yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins

The Third Chakra is called the “Manipura Chakra” in Sanskrit. This chakra is associated with the color yellow and governs metabolism and digestion. It is located in the navel or solar plexus area. The emotional emphasis of this chakra focuses on issues of strength, self-esteem and empowerment. If our Third Chakra is healthy and balanced, we are able to assert our will in the world, take risks and act in an empowered way to create the life of our dreams.

A Yogi or Yogini who is suffering from digestive disorders, low self-esteem or a sense of powerlessness is experiencing an unbalanced or stagnant Third Chakra. If you are one of these Yoga practitioners, you may end up feeling lethargic, drained and unable to bring your dreams to fruition. The Manipura Chakra may also be overstimulated. An overstimulated Third Chakra may be evidenced by an excessive emphasis on power and perfectionism. This high degree of expectation can lead a person to be filled with anger and hatred when he or she is disappointed.

Yoga poses that help to balance and energize the Manipura Chakra include vigorous Sun Salutations, Warrior poses, core abdominal work, twists and energizing pranayama exercises. On the other hand, supported backbends will help to cool an overactive Third Chakra. Restorative poses are also a soothing way to cool the fire of anger, hatred and perfectionism often found in an individual with an overly-stimulated Manipura Chakra.

Warrior II Pose

This Warrior Pose will help you feel connected to the earth, focused on your goals and will strengthen your quadriceps, upper back and arm muscles. To practice Warrior Pose II, first warm up your body with several Sun Salutations. After you are warmed up, jump or step your feet three and a half to four feet apart depending on the length of your legs. Raise your arms to shoulder height with your palms facing the Yoga mat. Turn your right foot towards the front of your mat and parallel to the sides of your mat. Turn your back foot in 45 degrees.

As you inhale, feel the strength of your stance on your Yoga mat. As you exhale, slowly bend your right knee to a 90 degree angle directly over your ankle. Do not overextend your knee beyond the line of your ankle. Hold for three to five complete Yogic breaths while you maintain a steady drishti or gaze over the middle finger of your right hand. With your next inhale, come up slowly and come to the top of your mat in Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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