The Solar Plexus

In our yoga classes lately, I have introduced the classes to their solar plexus while they breathe. It is the space 2-3 inches above the belly button, in that place that we more commonly referred to as the lower rib cage, or where the ribs join together.

Physically, the solar plexus is the dense cluster of nerve cells and supporting tissue, located behind the stomach in the region of the celiac artery just below the diaphragm. The solar plexus is the largest autonomic nerve center in the abdominal cavity with branches controlling many functions like adrenal secretion and intestinal contraction.

In yoga, we refer to the solar plexus chakra. which is an energy bundle representing our power and will. Our sense of power, ego and authority, as well as self-control and discipline are centered here. It is the body location where we deal with our issues of survival. It is represented by the color yellow.

Many of us deal with issues of the solar plexus. If we have too much energy there, we can be very egotistical and want to exert our power over others’ power. If we have too little energy in the solar plexus, others will control us as we allow our needs take a back seat to their needs. So we try to find the balance of standing in our own power without letting others overcome our needs or without overcoming others’ needs.

In yoga, we can work with the solar plexus to bring balance to it. Sit ups and other abdominal muscle work are great for solar plexus work. So are twists. But our breathing is perhaps the most effective tool to work with balancing the solar plexus. As we breathe into our lungs, we can observe the path of the inhale and the exhale. We can observe the solar plexus as the breath of oxygen moves through it. Oxygen in itself is healing for our bodies, and so while we breathe, we can send that healing specifically to the solar plexus and “do the work.”

Are you feeling balanced in your solar plexus? Would others say you are balanced? If you are not sure, then perhaps a little breathing is in order.

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