The Chakra System: Solar Plexus: Manipura
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James
When I was 13, I had the brilliant idea to run for school class president.
I worked for weeks on my campaign.
I hung hand drawn posters on the walls of the Jr. High School and handed out flyers.
As the weeks closed in on the assembly day, I made sure to greet everyone in the hallways with a smile and a, “vote for me!”
The night before the assembly, I read my speech over and over. I wanted to have it committed to memory so that I could give my best presidential performance.
I laid out my most sophisticated outfit and I recall going to bed that night feeling prepared.
Finally, the long awaited day had arrived.
I had butterflies, fluttering around in my abdomen all morning, right down to the minute that the contestants were called to gather into the school gym.
We all sat in a row behind the podium where we would deliver our speeches.
As I watched every single child in my 8th grade class fill the stadium seats before me, those butterflies in my stomach turned into something much more foreboding.
All of a sudden it felt like they had morphed into one large stone that sat at the bottom of my stomach.
A knot that churned and made me feel like I might vomit, or faint.
What had I gotten myself into?
Before I even realized that the assembly had begun, the school principal was calling my name, saying that it was my turn to deliver my speech.
At that moment, all I felt was sheer terror.
I knew that this was not going to end well for me….but, what choice did I have?
I stood up and with what felt like lead feet, I made my way to the podium.
My brain started working in overdrive and I couldn’t stop focusing on all of the eyes that, surely were staring directly into my soul.
The speech that I had memorized the night before had conveniently fled from my mind, like an escaped convict, making a break for it the first chance it got.
I just stood there clutching the podium for dear life.
The longer I stood there without saying a word, the quieter the gymnasium got.
Finally, my brain decided to come back from vacation and I quickly sped through my speech, in what I am sure was a new record.
I sat back down in my chair and thought to myself, “OK… I just discovered my personal version of hell….good to know.”
Needless to say, I did not win class president.
Since that fateful day, every time I think about public speaking I can feel that pit in my stomach return.
This physical reaction is a stress response that happens in the solar nerve plexus.
The solar plexus chakra is located seven centimeters above the navel.
It sits in the portion of the vertebral column that is directly behind the stomach area.
This chakra is commonly referred to as “the brain of the body”, as it is the mind-body connection that allows our core belief systems to be reflected throughout our physical body.
It’s the energy center for our personal power.
Our mental activity.
And our willpower.
Activated at the young age of between 2.5 to 4 years, this chakra helps us decide how we will interact with the world around us.
Our sense of value as a person is engrained into us during this time and our experiences throughout its activation determine the foundation of our self-esteem.
Self-esteem is powered by our inner dialogue.
The beliefs stirring within this chakra steer our thoughts and ultimately our behavior.
Earlier today I had a conversation with friends about bullying.
We discussed how often times people who bully others are trying to make others feel bad because they, themselves feel bad.
It’s like that old saying, “misery loves company”.
People who have negative internal dialogue and low self-esteem are experiencing an imbalance with their solar plexus chakra.
This imbalance is manifesting as a lowered sense of self-worth and they are expressing that physically when they bully other people.
The core importance of solar plexus is the development of personal beliefs.
Your personal beliefs are a product of thoughts, strung together accompanied by observation.
Because of this, your personal power can be affected by beliefs and emotions related to ego.
Go back to the story of my history with public speaking.
I was telling myself that there was something to fear in that situation.
That I wasn’t good enough to be speaking in front of others.
But, energy follows thought and since then, I continually put myself in situations that test my self-esteem in that way.
I keep pushing my ego to change negative patterns and instead replace them with positive ones.
In doing so, it’s easier for me now, to speak in public than it was years ago.
Like the chakras that preceded this one, the solar plexus governs portions of our physical body as well.
It’s linked to our digestive system, small intestines, our skin, upper abdomen, diaphragm, breath, the middle portion of our spine, and parts of the kidneys and adrenals.
We can use the health of our organs as a tool to assess the health of our chakras.
The link between a chakra and our physical body means that problems with an organ can cause an imbalance in the associated chakra and vice versa.
The hormone gland governed by the solar plexus is the pancreas.
A simple way to determine the relationship between your solar plexus and your pancreas is to see where your pancreas is placed within your abdomen.
If it is in the right position, you should feel a pulse at the center of your navel.
If you are experiencing the physical symptoms of imbalance listed below, your pancreas could be displaced.
A pulse located above and to the left of the navel could indicate the potential for respiratory disorders; to the left, emotional problems; and to the right, energy blockages. Finding the pulse to the right and below the navel indicates digestive disorders.
Some of the main physical symptoms of an imbalanced solar plexus are:
Digestive System Issues
Low Blood Pressure
Certain Colon Diseases
Certain Food Disorders (Anorexia and Bulimia)
“Leaky Gut” Syndrome
Psychologically, the solar plexus is associated with mental activity, self-esteem and personal power.
The primary role of this chakra is to determine our sense of value as a person.
You may see an imbalance to the solar plexus manifesting in the following psychological ways:
With a blocked and deficient solar plexus:
Overly Sensitive to Criticism
Too Critical of Others
Becoming Emotionally Manipulative Yourself
Unhappiness With One’s Life Situation
Having a Blaming Attitude
With an over-active and excessive solar plexus:
The Need To Be Right
Here are some tools that you can use in your daily life to help bring balance back to your solar plexus.
Stoke the Fire: The element of the solar plexus chakra is fire, so incorporating this into your daily life will help balance this chakra. Light a candle or burn incense in your home. Build a fire in your fire place in the evenings.
Aromatherapy: Essential oils beneficial for the solar plexus include: lemongrass, fennel, coriander, lime, myrrh, frankincense, juniper and lemon.
Color Therapy: The color of the solar plexus is Yellow, so bringing more of that color into your daily life is an easy way to nourish this chakra. Wear yellow clothing, or hang art in your home that is based in yellow tones.
Sound Therapy: The frequency of the solar plexus is 320Hz and Keynote E. Find music that plays mainly at this frequency and close to this keynote. Also sounds of a roaring fire will stoke this chakra.
Reflexology: Massage these areas to stimulate energy flow to the solar plexus: On the hand, across the base of the palm; also, on the sole of the foot, just past the ball, in line with the second toe.
Nutrition for the Solar Plexus Chakra: Eat yellow foods such as corn, pineapple, squash, beans, peppers, bananas, brown rice, oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, ginger and turmeric.
Affirmations: Create a positive affirmation for this chakra. Write an affirmation that feels right to you and state it several times throughout your day.
I honor myself.
I am confident in all that I do.
I respect myself at all times.
I act with courage and strength.
I feel my own power.
When the solar plexus is balanced you will feel a healthy assertiveness, productivity and mental focus. With this comes a healthy balance in the realm of work life.
You’ll find an ease in cooperating with others and will be moving from a place full of dynamic energy in an intelligent manner.
You will have a healthy digestive system and overall good physical health.
As well as a healthy relationship with the world outside of your immediate wants and needs.
The solar plexus rules our digestive system, and just like our body digests food, this chakra digests thoughts and ideas.
If we over indulge in our mental constructs, we can fall prey to mental chatter and anxiety.
Conversely, if we ignore our intellect, our minds can become lethargic.
This chakra is the key to our personal sense of value and our ability to reflect that to the outside world.
Through practicing self-love and having compassion for others, you are consciously moving from making decisions based on karma, (the consequences of our past) to fulfilling your dharma, (your higher purpose).