Continuing the journey along our spine, we come to the third chakra. This energy center is located around the solar plexus area, which is above our stomach and just below our chest. Also known as the solar plexus chakra, the Sanskrit name for this third chakra is Manipura, which means "lustrous gem" It is focused largely on the self, and its many aspects (self-esteem, self-worth, self-perception, ego, etc.). It is where we come to recognize our true power and direct our activities, using this power, towards a higher purpose.
The color for this center is yellow and is sometimes referred to as our personal sun. Its element is fire. It is the highest of the three chakras that have to do with the physical world. Chakra 1 was matter (earth), chakra 2 was movement (water) and chakra 3 is the result of the two (matter + movement = energy (fire)). Manipura brings us light, warmth and energy and is our “get up and go” chakra. It is asking us to go out into the world and get things done. Our inner power is developed when we are willing to go out and have experiences, make mistakes, learn from them and correct them. It is about transformation, through our experiences, and making ourselves better than we already are.
The chakras very much build on one another and we can see the progression here. Once we’ve built a solid foundation and set up our support in the first chakra, we have the freedom to explore our emotional world in the second chakra, so we can see what we like and what we don’t like. It is from these feelings that we are (hopefully) going to identify our passion(s) in the third chakra. These passions make us want to move forward and continue to move despite any hardships or obstacles. So, in the second chakra our job was to find our unique rhythm, while our job here in the third chakra is to find a way to express this uniqueness.
“Trying to be someone you are not in order to please others or adhere to societal norms drains the third chakra”, hathayoga.net. I’ve shared in a few other posts how I have struggled with finding that uniqueness within myself. It’s difficult to share and express this uniqueness when you haven’t quite figured out what that is. Slowly, through this work with the chakras and taking the time to focus on myself (and give less energy to what I “should” be doing), I’m starting to make my way to identifying what my real passions are, and how I can express them. As I get closer to this place of becoming who I truly am, I find that I am starting to get flooded with ideas of things I want to do, and ways to express myself. I find my new challenge in this chakra is sometimes actually doing something about these ideas. It can be scary and daunting to do something a little bit different, whether it is something different than you are used to doing, something different than what those around you are doing, or something different than what people expect you to do. But, I’ve started to see examples of how taking action with just one idea that seems so small can turn into something that is a bit bigger than myself.
I’m starting to realize that the key to working with the Manipura chakra is to first identify your passions and then act on those ideas that start to appear to you as you become more in tune with who you are. So, to end this post, I’m going to share a very small section from the movie 20,000 Days on Earth. It’s a good illustration of the importance of acting on our ideas, and has quickly become one of my favorite quotes.
Have an amazing week of discovering (or rediscovering) your passions, tuning into your ideas and finding a way to live them,