Situated in the spine behind the navel is manipura chakra. The word mani means ‘gem’ and pura means ‘city’. Therefore, manipura means ‘thecity of jewels’. It is so called because, being the fire centre, it is lustrous like a jewel and radiant with vitality and energy. This chakra is depicted as a bright yellow lotus with ten petals. Within the lotus is a fiery red triangle, the yantra of agni tattva, the fire element, and the bija mantra ram. The animal which serves as the vehicle for manipura is the ram, the symbol of assertiveness and energy.
Manipura is the centre of self-assertion, dynamism and dominance. It is associated with vision and the feet, with ambition and the will and ability to rule. On the negative side, this may be expressed in despotism and in seeing things and people merely as a means to gain personal power or to satisfy personal needs.
The solar plexus is the centre chiefly concerned with the vital process of digestion and food metabolism. It governs the functioning of the gastric glands, the pancreas, gall bladder and so son, which produce and secrete enzymes, acids and juices necessary for the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Manipura chakra is the psychic centre which controls these activities and the instinctive drive to find food and nurture oneself.
The adrenal glands located above the kidneys are also related with manipura. They secrete adrenaline into the blood during an emergency situation. This has the effect of speeding up all the physiological processes, making the mind sharp and alert, the heart beat faster, the respiration rate more rapid and so on. The body is then prepared for a more intense level of activity than normal in what is commonly called ‘fight or flight’ reaction. Those people who sufer from sluggishness and depression or malfunctions of the digestive system, such as diabetes and indigestion, should concentrate on manipura chakra and try to feel energy radiating from this region.
For concentration on this centre, visualize the blazing sun or a ball of fire. Experience energy in the form of light radiating from this region and permeating the whole body.
• Information Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.