The third chakra, called manipura, is located at the navel. “Manipura” means lustrous gem of the city.
3rd Chakra’s Natural Element: Fire
Manipura is associated with the natural element fire and directly linked to your sense of self.
This energy center is associated with your self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity, individual will, digestion, and metabolism.
Physical Signs of Blocked Manipura Energy
When the navel chakra is out of alignment, digestive issues can arise. This can show up as improper processing of nutrients, constipation, or irritable bowl syndrome. Imbalances in this energy center are also associated with eating disorders, ulcers, diabetes, issues with pancreas, liver, and colon.
Mental Signs of Blocked Manipura Energy
As you work with this chakra, cultivate a willingness to gain insight into your understanding of power, individuality, and identification. Are there areas of your life where you feel powerless? How does this manifest? In some a misaligned naval chakra can make skillful self-expression challenging. In some it manifests as aggressive, overly rigid, or controlling behavior, in others it breeds a victim mentality, neediness, and lack of direction or self-esteem to stand up and take positive action.
Energetic Benefits of Aligning the Manipura Chakra
When the manipurak chakra is in healthy alignment, you will be comfortable with your own inherent power and become empowered. You will have a sense of who you are and why you are here. When you connect with your purpose you gain a deeper understanding of how you as an individual can contribute to the collective in a beneficial way. You will let go of the things—whether it’s your job or bank account balance—that you depend on to define who you are. Those things may have value but over-valuing anything that subject to change is a quick road to suffering. You have inherent value, take the time through practice to investigate it and you will be less dependent on external sources of happiness.
POSES: Practice Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), abdominal strengtheners like Navasana (Boat Pose), Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose), and Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Leg Lifts), Warrior poses, twists, and Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath or Breath of Fire).
Perfectionism, anger, hatred, and too much emphasis on power, status, and recognition reveal an excessive third chakra. In addition, taking in more of anything than you can assimilate and use also indicates excessiveness. Restorative, passive backbends that cool off the belly’s fire act as calming agents for third chakra excess.
We live in a time where there is little encouragement for paying attention to our body’s natural energy levels and giving it what it needs. So often when we are really tired, we ignore our longing for rest and manipulate our bodies with caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants to create a false sense of energy. When we’re overstimulated and want to relax or draw inward, many people turn to overeating, alcohol, or drugs to slow down. Yoga offers us a different choice: to listen to what our body requires and to truly nourish ourselves, using appropriate asanas and pranayama practices to create more energy or relaxation. Once we’ve done that, we can get a taste of our true personal power.