The strength of our solar plexus, also known as the Manipura Chakra (‘Lustrous Gem’), is of vital importance in our daily lives. This area of the body is the basis of our confidence and decision making skills. A balanced Manipura Chakra will lead to more confidence, better digestion, and overall better quality of life. On the other hand, when this chakra is out of balance, illness can result. Many ancient religions claim that an imbalance in digestion is the root of all illness.
When we fear or feel nervous, where do we feel it? We talk about ‘gut instinct,’ and this is in line with the theory that there is a second brain in our bellies. If our guts are out of order, then, how are our brains affected? It is vital that this area is properly aligned for better health!
Here are eight practices that we’ve researched that will lead to a balanced Manipura Chakra.
Diaphragmatic breathing is an important practice of Kundalini yoga. Known as ‘full deep breathing,’ it is when you inhale into your stomach and allow the breath to slowly fill your lungs to capacity.
On the outward breath, reverse order and allow the air to be released slowly from your lungs, then belly, and contracting the abdominals for the full exhale.
A few minutes of full deep breathing will often be all you need to absolve these issues. Honestly though, for overall good health and brain clarity, the diaphragmatic breathing is an important meditation whenever you have a few moments to step back.
This one should be pretty obvious. What you eat is going to affect you, and this is the area where you are likely to have the most control over your gut. The consumption of processed foods should be minimal, if not cut out of the diet entirely. Eating a diet according to your ayurvedic type can be extraordinarily beneficial as well. This may be new information for you, but in the Eastern world, ayurvedic diets have been used successfully for millenia.
Breathe of Fire
Breath of Fire is also a powerful technique of Kundalini yoga. It is essentially a diaphragmatic breath as described above, only in short bursts.
It will be difficult at first, but with time you’ll feel like you can do it for extended periods easily. Here is a more advanced tutorial on these two powerful breath techniques.
This is a Japanese technique, and the idea behind it is the possibility of pulling universal energy through our hands.
It can be beneficial to imagine a circle of protection around yourself, allowing only the most friendly energy to come through you.
Then you might rub your hands together to activate this energy. If you allow the energy to come into you, it will then go where it needs to go.
A session with a Reiki practitioner can really heal your life. I find a reiki session to leave me with all my ailments relieved!
This powerful meditation can be used for 4-5 minutes, and will strengthen your digestive organs. It is relatively simple, as it only requires you to interlace your fingers with your middle fingers extended and pointing up, press them against your solar plexus, close your eyes, and imagine a flow of golden energy into this area. At times, this mudra can be enhanced by rubbing the hands together prior to practicing.
We can’t always get treatment from a licensed massage therapist, so we must take matters into our own hands at times when a massage is what’s needed.
Not only can you place your hands over your belly and rub it in a circular motion to improve digestion, you might also twist your arms around to the area of the lower rib cage and massage the best you can.
You can also purchase a self-massaging tool relatively inexpensively that can reach many areas of the body.
When self-massaging, remember to keep a balance. If doing circular motions on the belly, pay attention that you are doing equal motions clock and counter-clockwise.
If you massage one side of your body, balance it out by giving attention to the opposite side.
Meditations are powerful ways to improve many aspects of your life. As far as it is related to your solar plexus, you can start the meditation by practicing long deep breathing for a minute or so. Once you find your mind calming, visualize the color gold or yellow bathing the organs around the area that needs attention.
This is the color of the Manipura Chakra. You could also chant RAM out loud or in your mind, as this is the mantra of the solar plexus. You may find that music or a guiding voice can assist you with your meditative practice.
When we say ‘affirmation,’ we mean a verbal or mental phrase that provide a certain mindset or a mental adjustment that are frequently repeated. The following examples can be used to help this area of the body: ‘I am confident,’ ‘my solar plexus is balanced,’ and ‘I allow the most beneficial energies to enter my body right now.’ One yogic mantra that can be repeated is ‘RAM.’ It will bring you confidence, with the added benefit of improved gut health!