As we move into the new year, we may all be experiencing sensations of strong determination coated in a thin layer of doubt and a little sprinkling of anxiety.. or is that just me? I often feel that when these new starts and new beginnings come around, my determination is always accompanied with a little hesitation. This doubt or weariness about what the future may hold or what the fruits of my labor may be is typical of any change I’ve noticed… But the New Year is special – it’s hesitation is made worse by the holidays. I was thinking about why.. The habit we (especially in Western society) have of holiday overindulgence paired with maybe stress or some time spent with family, or maybe alone.. it seems that no matter what you’re doing, there will be occasional jab to our egos. These moments (when we don’t have as much work to occupy our minds and time) slow the Solar Plexus Chakra way down. With a low acting third chakra, we become caught between our desire to start over and inertia. This is the limbo effect of the New Year. Often – it’s thought that the initial commitment to the new year resolution is spawned out of a desire to undo the impact of the holidays, but that because these habits are not formed around activating the third chakra, they’re sustainable changes as our true will power is not ignited, making the fall off the bandwagon inevitable. This then becomes the cycle for the year… and the next and the next.
The Solar Plexus is a sweet, fiery chakra located just above the navel. Connected with our senses of intuition and Will Power, this is the chakra most often associated with our ability to achieve, self-esteem, raw emotions, and self-discipline. In this center of our being, we connect in with our deepest sense of truth, our “gut instincts” and sensations of identity. In order to start the year off in a healthy and empowered way, I wanted to offer just a few tips to get your Solar Plexus or Manipura spinning in a balanced way. With balance here, you’ll understand and trust your place in the universe, you’ll love and appreciate yourself, your gifts, and your path in equal parts and be able to radiate out love and warmth to all those you meet. It will also ensure that prana makes it to all parts of your being and help to stabilize the other chakras. With all this going for you, any intention you set will come from a place of truth and you’ll have the energy and will power needed to initiate that change and succeed.
Let’s get it going so you can make 2015 one for the books.
Ayurveda: **I am definitely not an expert in Ayurveda and highly recommend you connect with a Ayurvedic consultant to help you understand your specific dosha composition so you can make lifestyle changes that suite your specific needs. Below are a couple foods that can assist in warming up the belly and kickstarting your digestion to make sure the Manipura is up and running properly; but knowing which to invite in and which to avoid is specific to your dosha!!**
Bright Yellow Foods (banana, corn)
Complex Grains and Fiber (granola, whole wheat breads)
Chamomile and Green Tea
Dairy (yogurt, whole milk, cheese)
Root spices (turmeric and ginger)
Yoga / Physical Practice: Any asana that engage the core specifically are going to be the keys to keeping the solar plexus engaged and ignited. Try the following!
Navasana – Boat Pose
Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
Ardha Matsyendrasana – Seated Twist
Santulanasana – Balancing Pose (seated)
Meditation: Bringing attention and focus to the Solar Plexus has huge benefits and can help reignite the fire. Here are a couple options – try them all. See what sticks!
In a seated position, relax the whole body and direct your attention to the breath. Observe the movement of the abdomen with the inhalation and exhalation; how the navel moves outwards with the inhalation and inwards again with the exhalation.
Beej Mantra : Ram is associated with this chakra. The mantra of life and creation, by bringing this into the forefront of the mind in a sit, we are able to access higher senses of truth and connection. Sitting comfortably, repeat ‘Ram’ internally for up to 20 minutes.
Environment: At the very least, bring more sun and yellow into your life. Collect yellow flowers, open the windows and let the sun shine in, perhaps even stock up on a few images to hang in your space and bring more bright yellow into your life.
My very last suggestion, stay present. Listen to your instincts as they arise from this place in the body and follow them. You have all you need to make the changes you seek – and this year, by kickstarting the Solar Plexus, you’ll also have to tools to make it stick.
Happy New Year Friends!