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.
While reading Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, I came across a wonderful series of meditations. They read a little like a story, and some of them more like poetry, and they really give a wonderful in depth understanding of the various chakras and their deeper meanings. Each one builds on the one before, so they are best read in order, from Root to Crown.
Here is a list if you’d like to explore them:
We are still, yet we sense a growing warmth within us. We are alone, yet we sense others around us, longing to break free, longing for warmth and light. There is a form here, but it is empty. There is life here, but it is still. There is awareness here and it is awakening!
From a place of stillness, we call forth movement. Slowly reaching out, expanding, breathing, stretching, flowing. Into form, we invoke life. Its spark from the fire of the place between – between ourselves and others, between past and future, between the known and the unknown.
We move and dance, pleasure singing through us as the dance of life burns its way through our fears and our pains. Feel the warmth of pleasure melting tension, pulsating, growing – the rhythms lifting and moving, healing and soothing, warming and cooling.
From a place of infinite movement we call on the self. We call on the Self to awaken to another part of the journey. We call upon the Self to awaken to the sun, the fire, the warmth, the transformation. We call upon the Self through our will, and it rises to our call.
We reach for the sun and call upon the yellow ray. The ray of life, the ray of creation, the ray of consciousness, the spark of fire … We call upon the flame to burn within us and temper our passions into strength. With strength we fight the dark, pushing and straining, to realize it is part of ourselves, part of our strength, part of our fear. We laugh, and put down the fight, merging, becoming whole, becoming stronger. We pass between the pillars of light and dark, honoring both … and find ourselves in a new and glorious land. A land of bustling activity, teeming with life, sparkling like stars and shining rivers of light reflecting the sun.
The sparks catch our eyes, we turn toward their glow and they move and dance, connecting and igniting all that they touch. They touch something within, igniting strength, will, action. Sparks fly, igniting other threads, other fires … they explode, burn bright … and are gone.
We are lifted, we are lightened, we are laughing. We feel our bodies sway with the rising heat, hot tongues of fire moving within us, expanding, contracting, but growing ever wider, yet returning always to its source within us. Our bodies now burning, radiating heat and light and strength and will. Power pulsating through us, from above, below, around, and running through, transforming all that is within and without our bellies bursting with joy.
Feel this energy deep within your body, burning with the fire of your own life. Feel it pushing deep into the Earth, down through the Earth, to the hot molten center of the Earth. Feel it return from the Earth, rising up from the heat below, through your legs, your pelvis, your belly, moving up through your body, through each part of your body – your arms, your hands, your chest, neck, and head.
Feel it flowing out of you, connecting with other sparks, filaments of energy, other fires of life. Feel it connect with the thoughts inside you, your constant sparking of neurons, interconnecting filaments of energy, lines of thought, patterns in a web, ebbing and flowing in pulsing flames, burning with the glow of activity.
You are now a vital intersection of energy, merging, combining, exploding, radiating. Expand your awareness without and within, weaving a web of power, like a fire, growing higher and brighter. Power flows through you effortlessly, easily, calmly. You are one with the powers around you and within you.
Think of the times when you knew this power. Times when you felt this connection, vitality, importance, and strength. Think of the times power flowed through you, like warmth from the sun. Think of those times and feel them now. Feel your body radiate their purpose, dance with their majesty, sing with their strength.
In this fiery world of activity you are a channel for power around you. You open to it, you burn with it, you drink it in, and you pass it on … easily, effortlessly, willingly, joyfully.
Your power peaks and returns, feeding the fire within – a molten core, feeding your body, silently charging, ready to expand again when your next purpose calls.
The fire has burned high, and the coals now glow with warmth. Exhilarated, your body relaxes. A smile plays on your lips, your hands are at peace with the strength they have carried, and you again return to the gentle breathing … in … and out … in … and out … in … and out.
Satisfied, you rest.
From: Wheels of Life
The Solar Plexus (or third) chakra is centered along the spine behind the stomach region. It is the chakra responsible for receiving messages through clairsentience and is affected by power, control, and irrational fear. It corresponds to the digestive system of the physical body (stomach, intestines, etc) and is the color yellow.
When this chakra is open and balanced: You have a deeply fulfilling emotional life. You take an expansive, outgoing, and sociable attitude to the world. You are able to feel the sweetness of life and have a sense of belonging and fitting in perfectly in the universe. You feel daring and confident and able to take risks. Hence this is the chakra associated with the leader, the explorer, and the charismatic extroverted individual. Confident, Optimistic, Good humored
When this chakra is out of balance or constricted, you may feel: A need to be in control, oversensitive to criticism, addictive personality, aggressiveness, low self-esteem. You might also experience stomach ulcers, fatigue weight around stomach, allergies, and or diabetes.
The Solar Plexus chakra is located between your navel and the base of your sternum. This is your lustrous gem. It is here where you get that feeling of flight or fight, butterflies in the stomach. This chakra is connected to the warm glowing sun, giving you vitality and energy and the confidence to live life to the full. It is your energy center.