Manipura Chakra, the Solar Plexus
The Manipura Chakra is located at the navel, and is sometimes called the "gem of the city." Mani means "jewel" in Sanskrit and pura means city or place. A ten-petaled lotus is the symbol for this chakra. It is said to be the seat of our digestive fire. The color yellow and the element of fire are associated with this energy center.
The energy center at the navel is associated with self-confidence, energy, wisdom, knowledge, and decision-making abilities. Mentally, when the Manipura is balanced we feel empowered and in control. Keeping a healthy solar plexus center is key to those who tend to absorb or feel the energy of others. Empaths and highly sensitive people are prone to taking on the feelings of others, which is a tendency heightened by an out-of-balance Manipura.
An imbalanced solar plexus chakra can result in numerous physical issues. Think of the area in which this chakra is located as the indicator of illnesses tied to it. Digestive issues, diabetes and other blood sugar issues are both connected to the Manipura. Stress is another condition related to this chakra. Nervousness and out-of-control emotions are other signs of imbalance. An over-active navel center can result in feelings of arrogance, controlling behavior, or an inflated sense of self.
Just like the Muladhara and Svadisthana, balancing the Manipura can involve essential oils, diet, yoga and pranayama, and use of gems. The bija mantra is RAM. It can be chanted repeatedly to increase the fire of the Manipura. Yellow gems such as topaz, yellow tourmaline, and citrine, as well as tiger's eye and amber all strengthen the solar plexus. Wearing them or placing them on the navel during Savasana are helpful. If feeling overly stressed or sensitive, use emerald or sapphire to relax the Manipura. The feeling of tension in the stomach or just below the rib cage may be a symptom of stress and a need for alignment.
My favorite essential oils for balancing this energy center include vetiver, geranium, sandalwood, juniper, and ylang ylang. Citrus oils are also indicated. Massage a few drops of the essential oil of your choice into the navel area or dilute the oil in a spray bottle with water and spray on the body. Yoga postures to strengthen and balance this energy center include twists and core postures. Ustrasana (Camel), Parvritta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle), and Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes) are postures specific to the navel center. Yellow foods and spices are key to balance. Turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and ginger, along with banana, mango, citrus fruit, and pineapple all help to nourish and balance the Manipura. Legumes and whole grains are also key to a healthy solar plexis chakra.
Listening to the body is key, as with any chakra work. Your digestive fire and energy levels will be indicative of Manipura health. Bringing balance to the sacral area will invite balance to our emotions and core body, both key to an equanimous life.