A Beginners Guide to Chakra Work Pt 2- Power & Compassion

It is certain that the chakra system, as a whole,  governs our way of moving through the world. It has a profound effect on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states.

And while it is crucial that we get the system running together in a coherent fashion, it is also important to recognize each chakra at the individual level. They each represent a level of consciousness that is essential to our lives.

In case you missed it, in last week’s post we learned what a chakra is, why we should we work on finding balance through them, and identified and meditated on the root and sacral chakra, or  the first two energy centers ascending up the spinal column. Because working through the chakras is like stacking blocks, each chakra depending on the one below it, double back and read the first installment, if you haven’t already. Everybody else, let’s keep moving up.

The third chakra is Manipura or the solar plexus.

It is located right below the chest and it primarily rules over our sense of power, will, and ego. Its color is yellow and its element is fire. When the third chakra is functioning properly we feel confident, energized and ready to take on all that life throws at us. A healthy third chakra means we have stamina, determination and self discipline. We feel sure of who we are. Our solar plexus chakra can transform whatever we consume (be it food, information, energy) into strength and power. 

When the third chakra is out of whack, however, it can manifest in a few ways. Physically you might show signs of chronic fatigue or digestive issues and acid reflux. Emotionally, it can go one of two ways: If your third chakra is too closed off, you may feel powerless, weak-willed or apathetic. Or, contrarily, you might be aggressive, stubborn, angry, and jealous. Both stem from self-confidence issues. Children who suffered trauma from overbearing or belittling parents, teachers or guardians as well as victims of  sexual/physical/emotional abuse will often have blockages here. 

To begin a solar plexus meditation:

Sit on the floor and breathe deeply in and out as you imagine a sea of yellow washing over the room. Imagine a ball of fire burning right below your sternum. Every inhale feeds the fire. Say out loud, “I offer all of the things that no longer serve me up to the fire of transformation.” Imagine then, that you are writing down on a scrap of paper a thing or feeling you may have been holding on to that no longer benefits your life. Breathe in, toss the scrap of paper into the fire, let it burn up, and exhale. Do this as many times as you need.

Your solar plexus mantra goes like this: “I am powerful. I I have responsibility over all areas of my life. I meet life’s challenges with grace and enthusiasm. I am open. I am secure. I am enough.”

Yoga posesBowPikeHalf Lord of the Fishes

The three lower chakras deal mostly with matter and the physical world, while the upper chakras slowly dissolute matter into spirit. The fourth chakra, Anahata or the heart chakra is where those two worlds meet. Anahata is located right in the heart center, or the middle of the chest, and deals mostly with love, compassion and forgiveness. Its color is green and its element is air. A healthy heart chakra will manifest in the form of self love and love for others. When all is well in the world of the heart we are empathetic, vulnerable, connected and forgiving.  This chakra is our link to the divine, or our higher selves, and brings grace, clarity and joy home to us . It allows us to find strength in our vulnerability. 

When it is malfunctioning however, it may take root in the body in the form of asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease or lung disease. Emotionally, a sad heart chakra may cause resentment, depression and passivity. In relationships a person with an unhealthy heart chakra may be codependent, clingy or possessive, or perhaps the opposite where they are detached and cold. It may be time to work with the heart chakra if you find that you judge yourself and others too harshly. If you hold on to grudges, blame, and find yourself persistently discontent. 

To begin your heart chakra meditation: 

Sit on the floor and breathe slowly in and out. Imagine a large green rose right where your heart is. Right now the rose is tightly closed, but with every inhale the petals flutter and begin to open. Soon, your heart is filled with a beautiful, grass-green rose in full bloom. 

For your heart chakra mantra, say to yourself: “I am divine. I am the embodiment of love. I love myself, and I forgive myself. I can learn to forgive all who have wronged me. Those who know me know how loved and cherished they are by me. Those who are near me feel the warmth and acceptance I have in my heart for them.”

Yoga poses: FishCobra and Camel

Check back next week as we ascend up the spinal column!