INTRO TO Maṇipūra
BALANCING THE Maṇipūra
- Connect with fire by practicing Trāṭaka – light a candle flame in the dark and observe it for some time.
- Watch things that inspire your spirit.
- Get out in the sunshine.
- Wear the color yellow.
- Organize and structure your day.
- Increase heat in the solar plexus with yoga asana focusing on twists and core.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Drink room temperature water.
- Practice ahimsa – reduce negative self-talk through meditation practices and affirmations.
- Practice tapas – do something that challenges you to learn and grow.
OTHER GUIDELINES AND PRACTICES
FINDING YOUR DOSHA FOR HEALTHY DIGESTION
The three doshas (constitutions)—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—are derived from the five elements, which are connected to the chakras. Also known as mind-body types, the doshas express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment.
Knowing your dosha, or combination of doshas, can help you maintain a vibrant and joyful state of health by identifying your mind-body type and creating a lifestyle and diet that supports you. Because the maṇipūra chakra is so closely linked with the digestive processes, knowing what foods are best for your constitution can help you enhance the functioning and energetic potential of the solar plexus.
Take the Dosha quiz below to identify your unique blend:
|Dosha||Element||Favorable Foods||Foods to Reduce|
|VATA||Air & Space||Vata is a cold and dry dosha; warm, nourishing foods with moderately heavy texture, plus added butter and fat are good for stabilizing Vata. |
Choose salty, sour, and sweet tastes as well as soothing and satisfying foods. Warm milk, cream, butter, warm soups, stews, hot cereals, fresh baked bread, raw nuts, and nut butters are good for Vatas.
Take a hot or herbal tea with snacks in the late afternoon. All sweet fruits (so long as they are extra-ripe) are fine for Vata. Warm drinks or hot water are best for Vatas.
|Cold foods such as salads, iced drinks, raw vegetables and greens are not good for those with Vata imbalance (i.e. where Vata is dominant). |
Avoid drinks with too much caffeine and candies as they disturb Vata. Avoid unripe fruits, as they are too astringent.
|PITTA||Fire & Water||The best foods for Pittas are cool or warm, with moderately heavy textures—i.e., not steaming hot foods. |
Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes are ideal. Take cool, refreshing food in summer or hot weather, like salads, milk, and ice cream. Herbal tea, specifically mint or licorice root tea are pacifying to Pittas.
Vegetarian foods, in general, are the best for Pittas, as consuming red meat tends to heat the body from the fat. They should consume abundant amounts of milk, grains, and vegetables.
|Pittas should use less butter and added fat, and they should avoid pickles, sour cream, and cheese. |
They should also avoid vinegar in salad dressing and use lemon juice instead. Alcoholic and fermented foods should be avoided. Reduce coffee.
Avoid oily, hot, salty, and heavy foods such as anything fried. Pittas should also skip egg yolks, nuts, hot spices, honey, and hot drinks.
|KAPHA||Earth & Water||Warm, light, and dry food is favorable, or cooked light meals. Kaphas do best with lightly cooked foods or raw fruits and vegetables. |
Any food that is spicy is good for Kaphas such as very hot Mexican or Indian food, especially in winter. Dry cooking methods (baking, broiling, grilling, sautéing) are preferable for Kaphas over moist cooking such as steaming, boiling, or poaching.
Foods such as romaine lettuce, endive, or tonic water are good for stimulating the Kapha appetite, while preferred spices are cumin, fenugreek, sesame seed, and turmeric.
|Kaphas need to watch the consumption of too many sweet and fatty foods, and need to watch their salt consumption as well, as it can lead to fluid retention. |
They should avoid deep-fried foods. A typical Kapha tendency is to overeat: The main meal should be at the middle of the day, and only a light, dry meal in the evening.
In general, Kaphas should avoid sugar, fats, and dairy products, skip chilled foods and drinks, and use ghee and oils in small amounts only.