The Solar Plexus Chakra

When our fire is strong, we dare to live our dreams and be out there in the world doing what we believe in, living in alignment with who we are. Exploring the Solar Plexus Chakra.

Beyond Butterflies: Embracing the Power and Promise of Your Solar Plexus

Today, we continue our Chakra journey with our third Chakra- Manipura. The luminous energy centre nestled in our core, pulsating with the essence of personal power, self-confidence, and transformative energy. In this space we will look at embracing the power and promise of your Solar Plexus.

We arrive at the city of jewels, the Manipura chakra, at our solar plexus centre around the navel. The location of all chakras coincides with the location of major intricate nerve networks or plexuses.

Manipura chakra is associated with the fire element. It is associated with our vitality, our energy. It’s our generator. Here lies our ability to digest food and thoughts, transform this energy, and assimilate it to be able to help others. 

Manipura and our Mental and Emotional Being

Our ego, ambition and drive are also associated with this chakra, as is our identity and sense of self. Here is the seat of our ability to deal with what life gives us. It governs how we digest life, how we stand up for ourselves, how strong, courageous and how worthy of love and respect we feel.

Fire element is action and transformation. Allowing ourselves to grow and become the best version of ourselves means taking action. It takes courage to get out of our comfort zone and leaving behind what no longer works for us or holds us back.

When this energy centre is balanced and energy flows freely, we feel free to choose our own path, proud of our achievements and more able to manifest our destiny. We feel connected to our life purpose and clear on where we are going, how to get there. We understand we have the power to turn our thought into reality and achieve our goals and dreams.

Manipura and our Physical Being

Our 2nd Brain

The Manipura chakra is the powerhouse of transformation. Its element is fire, which brings transformation, metabolisation, and absorption.  

Our Solar Plexus Chakra governs our digestive system and microbiome,  our second brain. Of course it doesn’t represent an exact equivalent to our actual brain. However, there’s significant truth to the connection between our gut and our mental and emotional well-being. Here’s why the gut plays such a crucial role:

Gut Microbiome

  • We house trillions of bacteria in our gut, collectively known as the gut microbiome. This complex ecosystem plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune response.
  • Recent research suggests a strong link between the gut microbiome and brain health. These bacteria produce neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) like serotonin and dopamine, which significantly impact mood, sleep, and stress regulation.
  • The gut also communicates with the brain through the vagus nerve, a major information highway. This bidirectional communication allows the gut to influence our mood, cognition, and behaviour, and vice versa (although 80/20 gut to brain).

Key reasons the gut is often called our “second brain”:

  • Production of neurotransmitters: As mentioned, the gut bacteria produce many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain, directly impacting how we feel and think.
  • Influence on stress and anxiety: Gut imbalances have been linked to increased stress and anxiety, while promoting gut health with beneficial bacteria can improve mood and resilience.
  • Impact on cognitive function: Research suggests the gut-brain axis plays a role in memory, learning, and overall cognitive function.
  • Modulation of immune response: The gut microbiome significantly influences our immune system, and in turn, chronic inflammation can negatively affect mood and mental health.

The Manipura chakra also governs our gallbladder (stores bile), pancreas (produces enzymes to help digestion and hormones- insulin and glucagon to maintain blood sugar level), adrenal glands (produces adrenalin for flight/fight response), and the liver ( breaks down, balances and creates nutrients  from our blood. Absorbs toxins to maintain homeostasis for our body).

Breathe In, Shine Out: Yoga Poses for Solar Plexus Activation

Yoga and Breathing: Physical Practices for Chakra Activation

Our yoga mats become a sacred ground as we delve into poses that ignite the fire within. Sun Salutations, with their dynamic flow, are an exquisite way to awaken the solar plexus chakra. As you move through each pose, visualise the golden light expanding from your core, infusing each movement with self-assurance and vitality. Poses like Warrior I, Boat Pose, and Chair Pose are also powerful allies in activating and balancing the solar plexus, helping you tap into your inner reservoir of strength.

All twists activate our solar plexus chakra.

All backbends are fantastic as the open the front of the body, might it be cobra pose (Bhujangasana), locust pose (Shalabhasana), bow pose (Dhanurasana), camel pose (Ustrasana), or upward facing cat pose. 

The play of opening and closing the front body in the Salut to the Sun (Surya Namaskar) is a great way to work with the chakras. And remember, Surya Namaskar works with all the chakras 😊

Inversions stimulate our digestive fire and actually direct the Agni ( Digestive fire)  towards the intestines. The flame will always point upwards, so when we are upside down, the digestive flame will point towards the bowels, helping to digest and address constipation.  

Breathing Practices

Bhastrika, a forceful and active inbreath and outbreath, is called breath of fire. 

Kapalabhati – skull shining, also benefits the Manipura chakra because we need to draw back the navel strongly and suddenly, directly affecting the area of the chakra.  

Surya Bhedana – Inhaling and exhaling through the right nostril. It creates warmth in the body by stimulating Pingala nadi, one of the main energy channels, which moves through each chakra. It is associated with the left side of our brain, the right side of our body, and the extrovert, warm, active side of our personality.

Meditation: A Journey to the Inner Sun

In the stillness of meditation, we connect with the radiant core of our being – the solar plexus chakra. Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and bring your awareness to the area just above your navel. Envision a vibrant sun radiating golden light, filling your entire being with warmth and confidence. Allow any stagnant energy to melt away, making room for a sense of empowerment and self-love to blossom within.

Mantras and Mudras: Channeling Solar Power

The power of sound and hand gestures can be transformative in balancing the solar plexus chakra. Chanting the bija mantra “RAM” resonates with this energy centre, infusing it with vibrant vibrations. Incorporate the Lotus Mudra by bringing your hands together in prayer position, then unfolding them like a lotus flower, symbolizing the blossoming of your personal power. Feel the energy flowing and expanding as you hold this mudra during your practice or meditation.

Affirmations: Seeds of Empowerment

As with the other chakras, you can use affirmations to connect to the chakra’s energy. For the Manipura chakra, you can use 

  • I am powerful and courageous.
  • I am inspired and motivated.
  • My life is purposeful.
  • I make my own decisions confidently.
  • I accept myself completely.
  • I am radiant like the sun.
  • I honour the power within me.
  • I make decisions quickly and face challenges calmly.
  • I am in control of my life.

Nourishing the Inner Fire: Mindful Living

Beyond the yoga mat, the solar plexus chakra craves mindful living. Nurture your inner fire by embracing a diet rich in vibrant, sun-kissed foods. Incorporate whole grains, yellow fruits, and vegetables into your meals, honouring your body as a temple for this radiant energy. Engage in activities that light up your soul, celebrating your uniqueness and embracing the transformative journey of life with courage and authenticity.

Illuminate Your Path

With more awareness of our energy centres, we can let the wisdom of yoga guide us in cultivating a harmonious dance between mind, body, and spirit. Embrace the radiant power within you, let your practice be a celebration of self-love, and may your journey be illuminated by the warm glow of the solar plexus chakra. Keep shining you light brightly, and let your inner sun forever light your path to empowerment and joy.

If you’d like more information on yoga philosophy please contact me or book here to practise with me in Marlow, Twickenham and online.

With love

Anney xx

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