The Solar Plexus Chakra: Foods for Self-Esteem

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The solar plexus chakra represents self-esteem and willpower, and governs the stomach and other digestive organs. This chakra is located in-between the naval and the base of the sternum. By strengthening this chakra you will reach a state in which you can shake off your fear of rejection, criticism and of standing apart from the group. By strengthening this chakra, you will be able to create your own, unique identity.

Manipura, sanskrit for solar plexus chakra, also houses a lot of important internal organs and is vital to our health by way of keeping us balanced. If you are experiencing a blocked manipura chakra you could be overly concerned with what others think, fearful of being alone, insecure and in need of constant reassurance. We also harbor feelings of being angry and judgmental when this yellow center of energy is unbalanced.

There are many foods, herbs and spices which can assist this energy center. Drinking kombucha can assist the digestive organs as well as rices, flaxseed and sunflower seeds. Chamomile, turmeric, cumin and fennel also aid this chakra. Any kind of yellow foods are great to have around. Lemons, bananas, corn and butternut squash are especially good to have on hand for days when the chakra is vibrating at a low frequency.

Recipe: Southwestern Buttnernut Squash

One recipe I really enjoy is for Southwestern Butternut Squash. The following recipe is for two.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 cup of cooked black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • Small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Vegan pepper jack cheese
  • Cilantro, salsa, and /or avocado for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Halve and seed your squash, and then hollow out each side just enough to form a shallow boat. Brush the squash with some coconut oil and roast with the meaty side facing down for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté your onions and garlic in a pan until slightly brown. Add bell peppers and spices, and sauté for about 5 minutes or so. Add beans and corn and green onions then stir. Sauté a few minutes longer and remove from heat.

Remove squash from oven and stuff it with your filling. Top with some vegan cheese and and any other topping, return to oven for about 5-10 minutes. For the kiddos top with some vegan ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Read the Other Articles in This Series:

The Root Chakra: Foods to Ground and Strengthen

The Sacral Chakra: Foods to Enhance Creativity



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Chakras: What They Don't Tell You at Yoga Class

Six blind men lived in a village. One day a villager said, “Wow, there’s an elephant here today!” The blind men had never experienced “elephant.” After conferring, they decided to go touch the elephant and find out what the excitement was about. They gathered around the beast and each took hold of a different part.

The blind man holding the elephant’s leg said, “Hey, this elephant is like a pillar.”

Another, holding the tail, said, “No no! It’s like a rope.”

The third, touching the elephant’s trunk, said, “You’re both wrong — the elephant is like a thick tree branch.”

Another, holding the elephant’s ear, said, “It’s like a big banana leaf.”

“No. It’s like a huge wall,” said the blind man touching the elephant’s side. At this point one can only wonder at the patience of this elephant.

 


The sixth blind man said, “You’re all wrong. An elephant is like a solid pipe.” He was touching the elephant’s tusk, perhaps just prior to the elephant using it to toss the him over its shoulder.

Aside from the ensuing arguments about who was “right,” each blind man was correct in his perception — there was truth in each experience. In the Jain tradition, it is said the truth can be stated in seven versions or points of view, and the lesson is to be tolerant of the experiences and perceptions of others.

Thus it is with chakras. We’re like blind men with an elephant — each with our own view of the chakra system based on experience, exposure, what we’ve seen, read, heard, or been told — but ironically, it is the cherished belief in our “rightness” (about virtually anything) that ultimately blocks the development and unfolding of the subtle body’s energy centers. Defending any position can launch us into a state of emotional reactivity — the kryptonite of spiritual evolution.

“In different traditions, one can find wheels, flowers, angels, animals, animal parts, geometric shapes, children, the seven dwarves, deities, buddhas, yantras, or mandalas. But in fact, across the board, believing in any judgements which give rise to emotional reactivity is the one sure way to ‘block’ the performance of a chakra,” said Lar C. Short, author of The Way of Radiance and co-author of The Body of Light. By referring to the “performance” of a chakra, Short distinguishes these centers as activities (verbs) rather than things (nouns).

So gentle seeker, or finder as the case may be, suspend disbelief for this exploration of the paradoxical human chakra energetic system.

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