The Manipura chakra, commonly known as the solar plexus, is the third chakra in the Hindu tradition. It is located in the upper stomach area, resting over diaphragm and just beneath the rib cage. It is the center of your personal power, and it embodies the energy of action, personal boundaries, and purpose. The Manipura energy is associated with your free will, mental abilities/intellect, and the formation of your personal opinions and beliefs. This energy is expressed as discipline, independence, work ethic, and self-confidence. The solar plexus chakra is also the area we get those “butterfly feelings” in the stomach, when we feel scared or powerless. In this chakra, we find our ability to form ideas, convey wisdom, establish judgement, and form opinions. Solar plexus energy influences the preoccupation with social status and self-image. 
Just as the root and sacral chakras are associated with the elements of earth and water respectively, the solar plexus chakra is most commonly associated with the element of Fire, as it is connected with heat, power, and light.
The solar plexus chakra is balanced and healthy when you have a positive self-image and self-esteem, as well as confidence in your actions and purpose. “When you feel self-confident, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your third chakra is open and healthy. If your third chakra is out of balance, you may suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues.” 
Symptoms of Imbalance in the Manipura Chakra
Because the solar plexus chakra is located in the upper stomach area, it also rules the physical body’s metabolism. Digestion troubles, stomach troubles, hypoglycemia, diabetes, ulcers, or addictions to stimulants such as caffeine are all related to malfunctioning of the third chakra.”  Other specific addictions which may indicate an imbalance in the solar plexus chakra include:
- Carbonated beverages
- Corn-based alcohol
- Corn-processed sugar (Subtle Body, p.320)
Weight problems may also be an indication that the body is not properly turning its matter into energy. We can also assess the health of the solar plexus chakra by examining our body structure at this level. A tight, hard stomach, sunken diaphragm, or a large ‘pot belly’ are all indications of possible third chakra excess or deficiency.”  If you have a hard time standing up for yourself, lack self-worth, or frequently find yourself at the whim of another’s desires, even when they are not an alignment with your own desires, or at your own expense, you may have a depleted or blocked solar plexus chakra. Getting stuck in abusive relationships is a strong indicator of a blocked solar plexus chakra that requires intensive efforts in chakra rebalancing.
Likewise, if you are very manipulative, controlling, dominating of others, excessively focused on work, or have an inclination to misuse your power, you likely have an overactive solar plexus chakra. Emotional and behavioral symptoms of an overactive solar plexus also include anger issues, stubbornness, manipulation, and tendencies toward perfectionistic standards, overly judgmental attitudes, and/or narcissism.
Physical symptoms of an overactive chakra might include digestive problems or ulcers, as related to stress which manifests in the stomach area. Interestingly enough, physical manifestations of an overactive solar plexus chakra, as related to anger, and manipulation or control issues, manifest in the body through stress hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These chemicals, which are released in response to stress, cause the body to gain weight around the midsection beginning with the solar plexus chakra.  If you struggle with losing weight in the midsection, or if you carry excess weight in this area, it is important to examine the health of the solar plexus chakra. If you have chronic, or unhealthy and ongoing stress, you likely have an imbalance in this chakra, which is manifesting as weight gain/difficulty losing weight in the midsection.
Restoring Balance to the Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra
If you find that you have an underactive, closed, or blocked solar plexus chakra, the most important thing you can do is to become mindful of your self-esteem, self-worth, and how you allow others to treat you. It is a good practice to make more of an effort to set firm boundaries, and proactively assert yourself whenever possible, as well as reactively when your boundaries are crossed. Remembering to respect and value yourself, and set the expectation of others to do the same, is essential. Affirmations are helpful as well, and may center around deserving to be loved and respected by others.
If you find that you likely have an overactive solar plexus chakra, mindfulness and meditation are excellent ways to calm this energy. A quite fitting practice for restoring balance to the yellow-golden energy of the solar plexus chakra, is to follow “The Golden Rule”—by treating others as you would want to be treated. This practice will make you more aware of how you interact with others, and become more mindful of your judgments, emotions, and how you respond to stressful situations.
As a Certified Behavioral Health Educator & Holistic Health Coach, I emphasize both Eastern & Western approaches to help my clients reach personal mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual life goals. In my holistic health practice, I use the Eastern Chakra system as a model, along with the latest approaches in Western Psychology, Neuroscience, and Nutrition. My intention is to help you access inner resources of strength, insight, growth, and healing, and I view myself as a partner to assist in your life journey. If you would like more information about how the Eastern Chakra model and holistic health/lifestyle support options, please feel free to connect with me! I would love to hear more about your needs and how I may be able to help you!