Empowerment, confidence, and your inner fire is what the solar plexus chakra is all about. But there’s no need to do power yoga or strong sequences that engage your core to reap the benefits of focusing on the third chakra. Find the fire and heat that powers on this chakra in yin yoga poses or a sequence detailed below to take it easy while working on building your confidence on and off the mat.
Quick Look at the Solar Plexus Chakra
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
Solar Plexus Chakra Yin Yoga Sequence
Join me for a yin class below, pick and choose from the yin yoga poses below, or opt for a more active vinyasa solar plexus chakra flow.
For more practices like this, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube!
Solar Plexus Yin Yoga Poses
Toe Squat Pose
If there’s one pose in yin that really ignites the inner fire and builds heat, it’s definitely toe squat! Since we often neglect our feet and toes in yoga but use them a ton day-to-day, the stretch of these smaller muslces can create a lot of discomfort. It gets easier with practice, but always remember to come back to your breath in this pose to help get through it.
Begin in thunderbolt pose. Sit on your heels, with your knees together, or about hip-width distance apart. Place your hands on the mat in front of your knees and tuck your toes under. You may want to reach back and use your hands to gently pull your toes under. With your hands in front of your knees this may feel like enough of a stretch for you already. Or you can walk your hands closer to your knees, or up onto your thighs until your shoulders come to stack over your hips. At any point it feels too intense, stop or back off slightly. This is yin, poses get more intense with time! Hold for 10-15 breaths. Option to repeat multiple times with a break between.
Sphinx & Seal Poses
Seal and sphinx poses allow your chest to open, your heart to shine outwards, and they stretch your core, which is exactly where your solar plexus is!
Lay on your stomach to begin. Bring your forearms to the mat so that your shoulders stack over your elbows. Forearms and fingers point towards the top of your mat. Gently push into your forearms as you intend your chest forward to open. Relax your glutes, perhaps inviting a bit of a shake to release them and your lower back.
Stay in this active variation or to release your neck, place a block on its highest setting and allow your forehead to relax on it. Without a block you can bring your hands together, spread your fingers wide and place your third eye on your thumbs.
To invite more of a backbend, journey to seal. Place your hands towards to top corners of your mat, hands turned out on a 45-degree angle. Push into your palms to lift your elbows of the mat. Continue to release any tension in your glutes. Keep your hands where they are or walk your hands closer to your body for more of a backbend. If you feel any pinching, back off slightly. Hold sphinx for 15-20 breaths and then move into seal and hold for another 15-20 breaths or simply stay in sphinx for longer if it feels good.
Dragon pose is another yin yoga pose that builds heat. Breathe in this pose and remember that there are multiple variations so do your best to find the one that you can find stillness in the longest as it’s easy to want to fidget in this pose!
From your hands and knees, fold your mat over from the left if you have knee sensitivity or would like some padding for your knee. Step your right foot to the outside of your right hand. It may feel good to nudge your left knee back slightly, play with what works for you. Walk your right foot towards the right edge of your mat, perhaps your toes come off the mat on a slight angle outwards. Keep your foot planted or opt to roll onto the right edge of your foot. This can provide more space in the right hip.
Allow your left hip to feel heavy and melt towards the mat. This may feel good. Or you can bring blocks or a bolster (or a rolled blanket) under your hands. Take 5-10 breaths here. Another variation is to place your elbows on your props or the mat, or to come to lay on your bolster lengthwise. Hold for another 10-20 breaths. Release and repeat on the other side.
Melting Heart Pose
Melting heart pose is an excellent pose for stretching the front body which aids in creating space and opening the third chakra.
Comes to all fours to begin. Keep your hips stacked over your knees as you walk your hands forward. Allow your chest to melt towards the mat. Your chin or forehead can come to rest on the mat along with your chest. If this stretch feels like too much today or your chest doesn’t meet the mat, place a bolster (or rolled blanket) under your chest. It often feels good for most to place it just under the bust, at the top of the rib cage to bring the ground closer to your chest.
For an additional shoulder stretch, use blocks or a bolster under your hands. Feel your sit bones spread wide. If there is any pinching in your lower back try pulling your belly button to the back of your spine to engage your core or back off a bit. Hold for 15-30 breaths.
Focusing on your core, banana pose works into opening your sides and creating space around the Manipura chakra.
Come to lay on your back with your legs long. Walk your feet to the right edge of your mat. Your feet can stay beside each other or you can place the right or left foot on top to cross your ankles. There’s no right or wrong, just what feels good while still allowing your left hip to stay on the mat without lifting.
Reach your arms over your head and use your right hand to guide your left wrist to the right to create a crescent moon or banana shape with your body. Allow your left hip and shoulder to feel heavy on the mat and breathe into the space between your ribs on the lefthand side of your body. Hold for 20-30 breaths, release to come to the centre for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Building your confidence isn’t complete without relaxing, resting, and being still. Savasana ends this sequence as you lay on your back, take up as much space as feels good (or even a bit more) and allow yourself to completely surrender to the support of the ground beneath you. Hold for 20-50 breaths.