For anyone who has ever shown up to a yoga class in January, you have witnessed how strong the human desire is to live better just by the sheer numbers in the room. And then February rolls around, and attendance is a totally different story.
As humans, we have the desire to change, but do we have the strength to make lasting changes?
Just because we desire something doesn’t mean that we have what it takes to make it our reality. To move beyond desire into making permanent shifts, the missing piece that many overlook, is the necessity to have a strong physical body and nervous system, but also the resilience to move through emotional turmoil. This cultivates a foundation for which we can withstand the stress that change puts on us consciously and unconsciously.
We all have a nervous system for our physical bodies, but there is also a nervous system of the soul, or our chakra system, which are circular vortices of energy running up and down our spines. There are seven main chakras with each one having its own characteristics. When we are wanting to initiate change, paying attention to the third chakra, or the Solar Plexus, is imperative.
The Solar Plexus, or Manipura in Sanskrit, is located above the belly button and below the breast bone. This is the energy center of our personality, and where we find our motivation and drive for implementing change and completing tasks. The color associated with the Solar Plexus is yellow, which represents our digestive fire, the drive to fuel transformation, and the will to make changes. It is imperative that we keep this area in balance especially with it being so close to the heart. Interestingly, this chakra correlates to the Throat Chakra, or Vishuddha in Sanskrit, which is our center of truth. So living authentically and honoring the truth of who we are goes hand in hand with building the fire for transformation. Start paying attention to these areas when you are feeling stuck and see if anything physical shows up for you. It is usually an indicator that something on the emotional level is being overlooked.
Some indicators that your Solar Plexus is out of balance are feelings of being stuck, anger, resentment, jealousy, rage, and anxiety. Physically, you may feel nauseated, sick to your stomach, or experience acid reflux.
A balanced Solar Plexus allows you to move through change with ease, implementing decisions, strong leadership skills, high motivation, and creativity. When you are in balance you are able to find a healthy balance of taking in the information you need to guide you in life, and letting go of what no longer serves you.
So what can you do each day to transform desire into action?
Here are 3 easy ways to begin cultivating your inner fire and finding your power:
Breath of Fire.
This pranayama, or breath, helps to create fire, or the energy needed for movement of stuck energy. When we are seeking change, releasing stagnant energy is important. Every morning take a few minutes to close your eyes and begin breathing in and out of your nose evenly. Each round of breath should last one second. You should feel the breath pumping from your belly and navel area by putting your hands there to feel it moving in and out. I like to do Breath of Fire with a hand position of connecting my index and thumb fingers on each hand. This allows the breath and energy to circulate nicely. You will feel this in your abdomen as well as your throat, so it’s a great balancing breath for these two chakras. I recommend 3-8 minutes every day. Not only will it give you energy, but it will boost your metabolism, and give you a sense of ecstasy and peace.
Low Boat Pose.
This is a wonderful exercise for building your physical body and core. Starting on your back, raise your head up off the ground focusing at your navel point with your arms reaching towards your toes. Make sure your lower back is on the ground and pull the navel into the spine to protect this area from injury. Gently life both legs off the ground pointing your toes away from your face and begin to breathe. Make sure your chin is off your chest enough to open up your throat. Again, this posture brings energy to both the Solar Plexus and Throat Chakras. You can add in the breath of fire here as well for more intensity. If at any time your low back hurts, you can bend your knees or put one heel on the ground and then alternate. I recommend doing three rounds that last 60-90 seconds.
Using Daily Affirmations and Mantras.
This is something I practice every morning. It is very important to begin speaking about your life in positive ways to strengthen your self-worth. If you want to have your life turn out a certain way, you have to start speaking as if it already exists. It is best if you make your affirmations short and sweet. For example, “I AM a powerful being.” Or “I AM connected to my inner power, or inner fire.” As you breathe in and out your affirmation imagine the breath going to your navel center. Bring energy to your power center. What you feel you are, you become. So affirm what you want for your life every single day. Words are energy, and once you put energy in motion it cannot be destroyed. So be powerful and intentional in your words, and watch your world unfold for you in ways you never imagined possible!