Meaning and Symbolism
Manipura means "city of sparkling jewels". Its yantra includes a 10 petalled yellow-orange lotus with a red downward pointing triangle and the sun at its centre, all representing the tattwa of fire (agni) and the solar power (or prana shakti) associated with this region.
Its physical position is located in the spinal column, at the area of the lumbar plexus at the junction of L-1 and T-12 vertebras. This is directly in line with the navel centre, its frontal trigger point.
Controlled by Manipura are all the organs of the middle digestive system (stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small intestine); the sympa-thetic and parasympathetic nervous systems; the sense of sight and the eyes; the adrenal glands; the solar plexus and the diaphragm; abdominal and lumbar areas. Manipura governs the triple heater, a mechanism which regulates heat in the body. The functions of the feet are also connected to this chakra.
The attributes of energy and consciousness as represented by Manipura are basically personal power and ego. Attributes such as good physical strength; strong willpower; healthy digestion and assimilation; good self confidence; are all associated with a well functioning Manipura chakra. Martial artists consider this chakra the seat of their abilities and call it the hara. Imbalances of an over-active type can manifest as ruthless ambition; desire for control; excessive egotism; bullying; charismatic manipulation; constant extroversion; a hunger for power; addiction to adrenal excitement like thrill seeking; or body worship like gym and fitness obsessions. Weaknesses in this area include digestive ailments (including anorexia and bulimia); tense abdomen;
shaky nerves; cold extremities; fear of challenge; lack of resolve or willpower; the inability to exercise self discipline upon oneself or impose it upon others; poor stamina; fear of taking responsibility; emotional over-sensitivity; low self confidence; weak eyesight; lack of dynamism; becoming somebody's door mat or slave; being locked into a victim mentality and the inability to understand and handle 2 year olds!
Manipura is above the lower two tamasic or "lazy" chakras. Here the nature of rajas or "dynamism" is predominant. A well developed Manipura leads to an understanding of the way the human body works; being able to "read" other people's bodies; and to understanding the importance of good food for good health. Often, soon after they decide "to get fit", many people discover yoga, and this then leads them on towards better health. It has been said that only those who have evolved beyond Mooladhara and Swadhisthana are ready for yoga and spiritual life. In fact the Buddhist system states that true human kundalini evolution only begins from Manipura upwards when willpower drives the seeker to improve their lot in life. This cannot happen without rajas initiating a move upwards from out of the tamasic realms.
Many of the imbalances commonly observed at Manipura (and the lower chakras) are what holds women back from enjoying a natural birthing experience. Lack of personal power or stamina causing fatigue during pregnancy and labour frequently leads to having your baby "delivered for you" - often out of the navel centre! Equally as effective in blocking natural birth, is an obsessive need for control over nature's processes which, in its severest form, leads to the detestable practice of asymptomatic elective caesarean surgery - also resulting in birth through a false orifice at Manipura, rather than the usual one at Mooladhara.