Manipura = Dwelling place of gems
Mani = jewel or gem
Pura = dwelling place
The third chakra, Manipura Chakra, is known as the power center and it is located at the front of the spine in the region of the solar plexus and navel. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. It is responsible for the digestion and assimilation of food and it corresponds to the stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen and mid back.
When Manipura chakra is healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power. We are confident and focused while possessing strength, fortitude, and determination.
The third chakra develops in our teenage years as we begin to develop our own identity. The issues that arise here involve our development of personal power, autonomy, self-esteem, individuality, and the fulfillment of our dreams.
The ego arises in the third chakra along with our desire for authority, respect, identity, recognition and power. The overactive third chakra gives rise to egotism, pride, selfishness and the desire for control.
Manipura Chakra at a Glance:
- Location: Front of the spine at Navel or Solar Plexus
- Element: Fire
- Color: Yellow
- Lotus: Ten Petaled
- Bija Mantra: RAM
- Aspects: Vision, form, ego, willpower, determination, confidence
- Sense: Sight
- Vayu: Saman
- Planet: Sun (solar)
- Kosha: Pranamaya
Manipura Chakra’s Ten Petaled Lotus
The ten petals of Manipura chakra are associated with ten different aspects of Braddha Rudra, otherwise known as Old Shiva. Braddha Rudra is the deity associated with the third chakra. The ten petals represent ten forms of vrittis or mental modifications. These mental modifications include:
- spiritual ignorance
Manipura Chakra and the Element of Fire
The third chakra’s element is fire. Fire provides both light and heat. Just as the sun is the source of life within our solar system, similarly, manipura chakra is the center of life within our own bodies. The fire of manipura chakra is our source of vitality and transformation. It is also linked with our digestion and assimilation of nutrients, thoughts and information and it is deeply related to hunger, thirst, sleep, lethargy, and ojas (radiance).
The Bija Mantra for Manipura Chakra
The bija mantra or seed sound for Manipura Chakra is RAM. When chanted it guides Kundalini shakti up toward the third chakra and increases the flow of prana (life force) to the solar plexus region.
When chanted repeatedly, the sound RAM creates a vibration at the navel center and may help improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Chanting RAM also helps coax Kundalini shakti up out of Muladhara and Svadisthana chakras and up into the sushumna nadi, our central channel. The seed sound RAM helps us cultivate the courage, support and drive to achieve our goals.
Lakini Devi and the Solar Plexus Chakra
Like Braddha Rudra, the goddess Lakini Devi, or Bhadra Kali, is linked to the third chakra. Bhadra Kali is the compassionate, benevolent form of the goddess of destruction, Kali. She is beautiful. She holds a fire pot, representing agni; one hand is holding the abhai mudra, a hand mudra for fearlessness and boons; she holds a thunderbolt that represents the continual flow of energy; and she holds an arrow to represent the upward flow of energy and the energies of accomplishment, freedom, independence, and authority. She encourages us to set goals and concentrate on what we need to do to achieve them.
An Out of Balance Third Chakra
Dysfunction in Manipura chakra manifests as many emotional issues associated with trust, fear, intimidation, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-responsibility, self-respect, care of oneself and others, decision making, fear of rejection, and sensitivity to criticism. Fears related to Manipura are fears of rejection/failure, criticism, and judgment.
To heal the third chakra one must learn to honor oneself, to develop self-respect and healthy self-esteem. In third chakra development, we learn about and understand our relationship with our selves, how we stand on our own two feet, and how we take care of ourselves. In Carolyn Myss’s book Anatomy of the Spirit she states, “How we feel about ourselves, whether we respect ourselves, determines the quality of our life, our capacity to succeed in business, relationships, healing and intuitive skills.” Isn’t this the truth?!?!?
When we’re down on ourselves it affects every aspect of our lives and sometimes it can be hard to pull ourselves out of that rut. When we lack confidence, self-love and self-respect we give our power away to others… those we see as higher than us and sometimes even to our partners. Myss continues, “Given your particular body, environment, and beliefs, will you make choices that enhance your spirit or those that drain your power into the physical illusion around you?… the third chakra will cause you to evaluate your sense of power and self in relation to the external world.” And you will face these challenges again and again until you’re secure in your self-worth.
A Balanced Manipura Chakra
When healthy and balanced the third chakra manifests characteristics of healthy self-esteem, self-respect, ambition, discipline, the ability to take action, and the courage to take risks. When the third chakra is healthy one is generous, acts ethically and with integrity.
Practices to Balance the Third Chakra
Acts of Service (Seva)
Selfless acts and acts of charity help to balance the overactive third chakra. Selfless acts are those that are done without expectation of reward, recognition or anything in return. So often we get stuck ourselves stuck in the mindset of serving ourselves, but when we learn how to selflessly serve others, that is when the real magic happens.
Enhance your inner power
When we choose to work on developing our inner power the influence of the external world loses its grip on us. When we are living in accordance with our dharma, aligned with the intelligence of our higher self, we strengthen not only our inner power, but also our energetic field, we increase our sense of self-worth and we start weeding out the energy vampires and negative people in our lives. Stop giving your energy away for free!
Start Facing Your Fears
Use techniques like fear setting to overcome your fears and start building your confidence. I’m not sure who came up with the idea of fear setting, but it’s a great way to start really moving forward. According to Tim Ferris, fear setting is, “An operating system for thriving in high stress environments. It’s a way to visualize all the bad things that could happen to you, so you because less afraid of taking action.” Work through your fears and you’ll find yourself less fearful, empowered, healthy, and successful.
Courage to take leaps and follow through. Now that the fear setting is done, start making changes.
Get over needing to be comfortable and secure. Yes, I said that. Anytime we try something new, go someplace new there is a bit of discomfort. Embrace it. It’s speaking to you. Notice what is coming up. Notice your judgements and your expectations. Notice how your body is responding to the discomfort. Take a deep breath and do it anyway.
Examine your beliefs.
Get out your journal and answer the following questions: What beliefs do I have about myself? Are they true? What beliefs do I have about my abilities? What am I good at? What brings me joy? How can I do more of that? What small steps can I start today to bring more awareness to my third chakra and its qualities? Do I believe in myself? You have got to have faith in yourself!!! You are strong! You are loved! You are worthy!
Accept responsibility for your actions.
Own your actions. Own the good and the bad. Celebrate your wins. Learn from your mistakes. Apologize when necessary. Keep going.
Visualize your best life ever, your “happy and complete” life. Envision your next version of you. How does he/she behave? How does she live? What relationships does he/she have? What are they like? What are his/her strengths? What does her day/week/year look like?
Plan it out. I personally swear by The 12 Week Year, but use any goal setting technique that resonates with you. Just make sure to break those goals down into smaller actionable, measurable goals. Small wins will help to build confidence in your ability to achieve your goals.
Do Strengthening Practices.
Do a stronger yoga practice to stoke the inner fire. Lift weights. Do pilates and other core exercises. These practices will help you build confidence in your physical abilities, in addition to helping you feel great in your body.
My favorite Manipura chakra yoga practices include:
- Plank, side plank, forearm plank
- Crow pose and other arm balances
- Boat pose
- Strong standing series with Warrior Poses and Balancing Poses
- Twists to invigorate samana vayu
- Kappalabhati and/or Bhastrika pranayama techniques
Mudras like Pran, Ganesha, Abhaya Hridaya can all help work with the energy of the third chakra. Hand mudras can easily be incorporated into your asana, pranayama and meditation practices. Need ideas? Check out the mudra section of this blog.
Crystals for Manipura Chakra
- Tiger’s Eye (protection, grounding and cleansing)
- Citrine (self-healing, increases energy and drive)
- Sunstone (improves intuition and authenticity, dissipates fear, alleviates stress, increases vitality and encourages independence. It may be helpful to those who have difficulty saying “No”.)
- Amber (boosts confidence and improves mental clarity)
- Yellow and Orange Calcite (creative and sexual energy and increases confidence)
- Yellow Jasper (protection, balance and activation of Manipura chakra)
- Pyrite (a stone for prosperity, it also encourages looking within)
- Lemon Quartz (optimism)