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The chakras are the seven wheels of energy in the body, starting from the crown of your head and down the body to the base of your spine. When spinning properly, each chakra allows energy to flow, but if one of these wheels becomes blocked, your well-being can suffer. The third chakra, manipura, or “navel chakra” (also referred to as the “solar plexus chakra”), acts as the body’s energy power-house. When it’s clogged up, you may find yourself feeling powerless, stagnant, or quick to anger.
Here, we dive into the specifics of the third chakra: what it is, how to identify if it’s blocked, and effective ways to clear the navel chakra to get your energy flowing freely once again.
See also: A Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras
The navel chakra in its natural element: fire
The third chakra, called manipura, is located at the navel. “Manipura” means “lustrous gem of the city,” and is associated with the natural element fire and directly linked to your sense of self. Its associated color is yellow, hence its links to fire and, more broadly, the sun.
Think of this chakra as your body’s energy power-house, says Stephanie Snyder, a yoga teacher based in San Francisco. This energy center is associated with your self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity, individual will, digestion, and metabolism. When consciousness moves freely in this center, you are empowered by transformative energy.
Signs of blocked manipura energy
When the navel chakra is out of alignment, digestive issues can arise. This misalignment can manifest in the physical body in a variety of ways, including:
- Improper processing of nutrients
- Irritable bowl syndrome
- Eating disorders
- Issues with the pancreas
- Liver disease
- Diseases of the colon
As you work with the navel chakra, cultivate a willingness to gain insight into your understanding of power, individuality, and identification. Are there areas of your life where you feel powerless? How does this manifest? When your navel chakra is blocked, you might experience some of the following:
- Difficulty in skillful self-expression
- Aggressive, overly rigid, or controlling behavior
- Quick to anger
- A victim’s mentality
- Lack of direction
- Feeling afraid or lacking courage
- Poor self-esteem
- Feelings of stagnation or inertia
Why you should align your navel chakra
When the navel chakra is in healthy alignment, you will be comfortable with your own inherent power and, also, become empowered. You will have a sense of who you are and why you are here. When you connect with your purpose, you gain a deeper understanding of how you as an individual can contribute to the collective in a beneficial way. You will let go of the things—whether it’s your job or bank account balance—that you depend on to define who you are. Those things may have value, but overvaluing anything that subject to change is a quick road to suffering. You have inherent value; take the time through practice to investigate it, and you will be less dependent on external sources of happiness.
How to tune up your navel chakra
Yoga asana for the third chakra
To begin balancing your third chakra, try this Navel Chakra Tune-Up Practice to awaken your inner power and help work through any fear you may have around risk-taking. This practice uses core work, twists, and pranayama to target this fiery chakra and transform obstacles into assets and fear into freedom.
To further your focus on releasing trapped energy in the manipura, try this 45-minute Solar Plexus Chakra Flow from Yoga With Kassandra:
Pranayama for the third chakra
Ignite a fire in your navel chakra through Kaphalabhati or skull-shining breath—a pranayama technique that helps to release toxins and reenergize the mind and body.
Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Touch the forefinger and thumb together on each hand. Inhale through your nose and quickly exhale through your nose, as you draw your belly back toward your spine. The inhale is passive and the exhale is sharp and quick. You can go fast or slow according to your comfort and do as many rounds as you like. Learn more in this video:
The benefits of balancing the naval chakra
As you work to align the navel chakra, you will allow for the trapped energy to move more freely through the body, creating a higher sense of purpose and allowing you to better understand your personal identity. You may find that you can clearly articulate your needs and desires and find relief from digestive issues and mental blocks.
See also: Chakra-Balancing Yoga Sequence
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