A Beginner's Guide To The Solar Plexus Chakra (How To Balance + Activate It)
We’re continuing our series on healing and balancing the Chakras, and that now brings up to the Third Chakra--the Solar Plexus Chakra. In Sanskrit, it’s known an Manipura or “lustrous gem."
It already sounds lovely and wonderful, but Sadhguru explains its importance by sharing that while Muladhara (root chakra) and Swadhisthana (sacral chakra) are responsible for creating and generating life, Manipura serves as a maintenance center which is crucial to life and well-being--the fire energy that drives us.
Sadhguru also shares that the Solar Plexus Chakra is where all of the 72,000 nadis —pathways of prana (energy)— meet. When you look into the body’s anatomy and see that the Manipura energy center houses the gut-brain axis where brain, spine, and nervous system unite the “concept” of nadis suddenly have a very real and deeply-significant potentiality. Such factors are the reason why the Third Chakra is said to be the most important energy center for physical well-being.
The third chakra is also the final of the three main chakras which relate to the physical realm of existence (also known as the lower chakras--root, sacral and solar plexus), and it’s home to the ever-insightful and foretelling “gut instinct.” Moreover, ancient traditions teach that the Solar Plexus Chakra is where Kundalini energy is awakened. Needless to say, we’ve got some major mystical and physical stuff going on here.
If you want to work on restoring the health, balance or activating Manipura, then read our intro guide for practices you can try to revitalize and engage this vital energy center and consider investing in our Solar Plexus Care Package with self-care tools to support your journey and healing of your Solar Plexus.
AFFIRMATION: I Am Inspiration In Action
The Third Chakra is all about will. But it’s not just about lighting up our ambition and enthusiasm and making things happen. Oh no. Whether we’re driven and excited or not, we are still making things happen.
Whatever we see (or think we see) and whatever thoughts, feelings, and actions we have in response…. that’s us willing things and situations into existence. So, if we want our willpower and its results to be aligned with things we’d actually like to experience, we need a powerful intention and deliberate action.
Sound vibration is important--just consider how you react to different sounds. Different songs impart feelings of joy or sadness depending on the key in which it is played. The tone in which someone speaks tells us if we are hearing good or bad news.
The Bija Mantra for the Manipura vibration is “Ram” (pronounced “rom”). To get the greatest benefit from this mantra, focus on the vibration. Vocalize “Ram” at a slow and steady pace, feeling the sound coming from your throat rather than your mouth. Watch Tony Samara’s interview with Lilou Mace for insights into the benefits of chanting and tips for enhancing it.
GEMSTONES: Citrine, Pyrite, Tiger’s Eye, Sunstone, and Golden Topaz
There’s a long list of great gemstones which can be used to help cleanse, activate, heal, and balance the chakra. Of course, the ideal gemstones for your Manipura will depend on factors like the nature of your chakra imbalance, your intentions with what you are aspiring to be or achieve, etc.
Gemstones with a magical and mystical rep for the third chakra include stones like Amber, Citrine, and Pyrite (to help to strengthen and balance the chakra). There’s also Rutilated Quartz and Yellow Tiger’s Eye (to aid in the flow of energy and in the dissolution of energetic blocks). Other gemstone and crystals for the Manipura energy center include Sunstone, Golden Topaz, Amber, Citrine, Peridot, and Yellow Tourmaline.
If you want to learn more about the energetic characteristics of crystals to determine what stones best fit the needs of your own energy center, Judy Hall’s The Crystal Bible and Philip Permutt’s The Crystal Healer are two great books to get you started.
For our Solar Plexus Chakra, we paired the mantra I AM DAUNTLESS with the mala bracelet, but you can choose whatever mantra fits your needs.
ESSENTIAL OILS: Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Mint, Lemongrass, Ginger, and Clove
You’re probably already familiar with essential oils and aromatherapy. Some readers may even know about the medical benefits of essential oils. But I’m willing to bet that few have heard of Vibrational Aromatherapy.
Essentially, Vibrational Aromatherapy involves working with energy via vibration (or energy). Essential oils offer high-frequency vibrations which can help dissolve low-frequency vibrations or blockages. Essential oils also possess energetic properties which can further soothe (or aggravate) issues that require healing or restoration.
Determining the ideal oils for your Third Chakra will depend on whether you need essential oils that address yin or yang energies. To put it another way, it will depend on whether you need oils that warm/stimulate/ignite (yang) or cool/soothe/relax (yin). Essential oils with a natural affinity for the Solar Plexus Chakra include yin-friendly oils like vetiver, mint, cedarwood, cypress, ylang ylang, and grapefruit. Warming yang-increasing oils include cinnamon, clove, ginger, lemongrass, bergamot, and black pepper.
When you need to focus your energy, mist yourself with our Valiant Heart Aura Mist, a hydrosol and essential oil blend of frankincense, litsea cubeba, black spruce, bergamot, lemon eucalyptus, and clove to help boost courage and keep bugs away. Or try a muscle-relaxing bath with our I Am Energized Salt Soak.
HERBS: Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Fennel, Marshmallow, and Turmeric
Herbs that support Manipura include: Turmeric, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Fennel, Marshmallow, Mint, Cumin, Cinnamon, and Goldenrod.
Our Chamomile Chai Herbal Tea is a blend of soothing chamomile and rooibos with the right amount of warmth from spices such as cinnamon, black pepper and clove. It is caffeine free and naturally sweetened by the rooibos and cinnamon--perfect to start the day or for an afternoon energy boost.
You can see the fire of Solar Plexus Chakra at work with the fire of metabolism and digestion and in the corresponding digestive organs, the fire-power of the pancreas and adrenal glands (the glands of Manipura). Alternatively, you can see the fire of an unbalanced Manipura in ailments like digestive disorders, hypoglycemia, ulcers, and diabetes.
The fire of Manipura can be felt through assertiveness, willpower, joy, purpose, confidence, and determination. It also has a shadow aspect expressed by feelings and states of blame, self-doubt, hyper-competitiveness, aggression, and so on.
MUDRA: Matangi Mudra
It is said that the hands house energetic points which correspond with an element. Thus the manipulation of the hands — a Mudra — enables a person to activate certain energies. Matangi Mudra is said to help generate fire by increasing energy, aiding digestion, and enhancing our determination and sense of personal power. Read Himanshu Kapoor’s Matangi Mudra post for a full breakdown.
YOGA POSE: Warrior Poses And Twists
Poses that utilize and strengthen — or rather, fire up — the core, stimulate the Manipura energy center. Warrior, Boat Pose, Crane, Revolved Chair, and Plank are great examples of poses that use and activate the core and Third Chakra. Manipura can also be tended to through more relaxing or yin-enhancing methods via twisting yoga poses like Revolved Triangle, Half Lord Of The Fishes, and Spinal Twists.
Include the Kundalini yoga breathing technique Breath Of Fire into your Manipura work to further activate the Solar Plexus Chakra.
That’s it for our list of the many, many ways which we can heal, balance, and activate Manipura. If you’re feeling the pull to learn even more, be sure to check out Anodea Judith’s book Wheels Of Life: A User’s Guide To The Chakra System. She has a number of books about the chakras that are all outstanding reads, but this is a great one to start with.