The third Chakra is called Manipura, which means “lustrous gem.” Located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breastbone, it is a source of personal power and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. The Manipura Chakra also controls metabolism and digestion.
When you feel self-confident, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your third Chakra is open and healthy. If your third Chakra is out of balance, you can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. The element is fire and the color is yellow, bright like the sun.
When you have clear goals, desires, and intentions, you can move forward to achieve them. Each small step you take while honoring the larger intention helps to strengthen your third Chakra. The fire within, called Tejas in Sanskrit, is the same fire in the Ayurvedic dosha Pitta. A person with strong Pitta has that inner drive to propel them forward toward their goals.
No matter which dominant dosha type you have, you can harness the power of Manipura to assert your will in a healthy way and achieve any goal you set out to accomplish. If you find you are stuck with a decision or are at a crossroads and aren’t sure which way to go, look to a gut feeling in your solar plexus for guidance.
Close your eyes, place your hand over the area slightly above your belly button.
- Bring to mind the problem or dilemma.
- Notice how your third Chakra feels when you give it choices regarding the subject you’re struggling with. A sinking or nauseated feeling may tell you that the decision is wrong.
- If you present your solar plexus with the right choice, you may feel lightness in the area or you may even feel like you can breathe easier.
Strengthen Your Digestive Fire
The digestive fire, called Agni, is also present in the third Chakra. To help the Manipura Chakra remain open and aligned, keep your digestive fire healthy. Follow these guidelines for more powerful Agni:
- Drink beverages at room temperature or slightly warmed; avoid adding ice.
- Eat about two cupped handfuls of food at every meal to avoid overeating.
- Stay away from spicy foods if you are a Pitta type.
- Take small sips of water while eating, and avoid soda, alcohol, and fruit juice. Drinking a lot while eating tends to dilute the digestive acids, while drinking alcohol tends to give you excess acid.
- Let your stomach rest between meals. Grazing and frequent snacking don’t give your body time to replenish Agni, which happens when the stomach is resting.
Enhance Digestion and Increase Metabolism With Bhastrika Breath
Since the third Chakra governs both digestion and metabolism, you can easily awaken both with breathing exercises. Make sure your stomach is not full before starting this breathing pattern.
- Sit comfortably with the spine tall and the shoulders relaxed.
- Start by taking a few deep breaths in and out the nose with the lips closed.
- Then, forcefully inhale through the nose while inflating the lower abdomen and forcefully exhale through the nose while pressing the lower abdomen toward the spine.
- Use one-half count on the inhalation and one-half count on the exhalation at a rapid pace. You will feel like you’re getting an abdominal workout.
- Try for 10 repetitions and then work it up to 15 or 20. After you’re finished, you will feel a tingling or glowing feeling around the navel.
Balance the Third Chakra With Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
Any yoga pose that brings heat to the area of the solar plexus is good for stimulating a sluggish third Chakra. These poses include Navasana (boat pose), Matsyandrasana (seated spinal twist), and warrior.
The mantra sound for the third Chakra is RAM. Chanting this sound will help to open and align the Chakra.
Since the color of this Chakra is yellow or gold, any gem corresponding to these colors will help to open the solar plexus area and bring energy to the spleen, liver, pancreas, and stomach. Yellow topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger-eye stones are all great gems to enhance your sense of personal power.
The Symbolism of the Image
The Manipura Chakra, the gem center is at the level of the solar plexus. It is the seat of the fire within the body. Located at the navel, this is the Chakra of the life force. A downward-pointing red triangle is located in a circle surrounded by ten petals.
- Number of petals: 10
- Location: Solar Plexus
- Name: The city of Gems
- Plane: Celestial plane
- Sense Organ: Eyes
- Work Organ: Feet and legs
- Sense: Sight
- Element: Fire
- Shape: Triangle
- Sound: Rang
The Manipura is related to the principle of sight. According to the Shiva Samhita, the adept who contemplates Manipura Chakra not only conquers disease and death but also acquires the ability to enter another body.
The seed mantra is Ram. The Chakra’s vital breath is Samana. Samana vayu is one of the currents of prana, the life force, which pervades all limbs and is responsible for nourishing the body by distributing food as rasa.
The presiding deity of this Chakra, Braddha Rudra, represents the power of destruction. All that exists returns to him. He has camphor-blue skin smeared wit ashes and a silver beard, and sits in his wrathful form on a golden tiger skin symbolic of the tiger of the mind that dwells in the forest of desires.
The tiger represents manas, the mind. When Rudra manifests his supreme power, he is Ishvara and is the creator, maintainer and destroyer of the universe. Rudra is he who causes the disappearance of sorrow or who bestows knowledge.
The energy generated by him is Lakini Shakti, four-armed, three-faced. In one of her four hands she holds the thunderbolt, or vajra. In her second hand, she holds the arrow that is shot from the bow of Kama, the Lord of Sex, in the second Chakra.
Her third hand holds fire. With the fourth hand Lakini Shakti forms the mudra (hand gesture) of granting boons and dispelling fear.
The Chakra’s associated animal is the ram, vehicle of the fire-god Agni.