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“Manipura“ is the Sanskrit word for our third chakra (energy center) of the body, located just above the navel.
Manipura translates to “city of shining jewels.” The element associated with this chakra is fire, the sense is sight, and the color is yellow.
The key dynamics related to the third chakra pertain to our will, personal power, digestion, strength, poise, purpose, goals, effort, and work.
When energy is depleted here, it manifests as listlessness, depression, and constipation. If there is an excess of solar plexus energy, this can be a root cause of diarrhea and other digestive irritations, as well as the endless desire to achieve and pursue ambitions—trapping us in the role of the classic workaholic.
Here are six ways to balance the manipura chakra:
1. Express, don’t repress.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ~ Mark Twain
Anger is the shadow of the manipura chakra. Anger directed inward is depression or shame; anger directed outward is aggression, whether passive or violent, and can rupture our relationships. Seek “The Middle Way.” Experience anger; don’t repress or act on it. Refrain from venting, which Thich Nhat Hanh calls “rehearsing anger.” Instead, breathe. Watch the storm. It will pass.
Anger is a sure sign that we are alive. We should notice when anger enters our consciousness. Notice where we feel it in our bodies. Is it a fiery sensation? A blurry chaos? A sharp pain? Take deep breaths. Resist the urge to act or speak in a rash, harmful, or hateful manner.
Ask the following questions:
>> What gets under my skin?
>> What enrages me?
>> How often do I get mad?
>> How do I act when I lose my temper?
>> What frustrates me?
>> Who irritates me?
>> What helps me cool down when I get angry?
>> How do I process and express anger?
2. Know when to exert and when to relax.
Make the effort. Strengthen your core. Exert your energy. Go to your edge. Sweat. Shake. Work it out. You’ll feel sore tomorrow, but in a good way. It will be a powerful, practical reminder of your willpower, strength, and initiative.
Be grateful for what you can do. Be grateful for the awesome gift of your physical body. Breathe deeply, have compassion for your body, and practice moving in a way that both challenges you and makes your heart sing.
Say the following affirmations:
>> I am active when I need to be.
>> I am still when I need to be.
>> I love to move my body.
>> I am grateful for my abilities.
>> Movement feels good.
>> I listen to my body.
>> I honor my body’s wisdom.
>> I know when and how to exert my physical energy.
>> I know when and how to relax.
3. Create a fire ceremony.
Burn some sandalwood, nag champa, or dragon’s blood resin. Start a little bonfire in your backyard. Let the flames be the anchors of your meditation. Stand still and observe. Dance or sing if you feel like it. Write down everything you want to let go of on a sheet of paper. Write down everything you want to invite into your life on another. Burn each one separately, intentionally, and know that the universe is unfolding just as it should.
4. Eat foods and spices that stimulate the solar plexus.
Delicious spices that activate and balance the solar plexus include black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, and ginger. Seeds such as fennel, anise, cumin, flax, and sunflower are also prescribed. Finally, the foods that feed the third chakra are carbs like rice, oats, pasta, bread, and granola.
5. Utilize fiery stones, gems, and oils.
Topaz, yellow citrine, blue sapphire, green jade, and ruby are some of the sacred gems and stones we can wear or place on our meditation altars to empower the manipura chakra. The essential oils for this center include chamomile, juniper, fennel, and peppermint.
6. Practicing imperfection.
The solar plexus chakra is our engine for getting sh*t done. Goal setting is a prime manipura activity—realizing what we want and taking practical steps toward getting there. Attainment of goals is not the ultimate end, however. Personally, it has ever-so-slowly dawned on me that where I direct my energy is where life gets most juicy and amazing. If I practice writing and write frequently with discipline, my writing flows and flourishes. Same with yoga asana. Same with any activity we choose. Just remember that practice only makes perfect when it is done with true passion, devotion, love, and humility.
Bonus: Uplifting third chakra wisdom quotes.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” ~ Kofi Annan
“Anybody can become angry—that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” ~ Aristotle
“The person who is developing freely and naturally arrives at a spiritual equilibrium in which he is master of his actions, just as one who has acquired physical poise can move freely.” ~ Maria Montessori
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Image: Dominic Lang/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell