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Understanding Your Chakra System: The Solar Plexus

Within each of us lies a subtle energy system, through which our energy flows and expands, allowing us to shine from the inside out. Widely referred to as our Chakra System, this invisible yet wildly powerful network runs from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. And within this system are seven individual energy centers, known as your chakras. Each chakra is associated with certain parts of the body, as well as specific mental and spiritual components, to which it feeds energy. When balanced and nourished, our chakras open, allowing energy to flow in and out effortlessly, extending this vitality and abundance to all pillars of life. Our lifestyle, habits, diet, thoughts, words, emotions, relationships, and life experiences all profoundly affect our chakras. It is so important to our health, wealth, and happiness that we become aware of this energy system and how our own actions affect it. And so, we present to you the S-Life Understanding Your Chakra System series. Over the next seven weeks, we will introduce a different chakra (working our way up the body), and what you can do to elevate and sustain your unique and divine energy in each area.

Our third chakra, the solar plexus, serves as our most vital energy center and source of personal power. In Sanskrit, this chakra is referred to as Manipura, translating to "lustrous gem". Like the sun, this energy center emits a bright yellow hue, beginning at the naval and ascending up to the breastbone. This single energy center radiates our vital life force (or prana) throughout the entire body. Here, we are able to harness our dreams, desires, and passions, and turn those #ThoughtsToThings. Our ability to achieve, our self-discipline, self-esteem and willpower are all governed by the solar plexus.

Our solar plexus houses our inner fire -- the passion, drive, and sense of purpose that propels us forward towards our goals and dreams. While our second chakra seeks pleasure and enjoyment, this third energy source is all about cultivating and harnessing our inner strength and power and transforming that energy into something tangible. Without a balanced and healthy third chakra, our motivation dwindles, our passion and sense of purpose falls to the wayside, and our self-esteem suffers big time. And on the flip side, an overly-stimulated solar plexus chakra can lead to an unbalanced life where work and achievement are prioritized over all else. With all things, balance is so very key here. By nurturing and tapping into this deeply empowering energy source, we are able to step into our personal power and create the life of our dreams with confidence, passion, and warmth.

Physically, the solar plexus governs our metabolism and digestive system. Digestive issues can very often be traced back to an unbalanced or inactive third chakra. Similarly, a bit of our intuition is also housed here -- those “gut feelings” that gently guide you in the direction of your purpose actually do originate in the gut. If your digestive fire is low, or perhaps you’ve lost touch with your sense of intuition here, begin to focus a little love and attention on your third chakra.

When out of balance, you may experience: indecisiveness, perfectionism, low self-esteem, you may be overly passive, unmotivated, depleted, overly judgmental and critical, experience self-doubt, poor digestion, ulcers, a slowed metabolism, and colon disease.

When properly balanced, you will feel self-confident, reliable, empowered, motivated, purposeful, passionate, decisive, responsible, warm and joyful, deeply energized, and experience healthy digestion and a steady metabolism.

So how do we go about balancing, loving, and supporting this sacred and empowering energy system?

Creating a clear vision for the life of your dreams helps to activate the solar plexus chakra. By setting intentions and clarifying your goals, you’ll stoke the flames of your inner fire and personal power, and in turn will move confidently in the direction of your purpose and passion. Set aside time regularly to get clear on what exactly it is that you want, and write it down. Release the need for perfectionism -- nothing is written in stone. Your goals and intentions can be revisited and revised as often as you’d like. The important part is that you connect with a sense of personal purpose.

Eating sunny yellow foods brings balance to this energy center -- think yellow peppers, lemons, corn, bananas, and pineapple. This chakra oversees the conversion and distribution of energy to the body and mind, so choosing stable sources of energy are key to maintaining balance here. Avoid processed carbohydrates and sugars, and instead opt for gluten-free whole grains that will provide slow-burning, long-lasting energy such as quinoa, brown or black rice, amaranth, buckwheat, and oats.

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