Two excellent methods of locating the manipura chakra trigger point and the manipura kshetram are called uddiyana bandha and manipura shuddhi. These are practised as follows.
Stage 1: Uddiyana Bandha
Those who have been practising the pranayama lessons regularly according to the instructions that we have given will be fully familiar with this bandha. For the purposes of locating the manipura chakra and kshetram the technique is as follows:
Sit in a comfortable position, preferably one of the traditional meditative asanas, with the knees flat on the ground.
Perform uddiyana bandha.
Be aware of the navel.
Practise a number of rounds for about 5 minutes.
Then stop uddiyana bandha.
Fix your attention on the blood pulse at the navel.
You should distinctly feel it.
After a few minutes, transfer your attention to the manipura chakra trigger point in the spine; if necessary you can physically locate this region with your finger as described under the previous heading ‘Location’.
Try to feel the blood pulse at this point.
Continue in this manner for a few minutes.
Then if you have time, again do a few more rounds of uddiyana bandha.
Then again be attentive to the blood pulse at the manipura kshetram and chakra for a few minutes each.
Repeat the entire process again if you have time.
Then proceed to stage 2.
Stage 2: Manipura Shuddhi
The Sanskrit word shuddhi means ‘purification’. Therefore, this technique can be called the ‘manipura purification’ in English. The method is as follows:
Take a comfortable sitting position.
Hold the back straight.
Keep the eyes closed.
Breathe slowly and deeply.
Feel the contraction and expansion of the navel as you breathe in and out.
Feel as though you are breathing in and out at the navel (manipura kshetram).
Fix your whole attention at the navel.
Feel that the breath is being drawn from the manipura chakra trigger point in the spine through the navel and outwards as the abdomen expands during inhalation.
Feel that the breath is being pushed inwards through the navel to the manipura chakra in the spine as the abdomen contracts with exhalation.
Be attentive to this rhythmical process.
Continue in this manner for at least 10 minutes.
Then combine the mantra Aum with the inhalation and exhalation of breath.
You should still continue to feel the movement of breath inwards and outwards, but it must be now synchronized with Aum.
Feel the breath and mantra piercing the navel (manipura kshetram) and the manipura chakra in the spine.
Continue in this manner for as long as you have time available.
Try to practise the two techniques that we have described every day until fully mastered, and before proceeding to the next stage. If you don’t have sufficient time available try to do at least one of them every day.
In this lesson we have described ajapa stage 2. Try to integrate this practice with the location of the manipura kshetram. That is, at the end of exhalation feel the manipura kshetram being pierced, and feel the breath being pulled upwards from the manipura kshetram during inhalation.