Exploring The Chakras Part 3: The Solar Plexus

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As we make our way through the chakras, we’ve already stopped and played with the root chakra and the sacral chakra, and today we arrive at the solar plexus chakra. If you’ve been following along, you’ve just finished up your unwinding exercise for this energy center, and now we will go into more depth as to what makes the 3rd chakra special. If you haven’t yet joined in on the fun, read my post on the unwinding exercise here, and check out my mailing list for reminders- it’s not to late to catch up on our chakra adventure! Today we are ready to step into the 3rd chakra, called the solar plexus. This spinning wheel of energy is the last of the “lower” chakras, those concerned with “matter” (vs. the higher three, which are concerned with “spirit”) and dynamics involving our physical bodies and this Earthly realm. The 3rd chakra is called Manipura in Sanskrit, and is known as the center for our willpower, sense of self, and the seat of our motivation. This is also the chakra that governs our digestion, energy levels, and zest for life. It’s located a few inches above the belly button, right over the stomach region.

The solar plexus is an important area of energy in the body, because it has to do with our self worth and identity, and how we manifest those in the world around us. When our solar plexus is open and balanced, we feel confident, capable, and excited about life. We take on new projects and have stamina to follow them through. We also enjoy strong digestion, a healthy appetite for nourishing foods, and the ability to take good care of ourselves. If your solar plexus is underactive, you may notice things like lethargy, apathy, and a hard time standing up for yourself, and if it’s overactive, you may feel agitated, bullish, aggressive, or hyperactive.

Our 3rd chakra, in a nutshell, is represented by these things:

  • Color: yellow/gold
  • Physical associations: upper digestive system- stomach, upper small intestine, gallbladder, kidney, adrenal glands, pancreas, spleen, and middle of the spine
  • Emotional associations: Self-esteem and confidence, ambition, courage, self-image, fear of rejection or criticism, strength of character, shame, manifestation
  • Sense: sight
  • Mantra: Ram
  • Element: fire

Like every chakra, the solar plexus contains a sacred truth. According to Caroline Myss, the 3rd chakra asks us to “honor oneself”, and to take responsibility for the person we have become. The solar plexus is the place where we “digest” the words and thoughts we have about ourselves, so positive self-talk is important for a healthy solar plexus chakra!

Many of us struggle with cultivating a healthy relationship with ourselves and our bodies, especially in today’s culture. We are conditioned to criticize, punish, and bemoan our physical appearance, our accomplishments, and our unique quirks. All of these things work to cripple our solar plexus, and may create an environment where our lack of self-worth manifests itself in unhealthy or violent ways. Our Divine invitation, when working with this chakra, is to shift the way we view ourselves and our place in the world, and begin meeting ourselves with unconditional love, encouragement, and acceptance.

Every single one of us has something to contribute to society, bringing our own light, in order to make the world a brighter place. Our 3rd chakra is where we hold this light (remember, it’s associated with the element of fire), and working to heal it can help that light burn more brightly!

In the shamanic tradition of the Munay-Ki, the archetype most closely related to the solar plexus is the hummingbird. This energetic bird represents the courage that is required to embark on an epic journey, just like the hummingbirds make their incredible migration across the seas every year. These birds have powerful metabolisms, drawing on that inner fire to propel them forward, and only drink the sweetest of nectars, seeking out the flowers among the garbage. The hummingbird shows us how to know stillness even in motion, and to take on every adventure with her courage and guidance.

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This past week, our chakra unwinding group explored the solar plexus area, and here is a sampling of what they had to say!

“As I unwound, felt like parts of my ego were swept up in the current, leaving me freer and lighter.”

“I did the 3rd chakra unwind and felt it all the way into my spine!  Quick electrical feeling.”

“I felt a warm healing energy emanating throughout my body that continued after I rewound it.”

“During the unwinding, I felt like my insides were slowly being exposed, and got the image of someone taking a ‘core sample’ out of a tree. It was slightly uncomfortable for a few moments, until the chakra reached a place of calm, and I felt like I was being scrubbed clean. Once I felt clean and light again, the rewinding began, which felt like pressure, but I knew it was complete when it felt solid and warm.”

A couple of clients on the table this past week agreed to do the solar plexus unwinding exercise. One person, during the unwinding, said she felt the strong emotion of “fear of rejection” release.  We unwound a few more turns and then she felt the stillness. When we spun it back up, she had realization that she tends to give away too much of herself and it’s important to have clear boundaries.

Another young woman noticed a strong tugging sensation when her chakra was being wound and unwound, but was able to feel the stillness of both the open midpoint, and when the chakra was back to optimal motion. She noticed a slight sense of vulnerability while we explored her open chakra, but said it was still comfortable.

During an appointment that I had this past week, one of my clients, who'd been reading an astronomy book, informed me that the Earth spins counterclockwise (CCW) on its axis, and that all the planets move CCW around the sun. I found it interesting that our chakras spin in the opposite direction- perhaps it is to provide balance in the universe? And when we unwind our chakras by spinning them CCW, we are temporarily relinquishing our role of stabilizing the universe and surrendering into the greater flow. This is definitely something I had on my mind while unwinding my solar plexus!

I’m excited to continue our journey through the chakras, so stay tuned for the next installment, when we delve into the heart chakra. And if you want to join in on the fun, sign up for my email list. Until next time, happy unwinding!