Yoga for Manipura Chakra-30 Day Challenge
Manipura is the name of the third chakra of the seven main chakra’s in the central nadi system. So what does that mean? A chakra is an energy centre in the body and having clear chakra centres, means the energy can flow from the root (Muladara) to the crown of your head (Sarasrara). When there are blockages in the energy centres, we can experience all kinds of wonky energy that manifests emotionally as well as physically.
The Manipura chakra is located a few inches above the belly button, near the solar plexus. Technically, it’s in your back, near your spine, but for the purposes of this post, it’s best to think of the space above your belly button.
This is where the fire lives. It’s the place of discipline and self worth, and action, but also ego and anger. Manipura rules the liver and pancreas and digestion. When it’s balanced, you are reliable, have healthy self-esteem, confidence, you exude warmth, have a good sense of humour, are spontaneous, have good discipline, are empowered and you can digest healthy foods well.
Signs of a weak Manipura:
- Poor digestion
- Lack of self-discipline
- Shame, embarrassment, self-criticism
- Discomfort with anger, tending to push it back or turn it inwards
- Inappropriate bursts of anger
- Reliance on stimulants like coffee, energy drinks and tobacco
Signs of an over-active Manipura:
- Fiery temper
- Manipulative, agressive, controlling, arrogant
- Overly competitive
- Inability to let things go, staying hot-headed or fiery long after the incident has arisen
- Reliance on sedatives like alcohol, pot and heavy foods
In looking at the lists above, take a moment to be truthful with yourself and if you are regularly experiencing 3 or more in either category, then it might be worth it to work with this chakra for at least a month and see if it helps relieve the symptoms.
45 minute practice for weak Manipura:
- Start by lying down, visualizing the space above your belly button. You can even make a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs touching over your belly button and breath into that space for at least 5 minutes
- Kapalbhati breathing or Breath of Fire (minimum 5 minutes): Kapalabhati is a breath focusing on a quick exhale, snapping your stomach back towards your spine. Sit with your spine straight and your eyes closed, inhale deeply through your nose then exhale all your breath from your mouth, on your next inhale, start the breathing by only focusing on the exhale through your nose and snapping back. Continue for three rounds of 30 breaths. Breath of Fire is the same technique except you are breathing in and out through your nose forcefully. Repeat 30 breaths for 3 rounds.
- Do three rounds of Suryanamaskar B (Sun Salutation B)
- Trikonasana (Triangle Posture)
- Pavritta Trikonasana (Reverse Triangle)
- Twists (all twists are good for the Manipura)
- Paschimottanasana (straight leg, forward fold)
- Savasana (Corpse Pose) 5-10 minutes
- Finish with sound healing (5 minutes) chanting Ram with your eyes closed, focusing your attention on the chakra
45 minute practice for over active Manipura:
- Start in the same way, lying down, visualizing your Manipura with your hands over your belly button and breathe gently in and out of your nose, relaxing your body into the ground
- Sitali Breath: sit up with your spine straight, curl your tongue and suck air in through your mouth, through the cur in your tongue and exhale through your nose (5 minutes)
- Start with 3 rounds of Suyanamaskar A (Sun Salutation A)
- Childs Pose
- Badokonasana (Butterfly)
- Seated wide leg stretch
- Happy Baby
- Supta Badokonasana (supine butterfly, on your back with your feet touching)
- Savasana (Corpse Pose) 5-10 minutes
- Finish with Nadi Shodhana: alternative nostril breathing
I really believe that this is the chakra that we have the most issues with world wide. In my home country of Canada, we are affected by stress, anger, tendency to put on weight in the mid section, ego (my god, the ego), control, but also heaps of shame, feelings of unworthiness, poor digestion, alcoholism, taking of both stimulants and depressants and inability to breathe properly. This is just par for the course now. Being overweight, especially in the mid section is common, poor diet with heavy foods like meat and fat and sugar as well as breads, cheeses and even non-food items like preservatives and high fructose corn syrup are the norm. Feeling anxious, arrogant, explosive and also depressed and self loathing are the regular states of most people in North America.
As of June 1st, I’m starting a one month daily Manipura activation for myself. My tendency is towards a weak Manipura: poor self discipline (this month long challenge might help), I smoke tobacco and I often feel guilty, filled with shame and self-criticism even on my best days. Please join me in this exploration if you feel that you are experiencing a blockage in the energy flow in your centre of fire.