Are you a Warrior or a Servant? Exploring the Manipura Chakra
The Manipura Chakra is not only strength in your abdomen but also strength in your convictions.
Are you a warrior or a servant? That is the one of the questions to ask yourself when exploring the Manipura Chakra, the third of the seven energy wheels that start at the base of your spine. (for basic explanations of the Chakra system see this earlier post ) Located in the Solar Plexus region of your body, the Manipura Chakra is considered your energetic wheel of strength. It is commonly known as the core. Yellow is the color associated with this Chakra, which makes sense since the sun is considered the ruling element of the Solar Plexus. Energy here provides the fire needed to help digest your food and the world.
Determining if you Chakra is Over-active or Under-active
If your chakra is over-active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net, “you may be judgemental or critical – and you will easily find fault in others. An overactive solar plexus chakra can turn you into an arrogant, self-centered power grabber. You end up chasing name and fame to the exclusion of everything else. Soon enough the ‘my way or the highway’ lifestyle inevitably results in dysfunctional relationships and high levels of stress.” according to www.do-meditation.com.
“If this chakra is under active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net, it can cause severe emotional problems. You may have a lot of doubt and mistrust towards the people in your life, and worry too much about what other people might think about you. You may also run on “auto pilot” avoiding your feelings of depression or anxiety; you may feel afraid or alone when you start to look at what you have been avoiding. You also may feel that you are not good enough and be seeking a constant approval of others. “A blocked third chakra could lead to low self-esteem, hyper-sensitivity to criticism and attention seeking behavior. The resultant indecisiveness, poor self-confidence and self-image, and fear of rejection can prevent you from accomplishing important tasks and turning dreams into reality. Both over-active and under-active Manipura Chakra can lead to physical problems such as digestive disorders and anxiety.
Of all the Chakras, Manipura is the one mostly closely associated with your ego. Your identity including feelings of self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence is often established in your teens. As an adult, it affects your feelings of personal power and freedom of choice, according to Ambika Wauters, author of the The Book of Chakras.
In teaching a Yoga class on the 3rd chakra, I offer my students the following doTERRA essential oils — Bergamot if they feel like they need to fortify themselves or Wintergreen if they are feeling overly aggressive. Bergamot is a member of the citrus family and helps one feel more secure and abundant. Wintergreen has a cooling effect. Learn more about doTERRA oils by checking out my information page.
Here is a Manipura Chakra Yoga Routine. Feel free to do at home or join me for one of my public offerings of Yoga.
Throughout the practice (shown above and described below)be aware of your strength, which should give you confidence to move through life’s changes. Pictures are in order from left to right and top to bottom. Start in child’s pose Balasana and focus on your breath. Feel the ground supporting you offering you safety and security. If you are undergoing a major change in your life or are feeling ungrounded, affirm yourself with a statement such as “I have the strength to weather these changes and I have a right to the life I chose.” Move into cat Marjaiasana cow Bitilasana stretch. Coordinate the next series with your breath. Then move into Balancing Table Pose dandayamna-bharmanasana. Raise the arm as you inhale and lower as you exhale. Repeat three times. One breath in between and then three times on the other side. Then raise your leg as you inhale and hold it for three complete breaths. You can add your opposite arm to make the balance and core work more challenging. Rest in child’s pose (picture 1). Whenever you need to rest your wrists, go back to child’s pose. Move into a cat cow stretch with one leg bending and bringing your knee toward your nose compressing your abdomen . Then hold in plank Kumbhakasanafor three to eight counts. You can modify on your forearms or hands and knees -Dophin Plank. Move back into a downward dog -Adho mukha śvānāsana , making sure to engage both your inner thighs and your abdomen. Move in and out of downward dog and plank several times—generating heat and becoming aware of your core strength. Come up to the top of your mat by bringing one left forward and end up in a Forward Fold. Safely come up to chair pose Utkatasana (7). Be sure to engage your core and fronts of your thighs. There are many ways to both amplify and modify chair pose depending on how much or little you need to stoke the fires of your solar plexus. If you have a strong sense of yourself, you might not need to push as hard. If you tend to be afraid to try new things, then pushing yourself may allow you through this challenging experience may develop the courage you need. High Lunge with or without a twist Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana . Repeat on both sides. Move into Triangle and/or Reverse Triangle Pose Utthita Trikonasana(shown above). Come down to seated and set up for Boat Pose Navasana which if done properly put yours puts your spine in a sated V. Because this pose requires so much core strength, I am modifying it by holding my legs with my hands. (12) Moving Bridge works the core and strengthens the back from the ground. Be sure to feel the front body engaging and to not squeeze the buttocks. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Make sure to do Constructive Rest. Savasana .
A great way to finish the Manipura chakra work, is to do a seated meditation using the following seed sound mantra– RAM, RAM, RAM. Notice how this sound actually causes a vibration in your solar plexus region. Remember, the fire at our navel center is vital to your spiritual growth and fulfillment!
I wish you health and joy in your day. Namaste, Andrea
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