The element for Manipura Chakra is fire. The advent of fire was a spiritual and technological revolution.
It was perhaps the biggest leap we’ve ever made in technology. It paved the way for everything else about modern life – from exquisitely cooked dishes to metals and the petrochemical industry.
It was a spiritual revolution as well. Until then, the only heat and light available came from the sky – which was already revered as in some way special, the home of the Gods. To the people of the time, it would have seemed like a direct connection and blessing from those beings.
People starting cooking, and must have realised that they have some kind of fire inside. The transformation of cooking must be going on in their own bodies. The torso clearly was responsible for maintenance of life in some way, and later was identified with Vishnu as The Preserver and Lakini, Goddess of Prosperity.
The transformation that fire brings was considered very important. The flames themselves burn and can be destructive, but there’s a transformative quality that’s extremely important because all things change. Could the essence of fire – the transformative principle – be isolated and developed? In Yoga we work with the concept of Tejas. It’s true that Manipura Chakra is aligned with Agni, the fire element (and deity). But I believe our work with Manipura is much more subtle really. We’re not just stoking a massive fire, like a boiler in a steam train. We are trying to understand, embrace and embody the transformative essence of fire. Everything in our lives changes – how better to understand and work with these changes, than to BE the changes?