Chakras Demystified: Manipura - The 3rd Chakra
Contributor - Yoga, Massage & Bodywork
Did you wake up today ready to take on the world? If yes, your third chakra is hungry for success and chances are you give yourself what you need to be driven, motivated, and full of will.
Other days you might wake up feeling blah, circulating fretful thoughts or feelings as though lying in bed is more pleasurable than what lies ahead in the day. And then there are the visceral fluctuations throughout the day that occur moment to moment.
Manipura: The Third Chakra
Do you wonder about the sensations circulating around your core? When paid attention to, these areas can provide feedback for what you are thinking, what you are focused on, and how you feel emotionally. Ignoring or denying these sensations can lead to lethargy, depression, overeating, constipation, or perpetuating addictive behaviors.
Sometimes thinking about big changes or starting over can prevent us from taking action. The visceral sensations will escalate the longer they are ignored, eventually building up enough internal pressure for a release of epic proportion. The release can be implosive or explosive. Feeling stuck can be a symptom of inactivity in the solar plexus. The examples below can tell us it is time to take action:
- Belly heat felt from anxiety or worry.
- Nausea, churning, tightness from anticipation.
- Diarrhea from overproduction of worry.
- Numbness or weakness felt around belly from repeating ill-feeling patterns.
- Constipation from feeling stuck or blocked, or uncertainty in how to remove the obstruction to move forward.
Change With Small Steps
Overthinking and obsessive thinking pump out a cocktail of acidic chemicals. When this happens to me, I feel like I am on a never-ending treadmill on the highest setting trying to rehydrate with battery acid. Yuck. And then the visualizations of slamming on my belly and getting launched into a wall enter my mind. Now, that part just cracks me up enough inside to warrant change.
Here is how I evoke my inner warrior and step off the treadmill (sometimes gracefully, sometimes not). At first, the transition can feel like running wildly down a muddy trail. Slipping and sliding toward an edge, tripping over roots, stepping in puddles, leaping over rocks. All of this can make it an adventure of errors and micro-calibrations to stay on the trail.
Focus on your footing. Think small steps. Take small steps. Get traction. Repeat.
Step 1. Change Focus: Remind yourself of the areas in which you are really strong. This could include your legs, great organizational skills, being an effective communicator, completing projects.
Step 2. Change Physiology: Move. Go for a walk, run, or do abs. Do an activity that gets your heart pumping and your breathing increasing. Supply more movement and the body will demand more movement to create more energy. We need energy for change.
A Word of Caution
If you are the type of person who will set unrealistic goals that require a quantum leap or quitting something cold turkey, you may be setting yourself up for failure. When you hear yourself showering in “shoulds” (“I should run fifteen miles right now” when your body is honestly capable of five), take a couple breaths and rethink your strategy. Move toward ease. Ask yourself what is more realistic to accomplish. Maybe start with less mileage. It is easier to add more than beat yourself up with over intensifying - or the guilt of not completing the goal at all.
You will know you are on the right track with these telltale signals from the gut. They can reflect that we are living out our willpower and taking action. Now that feels good.
- Warmth from feeling pleasure with present events.
- Energized from proper absorption of nutrients.
- Lightness from daily bowel movements.
Take small, deliberate steps. This will produce a string of accomplishments - and eventually many accomplishments - and all because we decided to be honest with our self. We got real. We created a personal management system to follow to produce positive results. We win consistently and feel powerful. Now that is being a warrior.
Read about the other chakras:
Look for future “Chakras Demystified” articles as we work our way through each of the seven chakras. If you have any questions about manipura, please post to the comments below.
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