I have been studying Kundalini yoga for several years now, but I have a background in a very different sort of yoga, called Embodyoga. In Embodyoga (which I recommend you check out my teacher Patty’s blog) we awaken consciousness by bringing deep and subtle awareness to the different tissues, cells, organs, and glands of the body. It’s a quiet evolution that requires a LOT of attention being directed inward, before moving and expressing as asana, or anything else. It’s fascinating, and awesome.
Kundalini practices are prescribed movements that one repeats for certain amounts of time, in order to move energy in a certain way. It’s a very interesting structure, and I do, in fact, really enjoy it! BUT, I am not a Kundalini teacher, and I DO take liberties, such as changing amounts of time, and not pushing the system more than it can go, and shifting alignment points so we can practice in more aligned and healthy ways. I don’t see the value of pushing an already-stressed system into depletion just because the clock says we must. I DO however, see immense value in understanding the kriya (exercises) as doorways to direct energy.
With all that being said, here is my daily Kundalini-ish practice:
*It is recommended that we cover our heads with something when we meditate. A hat, a scarf, or another head covering may be used. This keeps the energy focused and protected.
*It is also recommended that we wear light colored clothing, of natural fibers. This allows our energy to breathe and balance and grow!
Sit cross legged on a blanket or bolster, so hips are higher than knees, and the spine is long in neutral curves.
Bring hands together into Prayer Mudra at the heart.
Close your eyes and take a moment to connect with your highest Self.
In Kundalini yoga we chant:
Ong Namo Gurudev Namo 3 times, which means “I bow to the Highest and Best teacher within myself.”
Follow with dedicating your practice to a feminine aspect of divinity…Mary, Shechina, Gaia, Lakshmi or any other goddess, guide, or ancestor who you feel strongly embodies the Divine Feminine.
Then, place hands on knees, palms up, finger and thumb touching in Gyan mudra. Close eyes and do 3 neck rolls slowly, to each side. Follow with entire spine rolling in clockwise circles (3) and then counterclockwise (3).
Keep eyes closed, focus on the third eye center in the forehead. As you breathe in, silently repeat “Sat”; as you breathe out, silently repeat “Nam”. Do this for 1 minute.
Kriya to balance the emotions: This kriya balances the hemispheres of the brain by balancing the pumping of cerebral spinal fluid. It’s wonderful if you are feeling moody, irritated, or unclear in any way.
Reach both arms straight up by your ears, and move arms out and in, about 6-9 inches. Breathe normally. 1-3 minutes
Meditation to Connect with Source:
Seated, left hand on left knee, hand in Gyan mudra. Right arm outstretched at 60 degrees in front of you, preferable facing the sunrise. Visualize the rising sun pouring into your fingers, streaming down into your heart, and ending up in your womb center, behind and below your navel.
For 3 minutes, chant or sing or think:
I am the light of my soul,
I am bountiful,
I am bliss
I am, I AM…
This meditation brings us into alignment with our true Selves, and helps us receive nourishment from that Source. Three minutes can be challenging! I find some days are easier than others. If 3 minutes is NOT going to happen for you, start with one and slowly build. Take your time.
Meditation to receive blessings:
This is my favorite part, and I like to do it for 3-11 minutes depending on my time allowances.
Sitting with eyes closed, place the outer edges of your hands together, palms up, a few inches in front of your heart. Visualize a stream of light in front of your heart, the light flowing into your hands and down into your womb center. Silently repeat, “I receive….” and you may list the blessings you would like to receive! My list includes perfect health, abundant new clients, loving and harmonious relationships, etc etc. Whatever you want to pray for, visualize it streaming into your energy field and body, as golden light, and you are actively receiving it.
This part is the most delicious because it really amps me up into a space of KNOWING I am receiving these blessings, and feeling these things. I love it.
When the timer goes off, bring your hands to your heart. Enjoy the bliss for a few moments before you close your Sadhana.
Utter a blessing or prayer. The traditional Kundalini prayer is:
May the long time sun shine upon you. May all love surround you. May the pure light within you shine your way on.
Now you are finished! Enjoy the day, and let me know if you have questions! Again, I am not a Kundalini teacher, this is my simple practice. Check out Gurmukh’s books for more excellent sources of kriya and Kundalini philosophy and of course, the writings of Yogi Bhajan, who brought the Kundalini technology to the West.