Burn the F’n Boats

I’m sorry. I went dark for a few months. I didn’t go to a dark place, don’t worry, but I’ve been absent from all the “things” recently. I’ve been absent from Facebook, email, and even my beloved Instagram. And it has been glorious, but I’ve missed hearing about your summer trips and all of the fun things you’ve been up to. This past “winter, spring, and summer” was one of my busiest retreat and teacher training seasons and it was important for me to take a pause this month. A very big, delicious pause to rest, recharge and enjoy a bit of summer before buckling down again.

womens yoga retreat in oregon

I want to share a moment of insight I had during the Back to Nature retreats in July. For those of you who have not been on the Back to Nature retreat (yet), on our final night we do a fire ceremony. During the fire ceremony, we let go of old stories and dramas and release our old belief structures (fear, self-doubt, etc.) and turn them over to Spirit, Source, Universe, God. It is both cathartic and healing to burn the ties that bind us… all in a safe, supportive circle of strong, beautiful women. And we call in exactly what we need!

I’ve sat in many circles. I’ve been apart of many fire ceremonies. Each one touches on my heart and my soul in a different, unique, and beautiful way. This time was unexpectedly different. I seem to release the same things over and over again in different layers, like peeling back the layers of an onion or bulb of fennel. And what I released was more of the same patterns I continue to work through, but what I called in was even more important! Straight from my soul, with no filter, with no mask, I asked Spirit to “Burn the F’n Boats!” Yep, I swore in circle and I meant it! I meant it wholeheartedly and I still do.

You might be wondering what the heck do you mean by “burn the boats” and if you know where the saying comes from, you might be even more confused. Why is my yoga teacher talking about war strategy? Sun Tzu shared the strategy in the ancient military treatise, “The Art of War”, Alexander the Great used the strategy when his Greek army arrived in Persia, and as the legend goes, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez also employed the strategy when he arrived in Mexico in the 1500s. Okay, and…Burning the boats removes the escape plan, the fall back plan, it removes the thought, “well if things don’t work out, I can (fill in the blank with xyz)” Don’t get me wrong, having a plan B is a great idea BUT if our fall back plan isn’t painful enough or scary enough we don’t give our all to achieving our goals, dreams, desires. When plan B is pretty cushy we stay in the status quo, we fall back into old habits, we procrastinate on our dreams, we don’t push as hard through the tough times, we don’t do the hours to make our dreams our reality. Our dreams are ours. Let’s take ownership over them. When you burn the boats you ignite a burning desire to succeed, you light a fire under your own bum! You say YES to living the life you want. A healthier life. A joyful life. An inspired life. You make it priority number one. There is no other choice.

So why am I telling you all this? I’ve always felt like I do a “pretty good job” getting things done, but if I’m really being honest, I spend a lot of my time distracted, messing around on YouTube and social media, cleaning the house when I don’t need to, pinning on Pinterest, excessive planning… when I could be a bit more focused. And this next stage of life requires that I am all in and that I do, in fact, burn the boats! I want to stay connected with my yoga tribe. I want to travel more. I want to spend more time with the people I love. I want to spend more time in nature. So what does that mean?

1) We’re moving… again. (Myself, Steve and our furbabies will be back in Bend in October)

2) Finding Thrive, my online course rooted in Ayurvedic self-care practices and habit evolution launches in January 2020. If you’re feeling stuck with your diet, your sleep, your lifestyle… this course is for you. I don’t even know if I can call it a course because it’s so much more… you’ll learn the tools you need to succeed, you’ll have access to an awesome support tribe (let’s be honest– we can’t do it on our own), and you’ll receive one-to-one and group coaching. <3 More details will be available by the end of September.

3) Online Yoga Teacher Training starts in February 2020 (If money is tight, please reach out. I will be offering a few spots at a special *very discounted* rate for beta testers. You get to take the online course for cheap, in exchange, you give me feedback about what you liked/didn’t like from each module.) More details will be launching soon.

4) My YouTube channel will be blowing up with new yoga practice videos, meditations, yoga nidras and tutorials, starting ASAP. Check it out!

5) I would love to come visit you and maybe even host a workshop at your favorite local studio. <3 Nowhere is off-limits. Email me!!!

6) My 2020 Retreat schedule is coming together nicely.

Love and Light,


Padma Mudra: A mudra to honor your inner beauty and light

Lotus Seal

Padma mudra, is known as the lotus mudra or lotus seal and it is a beautiful mudra to incorporate into a meditation or asana practice. In Sanskrit, padma is commonly translated as lotus. My favorite translation is “sacred lotus”. The sacred lotus is a reminder of the divine within and our own inner beauty and light.

Lotus flowers grow abundantly in South Asia and Southeast Asia. (pic by Dietmar Dorsch)

Lotus symbolism and imagery is common throughout Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. A lotus flower takes root down in the muck and mud and rises up through the water to blossom unscathed at the water’s surface. You can think of the path of the lotus as the journey to enlightenment. It is the journey from the darkness to the light.

The mud and muck represent our ego, our habits, our stories, our dramas. It represents life’s challenges, our shadow, and even inertia. The water through which the lotus must rise is cleansing and purifying. It is our yoga practice and our personal development. It takes action and awareness. The lotus flower’s rise from the muck up to the water’s surface requires action, and fortitude, it is a period of growth. And the fully bloomed flower represents our fully awakened self. Pure and beautiful.

Padma mudra is often associated with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the shakti of all types of good fortune and abundance, both spiritual and material. She graces us with the gifts of auspiciousness, grace, compassion and love.

How to Practice Padma Mudra

Lotus mudra
Padma mudra

To practice padma mudra, bring your hands to anjali mudra, or prayer mudra, in front of your heart center with the palms of your hands touching. Keep the heels of your palms touching, your pinky fingers touching and your thumbs touching as you peel the palms of your hands, index, middle and ring fingers away from one another. The three middle fingers of each hand blossom away from one another like a lotus flower in bloom. Hold the mudra for five to ten minutes.

One of my favorite lotus mudra practices puts a little spin on the traditional mudra. Sianna Sherman calls it prayer wheel padma mudra. I personally like to add either pranayama or mantra to this version.

From a traditional version of padma mudra, you begin to spin the fingers away from your torso, you roll to the backs of the hands until the pinky fingers touch again and then come back to lotus mudra. I often incorporate this version into my Lakshmi practice and chant “Om shrim maha Lakshmyai namaha” or simply Lakshmi’s seed sound “shrim”. I will often do 27, 54, or 108 rotations.

Benefits of Padma Mudra

  • Padma Mudra helps you remember that your very essence is love, radiance, and bliss.
  • the lotus seal inspires purity and perseverance
  • Reminds you of your own inner beauty
  • It is calming to the mind

Affirmations for Padma Mudra

I rise above life’s challenges with ease and grace.

My inner light shines brightly.

My heart is pure.

The Yogi’s Guide to Athens, Greece

This blog post was originally intended as a simple guide for my Greek Island Yoga Retreat attendees, but why not share the love. I’ve been to Athens a handful of times and each time I visit I discover a new gem. In this post, I’ll be sharing my favorite restaurants, yoga shops, Athens yoga studios among favorite wine bars, sights to see and places to shop.

Photo by Simply Greenhttps://www.simplygreen.gr/travel-mat-poio-na-dialekso/

Where to Buy Yoga Pants and Yoga Mats in Athens

Yoga students and yoga teachers… if you managed to lose or forget your yoga mat, block, incense or mala beads head over to Simply Green. Simply Green is actually an online shop, BUT they do open their doors Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. They carry great brands… think Manduka and Jade, they have plenty of travel mats in all colors, and tons of other bits and bobs you may have forgotten at home (like a refillable water bottle, yoga towel, mat cleaner, etc.). It’s amazing and it’s located pretty centrally, so it’s a win-win! Location: Simply Green 73 Ermou Str. Monastiraki

If your yoga pants have blown away then check out the Nike store at 1 Ermou, this is probably your best bet for finding a variety of suitable leggings. Simply Green has a few leggings styles as well. Athens Yoga on Louizis Riankour 65, would be a bit of an expedition to get to, but if you’re in a bind or feeling adventurous you could head out to their location. There are also two H&M stores on Ermou. H&M stores in the states typically have fitness wear… just check that your leggings are opaque!

Niyamas Yoga Mat would be another option for picking up a yoga mat. Their mats are known for being nice and sturdy. They’re a local brand and they’re located a little north of the city center on Leof. Konstantinoupoleos 78-80 in Peristari.

The Best Yoga Studios in Athens

If you’re arriving in Athens a few days before your yoga retreat you may be seeking out a yoga studio in Athens to get moving and breathing after sitting on a plane for a dozen hours.

There are a surprisingly large number of yoga studios in Athens. Here are a few to check out:

Abhaya Yoga offers classes in English. At the moment, they have the following types of classes on their schedule: Bhakti, Anusara, Abhaya hatha, Alignment based yoga and Yin-Yang. Check out their website for their current schedule and pricing www.nysystudios.gr or give them a call +30 210 3232004. Location: Aiolou 43

Enjoy a class at Spa-like Anahatashuddhi yoga studio in Peristeri, Athens

Anahatashuddi Yoga Studio is a little further away from the center, but it’s gorgeous and well worth the effort. They offer floor yoga, aerial yoga and pilates in Peristeri. Reach out to Eva via email at eva@anahatashuddhi.com or give them a call at +30 210 5744162 or +30 694 6941126. Location: Emiliou Veaki 36

Swaha Yoga Kallisperi has super friendly staff and a large range of class offerings, including: ballet, pilates, aerial, and floor yoga. Check out their site www.swaha.gr or shoot them an email at om@swaha.gr Their phone number is +30 210 9229251. Location: Kallisperi 11

Other Yoga Class Options:

Where to Eat: Vegan, Vegetarian, Organic and Sustainable Restaurants in Athens

Okay, there are loads of great places to eat in Athens, but when you’ve had enough of the meat, cheese, bread combo give these restaurants a try.

Avocado Vegetarian Cafe Photo credit: Avocado Cafe


So Amazing!!! Loads of delicious vegetarian meals from falafel, to crispy tofu to veggie burgers. This restaurant has a surprisingly large menu. They even have a few gluten-free and vegan options — which let’s be honest… Greece is not super friendly to vegans… not that the Greeks are mean, because they’re definitely not, but because the options for vegan food are seriously lacking. Definitely check out Avocado for your veggie and smoothie fix. It’s one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Athens. Location: Nikis 30, Syntagma

Indian Haveli near the Acropolis metrohttp://www.indianhaveli.gr/en/

Indian Haveli

I might be biased. I love Indian food and it is one of my comfort foods. AND there are usually plenty of vegetarian options on the menu, which I love. Indian Haveli is conveniently located near Syntagma Square (2 minutes from the Acropolis metro) and it’s affordably priced.

O Kostas

This may be the best gyro and souvlaki in Athens. A favorite among locals for its simplicity and full flavor. But you must go early, when they run out they close up shop! Pentelis 5, Syntagma

Nice n Easy Organic Bistro in Kolonaki, Athens

Nice n Easy

An organic bistro with locally sourced Greek food ie. loads of organic produce, fresh pasta and sustainably sourced meats. Nice n Easy is worth a visit. I would definitely recommend a reservation. This restaurant has a few other locations out on the islands, so if you can’t get in in Athens, check out one of the island locations (if that’s where you’re headed). Location: Omirou 60, Athens

Athens Central Market

If you’re on a budget check out the Athens Central Market. It’s been in operation for over 100 years and offers plenty of veggies, meats, and grocery items.


This may be the best meal I have had in Athens. Seycheles’ menu has lots of small-ish plates and a handful of entree style plates and they’re all delicious. I recommend the octopus, the tomato fritters and the smoked eggplant! Go with a friend so you can try more things! If you want to eat during prime time definitely make a reservation. The restaurant is out of the tourist zone in an up and coming, hipster-ish neighborhood called Metaxourgeio. Address: 49 Kerameikou street

Couleur Locale

Cocktails, wine, and coffee with a rooftop view of the Acropolis and Plaka. Not a bad way to spend an evening. Location: Normanou 3, Monastiraki

Kiki de Grace

A beautiful wine bar near Syntagma Square. They have about 30 different glasses of wine to choose from. Location: Voulis 38

Favorite places for Coffee

Tailor Made Microroastery

Tailor Made Microroastery is located at Agias Irinis 2. Great coffee, awesome outdoor seating that is perfect for people watching and a fun, social scene. Location: Agias Irinis 2 in Monastiraki. Word on the street is that they have closed. Sad face!

Peek a Bloom

Peek a Bloom is another great spot for caffeine, this little cafe is near Syntagma Square and it’s a perfect spot to tuck out of the sun for a cup of coffee. While I haven’t tried their breakfast, I do enjoy their coffee. It’s down the alley at Lekka 14.

Athinaika Galatompoureko Triantafillou

Okay, there are literally hundreds, probably thousands of places to try baklava in Athens, but trust me, when I say that Athinaika Galatompoureko Triantafillou has the best baklava ever! Hike up the hill to Pagrati and get yourself some baklava. It’s worth it. I promise. Location: Eftichidou 2 in Pagrati

Ohh Boy

This is the best cafe to stuff yourself with sweets and get hyped up on sugar and caffeine while cranking out a days work. Did I say they have super fast wifi??? Because they do. Thank you. Thank you! Location: Archelaou 32

Shopping: Where to Buy Gemstones and Crystals in Athens

Alright yogis, you might love gemstones and crystals just as much as I do, so here are a few spots to check out while you’re in Athens.

Michael Hatzmihail near Syntagma Square at Perikleous 56

Stonestories by Albandakis at Perikleous 44

One of my girlfriends bought a gorgeous Byzantine inspired ring from one of the Konstantinos or Kostas stores (I can’t remember the name, but there are a few of them in the Monastiraki and Plaka area).

Shopping: Best Clothing, Shoe, Vintage and Secondhand Shops in Athens

Simply the best! Closet to Closet

Closet to Closet

Closet to Closet is super cute. They have lightly used high end brands like Laboutin and Manolo Blahnik at a fraction on the cost. And it’s next to the National Gardens… picnic + shopping sounds like a lovely afternoon to me. Location: Eratosthenous 4


Preloved is another great secondhand shop between the National Gardens and Monastiraki. Location: Asklipiou 20

Kilo Shop

If you don’t have time to make it over to Closet to Closet and Preloved you can check out the Kilo Shop located right in the heart of the tourist district. The last time I was in Athens one of my friends found an amazing pair of Levis… so jealous! Location: Ermou 120

Olgianna Melissinos Sandals

Get a pair of custom made leather sandals. Olgianna and her husband make fantastic footwear and leather bags!!! All at affordable prices too. Every time I am in Europe I treat myself to a pair of shoes or an article or two of clothing… the quality is always amazing. This year I will be getting my own custom made sandals. Location: Normanou 7

Athens National Gardens

Free Things To Do in Athens

  1. Watch the changing of the guards at the Parliament building. The changing of the guards happens every hour on the hour. On Sundays there is an even more elaborate changing of the guards. On our first trip to Athens we stumbled upon the changing of the guards. It’s cool. It’s free. And you can stand in the shade while you watch.
  2. Have a Picnic in the National Garden. The National Garden is massive and beautifully landscaped. Stop by a market on your way and grab a few snacks and maybe a bottle of wine (I have no idea if you can drink wine in Athens’ parks — might be worth looking into).
  3. Check out Anafiotika. Anafiotika is a super cute mini neighborhood in the Plaka area. The architecture is reminiscent of the Cyclades… narrow lanes, white buildings, flowering bougainvilla, and sunbathing cats are the norm. To get there from the Acropolos metro station, take Vyronos St. pass Lycicrates monument and turn left to Thespidos St until you arrive at Stratonos. Turn right on Stratonos and walk straight ahead. You have arrived! There is also some nearby street art.
  4. Wander through Athens’ Central Market. The Central Market is massive, impressively clean, and fairly priced. You’ll find meats, cheeses, veggies, and grocery items. Everything you need for a picnic in the park.
  5. Wander the historic center. Start at Hadrian’s Arch, wander through Plaka, stop and aww at the archeological sites that seem to pop up out of nowhere.
The Acropolis

7 Must See Sites in Athens

If you plan on visiting multiple sites you should buy the multi-site ticket. The ticket to the Acropolis only is 20 euros. The multi-site ticket is 30 euros… and I would take a wild guess that you’ll be visiting at least one or two more sites. Don’t bother booking ahead, just go early in the day before the tour buses show up. The multi-site pass is valid at the following sites: Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Archaeological Site of Lykeion, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of the Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis.

  1. The Acropolis
  2. The Acropolis Museum
  3. National Archeological Museum
  4. Varvakeios Central Market
  5. Ancient Agora
  6. Hadrian’s Arch
  7. Temple of Zeus

Travel to and from Athens City Center

Athens by Metro

Transportation to/from the airport via the metro is 10 euros each way and takes about 40 minutes.

Athens by Bus

Transportation to/from the airport via the bus is about 6 euros each way. The X95 drops off and picks up at Syntagma Square. The bus takes 40-60 minutes depending on where you’re headed.

Athens by Taxi

A taxi from the airport to the city is a flat rate of 38 euros during the day and 54 euros between midnight and 5 am. A taxi takes approximately 35 minutes.

Travel to and from Lefkada

There are four buses a day going to Lefkada from Athens. The first departure is at 7 am. The KTEL bus is 36.80 euros one way or 67 euros roundtrip. If you book online you can save 10%. The bus runs from Kifissou in Athens to Lefkada Town on Lefkada.

LEFKADA– filosofon & Tzeveleki, .31 100
President- 26450 26086
Account Office- 26450 22795  Φαξ. 26450 21827
Information/ Ticket Office- 26450 22364
Store/ Parcels- 26450 26085

ATHENS– Leoforos Kifissou 100, 104 42
Information/ Ticket Office – 210 5150108 fax. 210 5151544
Store/ Parcels- 210 5150108
Ticket Office Omonoias – Vilara (near Ag. Konstantinou)Tel. 210 5246803, 210 5233810

Travel to and from Piraeus

The 040 bus will take you to the city center of Athens in 50 minutes, and costs 1.40€. The express buses X80 or X96 take you to the city center in 30 minutes and the tickets cost 4€.

A taxi between Piraeus and Athens city center will take about 25 minutes and will cost approximately 25€ under normal traffic conditions.

Manipura Chakra: Confidence and Personal Power

third chakra manipura chakra navel chakra
Image by freepik.com

Manipura = Dwelling place of gems
Mani = jewel or gem
Pura = dwelling place

The third chakra, Manipura Chakra, is known as the power center and it is located at the front of the spine in the region of the solar plexus and navel. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. It is responsible for the digestion and assimilation of food and it corresponds to the stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen and mid back.

When Manipura chakra is healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power. We are confident and focused while possessing strength, fortitude, and determination.

The third chakra develops in our teenage years as we begin to develop our own identity. The issues that arise here involve our development of personal power, autonomy, self-esteem, individuality, and the fulfillment of our dreams.

The ego arises in the third chakra along with our desire for authority, respect, identity, recognition and power. The overactive third chakra gives rise to egotism, pride, selfishness and the desire for control.

Image: Freepik.com

Manipura Chakra at a Glance:

  • Location: Front of the spine at Navel or Solar Plexus
  • Element: Fire
  • Color: Yellow
  • Lotus: Ten Petaled
  • Bija Mantra: RAM
  • Aspects: Vision, form, ego, willpower, determination, confidence
  • Sense: Sight
  • Vayu: Saman
  • Planet: Sun (solar)
  • Kosha: Pranamaya

Manipura Chakra’s Ten Petaled Lotus

The ten petals of Manipura chakra are associated with ten different aspects of Braddha Rudra, otherwise known as Old Shiva. Braddha Rudra is the deity associated with the third chakra. The ten petals represent ten forms of vrittis or mental modifications. These mental modifications include:

  • spiritual ignorance
  • thirst
  • jealousy
  • treachery
  • shame
  • fear
  • disgust
  • delusion
  • foolishness
  • sadness.

Manipura Chakra and the Element of Fire

The third chakra’s element is fire. Fire provides both light and heat. Just as the sun is the source of life within our solar system, similarly, manipura chakra is the center of life within our own bodies. The fire of manipura chakra is our source of vitality and transformation. It is also linked with our digestion and assimilation of nutrients, thoughts and information and it is deeply related to hunger, thirst, sleep, lethargy, and ojas (radiance).

The Bija Mantra for Manipura Chakra

The bija mantra or seed sound for Manipura Chakra is RAM. When chanted it guides Kundalini shakti up toward the third chakra and increases the flow of prana (life force) to the solar plexus region.

When chanted repeatedly, the sound RAM creates a vibration at the navel center and may help improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Chanting RAM also helps coax Kundalini shakti up out of Muladhara and Svadisthana chakras and up into the sushumna nadi, our central channel. The seed sound RAM helps us cultivate the courage, support and drive to achieve our goals.

Lakini Devi and the Solar Plexus Chakra

Like Braddha Rudra, the goddess Lakini Devi, or Bhadra Kali, is linked to the third chakra. Bhadra Kali is the compassionate, benevolent form of the goddess of destruction, Kali. She is beautiful. She holds a fire pot, representing agni; one hand is holding the abhai mudra, a hand mudra for fearlessness and boons; she holds a thunderbolt that represents the continual flow of energy; and she holds an arrow to represent the upward flow of energy and the energies of accomplishment, freedom, independence, and authority. She encourages us to set goals and concentrate on what we need to do to achieve them.

An Out of Balance Third Chakra

Dysfunction in Manipura chakra manifests as many emotional issues associated with trust, fear, intimidation, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-responsibility, self-respect, care of oneself and others, decision making, fear of rejection, and sensitivity to criticism. Fears related to Manipura are fears of rejection/failure, criticism, and judgment.

To heal the third chakra one must learn to honor oneself, to develop self-respect and healthy self-esteem. In third chakra development, we learn about and understand our relationship with our selves, how we stand on our own two feet, and how we take care of ourselves. In Carolyn Myss’s book Anatomy of the Spirit she states, “How we feel about ourselves, whether we respect ourselves, determines the quality of our life, our capacity to succeed in business, relationships, healing and intuitive skills.” Isn’t this the truth?!?!?

When we’re down on ourselves it affects every aspect of our lives and sometimes it can be hard to pull ourselves out of that rut. When we lack confidence, self-love and self-respect we give our power away to others… those we see as higher than us and sometimes even to our partners. Myss continues, “Given your particular body, environment, and beliefs, will you make choices that enhance your spirit or those that drain your power into the physical illusion around you?… the third chakra will cause you to evaluate your sense of power and self in relation to the external world.” And you will face these challenges again and again until you’re secure in your self-worth.

A Balanced Manipura Chakra

When healthy and balanced the third chakra manifests characteristics of healthy self-esteem, self-respect, ambition, discipline, the ability to take action, and the courage to take risks. When the third chakra is healthy one is generous, acts ethically and with integrity.

Practices to Balance the Third Chakra

Acts of Service (Seva)

Selfless acts and acts of charity help to balance the overactive third chakra. Selfless acts are those that are done without expectation of reward, recognition or anything in return. So often we get stuck ourselves stuck in the mindset of serving ourselves, but when we learn how to selflessly serve others, that is when the real magic happens.

Enhance your inner power

When we choose to work on developing our inner power the influence of the external world loses its grip on us. When we are living in accordance with our dharma, aligned with the intelligence of our higher self, we strengthen not only our inner power, but also our energetic field, we increase our sense of self-worth and we start weeding out the energy vampires and negative people in our lives. Stop giving your energy away for free!

Start Facing Your Fears

Use techniques like fear setting to overcome your fears and start building your confidence. I’m not sure who came up with the idea of fear setting, but it’s a great way to start really moving forward. According to Tim Ferris, fear setting is, “An operating system for thriving in high stress environments. It’s a way to visualize all the bad things that could happen to you, so you because less afraid of taking action.” Work through your fears and you’ll find yourself less fearful, empowered, healthy, and successful.

Courage to take leaps and follow through. Now that the fear setting is done, start making changes.

Get over needing to be comfortable and secure. Yes, I said that. Anytime we try something new, go someplace new there is a bit of discomfort. Embrace it. It’s speaking to you. Notice what is coming up. Notice your judgements and your expectations. Notice how your body is responding to the discomfort. Take a deep breath and do it anyway.

Examine your beliefs.

Get out your journal and answer the following questions: What beliefs do I have about myself? Are they true? What beliefs do I have about my abilities? What am I good at? What brings me joy? How can I do more of that? What small steps can I start today to bring more awareness to my third chakra and its qualities? Do I believe in myself? You have got to have faith in yourself!!! You are strong! You are loved! You are worthy!

Accept responsibility for your actions.

Own your actions. Own the good and the bad. Celebrate your wins. Learn from your mistakes. Apologize when necessary. Keep going.

Use Visualization

Visualize your best life ever, your “happy and complete” life. Envision your next version of you. How does he/she behave? How does she live? What relationships does he/she have? What are they like? What are his/her strengths? What does her day/week/year look like?

Goal setting

Plan it out. I personally swear by The 12 Week Year, but use any goal setting technique that resonates with you. Just make sure to break those goals down into smaller actionable, measurable goals. Small wins will help to build confidence in your ability to achieve your goals.

Do Strengthening Practices.

pilates for manipura chakra

Do a stronger yoga practice to stoke the inner fire. Lift weights. Do pilates and other core exercises. These practices will help you build confidence in your physical abilities, in addition to helping you feel great in your body.

My favorite Manipura chakra yoga practices include:

  • Plank, side plank, forearm plank
  • Crow pose and other arm balances
  • Inversions
  • Boat pose
  • Strong standing series with Warrior Poses and Balancing Poses
  • Twists to invigorate samana vayu
  • Kappalabhati and/or Bhastrika pranayama techniques
  • Lunges
crystal healing

Crystals for Manipura Chakra

  • Tiger’s Eye (protection, grounding and cleansing)
  • Citrine (self-healing, increases energy and drive)
  • Sunstone (improves intuition and authenticity, dissipates fear, alleviates stress, increases vitality and encourages independence. It may be helpful to those who have difficulty saying “No”.)
  • Amber (boosts confidence and improves mental clarity)
  • Yellow and Orange Calcite (creative and sexual energy and increases confidence)
  • Yellow Jasper (protection, balance and activation of Manipura chakra)
  • Pyrite (a stone for prosperity, it also encourages looking within)
  • Lemon Quartz (optimism)

Svadhisthana Chakra: Creation and Sexuality

Second Chakra basics

Svadhisthana Chakra or Sacral Chakra

Sva – “self” or “prana”
Adhistana – “dwelling place” “abode” or “seat”

The Svadhisthana Chakra is the Dwelling Place of the Self. It is our second chakra and it is located at our sacrum. It generates our sense of personal identity and psychological boundaries and governs our sensuality and our ability to connect deeply with others.

When Svadhisthana is open and healthy we feel passionate, worthy, vibrant, playful, and full of life. We feel creative, sensual, desirable, and we are able to express our emotions. We feel comfortable in your own skin and in our sexuality.

The second chakra starts to develop around age seven when the child begins to explore their power of choice, their individuality, and they start to form relationships of their own.

Svadhisthana Chakra is characterized by our need for relationships. Relationships are spiritual messengers… they teach us the lessons we need to thrive. Relationships teach us about our strengths and our weaknesses. They shine the light on our habitual patterns and opportunities for growth. We learn how to interact consciously with others, to nurture the relationships with those that support our growth and to discard the relationships that hold us back.

Svadhisthana Chakra at a Glance:

  • Location: Sacrum and reproductive organs
  • Element: Water
  • Color: Orange/Vermillion
  • Lotus: Six Petaled
  • Bija Mantra: VAM
  • Aspects: Procreation, family, fantasy, creativity, sexuality
  • Sense: Taste
  • Vayu: Apana
  • Planet: Mercury
  • Kosha: Pranamaya

Need a chakra primer? Check out these two articles introducing the chakras.

Introduction to the Chakras

Seven Chakras Every Yogi Must Know

sacral chakra intimacy sensuality

Svadhisthana holds our feelings around intimacy, worthiness, sensuality, creativity, and desires. It is associated with our ability to maintain our sense of self in our relationships and interactions.

In Anatomy of the Spirit, Carolyn Myss defines the strengths of Svadhisthana as, “The ability and stamina to survive financially and physically on one’s own and to defend and protect oneself; the “fight or flight” instinct; the ability to take risks; the resilience to recover from loss whether of family members, partners, property, occupation, or finances; the power to rebel and reestablish a life and personal and professional decision-making ability and talent.”

Svadhisthana Chakra is characterized by the power of choice, the law of cause and effect. “Every choice we make contributes a subtle current of our energy to our universe, which is responsive to the influence of human consciousness.” Svadhisthana is associated with the unconscious mind and is considered the storehouse of our samskaras. Past experiences directly influence our attitudes and how we behave and react today, whether we remember those experiences or not.

“All the attachments by which we maintain control over our external lives, such as authority, other people, or money, are linked through this chakra to our energy field and physical body. The illnesses that originate in this energy center are activated by the fear of losing control.” Caroline Myss

When Svadhisthana Chakra is Imbalanced

An imbalanced sacral chakra can cause low libido, feelings of low vitality, reproductive problems (ovarian cysts, endometriosis, testicular or prostate disease), joint problems, back pain, urinary tract problems, constipation, IBS, muscle spasms, and dehydration.

On an emotional level, you may have trouble connecting with others, you may feel disconnected, your emotions may be unstable, you may express feelings of shame or guilt, you may struggle with vulnerability or experience lack of self-control and/or creativity.

A lot of heavy fears are also associated with our second chakra, from losing control to being dominated by a person, event or circumstance.

When the Second Chakra is overactive we may be attached to pleasure and suffer from addiction, gluttony, greed, obesity, hormone imbalances and/or restlessness.

An underactive Second Chakra often manifests as depression, decreased sex drive, feeling stuck, or a lack of passion and creativity. Its cause? Spending too much time focused on practicalities and not giving ourselves time to experience pleasure in its many forms.

Skip to the last section to find out how to bring your second chakra back into balance.

Svadisthana Chakra and the Water Element

Water is life-giving. Did you know that up to 60% of the adult human body is made of water and about 71% of Earth’s surface is water? As humans, water is present in our blood, mucus, urine, saliva, lymph and other body fluids as well as in our brain, heart, lungs, skin and it’s even in our bones… it’s everywhere.

Water is intimately connected with the moon… think of the tides of the ocean, which are connected to the lunar cycle. I’m sure you’ve also experienced the influence of the waxing and waning of the moon on your own body chemistry and emotions.

svadhisthana chakra flow

According to Harish Johari, the “lunar energy is evoked when the water element (which is dominant for 16 minutes in each nasal breath cycle of one hour) is accompanied by breathing dominated by the left nostril. Left nostril breathing activates Ida Nadi, which is lunar in nature. When the Ida Nadi is activated, it stimulates the right hemisphere of the brain, which is related to emotional behavior. Thus, in this chakra, we see the relationship between water, the moon, emotions, and the psyche.”

To awaken Svadisthana embody fluidity and flow in your movements, your mind and your breath.

The Svadhisthana Yantra and the Six-Petaled Lotus

The Svadhisthana Chakra is symbolized by a six-petaled lotus. As stated in the Mahanirvana Tantra, the six petals of Svadhisthana represent six mental modifications or vrittis:

  • Affection (indulgence)
  • Suspicion
  • Disdain
  • Delusion
  • Destructiveness
  • Pitilessness

The Bija Mantra for the Sacral Chakra

The bija mantra or seed sound for Svadhisthana Chakra is VAM. When chanted it guides Kundalini shakti up to the second chakra and increases the flow of prana (life force) to the second chakra.

The Second Chakra and Our Sense of Taste

When Svadhisthana Chakra is healthy, food is eaten not just for sustenance, it is enjoyed.

Svadhisthana Chakra and Apana Vayu

Svadisthana is associated with Apana Vayu. Apana is the Vayu that expels semen from the male organ and urine from the urethra, it is the energy behind passing a bowel movement and that which pushes the baby from the womb during birth. Think of “down and out” as the flow of Apana Vayu.

Tips and Practices for Svadhisthana Chakra

So now that we know more about the Svadhisthana Chakra, how do we bring it back into balance or keep it in balance?

Tips for an Underactive Second Chakra

If you’re feeling uninspired and you lack passion, make time to experience pleasure or joy. Paint, hike, draw, dance, create, swim in the sea, have sex, self-pleasure.

Try something new. Take a dance class. Learn martial arts. Do yoga. Tap into your artistic side. Prepare food for friends and family.

Tips for an Overactive Svadhisthana Chakra

If you’re feeling unable to control your physical desires or addiction, work on practicing brahmacharya (moderation — in it’s most modern translation). You may also choose to seek the help of a professional.

Much of the healing for the second chakra comes from healing past traumas. Now is the time to do the work and to heal. You can work with a professional, find guides online, or even journal. Journaling is an amazing practice to let go of past traumas and their associated pain, shame and guilt.

Tips and Practices for Anyone Interested in Healing Svadhisthana

Take a warm bath. No distractions. No phone. No kids/partners/pets. Time just for you. Bonus: add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. These oils are all great for the second chakra: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemongrass, Geranium, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Neroli, Clary Sage and Patchouli.

Practice abhyanga or Ayurvedic self-massage. After your warm bath put an old towel down on the bathroom floor and oil yourself up with warming sesame oil. Use long strokes on your long bones and circular motions on your joints. Take your time and enjoy it. Or share the experience with a partner.

second chakra massage

Come up with your own second chakra affirmation and write it in your journal, put it on your altar, and on your fridge.


  • I am a divine being of light.
  • I embrace my sexuality and its expression.
  • I am alive, connected, and aware.
  • I am a vibrant, creative being of light.

Meditate. A simple sacral chakra meditation is to envision an orange wheel of light spinning at your sacrum. As you envision this orange wheel of light repeat your affirmation.

Crystals for Your Second Chakra

Set an intention to heal your second chakra and create a crystal grid to increase creativity, vitality, confidence, and sexuality. Use:

  • Citrine (self-healing, increases energy and drive)
  • Carnelian (removes blockages that may be causing sexual problems)
  • Orange calcite (creative and sexual energy and increases confidence)
  • Tangerine quartz (raises your vibration, healing after trauma, boosts self-esteem)
  • Milky quartz (let go of overwhelm)
  • Selenite (unblocks stagnant energy and clears negative energy)

If your Second Chakra is overactive you might find it beneficial to create a crystal grid with:

  • Blue or green flourite (emotional balance)
  • Moonstone (creativity, intuition, harmony)
  • Milky quartz (let go of overwhelm)
  • Selenite (unblocks stagnant energy and clears negative energy)

Second Chakra Yoga Sequence

sacral chakra yoga practice

A yoga practice that includes watery, fluid, flowy, primal movements and hip openers will help balance the second chakra.

A lovely yoga practice for Svadisthana Chakra could include:

  • Supta baddha konasana: 3 minutes
  • Figure Four: (5 breaths each side) (rock legs side to side between sides)
  • Come up to Tabletop Pose
  • Cat/Cow x3
  • Flow from Cow Pose to Child’s Pose 3-5x
  • Primal hip circles 3-5x each way
  • Downward Facing Dog: 5-10 breaths → pedal the legs and sway the hips side to side
  • Wave the spine forward from downward facing dog to plank pose 5x
  • Standing forward fold/Ragdoll–> Slow Roll up to Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  • Surya Namaskar A x3
  • Downward Facing Dog to Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge) to Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Splits)–> Flow between Low Lunge and Ardha Hanumanasana 5x each side
  • Dancing Warrior Sequence: Warrior 2 -> Reverse Warrior -> Side Angle (Flow from Reverse to Side Angle)
  • Malasana 5 breaths
  • Dancing Warrior Sequence above plus Star Pose to Skandasana on the opposite side (flow from right to left 3x) to Runner’s Lunge facing the front and flow between Runner’s Lunge and a modified Pyramid Pose by bending and straightening the front knee (3-5x), drop back knee and add a quad stretch
  • Dancing Warrior Sequence above plus Goddess Pose between Star Pose and Skandasana -> Goddess (eagle arms and rock side to side) -> Wide Leg Forward Fold (5 breaths per pose; R side, then L side)
  • Malasana 5-10 breaths or Crow Pose
  • Warrior 2 -> Reverse Warrior ->Side Angle -> Triangle Pose -> Half Moon -> Ardha Chandra Chapasana
  • Eka Pada Tadasana (standing on one leg with other knee to chest, to Garudasana (Eagle Pose) to Standing Figure Four (like chair pose but with one ankle crossed over the thigh of the opposite leg), return to Tadasana.
  • Lizard (90 seconds) -> Add quad stretch
  • Pidgeon (wave torso up & down 5x)
  • Janu Sirsasana 5-10 breaths each side (wave your spine long on your inhale and soften on your exhale)
  • Gomukhasana 10 breaths on each side
  • Madukasana (Frog Pose or ½ Frog Pose) 10-20 breaths
  • Child’s Pose 5 breaths
  • Dynamic Bridge x3 and hold final round for 7-8 breaths
  • Simple supine twist: 5 breaths each side
  • Savasana: 10 minutes

Do you want to learn more about all the chakras? Check out our free chakra guide. Sign up for the newsletter and I’ll send it over! Option to sign up in the side bar and on the homepage.