Category Archives: Solar Plexus
June is National Rose Month. The rose is commonly known as the symbol of love but the true meaning of a rose is dependent on its color. I thought it might be a fun exercise to see look up the symbolic meaning of each rose associated with the chakra colors.
Root chakra (muladhara) – red – love, beauty, courage, respect, passion
Sacral chakra (svadhisthana) – orange – desire, enthusiasm, creativity, fascination
Solar plexus chakra (manipura) – yellow – joy, friendship, welcome back, new beginnings
Heart chakra (anahata) – green – vitality, healing, self-respect, well-being
Throat chakra (vishudda) – blue – the unattainable, the impossible, mystery
Third eye chakra (ajna) – violet* – love at first sight, enchantment
Crown chakra (sahasrara) – white – purity, innocence, youthfulness, sympathy
*often indigo instead
I started out having a hard time coming up with songs for this chakra but ended up picking some of my all-time favorites. Hope you have fun with it.
This man. Love this man. He is the type of person all yogis should aspire to be. I’ve seen him in concert nearly a dozen times and I will continue to do so every time I possibly can. Here’s Keb’ Mo’ celebrating the amazing person that is you:
And because working the core is not just about planks and downdogs, we’re going to do a little twisting.
As I’ve mentioned, the color associated with the solar plexus is yellow. I love yellow. I just don’t love any of the songs I could think of with “yellow” in the title, so here’s one of my favorites about sunshine.
The sense associated with the manipura is sight and seeing things clearly, so here’s one of my all-time favorite songs:
To close, we’re going to pick up the tempo a bit and celebrate fire, the element associated with the third chakra. There are lots of songs with fire in the title and I considered using Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire or Bruce Springsteen’s I’m on Fire, both songs I like but then I thought of this and it was just too fun not to include here.
Have a great Friday!
When working with the chakras, it’s important to keep in mind that the approaches we’ve used during the past few weeks will nit work equally for everyone. The key is to finding the combination of mediation, mindful eating, and physical movement that works best. And we’re barely scratching the surface of techniques to use for chakra balancing.
We continue our work with the solar plexus chakra by working with self reflection and affirmation. We have fewer questions than in past weeks, but I found them to be some of the most challenging questions to date. (Note to self: you may want to spend a little more time here.)
Questions relating to the solar plexus focus on finding our sense of power and autonomy. Analyzing our relationships with others is central to the questions here. We must consider the intake and outflow of energy generated in our interactions. When the third chakra is closed, we approach relationships from a subservient perspective; when too open, we are domineering and disrespectful of others when opposing our will. When balanced, we approach our relationships from a place of equality.
Some questions to consider:
- Who your life diminishes your power and energy? Who propels you forward?
- When was the last time you said no with conviction and compassion?
- Do you sacrifice your own happiness for others?
- What have been your biggest disappointments in your life? What parts were you responsible for? Can you forgive yourself and others involved?
The affirmations for the manipura help build our self-acceptance and remind us that power with empowerment is the key to healthy relationships.
- I do.
- I am my own person.
- I deserve all good things that come to me.
- I am open and receptive.
- I accept myself as I am.
- I do enough.
- I am enough.
- I express my power without imposing it on others.
- I am thankful for challenges that allow me to grow and develop.
- I live with integrity.
- I value and trust myself.
- I am in harmony with all I see.
- I am a powerful, radiant, and magnificent being of light.
May you meet the day with equal parts grace and grit, spiritual warriors.
Since one of the signs of an imbalanced solar plexus chakra is feeling stagnant, try decluttering an area of your home; release unused or unwanted possessions by donating or selling them. If you’ve been afraid to try something new, try signing up for that class you’ve always thought about or traveling to a place you’ve never been. Don’t be afraid to go for what you want. If they’re not part of it already, add running or belly dancing to your exercise routine.
Asanas, or yoga poses, that focus on strengthening the core, balance, and twists are particularly helpful when working with the solar plexus chakra. Here are few of my favorites:
- Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana);
- Revolved head to knee pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana);
- Boat (Paripurna Navasana);
- Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana);
- Chair (Utkatasana);
- Eagle (Garudasana);
- Crescent lunge (Alanasana);
- Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I); and
- Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana).
Yoga on, peaceful warriors!
Our chakra balancing journey continues with a look at the relationship between food and the solar plexus chakra.
As one might expect given the color of is chakra is yellow, the wide variety of yellow fruits and vegetables like pineapple, summer squash, lemons, corn, and more can help bring this chakra back into alignment. Cheeses and herbs like lavender, bergamot, and rosemary can also help with healing.
Traditionally, the food grouping associated with the manipura is carbohydrates. Now, before you run away screaming and lamenting the evils of carbohydrates, I invite you to take a breath. Carbohydrates are a source of energy and are an important part of brain health, they are not evil. Yes, in western societies, we eat too many refined and processed carbohydrates. The key to eating carbs, as with all things, is to choose wisely and use moderation.
That being said, the idea I’m sharing today is probably not the most healthy one you will find on the internet but it’s fun and tasty. If you want to try it, maybe don’t indulge every day and don’t eat everything all at once. And, guess what? You don’t have to eat try it at all if you don’t want to. Isn’t the freedom to make choices grand?
Sweet and Savory Popcorn
Popcorn is a wonderful whole grain food. I like to pop mine on the stove top and avoid the microwave versions. Some find it yummy plain and it’s certainly more healthy that way, but I also like to play with toppings. You might go with just a little sea salt, Parmesan cheese, or a seasoning mix. I like the seasoning set of mixes from The Spice House (I’m not associated with them in any way, just love their products). You can also make your own mix. I like to combine about 1/8 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt and sprinkle to taste over just-off-the-stove popcorn. It tastes like spicier version of kettle corn.
This week we continue our chakra work by focusing on the solar plexus chakra or manipura.
Solar Plexus Chakra Basics
The solar plexus chakra is located along the spine midway between the navel and sternum and is associated with the core muscles that stabilize the spine. The manipura is the seat of our personal power, self-control, and our energy. Much of the focus of the third chakra hinges on our relationships with others and the exchange of energy that occurs when we connect with others.
When the solar plexus chakra is too closed, we fail to recognize our personal power, have low self-esteem, and stagnate because we fear takings risks. When it is too open, we are workaholics and abuse power by lording our will over others. Physically, we suffer from weight issues, nausea, and digestive problems.
When in balance, we our power comes from personal empowerment. We are fully alive, awake, and productive. We do not fear taking risks and know we can learn from our failures as well as, if not more than, our successes. We are respectful of ourselves and others and our relationships are based on equal exchanges with others. Our value in life is not based on what we do but rather who we are.
Healing Through Meditation and Visualization
We can awaken the chakras in many ways, including meditation and visualization. Included here are some simple suggestions.
Light meditation: The color of the manipura is yellow. Meditate on the power of our internal sun, growing and glowing in the space between the navel and sternum. Feel that warm yellow light spinning and radiating from the core of who we are. Feel that energy rising along the spine with each inhale, lengthening and strengthening the spine; with each exhale, relax. Feel the body alive with warmth, energy, and power.
Mantra meditation: You can meditate using a simple mantra. The simplest option is to repeat “I do” with each breath, mentally saying “I” with the inhale and “do” with the exhale. Or you could vocalize the Bija mantra of the solar plexus by taking a deep breath in and chanting “RAM” on the exhale (the “a” sounds more like calm than lamb or click here to hear the correct pronunciation).
Visualization: The element associated with the solar plexus is fire. You can use this adaptation of a meditation from 1001 Meditations by Mike George:
Think of the people in your life who have made you feel strong and valued. Close your eyes and imagine yourself inside a cozy cabin gathering around a fire with these people while a blizzard swirls outside. Feel your body warmed by the fire, your heart by the company. See each glowing face around you. Connect with their beauty and individuality. Feel the sense of connection and your own glowing inner strength.
Until tomorrow, peaceful warriors,
August is here already! How did that happen?
This week’s classes will focus on our solar plexus chakra, so we’ll be firing up our cores. Here’s where you can find me this week.
- 4 p.m. Yoga at the Museum at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette
- 7:30 p.m. Moving Beyond yoga demo at Cancer Support Community, St. Francis Health Cancer Center
- 3 p.m. Moving Beyond yoga demo at Cancer Support Community, St. Francis Health Cancer Center
- 9:45 a.m. Gentle Yoga at Cancer Support Community, Main Campus