Last month I wrote a piece exploring the theory behind the Chakra system, and introducing the first two Chakras, Muladhara and Svadhisthana.
This month I will introduce the next Chakras, three and four, ascending from the lower physical realms and into the higher elements. You will notice that the elements associated with each chakra continue to get lighter and of higher frequencies the higher up they go.
Third Chakra – Manipura – 'Solar Plexus'
Physical proximity: Solar Plexus
Main Issue: Power, Will - 'I do'
Basic Right: to act, to be an individual
The third chakra with its fire elements helps us to take action and transform our lives and ourselves. It is our expression of our character and ego, how we define our selves in the world and use our autonomy to become individuals.
This chakra is all about our will to act, to find and use our own unique power, the flame which ignites us to move with confidence towards our passions.
When this chakra is balanced we enjoy a feeling of vitality and have good self-esteem. Our ego is balanced and we are confident within ourselves without needing to receive validation externally, as we sense our own personal strength and power.
Like the yellow colour of the chakra, we exude a warmth and radiate our light outwards, without feeling the need or desire to overshadow or harm others' power.
The element of fire is linked to anger and aggression, and how we deal with these issues in our lives. An imbalance can be expressed through being dominating over others, being overly aggressive, or trying to always be in control. The fire element in excess can result in a scattered, overly active personality on the road to burn out.
On the other hand, a deficiency in the fire element can often be seen in a slumped, caved-in posture, indicative of low self-esteem, confidence and vitality. Feeling powerless, having weak will and being passive and fearful are all also signs of deficiency in this area.
Shame is Manipura's demon. When we feel low in self esteem or ashamed about who we are, our third chakra can be in need of strengthening.
Physical manifestations of problems in this area can arise in forms regarding digestive disorders, problems with eating, and problems with stomach, liver, pancreas.
So how to heal Manipura and take your power back?
For deficiencies in Manipura, activities which help you build up your energy and confidence are helpful. Vigorous sports such as aerobics, dancing, and core strengthening activities like Pilates.
For excessive imbalance, the fire needs to be cooled through stress release and relaxation.
On an emotional level, working through feelings of shame and anger, and realising the source of these feelings in order to be able to release them.
Building on personal autonomy and reaffirming your personal strength through decision making, action and recognising your power, are all ways to help re-balance Manipura.
Fourth Chakra – Anahata – Heart Chakra
Colour: Green / Pink
Physical proximity: Chest, Heart
Main Issues: Love, Self- Love, Relationships
Basic Right: to love and be loved
Moving up the Chakra system, the Heart chakra is next in line. As you might expect, this is the chakra dealing with love and everything surrounding it. Not only romantic love and relationships, but self-love and acceptance, love of others, and love on a universal scale.
When balanced in the heart, individuals are loving and compassionate, balanced and empathetic, and have a true love and acceptance of themselves.
Of course in life we are all hurt by people we love at some point or another: rejection, loss, abandonment, betrayal. All these things are traumas to our hearts, but with time these traumas can be healed.
Sometimes in trying to compensate for our pain, we can withdraw from our heart chakra, becoming cold, isolated and afraid of being hurt again, we can build an impenetrable 'wall' around our hearts. This can lead to being overly judgmental about other people or yourself, having a lack of compassion, and feeling lonely and unloved.
On the other hand, over compensation for past traumas can lead to codependency, poor boundaries, and desperation for love, including self-sacrificing for the benefit of others.
Physically, this can manifest as problems in the arms and shoulders.
Writing and journaling can help you to work through issues of emotional release, forgive yourself and others, and learning how to truly accept and love yourself. This can be done through affirmations repeated daily such as 'I am worthy of love', 'I love and accept myself unconditionally', 'I allow love into my life'. Crystals such as Rose Quartz, Green Aventurine and Rhodonite are powerful aids in the healing quest.
Practicing giving and receiving, and learning that you are worthy of love will help to heal the damaged heart chakra, allowing you to live a more joyful, loving and compassionate life.