Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Manipura: the navel center chakra

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 Dr Pradeep Ullal, life coach,   in his website Vivid Reality, writes, "When the prana is concentrated in the manipura chakra, where the luminous or fire element resides, two expressions of purifying change are possible. One of these is calledbaivarna - the skin can radically change from one color to another, and the devotee may feel quite tired. The other is sveda, or sweat. Great heat can be created in the body, causing copious, spontaneous sweating, `as if,' in the words of Swami Rama, `the person has just stepped out of the water.'"
(The image is from the Sanatan Soceity site. This hosts material by the chakra master Harish Johari. I believe he is the best on this topic and if you are crazy about yoga his continuing best seller on the subject is a must-have)

Here comes the riveting mind-body connection leading to the metaphysical extravaganza with which this center is celebrated.   Several writers have drawn a compelling connection between the biological and metabolic acts of catabolism and anabolism( the destructive and creative part of tissue breakdown and tissue repair in our body respectively) to the fire generated at this center. In yoga, there are five types of prana or life-forces, at different locations and with different functions. Of these, samana finds itself at the center, activating the solar plexus. Here,  the upward-flying life-force (called prana and located at the chest) and the downward-flowing life-force (called apana) are said to meet, combusting into samana which is the life-force that generates  heat/fire or tejas needed for the individual's mental and emotional balance.  This three-way harmony helps marry the animal, human centers in us to birth the right divine element. Physically this samana ensures that the body is happily poised between anabolism and catabolism, so that as soon the tissues break down for energy release their repair and rejuvenation is simultaneously activated.
The ancient yogic treatise Hatha Yoga Pradipika (By Swami Swatmarama) records: "Apana moves up into the region of the fire (manipura), then the flames of the fire grow, being fanned by apana vayu. Then, when the apana and the fire meet with prana, which is itself hot, the heat in the body is intensified."

(The above is a from an article I wrote for a foreign web site a few years ago:) 

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