The third chakra is called Manipura, which means “lustrous gem.” Manipura is the original Sanskrit name for the Solar Plexus chakra. Located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breastbone, it is a source of personal power and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. The Manipura chakra also controls metabolism and digestion.
When you feel self-confident, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your third chakra is open and healthy. If you're experiencing chakra imbalance, you can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. This means that your solar chakra is blocked and therefore cannot achieve its full potential.
Manipura & Solar Plexus Chakra: Key Elements
In order to understand the chakra, there are some key details that we must understand first. These include:
- Element: Fire is the main element of the solar plexus, or Manipura chakra. The element is meant to ignite your inner fire and strengthen your digestive fire.
- Color: The color of the Manipura chakra is bright yellow, like the sun.
- Location: The solar plexus is located around your navel area of the body near your upper abdomen and breastbone. Due to its location, it is also connected with the digestive system. The solar plexus is the third of seven major chakras in the body. This area of your navel must be open in order to feel the self-confidence and sense of purpose that you wish to achieve.
Strengthen Your Inner Fire
When you have clear goals, desires, and intentions, you can move forward to achieve them. Each small step you take while honoring the larger intention helps to strengthen your third chakra. The fire within, called Tejas in Sanskrit, is the same fire in the Ayurvedic dosha Pitta. A person with strong Pitta has that inner drive to propel them forward toward their goals.
No matter which dominant dosha type you have, you can harness the power of Manipura to assert your will in a healthy way and achieve any goal you set out to accomplish. If you find you are stuck with a decision or are at a crossroads and aren’t sure which way to go, look to a gut feeling in your solar plexus for guidance.In order to look to a gut feeling, you can practice meditation by doing the following:
- Close your eyes, place your hand over the area slightly above your belly button.
- Bring to mind the problem or dilemma.
- Notice how your third chakra feels when you give it choices regarding the subject you’re struggling with. A sinking or nauseated feeling may tell you that the decision is wrong.
- If you present your solar plexus with the right choice, you may feel lightness in the area or you may even feel like you can breathe easier.
Strengthen Your Digestive Fire
The digestive fire, called Agni, is also present in the third chakra. To help the Manipura chakra remain open and aligned, keep your digestive fire healthy. Follow these guidelines for more powerful Agni:
- Drink beverages at room temperature or slightly warmed; avoid adding ice.
- Eat about two cupped handfuls of food at every meal to avoid overeating.
- Stay away from spicy foods if you are a Pitta type.
- Take small sips of water while eating, and avoid soda, alcohol, and fruit juice. Drinking a lot while eating tends to dilute the digestive acids, while drinking alcohol tends to give you excess acid.
- Let your stomach rest between meals. Grazing and frequent snacking don’t give your body time to replenish Agni, which happens when the stomach is resting.
Enhance Digestion and Increase Metabolism With Bhastrika Breath
Since the third chakra governs both digestion and metabolism, you can easily awaken both with breathing exercises. Make sure your stomach is not full before starting this breathing pattern.
- Sit comfortably with the spine tall and the shoulders relaxed.
- Start by taking a few deep breaths in and out the nose with the lips closed.
- Then, forcefully inhale through the nose while inflating the lower abdomen and forcefully exhale through the nose while pressing the lower abdomen toward the spine.
- Use one-half count on the inhalation and one-half count on the exhalation at a rapid pace. You will feel like you’re getting an abdominal workout.
- Try for 10 repetitions and then work it up to 15 or 20. After you’re finished, you will feel a tingling or glowing feeling around the navel.
Finding Balance & Healing the Solar Plexus Chakra With Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
Any yoga pose that brings heat to the area of the solar plexus is good for stimulating a sluggish third chakra. These poses include Navasana (boat pose), Matsyandrasana (seated spinal twist), and warrior.
The mantra sound for the third chakra is RAM. Chanting this sound will help to open and align the chakra.
There are a few other things you can do to activate the solar plexus energy. Since the color of this chakra is yellow or gold, any gem corresponding to these colors will help to open the solar plexus area and bring energy to the spleen, liver, pancreas, and stomach. Yellow topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger-eye stones are all great gems to enhance your sense of personal power and can help with chakra healing if you are feeling a sense of low self-esteem.
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