I love nothing more than feeling the sunlight on my face. It's one of the reasons I named my business "Clear Skies Yoga". If I could spend the rest of my life on the beach, soaking up the Vitamin D, I would.
The sun features heavily in our modern yoga practice, most notably with the practice of Surya Namaskar, Sun Salutations. When you Salute the Sun you are honouring all of the blessings of being alive. Through your practice you can cultivate gratitude for receiving warmth, light, vitality & nourishment from the sun's light.
In the chakra system, Manipura is located at the Solar Plexus. At it's most basic, the Solar Plexus is named for the radiating nerve fibres found in the centre of the torso. Within yoga philosophy, we understand that this is the home of our inner fire, which governs our sense of individuality and courage to express it. It is here that you find your inner light, your own personal source of radiance. In her workshop "Radiance", Elena Brower suggests that being radiant is the capacity to allow your energy to move in many different directions, and to welcome its reflection.
As Brisbane yoga teacher Tanya Zappala explains, the fire element governs our solar plexus, which is the home of personal power. Our ego, sense of self, inner and physical strength, determination and dedication are all related to this energy centre. How do we show up in the world, who do we relate to, what inspires us and why?
You are invited to wonder, where do you find the wisdom to navigate your own uniqueness? What are the best sources of wisdom for you? Do you shy away from a challenge or do your over commit and find yourself left feeling burnt out? Understanding where your journey begins is essential.
As we turn up the heat - our burning desire to serve others; to make an impactful difference; to act in defiance of human, animal and environmental exploitation; to take a stand against injustice - pierces through our concerns for our small self. It is an effortful act of surrender towards a higher purpose. There are times when we feel spiritually sluggish and disconnected, this is equally a legitimate and potent opportunity to uplift and reinvigorate your yoga practice. It is principally the sentiment and intention behind the action that infuses the practice with auspiciousness. Transforming the mundane to the extra-ordinary.
Manipura lights the fire in your belly, burning up any doubts and fears. When your Solar Plexus chakra is in balance you feel confident, bright, energised & resilient. Out of balance you're second guessing yourself, low on energy and hyper-sensitive. Try these practices to help reconnect with your radiant power:
- Practice Sun Salutations. Obvious, but building strength and warmth in your body builds strength and warmth in your soul.
- Get some sunshine. Head outside and let the sun shine on your skin. Don't forget your SPF30+!
- Chant the Surya Mantras. Chanting is a powerful practice that unites body, mind and heart. Chant these mantras in reverence of the Sun's blessings.
- Practice affirmations. Remind yourself each day with I AM statements. Start with I AM STRONG, I AM UNIQUE, I AM VALUABLE, then start to create your own positive statements.
Learning to work with your energy body empowers you to step into life fully in touch with all of the parts of yourself. The chakra system gives a framework to understand the many facets of yourself and to embrace and nurture each part to welcome it into the whole. If you'd like to explore the chakras more in depth, check out the program "Ground2Grow" I teach alongside Tanya Zappala on Brisbane's northside.