The second chakra is called Svadhisthana and it is located right above the first chakra, in the lower abdomen area (imagine it about an inch or two below the belly button). It is usually associated with the color orange and the element of water. When discussing this chakra with children the aspect I like to focus on is its connection to our emotions. All children are learning how to handle and understand their emotions, so helping them to balance this chakra can be valuable. Emotional intelligence, being able to control emotions, is a skill everyone can cultivate, so please practice with your child(ren). ☺
On the mat any type of hip opener or forward fold would be a great choice when working with Svadhisthana. Perhaps a good place to start is a standing forward fold, uttanasana. Little yogis stand with feet hip distance apart, or big toes touching, with the crown of their head reaching toward the sky. Yogis place their hands on their hips and fold forward, the crown of their head may reach toward the floor and eyes can gaze to the belly button. Arms can rest on feet or a block or young practioners can grasp opposite elbows. Uttanasana, forward fold, can be held for about 5 breaths. Any yogi, regardless of age, can bend knees slightly to protect the back or practice this pose against a wall.
Happy baby, ananda balasana, is a fun hip opening pose that can fit in with the second chakra. Little yogis lie on their backs, bringing the knees toward their chest. Next, grasp the outside of your feet while knees go wider than the torso. Yogis should stack ankles above the knees. In this pose you can rock slightly from side to side or chose to remain still.
The second chakra can be addressed on and off the mat through meditation and writing. Invite little yogis to sit quietly for a few minutes, perhaps giving them a topic to think about to help them focus and understand their emotions. Topics you could offer up for meditation might include, “Think about a time you were really happy” or “When is a time you’ve been angry and what did you do?” After the quiet time, you can take a moment to write down the thoughts or ideas that came up. These writings can be shared or kept private for the young yogi to look back on and reflect. I’ve done a variation of this with my classroom of kindergarteners to help them deal with anger. We still take time to be quiet and reflect but instead of writing the child is invited to draw a picture of their emotion in motion.
Talking about the second chakra can be tricky with children since it is often times associated with more adult topics. However, the gift comes in this chakra’s tie to emotions. The wealth of teachable moments, and parent/child discussions that can stem from those moments, can be impactful.
Enjoy practicing yoga with your child!
Mary McGuire, RYT-200 and RCYT, is a classroom teacher and a children’s yoga teacher in Omaha, NE. You can keep up to date on kids’ yoga happenings in her area at http://www.theyogaschoolhouse.com or like her Facebook page, Kids Yoga with Mary Mcguire.