Exercises for the Manipūra Chakra
Asanas that Specifically work on the Manipūra Chakra
- Paschimottānāsana (Posterior Stretch)
- Trikonāsana (Triangle)
- Shirāngushthāsana (Sideways Bend towards the Toes)
- Viparītakaranī Mudrā (Renewal of Energy)
- Ardha Matsyendrāsana (Spinal Twist)
- Santulanāsana (Balancing Pose)
- Khatu Pranām
Exercises for Activation of the Prāna Vāyu
- Bhastrikā Prānāyāma (Bellows Breath)
- Nādī Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
- Ujjāyī Prānāyāma
Exercises that Specifically Strengthen and Purify the Apāna Vāyu
- Jala Neti (Cleansing of the Nasal Passages)
- Nauli (Turning of the Abdominal Muscles)
- Agnisāra Kriyā
- Shanka Prakshalana (Cleansing of the Intestines)
- Bhastrika Prānāyāma (Bellows Breath)
- Āshvini Mudrā
- Mūla Bandha
The Best Practice for Activating all Prānas is Kriyā Yoga
Exercises for the Digestion as well as for Activation of the Manipūra Chakra
- Gentle massage of the abdomen in a clockwise direction.
- Vīrāsana (Hero Pose) and Vajrāsana (Sitting on the Heels) have a powerful effect on the digestion through the Vajra Nādīs, two nerve channels that run from the big toe upwards through the front of the body. To promote good digestion it is recommended that you sit in Vajrāsana for five to ten minutes after eating.
- Other very effective practices are: Standing from Squatting, Rowing, Grinding and the Boat, as well as Ashva Sanchalanāsana, Pāda Prasara Paschimottānāsana, Shalabhāsana, Dhanurāsana and Noka Sanchalanāsana.
Agnisāra Kriyā and Nauli Kriyā
Frequently our internal fire is weak and wasted. Our way of life and the food we eat are mostly comparable to inferior quality fuel that primarily produces smoke and is more likely to suffocate the flames rather than nourish them. Agnisāra Kriyā kindles the fire of the Manipūra Chakra and bestows vitality and energy. Agnisāra Kriyā should only ever be practised on an empty stomach, and therefore the best time is before breakfast.
The Performance of Agnisāra Kriyā:
- Stand upright with the feet slightly apart and inhale deeply through the nose into the abdominal area. Then bend the knees slightly and place the hands on the knees; at the same time exhale fully through the mouth.
- Then draw the abdomen in and up as far as possible and, without breathing, rapidly and powerfully move the abdominal wall in and out 10-20 times.
- Inhaling, again come upright and take 2-3 deep, relaxed breaths. Then repeat the exercise again 2 more times.
- In the same way as a fire is kindled by the bellows, the Manipūra Chakra is stimulated by this exercise. With daily practice any superfluous layers of subcutaneous fat around the abdomen disappear, together with circulatory and digestive problems. And with regular practice any associated problems such as headache, tiredness, poor concentration or lack of drive also vanish.
- The Performance of Nauli Kriyā:
After practising Agnisāra Kriyā daily for at least three months you can begin to practice Nauli Kriyā. This practice can only be learnt under the guidance of a Yoga teacher.
- The technique of Nauli consists of drawing in the muscles along the side of the abdomen while at the same time tightening those in the middle, and then putting them into motion in a circling movement. Through this all the intestines and organs in the lower abdomen are thoroughly massaged, and with daily practice numerous diseases can be prevented, or even cured.
Methods for Centring the Pancreas
Lie on your back and relax your abdomen. Now feel for the pulse beat in the region of the navel with your fingers. Normally it is located directly beneath the navel where the connection between mother and embryo existed in the womb . When the pulse is displaced it can be centred again through the following methods:
- This particular exercise is to be carried out by two people. Lie relaxed on your back. If the “navel pulse” has shifted to the left then have your partner give a few short tugs to your right leg. After this the pulse is frequently found to be in the centre of the navel again. If the pulse beat is perceptible to the right of the navel then the left leg should be tugged.
- An alternative practice that you can perform alone if the pulse has shifted to the left is to raise the right leg and firmly kick it in the air a few times. But if the pulse is felt on the right side then perform the same movement with the left leg.
- Sit on the floor with legs straight and hold the toes of the right foot with the left hand when the pulse has shifted to the left, or the left foot with the right hand when the pulse has shifted to the right. Remain in the position for a while with the breath deep and relaxed.
- Stand in front of a wall and, if the pulse has shifted to the left, place the right hand on the wall to support yourself. Raise the right leg, keeping it straight, and hold the toes of the right foot with the left hand for about half a minute. If the pulse is to the right, then support yourself with the left hand, raise the left leg and hold the toes with the right hand.
- Another alternative exercise is “Standing from Squatting”. Go down into a squatting position and place the fingers beneath the soles of the feet from the inside. Then straighten the legs as much as possible.
- Paschimottanāsana (Posterior Stretch) and Vajrāsana (Sitting on the Heels) also have a harmonising influence on the Pancreas.
Exercise to Awaken the Manipūra Chakra
- Lie comfortably on your back and relax the whole body.
- Concentrate on the Manipūra Chakra – feel the energy flowing at the Navel Centre.
- Open yourself to the flow of cosmic energy, absorb it and allow it to flow unhindered.
- Inhale and exhale deeply 10 times – the inhalation lasting for a count of 25, the retention for a count of 5, and the exhalation also for a count of 25. During the exhalation direct the energy to the Heart Centre (Anāhata Chakra).
- After this inhale again slowly and deeply without any breath retention. After practising at this level for a while you can extend the ratio, in line with your own capacity, to 50 (inhalation), 15 (retention), 50 (exhalation).
- Take another 10 breaths in the following manner: With the inhalation count to 5, retain the breath and count to 15, exhaling count to 10, holding the breath count to 25.
- Then breathe normally and concentrate on the Manipūra Chakra.
- Slowly move the fingers, hands and arms; then the toes, the feet, the legs.
- Make 10 bicycling movements forwards with both legs, alternating the legs; and then 10 bicycling movements backwards.
- Turn onto the abdomen and relax for a few minutes.
- Place the palms of the hands beneath the shoulders and raise the upper body as far as the navel (Bhujangāsana – Cobra). Remain in this position for about 10 – 15 breaths.
- Relax for a short while and repeat this exercise.
- Relax the whole body and feel the after-effects of the practice.
Further Exercises for Activation of the Manipūra Chakra
- Singing OM
- Bhastrikā Prānāyāma (Bellows Breath)
- Yoga Mudrā (Forward Bend sitting on the Heels)
- Āshvinī Mudrā
- Uddīyāna Bandha
- Mahā Bandha
Exercise to Boost Self-Confidence
- Relax the whole body and direct your attention to the breath. Observe the movement of the abdomen with the inhalation and exhalation; how the navel moves outwards with the inhalation and inwards again with the exhalation.
- Feel the flow of the breath between the throat and the navel. With the inhalation guide your consciousness from the Vishuddhi Chakra to the Manipūra Chakra, and with the exhalation from the Manipūra Chakra to the Vishuddhi Chakra.
- After concentrating on the breath for a while the stream of consciousness gradually reverses. Now the breath consciousness rises from the abdomen to the throat with the inhalation, just like water rising in a glass as the water is poured in; and with the exhalation it descends from the throat to the navel, just as a water gauge sinks when water is emptied from the glass.
Practise this concentration on the breath for 5-10 minutes daily – the best time is during the relaxation before or after practising Āsanas. Through this the Manipūra Chakra is activated, energy blockages are removed and the flow of energy between the Manipūra, Anāhata and Vishuddhi Chakras (navel, heart and throat centres) is harmonised.