MANIPURA CHAKRA:Transformation through Fire;the Freedom we desire
by Hardik Mehta
The Manipura chakra, known as the solar plexus chakra (or informally the navel chakra) in English, is the third chakra that we will take a look at. This centre acts as the powerhouse of energy in the human body. We’ll see further in the article precisely why it is considered so.
What does Manipura mean and where is it located?
The word ‘mani’ means ‘a shining gem’ and ‘pura’ means ‘place.’ So, manipura means the place of a shining gem. This chakra is located approximately four fingers above the navel, just below the ribcage.
What is its element?
What is the shiniest element among all five in nature? Fire. That is the what the Manipura chakra is made of. We receive this element in the form of direct heat from the sun and digestive heat from the food we consume. Samana vayu, which is the prana responsible for metabolism, digestion and the absorption of nutrients by our body, is also activated by fire.
What is its colour?
The Manipura chakra is associated with the colour yellow, which is the colour of the fire element. It represents energy, new beginnings, youth as well as purification and rebirth.
What is its symbol?
The Manipura chakra is symbolized by a lotus flower with 10 petals, within which is a bright yellow circle. Inside the circle, there is an inverted red triangle. The symbol of the seed mantra of this element, RAM, is in the centre of the triangle.
What is its seed mantra?
The seed mantra or beej mantra of this chakra is RAM. The mindful chanting of this mantra activates the solar plexus and fills the body with vitality.
What is its significance?
The Manipura chakra distributes the fire element in the body, bringing warmth and energy. The prana associated with this chakra is samana vayu, which brings the energy for digestion. Characteristics related to ego, intellect, excitement, anger, aggression, discipline, assertiveness and willpower are also related to the solar plexus chakra, and so it hugely affects our sense of power and a strong sense of self. It governs our ability to be self-confident, take decisions, and be assertive and confident in various life situations.
Spiritually, our consciousness is also lit up by the fire element. This in turn keeps us motivated and in high spirits. When we find our sense of purpose and feel like we are ready to take on the world, that’s probably the Manipura chakra spreading its magic!
Blocked Manipura chakra
In the human body, the fire or Agni element of Manipura chakra is manifested as heat. This heat is balanced by this chakra in order to help maintain the mind-body balance. Either a considerable increase or decrease in this heat can create an imbalance, leading to a blocked solar plexus chakra.
Due to its location in the upper abdomen, this blockage often causes issues in the digestive system, like indigestion, constipation, ulcers, low or excessive metabolism, IBS, acidity, eating disorders or diseases in the digestive organs themselves.
Apart from the above physical conditions, it may also cause emotional issues like impulsive aggression and anger, self-victimization, unhealthy relationships with lack of boundaries, mistrust, insecurity and seeking external validation.
Healing a blocked Manipura chakra
How do know if a blocked Manipura chakra is healing? By observing changes in our physical, mental and emotional states. These changes will include better digestion, a strong sense of self-worth and self-identity, resilience having a sense of purpose to your life, trusting your risk-taking abilities, and feeling competent enough to tackle new situations and achieve your goals. Asana, Pranayama and meditation along with positive affirmations aiming to ignite the manipura chakra are helpful in regaining the balance of its energy.
Some asanas that stimulate the solar plexus energy and help in balancing Manipura chakra are Paschimottanasana (sitting forward bend), Purvottanasana (upward plank pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (half spinal twist), Bhujangasana (cobra pose) and Dhanurasana (bow pose).
The Agni or fire element is a transformative energy, and is believed to vanquish the negative energies while sustaining the positive. Hence, maintaining the balance of the Manipura chakra will help us conquer the physical, emotional as well as spiritual hurdles associated with it, and give way to success and positivity. After all, isn’t a transformation of obstacles into opportunities, and fear into freedom, is something we all desire?
About the Author
Hardik is an E-RYT 500 & YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider), Yoga Alliance, USA. He has been practicing yoga for the last 9 years. Prior to finding his true calling in Yoga, he was working with various corporates for 12 years in the Retail and eCommerce sector.