Greetings!  Welcome to week three of my exploration of the chakras from a yoga and artist perspective.  Chakras are,  according to yogic belief (take it or leave it),  centers of energy throughout our bodies that have specific themes in our lives – physical,  emotional,  spiritual – and can be worked with to bring balance,  awareness and personal growth.  WOO HOO!

I’m focusing on the third chakra,  Manipura or Solar Plexus chakra which is located,  you got it,  right at the solar plexus – above the naval, right where the rib cage makes that sweet almond shaped dent in your sternum.  This chakra is noted in yellow,  with the element of fire and rules metabolism and digestion.  [Side note: Why is it called the solar plexus? Also known as the celiac plexus,  it is called so because of the radiating nerve fibers,  radiating outward like the sun,  I suppose that’s why!  Here’s a sweet pic from Gray’s anatomy]:

Solar Plexus / Celiac Plexus / location of the Manipura Chakra

Solar Plexus / Celiac Plexus / location of the Manipura Chakra

Anyway.  Emotionally / spiritually: This chakra is the seat of your personal power.  It is the core of your personality,  the base of your self esteem.  Your ego’s throne,  your willpower’s cockpit.  You get the picture.  It’s right at the core of our very being,  our perception of who we are.

If we have too much energy in this chakra we may be prone to excessive outbursts, be controlling or super stressed / frazzled.  If we are deficient in this energy center,  we’ll be inactive,  passive,  watching the world go by.

When we are balanced here,  we move forth with confidence and power,  strength in our decisions,  fortitude and belief in ourselves as valid human beings. We have a strong sense of purpose.  Judging and criticizing ourselves depletes this power.  When we strengthen the solar plexus chakra,  we are shooting for self love and acceptance.  This chakra is all about transformation – transforming food into energy,  transforming/evolving into our most confident,  fullest version of self.  Moving through many stages,  like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.  This could be you!  This is you.

Shoot for self-love and acceptance

aim for self-love and acceptance

I have been on the deficient end of this solar plexus chakra spectrum,  as well as the aggressive,  stress-y high powered end.  I have also depleted my chakra with low self esteem,  crushing vulnerability (though vulnerability is not necessarily a bad thing),  and lack of confidence.  I love Marie Forleo (who I quote often here) who talks about “taking shots of compare-schlager” – which I totally have related to in the music business, watching others get success while I’m seemingly stuck in some crappy self-hate-dumpy-fest.  Thankfully,  I’ve done some really deep work over the years to come through that and be happy for people, as well as step into my own power and be happy for my own fukkin’ self!

Here’s the lovely Marie Forleo:

SO!  Let’s get practical!

Ever feel stuck in a decision making or at a crossroads?  Or weakened by your own cruel mind? Love this practice for decision making by Michelle Fondin:

  • Close your eyes, place your hand over the area slightly above your belly button.
  • Bring to mind the problem or dilemma.
  • Notice how your third chakra feels when you give it choices regarding the subject you’re struggling with. A sinking or nauseated feeling may tell you that the decision is wrong.
  • If you present your solar plexus with the right choice, you may feel lightness in the area or you may even feel like you can breathe easier.

– See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/find-power-and-warrior-energy-in-your-third-chakra#sthash.MioDew9j.dpuf

How about stoking that inner transformative with one of the most effective of core exercises … PLANK POSE!

How about also watching your thoughts.  When the “gremlins” creep in,  or negative self talk comes rearing, SHUT IT DOWN.  Your thoughts are 99% in error.  Your thoughts are not TRUTH.  Every moment passing is a new one,  a new time to allow a new thought to enter,  and why don’t you pick a nice,  friendly one.  This is your one life in this realm as you are,  so might as well enjoy it and like your thoughts.  Harder than it seems,  but with awareness I will cheers you!

Namaste and best wishes as you work with your solar plexus chakra!  Here is what my solar plexus looks like – woo hoo 😉

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 4.06.45 PM

XO, Mary

Check out all my other chakra blogs here: www.marybue.com/blog/