Hey Yogis and welcome September. Our focus this month is on the Solar Plexus Chakra. Throughout all of my classes this month I will be weaving this theme in so come check out a class to learn more about using our solar plexus in poses and read this post for more information about working with your solar plexus chakra and to see how you can work with this chakra at home.
Our Solar Plexus Chakra is located just above the navel, where the rib cage begins to separate. It is associated with the color yellow and the element of fire. Our Solar Plexus contains our sense of self, our sense of humor and wit, our ambition and willpower (the ability to push through obstacles). Balance in this energetic point feels like having a firm and healthy sense of self, knowing your purpose and walking boldly with confidence towards that purpose, and a sense of playfulness and humor. On the other hand, feeling overly aggressive, digestive issues, or victim mentality can all be signs of imbalance.
Through our practice this month we will stretch the willpower a little more with each class and I encourage you at home to work with this concept as well. In your yoga practice this might look like asking yourself to hold a difficult pose for just one more breath than you feel comfortable with. If your a runner, it might look like taking just a few more steps than your comfortable with. Our exercise (whether it be yoga, running, or some other kind of physical activity) is a great way for us to stretch and strengthen our muscle of perseverance which all ties in with the theme of your willpower or ambition. I recently have started “running” three days a week (I use this term loosely- a lot of walking is also involved if we are being completely honest) but through the process I have been practicing pushing myself a little further and a little further each day. I notice that when I start my day off doing something very challenging for me and begin my day by pushing myself, I feel a lot more confident to tackle challenging tasks at work or push myself a little past my comfort zone in different areas of life. So I encourage you as we move through September to embrace the area outside of your comfort zone. Stand firm in your power and move with confidence into the unknown- whatever that looks like for you.
Here’s a few things you can try at home to work with this chakra in more depth:
- Create your own Mantra to repeat throughout the month. The thoughts we feed ourselves are so important. When you notice a thought that contradicts the truth like “I am not worthy of love” or “I don’t deserve to be happy” or whatever negative thoughts you have about yourself notice the thought. Become aware of it. Make a choice to not entertain those harmful thoughts. If your walking on a trail through the woods and you notice a rabbit your not going to leave the trail to follow the rabbit mindlessly through the woods. In the same way, you notice the negative thoughts (the rabbit) but you don’t let yourself follow it through the “woods” or spiral out of control. You instead choose to replace the thought with truth or your mantra, staying on the path towards your best self. Your mantra might be something like “I passionately live my purpose and move forward with unwavering courage” or “I love and accept myself” or “I am worthy of love, kindness and respect”. Take some time to think about what truth you need to be speaking into your life right now and use that to create your mantra.
- Notice areas of yourself where you lack confidence or experience bouts of self doubt and maybe even write them down somewhere so you can access them later. After you have practiced repeating your mantra and have practiced pushing yourself a little bit further in your practice as we talked about earlier, see if you can push through some of those areas where you lack confidence. It might be impossible to ever push past them, but you can push yourself through them. It will however take a lot of reminding ourselves of truth, whatever that might be for you.
- Since the element of the solar plexus is fire, try a meditation exercise focused on the flame of a candle. You might come to a comfortable seated position and let your eyes rest softly on the flame as your bring your awareness to the breath. Practicing slow, rhythmic breaths as you allow your focus to settle in on the flame. Remain here for at least 5 minutes and then slowly work your way up to longer periods of meditation.
- You can use essential oils to aid your work with the Solar Plexus by diffusing them, smelling them during meditation practice or by rubbing them onto the solar plexus (please use quality essential oils that are safe for the skin and dilute if needed). Some oils to consider using are Lemon to promote feelings of happiness and laughter, Ginger (or a digestive blend) to aid with digestive issues, Bergamont to increase feelings of self confidence and juniper berry to help bring balance to this chakra.
- You might also consider using a crystal as a visual reminder of what your working on in your practice or you might wear one to absorb its energies. Amber, Golden Topaz, Sunstone and Citrine are all good options.
- You can practice safe twists at home which have many benefits that I won’t get into here but twists are a great way to massage the solar plexus chakra and bring it into balance.
So much of our yoga practice happens in the mind my friends. Please be gentle with yourself. Our thoughts have the ability to hold so much power over us so I encourage all of your to be mindful of your thoughts and release any negative thoughts about yourself so you can replace them with truth. You do have value, you do have goals that are worth pursuing, you do have what it takes, and you are loved! So walk with courage and confidence on your path towards your unique purpose. Namaste friends.