A Manipura Practice
When practicing yoga, we can strengthen this chakra by concentrating on poses that work the core. Beyond this, we incorporate twists into our practice. As always, remember the importance of warming up, preparing for poses, and following them with appropriate counter poses in order to make sure that you do not injure your physical being while strengthening the energetic body. The following will give you an introductory practice that can be done at home.
Start with whatever warm up you prefer; because of the focus on the core, a few rounds of Cat/Cow is nice. Follow this by enlarging the vinyasa and moving from Cow to Cat to Child Pose a few times. If Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Down Dog, is in your practice, you can bring it into the vinyasa by alternating it with Child. When you feel ready, come to your feet and stand in Mountain Pose for a few moments.
Take a half Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation. Then move to a full version, whether standard or modified for accessibility. Complete two or three sequences to finish warming up, and then move to the Open Hip poses. Trikonasana, or Triangle, and Uttitha Parsvakonasana, or Extended Side Angle, will open the sides of the rib cage and ready the core for deeper work. Practice these on each side.
When you are ready, move to the floor and come into Navasana, or Boat, preparation, by lifting your legs and holding your thighs with your hands. Beginners can practice lifting one leg at a time. When you are ready, straighten your arms and bring your body to a vee shape, breathing in and out while you hold the pose. Follow this up with Plank and Vasisthasana, or Side Plank, modifying as necessary. Then counter the pose by bringing your feet together and coming into Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle.
Now you are ready to twist. Lie on your back, positioning your feet at the edges. Windshield wiper your knees from side to side. After a few repetitions, you can hold the twist on each side, making sure that you keep your arms extended on the floor to give you a stable foundation. Be very careful to not put any weight or pressure on the knee joint to protect this delicate tissue. Then bring your knees to your chest in Apasana, which translates amusingly as Wind Relieving Pose. You might follow this with Happy Baby Pose before stretching your legs out in preparation for Final Resting Pose.
This basic practice should take you between fifteen and twenty minutes, including at least five for Savasana. It can be extended by adding vinyasa sequences between each pose, or by holding the poses themselves for greater amounts of time. It is a good idea to follow this with meditation on Manipura, perhaps visualizing the center and sending it light and love. End your practice intentionally, perhaps by chanting, praying, or sending love out into the world.
You Should Also Read:
Vasisthasana, or Side Plank
Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose
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