Solar Plexus Chakra
Located physically right under the chest, where the ribcages seem to depart from each other, right in line with the stomach, where a bundle of nerves called the Solar Plexus resides, the Manipura Chakra is the energy center of willpower, self-esteem, assertion and personal power. It is related to the transition from base emotions to more complex emotional activity.
It plays a vital role in digestion: assimilation of food into acting nutrients, the fire for baking food matter into kinetic energy for the body. It is a highly energetic place, especially in this day and age, when everyone is consumed with making something of themselves, with career and financial aspirations. It functions as the center of will, power, laughter, joy and anger too.
It is represented by the color yellow, the element of fire, the lotus with 10 yellow petals, the sound RAM, and the corresponding organ is the pancreas and digestive organs.
An imbalance in the third chakra could mean a couple of things. You could be quick to anger, pushy, or controlling. This means that yes, your fire is bright and healthy, but it is has a negative flow inward, and you are projecting it into the wrong places and people. (Geez, anyone?) IF this is the case, most likely, your fire is needed elsewhere. You need to be more assertive to someone else, you need to stand up for yourself at work, you need to place your will in your work, not your friendships, most likely.
The other side of this is that you have a dwindling flame. Your will and self-esteem is low. You might be called to something, but there is self-doubt and lack of self-confidence because this chakra's is blocked and so the energy cannot flow out.
Look at your life as of late and decide which is the case for you. This will be necessary for the meditation part. You might have both issues. What little flame you have may be directed in the wrong areas of your life, where gentleness and understanding are needed.
For now, let's get into the asana and unblock this POWERful center. (check with the first chakra if you don't cat/cow and sun salutations before you begin). This asana is going to be a little quick with attention to the area of the solar plexus, kindling and directing the fire there. You will need a block for this short practice.
- Cat/cow on hands and knees, with some quick warming of the spine.
- Follow this up with some sun salutations, ending in down-dog.
- Inhale raise right leg high, exhale square hips, bend right knee and as you shift shoulders over wrists, pull the knee in right under the chest/solar plexus area.
- Repeat 6 more times and then repeat 7 more times on the left side, moving rather quickly but staying with the breath so that the exhales and inhales will be sharp and strong.
- Come back into Dog, inhale and on an exhale, bend your knees, look between your hands at the top of the mat and jump there.
- Come to sit and lie down on your back. Place a block between your feet and your arms overhead. On an inhale, lift your straight legs into the air with your feet holding the block. Arms overhead reach up as shoulder blades come off the floor and tailbone lifts off the floor too.
- On the exhale, take block with hands, and with arms and legs still straight, slowly lower arms and hands holding block to the floor behind your head while also lowering legs an feet to hover six inches above the floor. Use your inhale to bring straight legs back up, straight arms lift back up, shoulder blades and tailbone off the floor, and place the block between your feet.
- Repeat nine more times. More if you need support in those areas of your life.
- Put the block away and come into a quick savasana.
- After savasana, come to a seated position and tune into the meditation for this chakra.