3rd Chakra - Manipura

Manipura Chakra

"Navel Chakra"

{City of Jewels}

Location - solar plexus, navel/abdominal region (specifically between the navel and base of the sternum)

Yantra has 10 petals - false understanding, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness, and sadness

Yantra has 10 petals - false understanding, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness, and sadness

Color - Yellow

Element - Fire (Sun)

Mantra - RAM

Yoga Postures to Balance this Chakra - Twists (all), abdominal exercises (aka core work), revolved triangle, belly backbends.

Emotionally this chakra rules over our self-confidence, our willpower, self-esteem and our ability to adjust to transformation.  This chakra is dubbed "city of jewels" because it is here where we store our most precious asset: sense of self.  When we are in balance in our 3rd chakra we are able to express our ideas efficiently, we feel valued, confident and energetic.  We are also able to properly digest our food AND thoughts and put our dreams into action.  When we are out of balance in our Manipura chakra we lack motivation, we feel depressed and self-centered and with an over-abundance of energy we often experience extreme feelings of hatred, anger and aggressive perfectionism.  If we LACK inner fire, we often lack the ability to put ideas into action and fear rejection which can lead to poor self-confidence and indecisiveness.  

**We do not ONLY digest food.  We also digest our experiences, thoughts, feelings, etc.!!**

Physically this chakra rules the digestive organs including the pancreas and liver, as well as the muscles and governs our Sense of Sight and Action (feet and eyes).  An imbalance in the 3rd Chakra can be linked to digestive ailments, food intolerances, blood sugar problems, eating disorders, diabetes, and muscle spasms.

Our energy here is the source of our imagination, our vision for the future and our desire for action.  We can use the fire of our solar plexus chakra to "burn" and transform negative qualities into positive ones.  Some meditations on this chakra are used to burn past "karmas."  Having an open, clear and balanced 3rd Chakra allows energy to move freely up to the heart chakra!

This chakra can be tricky to balance because we are dealing with our "inner fire" center.  Depending on your nature, your personality, your environment, etc. you must determine whether your imbalance in an over-abundance of energy/fire or a lack-there-of.  Too much fire in the belly can lead to some pretty intense and nasty symptoms so I would not encourage everyone to go out and do a bunch of abdominal exercises and belly backbends!  For example:  If you are predominantly Pitta (Google it) and it is mid-July and you are living some place extremely dry and hot, you eat spicy foods and are a marathon runner (phew!), I would not encourage you to increase the energy in your Manipura chakra.  I would probably encourage you to fold more into Self (cooling) and lower the inner flame a tad to find more balance.  Our goal should be to keep our inner flame stoked, warm, and harmonious - NOT raging and out of control.  Having a raging fire in your belly is not healthy for anyone.  Seek balance in all that you do!

Exercises to balance Manipura Chakra off the mat:

Dhanurasana - a belly backbend

Dhanurasana - a belly backbend

1.  Meditate on your belly center - envision your torso {from a few inches below the navel to the diaphragm} filling up with bright sunny Yellow!  Feel the warmth of the yellow filling up your belly and then picture a small flame.  This small flame sits in the pit of the belly just below the navel and the tip of the flame radiates confidence, positivity, and self-assuredness.  Silently repeat the mantra RAM.  If there is something specific that you would like the fire to burn and "transform" place that into the flame and feel it disintegrating and transforming into something positive and healing.

2.  Step off the mat and into your community and perform selfless acts of service without expectation of something in return.

3.  Essential oils such as chamomile, bergamot, juniper and peppermint help to stabilize and balance this chakra.  As well as crystals such as Topaz, Yellow Citrine, Blue Sapphire, and Green Jade.

4.  Foods - spices like cayenne, ginger, and black pepper will build fire and increase energy.  For an excess of fire use cooling seeds like fennel, cumin, flax and sunflower seeds.  

Lunge twist

Lunge twist