Twisting & Mild Back Bending to open the 3rd Chakra

When Hui Yan asked us to think about our “go pose”, I was quite inspired.
There are certain positions I prefer over others, and some that I naturally adopt, with warming up for instance.
I realized that all of them connect to the same chakra – the third one, Manipura, the solar plexus chakra. It is the fire chakra, around the navil, and is related to the digestive organs… Interesting!
Take Bhujangasana, the Cobra for instance. It feels so simple, but it’s actually such a nice pose when done properly. As you lie on your belly, stretch your legs back, bend your arms but keep the elbows against the body and push on the arms to either a baby cobra, a low rise, or straighten the arms to a full cobra, a higher rise. Lift your chest up, firm the shoulder blades against the back, distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine. Don’t harden the buttocks. As you take a fire breath, feel the nice and deep stretch!
The Bow pose, Dhanurasana, is another example. Stay on your belly, you’re your knees,  bring your heels to the buttocks, and reach hands back to hold your ankles. Make sure the knees stay hip-width apart. Try to bring your heels away from the buttocks, and lift the chest, thighs and hips up. It does elongate the spine, and open the shoulders as well as the third chakra!
My last and favorite one is a back twist: Ardha Matsyendrasana. As you sit in a Dandasana position, place the right foot on the floor outside of the left knee. Bend the left leg and lay the left heel beside the right buttock. Both buttocks stay on the floor. The back is up and straight. Now, bring the left arm to the outside of the right knee and grasp the right ankle. Twist the upper body as much as possible to the right, place the right arm across the back and look over the right shoulder. After staying there for five long breathes, switch side. In this pose, the kidneys and pancreas are stimulated.
If you practice these asanas listed above, remember to do some counter-pose, with some forward bend for instance.
Keep practicing these poses… It is very important to balance this third chakra, to help being physically healthy, feel in control and be confident!
Sophie, 200 hours, weekday program

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