The ancient science of Ayurveda describes the human body as both physical and energetic. Every human being has seven chakras which act as interfaces that relay information between the body of flesh and bone and the subtle, energy body that operates our sensory and emotional response systems. In this article, we give a detailed overview of the third chakra.
What are the Chakras?
Thinking of the human being’s nervous system as a powerful radio station provides a helpful analogy for visualizing how it works.
First, imagine the spine as a radio tower. Sensory information is transmitted to the spinal column via the five senses, which act as satellite receivers. Then, this information is sent up the vertebrae to the central control room, the brain, where it is displayed on the screen of the mind.
The chakras are energetic filters that direct the in-out flow of feeling and perception, based on your personal genetic program. When your chakras operate at peak performance, you feel amazing. However, when they are overworked, obstructed, or repressed, you experience various physical and mental ailments.
By adopting healthy habits and cutting out harmful lifestyle choices, you can bring your chakras into balance and experience a huge boost in happiness and well-being.
The Third Chakra at a Glance
Each of the seven chakras has defining features that make it unique. Below is the profile of the navel chakra, known in Sanskrit as मणिपूर (manipura), or “jewel of fulfillment.”
Physical location: The abdomen. By bringing your awareness to the solar plexus, or the bundle of nerves above your navel, you can feel the energy of your third chakra.
Developmental stage: 18 months to four years. During their initial years of life, a child learns basic motor skills and explores the immediate environment. In the toddler years, they begin to assert themselves as an individual. This is the task of the third chakra.
Chief domains: Individuation, activity, and will power. The navel chakra shapes our self-image and the way we carry ourselves in the world.
Emotional challenge: Shame. When the third chakra is out of balance, one thinks: “I am not enough.” We feel ill-equipped to face the demands of life. This leads to either disengagement out of depression and despair, or over-exertion as one attempts to compensate for their deficient self-worth with external achievement.
Element: Fire. The navel chakra is like the body’s engine. Its raw power drives us toward the things we want in life.
What a Balanced Naval Chakra Feels Like
A person with a balanced navel chakra moves through life with self-confidence and a sense of purpose. Their personal values are fully aligned with their profession, relationships, and overall lifestyle. They understand that actions have consequences, and they always accept full responsibility for their choices.
When your third chakra is strong, you meet obstacles head-on, without cowardice. You have faith in your own abilities, but still remain humble, knowing that you are not all-powerful. In this way, you have a healthy respect for that which is beyond your control (the hand of Destiny or God).
An energized navel chakra makes you feel powerful. It gives you self-discipline, responsibility, and a balanced approach to life. You live with integrity, and others know they can rely on you.
Navel Chakra Rights & Identities
In her book Eastern Body, Western Mind, Dr. Anodea Judith explains that each chakra has a right and an identity.
The navel chakra deals with the right to act and assert our will in the world.
It governs our ego identity and our need for self-definition.
Symptoms of Imbalance
Chakras display two distinct types of imbalance: they’re either too open or too closed. This causes the chakra to be either over-stimulated or suppressed. In some cases, a person’s energetic body may oscillate between the two types of imbalance.
An Over-stimulated Navel Chakra
A person with an overactive third chakra is internally insecure, but they compensate for this with aggressive and rigid approach to life. They are obsessed with control and possess a dominating personality. They have a difficult time adapting to new or unforeseen circumstances, and they don’t work well on collaborative teams.
Associated with the element of fire, an excessive third chakra overheats the energetic body, drying up the lower chakras. This causes the individual to be stale and predictable in their relationships. They prefer everything — work, interactions, and daily life — to be highly routinized.
An over-stimulated navel chakra leads a person to work themselves nearly to death. It results in a combative, hardheaded, and arrogant nature.
A Suppressed Navel Chakra
Persons with a deficient third chakra display passive-aggressive behavior. They are often fearful and reserved. They abhor the risk of public humiliation and have a low tolerance for failure of any kind.
A low-energy navel chakra causes you to have poor digestion and a reduction in will-power. You lack discipline, preferring to simply submit to the ebb and flow of life. This can also create difficulties in romantic relationships, which rely on an active exchange of give-and-take.
A suppressed navel chakra leaves you feeling helpless — a victim of a life of unfair circumstances. It leads to depression, resentment, and a weak heart.
Third Chakra Health Issues
The chakra system reveals that all illnesses are at least in part psychosomatic. In other words, the condition of your mental well-being and subtle life will always impact your physical health.
These are some of the health issues that can arise in a person whose navel chakra is out of balance:
- Eating and digestive disorders
- Stomach aches and pains
- Chronic fatigue
- Diabetes or hypoglycemia
- Alcoholism or other substance abuse
How to Activate & Repair Your Navel Chakra
If you recognize in yourself some of the symptoms of an imbalanced fourth chakra, there are many things you can do to help restore it to balance.
Here are some steps you can take to heal your navel chakra:
- Practice Nonviolent Communication. Developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a set of techniques that aim to enhance a person’s compassion and their ability to effectively communicate with others. Learning to empathize with oneself and others is an essential step in healing the third chakra.
- Learn martial arts. Although there are many different traditions of martial arts, the cultivation of physical and mental discipline is a common element. Learning to expertly harness and control one’s own power is vital to maintaining a balanced and energized navel chakra.
- Strengthen your core. In modern times, many of us spend hours and hours sitting at a desk or on a couch. This destroys good posture. By strengthening your core muscles — in the abdomen and lower back — you will be able to maintain a healthy posture, which facilitates the free flow of energy throughout the chakra system.
- Create visual art. Visual modes of self-expression can positively channel pent-up energy. Whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpture, woodworking, or something else altogether, creating visual art is a proven technique for managing stress and relaxing the body and mind.
- Schedule time to relax. If you’re a devout workaholic, you may need to actually schedule empty blocks into your calendar. As the famous investor Warren Buffet once told Bill Gates, “I can buy anything I want… but I can’t buy time.”
Below, we list affirmations which help to strengthen and nourish the third chakra. In addition, chanting and meditating on the Sanskrit syllable, RAM (pronounced like “rum-ble” with a nasal intonation on the “m”) will balance this chakra. You can also try out chakra meditation.
Affirmations to Restore the Navel Chakra
“I am eternal. I am fulfilled and pure.”
“My life is part of a sacred order.”
“I am a servant of the greater Whole.”
Learn More About Your Other Chakras
Root | Sacral | Heart | Throat | Third Eye | Crown
Eastern Body, Western Mind — Anodea Judith
VEDA Online Encyclopedia