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The Manipura chakra is located just above the naval. Its name means city of jewels, and this may be due to the ganglion of nerves below the solar plexus that resemble a jeweled necklace. Most chakras align with locations in the body where a concentration of nerves exist, and Manipura is no different. This nerve center can process information separate from the brain and it’s the reason you can say “trust your gut”. It’s why, if you make a decision that goes against your higher self’s wisdom, you may have an upset stomach. Your Manipura chakra is communicating with you.
When I picture this jeweled necklace draping underneath your diaphragm , I think of the importance of balance in this chakra. Imagine you are royalty, a privilege that comes with the ability to experience all of life’s pleasures, but also with the expectation of sacrifice and leadership. You can’t be a shy wallflower; you need to be strong, able to lead men in battle if warranted. But you also need to be loving and kind, able to consider the repercussions of your actions and to move forward with grace. Some of us are afraid of power, afraid of stepping on other’s toes or putting ourselves “out there.” Some of us are brash like a bull in a china shop, unable to consider our impact on others. Others see themselves being driven by people and events around them, simply a victim. Balancing this chakra helps us become strong, with grace and compassion. As you work with this chakra, cultivate a willingness to gain insight into your understanding of power, individuality, and identification. Use this month’s meditations to create a healthy balance within your Manipura chakra.
You can start this month by setting an intention to do the following:
Take 3-5 minutes each morning to sit, breathe and move before you start the day.
- Sit on the floor or your mat with your eyes closed.
- First, simply notice your breath. Let yourself settle into your breath, becoming absorbed in the sound and movement.
- Visualize your Manipura chakra as a warm yellow sun above your naval. Explore and consider the energy you are feeling.
- With each inhale stoke the fire of your Manipura chakra, feeling yourself become more powerful with each breath.
- With each exhale, let go of rigidity and pride, feeling yourself more in tune and in harmony with the universe.
Listen to one of your yoga nidra recordings as often as you can
You will likely be doing other wonderful yoga related work – going to studio classes, doing the home asana practices, reading the blog posts – but let the list above be your minimum baseline.
This is your daily Manipura yoga nidra meditation (18 minutes). It helps you plant the intention “I am radiant and powerful. I move through life with confidence and grace.” Fill your being with radiant, vibrant energy as you shed old fears and doubt.
Use this bedtime yoga nidra to help you gently fall asleep. It reinforces this month’s intention: “I am radiant and powerful. I move through life with confidence and grace.” This meditation is the same as the weekly yoga nidra, but stops once you arrive at the deepest level within the meditation.
The second recording includes soft ambient music.
This is your weekly Manipura yoga nidra meditation (28 minutes). This meditation plants the intention “I am radiant and powerful. I move through life with confidence and grace.” You will be cued to hold your breath during this meditation. If, for any reason, you should not hold your breath, breathe normally during these sections. Get comfy and enjoy!!
Reminder: Any poses or breath techniques I cue in an asana practice are merely suggestions. Your body and your doctor know more than I do, so only do what makes sense and is recommended for you.
Your Manipura asana practice warms up the body, focusing on your core. This practice is 15 minutes long and is intended to ready the body for yoga nidra meditation.
Props: Blanket optional. Have a blanket, bolster and eye pillow ready if you will be meditating after the practice.
Your Manipura, or solar plexus chakra, is associated with things like pleasure, willpower, ego, vitality, digestion and harmony. Tied to the element of fire, this energetic area is often thought of like our own personal sun: a source of power and heat that gives us the strength and energy to move forward.
Activating your Manipura chakra can help balance its energy, ensuring your inner fire is driving you forward, but in a harmonious and loving way. You can activate it a few ways, but here are two:
- A Mantra. Each chakra has a sound, or mantra. For the solar plexus chakra, it is RAM. Chanting, or even making this sound mentally, helps clear your Manipura chakra.
- Crystals. This chakra is associated with yellow, so many of the crystals used to cleanse this area are yellow in color. Try carrying or wearing Amber, Citrine, Lemon Quartz, Yellow Jasper or Tiger’s Eye.
Here are a couple of nice articles on the Manipura chakra: