Manipura is the third chakra, and is also known as the solar plexus chakra.
As the name suggests, it is located in the area of our solar plexus, between the navel and the sternum, just below the diaphragm.

Manipura is connected to our dreams, desires and ambitions, and governs self-acceptance, self-esteem and relationship with others.
It is depicted by a lotus flower with ten yellow petals representing the ten nadi, the energy channels connecting the chakras. In the centre of the flower is an inverted triangle with the Ram syllable inscribed inside.

The element that represents the third chakra is fire and the colour that is associated with it is yellow, strongly linked to the solar energy and the splendour of self-realization.

This chakra is related to personal power, self-confidence to achieve our personal goals.

When the third chakra is blocked, the consequences mainly involve our vision of life: this seems disappointing, unfulfilling, without any incentive or strong motivation to move forward. We risk falling into depression and apathy, letting pessimism prevail.

People who are overly shy or introverted and those who constantly feel a sense of inadequacy often have problems at the level of manipura.
Not intervening on a block of the third chakra can lead us to depression and nervous breakdowns, and in the long run also involve the internal organs associated with the region of the solar plexus, primarily the pancreas and stomach.

Manipura in summary

LocationSolar plexus
FunctionExpansion, life awareness, action, will
Colour Yellow
Crystals and Stones All the yellow stones, especially calcite, citrine and topaz
AnimalsAries, symbol of fire

Exercises to rebalance Manipura

The best way to keep the third chakra open and balanced is to spend our energies to improve the image we have of ourselves, from the outside (dress well, take care of ourselves, play sports) to the emotional and intellectual sphere (recognize our successes, keep a diary of the things completed, set goals to improve your life).

We should cultivate our skills and talents, perhaps by enrolling in some course or throwing ourselves into a new hobby that divert us. Another very useful exercise is to find confirmations of our qualities in the words of others – involving friends, family and acquaintances to help us eradicate our doubts and have an external opinion on how we are really perceived.
At hatha yoga level, the following are some practices that can help a blocked manipura.

Agnisa kriya

Often our internal fire is weak and poorly nourished. Agnisa Kriya ignites the fire of manipura and gives vitality and energy. It should always and only be practiced on an empty stomach, and therefore the best time is in the morning before breakfast.

How to do it

– Start standing upright with your feet slightly apart, and inhale deeply through your nose in the abdominal area.
– Fold your knees slightly and place your hands on them while exhaling through the mouth.
– Stretch and relax your abdomen muscles as quickly as you can, possibly without breathing, for 10 to 20 times.
– Inhale, stand upright again and take 2-3 deep breaths to relax. Then repeat the exercise two more times.

The fire of manipura is constantly stimulated by this exercise. With daily practice circulatory and digestive problems will disappear. Any side problems such as headaches, fatigue, poor concentration or lack of desire will fade as well.

Nauli Kriya

After practicing Agnisa Kriya every day for at least three months you can start practicing Nauli Kriya. It can only be learned under the guidance of a teacher, so I do not recommend that you learn it by yourself.
This technique consists of several breathing exercises and movements through which the intestines and organs of the lower belly are carefully massaged. With daily practice numerous diseases related to this area can be prevented.