Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Manipura Chakra

We start our yoga practice by taking a seat and reflecting on our self in silence. From this place we set an intention, which in some way allows us to connect more fully to our heart.

Then we move into the physical asana practice where we move from one pose to another. As we do this physical practice, we begin what I call, the cycle of remembering the heart. In this cycle we forget about our intention/heart, and then with compassionate awareness we notice that we forgot, and then we connect back to our intention/ heart. When we connect back to the intention we don’t just hear the words in our head but we invoke the feeling tone of the heart that brings a reassuring deep peace and a connection and remembrance to our inherent goodness. This cycle happens for every yogi no matter how advanced, the only difference is a beginner yogi might have longer periods of forgetting their intention and an advanced yogi maybe quicker to notice when the intention has slipped away or they may even be so aware that they can catch when the intention begins to slip away but hasnt completely left. This is the practice of remembering the heart.

In the classes I taught on Wednesday, one was an all level class at Flow Yoga SLC and a Level 1 & 2 class I taught at The Yoga Center we focused on the manipura Chakra. I will also be continuing this theme for my Friday classes. The manipura is the third chakra which in Sanskrit means "city of jewels." It is located in the solar plexus, navel and digestive system. It is where we get our sense of self and where we draw our personal power, discipline and passion from. When we hold an asana we find the strength and vitality to stay in the pose from this energy center. This chakra is not only important because it helps us connect to our full potential and our own strength, but it is also important because it sits below the anahata chakra (the heart chakra). The chakras build off of each other in steps, if you don’t have a developed connection to your manipura chakra you won’t have the capacity or strength to connect, open, and share you anahata chakra. So not only do we draw on this fiery chakra when we need more physical strength and endurance throughout practice, but we also use the strength, discipline, and passion of this chakra to continue to come back to our intention and to remember our heart.

So in my classes this week we energetically focused on cultivating our connection to our manipura chakra finding our discipline and passion so we may deepen our awareness to the cycle of remembering the heart and have the strength to continue to connect to our intention and hold space for the energy of our heart.

Asanas physically in this class we build up fiery heat through:
•Surya Namaska 5-10X
•Chaturanga tune ups (i.e. good old pushups…with alignment and breath)
•Jumping forward from AMS (we took AMS at the wall finger tips a little less than one hand print away from the wall, good foundation in the hands, shoulder loop, inner spiral thighs, scoop in the tail bone, toned belly…then hoop! Working to get the sit bones to the wall. This is great it teaches you how hard you have to jump to get the hips over the wrists without worrying about filling over)
•core work and abductor strengthers
•AMC (handstand 3 ways…L at wall, heels at wall, heels at wall to bent knees working our way to full hand stand)
•Reverse wirabhadhasana
•In this class physically there were times when the students were asked to dig deep and call upon the power of their manipura chakra…while smiling of course.
•I also continued to ask where are you in your cycle of your heart felt intention? Are you very aware of it and immersed in the feeling tone, have you forgotten about it, are you bring your awareness back to it…remember no judgments just awareness.

I think next week I might be feeling the anahata chakra since we have been building up the personal strength to move more deeply into the heart…

Suggested mantra meditation: Ram is the bija (seed sound) for this energy center. Repeating this sound out loud releases a vibration sound energy that helps you connect to the region of the manipura chakra. So simply repeat….Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram…find your own internal rhythm.

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Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...