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The Sacral Chakra & Emotions

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Image by Wellford Wellbeing


The toddler years are often referred to as the ‘terrible twos’ because that time of life is often marked by tantrums, defiant behavior, and lots of frustration. It's likely you don’t remember going through this phase of development (just as infancy and the root chakra), but the implicit memories are still there influencing today’s thinking patterns. Yoga calls these thinking patterns samskaras. During these years, the energetic wave of the sacral chakra is in full force and the life imperative is to seek adventure and independence, navigate emotions, and foster creativity.

Another crucial aspect related to sacral evolution is brain development. Humans are born with only the right hemisphere of the brain functioning (the feeling, sensing, imagining part). The transition from infant to toddler (and into elementary school) involves the left hemisphere coming onboard (reasoning, planning, computing). The rate at which this occurs can feel really overwhelming and uncomfortable for a child, hence the acting out. In addition to developing self-will, the young person is also entering a time of great discovery.


In homes affected by addiction and/or other trauma histories, our ability to meet the life imperatives of the sacral chakra- especially emotional regulation- is usually halted. This circles back to the environment not having sufficient resources to support our endeavor. The mantra sent down the generations in my family was ‘stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about’.

As well, the environment now includes a whole new set of people, roles, and rules with the onset of school. Sometimes we find the support we need through teachers who guide and encourage us; sometimes we get the opposite effect from our classmates. Either way, we’re all trying to work out how the heck to navigate these things called emotions. When we don’t have the skills to process them, they get stuck and guess where? Yep, the sacral chakra- hips and pelvis.

The sacral’s element is water. When we embark on a journey of recovery the dam breaks and years of frozen emotions flood through. This is why we feel so deeply and often cry a lot in early recovery (btw ‘early’ recovery means different spans of time for different people). Most of us are just learning how to feel; many are just learning that it’s ok to have the feels at all. Feelings felt like emergencies my first year clean and sober. They don’t now.

Feelings are information. When we develop skills like mindfulness, concentration, and self-reflection (all part of the 8 limbs of Yoga btw) we’re able to digest and eliminate them just like food. For this to happen, first we’ve got to allow ourselves to feel them. We can’t eat them. We can’t shop at them. When we allow their energy to flow, they’re free to rise upward to the fire of the solar plexus and be transformed into digestible bites.


  1. Mantra- I trust my feelings. Mantras are subtle yet powerful ways to redirect energy. Repeating this phrase- I trust my feelings- over and over will communicate to your body that feelings aren’t the enemy.

  2. Food- eat orange colored food (the color of this chakra is orange) like carrots, mango, oranges, sweet potatoes, pumpkin.

  3. Mindful Yoga- a mindfulness based yoga practice gives you the opportunity to really feel what’s going on in your body- just what the sacral chakra needs.

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