The 7 Chakras: A Guide for Modern Yogis
Chakra No. 3: The Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra
The Third Chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word “Manipura” which means “Jewel in the City” or “Lustrous Gem.” It is a chakra full or energy and light! In this article, I will explain the characteristics that explain the make-up of this energy center and offer tools for self-diagnosis and healing for this energy center.
Where is the Manipura Chakra located?
The manipura chakra is also known as the “solar plexus” chakra because of its location in the center of our body between the naval and ribcage. It connects the abdominals and detoxes organs such as the stomach, liver spleen, pancreas and digestive organs.
What is the significance of the Manipura Chakra?
The purpose of the third chakra is personal power, will and identity. It is said that the ego identity lies in this energy center and the activity of this chakra is motivated by the desire to be seen and acknowledges as unique, individual and important. When we arrive at this chakra and are able to balance its energy, we see ourselves as powerful and confident. We understand that our lives are formed by the choices we make and we are empowered to choose our role and contribution to society. Much of this chakra drives our will and ability to visualize a goal and take actions in line with our greater purpose in life.
What are the elements of the Manipura Chakra?
Color: Yellow –relates to self-worth and is a creative color. It gives clarity of thought, increases awareness and stimulates ability to perceive and understand. Yellow connects us to our mental self.
Gland: Pancreas, adrenals
Essential Oils: To balance this chakra, use essential oils that promote detoxification and clarity. Some examples are mandarin, clary sage, spikenard, lavender and chamomile.
What is it like when the Manipura Chakra is out of balance?
When the third chakra is out of balance it often shows up as disease or illness around the gut or digestive system. If we lack a sense of power in our lives in our third chakra, it is challenging to digest not only our food but also our experiences. Regarding physical malfunctions, a person with a deficient third chakra may have trouble fully digesting their meals and may have indigestion, constipation, poor metabolism, diabetes or chronic fatigue; while someone with an excessive third chakra may have an over-active metabolic system and may have hypertension, food allergies, ulcers, chronic diarrhea, or muscle spasms. The solar plexus chakra supports are ability to be self-disciplined in our lives. When it is unbalance behaviors that require balanced self-discipline can be difficult. In deficient third chakras a person may have low energy and self-esteem, a victim or blame mentality, passiveness, unreliability, low energy and may act cold physically and emotionally. These people also have weak will and are easily manipulated. Excessive third chakra persons exhibit control or force of power and discipline. These people may be overly aggressive, dominating, controlling, stubborn, competition or have a heightened arrogance. Often they feel a need to be right and avoid being wrong. They use power for manipulation and deceit and may be consumed by power or status.
What does it look when the Manipura Chakra is in balance?
A person whose Manipura energy is flowing and balanced is a person of high integrity, authenticity and non-attachment. They are responsible and drive to achieve what they set out to achieve. They have a commitment to the vision for the lives without an attachment about the “right” way to do it. Flowing third chakra people are ones who are able to see all the possibilities and opportunities that surround them and are able to choose their paths powerfully. They take responsibility for what they say and do and they are able to share and use their energy without depleting it or going too far. With a balanced third chakra, you have a strong sense of self and personal power and you are able to meet life’s challenges at the right time and with the right intentions.
What poses awaken the Manipura Chakra?
This chakra is balanced by activating and moving our core. Twisting posture such as Revolved variations of Chair Half Moon, Pyramid, Crescent Lunge all help to balance this chakra as well as more gentle twists such as Seated Twist and Supine Twist Variations.
When balancing this chakra in the body, imagine holding your core lock or uddiyana bandha lock in any posture. This will help create power, energy and uplift throughout your practice in foundational postures like Mountain, Down Dog and Warriors in addition to the twists.
What other practices heal the Manipura Chakra?
Practices, in addition to yoga, that promote balance and power for the third chakra.
- Mantras – repeat any of these out loud or in your head
- RAM – pronounced “raah – mm”
- I honor the power within me.
- The fire within me burns through all blocks and fear.
- I can do whatever I will.
- I am powerful and light.
- Uddiyana Bandha (Abdominal Core Lock, draw naval up and in toward spine and up under low ribs)
- Vigorous Exercise
- Abdominal/Core strengthening work
- Martial Arts
- Risk taking (for deficient characteristics)
- Relaxation/stress control (for excess characteristics)
- Psychotherapy around ego, shame, anger and will
- Gurmukh with Cathryn Michon. The 8 Human Talents, 2000
- Judith, Anodea. Wheels of Life, 1999
- Judith, Anodea. Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self, 2004
- Myss, Caroline. Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, 1997
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Mary has completed multiple Teacher Trainings with CorePower Yoga and found great purpose and joy in sharing yoga with others. Mary loves creating thoughtful classes that provide an inspirational atmosphere for students to explore their bodies and minds. Mary is trained in power vinyasa, hatha, a restorative yoga techniques. A dancer from the age of 12, Mary specializes in vinyasa-style yoga classes that combine breathe with movement and flow like a dance.
Mary's intention is to teach people that “yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down.”