This post is part of the Chakras Series. We started by covering what the chakras are and what they represent (Read “What Are The 7 Chakras And Why Do They Matter?”).
In this post, we will focus specifically on the Solar Plexus Chakra.
- Also known as: Manipura. The word Manipura is a combination of two Sanskrit words: “Mani,” which means “gem” and “pura,” which means “city”. So, it is often translated literally as the “city of jewels,” which helps us to metaphorically think of this chakra as our own personal treasure center of power and wellbeing.
- Location: From the navel to about the ribcage
- Color: Yellow
- What it represents: I CAN. Known as the third chakra, it represents your ability to be confident and in control of your life. It’s your source of individual power. It rules all things metabolic, digestive, and stomach-related.
- Linked to: Action and balance, individual willpower, personal power, self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem and commitment.
- You have a balanced Solar Plexus chakra when: You feel in control, you can overcome your fears, to take responsibility for your life, you have clarity of judgment and make decisions comfortably, you feel confident, self-assured, self-disciplined and independent.
- You have a blocked Solar Plexus chakra when: You have a sense of powerlessness, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and shame. You have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. This also may lead you to outwardly express apathy, procrastination, or able to be taken advantage of easily. Physically it can manifest itself in the liver, pancreas, digestive system, gallbladder and spleen and is often connected to gut health, digestive issues, eating disorders and diabetes.
- Healing foods: Yellow foods: bananas, corn, pineapple, yellow capsicums, chamomile and lemons. Whole grains: oats, spelt, rice, rye, farro and teff are great for fire energy but make sure you soak them first for easy digestion. Legumes: lentils, chickpeas and beans are a great addition to curries, dhals and soups. I always suggest choosing the dried variety over the canned variety and just like grains make sure you soak them first. Spices: turmeric, ginger, cumin and cinnamon are all heating yet still anti-inflammatory spices, which make them perfect for nourishing the third chakra.
- Healing yoga poses: Poses that strengthen the abdominal area, as well as promote flexibility in your middle spine. When you are in a pose, try to breathe deeply and set an intention that helps you relax and connect to your intuition. Ideas can be “I am powerful”, “I am strong”, “I am confident”.
“Here are my favorite yoga poses to stimulate the Solar Plexus Chakra”
- Virabhadra III: Warrior III is an amazing pose for building confidence! Standing strong on one leg as you simultaneously reach your arms and other leg in opposite directions is the perfect pose for the mantra “I AM STRONG”. Your core is the midpoint of the pose, so it needs to be switched on to anchor and balance you, but not so much that you can’t breathe effectively. If the legs go all floppy, you’ll lose the strength in the pose, so keep them strong.
- Parsvottanasana: Step your right foot forward about 3–4 feet. Square your hips toward the front end of your mat. Fold forward over your right leg and place your hands on the floor (or blocks if needed). Release your head and neck. Keeping your legs strong, steady, and grounded, release your belly and let the gentle compression of the abdomen stimulate manipura chakra here. You may bend your front leg in order to allow your abdomen to rest on the front thigh.
- Phalakasana: Plank is an arm balancing yoga pose that tones the abdominal muscles while strengthening the arms and spine. Lowering the knees for Half Plank is a great option if you are still working on building strength, but make sure you keep the core, thighs, and upper body switched on. Keep your body in a long line; avoid sinking into the lower back.
- Navasana: By practicing Boat Pose, you strengthen your core, hip flexors and spine.
- Dhanurasana: Bow Pose stimulates both energy flow and blood flow to many of the organs. It helps flush the liver, which helps let go of worries and create confidence. Bow Pose also stimulates the kidneys, and helps improve your digestion so that everything runs smoothly!
- Savasana with diaphragmatic breathing: Lying down on the mat, relax the whole body. As you inhale through your nose, fill up your belly like a balloon. Pause at the top. As you exhale through your nose, let your belly deflate slowly back to neutral. This breathing exercise helps balance your solar plexus chakra as well as lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, stimulate the digestive process and produce a feeling of calm relaxation.
The Solar Plexus Chakra is your energy center and it radiates energy throughout our entire body. In addition to these empowering yoga poses and balancing foods, try to engage in heat-creating activities: try to get out for a walk in the sunshine, sit in front of an open fire or spend some time in an infrared sauna. You’ll feel confident, calm and in control.