Your body is supported by more than just your bones, muscles, and organs. You also have an energy body, which is made up of your animating life force. This goes by many names, depending on tradition.
In Hindu Tantra, the energy body is said to possess multiple energy centers called chakras. These serve as focal points and gateways for life force energy to flow through.
When our energy bodies are healthy, our chakras are open and balanced. When blockages appear, they can cause suffering across our physical bodies, emotions, and mental states. The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra, or Manipura.
About the Solar Plexus Chakra
“Manipura” translates roughly to “city of jewels” or “resplendent jewel.” Some sources place it near the navel, while others consider it slightly higher, near the solar plexus.
Manipura is represented by the color yellow, and a lotus with ten petals. Its seed mantra is “Ram.”
This chakra is associated with courage, confidence, achievement, and willpower. It’s also tied to one’s “inner fire,” digestion, and metabolism.
Blocked Solar Plexus Chakra Signs & Symptoms
The solar plexus chakra can be blocked by cowardice and low self-esteem. These are also some of the symptoms of blockage in Manipura, which can make it difficult to distinguish cause and effect.
Other solar plexus chakra blockage symptoms include:
- Low self-esteem.
- A lack of personal boundaries, or difficulty enforcing them.
- Fear of abandonment.
- A tendency to neglect self-care or self-maintenance.
- A lack of willpower.
- A loss of emotional resiliency.
- The need to control or dominate situations.
- Excessive dependency in relationships.
Physically, a blocked solar plexus chakra may cause:
- Disordered eating patterns.
- Food sensitivities.
- Stomach pain.
- Acid reflux.
- Other digestive issues.
Some gastric conditions, like ulcers, may be very serious. It’s a good idea to have a doctor examine any physical symptoms of a chakra blockage in order to rule out an urgent problem.
Chakra healing is best treated as preventative medicine, and methods for unblocking the chakras can be combined with most types of conventional medicine if needed.
Solar Plexus Chakra Opening Signs & Symptoms
Any disruption in the chakras can cause certain signs, no matter whether that disruption is a blockage, or the release of a blockage. When the solar plexus chakra begins to open, it may trigger a variety of symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of an opening solar plexus chakra include:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Increased self-confidence.
- Feelings of power and control.
- Inspiration about one’s life’s purpose.
- Improved relationships.
- The ability to set and maintain boundaries.
Physically, an opening solar plexus chakra may manifest as:
- Changes in appetite.
- Changes in energy level.
Methods to Heal, Balance & Open the Solar Plexus Chakra
No matter what emotion or circumstance causes a blockage in Manipura, there’s a remedy for it. Since each person’s emotional state, physical health, and chakra blockage is unique, there are a variety of different strategies for resolving energetic imbalances and restoring the solar plexus chakra to full health. Consider:
Exercising Courage and Overcoming Fears
Fear is one of the things that blocks the solar plexus chakra. An old piece of advice says to “do one thing every day that scares you.”
You don’t have to take up bullfighting or base jumping, either — anything that helps you confront your deep-seated fears and release limiting beliefs about yourself will help restore your solar plexus chakra.
Best of all, overcoming your fears will also help keep another blockage from forming in the future.
Meditation and Visualization
Sit or lay in a comfortable position. (If you’re experiencing gastric issues, you may want to lay on your side.) Place your hands on your solar plexus area. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply using your diaphragm, allowing your stomach to expand.
Hold your breath for a count of four, and exhale for a count of seven. Repeat three to five times. When you are ready, deliberately relax your muscles, from your toes to the top of your head.
Picture a glowing golden ball of healing light above you, like a miniature sun. Visualize your solar plexus chakra as a round, yellow wheel within your abdomen.
Now, connect the two with a beam of yellow energy. Allow your solar plexus chakra to absorb the warmth and energy of this miniature sun. When you feel you are ready, end the meditation, open your eyes, raise your hands over your head, and stretch.
Energy is represented in a lot of ways. Our eyes perceive different wavelengths of the visible spectrum as various colors, and our ears perceive different vibrations as sound. Specific frequencies have their own energy level, and some are ideal for healing and opening the chakras.
Sound healers recommend 528 Hz for the solar plexus chakra. Listen to music tuned to this frequency, or play a chime, tuning fork, or singing bowl that resonates at it.
Chanting seed mantras is another way to use sound energy to heal and open the chakras. Manipura’s seed mantra is “Ram.”
Crystals and Stones
Just like each sound has its own energy, so does each crystal and stone. Wearing them near the solar plexus area — in a low-hanging pendant or belt buckle, perhaps — can allow them to work directly on Manipura.
See also: Check out the Best Crystals & Stones for the Solar Plexus Chakra here.
Herbs and Foods
The solar plexus chakra is closely tied to the digestive organs, so it makes sense that herbs and foods would have a significant impact on its health. Yellow foods, like corn, yellow lentils, bananas, and grapefruit are said to help this chakra function.
Herbs that aid digestion, like ginger, dandelion, and peppermint also heal Manipura, while offering some relief from the physical symptoms of a blockage.
Aromatherapy is a way to absorb minute amounts of very concentrated plant medicine. Scent, as a sense, has a strong impact on mood. Aromatherapy goes deeper than this — each time you smell an essential oil, your nasal passages pick up tiny amounts of the volatile, healing compounds within those oils.
Spikenard, bergamot, and chamomile are all helpful essences for Manipura. Dilute them into a neutral carrier and use them to massage the upper abdominal area, or wear them in aromatherapy jewelry.
Avoid diffusing them directly into the air. If you’re experiencing nausea, strong scents may make it worse. Diffusing can also be hazardous for pets and small children.
See also: Check out the Best Herbs & Essential Oils for the Solar Plexus Chakra here.
Just like each sound corresponds to an energy level, every color does, too. For Manipura, the best choice is yellow. Wear it, decorate with it, or bring fresh yellow potted or cut flowers into your home. The more you surround yourself with this sunny, optimistic hue, the more it will benefit your solar plexus chakra.
Manipura is associated with our inner fire, and exercise helps stoke it. Abdominal exercises, in particular, can help open this energy center and keep energy flowing through it. Some yoga asanas, like Navasana (boat pose) or Purvottanasana (reverse plank pose) can specifically target and open the solar plexus chakra.
Some energy-based healing modalities, like Reiki, can also help open and balance the solar plexus chakra. If you are trained in energy work, you can use it on yourself. Otherwise, you may wish to ask an experienced energy healer to help you.
Your solar plexus chakra is the foundation of your accomplishments. It lets you set boundaries to protect yourself, and exert your will on the world by having the confidence to pursue your life’s purpose.
If you’re experiencing a blockage in this energy center, these methods can help you release it.