Swadhisthana, the ‘residence of the self’ or Sacral Chakra is located in the lower abdominal near the base of the coccyx or tailbone. The name derives from Sanskrit where ‘Swa’ means ‘one’s own‘ and ‘adhisthana’ means ‘dwelling place‘. It is commonly thought of as the center of self, one’s own home but name also implies a sense of pleasure (‘swad’ means ‘take pleasure in’). This chakra is associated with the element of water and represents desire, pleasure, procreation and emotions.
The symbol of the Sacral Chakra is the six petalled lotus with a moon inscribed in the center representing the emotional aspect of this chakra. During the waxing of the moon it is thought that this chakra is most active. It is represented as orange which has the second longest wavelength of 635 nm (and second slowest frequency of 480THz) in the visual spectrum. Its sound is Vam. The Sanskrit syllables on the petals are bam, bham, mam yam, ram and lam.
Swadhisthana acts as the second barrier the rising kundalini faces – it is the seat of unconscious desires, taste and emotions. A well balanced and positive relationship to our Sacral Chakra means it is possible to express our sexuality and feel comfortable in our own skin. This is important for our relationships with other people and ourselves. It can be tricky to move past the Sacral Chakra because this is where all our suppressed desires and insecurities find expression. What was a seed in Muladhara finds life in Swadhisthana and to progress, we really need to clear out the ‘residence of the self’. When we are indulging in too much food, drink, sex or drugs, we are stuck in Swadhisthana and most likely suppressing the emotional issues we need to deal with. To move kundalini further along the chakral system means mastering ourselves first – i.e. being in charge of our emotions and desires which can be extremely difficult in this fast paced and ‘meant to have it all’ world.
In comparison, a balanced Sacral Chakra will mean we are able to balance our desires. We are emotionally centered, able to deal with lifes ups and downs and we express our emotions rather than bottling them up. In this way, we keep energy flowing through our Swadhisthana, rather than keeping our emotions inside and creating a blockage. Our emotional state has a strong impact on the universal energy that we exchange with the All and having a blocked sacral chakra impedes that free flow of energy between us and the greater universe – thus attracting more of the emotional issues that caused the blockage in the first place! Physical signs of blockages here include urinary tract infections, excessive sexual desires or problems/pain during sex, lower back pain and problems with lower organs (kidneys/bladder).
A person of the Sacral type will be extremely creative and experience great joy in the discovery of self and expressing themselves. They like to be moving and dislike stagnation in their life. Sacral women will find fulfillment in motherhood while Sacral men benefit from having both the creative feminine and masculine within them.
Incidentally, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidney and bladder meridians are of the element water and the kidneys are the source of willpower. When we lack willpower, we find ourselves easily succumbing to any temptation which is similar to the emotional weakness of somebody with an impaired Swadhisthana.
The symbolic animals associated with Svadhisthana are the crocodile and fish – both closely related to water.
Oils that work well with the Sacral Chakra are Rosemary, myrrh juniper, sandalwood and jasmine. Plants such as yarrow, parsley and nettle work to stimulate this chakra .Gems such as fire opal and coral can energize the Sacral chakra.
Yoga poses for working on the Sacral Chakra are crocodile pose (makarasana), Standing Tree (versashna) and root lock (Mula Bandha).