Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan
Sat Nam. Sat Kriya is an essential key to the processes of Kundalini Yoga. It is one of the few exercises that is a complete action in and of itself. The connotation of the word “kriya” is an action or series of actions that completes a process and has a predictable outcome. Most kriyas consist of a series of exercises that synergize. Sat Kriya however, stands alone like a precious gem. The main effect is a control and balance of the lower three chakras or energy distribution centers in the body. It does this by mixing the prana and apana at the navel center. This generates a heat in the system and opens the inner channels to the upward flow and rotation of energy. Sat Kriya also rejuvenates the sexual system and helps the brain and body to recover from toxicity and memory loss due to drug abuse. It is good for removing energy imbalances in the lower three chakras and, as a result, is good for problems in the lower back and alleviating mild depression.
"It takes 40 days to break a habit; 90 days to gain the new habit;
Strengthens the pelvic floor and the entire sexual system
IMPORTANT: Kundalini Yoga class participants begin each session by 'Tuning In'. 1) Rapidly rubbing the palms of each hand together for 5-10 seconds in order to stimulate the nervous system, and 2) Chanting the Adi Mantra, ONNNNG ... NAMO ... GURU ... DEV ... NAMO, three to five times, with hands in Prayer Pose, thumbs against the sternum.
THE ADI MANTRA
"The side effects of practicing Kundalini Yoga and Meditation
Posture: Sit on the heels in rock pose (Vajrasan asana). The heels are straight up into the buttocks, stimulating two acupuncture pressure points, one in each buttock. The knees can be slightly open. Lock in the chin, i.e., pull the chin back but not down; stretch the arms over the head until the elbows hug the sides of the head. Interlace all fingers except the index fingers which are together and pointed straight up. Cross one thumb over the other. Advanced students should bring the palms together, thumbs crossed, other fingers straight. See below.
Eyes: The eyes are closed and focused at the third-eye point, i.e., above and between the eyes.
1) Due to the 'snap-like' motion of applying Mul Bandh while expressing Sat, it will sound more like the sound, Sutt.
To build Sat Kriya in time and effect, start with rotation cycles: 3 minutes of Sat Kriya with three minutes of relaxation. Repeat this cycle 3 to 5 times. Build gradually. Then switch the cycle to 5 minutes Sat Kriya and 5 minutes rest. You can then add 3 to 5 minutes to the kriya time as you are comfortable until you are able to do an entire 31 minutes. (See More about Sat Kriya.)
A SPECIAL NOTE
KEEP YOUR ARMS UP
One of the most challenging aspects of Kundalini Yoga is keeping your arms in the air during a kriya or meditation without letting them drop for a long period of time.
most of the challenge is mental and requires a determination to
complete the kriya and not identify with the pain, there is a
physical aspect of the challenge as well. People often use their
shoulders too much in arm meditations. One of the most useful
ways of creating an easier time to hold your arms up is creating
leverage within your body. Often a teacher will tell you to "engage
the navel" when your arms are up. How do you do that? How
does one use the stomach to hold up the arms? Leverage.
Keeping up with Kundalini Yoga arm meditations is never easier than when your body is in the right place...it helps your mind get in the right place, too, and things become easier and transcendent. Also see Sat Kriya Video. "Keep up and you will be kept up!" -- Yogi Bhajan
LET'S REVIEW THE PRACTICE
Posture: Sit on the heels and stretch the arms over the head so that the elbows hug the ears. You can also sit in easy position or a chair. Interlock all the fingers except the first ones (index) which point straight up. Cross the thumbs: Females cross left over right and Males cross right over left. NOTE: After 40 days of practice you can hold hands in prayer mudra* as seen below. See also Mudras.
Mantra: Begin to chant Sat Nam emphatically in a constant rhythm about eight times per 10 seconds.
Chant the sound Sat, (Sounds like Sutt) from the navel point and solar plexus, and pull the umbilicus all the way in toward the spine. On Nam relax the belly. Release the lock as you chant Naamm. (Almost like a sigh with the sound Naamm.)
Eyes: Close the eyes and focus at the third-eye point. This puts pressure on the frontal lobe at the pituitary gland and does good things for your brain.
Finish: Continue at least 3 minutes. Inhale and pull-squeeze the muscles tightly from the buttocks all the way up the back, past the shoulders (Mul Bandh). Mentally allow the energy to flow through the top of the skull. Ideally, you should relax for twice the length of time that the kriya was practiced.
Time: You may build the time of the kriya from 31 to 62 minutes, and remember to have a long, deep relaxation immediately afterewards. A good way to build up the time is to do the kriya for 3 minutes, then rest 2 minutes. Repeat this cycle until you have completed 15 minutes of Sat Kriya and 10 minutes of rest. Finish the required relaxation by resting an additional 15-20 minutes.
Respect the inherent power of this technique. Deep relaxation after this kriya is a must and nearly as important as the initial effort. The body's systems need time to regenerate and reconstitute themselves.
Sat Kriya is not just an exercise, it is a kriya that works on on all levels of your being -- known and unknown. You might block the more subtle experiences of higher energies by pushing the physical body too much. You may have an experience of higher consciousness, but not be able to integrate the experience into your psyche. So prepare yourself with practice. It is NOT necessary to consciously apply-pull-squeeze Mul Bandh. Mul Bhand will occur automatically when the navel is pulled back toward the spine. Consequently, the hips and lumbar spine do not rotate or flex. The spine remains straight and the only motion the arms make is a slight up-and-down stretch with each 'Sat Nam' as the chest lifts.
NOTE: If you have time for nothing else, make Sat Kriya part of your every day practice, i.e., Sadhana.
MORE KUNDALINI YOGA KRIYAS
A) Come into chair pose (see below): knees bent, back parallel to the ground, hands grasping the heels firmly. Keep the spine straight. The head looks down. As shown in (A) below, turn head to the left shoulder and say WHAHE. Turn head to the right shoulder and say GURU. Alternate at a moderate pace to make a continuous sound current: WHAHE GURU WHAHE GURU WHAHE GURU. Continue for 3 minutes.
B) Stand up straight. Put hands on the hips and lean backwards. Keep the legs straight. Let the head fall back. (B) Turn head to the left and say WHAHE. Turn head to the right and say GURU. Continue for 3 minutes.
C) Stand straight. Bend a little so the hands rest on the knees. Spine is straight but bend the head up. (C) Then chant WHAHE while turning the head to the left. Chant GURU while turning head to the right. Continue for 3 minutes.
D) Stand up. Stretch arms overhead trying to touch the sky. (D) On WHAHE, the feet are flat on the ground. With GURU, rise up on the toes. Vibrate up and down for 3 minutes.
E) Sit on the heels. Place the palms flat on the floor just in front of the knees. Spine and arms are straight looking like a sphinx. (El) Bend forward, touching the forehead to the ground and chant GURU. (E2) Rise up and chant WHAHE. Continue 3 minutes.
F) Sit in easy pose. (F) Begin to whisper the panj shabad: After 2 minutes, chant loudly for 2 minutes.
G) Immediately come onto the heels with palms on thighs. Begin flexing the spine and with a powerful whisper chant SA--forward, TA--back, NA--forward, MA--back. Continue for 3 minutes, then meditate. See Video on Primal Sounds.
More Kundalini Yoga Kriyas as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
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*Consultation with a health care professional should occur before applying any adjustments or treatments to the body, consuming medications or nutritional supplements, and before dieting, fasting or exercising. None of these activities are herein presented as substitutes for competent medical treatment. See Disclaimer.