at least 5 breaths. I did not post pictures, since that would have taken me FOREVER, but each pose has a link to a picture of the pose and a step-by-step description of how to do the pose. Click this link for a PDF version of this flow…Sacral Chakra Flow
Here we explored the asanas that, with focused intention, can help balance just one chakra. What about the others? MindBodyGreen shared this video that artfully moves through each of the 7 chakras. This teacher covered her hands and feet in the paint color that corresponds to each chakra. I am truly fascinated by the chakra system and I Pin and Tag all that catches my eye or touches my soul. This video did both. Love, love, love it and wanted to share!