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Words by Michelle Spina 

“Well if you want to sing out, sing out If you want to be free, be free. ‘Cause there’s a million things to be You know that there are” – Cat Stevens/ Yusuf Islam 


The meaning of the third chakra is embodied in the above lyrics. Manipura is the third chakra, the solar plexus. Its element is fire, and it’s associated with the sun, yang energy and activity. Manipura relates physically to our digestive organs. It has the ability to digest and assimilate everything – even thought bringing health to the body, to the mind and to the spirit. It has the power to transform thought into action and food into energy. The strength of the manifestation of Manipura is dependent upon the foundation built upon the first and second chakras. It is the core of our personality, the center of willpower, self-determination, clarity and confidence. 


The message of Manipura: “You have the Power to Choose.” 


I find it interesting that the third chakra is found in the center of our body, as it’s so inherently who we are. Manipura is our center, it is the fire in our belly. It is known as “The city of jewels”, the place where our gut instincts come from. It is the cosmic door, an entryway for astral powers. It is the center, also known as Hara, the power center and lion’s center that bestows balance, stability and strength. Manipura actively works as a transformer that converts and supplies the body with cosmic energy/qi/prana that is absorbed through our food. The energies of Prana (reception of energy) and Apana (elimination of waste) meet in Manipura. It is the center of giving and taking, expansion and contraction, assimilation and elimination. Prana and Apana move beyond physical function to spiritual function. 


The Manipura chakra gives us the opportunity to free ourselves of bad qualities and beliefs; enabling us to burn away that which no longer serves us.


When they unite in Manipura and move to the central nervous system, kundalini energy rises to supreme consciousness. The Manipura chakra gives us the opportunity to free ourselves of bad qualities and beliefs; enabling us to burn away that which no longer serves us. Fire purifies. Many people don’t know who they are. They never developed or simply forgot their true essence, leaving it buried under layer-upon-layer of reinvention, trends and the need to conform or impress others. 


Imagine that, you have the power to choose. Yet so many people feel helpless and trapped in their lives, existing rather than living. One of our choices is to live out our karma/past life experiences or finding the courage and insight to achieve our dharma/ our true life’s purpose. The ability to see that this choice is ours, is clouded for most people. Cultural socialization, materialism and the establishment of the status quo has trained us to accept our lot in life, to believe our choices are few, and to adhere to prevailing dogma on material or social success, rather than happiness or fulfillment. We are trained to believe that status symbols and the attainment of material goods equals success and happiness. I would argue these distractions have kept most people from true enlightenment, from happiness, and have caused conspicuous consumption, greed and envy. There’s nothing wrong with wanting and attaining material goods – but the question begs when is enough, enough? Many people have lost the clarity that happiness can’t be bought. 


We live in a time when we are convinced that we need some material good in order to reach the next “level” of success, or even to reach realization. The perfect example of this material striving, is the chronic bombardment of metaphysical goods on the market. How many crystals does one need in order to attain enlightenment and nirvana? The answer: none. Are they pretty? Yes. Can they be powerful? Sure. Are poor people exploited in the mines to get them for you? Yes. Do you need them? No. The jewel is within all of us – it’s Manipura. Remember, Manipura is the jewel within the lotus. All you need is you, and access to yourself and to your center. You need nothing more and nothing less. The divine qualities are within. 


The goal is to remember who you are. Go back and remember. It takes work. It takes daily practice. It cannot be bought. You must take action. You must be a seeker, a thinker, a listener and reflect on all you observe. 


The mantra to activate the third chakra is OM MANI PADME HUM. Chant this mantra 108 times a day for 40 days. The vibration of this mantra awakens Manipura. Light the fire, and free yourself to be you. Imagine a bright sun in the center of your body lighting the way. Abdominal massage such as Japanese Hara Massage and Mayan Massage both help release constraints on the Manipura chakra. 


Michelle Spina L.Ac. MTOM is a healer by birth and a practitioner of TCM, NAET, Mayan Massage & Spiritual healing by education. She is a mother, wife, confidant, and outlaw with a side of fertility goddess.