The Manipura Chakra or Solar Plexus Chakra, is known as the belly of fire. This chakra completes the triad of the lower three chakras. These three chakras together help us in this three dimensional life. When these chakras are in balance there is peace that exists in every aspect of life outside the spiritual self. It is this chakra that opens the bridge to the exploration of that self, and our hearts desires.
This chakra specifically rules self-esteem, clear vision, and transformation. The color associated with this chakra is yellow or golden. Because of where this chakra is located, above the navel just below the apex of where the ribs join together, it governs digestion and the body’s metabolism. This is the Fire Center. Fire is the element that controls this chakra. Thus when this chakra is in balance it enhances a clairvoyance that we all naturally have. When the fire is felt physically, it may seem like anxiety. Anxiety will manifest that way if not properly allowed to rise up through the body.
When Manipura is out of balance people will experience low self-esteem or self-worth. This can manifest in many ways, but mainly as eating disorders, especially because of the association with the digestive system. Other things that you can experience when this chakra is out of balance is anger. The liver is controlled by this chakra and anger is stored in this area. This can cause various health problems. The liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and intestines lie here, so any imbalance can have a great impact on your life and cause many diseases. Some of the problems can physically manifest in eating disorders, liver problems, gas, skin disorders, and can also affect the kidneys and cause menopausal flushing.
You may feel a general lack of energy when this chakra is out of balance which can cause many people to seek other ways of gaining false energy such as caffeine, or drugs. People may also experience eating disorders; over eating, or overindulging to fill the sense of absence that this chakra can make you feel. People may feel that they are filling a void with the food they are eating. You may also feel that you cannot relax easily. This can cause people to seek drugs or alcohol in order to relax.
When Manipura is balanced, you will feel strong in your self-identity and self-worth. You will feel at peace in any situation or wherever you go. There is a sense of strength and your yoga practice will be more balanced by having a strong center of self. Having a strong center allows you to be strong in who you are and thus be open to constructive criticism because you have no fear of being rejected. You feel physically strong because the body’s ability to absorb nutrients during digestion is at its peak, making elimination more balanced as well.
Yoga poses that are good for the balancing and opening of this chakra are: Boat Pose, Cobra Pose, Bow Pose and Leg Lifts. Also, breath of fire because this chakra is related to the fire element. Sun salutations are beneficial for balancing this chakra, as well.