Chakras are energy centers work together to support our immune and organ health. The third chakra, the solar plexus chakra, or manipura, in Sanskrit, is located in the upper part of the belly. Like any chakra, balancing the solar plexus chakra is critical to your overall health, and there are a variety of yoga poses that will help with this.
Your Solar Plexus Chakra
Sanskrit Name: Manipura, meaning “city of jewels”
Location: The upper belly, or solar plexus area
Element: Fire, as this chakra connects to the sun and energy from light and builds heat throughout the body
Color: Yellow. Given its association with fire, the solar plexus chakra can also be seen with more red hues
Symbol: A circle with ten petals with a downward pointing triangle in the middle. The triangle represents the transformational power of fire
Behavioral Characteristics: Power, expression of will, and a mind that categorizes the positives and negatives in life; the solar plexus chakra often controls your social status and drives your direction in life.
When Imbalanced: You will feel the need to control everything around you while lacking purpose or direction. You will focus on the details of the pluses and minuses in life and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Yoga Poses to Balance Your Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra is closely connected to your digestive system, pancreas, and metabolism. The yoga poses that can balance your solar plexus chakra involve those that build heat in the body and focus on core strength. We have rounded up manipura-focused poses from a variety of sources. Let’s get moving!
According to Chakra Info, awakening the solar plexus chakra should always start with:
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations): Sun salutations will promote healing and balance in this chakra, while building core strength and beginning to build heat and energy in the third chakra.
Once you begin to build heat and have fired up your core with sun salutations, you can move to poses that incorporate balance and twisting through standing and seated postures:
- Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I): This foundational pose will strengthen the arms, legs, and core to bringing energy and balance to the manipura chakra.
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II): Building on Warrior I, this pose increases stamina and stimulates the internal organs. Warrior II will also stretch the chest, lungs, shoulders, legs, and ankles.
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III): This advanced, balance-heavy asana focuses on your core. Imagine the color yellow firing into your body as you feel the strength through your supporting leg.
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose): Bow Pose will stimulate the organs involved in digestion (particularly the liver), and help you bring confidence and balance back to your solar plexus chakra.
- Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose): By engaging the abs and the hip flexors, this balancing pose will send energy to the kidneys and intestines to help balance your digestive energy.
- Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose): Firefly is a very advanced pose that will give you the feeling of flying while staying grounded. It requires total body strength as it calls upon the core, arms, and lower body to keep you upright. Upon mastering this pose, your mind will find a great balance between the old and new to give you a push forward in the right direction.
- Bharadvajasana I (Bharadvaja Twist): Twisting your body is a great way to strengthen the spine and activate the internal organs that support digestion.
- Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Leg Lifts): Practicing this pose will strengthen your core muscles, and is also great for toning the psoas.
We also recommend a certain type of pranayama, or breathing exercise, to bring energy and balance to the manipura chakra.
- Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath): known to increase digestive health and boost your metabolism, this breathing practice will give you a great energy boost. Start in a seated position with a few deep breaths that fully expand your belly. Begin bhastrika breathing by exhaling and inhaling with force through your nose. The breath should come from your diaphragm or the solar plexus chakra.
As our fire center, our solar plexus chakra is where we digest not just food, but life. Bringing balance to this chakra will bring confidence, inner strength and positive direction back to your life.