In the past 15 months, we’ve seen the climate in our country reach higher and higher levels of uncertainty. I’ve had conversation after conversation where I hear the same sentiment brought up—that feeling of being powerless in a world where power seems to be something that people take by violence and force. In a world driven by binaries, we see powerful vs powerless, domineering vs helpless.
But there has to be a better way to see things than binaries that divide and disempower. I’m a yogi-astrologer, so I looked into yoga and its sister discipline, astrology, for answers.
A lot of the time when we use the word ‘power’ with yoga, we’re referring to a type of vinyasa-heavy flow that activates cardio and really BURNS SOME CALORIES. But there is a type of power far more central within yoga and astrology that leads us down the path of empowerment.
This week my yoga classes are all about power and empowerment. Physically, this means I’m teaching flows that focus around the diaphragm, the solar plexus, the core. The reason I'm focusing in this area is that this is where the third chakra is located—the manipura chakra.
You might not be surprised to learn that the manipura chakra directly relates to power, but manipura's power isn't domineering, but rather is a strong, stable, personal power.
Balanced personal power gives us the capacity and responsibility to respond to situations rather than react thoughtlessly. It encourages us to act or speak up when we might have remained passive. It encourages us to take balanced action, to release control if we’re seeking to push others around, to recognize what and who it is we have true control over (hint: our actions and ourselves).
You can work with yoga to balance this chakra--twists and several forms of deep breathing will do the trick.
To read more about the manipura chakra, power, and empowerment, check out this blog post.
My regular readers and students won't be shocked that chakras, power, and our personal agency relate to astrology in several ways (how could it not!).
I’d like to highlight our power-center’s relationship to the planet Mars.
Mars is the activating force in the zodiac, the piece of our personality that feels compelled to act. When Mars is in balance, we act according to our highest ideals, and experience a sort of self-assurance, a feeling of truly possessing the self that comes with in-balance power.
If you have a copy of your chart, you can locate Mars (its symbol is the masculine circle with an arrow). Once you’ve located Mars, you can begin to look at the ways it’s activated (through the house and sign—if you’d like help doing this, schedule a reading).
In addition, the solar plexus is where four zodiac centers in our body meet: Cancer, Leo, Virgo, and Libra. Each of these energies tell us something about the creation and sustenance of power within our bodies: Cancer protects the self; Leo speaks her truth; Virgo examines the morality in her actions; and Libra finds appropriate balance.
Overall, seeking answers within yoga and astrology made me take a long hard look at exactly what is and isn't within my personal power to affect. Finding a power balance in practice and in life can help us to act in ways that are meaningful and effective. I even found that it gave me a new lens through which to view the news.
We each have greater power than we know.