(Originally posted on October 12, 2014)
The solar plexus chakra, or Manipura, is not located where you might think. The solar plexus is generally considered the area just below the breastbone, but actually Manipura is located lower than this–at about the middle of the belly, a little above the navel. The color yellow is associated with Manipura, as is the element Fire. This chakra is still very much about the individual, but at a higher level. Emotionally and psychologically, Manipura is all about “I Can”: self image, personal drive, and accomplishment.
Manipura deals with personal power: assertiveness, identity, will, ambitions, boundaries, self-control and self-mastery. How you exert your personal power is both an indicator and a driver of how your solar plexus chakra is balanced. An unbalanced, overdriven Manipura can show itself in displays of “overpower”– such as an obsessive need to be “right” or in charge, hyper-competitiveness, a drive to dominate others, ambition without restraint, and ruthlessness. (Think Sauron, from “The Lord of the Rings.”)
If the Manipura is unbalanced in the other direction (clogged, low flow of energy), the individual may display symptoms of feeling “underpowered”: being a martyr, gullibility, floundering helplessness, uncontrollable fear, unwarranted guilt, shame, and being easy to manipulate or exploit.
Physically, an unbalanced Manipura chakra is associated with conditions such as hepatitis, diabetes, gallbladder and liver diseases, pancreatic issues, ulcers and general digestive disorders. These conditions, if they exist, can cause problems with the Manipura chakra, or the converse can be true: an unbalanced Manipura can manifest issues in these areas, just as it can in emotional/psychological areas.
Different techniques can aid in balancing the solar plexus chakra. Focusing on the color yellow during meditation, even wearing yellow or being in a room that is decorated in yellow, can help. Topaz and citrine are crystals that can help with achieving balance of the Manipura. Try wearing them in a belt buckle or otherwise keeping them close to the lower belly.
Sunlight, even firelight or candlelight, can help balance Manipura. Listening to upbeat music such as rock, pop, or dance music can stimulate the solar plexus chakra. Conversely, if you wish to “tone it down”, try listening to laid-back music such as classical or New Age.
Crunches, abdominal exercises, and other such exercises will also help strengthen the solar plexus chakra, as well as tone the body.
Here is a short video for meditating and balancing the Manipura, that may be helpful for you. It is a little under 9 minutes long.