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.
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).
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.) Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
This pose is an excellent heart opening and hip opening yoga pose. Arms, shoulders, and the legs feel very relaxed after performing the pose. Any stress on these parts is removed thanks to the posture and movements. This pose mainly includes stretch and twist that needs flexible legs to stack the knees directly on top of each other, and shoulders, to clasp the hands behind the back with the support of balancing hips.
Stretches the ankles, hips and thighs
Works your triceps and your rotator cuff and your upper back and chest muscles.
Opens your chest and thoracic spine
People with knees, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, neck, or shoulders or any surgery to the internal organs should refrain from this practice.
Also, skip it if you can't find a position that doesn't cause you knee pain.
2.) Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half lord of the fishes pose)
This pose is a deep twist that is one of the 12 basic poses of Hatha yoga. One of the greatest things about yoga is that it puts you in positions you generally don't do in the normal course of your day. Moving in different ways accesses places where you didn't even realize you were holding tension. This is definitely true of deep twists, such as Half Lord of the Fishes.
It stretches the side body, upper back, and neck, and improves spinal mobility.
Opens the chest and increases the oxygen supply to the lungs.
Increases the elasticity of the spine.
You should avoid this pose if you have back problems, had recent surgery, or are pregnant.
People with severe back or neck pain should practice with caution, and with close supervision.
Do not perform this pose during mensuration and you have slip disc problem.
Pranayama Associated With Manipura Chakra
Surya Bhedana Pranayama (Right Nostril Breath)
Surya Bhedana is warming pranayama, or breathwork focused on one nostril: the right. Surya, or sun, refers to the right nostril of the nose, which is connected to the Pingala Nadi of the body. Bhedana means to pierce or pass through. By closing one nostril and forcing prana to pass through just one side, a warming effect is achieved on the body – appropriate for correcting an imbalanced coolness, which is more common during the cooler Vata and Kapha seasons.
Surya Bheda Pranayama activates the body and bodily functions.
It destroys all diseases that are caused by the insufficiency of oxygen in the blood.
It increases the digestive fire.
Avoid Surya Bhedana if you have high blood pressure or heart disease
Do not do this in fever.
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.
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.
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 Muladhara 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 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.