Nicholas Bell, a Tennessee fine art photographer, sets his scenes near water or woodlands...
Five months ago, I wrote about the chakra I chose to focus on during Yoga Teacher Training (check out follow-Up #1 + #2 + #3 + #4). For a refresher, here is what manipura (the chakra I chose) is all about:
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.
How has my manipura been this past month?
Pretty good - not great, but good. It has been another busy, all-over-the-place kind of month (like last month). I’m still getting used to consistently having a hefty to-do list, though most of what I have to do is Yoga-related, which is awesome :)
Some of the most notable things from the past month include my 1st class series: Yoga on the Beach (the last class is tomorrow … already?!), contacting more studios + gyms about teaching Yoga with them, my husband got promoted, + his battalion had their Annual Family Day at the beach.
This month has been another behind-the-scenes kind of month, putting in the time + work to (hopefully) have the joy of teaching more Yoga in the near future :)
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
Just like my last follow-up, I’ve been gliding between balanced + deficient the past month … especially deficient over the past 2 weeks.
My Yoga practice has been wonderful (though I feel I should be taking more classes to compliment my home practice) - I think my deficiency is being highly influenced by my diet.
Long story short, my Mum got me one of those fancy stand mixers for my birthday + I’ve been baking (+ eating!) too many cookies. Lately, I’ve been craving smoothies + salads, so my body is definitely trying to “right” itself!
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.
Twists + lateral bends continue to be a feature in my regular practice, along with inversions (especially Niralamba Sarvangasana). I’d love to take a workshop on how to increase strength to do arm balances + my practice could use more back bends.
I’ll be writing even more about my manipura efforts as I develop my new career as a Yoga Teacher - stay tuned!
How can/do YOU cultivate more self-worth?
(Art Source: spiritualhealingportal.com)