How Yoga Helps You Find Yourself By Focusing Your Practice On A Single Chakra
Yoga is an incredibly strong mental, physical, and spiritual practice that contains many layers. The physical poses in yoga are simply the surface of the practice, as "yoga" literally translates to the word "union" (of the mind, body, and soul, specifically). When you consistently practice both on and off the mat, yoga can help you find yourself in so many ways — especially when you start to learn about the energy that courses through your body, and how to bring everything into perfect harmony.
When you venture past the physical aspect of yoga and begin focusing on internal energy, you'll likely stumble upon the Sanskrit word "chakras." A chakra is defined as a center of energy, and there are seven chakras in total, all of which are located in different places throughout the human body, kind of like pressure points.
While each of the seven chakras serve their own individual purpose for regulating your mental, physical, and spiritual energy, the solar plexus chakra — or manipura chakra, in Sanskrit — is said to be responsible for governing your personal power, beliefs, and self-worth. The manipura chakra is located above your belly button and just below your sternum, and you can activate and balance this chakra through certain yoga poses and breathing techniques.
But how will you know when your solar plexus chakra is doing its job? Well, maybe you'll suddenly feel compelled to speak up for yourself one day in the midst of a tricky situation, or perhaps you'll find yourself gathering the courage to do something that scares the absolute sh*t out of you.
With a healthy and balanced solar plexus chakra, you'll have a stronger sense of self overall, like you're wrapped in a blanket of self-assurance and confidence. Try these six yoga poses to activate your manipura chakra, and allow this newfound energy to help you find yourself as you unveil your personal power.
Breath Of Fire (Kapalabhati Pranayama)
Practicing breath of fire gets the heat circulating within your energetic channels and ignites the fire that awakens your manipura chakra.
After you've gone through a few rounds of kapalabhati pranayama, try repeating a positive affirmation to yourself to instill a deep sense of confidence and help balance your solar plexus chakra. "My happiness depends on no external source" is a personal favorite of mine, if you want to try that one.
Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)
Since your solar plexus is located between your navel and your sternum, plank pose, and the heat it builds in your core, is great for activating and awakening this particular chakra.
Breathe through the heat and fire of kumbhakasana, maintaining a calm disposition throughout this difficult pose. Mind over matter is key in this dynamic asana.
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Virabhadrasana III is an incredible pose for tapping into your solar plexus chakra because it helps you build self-confidence by instilling a sense of powerful inner strength — and outer strength, because let's be real, balancing on one leg is way harder than it looks.
There's nothing like trying to ~find yourself~ while you're standing on one leg and trying your best to stay upright. Remember, balance is key in all areas of life, my friend.
Revolved Triangle (Parvritta Trikonasana)
You might want to use a block for this pose because the twist is rather deep, but once you comfortably get into this asana, you'll love the feeling that the revolved sensation brings to your solar plexus chakra.
Parvritta trikonasana requires both flexibility and core strength. And while that obviously refers to physical strength in this context, try to use the teachings of this asana to channel that same flexibility and strength when it comes to staying true to yourself IRL, no matter what the circumstance.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
According to DoYouYoga, your solar plexus chakra partially influences your liver, a part of the body that's key in regulating digestion, and is also said to be associated with subconscious feelings of anger and worry, the yoga outlet explains.
Adding bow pose to your practice will encourage blood flow and energy to rush directly toward your liver, bringing everything back to equilibrium and balance, and allowing you to focus on what really matters.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
A soothing balasana works wonders on an imbalanced solar plexus chakra, massaging the area between your navel and sternum and sending a blissful aura down your energetic channels.
Breathe deeply and fully, sending sweet and expansive inhales toward your manipura chakra. On your exhales, allow any feelings of self-doubt to dissolve and exit your body. Leave those worries behind as you conclude your practice and roll up your mat.