Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha.
The word manipura means "city of jewels" (mani - gem, pura - city). This chakra is so called because it is the fire center, the focal point of heat, and is lustrous like a jewel, radiant with vitality and energy.
Manipura chakra is depicted as a bright yellow lotus with ten petals, upon which are written the letters darn, dharn, narn, tarn, tharn, dam, dharn, narn, pam, pharn. Within the lotus is a red triangle containing the bija mantra rarn sitting on a ram, a very aggressive beast and symbol of the fire element.
The presiding deities are Rudra, consumer or destroyer of the universe and the goddess Lakini, controller of the flesh element.
The solar plexus is the center chiefly concerned with the vital processes of digestion and absorption of food.
The function of the gastric glands, such as the pancreas, gall bladder and the different glands in the stomach, is the production and secretion of enzymes, acids and juices which are necessary for digestion of food prior to its distribution to all parts of the body.
Manipura chakra is the subtle center which controls these activities. The adrenal glands located above the kidneys are a gross manifestation of 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. Generally the body is prepared for a more intense level of activity than normal, in what is commonly called the `fight or flight' reaction.
Those people who suffer from laziness, sluggishness and depression or malfunctions of the digestive system, such as diabetes, indigestion, etc., should concentrate on manipura chakra and try to feel an energy radiating from this region.
In some schools, such as Zen Buddhism, manipura chakra is the most important center and is said to be the seat of kundalini. This is true in the sense that the kundalini goes through a transformation by passing through manipura, and is revealed more in its true light. Manipura chakra is the center of vitality in the psychic and physical bodies where the prana (upward-moving vitality) and the apana (downward-moving vitality) meet, generating the heat that is necessary to support life.
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