The solar plexus chakra is the third chakra and is located beneath the sternum, where the ribcage divides. It is associated with the colour yellow, the element of Fire and the Sun. It is linked to the stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen and the digestive system.
The sacral area is the seat of power and action. It is blocked by shame and lack of self worth. It is where we experience "gut feelings" or feel as if we have been "kicked in the guts". It is no coincidence that we experience disturbances in this area of our body - stomach upsets, IBS and eating disorders - if we feel powerless, and a lot of anxiety may be present here.
An unbalanced solar plexus chakra can manifest as misuse of power, lack of action or direction, seeking approval from others, and judging others and/or the self. When this chakra is aligned, we are secure in our personal power, we act with wisdom and love, and we know what to do. We express our individuality (our inner Sun) without taking others' power away.
The solar plexus chakra can be balanced through spending time in the sun, meditation and healing issues around shame and power.
Asanas to open the solar plexus chakra include navasana (boat pose); virabhadrasana (warrior 1 & 2); and tadasana (mountain pose).
You should always be supervised by a qualified yoga instructor before attempting new poses.