The seven Chakras provide us with a wonderful road map for how to age gracefully. Each chakra is reflective of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual state of being. We can shift what might be out of alignment with breath, presence, awareness, and self-compassion.
The Essence of Manipura
Our third chakra, Manipura, is located between our navel and lowest rib at our solar plexus. The color is yellow, the element is fire, the energy is passion and doing! It is where we ‘digest’ both literally and physically. We digest ideas about how and who we are at this stage of our lives, over 60. It is where our ‘agni’ or the fire in our digestive organs transforms our food into energy. It is the alchemy that is the change we experience in happy times or sad.
Manipura is our internal and external power, strength of will, and individual identity. We are older, we have changes, and we are changing. While the Root chakra is satisfied with survival, and the Sacral chakra seeks pleasure, enjoyment, and connection, our third chakra is our dynamic presence to initiate and experience the power of transformation.
Purge It All and Move Forward
The fire element is the ‘burning’ of what is no longer needed and what ignites the new. It is the powerful alchemy of motivation, inspiration, and doing what we can and what we must to move forward.
The Sanskrit word for the solar plexus is Manipura, or ‘shining gem’. In fact, the solar plexus chakra gives us the ability to rise to the occasion in times of need. At this age, we know what is needed and how to offer it because we’ve lived through grief, loss, joy, triumph. This is our power that increases as we age… hurrah!
We are over 60 and now this third chakra is the center of our personal power, confidence and self-discipline. It allows us to make conscious choices, to set goals and act on them in the world. It gives us the strength to meet with challenges and move forward in life with confidence and power. All of our experiences have brought us to this point in our lives, and we are ready in our center.
The Manipura chakra governs the pancreas, digestive system’s organs, and the adrenal glands. Located in the belly area, this is the area of our feelings and wisdom. We literally feel something changing ‘in our gut’. We have a ‘gut’ feeling.
Aging and the Manipura Chakra
Each of our chakras gives us messages as we age or any time. An unbalanced Manipura chakra can feel like fatigue, having little motivation, being listless, unable to get going, feeling like the ‘fire is dampened’. This is where we metabolize our food and our thoughts and beliefs.
As we age, our physical digestive process sometimes slows down, and this can cause food to move more slowly through the colon. When things slow down, more water gets absorbed from food waste, which can cause constipation. If we are not mindful, we may also get ‘constipated’ in our thoughts (I’m too old), our actions (I just don’t feel like it) or our bodies (I literally can’t move).
When there is pain or emptiness in our center, our solar plexus, our Manipura chakra congests and tightens. When our Manipura chakra is activated, we can muster the courage to do something that scares us. And sometimes aging is scary. We speak up for ourselves. We exert our willpower and self-control.
When Manipura is out of balance, negative emotions fester within us, sitting in our gut, decomposing slowly. We all know people who are unable to let go of anger and carry resentment for weeks and even years. These negative emotions settle in the third chakra, turning it toxic.
How many times do we repeat a thought or belief that depletes us: resentment, anger, hurt? The more these thoughts are present, the more diminished the zest of our Manipura chakra. We must be aware and bring the passion, the movement, the flow in our lives, especially as we age.
The energy of Manipura is doing, self-confidence and self- motivation, the shadow side is shame. Being ashamed of ourselves is feeling unworthy of our gifts and talents, brilliant ideas, inherent power, greatness, willpower, and strengths.
While guilt can come from the idea that we did something wrong, shame comes from negative feelings about who we are. As we age, we can look back, and yes, we may have made mistakes, caused pain, or behaved badly. But today is a new day, the past is over. Time to let go of those past transgressions and use every day to appreciate all we are.
The lesson that the Manipura chakra teaches us is that self-esteem develops from trial and error. We take risks. We succeed and we fail. We are not going to be right all the time; there will be mistakes.
The lesson is that we take the results of our actions from a place of power, to grow, learn from those moments and move forward. No matter what our age! As Maya Angelou beautifully stated, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Balancing the Manipura Chakra as We Age
Balancing our third chakra comes from attention to body, mind, and spirit. For our bodies, we need to eat healthy foods. Stay away from drinking ice water that literally puts out our digestive fire. Eat foods that are warm or room temperature and soothing, not too bitter, not too sweet.
For our minds, we can include affirmations by repeating to ourselves: “I honor the power within me, and I honor myself; I stand in my power. I am strong. I am worthy.”
Moving our center with gentle yoga to strengthen our core:
A balanced Manipura chakra is seen as one who has good self-esteem, sense of personal power, the energy and wherewithal to do, capacity to move ahead at your own pace.
An excessive Manipura chakra is seen as one who is overly aggressive, stubborn, needs to be right (Who can relate to that???), and overactive to the point of exhaustion.
A deficient Manipura chakra is seen as one who has low self-esteem, poor self-discipline, is passive and unreliable, cold or emotionally removed. Physical issues involve the digestive system, adrenal glands, pancreas, and also cause fatigue.
Gentle Movements for Balancing Your Fire Chakra
- Cat/Cow – arch and round spine
- Half sit-ups – roll half way down and up
- Modified alternate leg lifts – lift one leg at a time using your abs
- Spinal twist
- Forward stretch
- Child pose
Our Manipura guides us to enjoy who and how we are, in our power, with self-confidence to meet life’s joys and challenges as we age.
Exploring how our aging impacts our energy centers, our chakras, is a proven tool for navigating loss through awareness, gentle yoga, breath, and meditation. For more information, please contact me at SheenaSpirit@gmail.com or visit https://www.growingyoungergracefully.com.
Have you noticed any changes in your self-confidence? How about your digestion? Do you feel balanced and in tune with your third chakra? Or do you feel ‘stuck’? Please share what your ‘gut’ tells you about your present state of mind and body and what you’re doing about it.