Living Yoga | Balancing Your Chakras, Part III: Solar Plexus

Living Balanced
Living Balanced

Jump-start your “get-up-and-go” attitude, stimulate digestion, take sensible risks, and assume responsibility by firing up your third chakra.

The third chakra, Manipura (solar plexus), is located behind the navel center. Manipura translates to “lustrous gem.” Governed at this fiery center is power, accomplishments, will, energies, metabolism, and freedom to be yourself. It’s also the place of deep belly laughter, warmth, ease, and the vitality received from performing selfless service.

Manipura chakra’s element is fire. Its sense is sight. Its color is yellow.

The Manipura chakra rules the upper abdomen, adrenals, muscles, liver, gall bladder, middle spine, stomach, small intestine, digestive system, and the pancreas. When off balance, symptoms may include arthritis, diabetes, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, colon diseases, stomach ulcers, and adrenal imbalances. Struggles with anger, perfectionism, or the need to control and dominate others may develop when Manipura is out of balance.

A healthy, spirited third chakra provides intelligence, determination, confidence, good mental focus, and strong digestion.

Ayurveda wisdom, yoga, and seva (selfless service) help balance Manipura. According to Ayurveda, digestion can be improved by stimulating the agni (digestive fire). Agni can be compared to a burning fire. If the flame is too low, it will take a long time to cook the food. If the fire is too big, it can burn the food.

Digestive fires should be balanced so meals can be digested efficiently and smoothly. Avoid ice cold foods and cold drinks with meals. This is like putting cold water on digestive fire and extinguishing it. Ayurveda recommends eating a one inch piece of fresh ginger with a few drops of lemon juice with a few pinches of salt on it before a full meal. This activates the salivary glands, producing necessary digestive enzymes such that nutrients in food are easily absorbed by the body.

Yoga asanas (poses) that heat and twist the body are beneficial.

  • Surya Namaskar A (sun salutation) Try for a minimum of five rounds.
  • Navasana (boat)
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle)

Seva is a pure expression of gratitude with no thought of receiving anything in return. The practice of charity will clarify one's path of action, or karma. Plant seeds of kindness and nurture them with love and intention. Practice performing selfless acts of kindness daily. Give blood, donate, volunteer, and simply be courteous with no strings attached. Fan the flames of your inner fire and restore vitality so that you can move from your core. Rekindle confidence, strength, responsibility, courage, and empowerment.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Next up is Chakra IV: Anahata.

 

Photo by Tony Frantz