By Faye Martins and Marie Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
What should you know about Yoga poses for the third chakra? The Third Chakra is called the “Manipura Chakra” in Sanskrit. This chakra is associated with the color yellow and governs metabolism and digestion. It is located in the navel or solar plexus area. The emotional emphasis of this chakra focuses on issues of strength, self-esteem, and empowerment.
Why Practice Yoga Poses for the Third Chakra?
If our Third Chakra is healthy and balanced, we can assert our will in the world, take risks and act empowered to create the life of our dreams. A practitioner suffering from digestive disorders, low self-esteem, or a sense of powerlessness is experiencing an unbalanced or stagnant Third Chakra. If you are one of these Yoga practitioners, you may feel sluggish, drained, and unable to bring your dreams to fruition.
The Manipura Chakra may also be overstimulated. An excessive emphasis on power and perfectionism may evidence an overstimulated Third Chakra. This high degree of expectation can lead a person to be filled with anger and hatred when he or she is disappointed. Yoga poses that help to balance and energize the Manipura Chakra include vigorous Sun Salutations, Warrior poses, core abdominal work, twists, and energizing pranayama exercises. On the other hand, supported backbends will help to cool an overactive Third Chakra. Restorative poses are also a gentle way to cool the fire of anger, hatred, and perfectionism often found in an individual with an overly-stimulated Manipura Chakra. This Warrior Pose will help you feel connected to the earth, focus on your goals, and strengthen your quadriceps, upper back, and arm muscles.
When considering Yoga poses for the third chakra, anything that opens up the chest and heart area will do the trick. Think backbends, heart openers, and inversions. Anything that helps you to feel more confident, empowered, and loving will also be beneficial. The yoga poses listed in this article are great for balancing the third chakra.
What to Expect
There are a variety of yoga poses that can help to open up and balance the third chakra, located in the solar plexus. This chakra is associated with personal power, self-esteem, and confidence. When balanced, we feel strong, capable, and in control of our lives. Heart-opening yoga poses can help release blockages in this chakra, making us feel more empowered and confident. Below are six examples of heart-opening yoga poses that can be helpful for the third chakra.
1. Fish Pose:
Lay on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Bring your knees toward your chest and press your lower back into the mat. Use your hands to support your head as you lift it off the ground and bring your chin toward your chest. Keep your gaze soft as you hold this pose for 5-10 breaths.
2. Camel Pose:
Kneel on the ground with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent. Place your hands on either side of your hips and press down into them to lift your chest and open your heart. You can either stay here or continue to reach back with one hand at a time to grab hold of each ankle. Pull back on the ankles as you press forward through the chest to deepen the stretch. Hold for 5-10 breaths before releasing back to starting position.
3. Bridge Pose:
To do Bridge, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Then, press into your feet, lift your hips, and back off the ground. Hold the pose for a few deep breaths, and then release it back to the ground. If you have back pain, keep your lower back pressed into the ground as you lift your hips. You can also place a block and blankets under your lower back for support.
4. Warrior II Pose
To practice Warrior Pose II, warm up your body with several Sun Salutations. After you are warmed up, jump or step your feet three and a half to four feet apart, depending on the length of your legs. Raise your arms to shoulder height with your palms facing the Yoga mat. Turn your right foot towards the front of your mat and parallel to the sides of your mat. Turn your back foot 90 degrees and begin to root into this asana.
Breathe Into Warrior II
As you inhale, feel the strength of your stance on your Yoga mat. Slowly bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle directly over your ankle as you exhale. Do not overextend your knee beyond the line of your ankle. Hold for three to five complete Yogic breaths while you maintain a steady drishti or gaze over the middle finger of your right hand. With your next inhale, come up slowly to the top of your mat in Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.
5. Warrior I Pose:
This pose helps to build confidence and courage. It strengthens the legs and arms while also stretching the hips and chest. To do Warrior I Pose, start in Mountain Pose. Then, step your left foot back about four feet, and turn your left foot out to a 90-degree angle. Next, bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle. Reach your arms to your sides and then back behind you. Interlace your fingers, and then press your palms together. As you inhale, lift your arms overhead. Then, as you exhale, bend forward from your hips and bring your arms down to the floor by your feet.
6. Boat Pose:
This pose helps to tone the abdominal muscles and improve digestion. It also helps to increase energy levels and promote a sense of calm. To do Boat Pose, start seated with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Then, lean back and raise your legs so your body forms a V shape. Keep your back straight and your core engaged as you hold this pose.
Sequence of Yoga Poses for the Third Chakra
Sun Salutations are a great way to start your day and connect with your body and breath. They are also a great way to energize and balance the third chakra in the solar plexus. The third chakra is associated with the element of fire, and the sun is an excellent source of fire energy. To do a Sun Salutation for the Third Chakra, start in Mountain Pose at the top of your mat. Inhale and raise your arms overhead, then exhale and bend forward, placing your hands on the ground beside your feet.
Finishing Your Sun Salutation
Inhale, step or jump back into Plank Pose, exhale, and lower into Chaturanga Dandasana. Inhale and press up into Upward-Facing Dog Pose, then exhale and press back into Downward-Facing Dog Pose. From Downward-Facing Dog, inhale and step or jump forward to return to Plank Pose. Exhale and lower down into Chaturanga Dandasana. Inhale and press up into Upward-Facing Dog Pose, then exhale and return to Mountain Pose at the top of your mat. Repeat this sequence 3-5 times.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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