In previous articles we have addressed the first two wheels of energy known best by chakras. The root chakra has opened our way for finding safety and calmness within ourselves, whereas the succeeding sacral chakra has allowed us to listen to and express our emotions in a healthy way, whilst developing a nourishing relationship with others as well as with pleasure.
Now the fiery third navel chakra of matter better known as Manipura, which basically stands for “lustrous gem” represents our self-esteem, personal capacity, and warrior spirit. This disk of energy can be found around the navel, including the solar plexus region reaching up to the breastbone. When this one is aligned we feel self-confident, self-motivated, and have a strong sense of purpose. When the navel chakra is blocked or out of balance though, we may feel lost and confused when it comes to making decisions, we may feel powerless or suffer from low self-esteem and/or have problems related to anger control.
Some physical symptoms of an imbalanced third chakra can include constipation, ulcers, pancreatic, liver or colon issues, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, or eating disorders; whereas mental symptoms can involve aggressiveness, controlling or irritable behavior, perfectionism, as well as a fixation on a victimized mentality, or lack of self-esteem.
Five asanas or yoga postures that can aid you with unblocking and re-aligning this Manipura chakra are:
Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutations
Virabhadrasana or Warrior poses I or II
Ardha Navasana or Half Boat pose
Navasana or Full Boat pose
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana or Upward Extended Feet pose
Performing a few rounds of Bhastrika Pranayama or “Breath of Fire” (aka “Bellows Breath”) is also helpful to stimulate your inner energy. For carrying out this breathing exercise simply sit up tall in a relaxed and comfortable quarter lotus position or simply on a chair with your feet touching the ground and your hands gently resting on your laps; using your diaphragm begin exhaling strongly through your nose and inhaling the same way at a rate of one second per cycle. While you are sitting and breathing, remember to keep your entire body as still as possible as your abdomen moves in and out.
Meditation is also extremely useful for bringing a chakra back into balance. So, sit on your own, quiet and motionless while you bring your mind into a relaxed state, join the eternal observer within you, and tap into the wisdom of knowing that real power comes from your inner self only and it is independent of your career, title, bank balance, or any other external thing that you feel is defining you. Fortunately, we all unavoidably have this great power and strength within us independently of anything that has happened to us or of the things with which we tend to identify ourselves.
Other tools that you may want to consider for when working towards aligning the Manipura chakra is its corresponding sound “Ram,” its color yellow or gold; gemstones such as yellow topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger eye stones that you can place on the chakra’s region while lying down, also using essential oils like lavender, mandarin, rosemary, and bergamot while eating whole grains, legumes, bananas, corn, pineapple, chamomile, lemons, and spices like turmeric, ginger, cumin, or cinnamon.