Solar Plexus Chakra (Navel, Manipura)
The solar plexus chakra is located in the area of the solar plexus, navel, and the digestive system, the fiery third chakra is called Manipura, the “lustrous gem.” Associated with the color yellow, this chakra is involved in self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation; it also governs digestion and metabolism. A healthy, spirited third chakra supports us in overcoming inertia, jump-starting our “get-up-and-go” attitude so that we can take risks, assert our will, and assume responsibility for our life. This chakra is also the place of our deep belly laughter, warmth, ease, and the vitality we receive from performing selfless service.
Sensible risk-taking is one way of gaining confidence and flexing your third chakra power muscles. For some people, a risk is dropping back from Tadasana (Mountain Pose) into Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose); for others, it might simply be getting to their first yoga class. Risks may involve confrontation, setting limits, or asking for what we need—all ways of reclaiming our power.
Digestive problems, eating disorders, feeling like a victim, or experiencing low self-esteem can all be indications of a deficient third chakra. When you feel disempowered or in need of re-energizing, third chakra poses fan the flames of your inner fire and restore vitality so that you can move from the strength of your core. Practice Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation), abdominal strengtheners like Navasana (Boat Pose), Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose), and Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Leg Lifts), Warrior poses, twists, and Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath or Breath of Fire).
Perfectionism, anger, hatred, and too much emphasis on power, status, and recognition reveal an excessive third chakra. In addition, taking in more of anything than you can assimilate and use also indicates excessiveness. Restorative, passive backbends that cool off the belly’s fire act as calming agents for third chakra excess.
We live in a time where there is little encouragement for paying attention to our body’s natural energy levels and giving it what it needs. So often when we are really tired, we ignore our longing for rest and manipulate our bodies with caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants to create a false sense of energy. When we’re overstimulated and want to relax or draw inward, many people turn to overeating, alcohol, or drugs to slow down. Yoga offers us a different choice: to listen to what our body requires and to truly nourish ourselves, using appropriate asanas and pranayama practices to create more energy or relaxation. Once we’ve done that, we can get a taste of our true personal power.
Your Sloar Plexus Chakra: Balanced Sovereignty
The solar plexus chakra-located in your solar plexus, halfway between your navel and ribcage-is the domain of your inner adult. It is the center of your intellect and personal power, giving you the ability to stay true to your course in life. Courage, integrity, and choice are the backbone of personal sovereignty.
Solar Plexus Chakra Facts:
· The third chakra rules your self-direction, self-control, personal will and physical energy.
· A well-balanced third chakra results in high self-esteem and the ability to accept responsibility for yourself, while assuming personal authority over your life.
· In your body, the third chakra governs the stomach, pancreas, upper intestines, gallbladder, liver, and lower back.
· An apt image for the third chakra is the bright sun.
· The solar plexus chakra vibrates with the color yellow.
· The solar plexus chakra’s mission statement is: I choose, I intend, I will.
Physically, an imbalanced solar plexus chakra can result in digestive problems, ulcers, irritable colon, gallbladder problems, excessive weight around your middle and loss of appetite. Spiritually, you can fail to live your own truth and to be who you are really meant to be.
Codependency-making decisions or taking actions based on the belief that pleasing others is more important than pleasing yourself-is among the negative emotional consequences of imbalanced personal sovereignty. So are fear of rejection, disapproval or abandonment, as well as depression, addiction, and suppressed anger.
The solar plexus chakra can also be imbalanced in the other direction: You can have too much sovereignty. When that happens, you can become narrow-minded, relentless and unyielding. Extremely overcompensating people can be intimidating, overbearing, and insensitive. Although society actually honors some of these aggressive qualities, they produce workaholism, strained relationships and the inability to slow down or relax.
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