Leadership and Manipura Chakra

In the lead up to Ed’s Manipura Chakra workshop, Ed discusses the energetic centre.


Evolution began with independent organisms – creatures that saw to their own needs, often reproducing asexually. And life can only go so far like that. Eventually, creatures have to work in groups – then it’s possible to build a better life for all.

Sophisticated social groupings arose with mammals. Humans are particularly good at this – we all belong to lots of groups. All groups (on the surface at least) exist to better the lot of the members. And whether it’s an individual – as in the leader of a pack of dogs, or a corporate hierarchy – or a collective panel, all groups need leadership to achieve their aims.

How did this come about? Nature introduced an imbalance to evolve individuals that care only for themselves into groups that recognise a common good. That imbalance is Manipura chakra. The recognition that someone has to lead, the willingness to accept leadership, and the strength to be the leader – these are all possible because of Manipura chakra.

A representation of a leader and their followers

These qualities are very different from capitulation and submission, or dominance and bullying. Muladhara allows us to recognise the need for and seek security. Svadhisthana enables joy and pleasure in the life we have. Manipura gives us the will and the strength to maintain these good things – for ourselves and (by integrating Anaharta as well) for others also.

Dysfunction at any level invites trouble. Insecure people, feeling threatened, are unable to appreciate their being. Then people might submit to terrible treatment, or lash out trying to control the world around them, as a way to find safety and scope for happiness. It can be as everyday as sticking with the job you don’t really like. It can be as grand as building barriers between nations. We all do it, right?

Your Yoga practice can help. By studying yourself physically, by learning how to improve without judging success or failure in your evolution, you hand yourself the power to be who you are. We often talk about alignment in Yoga classes – the final alignment, the only alignment – is the realisation that I already had the power to be myself: this is when Muladhara, Svadhisthana and Manipura work together. Then the compassionate exploration of what this means, the self-expression it enables, and the unending capability that an integrated person has – all this can present in loving service to the world: the world within, and the world around.

Mural stating that the best gift to the world is you

Here are some lyrics from J Cole’s “Love Yourz”: it’s pretty explicit, so these are a subset, but they bring home the point.

No such thing as a life that’s better than yours

Always gon’ be a whip (car) that’s better than the one you got

Always gon’ be some clothes that’s fresher than the ones you rock

Always gon’ be a girl that’s badder out there on the tours

But you ain’t never gon’ be happy till you love yours

No such thing as a life that’s better than yours

Utter contentment as shown by a cat having their chin stroked

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