Alignment and Flow in Kundalini Yoga

Alignment and Flow in Kundalini Yoga. 

 

A workshop for teachers and those with some experience of Kundalini Yoga

 

As Kundalini yogis it is assumed that we have become conscious that we have resistance to change, otherwise we would not recognize the need for a regular yoga practice! This resistance to change is because when we change our patterns we release the energy that is behind them and has been maintaining them – the fear, the anger, the grief etc. This is more or less uncomfortable. What actually happens is we have an experience in which we discover that we are not who we thought we were. This is something we we have a lot of subconscious resistance to and even more so students who are new to Kundalini Yoga.

Our posture represents the sum total of our beliefs and attitudes crystallized in our physical form and this is what gets broken down as we work through the kriya.

We know that the unique configurations in Kundalini Yoga kriyas are very powerful to affect this change. Why is this?

When we take a dharmic form we change our energy by aligning ourselves with universal form and flow.

As a teacher you are proposing a form and there is a lot of resistance to your proposal because the more fully and accurately your students maintain the posture, ‘the angles and triangles’, the deeper the experience they will have and the greater the meaning they will take from it.

Your platform to excel as a teacher is based on your personal experience of correct alignment of each asana and your overview of the kriya. With this in place you naturally start to use a language that confidently reminds the students mind and body to be in service of their soul.

 

 

In this workshop we will cover basic principles for approaching any asana; (a) alignment (b) graceful entry and exit (c) rhythm (d) the rebound effect – using gravity to gain height and lightness of being (e) maintaining dynamism in the organs and meridians.

 

We will make an in depth study of several key asanas, meditation postures, warm up exercises and at least one kriya. 

 

At the end of the day we will put together a warm up, a kriya and a meditation to demonstrate the connection between posture, organ and meridian in the overall effectiveness of your class or workshop.

 

Enquiries to Amrit; 07961 104 036. info@mewithinme.com

Crossing the Ocean of Life

Crossing the Ocean of Life

“Happiness is your birthright” (Yogi Bhajan)

“It’s natural to maintain uplifted spirits, whatever we are facing. Every moment of life is to be savoured and enjoyed.”

‘Is it an overstatement to say that every moment is to be enjoyed?’

‘No’.

‘Well when will I start to experience the Promised Land!?’

‘That’s as long as the proverbial piece of string as it depends how much karma you need to burn and on not creating anymore.’

‘Is there a way to burn karma? Is there an assured path to tread to take me there?’

‘Yes!’

‘It’s called dharma (dhar; a door beyond the ma; maya/illusion). It’s a ship, a 5 star ocean liner to take you across the choppy, burning seas of life…. Come on jump aboard’

‘That’s a strange name for a boat, I don’t know, is it safe? I can’t see what’s inside’

‘I’ve been inside. It’s very beautiful. They have all sorts of fun activities, it’s very comfortable. They serve great food. You will have to take my word for it though. I can’t show you inside and besides you will have a very different experience once on board’

‘What do you mean a different experience?’

‘You will see and feel things differently’

‘Can I trust you?’

‘Do I look like someone who would trick you?’

‘Well what’s the other option?’

‘The luxury cruise liner apart from being so very beautiful will save you from drowning, or burning, or both. Otherwise I can offer you this little wooden 6ft by 2ft boat. It very flimsy and you have to row all the way. You can see inside but just so that you know you’ve very likely to capsize. You may be swallowed by sharks, or if you boat capsizes near an oil slick, be burnt alive. Or the boat may just be battered to smithereens by the relentless waves crashing against it. If you do make it I can’t vouch for the state you’ll be in when you get there.’

‘Sorry but if it’s alright with you I’m choosing the wooden boat’

‘It’s fine with me. Good Luck’

‘If you change your mind we can always come and pick you up’

‘Thanks I’ll manage’

Keep Up!

 

When we have a regular yoga and meditation practice we remain bright, receptive and self-sufficient, embrace the flow of life and tend to complain less. This implies that there is an inbuilt resistance to change and going with the flow when we don’t keep up with a regular practice.

 

This is true.

 

This is because our resistance to change are patterns of reaction that have solidified within us and continue to maintain unhealthy and unwanted patterns of behaviour. When we face these patterns and move through them we release the energy that is behind them and has been maintaining them – the fear, the anger, the grief etc. This is more or less uncomfortable.

 

What actually happens is we have an experience in which we discover that we are not who we thought we were. This happens because when we adopt a universal or dharmic form as proposed in yoga, and Kundalini yoga in particular, we align ourselves with the natural, unencumbered universal life force.

 

This is something we have a lot of subconscious resistance; our posture represents the sum total of our beliefs and attitudes crystallized in our physical form and this is what gets broken down as we work through the kriya.

 

In fact the more fully and accurately you maintain the posture, ‘the angles and triangles’, the deeper the experience you will have and the greater the meaning you get from your practice. So…

 

Keep Up!

Yogic Process part 2; 3 Levels of Health

3 levels of health

Let us consider the 3 levels of health and how the 3 processes of yoga give us the tools to recapture the deep and lasting health that vitality brings.

  1. Fitness. This is the correct use of the body. Each muscle, organ and thought has its own strength but at this level integration between them is limited. For example you may have good circulation and muscle tone but stress levels remain high and exercise only brings temporary relief, or it is done solely to look good and without much bodily awareness.

(2) Health. Each instrument is synchronized with one another. There is a link between thoughts and emotions, actions and intentions.

(3) Vitality. Something miraculous happens. Mind and soul work together. A strength is drawn on beyond the finite sense of body and mind. We open the circuit to link more consciously to the abundant and universal life force. Synchronicity is recognised as finding ourselves in the right place at the right time successfully engaged in the right activity. This is known as being in the zone in athletics. All the preparation and training pay off in the moment (not ultimately, as is mistakenly assumed, by our own effort alone, but because we are met by grace. We are 40% responsible for the outcome. 60% is grace, sometimes thought of as luck it is actually the mark of the infinite).

The Yogic Process

The Yogic Process

There are 3 processes – Rejuvenate/Harmonise/Eliminate or Gather, Organise and Deliver/Destroy. (Yogi Bhajantakes the fist letters of these words to make G.O.D.)

The gathering in process is the strengthening, the tonification. The harmonisation is also the action of organising or balancing the energies. To eliminate is to cleanse, to let go of something. Our deliverance is the change that comes about through the destruction of something else. Something new can come in. This is also a recycling – turning shit into sugar. Knowing that every cloud has a silver lining.

(1) Rejuvenate/tonify/gather. This is the process of bring new energy in, building up prana, engaging the pingala (right side of the spine) and the raja guna (active). Brought about by Long Deep Breathing (LDB), inhalation and retention of inhale. Also Breathe of Fire (BOF) which is both rejuvenating and cleansing.

  1. Balancing/Harmonising. This is creating a balance between prana; drawing energy from the breath (also from food, sun, water etc) and apana (eliminative power) and includes the practice of suspension at the top of the inhale and holding the breathe out at the bottom of the exhale. When both prana and apana are strong they mix together at the navel to raise Kundalini through the Sushmana, the central channel which engages the sattvic guna (angelic realms). This provides a bridge between our material and spiritual life.

Cleansing/elimination. Yoga helps cleanse body and mind, especially organs that are involved in the breakdown of toxins; the liver and kidneys. Also meditations to release us from our attachments to the past. Apana is the force that helps us to eliminate what we don’t need psychically and physically. It is associated with the large intestine and bladder. It engages the ida (left side) and the tama guna (passive, inertia). It is brought to focus through exhalation and retention of the exhale and BOF