Last week I spoke of my abs, questioning their connection, never really feeling how exactly they connect to my body, how they fit in. I've been turning over the idea in my head all week, keeping it somewhere at the back of my mind, and had a little moment of clarity in yoga class yesterday.
As a Sagittarian, I've always known that my zodiac is a fire sign, but haven't really felt it until recently. I know that I can have a very fiery personality, intense passion, searing zeal, and sometimes a burning bluntness. Harnessing this fire has been a journey; fires can be violent and aggressive, but they can also be nurturing, warming, welcome. While paradoxical, it is interesting to reframe fire in a positive way. In meditations, I have been naturally finding mandala mudra. (As seen below, put your right open palm on top of your left, and bring the thumbs to touch) It is, apparently, a gesture of wholeness. This position places my inner flame in my abdomen.
I've also dug up my haramaki (from http://www.haramakilove.com/). It is a garment -- I guess you'd call it a belly band -- that is of Japanese origin, actually originally worn by Samurai underneath their armour. In modern incarnation, it has become both a fashion and health accessory (the latter to help stimulate warmth in the belly's organs). It's really helped me become more aware of my belly, my abs, and how it supports my back and really acts as a center-point for my whole body.
I've come to visualize my abdomen as a hearth, a fire that stokes my body. Keeping such a visualization to mind in yoga and life, it can be quite strengthening to get into that central fire.