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What is the Solar Plexus or Naval Chakra in Yoga?

What is the Solar Plexus or Naval Chakra in Yoga?

When you attend live online yoga classes or in person you will often hear the yoga teacher mentioning the digestive fire, navel center or even solar plexus. Have you ever stopped to wonder what these terms mean? When delving deeper into the knowledge of yoga, especially if you’re considering an online yoga teacher training, learning about the Chakras and their influence on the mind and body is an important aspect. 

The Solar Plexus Chakra, known as the Navel Chakra or Manipura Chakra, is the third Chakra and is the center of energy for your body. The seven Chakras go down the center of the body influencing our physical, physiological, psychological and emotional well-being. When free-flowing and activated, they are responsible for enhancing various functions and abilities. And, when blocked, they disrupt normal functioning and create an imbalance. 

The Manipura Chakra, when activated, allows energy to flow through the body freely. But when blocked, it drains you of energy and makes you moody and angry. 

What is the Solar Plexus Chakra Associated With? 

The Navel Chakra is associated with the fire element, the color yellow and is represented by a lotus of ten petals. Originally, ‘Manipura’ means ‘jewel’ or ‘gem’ and ‘pura’ means city. The Manipura Chakra is associated with your self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity, and determination. It is responsible for digestion and metabolism. When energy is free-flowing here, you may feel transformative energy. When blocked or imbalanced, you may experience digestive issues and anger. The Beej Mantra for the Manipura Chakra is RAM. 

It is said that when our consciousness reaches the Naval Center, we have overcome the negative aspects of the Sacral Chakra. What this means is that we can now access the precious jewels within the Solar Plexus, that is, the qualities of clarity, self-confidence, bliss, self-assurance, and better decision-making. 

Curious to know more about the incredible Kundalini energy that only awakens after years and years of practice? Take a look here- The Incredible Kundalini Energy

What are the Characteristics of the Solar Plexus Chakra? 

The Fire Element

It is the center of fire or the sun. The fire element manifests as heat in the body through the Solar Plexus. The Manipura Chakra is the center for vitality. It controls our energy, balances and strengthens our health. As the core of the digestive fire, the Manipura Chakra regulates the function of the digestive organs. That is why blockages can lead to digestive disorders, circulatory problems, diabetes and liver-related problems. When digestion is good, gut health is good and overall health is good. Even many yoga postures for weight loss target the stimulation of the digestive fire which supports better metabolism. That is why yoga for weight loss also involves practices like Agni Sar, that is igniting the digestive fire. 

The Color Yellow

The Manipura Chakra is associated with the color yellow, which signifies the sun so it is also called the yellow chakra. it is a powerhouse, supplying strength, vitality and nourishment. It encourages balance and good health. 

Ten Petals

The ten lotus petals represent the ten Pranas within us, the vital forces that control and nourish the human body. Activation of the Navel Chakra infuses the body with energy, encourages growth and development and frees one of negative energies, leading to purification. 

How to Balance the Navel Chakra?

When blocked or imbalanced, the solar plexus chakra can cause constipation, ulcers, diabetes, issues with the pancreas, liver diseases, eating disorders, and even diseases of the colon. Mental and emotional symptoms and conditions include difficulty in self-expression, aggressiveness, rigid or controlling behavior, irritability or anger, neediness, lack of direction, fear and lack of courage, low self-esteem, and feelings of stagnation. You might find yourself continuously looking for approval from others. 

Aligning the Solar Plexus chakra will allow you to feel more comfortable with your own power and potential, feel more empowered and have a better sense of purpose. You will feel more connected to yourself and your purpose, and be able to tap into your individuality. You will also be able to let go of things easily, and not depend on external factors for your own happiness. 

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Yoga Postures for the Manipura Chakra 

Yoga to balance your Solar Plexus Chakra is an effective way to ensure there are no blockages and energy is free flowing. Practicing postures that target the abdominal region are most effective. This can include twists and bends. A few examples of such postures are the Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), the Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) and the Half-Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana). When you join the best live online yoga classes with certified yoga teachers, such as Shvasa, you will automatically find yourself practicing yoga poses to activate the Manipura Chakra. 

Bow Pose

Breathing and Cleansing Practices for the Manipura Chakra 

As we have seen, the digestive fire is in the Navel Chakra. So, practicing Frontal Lobe Cleansing (Kapal Bhati), Stimulating the digestive fire with AgniSar and other breathing practices like Bellows Breath (Bhastrika) are helpful in activating the digestive fire. This will release toxins, blockages and allow energy to flow freely. 

Watch these videos on how to do the practices

Manipura Chakra Meditation 

Practicing Manipura Chakra Meditation is a powerful practice to balance the Navel Chakra. Practice meditation on the Beej Mantra RAM, guided meditation, body-scan meditation and focus meditation (where you focus on a yellow lotus flower with ten petals). 

Other Tips to Balance the Manipura Chakra 

Apart from this, consuming a healthy, balanced diet that keeps your digestive fire stimulated is recommended. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle, overeating and consuming very cold water. Drink warm water, get enough sunlight and spend time outdoors. Sit in Vajrasana (the thunderbolt pose) for a few minutes after your meal as it will enhance digestion. 

Concluding Thoughts 

The best way to keep the Chakras balanced and aligned is to attend regular live yoga classes. Even if you are attending online yoga classes, when you practice with a certified yoga teacher, your entire body will remain balanced and aligned. Keeping the Manipura Chakra balanced will help you find relief from digestive issues, mental blocks and emotional turmoil. It will allow your body to absorb nutrients effectively, keeping you healthy and strong. 

What is the solar plexus chakra responsible for?
The solar plexus chakra, also known as the Manipura chakra, is the third energy center located in the upper abdomen area. It is associated with personal power, confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of purpose.
How do you know if your solar plexus chakra is unbalanced?
Signs of an unbalanced solar plexus chakra include low self-esteem, lack of confidence, indecisiveness, control issues, lack of motivation, and digestive problems. These symptoms may manifest as feelings of unworthiness, timidity, insecurity, difficulty making decisions, being overly controlling, apathy, and digestive issues like indigestion.
How can I improve my solar plexus chakra?
To improve your solar plexus chakra, engage in practices that boost self-confidence and self-esteem, such as self-reflection, setting boundaries, and engaging in empowering activities. Incorporate mind-body practices like yoga and meditation. Remember to maintain a holistic approach to your well-being and embrace activities that make you feel empowered and in control.
What is the Solar Plexus or Naval Chakra in Yoga?
Pradeep Sattamaya

Pradeep is the Global Head of Yoga at Shvasa. He is currently pursuing his studies in Yoga texts, Ayurveda and modern Neuroscience. Pradeep successfully built a chain of yoga studios in Bangalore which was later acquired by a major Health/Fitness brand. He currently resides in Mysore, a heritage city with a close connection to Yoga traditions. Pradeep Sattwamaya (Deep) had the blessed opportunity to be accepted as a disciple by his guru, ParamhamsaSwami Niranjanananda Saraswati ( In the Sanyasa lineage of Shri AdiShankara, Swami Swami Sivananda, Swami Satyananda ). Pradeep spend two full years living and imbibing yoga at Gangadarshan, a traditional Yoga gurukula along the banks of river Ganga in Bihar. He completed first 12 year phase of discipleship in 2016. Pradeep has also practiced and closely studied the Mysore Astanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga.

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