Rarely does a Yoga student learn and apply the secret to a real yogic exercise practice. Most students accept what they’re offered at a Yoga studio by a certified ‘teacher’ as being yoga but the truth is that very few people, even well-meaning teachers, understand what it really means to perform Yoga exercises.
It was only 6 years ago that I came to understand that despite a dedicated 15 years of practice and teaching, I was not really practicing, or teaching, Yoga.
- I wasn’t harnessing and raising kundalini. I wasn’t pushing my students to do so either, I didn’t know I should be and I didn’t know how.
- I wasn’t having controlled transcendental events during my practice nor were students.
- I wasn’t using the locks (bandhas) properly.
- I wasn’t using breath infusion aggressively enough to really prepare my body and psyche for the transcendental event of kundalini raising and meditation.
- I wasn’t studying proper translations of the Yoga Source Texts to even comprehend what Yoga’s goals were.
The secret seems to be that, news flash, transcendental events are supposed to be part and parcel of a Yoga exercise practice. If you’re not having them, yet say you are practicing 'Yoga', then at least you should be actively working toward them.
Your Yoga ‘teacher’ should be assisting you greatly in moving toward them.
In fact, your teacher will be the person literally holding up the weight of your body as you fall unconscious the first few times you raise kundalini into your head. She will be the one embracing your possessed body and whispering in your ear to ‘pull in the mind lock!’ and to ‘pull in your chin lock!’ as your eyelids involuntarily flutter, your eyeballs roll up toward your third eye, and your facial muscles twitch and dance as kundalini moves through channels of your body that may have never been touched by such grace energy.
She may even wipe tears from your cheeks as you return to your body with all the emotion of having had experienced something beyond yourself, something psychedelic, something transcendental.
She will be your protector until you are able to successfully apply the internal locking mechanisms, bandhas, which enable you to align your spine and subtle body in such a way that you remain conscious in your body, witnessing, as kundalini life force energy moves up into your head and you experience another dimension of light, color, shape, sound, combined with feelings of bliss and transcenent joy.
This all happens during exercises (asana) and breath infusion (pranayama)!
This is what real Yogi’s are doing and this is what Yoga teachers should be doing.
Because this is what prepares us to sit down and practice yogic style meditation, the point of all this effort! The highest three limbs of the 8 fold path Patanjali standardized for us!
And Yogic meditation isn’t meant to have you stay in the here and now forever watching your breath and being mindful, no! Yogic meditation means for you to detach yourself from normal mental activities and attach yourself to naad sound, the inner Om, riding it like a cosmic conveyor belt to ever higher awareness’s.
As “Yoga” practitioners we should really ask ourselves about our own exercise practice.
Why am I doing these asana?
Why do I stretch my body and breathe it with special exercises and call it Yoga, a word not from my own language? (This can include Indian’s as most Indian’s do not speak or study Sanskrit.)
What is my goal in doing these exercises and are my goals the same as those itemized in the source texts which expound this ancient, foreign concept, Yoga?
If my honest answer is that I am stretching for reasons like wellness, relaxation, peace of mind and long life, yet I have little desire to understand “Yoga”, one of the six astika (meaning the belief in the self) schools of Hinduism, then I might consider reevaluating my use of the word.
Beyond even my training at the renowned Sivananda ashram teacher program, I spent years reading about Yoga from every Tom, Dick and Harry guru with ‘ananda’ at the end of his name. My heart was in the right place and I was certainly staying physically and mentally healthy. But I was not making progress in terms of understanding the truly transcendental effects I knew Yoga promised in those scriptures.
Beginning in 2013 I had the good luck to study academic translations and commentaries of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita and to study under their author, a non-institutional, no nonsense kundalini master, Michael Beloved.
I was forced to accept what I had suspected; that I had barely scratched the surface of what I thought a Yoga practice was. Michael’s insights make even the most revered guru philosophers look like children - and I certainly don’t say this to belittle them, it is simply true. His mystic skills, understanding of reincarnation, translations and purports of the Yogic scriptures, humility, and his personal daily practice are unparalleled. His grasp and application of Yoga is something I never imagined being lucky enough to find in this world, yet here it exists. And every day my practice deepens, my understanding expands, due to association with him.
Again I say, we should all question ourselves about our own so called Yoga practice. It’s worth it and causes us to know ourselves, our intentions and our goals so much better.
It also saves Yoga from further denigration.
So please stretch and hyperventilate yourself into controlled mystic events. Events that happen directly to you, not just stuff you've read about.
Look around you, you can't see it, but the most powerful chemical drug surrounds you, waits for you to make use of it for transcendence. Air. O2. Nothing is more powerful to your genuine kundalini practice than the use you can make of air.