November / December Focus: Manipura Chakra
Manipura or the solar plexus is our third energy centre. It is the intermediate centre, between the first centres which are connected to our primal emotions and in general, to our needs on the physical plane, and the following upper centres, which refer to our spiritual, mental and superior emotional nature. Manipura is connected to our self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity, individual will, digestion and metabolism.
Its colour is yellow or gold, and its element is fire. As it is related to the element of fire, it is also connected to its qualities – light, heat, energy and motion, as well as to cleansing and purification. It represents our personal Sun, the main centre of our energy. From this plane, we enter into an active relationship with the world and other people. Our interpersonal relationships, our likes and dislikes, as well as the ability to form stable emotional bonds are all largely governed by this centre.
It is on this plane, where, in analogy to what happens in the physical body, the whole processing of all that we receive from the world takes place, as well as its transmutation and consequent supply of our organism with nutrients. It is the filter through which we can see what is beneficial and what is not, what to keep and what to throw away. From here, anything deemed useful, is being converted into manageable forms. It is the fire of digestion and transformation of our nourishment.
Μanipura is connected to the whole digestion system, to the belly, the lower back and the autonomic nervous system. When the third chakra does not function in a balanced way, digestion issues may come up. They can manifest as inappropriate processing of nutrients, constipation or irritable bowel syndrome. The imbalances of the specific chakra are also related to eating disorders, ulcers, diabetes, as well as to pancreas, liver and large intestine problems.
The same process that takes place with food, also takes place with emotions, desires and life experiences. From this place, we can recognise their function in relation to our personal development, shed light on them and incorporate them to our personality, in a way that will lead us to fulfilment.
This is the home of our personality. It is the place where our social identity is found, the start line of our efforts for self-confidence through personal power, the will for efficiency, but also, our ambitions. Here, we can cultivate our understanding of authority and power, individuality and collectivity. When out of balance, in some cases, self-expression can become provocative or aggressive, rigid and controlling, while in other cases, it can take the form of victimisation, lack of direction or self-esteem, and inability of taking positive action.
When the third chakra is balanced, we feel good with our inner strength and we are aware of who we are and where we stand. We gain connection to our purpose, both on the individual and social levels, and we also experience a deep, existential understanding of the reality of constant change, between the creation and destruction that constantly take place internally. In that way, we become free of dependence on things that are bound to change. We connect to our innate sense of self-worth that we find inside.
By Effie Psiachoulia,
οf the Neda Yoga Shala Team