The Solar Plexus Chakra Meaning, Location, Color, and Element
The Solar Plexus Chakra or Third Chakra (in Sanskrit: Maṇipūra, “City of Jewels”) is – as the the name suggests – located in the solar plexus. Its color is yellow, and the element with which it is associated the most is the fire element. It is the Chakra of internal and external power, strength of will and individual identity.
|Name||Solar Plexus Chakra, Manipura|
|Physical location:||Above the navel. Related to the solar plexus, which controls digestive fire and heat regulation.|
|Physical systems:||Digestive system: stomach, liver, pancreas, bowels.|
|Nerve Plexus:||Solar plexus|
|Psychic aspect:||Dynamism, energy, heat, willpower and achievement.|
|Spiritual function:||Maintains the strength and resistance of the subtle nervous system, energizes all organs, systems and processes of life.|
|Traditional Symbol:||A ten petalled bright yellow lotus.|
|Energy body:||Pranamaya Kosha|
|Ages of development:
|Quest:||Finding out what one really wants and what one’s sources of strength are.|
|Qualities:||Will, Power, Identity Ambition, excellence, determination, courage, independence, confidence, resilience, self-dignity.|
|Blocking Fears:||Fear of Failure, social resistance, pressure, and rejection, authorities, the danger of possessing “too much power”.|
|Catharsis:||Expressing rage, screaming, intense dancing.|
|Best Bach flowers:||Cerato and Scleranthus (for knowing what one really wants), Hornbeam and Olive (for energy to face challenges), Impatiens (for anger and frustration with others’ pace).|
|Herbs:||The family of adaptogens (Korean and Siberian Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Licorice, Reishi, Rhodiola, Schisandra).|
|Stone:||Red Coral, Citrine.|
|Foods:||Yellow foods (like yellow pepper, corn, yellow lentils, and bananas), foods that provide lasting energy such as complex carbohydrates and whole grains.|
Solar Plexus Chakra Main Function
The Solar Plexus Chakra is the third of the seven Chakras and the centre of our identity, personality and ego. Its purpose is to provide us with an integrated sense of self, a perception of who we are. The Solar Plexus Chakra is also the centre of our personal will and power.
While the first and second Chakras can be mainly considered the storehouse of instincts, impulses and urges – seeking basic survival and pleasure – Manipura serves as the willing centre which is meant to answer the question: “Who am I as a person and what do I want?”
As such the Solar Plexus Chakra is the centre of personal power, confidence and self-discipline. It allows us to make conscious choices, to set goals and act on them in the world. It gives us the strength to meet with challenges and move forward in life with confidence and power.
The Solar Plexus Chakra is the centre of our personal identity that psychologically could be called our ‘Ego’. The Ego obviously does not have the best reputation in many spiritual contexts. But unjustly so, as much of our spiritual evolution depends on both the healthy development of an integrated sense of self and the ability to direct one’s willpower. The Solar Plexus chakra holds in it the will to grow, evolve and test ourselves and it also harbours the power needed to bring about change and self-transformation.
The solar plexus chakra provides the energetic centre for a healthy personality which, on the one hand, can withstand external pressures and influences and, on the other hand, control inner urges and concentrate one’s energy into one direction and intention. In the best case the power of this chakra expresses as confidence, clarity, integrity, dignity, independence, reliability, discipline and determination. But its positive qualities of power and will can also turn into the shadows of control, domination and manipulation, if not guided properly.
On the physical level the Solar Plexus Chakra is associated with digestion and in a way, this is exactly what it is doing on an energetic level: The Solar Plexus Chakra ‘digests’ and integrates all the different drives, instincts and experiences into a coherent self-image, an identity, and thus gives those experiences context, meaning and direction.
Its element is fire and both the english name Solar Plexus as the Sanskrit Manipura (City of jewels) have a shining, blazing quality to them: It is this chakra through which we shine out into the world, through which we act and manifest as an individual in the social context of life.
The open Solar Plexus Chakra
A balanced Manipura enables a person to integrate all the different forces and drives into a clear sense of self, to give them direction, make conscious decisions and define clear goals. One has healthy confidence as a person, knows about his strengths and weaknesses and has a realistic feeling of his capabilities and power.
A person with an open Solar Plexus Chakra likes to be challenged and can easily set a goal and follow it through with determination. Even when faced with external pressure, obstacles and difficulties, such a person would not be swayed and would be able to set one’s eyes on one’s destination until it is achieved.
A balanced Manipura does not fear failures. There is a knowing that as an inevitable part of life’s seesaw, sometimes one comes with the upper hand and sometimes one must declare defeat. This knowing does not make a person give up before action, just to avoid the dangerous humiliation of failure.
At the same time, a balanced third Chakra person knows that even to one’s will there is a limit. After all, life is made of countless wills, each one pressuring the other to submit. In this spirit, one would know when wanting turns into pushing reality to change too much. Through an open Solar Plexus Chakra we can sense the collective field around us and sense the flow of energy in it. With this perception comes a feeling of our place in this flow, a feeling of right action. There is a certain sense of disharmony that appears when we collide too strongly with reality, and a balanced Manipura would signal when an excessive will disrupts one’s collaboration with the greater reality.
In short, the balanced Manipura knows how to want strongly enough to be able to reach destinations, and yet, never too much in a way that might disrupt the sense of harmonious flow. Sometimes, a destination unachieved requires either redirecting or even replacement.
An open Solar Plexus Chakra provides the person with an inner stability, steady nerves and integrity. A person with a healthy Solar Plexus Chakra is unlikely to get swayed by emotions, he is stable and reliable and stays calm, concentrated and considerate even in stressful situations. Even under pressure he remains able to make decisions and act on them.
He feels safe with himself as a person and radiates a natural power and authority. He has reached a level of personal maturity and found his place in life.
The Third Chakra psychological meaning and function
The psychological themes of the third Chakra revolve around our sense of power and strength to act and react in the world.
The Solar Plexus Chakra is like a mediator between one’s instincts, urges, impulses and wishes and outer pressures, expectations and demands. Psychologically speaking, it is strongly related to the Freudian concept of “Ego”.
Sometimes, in the spiritual world “ego” is defined only negatively. However, on the psychological level of our existence everyone needs a healthy ego to function. The ego integrates our entire being, and without it, we consist of only many scattered wishes and impulses which never turn into an actual will. We want many things, yet don’t have the power to carry out even small things.
When people lack power in their willing center, they also experience a very undefined sense of self – since we know who we are by what we want the most. These people cannot seriously answer the question: “What do I want?” They therefore feel too weak to act, and are susceptible to others’ wills and expectations, unable to make their own decisions.
We begin to develop our Solar Plexus Chakra, when in our adolescent years we fight to define our independent sense of self and rebel against social pressures and authorities. However, some don’t go through this stage fully and strongly enough.
As a result, the third Chakra can lead to both sense of powerlessness and frustration. When there is an extreme lack of willpower, the sense of frustration is all about the feeling that one cannot shape and influence one’s fate and can only be led by people and events. When, on the other hand, there is an excessive willfulness, this could easily turn into anger, which is the aggressive attempt to bend events and people for the sake of our wish-fulfilment.
The Solar Plexus Chakra Imbalance
The unbalanced third Chakra is a state of feeling powerless that sometimes leads to a quick giving up and sometimes to anger and struggle.
People who lack the sense of power are too afraid and doubtful to even set a goal, while others with an excessive Manipura-power might vehemently stride forward without any consideration and sensitivity.
This blocked Solar Plexus Chakra state is caused mainly by a lack of self-discipline. True self-discipline is the result of one’s inner training in which one learns how to focus, concentrate and gather all of one’s different forces. It’s almost like taming a wild horse in order to safely and confidently ride it. There are so many influences and voices, both from inside and outside oneself. If one yields too quickly to any pressure, one literally lacks a center or core that can overcome all other secondary forces.
Manipura is strengthened through the ongoing process of overcoming obstacles and remaining faithful to one’s own will. Overcoming includes the growing capacity to control and restrain inner forces, such as laziness and anger, fearfulness and doubt. In this sense, the blocked third Chakra is a state where any drive, impulse or influence can take over at any time.
Psychological and spiritual Symptoms of a blocked Third Chakra
The unbalanced Solar Plexus Chakra can express itself in different ways that are all brought about by the underlying feeling of powerlessness. This can lead to different symptoms that are all aspects of this general feeling of powerlessness:
- Lack of will and resolution
- Lack of stress-resistance (all is “too much”)
- A general feeling of being unable to cope or succeed
- Lack of health boundaries, subordination,
- Lack of positive self-image
- Lack of emotional control
- Exaggerated need to control and manipulate
- Intense self-demand
People with blocked Solar Plexus Chakra suffer from a severe lack of will and resolution, that renders the person unable to achieve goals or fulfill one’s vision in life. One doesn’t find enough self-discipline to even meditate shortly, while one’s goal is an ultimate spiritual enlightenment.
One might be extremely unreliable: in the morning a person would wake up, declaring one will; at noon time this will would already be forgotten and replaced by some lazy urge.
There is a general lack of seriousness, which makes one sink easily into doubts. Every action is followed by doubts, and often doubt is so quickly activated that it exterminates a possible action even before it arises in one’s conscious mind.
The general sense is one of doom: there are great forces of destiny and much stronger people, and they will anyway determine the flow of events. One can hardly even respond, let alone decide and make choices.
Sometimes people might even not feel that they exist as independent beings, and will feel vacancy within their solar plexus. Fear of effort and inability to endure strong pressures are also very likely to appear. This might lead to severe types of sensitivity and vulnerability, even energetically speaking, as Manipura is also the energetic protective shield of both body and mind.
On the other hand, a blocked state might also be caused by excessive ambition and willfulness. In such a condition, the willpower stored within the third Chakra could be wrongly used for intense self-demand, in which one pushes oneself to the limit, overworks, and gets easily angered when things get out of hand.
Physical Systems affected by the Solar Plexus Chakra
The Solar Plexus Chakra governs the entire digestive system: stomach, liver, pancreas and bowels. Being the Chakra of inner power, it determines whether we have the sufficient energy and resistance to cope with challenges and pressures and to respond accordingly. In this the physical, energetic and psychological meet, because we need to “digest” pressures and expectations, and transform them into response and action, and also to protect ourselves sometimes from unnecessary influences, which weaken our will and determination.
Physical Symptoms of a blocked Solar Plexus Chakra
The physical symptoms of a blocked Manipura can be expressed through any digestive disorder: general pain in the upper abdomen, a sensitive stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, bowel infections, heartburn, peptic ulcers, constipation or diarrhoea.
It is the general feeling of our mental, emotional and energetic “digestive system” that we cannot take in pressure or cope with stress, which correspondingly affects our process of physical digestion and extraction.
This might also lead to a physical inability to push away the burden of stressful impressions – difficulty to get rid of toxins, as in liver weakness.
Solar Plexus Chakra Healing
Solar Plexus Chakra Healing is, before anything else, the healing of our relationship with the experience of willing and failure. We might have had experiences that taught us that there was no point wanting anything since other, stronger forces defeated our will; or memories in which we were told or shown that we were not powerful enough to compete in the “play of wills”.
The healing process of such memories is by regaining the sense of will and the willingness to try again and again even in the face of failure. Everyone fails, including the successful ones; the difference being that the successful ones don’t let go and withdraw.
But healing traumas can never be enough to heal Manipura. Third Chakra healing requires a great deal of action, because it is the Chakra of reaction and action. One needs to learn to gather all of one’s energies into one clear will and to follow it through with determination, even when obstacles come one’s way.
The development of will is the key-healing, and it is done by answering the question: “What do I want?” This is also significant because only by remaining faithful to one will can one learn how to overcome external influences.
Empowering one’s own will and being able to better protect oneself from powerful voices and pressures can be done through coaching, on the mental level, and trainings such as martial arts and other empowering bodily exercises, on the physical level. Any form of self-discipline, including overcoming one’s own internal pressures or forces like laziness and doubt, can gradually improve a wounded or vacant Solar Plexus Chakra.
On the other hand, since sometimes frustration transforms into anger, healing of anger too is necessary. When one understands that anger is not a sign of power but actually a sign of weakness and helplessness, one can refrain from expressing this anger and turn to deal with the helplessness behind. Whenever anger arises, one should rather ask oneself: “How can I channel my wish to influence events in a creative way?”
Opening the Solar Plexus Chakra
Opening the Manipura Chakra takes place through the creation of true inner power. While the healing of the Solar Plexus Chakra is by regaining trust in one’s ability to want and to influence, to open it requires an understanding that what really matters is achieving a state in which one remains internally powerful regardless of ups and downs.
Ordinarily, people feel powerful when external circumstances respond positively to their will. They, on the other hand, feel weakened when their will is frustrated. In the opening of the Solar Plexus Chakra one learns how to consolidate not only a will, but also being and presence that, like the sun, keep on radiating regardless of what happens on planet earth.
This is done by meditative training, not only under the safe conditions of meditation but especially in times when one feels that one’s external power is lost. At times of loss, failure and inability to affect a change, we need to learn how to transform our will into a complete and confident being within ourselves. It’s like remaining the same, with the same mood and feeling, at all times; remaining faithful to what we want and accepting when life doesn’t fulfil it for us. Our authentic being in both cases remains unharmed.
Solar Plexus Chakra Meditation
The most fundamental meditation for Manipura Chakra is learning how to remain unaffected by inner changes. Before one turns to training with external circumstances, one needs to develop an inner being which doesn’t change, when different moods, doubts, fears and contradictions cloud one’s inner sky. The Beatles’ song “Across the universe”, which declares “Nothing’s gonna change my world”, is a good meditative instruction. When one is no longer susceptible to the influence of one’s inner forces, it is much easier to reject external ones.
Meditation through effortful and demanding physical exercise is great for the third Chakra, while in physical exercise there is always a point which tempts us to withdraw, since our lower impulses drag us down to laziness and giving up. Through the exertion of physical exercise we can train ourselves how to not succumb to laziness and cope with uncomfortable pressures. Martial arts, that develop true inner power through physical action which demonstrates it, can be beneficial for this purpose.
The meditative practice of concentrating on the fundamental sense of self-existence “I am” is a very good one in this context. The Solar Plexus Chakra is where our sense of self-existence begins. So when we keep on focusing on this root-sense of self-existence we are basically reminding ourselves that: “I am always the same”. Sometimes “I am” is afraid, sometimes it is happy, yet at all times it remains “I am”. The practice of the known Armenian teacher Gurdjieff of self-remembrance is a good expression of the same principle. In general, any kind of practice which requires us to concentrate on one point and overcome any inner resistance strengthens our Solar Plexus Chakra.
Summary 3rd Chakra
Manipura is the Chakra in which we are called to develop our one being, one will, one identity. It is where we learn how to gather all our internal energies into one strong and persistent self, which then serves as the foundation for all higher Chakras’ activity, as well as the governor of the two lower ones.
When we feel one within ourselves, we finally gain the power to follow through ambition, and to not let go before our goals and destinations have been achieved. Any successful person in the world owes their success to their unyielding and persistent third Chakra.