Kundalini Yoga Basics: Sat Kriya

The following info comes from a comprehensive post by longtime yogi and writer Dan Charnas via 3HO.

Sat Kriya contains just about all the benefits of Kundalini Yoga. It’s the most essential of all the kriyas. Sat Kriya is designed to do the one thing from which all well-being springs: raise the kundalini energy. It’s easy to practice once you first get the hang of it, then the challenge comes as you extend the amount of time that you practice it. Go beyond the limited mind! Here’s how:

Preparation:

1)     Sit on your heels in Rock Pose (Vajrasana).

(Alternate: Rock Pose is the preferred posture but if you are unable to sit in Rock Pose, you may sit in Easy Pose.)

2)     Stretch your arms above your head so that they are perfectly straight, no bend in the elbows, upper arms hugging your ears.

3)     Interlace your fingers and extend your index fingers, pointing upward.

4)     Close the eyes and roll them up to the Brow Point.

5)     Inhale slightly to begin.

The Exercise:

1)     Powerfully chant Sat, squeezing the navel back towards the spine.

2)     Chant Nam as you relax and release the belly (breath will come naturally).

3)     Repeat: Squeezing the navel in on Sat; releasing on Nam. Squeeze, release. Squeeze, release. Keep going at a moderate pace.

To Finish:

1)     Inhale deeply and, with the breath held in, squeeze the Root Lock. Draw the energy up your spine to the top of your head and even to the tips of your fingers. Hold about 8 to 10 seconds. Exhale.

2)     Repeat: Inhale deeply, hold, squeeze, then exhale.

3)     Inhale deeply and then exhale completely out, apply the Root Lock and also the Neck Lock. Hold a few seconds and then release everything.

4)     Lie down on your back in Corpse Pose. Deeply relax, ideally for the same amount of time that you did the exercise.

One minute is good for beginners to get the hang of things. Three minutes is a good starting point for regular practice. Gradually work up to 7, 11, 22, or 31 minutes in one sitting. By the time you reach 31 minutes, you’re in self-mastery territory!

For more info on Sat Kriya and its many benefits, please visit Dan’s original post.  Happy practicing!

(top photo via Jaya Love)