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Solar Plexus Chakra

Manipura (Third Chakra) in Pullman's Military Hill Park

You might known Military Hill Park by its blue water tower, but think of it as a site of balance. Home to hawks, deer, foxes, rabbits, and many other animals, it is a reminder of the circle of life or balance in the food chain.

The Sanskrit mani mean “gem,” and pura or puri means “city.” So, it is often translated literally as the “city of jewels,” which helps us to metaphorically think of this chakra as our own personal treasure center of power and well-being. It is also believed to have a magnetic effect, attracting prana from the universe to ourselves. Yogic teachings say that this chakra gives us a clear sense of who we are and what our purpose is. The energy of manipura allows for personal transformation and is about balance.

The crux of third chakra power rests on the strength of your will. In yogic teachings, self-discipline is called tapas. In her book The Yamas and the Niyamas, Debra Adele describes tapas as "the unique quality that changes random circumstance into a desired outcome. It is those cathartic times of hopeless desperation when we find ourselves in the pain of unexpected loss or debilitating sickness, or in the throes of a life that seems like it has been turned upside down, that shape and mold us into someone of depth. Our debris gets burned away and we are left more humbled and strengthened by the mystery of what is beyond our grasp of loss and confusion that weave something profound in us. It is our willingness to be both burned and blessed."

Being in sunshine is believed to have a positive effect on the third chakra. Salute the sun with a sun salutation or Surya Namaskar facing east in the morning or west in the evening. Another yogic practice to stimulate the solar plexus is with Surya mudra, a hand gesture that increases the fire element and eliminates the earth element in the body.

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