Thursday, November 4, 2010

Will Power

Last week in our yoga in-depth studies class, we began an exploration of the third chakra. This energy center, which is physically located in the belly at the position of the solar plexus, has always seemed rather murky and mysterious to me. I've understood the basic idea behind this chakra--that it's associated with fiery energy as well as with our sense of personal power--but, beyond that, it all seemed rather vague.

This week I think I've finally begun to "get" this chakra, thanks to Anodea Judith's excellent book, "Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self." I've had this book for a couple of years and have been re-reading the sections as we've come to them in class, and this week I had one of those "aha!" moments when I came upon this sentence:

 "Many people do not awaken this chakra at all, and spend their whole lives following the path of least resistance, giving their power to others, and defining themselves in terms of what is expected." 

I suspect a lot of people would not think that a sentence like the above applies to me, but it really hit home and explained why I have found this whole idea of "personal power" to be rather vague. Judith explains that this chakra's function is to take the basic life energy coming up from chakras one and two and turn it into purpose. Here is where we develop a will. Without a functioning or open third chakra, we sometimes look to others for our purpose, thereby never determining what our true purpose might be.

So, it's been a rather tumultuous week as I've tried to come to grips with this idea, all the while feeling the energy surging upward with a great deal of power. It's all been rather confusing, but one thing is clear: I'm a whole lot more in touch with my belly than I have been in a long time. And that has got to be a good thing.


  1. Posting a comment from Holly:

    Pls help me understand the location of this chakra. You say it's at the belly or solar plexus. But theses two are not the same thing in my mind.

    Pls help.


  2. Here's my answer to Holly:

    Hi, Holly,

    The word "belly" is probably too vague, since it refers basically to anything in the soft part of the abdomen, although this is often the way the location of this chakra is described. The 3rd chakra is located at the top of the belly or the bottom part of the ribcage. Chakras are not really points, though - they're better thought of as regions, so this one is roughly in that area near where the top of the soft part of the abdomen meets the ribcage.

    Anyhow, I think I will post your comment for you so other people can see the answer - it's a good question!