Monday, February 23, 2009

Manipura Chakra Trance Dance Meditation

The Manipura Chakra is said by some to be located at the navel and by others to be located closer to the sternum. I prefer to think of it nestled somewhere between the two at around the solar plexus. This makes sense to me as it is associated with the color yellow, is called the Solar Plexus Chakra by some teachers, and this just feels right to me. Listen to your own intuition as you do your chakra work to know what feels right for you. I have suggested bellydancing as a way of energizing and working with the muladhara and svadhisthana chakras. When thinking about the Manipura Chakra, I was immediately drawn to a particular trance dance practice I've seen on dvd before. Although I love Shiva Rea’s Yoga Trance Dance dvd I realize that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you can borrow the dvd from your local library (as I have done numerous times), there is a part of the dvd that is ideal for working with the Manipura Chakra. In the dvd, she has the participants stand in place, hands raised in an open praise position, elbows slightly bent. Twisting at the waist slowly to the right and then to the left, back and forth, establish a slow but steady rhythm. The hips, legs, feet are deeply rooted, staying grounded, motionless. The movement is from the waist up. As you allow yourself to twist more quickly, raise your arms above the head, drawing the palms together, your shoulders always remaining down as your hands come together above the head. This should be done slowly, without haste, the twisting picking up a gradual pace as your arms oh-so-slowly rise and come together. Your twisting should be at its fastest when the palms touch, twisting back and forth in small controlled movements. Think of yourself, your entire body, as a flame. Your feet and legs are the wick from which flares the energy at the center of your being, dancing upward through your body and to your fingertips. When you feel ready to slow down again, move your palms away from one another and bring the arms down into the open praise position, gradually reducing the speed with which you twist until you have centered yourself. Inhale deeply. On your exhale, lower the arms and bring your palms together in prayer position, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Remember, your focus should be on your abdominals as you do this, the energy should come from this central part of your being, drawing energy from the roots of your feet up through your core. Do not move more quickly than you feel comfortable doing. It would be better to move more slowly than to move too quickly and throughout you should move with complete mindfulness and focus on this moment, this feeling of warmth. At about 25 to 27 seconds of this too short video you can see a very brief moment of the beginning of this twisting standing meditation practice. I wish I could offer a better clip but I was unable to find anything other than this. If you can get a copy of the dvd, do so.

You will also find on the dvd an extra of three people, Shiva Rea and two others, doing a fire dance. You might also consider sitting in meditation and watching this portion of the dvd with a soft focus. The Manipura Chakra is associated with fire so this extra on the dvd is a perfect compliment to working with this chakra.

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