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Manipura - The Power Chakra

This article was written by Anodea Judith on May 30, 2002
posted under Chakras

Element: Fire
Color: Yellow
Verb: I can
Attributes: Power, will, energy, transformation

Earth, water, fire. With our bodies grounded and our emotions flowing, we now move on to power, energy and will.

This is our third chakra, a yellow lotus of ten petals, located at the solar plexus—the place where we get those butterfly feelings when we feel scared or powerless. Its element is fire—fire—that radiates and transforms matter into energy, giving light and warmth. This chakra represents our "get up and go," our action, our will, our vitality, and our sense of personal power. Its name, Manipura, means "lustrous gem." We can think of it as a glowing yellow Sun, radiating through the center of our body.

On the physical plane, the third chakra rules metabolism, the process whereby we turn food (matter) into energy and action.

Digestion troubles, stomach troubles, hypoglycemia, diabetes, ulcers, or addictions to stimulants (such as caffeine) are all related to malfunctioning of the third chakra. Weight problems may also be an indication that the body is not properly turning its matter into energy.

We can also assess the health of this chakra by examining our body structure at this level: tight, hard stomachs, sunken diaphragms, or large potbellies are all indications of third chakra excess or deficiency.

Examining your relationship to the properties of fire can give further clues to the nature of your third chakra. Are you frequently cold, physically or emotionally? Do you get overheated, hot-tempered? Is your style quick and energetic, or slow and lethargic?

When the third chakra is closed down, one may feel tired, afraid, shaky, quiet, or withdrawn. There is a fear of taking risks, confronting people or issues, taking charge, and with all this, a lack of energy. There may be too much seriousness and not enough laughter, ease, or fun, all of which help the third chakra open and relax. Pleasure, from the chakra below, helps make the fire warm and easy; without it, our fires are cold and hard.

If the chakra is too open, then we have a kind of bully archetype—someone who always needs to be in control, to dominate, to seek power, prestige, ambition. As the lower chakras in general are more ego-oriented, third chakra excess can make a person narcissistic or self-centered.

An appropriate concept for a healthy balance in this chakra is the archetype of the warrior—standing strong, staying in touch with feelings, confronting only when appropriate and quietly maintaining a sense of power. A healthy third chakra can take on a task and complete it, take on a risk and not be bound by perfectionism, or act in the role of leadership without domination or self-aggrandizement.

In the second chakra we encountered desire. Desire is the fuel for the will, the passion within our body giving strength to decisions made by the mind. Fire is the spark of life that ignites will to action. Fire is the spark that lies between the poles, and the third chakra creates power by combining the polarity introduced by the second chakra, just as electricity is made by the combination of polarities. Having made yet another step toward consciousness, we now temper our desires and instincts with knowledge, making decisions that are then put into action, again combining the poles of mind and body.

Power, then, is seen as an act of combination, of joining together parts to make a greater whole. When we embrace and combine all the parts within us—our bodies, our emotions, our visions, our knowledge—then we emerge whole and powerful.

A good rule of thumb for stimulating the third chakra is to get your energy moving. Jogging, yelling, or pounding a pillow can help you loosen up.

Woodchopper Exercise

Stand with feet planted firmly on the ground, knees slightly bent, heels about two feet apart. Raise arms together over the head with hands joined. Arch back slightly. Making an "ah" sound as you descend, swing the whole upper portion of the body downward bringing your hands between your legs and through. The motion should be smooth and rapid, emitting as much force and power as is possible. Let the sound be full and loud. Repeat five to ten times in a session, and feel the energy break through into your upper body. This exercise is also an excellent anger release.

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