Ahh. Manipura. What a blessing it was to research manipura this week. I had some major lightbulbs go off for me while researching this chakra. I think this chakra is my weakest, personally. I have been doing some asanas to help balance it over the week and I love it. It’s interesting how much this blogging journey has already taught me about myself. My goal is to teach others about counseling and yoga, but I’m in fact learning about me. Interesting, right? Life is funny. It has its ways of showing us what we need to know, but only when we decide to look for it.
Alright, let’s dive in.
Manipura, the third chakra, is located where our navel is. The solar/navel chakra is what consists of our “core” and is highly associated with our energy. The color for manipura is yellow, with the lotus flower having ten petals. Our metabolism and digestion is highly susceptible to our solar chakra. If we have a hard stomach, a sunken stomach, or a large belly, our solar chakra is imbalanced. A large belly may indicate a person needing to be in control all of the time, while someone with a sunken belly may have a fear of control. This chakra is associated with our will to do things, and a common mantra would be “I can”. When this chakra is balanced, we have confidence, enthusiasm, and energy. People who often have an imbalanced manipura use a lot of caffeine or other stimulants to help give them energy. Loving our manipura means loving ourself and embracing our power within; not loving our manipura equates feeling angry, criticizing ourselves, and having a lower self esteem (Judith, 2002).
Some issues that may arise in counseling associated with manipura could be anger management, boundaries/control, self esteem/self confidence, or a lack of desire to complete tasks. One counseling specific theory that came to my mind while reading about manipura was the concept of absolute thinking discussed by Albert Ellis in rational emotive behavior therapy. The idea behind absolute thinking is that a person thinks of tasks with words such as must, should, have to, or need to instead of “I choose” or “I can”. These irrational thoughts, as Ellis called them, tend to keep individuals in a negative mindset instead of a positive one. One technique that counselors can utilize with their clients when them thinking this way is the “ABCDE” model. (I actually use this one a lot with my clients in helping them think about consequences and choices.) The A stands for the activating event, which is just whatever happened. The A is indisputable; it is fact. The B stands for the belief surrounding the event – how did the individual feel about the event that just happened? What irrational belief underlies these thought patterns? The C is the consequence. Because of A and B, what happened? How did the individual feel about it? D, or the dispute, is the argument against the belief. What can we change about the belief surrounding this event? And finally, E, or new effect. How does the individual feel about it now? What new emotions are in place? This model can help clients understand where their energy is going, how it is being used, and how it may be working against them (Jorn, 2009).
It is important to help our clients understand that they have choices, responsibilities, and a personal power. Helping them find their energy in this chakra can help with that. One idea that stuck out to me when reading about the solar chakra is how we might not always be able to control what happens to us, but we can control how we feel and what we do about it. That idea is so empowering. Opening up this chakra can really help our clients find the momentum and desire to change and find harmony within themselves.
Some suggested activities and asanas to balance manipura:
-any kind of self care that the individual finds useful. The counselor may have to guide this conversation, using their own self care techniques as examples.
-healthy ways of releasing anger (I have so many awesome anger activities – that could be it’s own separate post! But some quick ones I find effective and healing – writing down angers on a piece of paper then ripping it up, describing or drawing physical anger on our body, and deep breathing exercises.)
-handstand (practice against a wall or with a friend – do not hurt yourself!)
-crunches or any core strengthening exercise
(Geroux, 2014; Judith, 2002).
So, there you have it! Manipura! I loved learning about this chakra. I personally find myself thinking about the idea behind absolute thinking and changing that mindset quite often. Yes, I am required to go to work to make money, but I also am privileged to get to go to work. I try very hard to think in a positive way, but sometimes I beat myself up and hold on to things that I don’t need to worry about. Is this action I chose to do going to make this person mad? Or am I not doing my job well enough? The fact is, I’m doing the best I can. And I’m making the best choices for myself that I can. Right now I am feeling so drained, emotionally and physically. This week was testing and I’m exhausted – my will, my manipura, is totally wiped clean. So I’m off to do some self care and tune in to what my body is telling me I need.
What do you guys do to take care of yourself? How do you feel about your manipura and personal power?
Happy om’ing, and namaste. ❤
P.S. Again, check out Cora and Bodhi’s awesome post on manipura. So good.
Geroux, C. (2014). Chakra 3 – manipura – personal power. Retrieved from http://coraandbodhi.com/chakra-3-manipura-personal-power/
Jorn, A. (2009). Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy/0001563
Judith, A. (2002). Wheels of life: A user’s guide to the chakra system. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.