Journey through the chakras with the 3rd chakra, the solar plexus or “Manipura

This week we are continuing our journey through the chakras with the 3rd chakra, the solar plexus or “Manipura”. This chakra is located around your navel in the center of your belly, and is known as the seat of your personal power, or internal fire, “Agni”.  It develops during the ages of 15-21 as we grow and develop our identities separate and distinct from our families, and it relates to how we manifest our egos or self-esteem.  It governs digestion, blood pressure, the pancreas and metabolism. It’s color is yellow like the sun, and it’s sound is RAM.


Imbalances can manifest as indigestion and constipation, diabetes, low or high blood pressure, over-inflated egos, anger and rage, jealousy, excessive drive for power and greed, pride or low-self esteem, over giving, codependency, and feelings of powerlessness. I’m sure we can all think of a few people in our lives, or in the news or movies, that definitely fit this description. Gordon Gekko, the character in the 80’s movie Wall Street with the famous phrase “Greed is good”, certainly comes to mind for me.


So, what can we do to bring it back into balance?


In our physical practice, poses such as Bow ( Dhanurasana), Triangle and Revolved Triangle ( Trikonasana and Parivritta Trikonasana), Cobra (Bhujangasana), Boat ( Navasana) and well as twisting poses  can all help. Essential oils such as lemon, bergamot and citrus all will energize the body. In our meditation practice we can use mantras such as “ I fully enjoy life”, “ I am abundant”, “ I am powerful” and “ I release anger and receive love.  Additionally, the practice of Kaphalabhati/ Breath of Fire is a powerful pranayama technique ( breathwork) that helps release toxins and energizes the body.


Last, and certainly not least, the main way you can balance your solar plexus chakra is through selfless acts of service, giving without desire for reward or recognition. Giving of your time, talent and treasure is the surest way to begin to feel more joy, balance and abundance.


So yogis, this week’s homework is to engage in one random act of kindness and notice the feeling it stirs up inside you.  And maybe as an extra bonus, throw in a few extra sun salutations to celebrate the start of summer with yogis around the world.


See you on your mat,