Similar to choosing 1 of the 5 yamas to work on within ourselves + our lives throughout the entirety of Yoga Teacher Training, we were also asked to choose 1 of the 7 chakras.
Though numbers sometimes vary, there are usually 7 chakras along the center of the body. Chakras are vortexes of energy, often symbolized by circles or wheels. A common misconception is that chakras are either “open” or “closed”. In actuality, they vibrate with energy - we either have a deficiency or an excess of energy in a chakra, or they are balanced.
I chose the 3rd chakra: manipura (represented above).
Manipura (translated as “lustrous gem”) is located in the solar plexus + often associated with the color yellow + the transforming energy of fire.
Its purpose is to generate energy + will; personal power; form a clear purpose; self-definition; ability to choose your intentions + cultivate a plan to accomplish them; healthy ego.
We exhibit different characteristics when each chakra has balanced energy, a deficiency, or an excess. For manipura, they are as follows:
Balanced: responsible/reliable; good self-discipline; positive sense of self; confidence; warm, energetic, spontaneous, playful, humorous; able to take risks
Deficient: passivity; lack of energy; poor digestion; tendency toward submission; low self-esteem; weak will; poor self-discipline
Excessive: dominating; controlling; competitive; ambitious; hyperactive; stubborn; compulsively driven; attracted to sedatives
I often find myself fluttering between balanced + deficient (with rare moments of excessive), which is why I chose manipura.
There are numerous ways to adjust the energy flow through a chakra, including specific types of Yoga poses + cultivating the opposite feeling of what you are experiencing (similar to the “fake-it-til-you-make-it” mindset).
For manipura, recommended Yoga asanas are twists (my favorite!), lateral + back bends, and sun salutations. In terms of opposites, a balanced manipura means cultivating self-worth.
Like my chosen yama, I’ll be writing more about my manipura efforts over the next few months of Yoga Teacher Training + beyond.
How can/do YOU cultivate more self-worth?
(Art Source: spiritualhealingportal.com)