The words that come to mind when I think of the third chakra are fire, transformation, will, power, energy and control.

We are all on this Earth to manifest our power.

Anatomically, the third chakra is located at the solar plexus, an area between the navel and the base of our sternum where the spine connects.

The Sanskrit name is Manipura, meaning “lustrous gem”. The associated colour is yellow. The stones are topaz and amber.

In this chakra we can examine our direction and purpose in life. Fire transforms, changing matter to light and heat. Physiologically this is the area of digestive power, where food and water are converted into fuel for our bodily needs.

Psychologically this is where our will resides. The quality of fire energy differs with individuals. Some people are very warm emotionally, others cold, some lethargic and some are hot and quick temperamentally. It is in our best interest to balance and harmonize this chakra. To this end we use our power not to control others but to embody passion and compassion.

Anodea Judith, an authority on chakras states that “true power comes from the harmony of our polarities, much as electrical power comes from the combination of both positive and negative poles.

“Our personal power is greater when we combine both our male and female aspects, our light side and our shadow, our strength and vulnerability.”

She asserts “to have strong will, we need consciousness.” When we become aware of that we can let go of being the helpless victim, of blaming, then we become a co-creator for our transformation.

I have been exploring the concept of the Spiritual Warrior as an Archetype for decades. He/she stands her ground, protects all that is sacred.

Spiritual Warriors see truth … Absolute Truth. We all have the right to act fearlessly. My generation has been taught obedience, to live by rules, to suppress anger, to not challenge authority. This has its effects.

Here are a few tools to experience the third chakra in a number of ways:

Walking with awareness gives you an understanding of how this chakra feels. Experiment by using a gait that mimics being annoyed and stressed out. Notice where you tense. How does your third chakra feel? Now let it all go.

Walk with a sense of purposelessness. Do not have a destination. How does it feel? Now go back to your normal walk. Walk with a heavy gait, double your weight. Or walk as if you feel that you will levitate off the ground.

Each time check into the third chakra. Find the balance between being weighed down and weightlessness and notice how your third chakra feels.

Yoga asanas (postures), such as Navasana (Boat Pose), will strengthen your muscles in the third chakra.

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and feel the action in the inaction. Focus on the third chakra. Where is the energy coursing through the body? Where do you not feel the energy?

Now ground the feet and visualize the spine lifting out of the third chakra as you float the arms up the sides of your body. The palms are down until you get to shoulder height.

Then turn the palms up keeping the shoulders away from your ears. Continue moving the arms until they are overhead. Now reverse the arc and bring them back down. Feel the glow of the sun permeating the third chakra.

The Warrior Stance II teaches us endurance, strength and being in the moment. Can you find the balance between the aggression and the softness in this pose? Can you be the Spiritual Warrior that is centred and in a state of alert relaxation?

Through dance I have spent many years expressing my right to take up space in this world.

Turn on a CD that will permit you to move, to expand and to assert your power. Surrender to the life that is generated throughout your body. Get out of form and enter the space of formlessness where you take risks and let the dance take on its own life.

Ignite the third chakra allowing its flames of passion to purify fears, anxieties and all that prevents you from freedom into your soul’s journey.

Lillian Strauss is a Yoga practitioner, reflexologist, Thai massage therapist, movement and music teacher at Energy Works. For information on her classes, contact her at 393-4541 or [email protected]