Power + pain – oddly enough, these two strong feelings/states tend to go hand-in-hand.
You spend your life seeking the power + the inner confidence to push forward and be the awesome person you know you are (others just haven’t had a chance to see it yet). When you don’t have that willpower, you experience pain – mental, emotional, physical – from the lack of ability to be your genuine self 24/7.
Power is the focus of your third chakra, manipura. Located at your solar plexus (half way between your belly button and the bottom of your sternum), your willpower and self-understanding come from your inner fire – the element of your third chakra.
When you feel strong, focused, and driven, you stand up tall + strive forward. On the other hand, when you feel unsure, anxious, or timid, you probably feel a cold, heavy “weight” in your belly – that’s your manipura fire dying out.
Your inner fire needs to be stoked consistently to keep you focused + passionate about moving forward with your goals. The fire element also refers to your digestive fire, which keeps your entire body running efficiently + healthy (also vital for being able to put your dreams into action).
As with all of the 7 chakras, each chakra has a specific location along the back of your body, along with associated body parts, colors, natural elements, sounds, senses, asana poses, + key physical/mental symptoms to tell if that particular chakra is spinning efficiently (instead of slow or out-of-control).
Meet your Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura:
Location: Solar Plexus (half way between your belly button + the bottom of your sternum)
Associated Body Parts: Belly/core, digestive organs, mid-back (lumbar spine)
Focus: Energy, willpower, self-definition, choosing an intention + making a plan
When Spinning Slowly, you may feel: Passive, lack of energy, lack of self-esteem, lack of discipline, poor digestion, submissive
When Spinning Too Quickly, you may feel: Dominating, ambitious, hyperactive, stubborn, controlling, competitive, addicted to sedatives
When Spinning Efficiently, you’ll feel: Responsible, reliable, disciplined, confident, warm, energetic, spontaneous, playful, humorous, willing to take risks, able to say no
Along with being a very important source of inner strength, your manipura chakra is also where you start to gain a deeper connection to not only your body, but also your mind + spirit. Your first two chakras are very primal + associated with your basic instincts. Your manpura chakra is where you begin to turn your instincts + natural passions into a positive direction for your life, acting from a place of personal purpose instead of a need to simply survive.
If you experience any of the symptoms of your manipura chakra spinning too slow or out-of-control (a.k.a. asshole ahoy!), there are a number of easy + delightful things you can do to help it return to spinning efficiently:
- Live with Yellow: Have you ever wondered why sticky notes are yellow by default? Yellow is attention-grabbing + action-driven! When we’re kids, we often color the sun yellow because it’s full of happy, sunshine-fueled power. You get where I’m going with this: yellow stokes your inner fire + helps remind you to keep moving forward, so add a little more yellow to your life. Some ideas: a notebook by your computer, shoelaces in your favorite sneakers, your daily coffee/tea mug.
- Let it Burn: Bring on the fire! When was the last time you sat by a burning flame? Candle, fireplace, outdoor pit; it doesn’t matter. The element of fire is often feared and rightfully so, because it can do some serious damage. On the other hand, fire is inspiring + passionate – two very important things for you to live a full life. Invite even the smallest of flames back into your life + see where the sparks take you.
- Helpful Asana: As the chakra associated with digestion, the physical practices for your manipura chakra involve massaging, twisting, + creating space for your inner fire to keep burning strong + steady. Suggestions: Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation flow), Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle), Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow), Navasana (Boat), Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes), Parighasana (Gate)
A fire can die just as quickly as it can be stoked back to life. Instead of playing the back + forth game with your manipura chakra, aim for a steady flame to bring your dreams to life.
Up next: Anahata a.k.a your Heart Chakra (stay tuned!)
When was the last time you sat by a FIRE (indoors or outdoors) + what did you most enjoy about it?
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