"The Human Body is the instrument of divine experience. It is the highest gift of God." ~Yogi Bhajan
Saturna Island with my daughter - August 2015
Kundalini Yoga was developed to raise Kundalini energy to the upper chakras. Through the Kundalini Kriyas, Pranayamas, and Mantras we can effectively harness and transmute sexual/kundalini energy for healing, rejuvenation, and spiritual development.
A few of the potent benefits of a Kundalini Yoga practice are: 1) A strengthened nervous system which helps us handle increased energy effectively, 2) A balanced thyroid which helps regulate the functioning of the other glands, and regulates our metabolism and our "youth and beauty" hormones, and 3) Increased psychic growth and development through the stimulation of our pituitary and pineal glands.
"For the expression of a transcendent state of Consciousness a highly developed body, a superior nervous system and brain are the prerequisites demanded by nature to effect the transformation." ~Gopi Krishna
This powerful and effective form of Yoga prepares us for higher levels of consciousness, and a healthy and balanced physical, mental, emotional, and sexual life. However, it is the steady and consistant practice of a spiritual discipline (such as Kundalini Yoga) that engenders a healthy awakening. Many of the enhanced states of perception available to us through Kundalini Yoga remain veiled because a balanced lifestyle in other areas is not being cultivated. Basic yogic ethical guidelines for this are encoded in the 5 Yamas (nonviolence, truthfulness, non stealing, right use of sexual energy, and non-grasping) and 5 Niyamas (cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender). Bringing these principles to Life will help align our lifestyle in all areas, including diet, relationships, work, and daily habits.
"The kundalini experience does not mean you have gone into a deep breathless trance and are beyond this world.... It integrates you more fully with reality and gives you a broader vision and sensitivity so that you can act more efficiently." ~Yogi Bhajan
Over and over again Yogi Bhajan emphasized that Kundalini Yoga is a Yoga of Experience - your mind may accept words or it may not, but your consciousness will not accept words alone; therefore, practice practice practice. Eliphas Livi, a 19th century philosopher, cautioned, "Too deep a study of the mysteries of nature may estrange from God the careless investigator, in whom mental fatigue paralyses the ardor of the heart."
Saturna Island, August 2015
The Sacred Path of Kundalini
"By Her radiance it is that the whole of the universe and this Cauldron is illumined" ~ Nirupana
Prana and Apana are two of the most important Vayus (winds) in the body. (Prana, in this case, is not to be confused with the all-pervasive Prana/Life-Force that is all around us). Techniques in Kundalini Yoga generate Prana Vayu to mix with Apana Vayu to create heat at the Pranic center - at the 8th vertebra - in order to put a charge on the Kundalini Energy coiled at Muladhara Chakra. The flow of Prana Vayu is inward and upward, and the flow of Apana Vayu is downward. When these two forces are joined, the heat created stimulates Kundalini Energy to rise up the Sushumana channel. Engaging Mulabandh helps mix the Prana and Apana Vayus at the navel centre (4th vertebra). This is why heat is often felt in Kundalini Awakening, "That heat is the filament of the Sushumana being lit by the joining of Prana and Apana (Gopi Krishna)."
If enough pressure is generated in the navel point, it will loop back down to the rectum, and then pierce the chakras one by one on the way up. Mulabandh brings the Apana Vayu up to the Navel Chakra, Uddiyana Bhandh brings it up to the Throat Chakra, and Jalandhara Bhandh brings it up to the Third Eye and Crown Chakras. Gopi Krishna reminds us, "Once you have raised it (Kundalini), the hardest job is to keep it up and keep the channels clean and clear." Hence, the practice - Sadhana - one's chosen spiritual discipline.
Dragonfly at Florence Lake, July 2015
Pranayama for Control of Metabolism
Sometimes our instinctual urges go haywire and start to control us. Our instincts and our senses (as our mind) are meant to serve us, not to control us. One powerful pranayama technique that I've been trying out over the past month (which is used for haywire eating urges) is left nostril breathing:
Sit in easy pose with your left hand in Gyan Mudra resting on your knee.
With your right hand, close off your right nostril with your thumb, and leave the fingers together and pointing straight up.
Breath long and deep through your left nostril.
Have your eyes closed and focused at Ajna Chakra
Start with 3 minutes, and over time slowly work your way up to 31 minutes.
To deepen your experience of the effects of this pranayama, practice daily for at least a full moon cycle.
"People who cannot control their eating have no control over their metabolism. It is a problem in the Eastern Hemisphere of the brain, which results in lack of endurance, effectiveness, and self-respect. To correct the problem, breathe long and deep through the left nostril for 31 minutes a day for 90 days." ~Yogi Bhajan