Practice Manipura Chakra: A Fire Meditation Manipura is action, doing, going through the eye of the needle, breaking inertia. By Andrea Manitsas Photo by Ali Kaukas Welcome to your chakras, illuminating discs of swirling energy in your subtle body. In this series, the chakras become symbols, gateways to a deeper understanding of the self. Let their archetypes speak to you, teach you, whisper their secrets into you so that you may discover more ease, healing and insight on this path. Today, we step into the fire. We began with the stability of earth (Muladhara Chakra) and moved into the emotional ebbs and flows of water (Svadhisthana Chakra). Now, we arrive at your solar plexus, the Manipura Chakra, the seat of your power and transformation. In the same way that fire turns matter into heat and light, this is where you take what you’ve been given and make the best of it. And then some. Without a strong third chakra, we remain stuck in the sameness and drudgery of a passive life. Manipura is action, doing, going through the eye of the needle, breaking inertia. FIRE MEDITATION Note: Light a candle, or better yet, complete this meditation in the middle of a circle of lighted candles. Sit on the edge of a cushion, pillow or blanket. Cup your left hand and make a fist with your right hand, extending your right thumb up. Place your right fist in your left open palm, and draw your hands in front of your solar plexus (located just below the sternum and above the navel). Close your eyes. Connect to the rise and fall of your breathe. Imagine that your right thumb is a flame, flickering at the center of your being. With each inhale that you take, watch the yellow flame grow just a little bit brighter. Imagine a warmth spreading from this area of your body and filling you from the inside out… Now, imagine that you have gathered a little stack of sticks. On each stick, write a word or phrase representing something in your life that is no longer serving you, something that you are in the process of letting go of, or need to be. Remember that some things must be let go of hundreds of times before we are free from them, maybe thousands. Forgive yourself this process, for letting go is one of the hardest things to engage with… Now, place each stick into your flame. Watch it catch fire. And burn. And as each stick is completely burned, imagine that a gust of wind travels into your hands and carries the ash away from you, far far away. Ask yourself: Do you have the energy to do the things you want to do? Do you have the confidence to do the things you want to do? What gets in the way? Oftentimes our energy is drained in one area of our life, and we are left lifeless before the mountain of wonderful, enriching experience that could be… Stand up, with your feet a little wider than hips distance. Reach your arms overhead, weave your fingers together, and extend your pointer fingers. As you inhale reach up high, and with your exhale sweep your arms through your legs while shouting, “HA!” Inhale your arms back into the sky, exhale shoot your arms through your legs, “HA!” Do this ten times, and then pause, hands in prayer at your heart. Feel what has been stirred… Boil sliced ginger for a tea, build a campfire, eat a spicy curry, take a heated yoga class, go for a run, massage some sandalwood into your sternum, make a plan, and execute. Fire teaches us that power results from combining and integrating, rather than fighting and dominating. Remember, there is ease and grace in true power. And you are powerful beyond measure. You can change. — Andrea – affectionately called “Anj” – is a Yoga Teacher based in San Francisco and Berkeley, where her Oms resonate down the block and around the corner. She is known for a bhakti-filled class with a whole lotta soul and a fierce flow. Andrea also writes, and edits. And travels, a lot. She takes her teaching on the road with yoga retreats around the warm world.