The solar plexus chakra is all about fire energy. It’s where you find your personal power, it’s where you find your bravery, it’s where you cultivate the courage and confidence for how you show up in the world.
Often referred to as the Manipura chakra in yoga, you’ll hear it used lots as your core as where this chakra is located is where you gain a lot of your stability and strength.
Without using the solar plexus chakra your yoga practice and many parts of your life won’t be strong or stable. Balancing your solar plexus chakra is a great way to not only gain confidence but determine how you show up in the world, as a strong, proud yet humble individual.
Working to balance your solar plexus charka helps with balance itself but in every area of your life.
Solar Plexus Chakra Basics
Location: Centre of the core, a few fingers down from the breast bone
Meaning: The sacral chakra governs self-confidence, courage, personal power and self-worth. Emotions related to this chakra include anger, greed and envy.
Other names: Navel chakra, Manipura chakra, third chakra
Translation: Lustrous gem
How Does Yoga Help Balance the Solar Plexus Chakra?
Yoga uses the solar plexus chakra is many poses, including all of the standing poses plus more. That’s because your core is used for your balance, stability and for keeping your spine straight, which is obviously used a fair amount in yoga!
By using yoga poses to balance and strength your Manipura chakra, your fire chakra, not only will your yoga practice improve but you will be able to hold yourself up straighter and walk with an air of confidence that will seep into all areas of your life.
Solar Plexus Chakra Poses for Cultivating Confidence
Activate your solar plexus with these 5 postures that help to build self-esteem and engage your Manipura chakra (aka your core) that will help you build strength for other postures in yoga but also for everyday life. Get ready to feel the fire in your body!
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Stand with your feet together or slightly apart, whatever feels more comfortable to you. Inhale, sweep your arms forward and up. Exhale, bend deeply into your knees into a squat position. Push your sit bones back and lengthen your spine by pulling your belly button to your spine. Cinch your waist and feel your rib cage move away from your pelvis.
Bring your knees back enough so that you can look down and see your toes. Lift all ten toes to make sure your weight is mostly in your heels. Zip your legs up, pressing them tight against each other, like you have a mermaid tail.
Pull your shoulder blades down your back, your shoulders moving away from your ears. Look straight ahead.
Hold for 3-5 breaths. For an added challenge, with each inhale come out of your squat, just by an inch, and with each exhale sit lower by 2 inches.
Bring your hand into a prayer position. Inhale to lengthen your spine, exhale to twist to the right, hooking your left elbow on your outer right knee. With each inhale, lengthen your spine to create space and on each exhale deepen into your twist. Use your core to twist versus pushing into your elbow. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Untwist and straight your legs and arms for a brief release and repeat on the left.
Arm variations: For it to be easier on your arms, hold them in cactus arms (elbows bent and out to the side, aligned with your shoulders and your wrists in alignment with your elbows) or hold your hands in a prayer position.
In the twist, option to have your elbow tucked between your knees ever so gently or bring your right arm to your lower back (when twisting to the right) and your forearm to your outer right thigh.
Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)
From downward dog step your right foot forward between your hands. Inhale, push into your right foot as you sweep your arms forward and up. Bring your upper body to stack over your hips, your arms reach for the sky. Push your back heel into an imaginary wall to activate your left leg.
Option to have a slight bend in your left leg if it makes it more accessible for you to scoop your tailbone under to avoid overarching your lower back. Pull your shoulder blades down your back, your shoulders away from your ears and look straight ahead.
Inhale to lengthen your spine, reaching the crown of your head towards the sky, exhale to deepen into your lunge. Keep your right knee stacked over your right ankle. Pull your right hip back and your left toward to help with balance. Take 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Option to step back into this pose from a standing position at the top of your mat.
Arm variations: Place your hands on your hips if your arms are feeling a little tired!
Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
From downward dog, step your right foot forward to land between your hands. Drop your left heel so that it’s parallel to the back of your mat and the heel of your right foot is in line with the arch of your left. Inhale, push firmly into your right foot as you windmill your arms up and into a straight line with each arm reaching in opposite directions to the front and back of your mat.
Give your hips a wiggle to make sure they’re even. Roll your shoulders up towards your ears and then back and down your back. Engage your core to keep your spine straight and your entire body facing the left-hand side. Turn your head to look directly out over your right finger tips, your arms in line with your shoulders.
Pull your right knee in line with your right ankle, enough so that you can see your big toe. Pull your thighs together for balance while pushing evenly into both feet. Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Option to step back into warrior II from mountain pose at the top of your mat.
Variations: For days when you’re not feeling particularly strong or are perhaps injured, keep your right leg in the same position but place your back knee on the ground, your foot pointing out behind, to the side of your mat instead of the back. Your body is stacked over your knee on the ground and your arms are in the same position.
Hig Plank Pose (Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana)
From a standing position at the top of your mat, fold forward so that your hands come to your mat. Bend your knees as much as you need to do this. Firmly plant your hands into the mat and step one foot back, on your toes, followed by the other into a plank position, feet about hip-width apart.
Spread your fingers wide and feel the energy of the Earth as you push into your palms. Have your shoulders stacked directly over your wrists and your body in one, long straight line. Be sure to check that your hips aren’t dipping lower or lifting higher. Engage your core by pulling your belly button to your spine.
As you continue to push your hands into the mat, have a slight dome in your upper so as to not let your chest collapse, by pushing your upper middle back towards the sky.
Hold for 3-5 breaths. Option to rock back and forth on your toes to help warm up your wrists.
Variations: Option to drop your elbows to the mat for a forearm plank, keeping your elbows under your shoulders and your hands reach to the front of your mat. Keep your fingers spread wide for extra stability.
Downward Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Start on your hands and knees, your shoulders directly over your wrists, your hips over your knees. Spread your fingers wide and push your hands firmly into the mat so that majority of the weight is the balls of your hands and the base of your palm, creating a suction cup.
Tuck your toes and lift your hips up into the air and back until your arms are straight. Have a slight micro bend in your elbows and bend your knees as much as it’s comfortable. Your heels do not need to touch the mat. Reach your sit bones towards the sky as you cinch your waist and feel your rib cage move away from your pelvis. Engage your core by pulling your rib cage up and in so that your ribs aren’t flaring out. This elongates your back.
Pull your shoulder blades away from your ears, internally rotate your arms so your biceps face the back. Let your neck be heavy but in alignment with your spine. Gaze between your feet. Continue to feel your sit bones reach and spread upwards. Hold for a minimum of 5 breaths for your first downward dog.
Yoga for Sacral Chakra Sequence
Try putting all of these poses together for a mini-sequence to help you build your confidence and strength.
Video coming soon!