Category: Seven Chakras
The solar plexus chakra or manipura is one of the 7 major chakras. Manipura is derived from two Sanskrit words: mani meaning “jewel” and pura meaning "city." Hence, manipura literally means "city of jewels." In the Tibetan Buddhism, this chakra is known as mani padma, which means "jeweled lotus."
Manipura or the solar plexus chakra is the center of vitality, power, will, and success. It is often compared to the radiant heat and power of the sun which supports all life on the planet. In the same way that the sun continually radiates energy to the entire solar system, the solar plexus chakra radiates and distributes pranic energy throughout the entire structure of the body. When the solar plexus chakra is blocked, it is more like a glowing ember rather than an energy center with a luminous flame. In such a state, a person is caught up by poor health, depression, despair, and misery. Therefore, it is important for anyone who wishes to enjoy life more fully to have an awakened and balanced solar plexus chakra.
The Solar Plexus Chakra & Higher Planes of Existence
In Kundalini yoga, it is said that an individual acquires a spiritual perspective when the Kundalini Shakti rises to the solar plexus chakra. In other words, the you will be able to attain visions of the higher planes of existence when the Kundalini energy reaches this center of the body. However, the higher planes cannot be seen if the Kundalini energy only rises from the root chakra (muladhara) up to the sacral chakra (swadhisthana).
In some traditions, it is believed that the root and sacral chakras belong to the higher realms of animal life. It is only in the solar plexus chakra that a person can enter a state of consciousness which is no longer gross and empirical. However, this does not mean that you should neglect the root and sacral chakras. Controlling and balancing these two energy centers is as important as awakening the power of the solar plexus chakra.
Spiritual Powers of the Solar Plexus Chakra
In many systems of yoga, meditating on the different chakras of the body allows the person to attain different kinds of spiritual power or what the Hindus call "siddhis." The following is a list of siddhis associated with the solar plexus chakra:
- The Ability To Make The Body Invisible (Invisibility)
- Clairvoyance: Knowledge of Subtle, Hidden, & Remote Things
- Full Knowledge Of The Systems Of The Body
- Radiating Light Around The Body (The Luminosity of Auras)
- Mastery Of The Elements (Fire)
- Mastery Over The Five Senses Of The Body (Sight)
Practices for The Solar Plexus Chakra
There are many practices for controlling or balancing the energy that goes through the solar plexus chakra. The following practices are used mainly in the tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism.
1. Asanas (yogic postures) - Asana is defined as "posture;" its literal meaning is "seat." Asanas greatly stimulate and influence the functioning of the endocrine system. The following asanas are useful in awakening the solar plexus chakra (manipura): pawanmuktasana, chakrasana, dhanurasana, marjariasana, matsyasana, paschimottanasana, and ushtrasana.
2. Agnisar Kriya - Agni (fire), sar (essence), and kriya (action). Agnisar kriya is one of the shatkarmas (cleansing practices) used to cleanse the intestines. It is a breathing technique that involves emptying the lungs and pumping the stomach to strengthen the diaphragm and lower stomach region. Agnisar kriya must be mastered before you begin with the next exercise.
3. Uddiyana Bandha - Uddiyana bandha (abdominal lock) is the contraction of the abdomen and the control of the muscles of the abdominal wall, as well as control over the adrenal glands, the small and large intestines, and the other digestive and visceral organs. After exhalation all of the air is expelled from the lungs. The lower abdomen and diaphragm are then drawn upwards in a vacum. The muscles from the sacrum to the ribs are contracted. Uddiyana bandha strengthens the digestive fire and tones the body's energetic core.
4. Nauli Kriya - Nauli kriya is a yoga abdominal cleansing technique which involves the control of the rectus abdomini muscles and churning of the whole abdomen. This serves to massage the internal organs of the body. Nauli kriya is intended for regenerating, invigorating and stimulating the abdominal viscera and the gastro-intestinal or alimentary system.
5. Samyama Meditation - Samyama meditation is a combined simultaneous practice of dhāraṇā, dhyāna, and samādhi. These techniques primarily belong to the classical yoga called Raja Yoga or "royal union." According to this system of yoga, meditating on the solar plexus chakra using this technique allows the practitioner to have full control of its power.
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