Awareness and Bhandas:
Learning the bhandas properly from the beginning is also important, i.e., mool bhand (root lock), uddyana bhand (diaphragm lock) and jalandara bhand (neck lock). Bhandas are meant to direct the easy flow of circulating energy during and after the completion of the active portion of a Kundalini Yoga exercise. Eventually an automatic electromagnetic locking effect will be felt, as the energy increases in the body. Practice makes this eventuality come sooner.
Each Kundalini Yoga exercise has a specific effect that can be felt in the radiance generated and longer term deepening of awareness. Kundalini Yoga exercises are usually put together in sets with a specific purpose or more powerful kriyas, which may also be part of a set.
In order to derive the full benefit of sets, kriyas, laya mantras and meditations, it is suggested that a few Kundalini Yoga exercises and pranayamas be practiced in preparation, in order to activate the radiance throughout the body and charge and balance the channels, then the effect of the sets, kriyas and meditations will be immediate and much more powerful.
An example would be to start with the breath Awareness Exercise, lead by the teacher. This might be followed by bringing the palms of the hands together, with thumbs against the sternum to begin the Invocation / Adi Mantra repeated 3 to 5 times, then inhale, hold the breath, pull the root lock and 30 seconds later, relax the breath. When you exhale you may feel a sensation of strong electricity moving through the spine and throughout the body. Just remain entirely passive and relaxed and the energy will flow outward.
- Then sitting, spread the legs wide and bring the arms up to the sides, parallel to the ground pressing the shoulders back.
- In this exercise you slowly begin the lean forwards keeping the spine straight, leading with the heart and not the head, so the head remains slightly up.
- Then slowly start to stretch the arms forward, reaching and stretching the arms as far as possible.
- Feel the flow of radiance as you move.
- Then slowly come into the starting position.
- Be aware of the stretching of the ligaments and muscles in the back and shoulders.
- With each slow forward and back motion, feel the radiance expanding throughout the body. You may notice a certain brightness in the source of the flow of attention between the heart and the brain.
After 9 or 10 such stretches introduce a long deep breath as you come straight, hold a moment, then exhale as you stretch forwards.
Again each slow motion will add pranic radiance.
- Then to increase the power and voltage much further, begin to move through this exercise with greater power in movement and breathing.
- You should begin to feel the radiance becoming electric.
- Then inhale and hold the breath, pull the root lock and let the energy fill the body, expand upwards and all around the body field.
- Exhale and lower the arms squeezing all the breath out until you feel the area below the navel contract upwards.
- Repeat in the same manner as Breath Awareness Exercise, several times, then inhale and hold again.
- Pull the root lock, feel the electricity flow through the legs, torso, back, arms and through the head, then relax for a minute, and come sitting cross-legged.
- The spine and back will be open and the Heart will be open from this exercise, and the whole body will radiate.
The next exercise is similar to the Breath Awareness Exercise in the intent to irradiate the body field. In this case one prepares for the practice of Kundalini Yoga exercises by bringing the arms forward, parallel to the ground, hands clasped in Venus Lock and doing the Breath of Fire.
- You begin lightly, then, as the prana begins to expand in the body, you will notice that the power of the breath, both in terms of volume of air pumped and speed, increases steadily throughout the exercise period.
- As you continue for up to 5 minutes, you will notice that all the muscles of the body are relaxed and that the powerful motion of the diaphragm itself becomes more and more effortless.
- A sense of clarity and electricity will begin to be felt expanding up from the legs and lower part of the body to the upper areas until you feel and expansion of this clarity and light filling the head and flowing out through the entire crown area, radiating around the body.
- Then inhale hold the breath, pull the locks, hold for 30 seconds or longer, then exhale squeezing all the breath out until the area below the navel contracts upwards.
- Keep the breath out in this way, without pulling the root lock, and all the energy will stabilize into this area and polarize.
- Then continue with the Breath Awareness Exercise, holding the breath in, then holding it out for 10 seconds after each inhalation and exhalation, while the cells of the body decontract, absorb the energy and begin to radiate.
Next comes Spinal Flex – camel ride. Again, you begin slowly.
- Sitting with legs crossed, holding the shins with your hands, then pulling the hands inwards, the spine arches straight and the neck comes into alignment stretching upwards in an easy neck lock.
- You will feel a releasing of energy all through the spine and flowing up through the top of the head, a clear, yet blissful sensation.
- After a few moments completely slouch the back, pressing the back arched spine back, stretching the nerves, muscles and ligaments that start to release their energy.
- Slowly come into the straight position, pulling the spine straight, and feel the released energy radiate upwards through the spine.
- Continue this slow motion several more times, then bring in the breath, inhaling to fill the lungs as you come straight, exhaling back, continuing slowly, feeling the radiance increasing even greater.
- At a certain point you will begin to feel the sensation in the spine of a will to vibrate more quickly, which in turn increases the power of the voltage being generated.
- In classes the teacher usually leads the movement until the power and speed is felt, then students continue on their own.
- Then inhale and hold the breath.
- Pull the locks, pressing the shoulders back, chest forward, suspending the breath 30 seconds, or longer.
- Then exhale, again, as previously squeezing all the air out until the area below the navel contracts upwards bringing about a polarization of the flow of prana (radiance) throughout the body field.
- Again continue with the Breath Awareness Exercise, as above, than sit still and relax, and feel the circulation and expansion of the radiance throughout the body, inside and eventually outside.
Pieter Schoonheim Samara
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