Solar Plexus Chakra : Manipura

One major detail regarding Chakras: They are energetic centers. (see subtle body) The energy within a chakra can be in deficiency, surplus, or balanced and free flowing. Don’t know where to begin? Read Chakras- At-A-Glance.

solarplexus

Manipura Chakra: Third Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakra. The Sanksrit name MANIPURA translates to “City of Gems.

It is located at the naval or belly-button, the center of our gravity. It is associated with a golden yellow and fire. The SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra is like a burning furnace. 

  • The MANIPURA has 10 Petals for the 10 nerve endings that are a source of energy for the SOLAR PLEXUS. The petals are blue like the base of any flame. The inverted triangle within the circle represents the transformative power of this fiery energy center.
  • This SOLAR PLEXUS holds the body’s energy and willpower, determination, and ego. It is considered to be the center of our Shakti (our divine female energy) and the only chakra that radiates prana up and down.
  • The animal associated with MANIPURA is the ram. This proud animal charges with head down blocking their awareness and concern for the consequences of their actions. They’re only preoccupied by their pursuits. 

In the MANIPURA Chakra we pick right up from where we left off in SWADHISTHANA, accepting our dualistic nature: the sorting through our good and bad, BUT now we have the unique opportunity to free ourselves once and for all from undesirable qualities and habits through our will. MANIPURA gives the power to create and to destroy.

Some examples of the subconscious behaviors interrupting harmony: Why we talk too much, say too little, blame others, cower, manipulate, deceive, demand and/or carelessly disregard and disrespect the energy of others.

The only caveat to activating the transformative fire of the SOLAR PLEXUS is that, it does not discriminate. She burns all.

Confidence is necessary to align your will with your life. Trust in who you are and the process of becoming. There are no dialog boxes in MANIPURA, such as:

Doing away with your neediness may increase the direct nature of                         your speech and language and consequently give you ample                             opportunity to spend time alone.   Do you wish to continue?                               

Transformational energy calls on the best you to participate in the change.

A person with a balanced SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra is as self-reliant as they are self-confident. They understand what they need, and what their life needs from them.



If your SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra is blocked:



There may be an interruption to your psyche, how you relate to your self and others, as this is where the sense of self originates. You may feel like you lack the confidence or motivation to move forward and progress on personal projects, that the ideas you have are laughable or pointless. The SOLAR PLEXUS gives one the ability to take action on their goals. Symptoms may include:

  • Social Complications
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Lack of self-control
  • Codependency or an inability to set & maintain personal boundaries
  • Addiction
  • Making plans or having a lot of ideas without finding efficient ways to realize them
  • Being obsessed with minute details, seeing life through a filter of plus and minuses while losing sight of the whole picture.
  • Lack of direction, purpose, or ambition

The SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra is closely tied to digestive health and the metabolism. Literally the breaking down of one thing and turning it into another. Complications with MANIPURA can have physical manifestations as well.

  • Poor digestion, gas, nausea
  • Ulcers
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Diabetes
  • Organ problems, especially in the liver and kidneys
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Difficulty gaining or losing weight


If your SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra is overactive:



Solar Plexus Chakra may result in an aggravated existence internally and externally. Symptoms may include:

  • Perfectionism

  • Being overly critical

  • Anger issues

  • Excessive stubbornness

  • Desire for control

Balancing your SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra:

MANIPURA’s seed sound is RAM. The lips should press towards each other into the center of the face and tongue against the palate as you let the vibration of the ‘R’ warm the muscles of the face and throat. Concentrate visually as well as pranically on the naval. As you breathe in, imagine a golden flame ready to dissolve any complications that are resting here to come between you and your highest self-esteem. Meditation in this Chakra is restorative and helps you pursue your goals selflessly. Your personal power should not come from a place of egotism. Understanding and connecting to this power will bring you closer to others in a stable and clear manner, so that you can remain true to yourself with the awareness of your actions. 

  • Yellow: Wear it. Eat it. Look and hold yellow objects, gemstones, and flowers. 



If your SOLAR PLEXUS Chakra is balanced you hold your personal power evenly with the power of everything around you.



When the Solar Plexus chakra is balanced, you may experience pristine metabolism, but not just the breaking down of food, but all that we process (take in) in a day and using that energy to fortify and enhance (give back) our life. When you can balance direct communication with the world without being rude or condescending, you have harmonized the energy flow of your SOLAR PLEXUS.

  • Lucky encounters : As if you are creating your reality.

  • Serendipitous experiences

  • Harmony with your surrounding

 

 

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Glycemic Index (not a great index)

What is the Glycemic Index A system for classifying carbohydrates. The glycemic index ranks foods on how blood sugar levels are affected post-consumption. ( after one eats)

The harder your body has to work to convert the carbohydrate into glucose means that there is a delay on the amount of sugar that can be found in the blood. This delay in acquiring the sugar from foods eaten is suggestive of food with lower glycemic number.

The number is purely connected to the food, and even though there are variations from person to person- the general average is taken of how the human digestive system reacts to certain foods. Therefore, any carbohydrate part of food that slows the digestion and absorption of sugar, whether it is eaten alone or with other foods will have a low glycemic number.

It is important to note here and remember that every food is not one kind. Some breakdowns are more protein, carbohydrate, or fat concentrated, but all food has a mixture of these three elements.

There are factors that change the rate at which the body can digest and absorb sugar from carbohydrates.These factors include:

  • Particle size: Larger particle sizes found in stone-ground flour, as opposed to finely processed flours, will slow digestion and lower the glycemic index. Like Alicia says in Clueless, if you cut your food into tiny pieces then you will lose weight.. just kidding!
  • Soluble fibre: This type of fibre, found in some fruits, vegetables, legumes, oat bran, and oatmeal, slows digestion and therefore has a lower the glycemic index.
  • Fibre coverings: Foods with a fibrous cover such as beans and seeds are digested more slowly and therefore have a lower glycemic index.
  • Acidity: The acid found in some fruits, pickled foods, and vinegar slow digestion and lowers the glycemic index.
  • Type of starch: Starch comes in many different configurations. Some are easier to break into sugar molecules than others.
  • Ripeness: Some ripe fruits and vegetables tend to have more sugar than un-ripe ones, and so tend to have a high glycemic index.

For example, white bread is digested quickly into glucose, causing blood sugar to spike quickly. Therefore white bread has a high glycemic index number. In contrast, brown rice is digested more slowly, causing a lower, more gentle change in blood sugar. It therefore has a lower glycemic index number.

Diets filled with high glycemic index foods, which cause quick and strong increases in blood sugar levels, have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Using the glycemic index can be somewhat confusing. Some foods that contain complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, quickly raise blood sugar levels, while some foods that contain simple carbohydrates, such as whole fruit, raise blood sugar levels more slowly. This standard and chart, as most things the doctors use to tell you how healthy you are should be taken as just one piece of the whole story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fat’s Bottom Line

Bottom Line : Fat

One of the quickest and healthiest ways to reduce calories and lose weight is to cut back on the fat.

Eating a diet low in fat is an important step in keeping your heart and arteries in tip-top shape too. The overall goal is to avoid excess fat, especially saturated fat and LDL cholesterol.

But this isn’t enough of a change to create a healthy lifestyle or maintain optimal nutrition. 

  • Limit your intake of total fat to <30% of your total calories each day. This is about 45-65 grams each day.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fat to <10% of your calories each day. This is about 15-25 grams each day.
  • Limit your intake of cholesterol to <300 milligrams each day.

Remember that all fats and oils are not created equal; however all fats and oils are still high in calories. Things to keep in mind:

  • Monounsaturated fats help to lower the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) while NOT             lowering the HDL (healthy/good cholesterol). These fats are the most heart             friendly.
  • Polyunsaturated fats help lower the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) but they also             lower the HDL (healthy/good cholesterol). So they are only somewhat heart             healthy.
  • Saturated fats raise the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) and increase the risk of             heart disease. Therefore, they are not heart healthy.
  • Trans-fatty acids can raise the LDL (lazy/bad cholesterol) and triglycerides              levels, and lower the HDL (healthy/good cholesterol). They are not heart             healthy.

 

 

 

Fat’s Got Your Back!

Fat is a concentrated energy source. If we do not consume enough of it we will be extremely fatigued from doing essentially nothing.

Fat also aids in digestion, and without fat we would not be able to metabolize everything else we ingest.

Its main purpose is organization because it is a master at creating storage systems. There is no limit to fat cell expansion, just like those vacuum sealed bags that people put winter clothes in or whatever they’re hoarding. There is a caveat to this. One very negative detail about it being a storage site is that this is where all of your toxins are stored. So, the more fat you have the more vacancy you have to store toxic waste in your body.

Fat is a source of calories, but it is concentrated energy and (9 calories per gram).

Fat Tasks:

  • supplies essential fatty acids needed by the body.

  • carries and transports the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

  • Assists in the body’s utilization of protein and carbohydrates.

  • Component of every cell wall.

  • Lines the internal organs to prevent from damage and provides cushion, and insulation, conserving our total body heat.

  • The body’s daily supply for energy and work

  • Carries the compounds that give foods their aroma and flavor. Important!

 

 

Cholesterol Explained..as best I can.

Facts about Cholesterol: Cholesterol is related to vitamin D and steroidal hormones, such as cortisone and sex hormones.

Dietary Cholesterol is found in the foods eaten. It is found only in foods of animal origin, never in plant sources.

Serum (blood) Cholesterol flows through the bloodstream. Cholesterol is essential for certain body components such as hormones, cell walls and various functions. Therefore your body manufactures most of its blood cholesterol. Some is also absorbed through the foods you eat.

 What LDL and HDL Mean?

Digestion of Fat: During digestion, carbohydrates and proteins are dealt with first. By the time fat reaches the small intestine, it receives all the attention. Bile is squirted into the mixture to emulsify or break up the fat globules, allowing enzymes to attack the chemical bonds of the triglycerides. Fats are digested and broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, and pass into the intestinal cells.

Since you already know fat is not soluble in water, it needs a special transport system to move with blood and other body fluids: Fat can only move with helping protein particles, called lipoproteins.

There are 4 types of lipoproteins with very distinct jobs:

  • Chylomicrons are made by the intestines for transporting “new” fat to the body’s cells. These carry mostly triglycerides.
  • Very-Low-Density-Lipoproteins (VLDL) are made by the intestines and liver and transport fats around the body. These carry mostly triglycerides.
  • Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) are made by the liver to carry cholesterol to the body’s cells and tissues, and may form deposits on the walls of arteries and other blood vessels. They are therefore considered the lazy, or “bad,” cholesterol. The goal is to have an LDL level of < 100 milligrams per dL. What does your body need to make LDL’s? How is the Liver programmed to know when and how many LDL’s to make?

 

  • High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) pick up and carry excess cholesterol from artery walls and bring it back to the liver for processing and removal. They are therefore considered the healthy, or “good,” cholesterol. The goal is to have an HDL level of >45 milligrams per dL. They clean up the dirty work left behind by LDL, but why have we evolved in this way. Normally systems in our body work together, they don’t eradicate the job of another.

 

THINK     L= LAZY    H=HEALTHY

 

 

 

Fats : A Chemical Breakdown

Types of Fats (Continued)

In addition to triglycerides, Fats also contain phospholipids and sterols.

But before we get into a Phospholipid, we should learn what a lipid is.

            Lipids in general, are fat-like molecules. They’re organic, meaning they contain carbon atoms and do not dissolve in water. They are a major building block of the cells of animals and all have one thing in common – they do not mix with water. You can see this quite well if you try to combine oil and water. No matter what, they remain separated. This can be useful for example, ducks produce lipids in their feathers, allowing the water to roll right off their backs, keeping them afloat.

 

            Phospholipid molecules consist of a hydrophilic (or ‘water loving’) head and a hydrophobic (or ‘water fearing’) tail. Phospholipids arrange themselves into two parallel layers; something called a phospholipid bilayer. This layer is critical in forming the functionality of cell membranes. It can be found in nature in the yolk of an egg.

Sterols are also lipids and are naturally occurring in many different animals and therefor our foods. Sterols also play a key role in the cellular structure for animals, including us.

            Cholesterol is boken into two kinds, even if they aren’t very different from one another. Dietary and Blood.

  • Dietary Cholesterol refers to the food consumed. It is only found in animal goods, not plants. The dietary goal is to limit intake to <300 milligrams each day.
  • Blood Cholesterol can be made by the body and yet some of it is still absorbed from the foods that we eat. The goal is to have a total blood cholesterol level of <200 milligrams per dL.

 

Fatty Acids & Where they Live

The most common forms of fat in foods and in the body are known as triglycerides. They make up about 95% of the total fat in the body.

Triglycerides are composed of three molecules:

  • one fatty acid
  • one molecule of glycerol
  • one alcohol

What are Fatty Acids?

Fatty acids are energy-rich chemical chains that come in three forms:

       1. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: Liquid at room temperature, decrease total    blood cholesterol but maintain your HDL (healthy/good) cholesterol.

Sources include:

  • certain oils and margarines (canola, olive, peanut, sesame)
  • avocado
  • nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, peanuts, pistachios)
  • peanut butter
  • olives
  • sesame seeds
  • tahini paste

       2. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Liquid or soft at room temperature, decrease total blood cholesterol by lowering both the LDL (lazy/bad) cholesterol and the HDL (healthy/good) cholesterol.

Sources include:

  • certain oils and margarines (corn, safflower, soybean)
  • walnuts
  • mayonnaise
  • most salad dressings
  • pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are highly polyunsaturated. They are mostly found in seafood, especially high-fat fish, such as albacore tuna, mackerel, and salmon.

       3. Saturated Fatty Acids: Solid at room temperature and increase total cholesterol and bad cholesterol.

Sources include:

  • butter
  • cheese
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream
  • cream
  • ice cream
  • whole milk
  • bacon
  • beef
  • pork
  • poultry
  • shortening/lard
  • coconut
  • coconut oil
  • palm oil/palm kernel oil
  • cocoa butter

       4. Trans Fatty Acids: A man-made fatty acid. Hydrogenation is a complex process that might be outside the scope of what I would like to include here. Basically, Instead of the three part molecule the body has been used to digesting when it approaches a fatty acid.

[What is the point of hydrogenating foods?] Many foods are processed and easy to buy, stored in a vending machine, or shelf long before you are ready to consume it. This is a great application of science and technology for food availability, but not so great for food quality as these scientists are playing with our nutrition for the sake of profit. The longer it can sit on the shelf, the longer it can stay in your body.

Perhaps food didn’t naturally last that long for a reason. Opinions aside, scientists have cultivated a process called hydrogenation and given life to something called Trans-Fats, or Trans-Fatty Acids.

The problem with this is that the molecule is unrecognizable by your body. It doesn’t know how to break it down. You may continue to eat, even though have satiated your hunger, because the receptors in your brain are not sure that you’re eating food.

Large amounts of trans-fats in the body can make one feel lethargic because these trans-fat molecules get in the way of fat being used as an energy source, which in turn creates an urge to eat for energy.

Trans-Fats are a huge contributing factor to obesity and over-eating.

 

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Chart Source

Trans-Fat Molecule Image Source