At Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra, our desires find manifestation. The 3rd Chakra is all about action. While all too often in our culture, blind ambition and action for action's sake are overly emphasized (and expected), if we can connect with what we genuinely value/desire and let our effort rise from there, it becomes purpose and we can make meaningful change.
Manipura is the spark from the fire that gives rise to energy, motivation, and the strength to move forward. When out of balance, it can manifest as anger, an obsessive need for control, or at the other extreme, low self-esteem. Yet when healthy, this chakra is a place of transformation as our will is ignited and we find our personal power and strength!
Playlist: Manipura on Spotify
Physical Practice: The 3rd Chakra is located above the navel and about 2" below the breast bone, and you guessed it, our physical practice introduces core strengthening. Warm up the joints before beginning (Chakra 2 exercise for example), then come to hands and knees with an optional blanket under the knees. Keep the neck long and crown of the head pointed forward. Extend the right leg behind you, level with the hips, and extend the left arm forward, palm facing in. As you find your balance, engage the abdominal muscles, draw the naval to the spine, and feel the heat build. Exhale, pull the knee to the nose while moving the elbow towards the belly. Inhale and extend the arm and leg. Repeat 12 times and switch to the other side.
After both sides are even, lower the belly to the ground, prop yourself up on your forearms with the elbows under the shoulders, and breathe in sphinx pose for several cycles to release and lengthen the abdominals. Bonus: roll up a blanket/towel and drape your belly over the roll, head resting on the backs of the hands. Breathe into the pressure it creates, allowing the belly to soften and the abdominal muscles to get a little massage. Softening is just as important as strengthening, and this last bit will aid your digestion, which is also associated with Manipura.
Essential Oils: Think culinary spices: clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and fennel for example. Please note: these spicy oils can burn without proper dilution, so use plenty of carrier oil and only a couple of drops of the EO if using on the skin. Or, simply diffuse a few drops of the pure oils for a major energy boost while doing your physical practice.