Shine from the inside out
Updated: May 17, 2018
Spring is in full bloom, and we take this opportunity to raise our energy.
Where is it stored, and how can we support and balance it? The key element is our 3rd chakra (energy point), around the navel point.
Manipura - 3rd chakra
It is from this energy point that we draw all our vitality, passion for life, confidence, digestive fire. The latter is quite important as well, as it is well established that our digestion can take up to 60% of our energy! With a strong inner fire you have more energy for all areas of your life, not just digestion!
Having a strong core is thus much more important than for pure aesthetic reasons.
We indeed want to create power and strength in this area, but we also want to make sure that our belly does not get hard.
The belly is the area where we tend to contract and to get tense in case of fear, doubt, stress etc.
Some people, especially women, might also have taken a bad habit of contracting the belly due to their education (head up and belly in!). This constant contraction is not good. You do not want a slouch belly, but not a rigid one either. It needs to be strong but from within (energy-wise, not physically-wise)
When you are strong (and feeling so) within, it is also much easier to feel confident, as you know that whatever the external circumstances, you can rely on your inner strength and fire.
And of course, having this strong core, will allow you to have plenty of vitality. All this energy previously used for digestion is now reused for other purposes.
Kundalini kriyas (sequences)
In various kundalini kriyas there is a strong focus on the 3rd chakra.
These poses either contract this area of the body (think stretch pose, piston or any other exercise that strengthens the abdominal muscles for instance), or relax it (think soufi grind when we self-massage the belly). All these poses, which have an effect on the 3rd chakra, either by contracting or releasing this area, are important, and we understand why....
Another way to build inner strength, fire and vitality is through the breath.
Breath of Fire
This breath underlies many sequences in kundalini, is this mix of contracting and relaxing the belly, to activate this energy center. It is vitalizing, but not overstimulating, rather balancing.
Beginners may want to take it slowly, to make sure they do not do paradoxical breathing (make sure you contract while you exhale with the nose, and naturally relax the belly when you inhale with the nose) and that they don't strain their breath.
You should build up your breath, with patience, as you do with your muscles, and with any new activity.
You can start series with just 20-30 seconds, and build up to 3 minutes, 9 minutes or even 31 minutes.
Regularity - one step at a time
If you want to add this practice in your routine, do not aim too high, and favor regularity. It is best to do this 3 min every day first thing in the morning (even in your bed!), than 31 minutes once a week.
You will quickly see that your body (and mind) enjoy this practice, as it enlivens you and gives you plenty of good energy for the day.
Give it a try!
NB: If you are pregnant or in the first days of your moon cycle you should abstain from the Breath of Fire. During this time favor long deep breath.
for your body
Of course food, our fuel, has a key role to play.
To support you in your practice and to regain energy, it is important to choose, whenever possible, organic, seasonal, vegan (cruelty-free), homemade, unprocessed food. The way we eat is important as well - take time, be relax, fully present...
for your mind & soul
Think as well carefully how you nourish your mind, your life and your soul: Choose with whom you spend time (avoid "energy vampires"), make room in your calendar to have time by yourself, choose beautiful images, readings, musics, programs, over violent or negative ones. You will notice the difference!
Forrest or Nature Baths
Take advantage of this glorious springtime, full of delicious smells, beautiful colors, to take a walk in the woods, in the countryside, in the mountain, by the lake or the sea... a nice way to get refueled. It doesn't cost a thing and it brings so much!
Yoga classes with a nice group
And if you are tempted, join me during one of the classes that I teach, and I will be happy to welcome you and teach you some of the wonderful tools offered by Kundalini yoga.