The Solar Plexus Chakra
The Solar Plexus chakra is the third of seven chakras and it governs our will and our personal power. This chakra is associated with the Solar Plexus within the human body and the element of fire (tejas – fire or illumination) and transformation. It is involved during decision-making and whenever we take action – both good and bad. This fiery element is also closely linked to our digestive fire. This chakra gives us clarity about who we are and our purpose in life. The condition of the solar plexus chakra can have a profound affect on our self-esteem. We find self-control, power and personal drive through this chakra.
Name, Symbol & Meaning
The solar plexus chakra is also known by the Sanskrit word Manipura; derived from the words mani- “gem/jewel” and pura- “place” and so is often translated as the City of Jewel’s or the Lustrous Gem, with the jewels representing clarity, self-confidence and wisdom that is present within us. Another name for the solar plexus chakra is the Power Center.
The root chakra symbol consists of a yellow 10-petal lotus flower within which, lays an inverted equilateral triangle (similar to the root chakra) and governed by the element of fire. Sometimes this chakra contains some elements of orange/red, often shown with the petals and triangle to represent the fire element. The deities associated with this chakra are – Agni, Rudra and Lakini.
Each of the ten petals contains the inscription of one of the following Sanskrit syllables - pha, pa, na, dha, da, tha, ta, nna, ddha, and dda – each with its own meaning. Each syllable corresponds to the vritti’s of spiritual ignorance - sadness, foolishness, delusion, disgust, fear, shame, treachery, jealousy, ambition and ignorance. Vritti translates to “vortex” or “whirlpool” and can be described as the cyclical movements of energy. Here, in the context of the solar plexus chakra and its relation to spiritual ignorance, we can describe vritti to mean “fluctuation of the mind”.
Furthermore, the ten petals represent the ten Pranas (currents of energy) that meet at and are regulated by the solar plexus chakra. There are two different types of prana; the five Prana Vayu’s – Prana, Apana, Udana, Samana and Vyana and the five Upa Prana’s – Naga, Kurma, Devadatta, Krikala and Dhananjaya.
The inverted triangle represents the transformative (fiery) power of this chakra and the concentration of energy of the lower 3 chakras. Fire is the element that is often involved in the transformation of energy from one form to another, which can be utilised for movement or forward propulsion. This effectively symbolises our personal will and how it is required to carry things out and forge new paths in our own lives.
The Solar Plexus Chakra & the Physical Body
The solar plexus chakra is above the sacral chakra and below the heart chakra, located in the upper abdomen where the diaphragm rests in the area of the human body’s solar plexus or celiac plexus – a complex system of nerves.
Associations, Functions & Characteristics
Seed (Bij) Sound:“RAM”
Right:“to act” or “to do”
Key Themes: Personal power, will power, self-esteem, self-acceptance, achievement, personal identity, sense of purpose, self-control/discipline, intellect/mental ability, wisdom (at higher frequencies), formation of personal values and beliefs, assertiveness, decision-making, clarity of judgment, independence, perseverance, digestion (food and information);
Physical Association: pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, liver, spleen, small intestine, abdominal core/cavity, and parasympathetic nervous system.
The solar plexus chakra is crucial in the development and practice of self-awareness and self-reflection; furthermore, the action that follows these. Imbalance in this chakra will have significant affects on our personality and anything to do with making judgments and assessments of our life and our ability to take control of it and take action towards our desires.
Physical Effects of Manipura Chakra Imbalance:
· Allergies – over/underactive immune system;
· Digestive issues;
· Issues with our adrenal cortex (vital in our response to stress);
· Dysregulation and disease of the pancreas, liver and other abdominal organs;
· Weakened abdominal core.
Emotional, Psychological & Spiritual Effects of Manipura Chakra Imbalance:
· Low self-esteem;
· Lack of motivation/procrastination;
· Erratic behaviour (not doing things with intention);
· Control issues;
· Feelings of helplessness;
· Manipulative behaviour;
· Lack of direction or purpose;
· Inability to realize ideas/plans into reality;
· Inability to take responsibility for one’s own actions.
Using affirmations during meditation or any other mindfulness practice is an effective way to address solar plexus chakra issues and imbalance. Any affirmations that include any of the themes associated with the solar plexus chakra will work. Here are a few examples that you can use:
Ø I am strong;
Ø I am worthy
Ø I honour myself;
Ø I honour my personal power;
Ø I direct my own life
Asanas for the Solar Plexus Chakra
There are many yoga asana that can be practiced in order to target the solar plexus chakra. My favorite pose to practice to work on my solar plexus chakra is Parsva Bakasana (side crow). This is an amazingly powerful pose that helps to build strength and confidence. This pose also involves a deep twist, which allows for deep penetrative work into the abdominal core where the solar plexus chakra resides. As it is an arm balance, mastering this pose can be challenging, however; with regular practice, it provides yogi’s with the opportunity to tap into their personal power and persevere even when the goal may not yet be anywhere in sight.
The physical benefits of side crow includes – strengthening of the arms, development of the abdominal lateral muscles and improved digestion.
N.B. You may see this pose written as side crane (Parsva Kakasana) pose in some descriptions. There is a distinct difference between the two poses – the arms are straight in side crane whereas in side crow, the arms are bent. Most people consider the side crane pose to be more challenging, as it does not require as much support from the arms and utilizes greater core activation.
Step-by-step instruction for Side Crow:
Begin in chair pose with your hands together at your heart centre. On your exhale, twist to the right by hooking your left elbow as far around your right thigh as possible.
Slowly lower your hips to your heels, so you are on your tiptoes with the twist.
Draw your left arm down toward the floor until your armpit is as close as possible to your right thigh. Place the palm of your left hand on the floor just outside your right foot, and your right hand firmly on the ground about your shoulder-width distance away.
Lean your weight into your left arm and slowly shift your weight forward, into your hands.
Play with lifting your left foot off the ground, followed by your right. If your feet lift off the ground, keep your feet together and flex your feet (so your toes point towards your shins)
Hug your belly up and in, and don’t forget to breathe!
Hold for 5 breaths or more. When ready, lower your feet down to your mat on an exhalation. Come back to stand at the top of your mat, then repeat on the other side.
Work on your solar plexus to regain control of your life and begin to take action to materialise your goals!
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.