Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Kriya Yoga

The Kriya Yoga Practices
     By tradition there are a total of 76 kundalini kriyas of kriya yoga. We present the following 20 main practices, which are sufficient for the daily practice of any sincere sadhaka.

     The practices are divided into three groups: those which induce pratyahara, those which induce dharana, and those which induce dhyana. It should be noted that these three states are actually a continuity of evolution, that is, the consciousness flows from one to the next without any apparent dividing point - so these practices should be done in an unbroken sequence. Of course, from the first day, the practice of these kriyas will not necessarily lead to such exalted states of awareness, but if they are practised properly with correct guidance, by an aspirant who is ready for them, then most likely, one day they will. It will be at that stage that the constant, unbroken progression of awareness will become essential. Remember, you should learn one kriya per week.





     PRATYAHARA PRACTICES





     № 1: Vipareeta karani mudra (the attitude of inversion)



     Assume vipareeta karani asana (described in chapter 9).


     The chin should not touch the chest.

     Kriya №1 Vipareeta Karani Mudra

     Practise subtle ujjayi pranayama.

     Be sure that your legs are completely vertical.

     Close your eyes.

     Inhale with ujjayi and simultaneously feel a hot stream of amrit or nectar flowing through the spinal passage from manipura chakra to vishuddhi in the throat.

     The nectar will collect at vishuddhi.

     Retain the breath for a few seconds, and be aware of the nectar remaining at vishuddhi and becoming cool.

     Then exhale with ujjayi, sensing the nectar travelling from vishuddhi through ajna, bindu and to sahasrara.

     The sensation is that of the nectar being injected with the help of the breath.

     After exhalation, immediately return your awareness to manipura and repeat the kriya to bring more nectar down to vishuddhi, and finally to sahasrara.

     Practise 21 respirations or rounds.




      2: Chakra anusandhana (the discovery of the chakras)



     Assume siddhasana/siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Close the eyes.

     Breathe normally.

     There is no connection between the breath and the consciousness in this practice.

     Bring your awareness to mooladhara chakra.

     Your consciousness will slowly ascend the frontal passage of arohan from mooladhara to the frontal point of swadhisthana at the pubic bone, manipura at the navel, anahata at the sternum, vishuddhi at the throat and across to bindu at the top, back of the head.

     As you travel upward, mentally repeat "mooladhara, swadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddhi, bindu", as you pass through these centers.

     Then let your awareness slip down the spinal awarohan passage from bindu to mooladhara, mentally repeating "ajna, vishuddhi, anahata, manipura, swadhisthana, mooladhara" as you pass through these centers.

     From mooladhara, immediately start ascending in the frontal passage as before, mentally reciting the chakra names as you ascend, starting with swadhisthana.

     
Kriya №2 Chakra anusadhana

     Continue this rotation of awareness through the chakras in a constant flow of rounds.

     Do not make a serious, tensed effort to locate the chakras as you pass through them.

     Merely glance at them as you go by, as you would view the scenery from a fast moving train.

     If you wish, you can visualize your awareness in this kriya as a thin silver serpent travelling in an ellipse within your body.

     Practise 9 rounds.




     № 3: Nada sanchalana (conducting the sound consciousness)


     Sit in siddhasana/siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Exhale completely.

     Keep your eyes open.

     Bend your head forward, so that it drops downward in a relaxed manner.

     The chin should not press tightly on the chest.

     Bring your awareness to mooladhara chakra.

     Repeat mentally, "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara".

     Then as you inhale, your consciousness should rise up through the frontal passage of arohan to bindu.

     Have a clear awareness of swadhisthana, manipura, anahata and vishuddhi, as you pass by them on your way to bindu, and mentally repeat their names.

     As your awareness is travelling from vishuddhi to bindu during the last segment of your inhalation, your head will slowly rise and tilt back slightly into a position facing about 20° above the horizontal.

     With the breath stored inside you and the awareness at bindu, mentally repeat, "bindu, bindu, bindu."

     The power of the awareness will build up as you are repeating the word "bindu" and it will explode into the vocal chant of 0m, which will carry you down through the spinal passage of awarohan to mooladhara.

     The "O" sound of Оm will be explosive and sudden.

     The "m" sound will be long and drawn out, culminating almost in a buzz as you approach mooladhara.

     As your awareness descends in the spine, your eyes will gradually close in unmani mudra.

     As you descend through the awarohan passage with the Оm sound, you should also be aware of ajna, vishuddhi, anahata, manipura and swadhisthana chakras; no mental repetition.

     When you have reached mooladhara, drop your head forward and open your eyes.

     Mentally repeat, "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara", with the breath retained outside and start on the ascent as before, with inhalation and repetition of the chakra names as you pass through them.

     Practise 13 full rounds or breaths and end after the last "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara."




     № 4: Pawan sanchalana (conducting the breath consciousness)


     Sit in padmasana, siddhasana or siddha yoni asana, and keep your eyes closed.

     Practise khechari mudra throughout this kriya. Exhale completely and bend your head forward as in nada sanchalana.

     Become aware of mooladhara and repeat mentally, 'mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara'. Then mentally say 'arohan' once and begin your ascent through the frontal passage with a subtle ujjayi inhalation.

     As you ascend, be aware of the chakras as you pass through them and repeat their names mentally.

     As your awareness moves from vishuddhi to bindu, your head should slowly rise until it leans slightly backward as in nada sanchalana.

     At bindu mentally repeat, "bindu, bindu, bindu".

     Then say "awarohan" mentally and descend through the spinal passage with ujjayi exhalation, mentally reciting the name of each chakra as you pass through it.

     As you descend, your eyes will close very gradually to form unmani mudra, the attitude of drowsiness.

     At mooladhara they will be closed.

     Then open your eyes and bend your head forward.

     Repeat mentally "mooladhara,mooladhara, mooladhara".

     Again begin your ascent with ujjayi inhalation, as before.

     Practise 49 rounds or complete breaths.

     After the last "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara", open your eyes and end the practice.




     No. 5: Shabda sanchalana (conducting the word consciousness)


     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana. Keep your eyes open and practise khechari mudra throughout the kriya.

     Exhale completely, bend your head forward and become aware of mooladhara chakra for a few seconds.

     Inhale with ujjayi and ascend the frontal passage.

     As you ascend, be aware of the sound of the breath which takes the form of the mantra so.

     Simultaneously, be aware of each kshetram, without mental repetition.

     As you travel from vishuddhi to bindu, the head will move upward as in pawan sanchalana and nada sanchalana.

     Then, with the breath retained inside, be aware of bindu for a few seconds.

     Then descend the spinal passage doing unmani mudra and being simultaneously aware of the natural sound of exhalation and the mantra ham.

     Be aware of each chakra without repetition of its name.

     After reaching mooladhara, open the eyes and lower your head.

     Begin your ujjayi inhalation, rising through the frontal passage with the inhalation mantra of so.

     Continue in this manner for 59 full rounds or breaths.




     No. 6: Maha mudra (the great attitude)


     This kriya can either be practised in perfect siddhasana or siddha yoni asana,or in the asana known as utthan padasana. If maha mudra is to be practisedin siddhasana, then it should be done as follows:

     Sit in siddhasana or siddha yoni asana, with the heel of the lower foot pressing firmly in towards mooladhara chakra.

     Practise khechari mudra, exhale completely and bend your head forward.

     Keep your eyes open.

     Repeat mentally, "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara".

     Ascend through the frontal passage with ujjayi inhalation, being aware of the kshetram as you pass through them.

     Raise your head as you are crossing from vishuddhi to bindu.

     At bindu repeat mentally, "bindu, bindu, bindu".

     Practise moola bandha and shambhavi mudra with the breath still retained inside.

     Say to yourself mentally, "shambhavi - khechari - mool", while at the same time shifting your awareness to the center of these practices.

     When you say "shambhavi", your awareness should be fixed at the eyebrow center.

     When you say "khechari", your awareness should be fixed at the tongue and roof of the mouth.

     When you say "mool", your awareness should be fixed at mooladhara chakra.

     Beginners should repeat this shifting of awareness 3 times. Advanced aspirants can rotate their awareness up to 12 times.

     Then, first release shambhavi mudra, then moola bandha.

     Bring your awareness back to bindu and travel down your spinal passage to mooladhara, with ujjayi exhalation and unmani mudra, and be aware of the chakras as you pass through them.

     On reaching mooladhara, bend your head forward.

     Then repeat "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara" and ascend thefrontal passage with ujjayi inhalation, as before.

     Practise 12 rounds or breaths and end after the last "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara".


     Alternative practice in utthan padasana


     When practising maha mudra in utthan padasana, a slight change must be made in the technique.

     After ascending to bindu, repeat "bindu, bindu, bindu".

     Lean forward and hold the big toe of your extended foot with the fingers of both hands, to form utthan padasana.

     The stretched knee must not bend.

     Now practise moola bandha and shambhavi mudra.

     Repeat, "shambhavi - khechari - mool" from 3 to 12 times, passing your awareness to the seats of these practices as you repeat their names.

     Release shambhavi, then moola bandha, then utthan padasana, and place your hands back on your knee.

     Bring your consciousness back to bindu, and then descend the spinal passage with the ujjayi exhalation and unmani mudra.

     If maha mudra is practised with utthan padasana, then practise 4 rounds with the right leg stretched forward, 4 rounds with the left leg stretched forward, and 4 rounds with both legs stretched forward.

     Choice of method: Both alternatives are equally good, as both apply a firm and constant pressure at rnooladhara.

     If you can easily sit in siddhasana, then the best method is the first one described. If you cannot sit comfortably in siddhasana, then use the alternative. It is easy to become sleepy while doing kriya yoga and this alternative has an added advantage of helping to remove sleepiness.

     Note: You can also mentally repeat the names of the chakras and kshetram as you ascend and descend arohan and awarohan.




     No. 7: Maha bheda mudra (the great piercing attitude)


     This mudra can either be practised in perfect siddhasana, siddha yoni asana, or in utthan padasana, as with maha mudra. If practised in siddhasana or siddha yoni asana, the technique is as follows:

     Practise khechari mudra and keep your eyes open and head down.

     Exhale completely.

     Repeat mentally, "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara".

     Inhale with ujjayi as you ascend the frontal passage to bindu.

     As you ascend from vishuddhi to bindu, raise your head.

     Repeat mentally, "bindu, bindu, bindu", and then descend the spinal passage to mooladhara with ujjayi exhalation and unmani mudra.

     Be sure to notice the chakras as you pass through them.

     Then practise jalandhara bandha with the breath retained outside.

     Practise moola bandha, uddiyana bandha and nasikagra drishti.

     Repeat mentally, "nasikagra-uddiyana-mool", while simultaneously placing your awareness at the seats of these practices in turn.

     Repeat this cycle of awareness 3 times if you are a beginner, or up to 12 times if you are experienced.

     Then release nasikagra drishti, moola bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha, but keep the head down.

     Bring your awareness back to mooladhara. Repeat the mantra "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara", mentally.

     Then with ujjayi inhalation, ascend the frontal passage to bindu for the next round.

     Practise 12 full rounds or breaths.


     Alternative method in utthan padasana


     If maha mudra is practised in utthan padasana, then it must be done as follows:

     Place your hands on your bent knee, exhale completely and bend your head forward, eyes open.

     Repeat mentally, "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara".

     Inhale with ujjayi through the frontal passage from mooladhara to bindu, raising your head while moving from vishuddhi to bindu.

     Repeat "bindu, bindu, bindu", and then exhale with ujjayi through the spinal passage, doing unmani mudra and being aware of the chakras en route.

     Hold the breath outside and bend forward to grasp the big toe of your extended foot to form utthan padasana.

     Press your chin against the chest to form jalandhara bandha.

     Practise moola bandha, uddiyana bandha and nasikagra drishti while still retaining the breath outside.

     Repeat mentally, "nasikagra - uddiyana - mool", while simultaneously placing your awareness at the seats of these practices in turn.

     Repeat this cycle of awareness 3 times if you are a beginner, or up to 12 times if you are experienced.

     Then release nasikagra drishti, moola bandha and uddiyana bandha.

     Bring your hands to your knees and sit up straight. Release jalandhara but keep your head bent down.

     Bring your awareness back to mooladhara.

     Repeat the mantra "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara", and then ascend the frontal passage with ujjayi inhalation.

     Practise in this way for 4 full rounds or breaths with your right leg extended, then practise 4 times with the left leg extended, and finally 4 times with both legs extended.

     After the fourth time in each position, ascend once to bindu with ujjayi inhalation. Repeat the bindu mantra, descend to mooladhara and repeat its mantra, relax and then change legs.

     Note: The rotation of awareness through nasikagra, uddiyana and mool is done with outside retention of the breath at mooladhara. You are advised to practise only 3 rotations at first, slowly increasing one rotation per week until you can complete 12 rotations.

     * Make sure that all the bandhas are performed correctly and in the right sequence. At first you will have to pay special attention to this, but with regular practice the bandhas will lock and tighten automatically, without effort and at the right stages of the kriya.

     * Nosetip gazing helps to tighten the lock of the bandhas. Make sure that nasikagra drishti and the bandhas are practised simultaneously and that you do not omit any of them while rotating awareness through the centers. Do not strain.

     * If you are feeling pain or discomfort in the eyes, stop nasikagra drishti but continue the bandhas and rotation of awareness. Slowly increase the duration of nasikagra as the eye muscles adapt to the practice.

     * You can repeat the "mooladhara" mantra 3 times before applying the bandhas as well as repeating 'mooladhara' з times at the beginning of a new round.

     * Also, the names of the chakras and kshetram can be mentally repeated as you ascend and descend arohan and awarohan.


     No. 8: Manduki kriya (the frog attitude)


     Sit in bhadrasana, the gentleman's pose.

     Your eyes should remain open.

     The area of your body below mooiadhara chakra must touch the ground. If it doesn't, then use a cushion to exert pressure on this point.

     Place your hands on your knees and practise nasikagra drishti.

     Become aware of your natural breath flowing in and out of your nostrils.

     With inhalation the breath flows through both nostrils and merges at the eyebrow center. As you exhale the two flows diverge from the eyebrow center and move out through both nostrils.

     The breath follows a conical or inverted V-shaped pathway. Feel this.

     Simultaneously, be aware of all smells.

     The point of this kriya is to smell the aroma of the astral body which has a scent like that of sandalwood.

     If your eyes become tired, close them for some time and then resume nasikagra drishti.

     Practise this kriya until it becomes intoxicating.

     Do not carry it so far that you become totally absorbed in it and do not wish to end the practice.


     

     No. 9: Tadan kriya (beating the kundalini)



     Sit in padmasana with the eyes open.

     Place your palms on the floor at the sides of your body, next to your hips, with the fingers pointing forward.

     Tilt your head slightly backward and practise shambhavi mudra.

     Inhale through your mouth in audible ujjayi pranayama.

     As you inhale, feel the breath travelling downward through a tube connecting the mouth to mooiadhara chakra.

     The breath will collect at mooladhara chakra.

     Hold the breath, keep your awareness at mooladhara and practise moola bandha.

     Using your hands, lift your body off the ground.

     Then drop your body lightly so that mooladhara is gently beaten.

     Repeat this beating a few times.

     Do not practise this quickly or harshly.

     After the third beating, exhale gently through the nose with ujjayi pranayama.

     The breath will seem to diffuse in all directions from its storehouse at mooladhara.

     Practise this kriya a total of 7 times.

     The number of beatings practised per round can be gradually increased from 3 to a maximum of 11.







     DHARANA PRACTICES


     No. 10: Naumukhi mudra (closing the nine gates)



     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Your eyes should remain closed throughout.

     If necessary, use a cushion to ensure that mooladhara is compressed.

     Do khechari mudra and bend your head slightly forward (not jaiandhara bandha).

     Repeat mentally, "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara".

     Then inhale with ujjayi up the frontal passage to bindu.

     Raise your head as you pass from vishuddhi to bindu, practise yoni mudra by closing your ears with the thumbs, the eyes with both forefingers, the nostrils with your middle fingers, the upper lip with the ring fingers and your lower lip with the small fingers (do not apply too much pressure).

     Practise moola bandha and vajroli mudra.

     The nine gates of the body are now closed (eyes, cars, nostrils, mouth, anus and sexual organ).

     Become aware of the spinal passage and bindu.

     Now visualize a shining copper trident (trishul), rooted in mooladhara with its stem in the spinal cord and the prongs extending upward from vishuddhi.

     The prongs are very sharp.

     The trishul will slightly rise a number of times of its own accord and it will pierce bindu with its central prong.

     As it pierces bindu, repeat the mantra 'bindu bhedan', which means 'bindu piercing'.

     After some times release vajroli mudra and moola bandha.

     Open the upper gates and bring your hands down to your knees.

     Exhale with ujjayi through the spinal passage from bindu to mooladhara.


    
     Mentally repeat "mooladhara" 3 times.

     Then inhale through the frontal passage up to bindu to repeat the kriya.

     Practise 5 full rounds or breaths, and after the fifth round, end the practice after exhalation.

     Note: It is extremely important that the back be held perfectly straight throughout this kriya. If the spine is not straight, the sensation that follows the piercing of bindu will not be perceived.

     * It is important that vajroli mudra be correctly performed for it also heightens the sensations experienced during this practice. When vajroli mudra is perfected, the contraction of vajra nadi can be achieved without contracting the anal sphincter muscles. The sensation is like an electric current running the full length of vajra nadi to the brain. Try to sensitize your awareness to the point where you actually feel the piercing of bindu like an electric shock.

     * As you ascend and descend arohan and awarohan, you can mentally repeat the names of the chakras and kshetram if you want.




     No. 11: Shakti chalini (conduction of the thought force)


     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Your eyes should remain closed throughout.

     Practise khechari mudra.

     Exhale completely and bring your awareness to mooladhara.

     Bend your head forward.

     Repeat mentally, "mooladhara, mooladhara, mooladhara", and then ascend the frontal passage to bindu with ujjayi inhalation, raising your head as you approach bindu.

     Retain the breath inside, and then practise yoni mudra, closing your ears, eyes, nostrils and lips with the fingers.

     Allow your consciousness to rotate in a continuous cycle, descending the spinal passage to mooladhara and rising up the frontal passage to bindu in an unbroken loop, while you keep the breath retained inside.

     Visualize a thin green snake moving through the psychic passageways.

     The tail of this serpent is at bindu, and the body extends down through mooladhara and up the frontal passage.

     The head is also at bindu, with the mouth biting the end of the tail.

     If you watch this snake, it will start to move in a circle in the psychic passages, or it may even go off this track and follow a new one of its own.

     Just watch this snake, whatever it does.

     When your retention of breath is becoming exhausted, release yoni mudra, return your hands to the knees and bring your awareness to bindu. Then descend to mooladhara through the spinal passage with ujjayi exhalation. At mooladhara., lower your head, repeat 'mooladhara' 3 times, and ascend the frontal passage.

     Practise this kriya 5 times without a break, or for the duration of 5 breaths.

     Note: Vajroli mudra and moola bandha can also be simultaneously performed with yoni mudra.



     No. 12: Shambhavi (Parvati's lotus)


     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Close your eyes and practise khechari mudra.

     Visualize a lotus flower with a long thin stem extending downward.

     The roots of the lotus are white or transparent green.

     They spread out from mooladhara chakra.

     The thin green lotus stem is in your spinal passage.

     The lotus flower is at sahasrara, and it is closed like a bud.

     At the bottom of the bud are a few light green immature petals. The main petals of the flower are pink with fine red veins.

     Try to see this lotus clearly. You visualize it in chidakasha, but you feel it in your body.

     Exhale and take your awareness to the root of the lotus at mooladhara.

     Inhale with ujjayi pranayama and allow your awareness to rise slowly through the center of the lotus stem, within the spinal passage.

     At the end of inhalation, you will reach the closed bud at the top of the stem.

     Your ascent will be like that of a caterpillar, climbing up inside the thin stem.

     Hold your awareness at sahasrara with the breath retained inside.

     You are inside the lotus, but you can also see it from outside.

     It will begin to open very slowly.

     As the bud opens out into a beautiful lotus flower, you will see the yellow pollen-tipped stamens in its center.

     Then it will slowly close again, to open again almost immediately.

     After the lotus has ceased to open and close, and it remains sealed, then slowly descend through the stem to mooladhara, drifting down on the wave of your ujjayi exhalation.

     Remain at mooladhara for a few seconds, visualizing the roots spreading out in all directions.

     Then once again, ascend the stem with ujjayi inhalation.

     Ascend and descend 11 times and then end this kriya.



     No. 13: Amrit pan (the quaffing of nectar)


     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Keep the eyes closed throughout and practise khechari mudra.

     Bring your awareness to manipura chakra, where there is a storehouse of a warm, sweet liquid.

     Exhale fully with ujjayi.

     Inhale with ujjayi, drawing a quantity of this liquid up to vishuddhi chakra through the spinal passage with the suction power of your breath.

     Remain at vishuddhi for some seconds.

     The nectar which you have raised from manipura will become icy cold at vishuddhi.
     Then with ujjayi, exhale up to lalana chakra (at the back of the soft palate), through the nectar passage.

     Blow the cool nectar up to lalana with the breath.

     Your breath will immediately disperse by itself once you have reached lalana. Immediately return your awareness to manipura chakra.

     With another ujjayi inhalation, continue the upward transfer of liquid.

     Practise 9 times in all.


     No. 14 Chakra bhedan (piercing the chakras)


     Assume siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Keep your eyes closed throughout.

     Practise khechari mudra and ujjayi pranayama.

     Breathe without any break between inhalation and exhalation.

     Exhale and bring your awareness down to swadhisthana chakra at the base of the spine.

     Inhale and direct your consciousness first to mooladhara and then up the frontal passage.

     At about the level of vishuddhi kshetram, the breath will run out and you will immediately start exhalation.

     Exhale from vishuddhi kshetram to bindu and then down the spine from ajna to swadhisthana chakra to complete one round.

     This kriya should actually be practised for 59 rounds, but if introversion starts to occur before you have completed the rounds, discontinue the practice and go on to the next kriya.

     Note: If desired, mental repetition of chakras and kshetram can also be done.



     No. 15: Sushumna darshan (inner visualization of the chakras)


     For chakra visualization, refer to the diagrams of each chakra.

     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Close your eyes and practise normal breathing.

     There is no relation between the breath and awareness in this kriya.

     Bring your awareness to mooladhara.

     Imagine a pencil, and with that draw a square at mooladhara.

     Draw the largest possible inverted equilateral triangle within that square.

     Then make a circle touching all the four corners of that square.

     Prepare 4 petals, one for each side of the square.

     Bring your awareness to swadhisthana.

     Prepare a circle there with the same radius as the one at mooladhara.

     Draw 6 petals around the edge of the circle, and a crescent moon inside the bottom of the circle.

     Now come to manipura.

     Draw a circle, and then make the biggest possible inverted triangle to fit this circle.

     In the center draw a ball of fire.

     Make 10 petals around the circle.

     Raise the consciousness to anahata.

     Draw 2 triangles there, one pointing upward and the other inverted. They are interlaced, both crossing each other.

     Surround them with a circle having 12 petals.

     Then come to vishuddhi.

     Draw a circle, and place a smaller circle within the circle, like a drop of nectar.

     Make 16 petals around that circle.

     Rise to ajna.

     Make a circle and inside it write a big Sanskrit Om.

     Prepare 2 large petals, one on the right and one on the left side of the circle.

     At bindu draw a crescent moon with a very tiny circle above it.

     Reach sahasrara.

     Prepare a circle there, and make the largest possible upward pointing triangle within that circle.

     There are 1000 petals all around the circle.

     Try to see at one glance all the chakras in their proper places.

     If it is very difficult to see them all together, then see only 2 chakras on the first day and add one more chakra to your visualization daily until all appear together.




     No. 16: Prana ahuti (infusing the divine prana)


     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Close your eyes and breathe normally.

     Feel the soft touch of a divine hand lying on your head.

     The hand is infusing subtle prana into your body and mind and the prana is travelling down from sahasrara through the spinal passage.

     You may experience it as a wave of cold, heat, energy, electric current, or as a stream of wind or liquid.

     Its passage will result in vibrations, shocks, jerks or tickling sensations which course through you.

     When the prana has reached mooladhara, then immediately go on to the next kriya without waiting to experience the prana a second time.




     No. 17: Utthan (raising the kundalini)


     Sit in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana.

     Keep your eyes closed throughout.

     Again the breathing is normal in this kriya.

     Bring your awareness to mooladhara chakra.

     Try to visualize it clearly and notice all details.

     You will see a black shivalingam made of a smoky gaseous substance.

     The bottom and the top of the lingam are cut off, and circled around it is a red baby snake.

     This red baby snake is trying to uncoil itself so it can move upward through sushurnna.

     As it struggles to release itself and ascends, it makes an angry hissing sound.

     The tail of the snake will remain fixed at the bottom of the shivalingam, but the head and body may move upward and come back down again.

     Sometimes both the shivalingam and the snake may shift their position in the body, so you may even visualize them for a time at ajna or sahasrara.      

     The head of the snake is very wide, having the same breadth as your body, but it is not a cobra.

     After some time you may feel your body contract. This will be followed by a sensation of bliss.

     When this occurs go on to the next kriya.



     No. 18: Swaroopa darshan (the vision of your Self)


     Remain sitting in siddhasana, siddha yoni asana or padmasana and do not open your eyes.

     Become aware of your physical body.

     Your body is completely motionless, and you maintain total awareness of this fact.

     Be sure that you are completely steady, like a rock.

     When you are absolutely sure of your bodily steadiness, you should also become aware of your natural breath. Watch the constant flow of your breath, but be sure your body remains steady.

     Your body will start to become stiff.

     As it becomes stiffer, your awareness will shift completely to your breathing; however, the body will continue to become stiffer and stiffer of its own accord.

     When your body has become as rigid as a stone, and it is beyond your control to move it even if you tried, then go on to the next kriya.



     No.19: Linga sanchalana (astral conduction)


     Remain still in your stiffened asana with the eyes closed.

     Due to the stiffness of your body, your breathing will have automatically become ujjayi breathing, and khechari mudra will have been formed.

     Be totally aware of your breathing.

     You will notice that with each inhalation your body seems to be expanding.

     And with each exhalation your body appears to be contracting.

     It is peculiar though, because your physical body is not moving; it is still and as stiff as a statue.

     It is your astral body that you experience expanding and contracting.

     As you observe this contraction and expansion process, it will gradually become more and more pronounced.

     After some time you will begin to lose awareness of the physical body, and you will only be observing the astral body directly.

     However, the degree of contraction will become more pronounced.

     Eventually you will reach a stage where, on contraction, the astral body reduces to a single point of light.

     When this occurs, discontinue the kriya immediately and go on to the next.



     THE PRACTICE OF DHYANA


     No. 20: Dhyana (meditation)

     You have realized your astral body as a single point of light.

     Now look closer at that point of light and you will see it take the form of a golden egg.

     As you watch this golden egg, it will begin to expand.

     The golden egg is luminous and glowing intensely; however, it does not give off any rays of light.

     As the golden egg becomes larger, it will begin to take on the same shape as that of your astral and physical bodies.

     This form, however, is not a material or even a subtle form.

     This form is glowing light.

     It is your causal self.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Tricks to Teach Your Body

Cure a Tickling Throat
When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, especially if it serves as a health remedy. Take that tickle in your throat: It’s not worth gagging over. Here’s a better way to scratch your itch: Scratch your ear. “When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm,” says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. “This spasm relieves the tickle.”
Experience Supersonic Hearing
If you’re stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It’s better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.
Overcome Your Most Primal Urge
Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about Jessica Simpson. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won’t feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For best results, try Simpson’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” video.
Feel No Pain
German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.
Clear Your Stuffed Nose
Forget Sudafed. Here’s an easier, quicker, and cheaper remedy to relieve sinus pressure: Alternate thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you’ll feel your sinuses start to drain.
Fight Fire Without Water
Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? Try this preventive remedy: “Sleep on your left side,” says Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you’re on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity’s in your favor.
Cure Your Toothache
Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50 percent compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.
Make Burns Disappear
When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natual method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.
Stop the World from Spinning
One too many drinks left you dizzy? Ah, luckily there’s a remedy. Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance—the cupula—floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. “As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises,” says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.
Unstitch Your Side
If you’re like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.
Stanch Blood with One Finger
Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed—if you don’t mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums—just behind that small dent below your nose—and press against it, hard. “Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose,” says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. “Pressing here helps stop them.”
Make Your Heart Stand Still
Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It’ll get your heart rate back to normal.
Thaw Your Brain
Too much Chipwich too fast will freeze the brains of lesser men. As for you, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. “Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too,” says Abo. “In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache.” The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.
Prevent Near-Sightedness
Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. “It’s usually caused by near-point stress.” In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles—like the eyes—into relaxing as well.
Wake the Dead
If your hand falls asleep while you’re driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It’ll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so don’t let your sleeping dogs lie. Stand up and walk around.
Impress Your Friends
Next time you’re at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He’ll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that’s a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will cave like the French. By misaligning his hips, you’ve offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body’s ability to resist.
Breathe Underwater
If you’re dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first—essentially, hyperventilate. When you’re underwater, it’s not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it’s the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that somethin’ ain’t right. “When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity,” says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. “This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen.” It’ll buy you up to 10 seconds.
Read Minds
Your own! “If you’re giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep,” says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.

Life Lessons

1. Trust your gut. Really.
If you think he likes you, you’re probably right. If you think he’s cheating, you’re probably right. If you think she’s going to be your new BFF, (this time with feeling!) you’re probably right.
2. Sunscreen. Always.
SPF 15 indoors, SPF 30 outdoors. I’ve been wearing sunscreen everyday since I was 19 and I still get carded. I think this actually has more to do with the bouncers hitting on me, but I’d like to share the credit with my good friend Oil of Olay daily moisturizing lotion with SPF.
3. If you’re lying in bed worrying about it, get up and write it down.
If I don’t do this, my night will quickly devolve into cyclical thoughts of doom and anxiety. Just get out of bed, write down the thing that you’re worried about, write down a few ideas to deal with it and then go the eff back to sleep.
4. Processed carbohydrates and sugars are yucky.
It’s not hard to switch to wholewheat bread and noodles or substitute honey/maple syrup/raw sugar for the white stuff. It’s yummy and you’ll feel heaps better!
5. Maintaining friendships (and making new friends) is an active process.
Stop waiting for them to call you! Think of something fun to do, call your friends and go do it. Also, stop sitting in your apartment, devotedly wishing that you knew more cool people. Surprisingly, this will not get you any closer to making new friends. Go places where like-minded people hang out, talk to new people at parties, initiate.

6. Uncomfortable underwear can ruin your day.
At least they can ruin mine. So don’t wear your sexy-times underwear on the day you have to walk ten blocks to work.
7. It really doesn’t matter what you major in.
What does matter? The internships you get, your work ethic, your interpersonal skills, who you know. So go ahead and get a BA in Studio Art! As long as you compliment that with work experience at a graphic design studio, a museum and an ad agency.
8. Create an active life style.
I don’t go to the gym every day. Or, um, ever in the summer. But I walk to work and to the market and just about everywhere within a 3 mile radius. If you make daily activity a habit, you won’t have nearly as many moments of “how did I inadvertently gain 30 pounds?!” or “why can’t I walk up a flight of stairs?!”
9. Learn to enjoy your own company
There will be times in your life when you really want to see that movie, check out that new boutique, go to Thailand and no one wants to go with you. Bummer! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t go by yourself and have a good time. Take baby steps and work up to doing the big stuff on your own.
10. Don’t allow outside sources to determine your self-esteem
I’m still working on this one. But I think it’s important to realize that just about everything in life is relative – depending on your surroundings, you could be the hottest/smartest/highest paid girl in the room. But if you walk next door? Maybe it’s different story. It’s important to have faith in your abilities and strong suits – regardless of how they compare to others.
11. Find out what colors and styles work (and don’t work) on you. Style accordingly.
I look good in gold and browns and corals. I look good with long, wavy hair. I look good in boat-neck, three quarter length tops. It took many, many unflattering photos to figure this out.
12. When in doubt, make the effort
You will never regret wearing that nice outfit, buying the thoughtful gift for the friend you haven’t heard from in a while, over-tipping. If it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know you did your best.
13. Cook at home.
Seriously. You will save one million dollars. You will maintain a healthy weight. You will impress your friends.
14. There are 300 million people in America. And 6,000,000,000 in the world.
I promise you, you’ll love someone else. You’ll meet new friends. You’ll find co-workers and neighbors that are awesome. If it’s too hard (or if someone is making you feel bad) walk away. There are a million other people out there who won’t make you feel bad!
15. It’s easier to make money than memories
Are you throwing up in your mouth right now? I am, a little bit. But it’s true. Don’t take the extra shift at work and miss your friend’s awesome end-of-the summer barbecue. If all your friends are springing for a weekend at a cabin near the Canadian border, save up for a few weeks and make it happen. You won’t remember the two weeks of eating in and watching library dvds, but you’ll remember 3 days of fun with your buddies.
16. You can find common ground with just about anyone, any where
Regardless of a person’s gender, age, race or religion there are common denominators to the human experience – falling in love, being homesick, laughing at baby animals. You don’t even need to speak the same language to share an appreciation for these things. You’d be amazed how far you can get with most people just by smiling and asking them questions.
17. Don’t buy the cheapest version. Buy the second cheapest.
This trick has saved me a lot of money. And many hang overs. Usually the cheapest version of something (vodka, eye shadow, shoes) is noticeably dicey. But the second-cheapest? Not so bad!
18. Make an extra copy
Of your keys, your lease, your birth certificate, your social security card. Then give said copy to someone trust worthy.
19. Floss.
For realz. It’s pretty gratifying in a slightly disgusting way.
20. Consider second hand, for just about everything
98% of everything I own is second hand. My blow dryer, my picture frames, my sheets (not as gross as you’re imagining). They cost a fraction of what I’d pay for them new, and no one’s the wiser. At least until I tell the internet that I sleep on used sheets.
21. Excuses are embarrassing
With the exception of excuses like “my grandma died” most excuses are embarrassing for everyone involved – the person giving them and the person listening to them. ‘I just don’t know where to start,’ ‘I’m tired,’ ‘it’s too expensive’ really just translate to ‘I’m not making it a priority’. See? Embarrassing, right?
22. Don’t ask a question if you’re not prepared to hear the answer
If you ask your friend “Do I look fat in this?” you best be prepared to hear that it’s not a super flattering look on you. If you ask that guy you’ve been seeing for five months “Where do you see this going?” you need to know he might respond in stutters, back-pedaling and comments about “keeping it light.” Don’t ask if you don’t really, really want to know.
23. Engage in calculated risk taking
Dancing on the table, taking a spontaneous road trip by yourself to a neighboring state, trying a new type of ethnic food – it is unlikely that any of these things will kill you. But they will probably make you more interesting.
24. Learn how to live well within your means
Make a budget and stick to it. Pay off your credit cards every month. Learn to cook for yourself. Get a bike and use it (then you won’t need a gym membership or all that gas for you car!) Cancel the cable. Split internet with a neighbor. Consider second hand. You’d be amazed how painless saving money can be!
25. Learn some basic photo editing skills
Because that photo from your vacation would make a great Facebook profile photo if you didn’t have that giant zit, right? PhotoscapePicnik and Gimp are all great options!
26. If you don’t know what you say, silence is always an option
I learned this from my friend Ellie, who used this approach to deal with unruly patients during her years as a nurse in NYC. If someone says something you don’t like (and don’t know how to respond to) just stare at them and don’t say anything. Totally. terrifying. And totally effective!
27. If you don’t know, ask
Because that thing that people say about assuming (it makes an ass out of you and me)? That’s true.
28. Do something different with your weekends
After a week in the cubicle farm, I know it’s tempting to spend your weekend watching DVDs, running errands, going to house parties and nursing hangovers. But doing the same thing every weekend gets old. And you won’t return to work reinvigorated or inspired. You don’t have to do anything earth shattering – have a sleep over with old friends, go camping in a State Park, rent bikes and ride through your city, try a new ethnic restaurant, look up the top tourist sights in your city and check them out. Milk those two days off for all they’re worth!
29. Stay in touch
In the age of skype/facebook/texting there’s absolutely no reason that you can’t maintain regular contact with your childhood bestie or that cool girl from your freshman comp class. Maintaining and fostering friendships is super important. Also, you’ll have more couches to crash on when you go traveling!
30. Find a creative outlet
Most of us aren’t 100% creatively fulfilled by our day jobs. Even those of us who work in creative fields! Engaging different parts of your brain (and different parts of your personality) is hugely, hugely gratifying. Seriously, you cannot overestimate how having a good hobby can change your life. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that after I started blogging, I needed less sleep and was a much happier person. Truth.
31. Act like you know what you’re doing
You can pretty much conquer the world with a confident walk, a well-thought-out outfit and confident demeanor. We teach people how to treat us and when you show people that you’re a force to be reckoned with, they’ll believe you.