I continued to focus on the manipura chakra creating strength, connecting to our sense of self and personal power. I also learned some more about the manipura I wanted to share. The manipura is where we get humor from, I think this is great so in class today I encouraged the students to remember their humor and remember it is okay to laugh and not take our self too seriously, especially when we are working on handstands.
(Like I mentioned in the previous post) We use the strength from our manipura chakra to remember…Today in class we were working on remembering our intention and our heart throughout the whole practice to keep coming back to our intention. This is the cycle, we forget our intention, we notice we forget and we comeback. We also worked on remembering our shoulder alignment (shoulder loop). We have the tendency to curl our back and bring our shoulders off of the back body in a position of self defense. When we practice yoga with our shoulders held in this position we not only avoid opening the heart but we also build the muscles of our back to continue to hold our shoulder like this. This is a negative self perpetuating cycle. We do yoga because we want to open our chest, but we continue to hold the head of the arm bones forward in our asanas which builds strength in the shoulders in a way that keeps them rounded forward. So our chest doesn’t get more open, so we practice more yoga…And round and round you go. That is not what we want, we don’t want to shield and protect our heart. There are some circumstances when protecting the heart is a good thing..but mainly NO! We want to share and express our heart. We choose to strength the back so we may hold our heart open. When we physically do this should alignment we are energetically choosing to express and share our heart/love. So the cycle to remember the shoulders is very similar to remembering the intention. We hold the shoulders in alignment, we let the shoulder integration go, we realize our shoulders have rounded forward, and then we engage shoulder loop…We do all of this remembering with compassion and non-judgment.
Another great thing I learned about the manipura chakra….the verb phrase is “I can!” How empowering…Today we cultivated this mantra with these asanas…I can float forward from my down dog! I can do handstand! I can link balance poses! I can do full dancer!…
Manipura Symbols and correspondences
Meaning: lustrous Gem
Location: Navel, solar plexus
function: will, power, strength
Inner State: Laughter, joy, anger
Body Parts and Glands: digestive system, muscles, pancreas, adrenals, plasma
Malfunction: ulcers, diabetes, hypoglycemia
Seed Sound: RAM vowel sound: All (like in father)
Planets: Mars, Sun
Verb: I can
Gemstones: Amber, topaz
Symbol: ten petals of blue, downward triangle, with Hindu solar crosses (svastikas). At the base a running ram
Deities: Agni, Surya, Rudra, Lakini
Operating Force: combustion
I read parts of this poem during class today, I got this from Wheels of Life, By Anodea Judith
It is dark and cold.
We are still and we breathe in…and out…in…and out…
We are cramped with lack of space.
We are stiff with lack of movement.
We are cold with lack of warmth.
In the darkness we long for life.
And we breathe in…and our…in…and out…
Each breath opening to each and every cell.
Each breath igniting a tiny spark of fire, of warmth of light.
We are still, yet we sense a growing warmth within us.
We are alone, yet we sense others around us, trapped in the cold and dark, longing to break free, longing for warmth and light.
There is a form here, but it is empty.
There is life here, but it is still.
There is awareness here and it is awakening.
From a place of stillness, we call forth movement.
Slowly reaching out, expanding, breathing, stretching, flowing.
Into form, we invoke life.
Its spark from the fire of the place between…
Between ourselves and others, between past and future,
Between the known and the unknown.
We move and dance, please singing through us as the dance of life burn its way through our fears and our pains. Feel its warmth melting tension, pulsating, growing—the rhythms lifting and moving, healing and soothing, warming and cooling.
From a place of infinite movement we call on the self. We call on the self to awaken to another part of the journey. We call upon the self to awaken to the sun, the fire, the warmth, the transformation. We call upon the self through our will, and it rises to our call.
We reach for the sun and call upon the yellow ray. The ray of life, the ray of creation, the ray of consciousness, the spark of fire…We call upon the flame to burn within us and temper our passions into strength. With strength we fight the dark, pushing and straining, to realize it is part of ourselves, part of our strength, part of our fear. We laugh, and put down the fight, merging, becoming whole, becoming stronger. We pass between the pillars of light and dark, honoring both…
And find ourselves in a new and glorious land.
A land of bustling activity, teeming with life, sparkling like stars with shining rivers of light reflecting the sun. The sparks catch our eyes, we turn toward their glow and they move and dance, connecting and igniting all that they touch. They touch something within, igniting strength, will, action. Sparks fly, igniting other threads, other fires…they explode…and are gone.
We are lifted, we are lightened, we are laughing. We feel our bodies sway with the rising heat, hot tongues of fire moving within us, expanding, contracting, but growing ever wider, yet returning always to its source within us. Our bodies now burning, radiating heat and light and strength and will. Power pulsating through us, from above, below, around, and running though, transforming all that is within and without, our bellies bursting with joy.
Feel this energy deep within your body, burning with the fire of your own life. Feel it pushing deep into the Earth, down through the Earth, to the hot molten center of Earth. Feel it return from the Earth, rising up from the heat below, though your legs, your pelvis, your belly, moving up through your body, through each part of your body—your arms, your hands, your checks, neck and head. Feel it flowing out of you, connecting with other sparks, filaments of energy, other fires of life. Feel it connect with the thoughts inside you, your constant sparking neurons, interconnecting filaments of energy, lines of thought, patterns in a web, ebbing and flowing in pulsing flames, burning with the glow of activity.
You are an intersection of energy, merging, combining, exploding, radiating. Extend your awareness without and within, making connections, weaving a web of power, like a fire, growing higher and brighter.
Think of the times when you knew this power. Times when you felt connection, vitality, importance and strength. Think of the times power flowed effortlessly through you, like warmth from the sun. Think of those times and feel them now. Feel your body radiate their purpose, dance with their majesty, sing with their strength.
In this fiery world of activity you are a channel for power around you. You open to it, you burn with it, you drink it in and you pass it on…easily, effortlessly, willing, joyfully.
Your power peaks and returns, feeding the fire within—a molten core, feeding your body, silently charging, ready to expand again, when next your purpose calls.
The fire has burned high, and the coals now glow with warmth. Exhilarated, your body relaxes. A smile plays upon your lips, your hands are at peace with the strength they have carried, and you again return to the gentle breathing…in..and out…in…and out…in…and out.
Satisfied, you rest. (Anodea Judith)
May we always remeber our own strength, our own passion, and our own beauty! Having deepened our strength in the maniupura chakra we now have a greater capasity to hold the enrgy of the heart...to dive into the energy of the heart, and to share and express it with others.
thanks again flow yogis for letting me sub and take seat of your teacher.
Sources : Wheels of Life, by Anodea Judith