This week’s class focusses on the solar plexus chakra (Manipura). This is known as the city of gems.
We begin with a reading from the mindfulness book. After the short relaxation, the stretches and warm-ups, we will work with a pranayama technique known as Kapalabhati. This involves exaggerating the exhalation. The emphasis is on the pulling in of the abdomen, sharply, in order to exhale briskly. Kapalabhati is great for toning the abdomen, clearing away stale air from the lower part of the lungs, and cleansing the mind, brain and head. It literally means ‘skull cleansing.’.
We will follow this with three salutations to the sun (Surya Namaskar). Then move on to some work with the second of the main locks, Uddiyana Bandha. We met the root lock two weeks ago, now this is the abdominal lock. We’ll practise Agni Sara, which stimulates the digestive system making it faster and more thorough.
Warrior two follows, standing firm on the ground and feeling our power, we stretch our arms to the side. On an out-breath, we bend the right knee until we can no longer see the foot. Then we gaze back at the left hand, stretching beautifully through the shoulders. On an out-breath, we place the right hand at the top of the right thigh and take the left arm over until it touches the right ear – a diagonal slash. On an in-breath, we straighten the right knee, take the back of the right hand to the inside on the right leg and the left hand straight up to the sky. On each out-breath, we slide the right hand down the right leg, coming into triangle, Trikonasana.
We’ll introduce a standing twist next, followed by the Mountain Sequence (Tadasana) and the tree balance (Vrksasana). Then using the squat, Utkatasana, for sitting, we’ll work with butterfly knees, also known as cobbler’s pose, (Baddha Konasana) and go into our challenge posture of this half-term, half-lotus (Ardha-Padmasana.)
Meditation will either be the Gayatri Mantra or ‘Sun-blessed’, a visualisation, depending on the group.
During the relaxation, we’ll look at the traditional colours of the chakras, which differ from the New Age version of rainbow colours. The solar plexus is in modern terms yellow, traditionally it was blue.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti