Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why the stomach: the yoga of the gut

On why yoga places a lot of importance on a toned stomach (not that I can boast of one, but, hey, I've delivered a baby:) and its connection to your mind. Some factoids ont the gut to make you understand why the navel center /solar plexus chakra is referred to as the chakra of the crown jewel.. Manipura chakra... and that it is the center of the sense of I, ego, and self-power... and that when it overruns, it can become a manic thing that believes it is supreme and that it will trample over others... The deity here is the Rudra Shiva, an ancient, grey haired manifestation of Shiva (each chakra has a different representation of Lord Shiva, to convey a very difficult idea of spiritual progress and the sense of I...)

These factoids are from the book The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, by Michael A Jawer with Marc S. Micozzi (a fascinating book, one that after a long time is gripping me and to which I return with enthusiasm as I used to, before) :
  •  The stomach can act on its one, without input from the brain.
  • Has over 100 million nerve cells in the small intestine alone.
  • Bowel contains more nerve cells than the spine itself.
  • It is a factory manufacturing the neurotransmitters (that affect our moods).
  • 95  per cent of serotonin (feel good neurochemical) is made in the bowel,before moving up to the brain.
  • 95 per cent of the nerve fibers of the large wandering vagus nerve runs from the bowel upwards,
  • Both gut and the brain orignated from the same clump of cells while we were mere foetus.

A representation of the manipura chakra, from this site.
It is a fascinating thing, this gut thing.
When your stomach (gut) chakra is messed up, you choose bad company, trample over others, let ego subsume everything. Wish to dominate.

When the chakra is harmonised, it makes you do charitable work, acquire power that is non-dominating.

Affects: Digestion -- when stuck or bad, you suffer insufficient nutrient absorption, constipation. When good, longevity.

(Details on the chakra from the book  Chakras, by Harish Johari)

Poses that work the manipura chakra:
All poses that invite your attention to the stomach or abdomen -- Seated forward bend, Inverted V etc...

Read this article(click here for link) to understand why what you feel is what your stomach feels... or vice versa... and your stomach (and not your brain as you fondly wish) could well be who you are:)

1 comment:

pv said...

oh hi. i read posts after long. i know very well and have felt these stomach manifestations. yoga used to help me control. the stomach controls the brain.. would love miracle cures here lol