For part three of this new series on the chakras, we’re focusing on the seat of the soul – the solar plexus. This is the third of the main seven chakras in the human body. (If you’re not caught up, be sure to check out part one on the root and part two on the sacral chakra!)
The Solar Plexus Chakra at a Glance
The solar plexus chakra, or manipura chakra in Sanskrit, translates to, “city of jewels.” Located in the upper belly at the diaphragm, it acts as the center of personal power. This chakra governs personality, ego, and identity, as well as personal freedom, choice, and authenticity.
The solar plexus chakra also has much to do with motivation, willpower, and purpose, which stem from one’s sense of personal efficacy. Self-confidence and view of the self connect to the solar plexus chakra, as well. Furthermore, this chakra governs the digestive system and its respective organs; as a result, it has jurisdiction over both the gut’s emotional brain and stored emotions.
The solar plexus chakra has a masculine energy and is symbolized by the color yellow (and/or gold) and by a downward-pointing triangle within a ten-petaled flower. Elementally, the solar plexus chakra is associated with fire (as well as the sun) and its mantra is, “I can.” (Accordingly, manifestation work connects to this chakra specifically.)
On the Earth
Every major chakra in the body has a counterpart on the earth. The earth chakra which pairs with the solar plexus is located at a pair of massive rock formations in Australia called Uluru & Kata Tjuta. Both formations are thousands of feet tall and sit on protected land due to their cultural value to Australian Aboriginal peoples, as they play important roles in creation and ancient wisdom. Fitting with the solar plexus chakra’s element of fire, the formations turn a fiery red color at sunrise and sunset.
When Blocked or Out of Balance
When the energy of the solar plexus chakra is out of alignment, common physiological cues include gastric or digestion issues like stomach pain, heartburn, acid reflux, nausea, ulcers, or a loss of appetite. More serious conditions like diabetes, hypoglycemia, and even eating disorders can link back to the solar plexus chakra, as well. Of course, this is a spiritual belief and does not replace the opinion of a trained doctor.
On an emotional scale, irresponsibility, an excessive need for control, victim mentality, and feelings of helplessness, insecurity or inauthenticity can be connected to this chakra.
Yoga is one powerful tool for realigning the solar plexus chakra. Specific asanas that can target this chakra include bow pose, boat pose, lion pose, mountain pose, warrior pose, and seated spinal twist. Or, follow along with a full yoga flow like this third chakra yoga, energizing yoga for willpower & motivation, or yoga & affirmations for confidence & self-esteem. Beyond yoga, movement in general can be effective in balancing this chakra, as exercise can help to create an individual sense of strength, growth, and power.
There are a variety of emotional and mental tools to employ, too. For instance, try a visualization such as the breathing in and radiating back out of spinning golden light from the solar plexus, the chakra expanding wider with each breath. Or, try a meditation designed for the solar plexus chakra, like the ones I list here. Likewise, use the vibrations of a drawn-out vocalization of the seed syllable, “ram,” to target the solar plexus chakra and bring it back into alignment. (And remember, pronounce it as, “rom,” not as, “ram,” like the animal.)
Affirmations can be beneficial to incorporate into chakra-balancing work, too. They are often included in yoga flows or guided meditations, but they can be used at any point throughout the day when the solar plexus might need a little boost. (For example, consider speaking a few of these in front of the bathroom mirror each morning.) Affirmations for the solar plexus chakra include:
- I am enough.
- I have purpose.
- I know who I am and I live true to myself.
- I am confident and authentic.
- I am strong, capable, and powerful.
Another approach is to use aromatherapy and essential oils to balance the chakras in a more passive way, as oils can be diffusing while you engage in other activities, whether chakra-related or not. For the solar plexus chakra, try scents like cedar wood, bergamot, rosemary, and chamomile. Crystals like citrine, yellow topaz, and yellow tourmaline, as well as foods like yellow squash or carrots, can help cleanse and align the energy of the solar plexus chakra, too.
When struggling with the solar plexus chakra, perhaps the simplest thing to do is to make small choices that create feelings of personal power and authenticity! Whether it is wearing a certain color, item of clothing, perfume, or hairstyle, (not to mention the number of other choices available to make throughout the day), even the smallest daily decisions can aid in the alignment of the solar plexus chakra.
Want to get in touch with the solar plexus’ element of fire? There are certainly some places to visit which can help one feel, well, fiery. For instance, check out the Valley of Fire in Nevada, full of bright red-orange rocks, and any of the countless other deserts of the American Southwest. Similarly, pay a visit to Arizona’s Antelope Canyon. Or, for something a bit different, go to the source of fire itself by traveling to a volcano! Perhaps Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the best spots to go. Or, for those who are feeling particularly adventurous…Burning Man! If trips like these aren’t feasible, even getting out into some sunshine for a few minutes can do wonders.
By keeping the solar plexus chakra in balance and flowing freely with energy, we can empower ourselves to live with a strong sense of identity, purpose, confidence, and motivation. Instead of obsessing over maintaining control in our lives and relationships, we can develop the personal power to let things go and live from a greater feeling of freedom. With an aligned solar plexus, we can be our truest, most authentic selves in all we do and in every choice we make.