Balancing the Solar Plexus Chakra
Manipura is the Sanskrit name for the Solar Plexus Chakra.
The solar plexus chakra is located just under the sternum’s base in the rib cage’s arch. Manipura is your energy center for self-confidence, personal strength, control, emotional safety, and individuality. In addition, you spend most of your time in this chakra. Therefore, it is the daily home of your exercise of choice and will.
There are no bones in front of the solar plexus chakra, which exists in the softest part of our torso.
If you have ever experienced moments in life when you feel tired, uninspired, or lacking in self-esteem, you may notice that this part of your body seems to collapse.
In the book Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith, the author makes a memorable point about the body’s inclination to collapse. She says,
“This means that the only thing that holds our body upright, with our chakras aligned on top of each other, is an act of will from the energetic source of the body.”
In addition, if someone feels shame, this is another mechanism for the radiating energy to turn inward in the solar plexus area.
My teacher, Alan Seale, says of the solar plexus chakra
“It is here that we begin to claim our independence, march to our own inner drumbeat, and claim our personal power.”
Moreover, this important energy center is where we unearth all aspects of our personality.
I also consider the solar plexus to be the transformation chakra. At every life transition, it’s helpful to check in for balance to see if there is any deficiency or excess here. In other words, when we come into unknown territory, we develop the will to step forward into new possibilities. We achieve balance when we can proactively take charge of our lives rather than being directed by forces outside of ourselves.
The solar plexus is about coming into wholeness. For example, discovering the entirety of your being and accepting all aspects of who you are.
Stephen Levine describes this wholeness as “entering with intention and awareness that which we have avoided and run away from.”
Each of us seeks healing and growth as we come into our wholeness. Here in the solar plexus, we acknowledge the limits of our known reality. Therefore, we see that there is more than we have yet experienced. And then, we call forth the confidence and courage to explore new possibilities. It is here that we ‘take charge’ and develop our will.
This important step in our maturity allows us to declare our individuality and claim our life.
Alan Seale also says, “it is in the solar plexus that we first start to become aware of our calling in life — our soul mission.
The seed of that mission is planted in the root chakra; it is fed and watered in the sacral chakra and begins to blossom and make itself known in the solar plexus.”
When we choose to hear our calling in life, we begin to understand who we really are and what we are here to do. We make the choice whether to resist or surrender.
Intuition develops in the second chakra. It continues to mature in the third solar plexus chakra.
In this energy center, we feel intuition as ‘gut feelings. ‘
In other words, here, you learn to heed those intuitive indicators of your choice or how things could turn out.
You may have done the Chakra tuning exercise if you read my first blog in this series. If you feel any constriction of energy in the solar plexus chakra area of your body, you may want to do a further exercise to open up the flow of energy for greater balance.
Exercise for Tuning the Solar Plexus Chakra
To begin, sit in a chair with your legs uncrossed. Then, close your eyes and breathe into the solar plexus region of your body, the arch in the rib cage just below the sternum. Next, feel your breath fill the solar plexus.
Visualize and breathe in the color yellow.
Feel this part of your body come alive. You may feel warmth or sensation or some other signal that energy is moving there. If you experience resistance, be patient and gentle with yourself and ease your way into the solar plexus chakra with your breath. If there is a great deal of resistance, allow yourself several sessions of relaxed, intentional breathing to make your way in.
Take whatever time you need to be able to breathe freely down into your solar plexus chakra.
Repeat the following Solar Plexus Chakra affirmations.
Do they ring true for you? I am:
Worthy of respect
Clear on my calling in life
Tuned into my gut feelings
How to Balance Manipura
The balancing techniques mentioned here can be accomplished personally within our body’s healing processes.
Besides meditating and tuning into your gut instincts in your daily life, you can also balance the third chakra using vigorous exercise, sit-ups, and diaphragmatic breathing. For example, Bhastrika is great pranayama for balancing Manipura.
Yoga Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems are other ways to balance this chakra
Yoga asanas that help to align Manipura are poses that bring heat to the area of the solar plexus. For example, boat pose, plank pose, cow face pose, prayer twists, and all the warrior poses.
Eating yellow foods and wearing yellow colors help balance Manipura.
Gemstones for the third chakra include yellow topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger-eye stones. These gems can enhance your sense of personal power.
Chanting or toning sounds can also help bring Manipura back to balance. Sounds create vibrations in the body, and these vibrations help the cells work together in synchronistic harmony. The mantra sound that corresponds to the solar plexus chakra is the sound RAM. You can practice this in the linked video.
Foods to nourish Manipura
Nutritionist Ralitza Alexandrov identifies nourishing foods for the solar plexus. These include foods like pineapple, squash, banana, brown rice, oats, millet, and amaranth. She also recommends warming spices for the solar plexus, such as turmeric and ginger.
Other tools for sacral chakra health are sniffing essential oils.
Juniper, basil, lavender, bergamot, geranium, ginger, lemongrass, fennel, myrrh, jasmine, and clary sage are all recommended.
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Practice gentle chakra tuning
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