Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra:
This is our third chakra, a yellow lotus of ten petals, located at the solar plexus - the place where we get those butterfly feelings when we feel scared or powerless. Its element is fire - fire that radiates and transform matter into energy, giving light and warmth. This chakra represents our “get up and go,” our action, our will, our vitality, and our sense of personal power. This chakra is about making you feel fulfilled and that pleasure you receive when you are. A particular way to find your gift is to consider what you most enjoyed doing as a child, and this will give you clues about your natural inclinations. In martial arts the third chakra is considered the center of Chi, the life force energy (also known as Reiki). Its name, Manipura, means “lustrous gem.” We can think of it as a glowing yellow sun, radiating through the center of the body. It is located in the abdomen below the rib cage, consequentially above the sacral chakra. The colour of this chakra is yellow and the sense it is associated with is the “sigh.” The musical note at which this chakra vibrates at is E.
The glands and organs influenced by Manipura include the diaphragm, the “breath,” adrenals, skin, digestive organs, stomach, duodenum, pancreas, gall bladder, and liver. Because of this association, when one keeps this chakra imbalanced for a prolonged period of time, experienced illnesses include digestive difficulties, gas, food allergies, liver problems, diabetes, over-sexed, gall stones, muscle cramps, spasms, depression, and difficult breathing. This chakra is obviously ruled by the abdomen, so any digestion or stomach troubles associate, as well as hypoglycemia, ulcers, or addictions to stimulants (such as caffeine). Weight problems may also be an indication that the body is not properly turning its matter into energy.
When one keeps this chakra well-balanced, they tend to be outgoing, cheerful, respectful to themselves and to others, have a strong sense of personal power, are skillful, intelligent, relaxed, spontaneous, expressive, take on new challenges, they enjoy physical activities, and enjoy good food.
However this chakra can be over-active and contain excessive energy, and when it is one will be judgmental, a workaholic, perfectionist, overly intellectual, may need drugs to relax, are sexually inhibited, and can’t show emotional warmth. Typically, an overactive chakra will give someone the kind of bully archetype - someone who always needs to be in control, to dominate, to seek power, prestige, ambition. As the lower chakras in general are more ego-oriented, Manipura excess can make a person narcissistic or self-centered.
If it is neither balanced or over-active one will have deficient energy in the solar plexus chakra, (or, otherwise, a closed or blocked chakra,) and with that there tends to be depression, lack of confidence, worry about what others think, confusion, poor digestion, the fear of being alone, insecure sexual energy, the need for constant reassurance, jealousy, and distrust. They may also feel tired, afraid, shaky, quiet or withdrawn. There is a fear of taking risks, confronting people or issues, taking charge, and with all of this, a lack of energy. There may be too much seriousness and not enough laughter, ease, or fun, all of which help the third chakra open and relax. Pleasure from the chakra below, helps make the fire warm and easy; without it, our fires are cold and hard.
If one is having trouble determining what level our solar plexus chakra is at, we can examine our abdomen: having large potbellies, tight and hard stomachs, or sucken diaphragms are all indications of third chakra excess or deficiency. Examining your relationship to the properties of fire can give further clues to the nature of your third chakra. Are you frequently cold, physically or emotionally? Do you get overheated, hot-tempered? Is your style quick and energetic, or slow and lethargic?
An appropriate concept for a healthy balance in this chakra is the archetype of a warrior - standing strong, staying in touch with feelings, confronting only when appropriate and quietly maintaining a sense of power. A healthy third chakra can take on a task and complete it, take on a risk and not be bound by perfectionism, or act in the role of leadership without domination or self-aggrandizement. In the second chakra we encountered desire. Desire is the fuel of the will, the passion within our body giving strength to decisions made by the mind. Fire is the spark of life that ignites will into action. Fire is the spark that lies between the poles, and the third chakra creates power by combining the polarity introduced by the second chakra, just as electricity is made by the combination of polarities. Having made yet another step toward consciousness, we now temper our desires and instincts with knowledge, making decisions that are put into action, again combining the poles of mind and body. Power, then, is seen as an act of combination, of joining together parts to make a greater whole. When we embrace and combine all the parts within us - our bodies, our emotions, our visions, our knowledge - then we emerge whole and powerful.
Gems and minerals associated with the solar plexus chakra that can be used in stone meditation for clearing blockades in the chakra are amber, tiger’s eye, yellow/gold topaz, citrine, gold calcite, and gold.
A good rule of thumb for stimulating the third chakra is to get your energy moving. Jogging, yelling, or pounding a pillow can help you loosen up. Also, rubbing your belly, visualizing sunshine radiating our from your solar plexus, and breathing using your diaphragm helps to balance this chakra.
An exercise that can also help is called the Woodchopper exercise. To do this, stand with feet planted firmly on the ground, knees slightly bent, hells about two feet apart. Raise arms together over the head with hands joined. Arch back slightly. Making an “ah” sound as you descent, swing the whole upper portion of the body downward bringing your hands between your legs and through. The motion should be smooth and rapid, emitting as much force and power as is possible. Let the sound be full and loud. Repeat five to ten times in a session, and feel the energy break through into your upper body. This exercise is also an excellent anger release.
Oils associated with Manipura include clary sage, juniper and germanium. These oils can be used in aromatherapy with a diffuser, or in the form of incense. It can also be used in an aromatic bath or during meditation to help with the opening and balancing of this chakra.
Yoga positions associated with this chakra include gomukasana (cow pose), matsyenrasana 1 (sitting spinal twist), and ustrasana (camel pose).
When two people are quarreling, then the light from the solar plexus chakra is turning dark, and the way that the lights from the two chakras are mixed is characterized by negativity.
Different figures can be seen here: the darker the light is, the more hate is there between the two; and when it turns dark enough, it turns into black and a blockage may arise in the solar plexus center in one or both of them.