Curious About The Solar Plexus Chakra? Here's What It Is, Signs Of An Imbalance, How To Unblock It & More
Chakras are the primary energy centers of our body, and when they're flowing freely, we tend to feel light and well. When one is blocked, however, we can feel off in a range ways, depending on which chakra isn't flowing.
Here, we're diving into the solar plexus chakra (AKA manipura or the third chakra), including what it governs, how to tell if it's balanced versus blocked, and what to do to heal it.
What is the solar plexus chakra?
- Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area
- What it controls: Self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem
- Mantra: "Self-love starts when I accept all parts of myself."
- Color: Yellow
- Element: Fire
- Crystal: Amber & citrine
- When it develops: 15-21 years old
The solar plexus chakra (aka manipura) is the third chakra, located in the upper abdomen. It's related to themes like self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem and develops between the ages of 15 and 21.
When this chakra is balanced and flowing, you feel confident, empowered, and a general sense of freedom. When it's blocked, you may feel shame, self-doubt, or hopelessness. Or, as world-renowned integrative medicine and spirituality expert Deepak Chopra puts it, "When this center is open and flowing, you are capable of translating your intentions and desires into manifestation. When it is blocked, you feel frustrated and ineffectual."
According to naturopathic doctor and nurse practitioner Erica Matluck, N.D., N.P., we often run into problems with our solar plexus when we're carrying a wound of shame, so "we must move from judgment to worthiness." Self-acceptance is about "identifying all the things we judge ourselves harshly for and welcoming them back in," she says, adding that all the things we judge others for are reflections of the parts of ourselves in hiding, as well.
"When the solar plexus chakra is balanced, digestion runs smoothly and our thoughts do not limit our potential. We can trust and act on our gut instinct and rarely leave an emotionally charged conversation feeling sick to our stomachs," Matluck adds.
Signs of a balanced solar plexus chakra
When your solar plexus is balanced, your confidence and ability to act will be strong. Here are some signs of a balanced solar plexus to watch out for:
- You "trust your gut" and know how to make the right decision for you.
- You feel confident in your choices and actions.
- You feel empowered and excited about what you're doing.
- You have a strong sense of self-worth.
- You're not intimidated by challenges.
- Your purpose is clear to you.
- You accept all parts of yourself.
- You are playful, spontaneous, and have a sense of humor.
Signs of an underactive solar plexus chakra
When your solar plexus chakra is lacking energy or flow, you may be holding yourself back. According to Matluck, shame is alive somewhere in your unconscious, "and it's obstructing your unlimited potential." But when you heal this wound, she says, your limiting belief systems dissolve and you realize that your vulnerabilities and imperfections are the things that draw people and opportunities toward you.
Here are some signs of an underactive solar plexus chakra:
- You feel like a victim of circumstance.
- You have weak digestion.
- You experience nervous butterflies in your stomach.
- You experience stomach upset.
- You feel chronically fatigued.
- You feel depressed.
Signs of an overactive solar plexus chakra
- You feel the need to boss people around or control them.
- You're aggressive.
- You're quick to anger.
- You're overly competitive or power-hungry.
- You're selfish.
How to balance your solar plexus chakra
Have no fear if your solar plexus chakra seems to be imbalanced—you absolutely can bring it back into equilibrium. As Matluck previously wrote for mindbodygreen, "The healing path involves identifying and addressing the solar plexus wound so we can transcend it and move into the "gift frequency" of the chakra."
And to do so, she says, it takes a lot of self-acceptance. "It's really a re-evaluation of who you are. Instead of thinking of these parts of ourselves as limitations, can we make them our gifts?" she explains, noting that the more you accept yourself, the more worthy you become. "You cannot create anything in your life that you do not believe you are worthy of, so this path is essential to growth," Matluck adds.
With that in mind, here's a whole host of things you can do to help bring balance back to your solar plexus chakra.
Yoga for the solar plexus
Certain yoga poses that centralize energy in your core are the best options to go for in order to balance your solar plexus chakra. Here's a handful to try yourself:
- Boat pose, navasana
- Cobra pose, bhujangasana
- Bow pose, dhanurasana
- Bridge pose, setu bandha sarvangasana
- Reverse plank, purvottanasana
- Warrior 2, virabhadrasana 2
- Spine twist, matsyendrasana
Meditation for the solar plexus
- Sit down and begin to take a few deep breaths, feeling the tummy expand with each one.
- Once you've tuned in to the breath and body, begin to visualize yourself navigating the day ahead.
- Play through your to-do list, picturing yourself navigating your day with ease and grace.
Bonus points if you can do this one outside on a sunny day. "If the sun is shining, I also like to go outside and get some sunlight on that area of my body," Unger says, adding, "I picture the rays of sunshine penetrating my solar plexus and filling it with light."
Pranayama for the solar plexus
Breath of fire is essentially a rapid, continuous breath through the nostrils with the mouth closed. The inhale and exhale are equal in length, with no pause between them (approximately two to three cycles per second). Here's how to do it:
- Start by sitting up tall, lengthening the space between your navel and your heart.
- On the exhale, powerfully expel air through your nose by pulling the navel point back toward the spine.
- On the inhale, allow the upper abdominal muscles to relax, the diaphragm to extend down, and the breath to flow in effortlessly.
- Start with three minutes and work up to seven.
Crystals for the solar plexus
Different crystals and stones have vibratory qualities that resonate with each of the chakras, making them an excellent tool to work with if you're looking to unblock or balance a particular chakra(s).
In the case of the solar plexus, you want to go for yellow or golden crystals. Some crystals for this chakra include:
A ritual bath for the solar plexus
What you'll need:
- A few crystals associated with the solar plexus (see above for crystal options)
- Ginger, geranium, and/or helichrysum essential oil
- Ginger or mint tea
- Epsom salts
- Add the suggested gemstones to your tub before running your bathwater. Be sure to cleanse your crystals first. If the gemstones are small, place them in a cloth or mesh bag to keep from losing them. If the crystals are not recommended to be placed in water, keep them on the side of the tub.
- Run your bath, adding 1 cup of Epsom salts to help you relax and support cleansing.
- Create an atmosphere. Color can influence mood, so consider using a colored light bulb in a relaxing hue. Candles are great additions, too, and playing soft music can help you relax.
- Once the bathtub is filled to the brim (you want to be able to soak your entire body), add 8 to 10 drops of the essential oils and swish the water to mix in the oils. Keep in mind that some essential oils can irritate the skin, even when in water. Reference this list for ones that you shouldn't add to your bath.
- If you want to add herbs, you can make a strong herbal tea and add that to your bathwater. Or, if you prefer, you may make a cup of tea to sip while you soak.
- Get in and enjoy!
Affirmations for the solar plexus
- I am enough.
- I am worthy.
- I am capable.
- I am powerful.
- I am confident.
- I can do anything I put my intention into.
Mudra for the solar plexus
Mudras (the Sanskrit word for "gesture") are used in yoga to cultivate awareness toward certain energetic fields within the subtle body—and some of them can be useful for the solar plexus, like the Rudra Mudra. According to certified yoga teacher Andrea Rice, "This mudra brings forth the power of Shiva, the Hindu god of all yogis, for the solar plexus chakra that's all about self-confidence.
- Place your palms face-up on your thighs.
- Touch the tips of the thumbs, index fingers, and ring fingers together, straightening through the pinky and middle fingers.
What is the solar plexus chakra responsible for?
The solar plexus chakra is responsible for themes of confidence, taking action, accountability, and self-esteem.
What happens when the solar plexus chakra is blocked?
If your solar plexus chakra is blocked, you may feel tired and depressed, have a hard time taking action, feel like your actions are fruitless, or deal with shame and self-doubt.
What emotions are stored in the solar plexus?
The solar plexus chakra deals with emotions like happiness, confidence, and joy.
How do I unblock my solar plexus chakra?
To unblock your solar plexus chakra, address the wound that's keeping you in a place of shame. Learn to embrace all parts of yourself, and take the time to do healing practices and rituals to bring balance to the chakra, like yoga, pranayama, affirmations, mantras, etc.
If your solar plexus is out of balance, you'll notice a difference. The good news is, when you release shame and embrace self-acceptance and perhaps sprinkle in some healing practices, you can get any stagnant or overactive energy moving freely again so you can feel your energetic best.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.