If you are familiar with chakras, then you can tell from my logo that I love chakras.  The rainbow-colored spheres within my logo are representative of the chakra system within the body.

If you are unfamiliar, here’s a quick lesson:  There are seven energy centers called chakras (literally “wheels”) that store energy/life force/prana.  They are along the spinal column and correlate to major nerve ganglia branching forth from the spinal column.  Each has a different relationship to a gland in the body’s endocrine system.  Each stimulates different organs and systems in the body.  Hatha Yoga activates these energy centers releasing the energy that flows through the spine.  Yoga helps these energy centers/nerve bundles to function correctly clearing blocks that may be there.  Each chakra also is associated with a mental/emotional focus.  In each newsletter I’ll highlight how you can work with a particular chakra to correspond with the season.

Image Credit:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Manipura.png

 

The theme of this newsletter has been on being your own hero—being your own power. Since the third chakra is known as your power base, it’s the focus here. (The “Healthy News” section below also highlights the importance of a strong third chakra for overcoming eating disorders.)

Your solar plexus energy center is where you house the power of your will. One of my favorite affirmations for the third chakra is:  “I use the power of my will to obtain the results I want”. Your solar plexus chakra contains your sense of self and who you define yourself to be.

The opening section introduced you to the idea that your imagination is your sacred creative space. Since the solar plexus chakra holds the energy of who you imagine yourself to be, it is also the source of your imagination. Since the solar plexus chakra is where you will your life into being, it holds your future and it holds your desires for what you want your future to look like.

The opening section also reminded you of the power of the words “I am” and the descriptors that follow when you describe yourself. The solar plexus chakra “is forged with the energies: ‘This is who I am. This is who I want to be. This is how I want to be seen.’ Energy Medicine by Donna Eden.

Donna Eden’s book points out the organs housed within the solar plexus chakra and the emotions attributed to each:  Emotions such as fear and caution go to the kidneys which detect toxins in your bloodstream, self-protective anger goes to the liver which breaks down whatever is harmful to your system, panic responses mobilizing you in a crisis are the adrenals domain, and assimilation of what you can embrace belong to the pancreas. The diaphragm is the final organ described as being the prototype for grief and finding closure with whatever is passing out of your life—since it sends stale air out from the body.

Donna Eden adds that while all of these emotions shape our identity, we can’t forget about our family and culture. Outside influences—our parents, our friends, our acquaintances and social expectations—impact our identity as well. Here is where we can put into use Wayne Dyer’s suggestion to put a “Do Not Distrub” sign in our imagination (housed in our solar plexus chakra) and guard it as sacred ground. Re-read the bolded emotions in the above paragraph and determine that you need to put a “Do Not Disturb” sign over your solar plexus chakra.

The solar plexus lies at our gut—our center. So any offending emotions and influences hit us “where we live,” so to speak. The healthy news section below reminds us of the importance of a strong solar plexus chakra in overcoming eating disorders—social expectations hit us where we live. Again—”Do Not Disturb” becomes the appropriate mantra. “I AM” followed by strong, independent, healthy adjectives and descriptors becomes your antidote to societal and family expectations. Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” reminds of the “all purpose” mantra using the powerful words “I AM” as the opener:  “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving harmonious, and happy!” Use it!

Another new perspective on the third chakra introduced to me in Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine book is that of a “belt flow” which separates the second and third chakras:  “The energy of the second chakra can be cut off from that of the third chakra, as well as the others above it. There is an energy between the second and third chakras called the belt flow… The belt flow, which goes around the waist, can become like a huge wall above the second chakra that cuts off the second chakra’s spontaneity, trust, and faith. When this happens, as it frequently does in Western cultures, the person may be tormented by merciless self-hatred, a desecration that often originates in the third chakra’s attempt to shape an identity that differs vastly from the natural child of the second chakra. Once the connection between the second and third chakra is opened, energy rises, knowledge about a truer, gentler self can filter up, and self-condemnation and self-hatred begin to dissolve in that knowledge.”

The “belt flow” reminds me of the granthis—in particular the brahma granthi. I’ve read that some texts locate this granthi or “lock” at the navel—or the solar plexus chakra. There are three granthis or “knots”. They are locks within the body that bind energy. The brahma granthi is the first knot we must unlock if we are to free the energies stored there and achieve all that we are meant to be. “Known as the knot of names and forms, the world of ambitions and desires..” The Chakra Bible by Patricia Mercier. This lock sounds like the third chakra gone awry, or perhaps the belt flow, doesn’t it?

The Chakra Bible referenced above, suggests withdrawing from the world of senses and practicing visualization and meditation, along with right living (practicing the Yamas and Niyamas https://betterdayyoga.com/tag/july-2011 ) as a way to begin to undo this knot. Again this speaks to the importance of our imagination as mentioned earlier. Visualizing while meditating strikes me as a great way to describe active use of our imagination to will our desired destiny into being, don’t you think?

The solar plexus chakra is associated with the element of fire. Fire represents the power of transformation. Free the energies stopping you from being all that you can be by realizing your inner radiance, your inner hero, your inner fire. Claiming your inner fire, your power, can be scary. There are no guarantees in life—risk is part of taking your power. All the lights won’t be green on your journey. Develop your inner power by taking appropriate risks in honor of your inner hero.

Fire energy can burn out of control, however, and I think Donna Eden’s caution to not forget the “creative innocence and natural child” of our second chakra is an important one. An imbalanced solar plexus chakra expresses a competitive, egotistical, stubborn, controlling nature. Keep your ego under wraps with appreciation of the hero within vs. the villain within. Let the “kinder, gentler self filter up”. Since the solar plexus chakra is associated with the fire element, you can add the water element to soften any out of control fires. Breathwork practices (like the ones I highlight below and in all of my newsletters) are a great place to start. Taking some time off to be still, whether it’s an extended vacation, or a few minutes each hour, will go a long way toward soothing too much fire energy. Of course, a meditation practice is always a great idea. Check out some of my “Meditation On the Go” sections for some ideas on how to add meditative practices to your life, or perhaps consider signing up for one of my meditation workshops.

This is one of my favorite affirmations for the third chakra taken from The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time On The Secrets to Wealth And Prosperity:  “I can succeed. All that is available to anyone is available to me. I am successful. I do succeed because I am full of the power of success.”  Bring all that you desire to be into fruition using the solar plexus energies of fire, will, and imagination.

Breathwork and Visualization from Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine book: 

“Holding and Cradling a Chakra:

Feeling thankful is good for your health. Having gratitude lifts your energy, and you can single out any or all chakras for channeling in your gratitude and thanksgiving. For instance, hold your hands over your third chakra, bring your elbows to the sides of your body, and hug and cradle the third chakra like a baby. Bring your mind’s eye into the chakra and breathe deeply. Send thanksgiving and gratitude. Your body responds when you treat it like the holy vessel that it is. Be open to whatever you experience. The solar plexus chakra is so overactive in our culture that it is a good chakra to use in learning this technique. Especially when you are feeling tormented by an inner voice scolding you about what you should do, or did wrong, cradle your solar plexus, rocking it like a baby as if rocking it to sleep. I make a “Shhh” sound as if to calm the baby. The forces that cause you to judge yourself, or another, helped you survive, and you can sincerely feel gratitude toward your third chakra. This makes the chakra less reactive, helping it evolve and support you in feeling more centered and confident. You can cradle and express gratitude toward any chakra in this way and it will respond.”

Source:  Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and Vitality by Donna Eden with David Feinstien, Ph.D.

Another quick breathwork: “Breathing in” sunlight is an excellent way to activate the Solar Plexus Chakra. (The Chakra Bible by Patricia Mercier.)

Affirmations

  • I can succeed. All that is available to anyone is available to me. I am successful. I do succeed because I am full of the power of success.
  • I use the power of my will to obtain the results I want.
  • I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy!
  • I know humor can take on anything.
  • I deeply love and approve of who I am.
  • I am worthy of my own-self-love.
  • I love and respect myself at all times.
  • I trust in love.
  • I trust my worthiness.
  • I am worth my weight in gold.
  • There are no failures. I learn from everything I do.
  • I believe that everything is for my highest good and greatest joy.
  • I love life.
  • I listen to and trust my deepest insights.
  • I am worthy of the very best in life.
  • I release judgment and let my life flow.
  • I am my own hero!

(Also see the Favorite Yoga Music section below for the link to the PDF of affirmations from Steve Halpern’s Self Esteem CD.)

 Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/story/2012-04-09/brad-meltzer-heroes-charity-shirts/54118546/1

The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time On The Secrets to Wealth And Prosperity

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

http://www.1lovespirit.com/affirmations-chakras.html

Diet and Solar Plexus Chakra: 

  • Granola and Grains: pastas, breads, cereal, rices, flax seed, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Dairy: milk, cheeses, yogurt
  • Spices: ginger, mints (peppermint, spearmint, etc.), melissa, chamomile, turmeric, cumin, fennel

Source:  http://healing.about.com/od/spiritualdiets/a/chakrafoods.htm

Aromatherapy and Solar Plexus Chakra:

Juniper, Clary Sage, Geranium

Young Living Essential Oils™ for the Solar Plexus Chakra :

Solar Plexus Chakra (Spleen) / “I CAN” /
Element: FIRE
As this chakra has to do with your gut instinct, power and control,
oils that will help to balance and open this chakra are Juniper,
Surrender, Release, Sacred Mountain, and Dream Catcher.  Rub one drop
in clockwise direction on stomach (upper abdomen), rub hands together
and inhale 3x.

http://www.younglivingsuccess.com/2010/05/-chakras-and-therapeutic-essential-oils.html

If aromatherapy interests you, I use Young Living Essential Oils™ which are therapeutic, food-grade oils.  Please inquire if you are interested in purchasing a favorite scent and I can add your request to my personal monthly order.  Essential oils raise the vibrational frequency of the body. When the vibrational frequency of the body drops, we become more receptive to ill health: http://justalist.blogspot.com/2008/03/vibrational-frequency-list.html. Therapeutic-grade essential oils are great to have in your arsenal of health promoting natural products.

Gem therapy and the Solar Plexus Chakra: 

Gemstones amplify the energy when placed in contact with your chakras.  For those of you unsure on this subject, consider that it’s scientifically proven that everything is energy.  Nothing is really solid.  Why wouldn’t the energy of a stone work effectively with the energy in our bodies just as some research speculates that the energy of computers, cell phones, and microwaves may affect our bodies?  At the very least, I find that holding a favorite stone is like a talisman for me, or a “worry stone”.  As my favorite author, Wayne Dyer, likes to say, “If it’s a placebo effect, I’ll take two”.

Some Solar Plexus Chakra gems are:  topaz, yellow tourmaline, citrine

If gem therapy interests you, you can find a great selection at www.crystallinelight.com or you can also link to her Web site from my links page at www.betterdayyoga.com.  I’ve known Jennifer, the owner, for many years and love her products (and her)!

Yoga poses for the Solar Plexus Chakra:

All yoga poses essentially activate the chakras. Some yoga poses to stimulate the solar plexus chakra include: hero’s pose—as highlighted above, plank pose, stomach crunches, belly rolls, revolved abdominal curl, cow pose, spinal twists, and camel pose, among others.