Kundalini - Some course notes...
This particular yoga is a tantric practice.
“The word tantra, states Patanjali, means "principal, main".
He uses the same example of svatantra as a composite word of "sva" (self) and tantra, then stating "svatantra" means "one who is self-dependent, one who is his own master, the principal thing for whom is himself", thereby interpreting the definition of tantra. Patanjali also offers a semantic definition of Tantra, stating that it is structural rules, standard procedures, centralized guide or knowledge in any field that applies to many elements.”
Patanjali said: "Liberation can be attained by that pranayama which is accomplished by disjoining the course of inspiration and expiration.”
We will use something called "yogic kriyas" to wake the spiritual energy.
I call it spiritual energy as we don’t have explicit scientific explanations yet.
The Kriya yoga system consists of a number of levels of pranayama, mantra, and mudra based on techniques intended to rapidly accelerate spiritual development. Now there might be people that say that prana or kundalini are mere fiction, however, we are animated and alive and our whole body is an electric system. When that life energy is gone, life ends. That is the very energy we are working with.
Yogis have learned to cultivate this energy a very long time ago.
In kriya yoga you don’t worry about the mind too much, but about the body.
The idea could be compared with the discovery of pranayama. If you are agitated you are breathing in one way, when calm in another. Every mode of mental state has another mode of breath. Yogis early discovered that by mimicking the breath of these mental states, these states can be created.
Kriya yoga is based on these principles. By using the body in a certain way, certain areas of the mind are being activated in a controlled fashion. The mind might be completely overwhelmed by this experience which makes it even more important to be firm in the practice of the physical representations as well as in a certain set of moral precepts to make the transition to a spiritual and expanded person easier.
Kunda - is a world for a pit or hole like that cavity of our head where the brain is nestled like a snake. This is most likely where the word Kundalini is coming from. Also, the energy is being represented by the image of the snake and we say that the energy is being coiled up 3 and a half times at the base of the spine.
Here it is important to understand that yogis love to talk about snakes, eagles, magical things, and the most amazing tales. They also don’t believe all they say because they understand that all of these are symbols. This is nice because it keeps people away that are not sincere about the practice. These non-sincere people will laugh at the thought that a snake crawls up their spine - well, so does the yogi but he won’t tell you and maybe even insist that there are real snakes just for the “kick” of it. It is really that simple. Yogis don’t feel like they owe explanations and they will certainly not defend themselves against ignorance (ignorance is not an insult, it is defined as: “lack of knowledge or information”).
Imagine the awakening of the kundalini as un-tamed powerful energy. In that state, it is called Kali. We say that when Kali rises, her eyes are fire red, and her body flaming. She is raging and even the gods hide from her in fear. However, once she is calmed down by practice of chanting, breathing, prayers, and the like, she will turn into Durga. The energy is the divine feminine energy that will eventually meet with the masculine energy at the 3rd eye chakra. At the point where duality is overcome and unity, the divine wedding takes place.
After that point, the energy will descend back into the body and the now woke yogi will engage with the world again.
That is how it all works. However, it is of course easier said than done. Kundalini yoga is thousands of years old.
The main tools we will use in this course are pranayama, asana, mantra and mudra.
Kundalini specifically aims at giving you mystical experiences. There won’t be any shortage of them. Eventually, it will tingle here, zap there, dreams will be anywhere from amazing to frightening, and visions will arise far beyond anything you would have thought possible - However, even though you may enjoy these during your practice, do not pay too much attention to them.
Imagine you want to climb a mountain and every few hours you reach a plateau and there is some traveler that tells you that this is it!
No other plateau is different from this one and please enjoy the great view. You take a quick look and keep walking, you know that the final destination is that peak of it all. This is where you will go and all these plateaus are meaningless. This is how you have to approach it. Don’t settle for phenomena.
Also, the awakening of the kundalini is not the goal of yoga. This will be the beginning. The main experience will happen when the energies congregate in your heart center. However, after that you will not only have to integrate this experience into your day-to-day life, you will also have to go on to understand that you are indeed the universe. You will have experienced that, but so is everyone else as well.
There is this great movie scene in Captain America where he is just a little soldier who is very very brave but weak and put into some energy chamber. They explain to him that it increases every aspect of him and that some people in that chamber turned violent and evil. He comes out as a nice strong superhero. His good heart is now surrounded by his new hero body. This is a great metaphor for kundalini energy. It will accelerate and make stronger the growth of your tendencies. This is why it is very helpful, if not essential, to practice the yamas and niyamas when practicing kundalini to already begin to incorporate the finer aspects of divinity into your life. When the the tsunami of kundalini hits you, it will only carry your further up into the echelon of the universe, enjoying life even more, being even more benevolent and loving, and feeling even more love, humility, and gratitude for the amazing world. Kundalini can bring your life into overdrive in a very good, very profound way!
To make this a safe and joyful experience we will wake this energy step by step while preparing the system for impact.