The Third Chakra, often referred to as the Navel Chakra or Manipura Chakra is positioned at the navel region and it has ten petals which match the vrittis of spiritual ignorance, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness and sadness.
Manipura is associated with dynamism, energy, and will-power (Itcha shakti.) It is associated with the power of fire, and digestion. Manipura is said to radiate and distribute prana to the rest of the body. In this sense, it is roughly similar to the Chinese idea of the dantian in qigong.
It is associated with the following:
- Deities: Vahni, Rudra, Lakini
- Element: Fire
- Color: Yellow
- Animal: Ram
- Body Parts: Pancreas, Stomach, Liver, Small Intestine, Digestion, Blood Sugar, Eyes, Feet
- Planet: Sun & Mars
In kundalini yoga, different practices for arousing and balancing the energies of Manipura include various asanas which work on that part of the body, pranayama, Uddiyana bandha (exhaling and pulling back and up of the abdomen and diaphragm respectively) and agnisara kriya (practising jalandhara bandha, and moving the abdomen in and out).
In the endocrine system, Manipura is said to be associated with the pancreas, and the outer adrenal glands, the adrenal cortex. These glands create important hormones involved in digestion, converting food into energy for the body, in the same way that Manipura radiates prana throughout the body. In Chinese qigong, there exists 3 Dantians, which distribute and regulate Qi energy (a concept similar to Indian Prana). The lower Dantian exists in the region of the stomach.
Western occultists make different kabbalistic associations with Manipura. For some, it relates to the sephira of Hod and Netzach, Netzach being that quality of energy to overcome different obstacles, and Hod being the tendency to control and break down energy into different forms, the two being contending and balancing forces, like the forces of anabolism and catabolism in the human body.
When energy is not flowing freely from this chakra we have problems with self-esteem and confidence, our sense of adequacy, issues around responsibility and feeling “caught in the middle” and deprived of the sweet things in life. It is the power center of the body. Will power, being perfectionistic and self critical is a problem with a third chakra imbalance. You may feel weighed down emotionally and physically (weight problems). You may have diseases associated with the stomach (eating disorders), upper bowel (Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, malabsorption/ maldigestion), kidneys, gall bladder, liver (all three organs can have stones), addictions, pancreas (diabetes) and adrenal glands. Excessive yang can lead to aggressiveness or greed. Balance of this chakra will give self-motivation.
This chakra is fed by disengaging from responsibility, practicing loving and nurturing yourself- not depending on others to nurture you, doing things you are good at and that is rewarding to you. It is also fed by eating yellow and green vegetables, and daily exercise.
Practice acts of personal courage. Do what makes you happy, not what makes everyone else happy. When we fail to do so, we waste too much personal energy blaming others for not being able to do what we would rather be doing. Do it, be yourself! When you do so, others will recognize your individuality, and they will know what your limits are. They will respect you more because they will know what to expect of you. As long as you are allowing others to also be themselves, do not allow yourself to be swayed by accusation of “selfishness”.
Crystals and Gems
Crystals and/or gem elixirs which may help to balance the third chakra: Amber, Apatite, Aquamarine, Aragonite, Calcite (Yellow), Carnelian, Chrysoberyl, Citrine, Copper, Desert Rose, Diamonds (all chakras), Danburite (all chakras), Eilat Stone, Emerald, Gold, Golden Beryl, Goldstone, Hawk’s Eye (Falcon’s Eye), Hematite, Labradorite, Lepidolite, Malachite, Quartz-Clear (all chakras), Quartz (Smoky and Rutilated), Topaz, Yellow Onyx, Pearl (Gold), Peridot (Olivine), Pyrite (Fools Gold), Rhodochrosite, Sulphur, Tiger’s Eye (Yellow), Topaz (Golden), Variscite, Zircon (all chakras).
The Sun and Mars are co-rulers of the Third chakra; and very appropriately, it corresponds to the “solar” plexus. This is a chakra of personal “power” and indicates your ability to be “sovereign”. Think of the symbolic energies of the Sun and Mars. The Sun radiates its essence: it either blinds us (a negative expression of self-dominance), or it enables us to enjoy its presence by honouring our own inner essence (“Wasn’t it a beautiful day”?). Mars becomes the warrior principle that either enjoys shoving others around, or responding to life’s challenges with inner strength. People who lack courage to take a risk usually have a blocked Third Chakra; they are afraid to express themselves because they have not learned how to set limits. “This is who I am – and you can take it or leave it”! How many of us have the courage to let others know where we stand, especially when dealing with our families? We don’t want to be “I-sol-ated”. Where do you shine like the Sun, or do you hide your inner radiance?