The third chakra, Manipura, is known as the “solar plexus”. Translated from Sanskrit as “city of jewels” this chakra sits third in line above the Svadhisthana and the Muladhara. Situated only a few fingers above your belly button and just below the rib cage, this chakra is associated with digestion, willpower, achievement and self-esteem.
Open versus Closed
Since the first chakra represents stability and purity, and the second chakra is about pleasure and desire, it is here, in the manipura, that a stronger sense of self begins to grow. Dynamism and a “worrior” like character are created in your manipura. As well as self assertion and a certain dominance over situations and even people.
The positive effects of a open and flowing manipura could be higher self esteem, more courage and integrity. Better power of judgement, a deeper connection with your inner self and even acting in a more trustworthy manor are also signs of a happy manipura chakra. If your manipura is blocked and unbalanced you may have difficulty in making decisions. It is within this chakra that you confront challenges in your life. Your personality is defined and you find the drive to overcome obstacles and feel proud about your achievements. Anger, lust and shame are a few more traits of a blocked up manipura, and you might also find it hard to adapt to new things. A less spontaneous attitude may show in a closed manipura.
Fire in Manipura
The element of fire brings the power of change and transformation. As it has often been said, reflections of many parts of nature and the universe can be found inside of our bodies. In the body, fire is manifested through the digestion, the body temperature and through sight. The retina, in the eye, is where light is perceived, there fore heat is correlated to the sense of sight.
Many organs are linked to this chakra, and it is often advised to look after your health and wellbeing through digestion. If you think about it, it makes sense, as when you are stressed, your tummy is often the first to suffer from the tension. Hasn’t it ever happened to you? Your stomach closes up just before an exam? If you eat when you are anxious your digestion will differ compared to eating in a more relaxed state.
Again, let’s go back to Ayurvedic studies. The dominant dosha for a fiery character would be Pitta. Sudden bursts of anger might constitute a particular strong pitta, as well as inflammations in the skin, eyes and stomach. A good way to activate the fire element through an asana practise would be a strong, sweaty flow, where as someone with access fire should avoid over stimulating and becoming too hot.
The colour associated with manipura is Yellow and the bija mantra is Ram. I’ve already mentioned in the past two articles the benefits of mantra chanting, but if you remain a sceptic, try thinking about how repeating positive words can affect your mood. Or even faking a smile or a laugh can eventually bring you to smile and laugh naturally. The same goes for repeating or singing bija mantras. The vibrations will send messages to the body and activate healing energy. It might be a little weird at first, but hey, it’s always worth a try.
Crystals related to manipura chakra are: Amber, Yello Topaz, Tiger’s Eye and Golden Calcite.