When our chakra system is functioning just as it should be, we know about it. Everything just seems to go well for us; we aren’t often fazed by life’s challenges, we feel energized, and we just seem to know where we’re heading – and why.
Why is it that these periods so often feel like phases? They just don’t seem easy to maintain. Before we know it, we find ourselves on a downward spiral, with a less positive attitude and dwindling motivation. Could it be that our chakras have become blocked? That’s certainly the case for many people, so chakra re-balancing is a great place to start if we’re to get back on top of our game.
The third chakra in the primary system of seven is the solar plexus chakra. This chakra is our center of personal power, and willpower. It relates to our perception of self, confidence, and integrity. The Sanskrit name for it is Manipura, which translates to ‘city of jewels’ or ‘seat of gems’.
Where is the solar plexus chakra?
The solar plexus chakra is positioned between the navel and diaphragm. That’s why it is sometimes referred to as nabhi, which means navel. However, the most commonly accepted position is the solar plexus area.
Manipura relates to the digestive system (in particular the gastric and hypogastric plexi), as well as the adrenals, gallbladder, and pancreas. In addition it is responsible for our metabolisms and transformation of matter in our bodies, which means that it is in charge of processing the fuels we put into it; these may be biological or energetic.
This chakra can be thought of as the seat of the personality. It is strongly linked to personal identity or ego. For this reason, it has a strong influence on self-esteem and the way we relate to others. Those with a warm and welcoming personality probably have a strong solar plexus chakra.
Key characteristics of the solar plexus chakra
The symbology of the solar plexus chakra is, like many of the others, similar to a flower. The chakra color is yellow, and it is represented by a circle encased in ten petals. The circle contains an inverted triangle. This symbol is also reminiscent of the sun, which correlates with the energy of the chakra in many ways.
The triangle represents the element of fire, which is why the petals are sometimes depicted in red. When fire burns it generates energy and this equates to fuel for our being. Fire is also destructive, but destruction must happen for transformation to occur. Out with the old, in with the new… we move forward from what is no longer needed when the flames clear the space.
Manipura encourages us to be comfortable with our power and to know that we always have a choice. Well, almost always! Personal choice is a power to be used wisely and doing so brings magical results. Will we choose to be a slave to past challenges, or to move on? Manipura propels us toward proactive and prudent choices.
This means that we must accept personal responsibility for what happens in our lives. With the help of this chakra, we can accept our humanity and the shadow side of our being. This in itself is a discipline that can be developed with patience and mindfulness; it is one that leads to freedom, and renewed personal power.
What happens when the solar plexus chakra is imbalanced?
As this chakra strongly relates to power and discipline, it greatly affects the way you wield this energy in the world. People with a high-functioning solar plexus chakra usually have a wily intellect. They tend to be assertive and have no problems expressing their will.
When things are as they should be, you will value yourself and take pride in your talents and abilities. You will have a sense of self-acceptance and you’ll have no problems being in the driver’s seat of your life. You won’t blame external circumstances for your emotions, nor indulge victimhood. You’ll always look for ways to move forward.
You may have noticed that when things don’t seem to be going well, you get a heavy feeling in the solar plexus. It literally feels like a weight you can’t shift. Sometimes this feeling relates to future events if you’re intuitive; your solar plexus chakra lets you know that challenges are ahead. It also reminds you that how you deal with them is a choice.
An overactive solar plexus chakra
Overactive solar plexus chakras can result in emotional explosions and a persistent feeling of stress. You may feel out of control and find yourself grasping at unhealthy solutions to problems. You may wish to have control over others, becoming more domineering, stubborn or aggressive.
It’s possible to become obsessed with perfection, leading to critical tendencies. You may become quite judgmental, and although you could have bags of energy for projects and ideas, you’ll lack the motivation to carry them out. Ironically, you’ll probably feel certain that you’re ‘right’ and refuse to listen to the advice of others.
An under-active solar plexus chakra
As chakra under-activity often manifests as lack, lethargy or passiveness, you may well experience these symptoms. Life sails on by and you don’t have the motivation to get into its flow. There may be a tendency towards self-criticism, which further depletes the energy in a kind of vicious circle.
Under-activity in this chakra sometimes results in the giving away of personal power. You might feel unable to say no when you want to, becoming unnaturally submissive. You will probably lack drive and spontaneity, with a diminished sense of individuality. Following the crowd or handing over authority is more likely.
On a physical level, a blocked solar plexus chakra may manifest as digestive problems like stomach ulcers, or eating disorders.
How to balance the solar plexus chakra
In order to balance your solar plexus chakra, your aim must be self-love, acceptance, and appreciation for your worth as a human being. That’s not such a bad goal to have! You will want to regain a healthy lust for life and the motivation needed to take care of what’s truly important to you.
Introduce some new foods to your diet
If you don’t already, put more whole grains on your plate each day. Oats, rice, spelt, and rye will help with your physical digestion, which has a knock-on effect on the solar plexus chakra.
Are you eating enough organic fruit and vegetables? This is important. Go for yellow foods: bananas, pineapple, and lemons are great, as are sweetcorn (non-GMO!) and yellow peppers. Also consider eating more beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
Healthy spices are a great help too. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, ginger aids your digestion; cumin and cinnamon are great too – they add delicious flavors to your dishes.
Make some plans… and stick to them
Planning seriously really rekindles motivation. Instead of idly mulling over ideas and doing nothing about them, write down a plan for something you’ve wanted to achieve for a while. If you don’t have that in mind, come up with a list of new experiences that excite you.
It doesn’t matter how small your goal is, the point is that you are going to muster up the will to achieve it. A goal diary is a useful tool – you can keep track of where you’re at and set realistic timescales. It’s actually very exciting when you start to see the results; let that thought be your motivation.
Get some sun on your skin
For a start, vitamin D3 is a crucial vitamin for health and vitality – even a balanced mental state. Your skin synthesizes this vitamin as soon as those golden rays hit your skin. In moderation, this is one of the healthiest things you can do. Beware chemical sunscreens that halt the vitamin D production.
As we explained above, the symbology of the solar plexus chakra contains the element of fire. Just committing to getting out for a quick walk may be enough to take in the sun’s vital energy, as long as it’s regularly. Another option is sun gazing – it’s is a powerful tool. Just make sure you do it safely so as not to damage your retinas!
We always recommend affirmations as a chakra-balancing tool, because affirmations are simply a statement of intent. Intent is the most powerful force in the universe!
Re-empower your solar plexus chakra with some simple affirmations. “I am, I can, I will” is one of the most potent mantras around. The best thing is that it can apply to anything at all! Whatever you have been feeling has been missing, turn it on its head.
[mkd_blockquote text=”I AM ENOUGH” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]
[mkd_blockquote text=”I LOVE MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]
All of these are bound to make you feel good, and as they say… fake it ‘til you make it! While you’re repeating your affirmations, visualize your yellow solar plexus chakra spinning in full power, throwing off the negative energies it has collected. You are free!
Get back on your yoga mat
We may be biased, but yoga almost feels like a cure-all! It is certainly an excellent chakra-balancing tool. In every stretch, you can release the detrimental energy you’ve been holding; especially if you consciously intend to.
As the goal is to rebalance your solar plexus, you’re going to want to take poses that open this area up as much as possible. Upward dog is great, as is the bow or camel. If you can manage it, get into a full wheel… pure exhilaration! You can also try these yoga poses for core strength. In terms of breath work, the breath of fire is an awesome tool for unblocking Manipura.
Incorporating any of these practices into your daily life is going to work wonders for your chakra blockages. We’re certain that before long, you’ll have forgotten what it even felt like to be out of balance. So… go forth and be powerful!
Picture via Unsplash by Miguel Bruna