For the month of June, Yin Yang Yogis has brought their attention to the sacral chakra. This second chakra is located in the region of your naval, lower abdomen and back, and sexual organs. A balanced sacral chakra leads to a yogi with freely-flowing yet balanced emotional health. An overactive sacral chakra may manifest as someone who is overly emotional, while an underactive one can lead to someone who has a hard time interpreting or expressing emotions. In addition, other areas such as relationships, money, warmth, and creativity may also be affected by the sacral chakra.
You’ll notice that someone with a balanced sacral chakra has the ability to just go with the flow, and who doesn’t want that? So, let’s get into it and bring balance to our chakra! Today, we’ll cover Happy Baby pose, a deep hip opener that gets right into this second chakra. This pose is incredibly accessible to yogis of all kinds, though since it is a mild inversion those with excessively high blood pressure may choose to avoid it.
To come into the pose, begin by lying on your back. Hug your knees to your chest and reach around the legs to grab the soles of the feet (or alternatively the ankles or backs of the legs) which each hand. Spread the feet so that they are over top of the knees. This is one of the few Yin poses that can use a little muscle strength (Just joining us? You can learn about the principles of Yin here.). The hips are a very powerful area that sometimes gravity alone can’t penetrate. If you are in the pose and are at your “edge” no muscle activation is needed. If you’re here and not really feeling much in your hips, apply some pressure to the feet (or whatever you’re holding onto) until you’ve reached a sensation of light discomfort and not pain. You may find that after a few minutes of this, you’ve opened the hips enough to allow gravity in and no longer need the additional pressure. Stay in the pose for two minutes if you are actively pulling, otherwise stay for five.
To come out of the pose, simply release the feet down to the mat with your knees bent. Lye here for a moment and notice any new sensations. When you’re ready, release the feet out in front of you so you are lying flat and begin to move them from side to side in a windshield wiper fashion to release the hips. A gentle backbend is also a nice complement to Happy Baby. Enjoy this pose two to three times per week to truly reap its benefits.
Photos courtesy of www.yoga.prevention.com, www.healing.about.com, and www.exercise.com