No selfie pics here – just the selfie Chakra! Time to get in your own head- or I should say, gut. We’re on the third Chakra- Solar Plexus.
Each post, I am posting about the individual Chakras. Each Chakra has a color, location, sense, element, Sanskrit translation, bodily systems, health issues due to blockage, development period, principles, and archetypes.
The idea is to have all Chakras balanced, so that your life energy can flow easily top to bottom, bottom to top. By breaking each of them down, you can see areas where you may have blockages or areas that appear to be working well. Chakras are our life energy… you are giving away or adding to that energy all the time. The idea to maintain the right amount of energy, so the flow can occur in the body, resulting in a balanced, happy life :).
CHAKRA 3: SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA (Manipura in Sanskrit)
The Transformation Chakra
Willpower, Immortality, Fame, Freedom, Personal Power, Self-Esteem, Career, Ego, Personality, Self Responsibility
This Chakra is developed during months 18-48 of your life. Where Chakra 1 related to our ‘tribal’ power, and Chakra 2 relates to the flow of power between ourselves and others, Chakra 3 is about personal power in relation to the rest of the world: when we step out on our own. At this point in our lives, as children, we literally step out- this is the age where we are perfecting the art of walking. The shadow feeling here is shame. Fear of rejection, criticism, looking foolish, and physical appearance fears can occur if third Chakra is not developed. Growing up with too much responsibility or not enough can affect this Chakra.
Basic Rights: Basic Right to Act and Be Free
Location: Navel Region, Core
Systems: Digestive (intestines, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas), Muscular
Excessive Solar Plexus Chakra Energy: controlling, aggressive, competitive, need to be right, power hungry, stubbornness, pride, workaholic
Deficient Solar Plexus Chakra Energy: lack of commitment, no boundaries, hard time saying no
Balanced Solar Plexus Chakra: Reliable, good self-esteem, warmth, confidence, spontaneity, honor, integrity
Physical Ailments (symptoms of poor Solar Plexus Chakra):
Eating Disorders- Anorexia, Bulimia
3rd Chakra Activities and Foods address the digestive system. This is the time to address any addictive behaviors, including food issues.
Activities: vigorous healthy activities: running, biking, dancing. Yoga Focus: Vigorous flow, warrior poses, twists, inversions and arm balances.
Foods: Complex Carbs – pastas, breads, cereals, rice, lean proteins, nuts, yellow curry
Foods to Avoid: Alcohol, other artificial stimulants, caffeine
Questions within Third (Solar Plexus) Chakra and how this Chakra may be impacting you and your life:
Is there always a winner and a loser in a discussion or situation?
Are you critical of others?
Do you like yourself?
Are you open to feedback from others?
How do I deal with conflict?
I’ve written about this Chakra before – it was one of my very first posts on this blog, over one year ago: The Core of It. That is how long I have been working on my third Chakra! Again, the amazing thing about Chakras is that the physical and mental can be combined to help each other. Case in point: my blog post The Core of It was all about the strength. Strength in my self- getting myself out of a relationship that wasn’t good for me, and finding the strength to do it. And strength in my core through my yoga work and arm balances. As I became stronger physically, I became a stronger person internally.
Power and strength are centered in the Solar Plexus- this is where your confidence resides. Your image. Your worth, your value. Your image can be physical- body image, career image, your ‘brand’. Your confidence will take constructive criticism with an open mind, or take it personally and shut you down. The need to be right and to win or to cause conflict- resides in an unbalanced solar plexus Chakra, because it is encompassed in this idea of your image. Your self-image and your projected image. This is also why this Chakra is related to eating disorders as much as it is a bunch of egomaniac meatheads – both types of people are based in low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and body image distortion.
I have been working on this area for some time. I will admit, my self-esteem hasn’t always been the greatest. I continue to work on it, but strengthening my core has done wonders for my self-esteem… something I had not bargained for, and something that made me really believe in this whole Chakra thing even more.
The truth is, if we don’t like ourselves, then we don’t make healthy decisions. We put our personal power in the hands of others- someone we want to impress, or someone we think we need to weaken to gain security. Do you see how low self-esteem can manifest in two ways? And guess what- those two ways attract each other.
I once dated a guy long ago who was verbally abusive toward me. At the time, I didn’t have the self-esteem or boundaries I have today. I gave up my personal power to impress him and make him happy. He in turn also had low self-esteem, as he weakened me in order to feel secure. We were two low self-esteemers that attracted each other and fed off each others’ low confidence.
Being afraid, fear of failure, and lack of boundaries are also symptoms of low confidence and poor third Chakra energy.
How can you work on this, turn it around? You can work on discovering yourself. Anatomy of the Spirit lists out the four stages to achieving self-esteem:
Revolution: An act of revolution (or mini-revolutions) that separate us from our founding groups. This can be about finding your own voice, and standing your ground.
Involution: We assess our external world and decide how well it is serving our needs. This is the time to evaluate the people in our lives, the spiritual relationships we have. Are our relationships with friends or significant others helping or hurting us and our personal growth?
Narcissism: (Not necessarily bad in healthy amounts), it gives us our self-image. It gives us the backbone to stand up for who we are when people become critical.
Evolution: This is an internal stage, looking at your integrity, ethics, and your values. This is your “gut” truly speaking to you.
If you aren’t feeling confident, light up that fire… work on your core, do other exercises that are vigorous. Look internally and think about what is holding down you down, or conversely, making you a complete DB – it’s probably your self-esteem and core that need attention.
*all Chakra material from Mukti School, Wendy J Yoga, and Anatomy of the Spirit, by Caroline Myss, PhD