Do you know what it is to yogically raise kundalini?
Have you had the experience?
It happens during an exercise session.
For experienced students it is planned and prepared for. For new students still learning to handle the energy it can sometimes happen unexpectedly.
Yogic exercises, no matter what name they go by, are meant to produce what can be thought of as a yogically-induced-psychedelic-experience.
What is it?
Is your yoga teacher moving you toward this experience?
Kundalini is the Sanskrit word for the subtle but super dynamic life-force energy that animates and functions the physical body and concentrates at the base of the spine near the genitals in a coiled formation. It is this energy which is comprehensively enhanced through the yoga exercises and breathing resulting in cleanliness of energy (purification) and the ability to fulfill yoga meditation stages. (Patanjali's stages 6-8 found in the Yoga Sutras)
During certain asana, combined with aggressive breathing, breath retention and the yogic locks, a transcendental event can occur wherein energies (kundalini) of your body travel upward into the head causing feelings of stunning euphoria, tingling transcendence of consciousness to another state that may consist of colorful visions of inner light, living mandalas, blissful sensations and a direct experience of one’s own supernatural nature.
Young students upon being directed through this process most often faint.
Yes I said faint....and I mean faint.
Hatha Yoga, as explained by Swatmarama in the Pradipika, is super serious and is not a glorified stretch session.
Hatha Yoga is otherworldly.
I never teach a yoga class anymore without first teaching the yogic locks which align the spine and centralize core consciousness. Without the locks we are not practicing hatha yoga. An entire chapter of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika explains their importance.
Without the locks we cannot be in a physical, much less psychic position, to handle the movement and power of the life force (kundalini).
Since kundalini can arise spontaneously especially when moving from one asana to another, all students need to be equipped with the locks in order to protect themselves from unnecessary falling down. All students.
Application of the locks will help keep one’s consciousness in the location of the body so that it can be controlled during the kundalini event.
We are working on managing multiple dimensional levels at once, this is the way of the yogi/yogini.
In class, when it is time for kundalini provoking postures I assist one student one at a time until they are able to manage the kundalini rise on their own.
I don’t take chances with students and don't teach them half ass yoga so that I don't have to do much work or understand what yoga really is.
Being a yoga teacher, a real yoga teacher unafraid of provoking students energies, is an enormous responsibility and should only be done by those prepared for what can happen.
I’ve had several students lose consciousness as I hold their collapsing body, often supporting their weight as I lower them to sitting, kneeling or lying, pushing inward their chin lock, whispering in their ear to lock the mind and to stay conscious of where their body is.
Occasionally as a student returns to the body, tears stream from their eyes as they integrate the realization that their body contains within it a power that they just came face to face with.
Its called Direct Experience.
Realizing the power contained in your very own presence is deeply revolutionary to one's consciousness and can cause profound existential feelings.
True yogins, those courageous students, willing and ready to produce their own psychedelic experience through the yogic use of oxygen infusion, carbon dioxide release (pranayama), special positioning of the body (asana) and centralized in-self focus (pratyahara), become unafraid of the true nature of their own psyche and are ready to work with the experience again and again.
Kundalini comes up at other times in our lives.
We feel it.
A morning stretch, orgasms, roller coaster rides, sneezing, urinating, the chills, etc...kundalini does make its way up the body on a fairly regular basis. But on its own terms.
Hatha Yoga or kundalini manipulation yoga is not natural in that same way. Kundalini doesn't choose this, it is chosen for it. This decision is on the part of the spiritual self and is the reason that yoga is a discipline. The self must contend with our own basic nature.
Yet even though yogic kundalini raising is an obscure function present in nature, it’s not meant for everyone.
Time and experience will make one intuitively ready for the practice. It really depends on your spiritual type and developmental stage.
We shouldn't push people who are not ready.
It can hurt or scare them.
They are not yoga students yet.
That is perfectly ok.
We should gently push students we sense are ready.
This takes advanced insight on the part of the teacher.
The bottom line is that most yoga teachers are not teaching hatha yoga properly. Most haven't studied the Pradipika much less use it for class curriculum.
Not even close.
Is your yoga teacher ready for your kundalini rise?
Is he/she promoting it? Explaining it?
Does she/he perform this fundamental yoga function on their own during their own practice?
Ask them! Ask questions in class!
It’s time we expect more from Yoga teachers and understanding and respecting kundalini is a good start.