The third chakra is the Manipura chakra, which means “lusterous gem.” The third chakra, which governs our will, self-esteem and sense of personal power, is located in the solar plexus. Its function is willpower. The verb associated with the third chakra is "I do".
The solar plexus chakra has to do with “belonging.” If it is open, the individual will feel that he/she belongs to everything, firmly grounded to his/her place within the universe. It’s a mental chakra but directly related to the emotions.
When energy flows freely through this center, we’re confident about our ability to manifest our intentions and desires. If the chakra is open, one will be more likely to have a deeply fulfilling emotional life that does not overwhelm. However, that person might also be more susceptible to psychic “attack” or getting lost in the stars. Physical pain in the chakra stems from overuse.
A healthy, spirited third chakra supports us in overcoming inertia, jump-starting our "get-up-and-go" attitude so that we can take risks, assert our will, and assume responsibility for our life. This chakra is also the place of our deep belly laughter, warmth, ease, and the vitality we receive from performing selfless service.
When the third chakra is blocked, however, we feel powerless and frustrated. If the chakra is closed, feelings will be blocked. A person might not feel anything and would not understand the deeper meanings of emotions and might not be connected to his/her greater life purpose.
The glands and body systems it affects are the pancreas, adrenals, digestive system and muscles. When it malfunctions, the resulting problems can include ulcers, diabetes and/or hypoglycemia.
We live in a time where there is little encouragement for paying attention to our body's natural energy levels and giving it what it needs. So often when we are really tired, we ignore our longing for rest and manipulate our bodies with caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants to create a false sense of energy. When we're overstimulated and want to relax or draw inward, many people turn to overeating, alcohol, or drugs to slow down. Yoga offers us a different choice: to listen to what our body requires and to truly nourish ourselves, using appropriate asanas and pranayama practices to create more energy or relaxation. Once we've done that, we can get a taste of our true personal power.
Due to the location of the Solar Plexus chakra, the most beneficial Yoga poses are those that massage the Pancreas, stimulate the kidneys, and work the abdomen, which help diabetic conditions, and are associated with imbalances of the Manipura.
Paripurna Navasana/Boat Pose
The Boat Pose helps to improve digestion, whilst stimulating the kidneys, intestines, and the thyroid and prostate glands. I also helps to not only strengthen the abdomen, but also the hip flexors and spine.
Gomukasana/ Cow Pose
This posture stimulates the kidneys and pancreas. The crossed and locked knee position and the arm position cause vital energy to be focused at the Solar Plexus Chakra. Draw the breath in as yellow light, deep into the abdomen. Cow Face also stretches the ankles, hips and thighs, shoulders, armpits and triceps, and chest.
Ardha Matsyendrasana/ Sitting Spinal Twist/ Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Ardha Matsyendrasana energizes the spine, and benefits the kidneys, pancreas and liver in a similar way to Gomukasana. It stimulates the digestive fire, relieves menstrual discomfort, and stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck. The pose helps to detoxify the internal organs, by “wringing” them out.