The stomach as per the vedic sources is the organ responsible for deriving prana from the food and in this sense, the vedic masters identified three stomachs of a human being – the mouth, the actual stomach and the intestines. All these three stomachs are controlled and governed by the manipoorak chakra in the pranic body of a person.
Maximum imbalances in the body start with congestion in the stomach and a faulty elimination of waste from the body, which ultimately manifests into disease. When you eat food, two things can happen that may lead to disease in future. First is the failure of absorption of nutrients from the intestines due to the development of a chemical coating on the walls due to eating food laced with chemicals and masalas.
Second, the slow/negligible movement of the ingested food in the digestive tract due to lack of pranic energy in the manipoorak, once again resulting from ingestion of chemicals and dangerous masalas. Both these things lead to collection of toxins (ama) and absorption of these toxins into the blood stream, which further destabilize the endocrine system giving rise to serious diseases, mostly auto-immune disorders like thyroid and asthma. So the vedic saying that death begins in the colon is not without logical backing.
The manipoorak chakra and hence the stomach, can be kept in an optimal condition through certain yogic kriyas and mantras detailed in the book ‘Sanatan Kriya the Ageless Dimension’, which direct specific energy towards manipoorak chakra, making for balance in the complete body. Many modern authors out of lack of understanding and experience of the subtler layers of the body conclude the chakras to be a part of the physical body and hence prescribe funny postures and abnormal breathing exercises to stimulate them. Chakras however correspond to the next layer of the body called the pranamaya kosha and need to be accessed through the realm of the ether under the guidance of a Guru.
For a basic experience of the manipoorak chakra, just sit with your eyes closed. Keeping your hands loose and relaxed, bring your palms closer to each other and then apart, in front of navel while maintaining the awareness of the palm centers and the point of the navel. Look out for any sensations in the palms. Write to me about your observations.
Yogi Ashwini is the guiding light of Dhyan Ashram and can be reached at www.dhyanfoundation.com