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Manipura Chakra

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About 

Manipura chakra is the solar plexus, your seat of personal power. This fiery energy wheel is an explosion of confidence radiating from the space between your ribs and belly button. When you’re confident you’re not worrying about what you lack, rather, you focus on what you know because you feel secure in that. You can move forward with clarity since confidence and doubt can’t live in the same space. You’re disciplined and independent, taking responsibility for your own life and ownership of the direction you will go.
 

When a chakra is imbalanced it could be either overactive or blocked. An overactive solar plexus manifests as insecurity, feelings of lack, and even low self-esteem. A blocked Manipura causes us to feel overly critical, stubborn, or controlling, suppressing the confidence and sense of purpose we feel when the chakra is balanced.

Location 

Located above the navel, Manipura translates from Sanskrit as "city of jewels" alternatively translated as "resplendent gem" or "lustrous gem". Manipura is often associated with the colors yellow, blue in classical tantra, and red in the Nath tradition.


Manipura is associated with fire and the power of transformation. It is said to govern digestion and metabolism as the home of Agni and the vital wind Samana Vayu. The energies of Prana Vayu and Apana Vayu (inward and outward flowing energy) meet at the point in a balanced system.
 

Manipura is the home of the coeliac plexus, which innervates most of the digestive system. In chakra-based medicine, practitioners work in this area to promote healthy digestion, elimination, pancreas-kidney, and Adrenal function. Weak Agni (fire) in the coeliac plexus leads to incompletely digested food, thoughts, and emotions, and is a source of ama (toxicity).

Appearance

Manipura is represented with a downward-pointing red triangle, signifying the tattva of fire, within a bright yellow circle, with 10 dark-blue or black petals like heavily laden rain clouds.

The fire region is represented by the god Vahni, who is shining red, has four arms, holds a rosary and a spear. Vahni is making the gestures of granting boons, or favors, and dispelling fear. Agni is later referenced as well as Hinduism altered over time.

 

Asana Associated with Manipura Chakra

1.) Ardha Naukasana (Half Boat Pose)

Ardhnaukasana or half boat pose stretches and strengthens your hip muscles, your abdomen, and your spinal column. It is a very effective yoga pose to tone your hips. The asana also stimulates the thyroid, prostate glands, and intestine. 

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Benefits

  • This pose stretches and strengthens your hip muscles, your abdomen, and your spinal column

  • It is a very effective yoga pose to tone your hips.

  • It also stimulates the thyroid, prostate glands, and intestine.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you are suffering from asthma, diarrhea, or heart problems.

  • Also, those suffering from headaches or low blood pressure should not perform the pose.

  • Do not perform this pose if you have a neck injury.

2.) Purna Naukasana (Boat Pose)

This boat pose is beneficial to cure many physical disorders. It helps to strengthen the lungs, liver, and pancreas.  It helps to increase the circulation of blood and maintain the sugar level. This pose is good for those who wish to reduce their belly and want to develop abs muscles.

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Benefits

  • It helps in regulating blood flow at sugar level and strengthens the abdominal muscles.

  • Strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, & tones the leg and arm muscles

  • Useful for people with a hernia.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you are suffering from asthma, diarrhea, or heart problems.

  • Also, those suffering from headaches or low blood pressure should not perform the pose.

  • Do not perform this pose if you have a neck injury.

3.) Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)

This pose stretches the hamstrings and calves, and it strengthens the arms and legs. The pose also helps increase the strength of the external oblique abdominal muscles. A mild inversion, it acts in reverse of the usual forces on your spine and brings more blood flow to your brain. When incorporated into a weekly yoga practice, it may even help relieve chronic back pain.

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Benefits

  • Strengthens the muscles in your legs.

  • Increases the flow of blood to your brain.

  • May help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Also, those who are in late-term pregnancy or have high blood pressure or related issue.

  • Do not perform this pose if you have an injury to the back, arms, or shoulders

Pranayama Associated With Manipura Chakra

Kapalbhati (Skull Shining Breath)

“When you do pranayama, 80% of the toxins in our body are released through the outgoing breath. Regular practice of Kapalbhati Pranayama detoxifies all the systems in our body. And the obvious sign of a healthy body is a shining forehead,” shares Dr. Sejal Shah, a Sri Sri Yoga teacher.

Kapal Bhati literally translates to ‘the shining forehead,’ and this is precisely what happens with regular practice of this pranayama – a forehead that glows not just from outside, but also an intellect that becomes sharp and refined.

Benefits

  • Increases the metabolic rate and aids in weight loss

  • Clears the nadis (subtle energy channels), & improves blood circulation, and adds radiance to the face

  • Stimulates abdominal organs, thus improving the digestive system, and  is extremely useful to those with diabetes

  • Energizes the nervous system and rejuvenates brain cells
     

Who should avoid doing Kapalbhati Pranayama?

  • Avoid practicing this breathing technique if you have an artificial pacemaker or stent, epilepsy, hernia, backache due to slip disc, or have recently undergone abdominal surgery.

  • Women should not practice the Skull Shining Breathing technique during and shortly after pregnancy as well as during menstruation as it involves vigorous abdominal squeezes.

  • People with hypertension and heart problems should practice this breathing technique only under a yoga expert's guidance.

 

Mudra Associated With Manipura Chakra

 

A mudra is a sign or hand gesture that has been known to affect different parts of the body by engaging the nerve endings in our fingertips. Mudras direct energy flow from the fingers to the brain and help the body communicate with itself. Mudras are a powerful way to activate our chakras.

 

An imbalanced solar plexus can have physical effects beyond the digestive system including bloating, nausea, and short-term memory loss. The Matangi mudra eases these symptoms while also raising confidence and the ability to navigate experiences with wisdom. The Rudra mudra vibrates with the earth energy in your body, raising it, and your sense of security. When you feel that your energy is low, hold this mudra near the solar plexus until your energy is restored.

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Matangi Mudra

Begin with the hands at Anjali Mudra (prayer pose), now bring interlock your thumbs with your left thumb over the right one. And also interlock the middle, ring, and little finger, leaving the index finger standing.

Rudra Mudra

Hold the tip of your index and ring finger with your thumb, and leave the middle and little finger straight in ease.

Beej Mantra & Association with Deity

 

The seed mantra is the syllable 'ram'. Within the Bindu or dot, above this mantra resides the deity Rudra. He is red or white, with three eyes, of ancient aspect with a silver beard, and is smeared with white ashes. Rudra makes the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear and is seated either on a tiger skin or a bull.

Rudra's Shakti is the goddess Lakini. She has a black or dark-blue vermilion color; has three faces, each with three eyes; and is four-armed. Lakini holds a thunderbolt, the arrow shot from the bow of Kama, and fires. She makes the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear. Lakini is seated on a red lotus.
 

Color Associated With Manipura Chakra

 

The color yellow resonates with the sacral chakra as a symbol of happiness, optimism, and creativity. Gazing at yellow flowers, lighting yellow candles, or wearing yellow can literally brighten your mood. Try keeping a yellow candle handy and then light it the next time you catch negative self-talk. Breathe deeply as you gaze into the candle’s flame, allowing the light to shine confidence on your spirit. 

Food Associated With Manipura Chakra

 

Foods that are grown in the sun and are the same color as the sun are excellent for raising the vibration of Manipura. And, It doesn’t get any sunnier than tropical fruit. Fresh pressed pineapple juice is a refreshing and energizing start to the day, especially when you’re experiencing digestive issues due to an overactive solar plexus. No juicer? Simply puree the pineapple in a blender with a bit of water. Place a fine strainer over a bowl then pour the puree into the strainer. Allow to drip for 15-20 minutes and chill before serving.

Affirmation Associated With Manipura Chakra

 

Affirmations are positive statements that confirm something to be true. Affirmations are a helpful tool for improving self-esteem and embodying certain qualities we endeavor to possess. Affirmations can be added to any yoga routine or used as an accessible part of many self-care rituals. You can introduce affirmations first thing in the morning, before practice, or anytime throughout the day as a way to connect and reground. Affirmations for the Manipura chakra include:

  • I do.

  • I am confident and capable.

  • I forgive myself for past mistakes, and I learn from them.

  • I direct my own life.

  • I feel motivated to pursue my purpose.

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