Exploring Your Energy: The Manipura Chakra

This post is part of our chakra series from Kristen Hedges. To read the introduction to this series, click here!

Today, we’re going to focus in on the third chakra – the Manipura.

The third chakra and I have a long and slightly unpleasant history together. Nearly my entire life, I struggled with digestive disease – from chronic acid reflux, to IBS & the other un-diagnosable mysteries that doctors tended to shrug off. I changed my diet several times – from plant based, to grain free and back again, but nothing seemed to completely cure me.

When I began learning about yoga, the chakra system, and subtle energy, I quickly realized that sometimes, a physical pain isn’t easily flipped on and off with the addition of a food or a supplement. Quite often, we swallow up our emotions and allow them to bubble up and create imbalance in our subtle energy.

My solar plexus first became a center of illness when my folks divorced – I watched their marriage crumble, but swallowed up my anger and feelings of helplessness to make way for my mother’s suffering. Then, I signed up for college not because I wanted to go, but because I felt that it was the ‘right and proper’ thing to do. I found myself living in a strange city, checking in and out of the hospital regularly, holding my belly in my hands and rocking forward and backwards until the night turned into day.

Finally, I journaled through it. I wrote, and I wrote. I wrote about my mother, how I resented her and loved her at the same time, about my father and his dream of a college educated daughter, about my childhood, my fears, my hopes, my dreams.

manipura chakra

I was finally telling myself the truth.

I dropped out of school and declared aloud that I would become a writer. I stopped living a life that wasn’t my own. I made friends with my repressed anger and allowed it to melt away. I healed myself without medication – only by untangling all the little knots within my third chakra.

manipura chakra

Name: Manipura {Solar Plexus}

Location: Solar Plexus, the soft spot below your sternum.

Colour: Yellow.

This is your center of power. The place where you either recognize that you are in control of your own life, or that you’re allowing the reigns to slip from your grasp. This is the center of happiness, joy; anger, and fear.

manipura chakra

When the Solar Plexus Chakra is open & clear: You’re feeling in control, and satisfied with the path your life has taken. You are joyous, and you laugh often. All things are feeling balanced: you enjoy your job, you feel that you’re following your dreams, you feel in control of your relationships. You are happy, and free from suppressed emotions. Everything is on the surface, and you like it that way.

The Solar Plexus Chakra can become blocked by: Feeling trapped – as if you’re not in control of your life. Often, this is due to a job that you hate, a relationship that isn’t serving you, or the act of living an unauthentic life. It can also be blocked by repressed / withheld emotions – the kind that bubble up and spill over if held in for too long.

Imbalance can lead to: Tummy troubles of all kinds, like IBS, indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, and pain. Also, feelings of overwhelming anger, fear, anxiety, and worry, which, incidentally, spiral back to digestive disorders.

manipura chakra

To check for a cause of imbalance, ask yourself: “Am I feeling in control of my life? And I pursuing my passions? Do I have enough time for my hobbies / my loves? Am I living the life I want to live?” Experiment with tarot cards, meditation, and other forms of self-exploration.

Things that make the Manipura happy: Laughing, journaling, telling yourself the truth, eating / drinking warming foods, traveling, spontaneity, making a vision board, following your dreams – even little ones, like taking a course on calligraphy in your spare time, or driving to the Grand Canyon.

Food & spices to heal & balance the Manipura Chakra: Warming spices, like ginger and cardamom. Spicy foods, curries, and peppers.

Yoga Asana: Dhanurasana {Bow pose}. Also, deep belly laughing & breathing.

manipura chakra

You can find Kristen here, and at facebook.com/withonlylove.


  1. i’ve always had solar plexus chakra issues as well and last year someone recommended crystal therapy (laying on my back with charged crystals over the problem area) and it felt wonderful. citrine and amber are great to have around, even if you’re just wearing them or keeping them next to your bed.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story and the artwork. I had similar symptoms recently. I went for an Aura Reading and it showed my solar plexus out of control, just leaking everywhere. Worst of all an imbalance impacts the other chakras and really makes a mess of things.

  3. This is my favorite series here. I struggle with depression randomly, and this helps me understand that better. It’s ALWAYS control related. I wonder if that is why I tend to love lots of ginger and spicy foods in general. Those Thai curries always seem especially delicious when I am down.

    I am going to bookmark this entire series to reflect back when I need it most. Thank you!

  4. I’ve been following this blog for a while, and I’ve always empithized with your stomach issues, because I suffered from very similar digestive problems, and have tried many different things such as yourself. I have had doctors diagnose me as IBS, and shrugged me off. Three years later and I finally found out I had chronic appendicitis. A very rare form of appendicitis, to the point where a lot of doctors debate over whether its possible of not. Apparently it is a real thing, and ever since my appendectemy I haven’t suffered from any of my digestive issues. I just wanted to share this with you because I remember how frustrating it was not knowing the reason behind my pain, and maybe it could help you in some way. Best of luck to you XO

    P.S. – sorry if you saw this twice i accidently commented on the wrong post! lol

  5. Love these segments! I noticed that you mentioned using tarot as a form of self-exploration. I have been digging around online for more information on this, but haven’t been able to find much and would be interested on hearing how you like to use the cards.

  6. I agree with the idea that physical problems can relate to emotional issues. Having a cold can indicate you are feeling unloved and need loving, maybe you are giving too much and not recieving. Stomach problems yes… anger and resentment..If we could all realise that and let it go those chronic niggling problems may well disappear. Unless of course its your appendix…lol

  7. Thank you so much!! I love this. Going through a lot of solar plexus healing right now and despite how yucky it feels, I know it will be well worth it!! <3 I appreciate this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.