“The Manipura chakra is like the morning sun; meditating on it with the gaze fixed on the tip of the nose one can stir up the world.”
–Gorakshashatakam (tenth century)
This July, we turn up the heat by building tapas, the fire of transformation. Into this fire, we place our will and temper our passions. “A moving object, when it interacts with other objects, creates heat. Heat, in turn, stimulates movement, which allows new combinations to occur.” [Anodea Judith] Fire influences change, destroying form and releasing energy. With this energy, we tap into our innate potential for growth and expansion.
We return again and again to the question, “Are you expanding or contracting?” (Hint: Expansion is ideal.) Are you resisting, turning away? Or, are you facing forward, standing in your power, seeing what is, and then growing larger because of it?
To help us stoke the fire of transformation, we will be practicing Kapalabhati (breath of fire) pranayam. To do Kapalabhati:
- Sit comfortably in an upright posture and rest your hands on your lower belly. If you’re sitting in a chair, make sure to place both feet on the ground.
- Take a deep, cleansing breath before you begin, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your belly with air about ¾ way full.
- In a quick motion, exhale through your nose, forcefully expelling all the air from your lungs by drawing your navel in toward your spine.
- Allow your lungs to fill up naturally, with no effort as your belly expands.
- Perform this cycle 10 times, then allow your breathing to return to normal and observe the sensations in your body.
- Repeat these cycles of 10 movements, 3 to 4 times.
For a video demonstration, see below: