A Proper Understanding the Active/Passive Aspect of Kundalini Yoga Practice
It is often said that Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, comprises all systems of yoga.
This is meant more in the sense that the result and benefits of other systems of yoga gradually
and suddenly emerge into the experience of the Kundalini Yoga practitioner, such that one
will notice the emergence of a deep intuition of posture and prana, and awaken to the
experiences of shakti, laya, bhakti, gyan (jnana), which emerge spontaneously into
consciousness. While providing all the benefits of physical and mental health, fitness and
fortitude, Kundalini Yoga is entirely different in approach, practice, technique, benefit and
result than any other system of yoga. Kundalini Yoga is a Path towards direct experience of
the non-dual all-pervasive and single Self.
This article is to provide some clarification and guidance as to how to practice Kundalini
Yoga to realize the full physical, mental and spiritual benefit, while attempting to make it
clear that, even though the various aspects of Kundalini Yoga may seem somewhat like the
practices of other yogas, one should not make the mistake of teaching or practicing Kundalini
Yoga, as one might have learned in another yoga discipline, because the dynamics of
Kundalini Yoga are entirely different.
While other yogas often lose their direction – hatha becoming a “stretch and bolt,” martial arts
– a sport, bhakti leading to fanaticism, jnana into intellectual mind-games, daily practice of
Kundalini Yoga generates a relentless force field within the body mind and soul that turns one
to experience their True Spiritual Self, as a magnet turns to true north.
Through the daily practice of Kundalini Yoga, there is a gradual strengthening of the nerve
pathways and centers of the body towards the experience of an increasing electromagnetic
voltage that corresponds to the influx of the awareness of the universal energies that support
and sustain the body and mind, like the conversion in a house of a 110 voltage system,
gradually to a 220 voltage system, then to a 440 voltage system, where, by analogy, the
electric wiring, fuses and energy support systems are progressively strengthened throughout
the body field. The results are systematic, holistic, expansive, balanced and complete, where
Kundalini is experienced as an awakening of Awareness that brings about a total opening of
the systems of the body, through which the governors (energy control centers in the Kandal
[between the navel and 4th vertebra], the brain and the Heart), which restrict (like the surface
of a bubble) the sudden influx of the ocean of energy that surrounds us, are able to gradually
open the body’s energy channels to this ocean. Voltage throughout the body increases to
allow the infinite energy that supports sustains and pervades the universe in all dimensions to
emerge as our normal awareness. As a result of this systematic strengthening of the body
field, as energy increases it diffuses throughout the system, so that even sudden bursts, which
in other yoga practices may seem troubling, become no more that waves on the shore of an
ever widening ocean to the practitioner of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. There is
a shift in awareness from reflected consciousness (the moon of the mind) to direct
consciousness (the sun in the Heart), from notional “i” to the True “I” that is seamless. The
Guru becomes the inner divinity in one’s Heart, no longer the reflected images of the mind.
Kundalini in other yoga practices is something different, because the body and mind are not
prepared and adequately balanced, except in a monastic situation, and then under the careful
guidance of someone that has practiced that yogic system, who assists the practitioner in the
long and arduous purification process unique to that specific practice. Otherwise, there may
be sudden bursts of energy that become disconcerting to the practitioner who experiences
them, who then has no one to go to for direction. Thus, yoga / mediation teachers often tell
their students to disregard energy flows or to sublimate them, which in reality is like the
lifeguard at a lakeside resort telling someone, who is swimming with some discomfort in the
middle of a lake, to avoid the experience of water against their skin and wetness in the mouth.
In Kundalini Yoga practice there is acceptance and opening, not denial or rejection.
As the higher centers open, the devotion one feels, the deep inner longing, are for the ever
increasing experience purity, lightness and Truth that begins to permeate them, versus images
of devotion that often trap devotees into an imaged concept of God.
Shakti becomes Bhakti, and Bhakti becomes Gyan (Jnana), a realization of inner Wisdom and
Self Knowledge that is beyond thought and conjecture, beyond endless intellectual discourse
and argument, into which many other practices degenerate. The power of the discriminative
mind emerges, a Force of Intelligence permeates and rivets the body and mind to the Spirit,
and the pure mind inverts and reflects the True Self in the Heart. The ancient Sages and Yogis
call this the Enlightenment of the Whole Body.
Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is very practical. Innumerable sets of Kundalini
Yoga exercises, kriyas, mantras and meditations, with their origins going back thousands of
years, once hidden and imparted secretly are now provided openly, each with specific
purposes that culminate in the systematic strengthening of the energy pathways, centers and
governors, resulting in the simultaneous influx of the universal energy consciousness
pervading us. But there are basics that need to be covered in order to realize the full power
and benefit of a daily Kundalini Yoga practice, i.e., sadhana.
Invocation / Dedication:
Kundalini Yoga practice always begins with a dedication. Our life and being, our
consciousness is based on one simple component. Awareness. This simple Awareness is a
light that illumines everything. It is the subject-“I” to all objects. Its source is the substratum
of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is the support for the physical, subtle and causal
bodies. It is the consciousness behind the conscious mind, the subconscious and unconscious.
It is a self-effulgent screen within which and upon which everything seen and unseen appears.
While single and all-pervasive, it manifests in the Heart, the Harimandr, from there filling all
the nerves of the body and a major nerve up to the brain with the sense or awareness of “I” –
of identity. All that is required to awaken to the True Self is to hold onto this Awareness and
just watch. In Kundalini Yoga we begin with a dedication to apply this Awareness to our
entire practice and life. This is the Adi Mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev (Day) Namo: In the
Name of the Creator, the Creative Force in the Universe. In the Name of That Inner Divinity
that takes me from darkness to Light,… i.e., I dedicate my awareness.
This means that throughout the practice the orientation is always to be aware, as follows:
Concerning the Awareness of postures and movements in Kundalini Yoga:
When there is a posture, movement or angle, it is also important that you s–t–r–e–t–c–h. For
example, if you are instructed that the arms are to be held at 60o, you bring them to 60o (not
45o to 90o) and stretch the shoulders, arms, fingers, opening the armpits. Kundalini Yoga is
the yoga of angles. The angle leads to a specific effect. By stretching, you will discover that
the exercise becomes easier and achieves its full physiological intent. The same for raising
legs, or arching. There needs to be an attention and awareness of a full and complete
execution of a Kundalini Yoga exercise, not necessarily to do a posture or movement to
perfection, as with some yogas, but to do ones best to perform the Kundalini Yoga exercise
correctly (and never to over exertion or strain, which might hinder practice later). A little
done right will enable you to do much more later. In time, progressively, you will find that
what you can do now for 30 seconds or for a minute or 2, within a matter of weeks it will be
easy to do these same exercises for 3 minutes, 5, 7, 11, 31 minutes. The stretching is the key
to holding a position for a long time, because it vitalizes the entire life system in each area.
Otherwise the body will feel like a dead-weight.
Also, in movements, begin slowly and feel the link of the awareness to the pranic radiance;
then begin to add breath. Then, to effect the electric charging of the body, begin to gradually
increase the power of the breath and the movement. The result will be that you will see a
tremendous difference in the overall experience and realization of the benefit of each
Kundalini Yoga exercise.
In Kundalini Yoga, awareness is the important factor to the practice. That’s why Yogi Bhajan
emphasizes that “Kundalini yoga is the Yoga of Awareness.” He doesn’t say the yoga of
postures, movements, angles, breath, bhandas, and so many other factors, but specifically
“Awareness.” This is because our Awareness is the True Self, and through the practice of
Awareness in a yoga that generates and deepens the experience of radiance, identity to the
limited mind dissolves, and the substratum support Awareness emerges – the Infinite Being,
and you abide as That.
Therefore, when we move into a posture and movement, we begin slowly, being aware of
every part of the body, of the stretching of muscle and ligaments, of the relaxation of all parts
of the body not involved in the exercise, so that the energy generated can flow directly to the
areas under pressure, and then to relax inwardly those areas under pressure, so that these too
will be able to fully absorb the energy flow being generated. The very directing of awareness
to these areas will also greatly expand the growing sensation of radiance that flows from the
muscles and organs, then deeper from the cells, then deeper from the atoms, and then even
deeper, as ever expanding radiance is felt that you eventually realize to be the Radiance of the
Self, the light of your consciousness.
Awareness in Breathing:
It is also very important that you learn to do the breathing properly. The basic breaths are
long deep breathing (yogic breath), breath of fire and suspension of breath (holding the
breath). But there are other breaths as well, such as kapalabati, canon breath and others that
have specialized applications in conjunction with posture and movement that result in a
unique effect that is exponentially greater and different than as practiced in other yogas.
Breath of Fire – whether one is sitting cross-legged with hands on the knees or arms
extended in front of the chest, hands clenched or other angle, the main focus is on the
rhythmic expansion and contraction of the diaphragm powered by the movement of the solar
plexus and navel, so that the air is felt deep in the lungs, in the middle and through the chest
area without using the muscles of the abdomen, chest or shoulders. This means that as you
enter lightly into this breath, once you feel the light flow of the breath and the beginning of
the emergence of a delicate pranic radiance, you begin to watch through the abdomen, the
sides, the legs, the lower spine, the middle and upper arts of the back, the solar plexus and
chest, the shoulders, neck and throat, the facial muscles, lips, jaw, eyes and forehead, relaxing
each and every area. Then you refocus on the light rhythm of the diaphragm, relaxing its
movement. The very application of this awareness to the diaphragm also gives it a greater
voltage and energy, so that you’ll notice that the power and movement, combined with
increasing radiance all through and around the body, deeper and deeper, becomes steadily
stronger. In this way, you develop the Awareness to practice in a manner that allows the
energy being generated to go to the actual areas under pressure from the posture or movement
and not to be dissipated in other areas that might be under tension or stress only because
awareness was not applied to relax and release these areas. Then the focusing of the energy
flow to the areas under pressure will bring about the greatest benefit.
This same approach should be used in the beginning and active part of every Kundalini Yoga
exercise, kriya, mantra and meditation.
Long Deep Breathing – in the Breath Awareness exercise, which is simply the practice of the
yogic breath, there are three areas one becomes aware of: The inhalation together with the
expansion of prana or feeling of radiance through the legs, lower middle upper part of the
body, the chest/heart, neck head, up through the top of the head and expanding outward
around the body field.
You inhale deeply down to the bottom of the lungs by allowing the lower part of the
diaphragm to unwrap and expand downward and out against the abdomen. Then, pushing
lightly down in the knees with the hands and pulling in with the hands against the knees, the
spine will arch, chest come forwards, shoulders back, chin come in slightly and neck stretch
upwards, slightly back at the axis and atlas. This is neck lock. Then “suspend the breath
forward in the chest, and you will feel the gradual expansion of the energy flow, as described.
With each breath more and more prana is stored in the heart, located it the 8th vertebra pranic
center. After 5 to 10 seconds (initially holding 5 seconds and then gradually increasing to
10), slowly exhale, squeezing from the top of the lungs downwards until, as sensation of
upwards contraction of an area just below the navel is felt. Then you will feel all the
expanding energy, the prana, withdraw and flow down from the centers in the brain and
higher centers, down into this area, which you just maintain in a contracted state without
pulling upward as with root lock, for 5 or more seconds. In this way, the prana is expanded
then together with the downward flowing apana, contracted. With every breath a greater and
greater radiance will be felt throughout the body, all around and deeply into the cells and
atoms of the body. Then inhale and hold the breath, come into neck lock, suspend the breath,
meaning there is no downward pressure at the throat on the expanding pranic radiance. Then
pull the root lock, which draws the accumulating polarity of energy in the Kandal below the
navel up into the spine and experience a flow of energy radiating upwards and out, expanding
in an ever widening field through the 10 Bodies – the chakras, throughout the aura, ark line
and radiant body. This is a key breath (prana) awareness exercise, often used between
Kundalini Yoga exercises.
In the Breath Awareness Exercise, you also become aware that in the suspension of breath
you will notice that the radiance felt in the chest extends all through the front of the body, a
kind of an infilling electric sensation that entirely suspends the breath and the mind. With
each breath, you will notice a sense of abiding singly as the seer, with less and less interest or
focus on the energy increasing throughout the body. The emergence of a sense of being
“empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power (attention).” (from faith
Mind of the Third Zen Patriarch) Thus, suspension of breath in holding the breath produces
an effect that is vastly different from the breath retention in other yogas.
By incorporating this in the way that Kundalini Yoga exercises are practiced, the body
becomes acclimated to the experience of greater energy flows, the mind becomes more
expansive, pure/satvic, inertia is relinquished, and your awareness grows in inward clarity and
expansion and the emergence of a deeper knowledge of who and what you really are, less and
less centered around the focusing of the sense of “I” identity, more and more simply abiding
in the consciousness of radiant, expanding being and the inward emergence of your True
Identity in the Infinite.
Awareness and Bhandas:
Learning the bhandas properly from the beginning is also important, i.e., mool bhand (root
lock), uddyana bhand (diaphragm lock) and jalandara bhand (neck lock). Bhandas are meant
to direct the easy flow of circulating energy during and after the completion of the active
portion of a Kundalini Yoga exercise. Eventually an automatic electromagnetic locking effect
will be felt, as the energy increases in the body. Practice makes this eventuality come sooner.
Each Kundalini Yoga exercise has a specific effect that can be felt in the radiance generated
and longer term deepening of awareness. Kundalini Yoga exercises are usually put together
in sets with a specific purpose or more powerful kriyas, which may also be part of a set.
In order to derive the full benefit of sets, kriyas, laya mantras and meditations, it is suggested
that a few kundalini Yoga exercises and pranayamas be practiced in preparation, in order to
activate the radiance throughout the body and charge and balance the channels, then the effect
of the sets, kriyas and meditations will be immediate and much more powerful.
An example would be to start with the breath Awareness Exercise, lead by the teacher.
This might be followed by bringing the palms of the hands together, with thumbs against the
sternum to begin the Invocation / Adi Mantra repeated 3 to 5 times, then inhale, hold the
breath, pull the root lock and 30 seconds later, relax the breath. When you exhale you may
feel a sensation of strong electricity moving through the spine and throughout the body. Just
remain entirely passive and relaxed and the energy will flow outward.
Then sitting, spread the legs wide and bring the arms up to the sides, parallel to the ground
pressing the shoulders back. In this exercise you slowly begin the lean forwards keeping the
spine straight, leading with the heart and not the head, so the head remains slightly up. Then
slowly start to stretch the arms forward, reaching and stretching the arms as far as possible.
Feel the flow of radiance as you move.
Then slowly come into the starting position. Be aware of the stretching of the ligaments and
muscles in the back and shoulders. With each slow forward and back motion, feel the
radiance expanding throughout the body. You may notice a certain brightness in the source of
the flow of attention between the heart and the brain. After 9 or 10 such stretches introduce a
long deep breath as you come straight, hold a moment, then exhale as you stretch forwards.
Again each slow motion will add pranic radiance. Then to increase the power and voltage
much further, begin to move through this exercise with greater power in movement and
breathing. You should begin to feel the radiance becoming electric. Then inhale and hold the
breath, pull the root lock and let the energy fill the body, expand upwards and all around the
body field. Exhale and lower the arms squeezing all the breath out until you feel the area
below the navel contract upwards. Repeat in the same manner as Breath Awareness Exercise,
several times, then inhale and hold again. Pull the root lock, feel the electricity flow through
the legs, torso, back, arms and through the head, then relax for a minute, and come sitting
cross-legged. The spine and back will be open and the Heart will be open from this exercise,
and the whole body will radiate.
The next exercise is similar to the Breath Awareness Exercise in the intent to irradiate the
body field. In this case one prepares for the practice of Kundalini Yoga exercises by bringing
the arms forward, parallel to the ground, hands clasped in Venus Lock and doing the Breath
of Fire. You begin lightly, then, as the prana begins to expand in the body, you will notice
that the power of the breath, both in terms of volume of air pumped and speed, increases
steadily throughout the exercise period. As you continue for up to 5 minutes, you will notice
that all the muscles of the body are relaxed and that the powerful motion of the diaphragm
itself becomes more and more effortless. A sense of clarity and electricity will begin to be
felt expanding up from the legs and lower part of the body to the upper areas until you feel
and expansion of this clarity and light filling the head and flowing out through the entire
crown area, radiating around the body. Then inhale hold the breath, pull the locks, hold for 30
seconds or longer, then exhale squeezing all the breath out until the area below the navel
contracts upwards. Keep the breath out in this way, without pulling the root lock, and all the
energy will stabilize into this area and polarize. Then continue with the Breath Awareness
Exercise, holding the breath in, then holding it out for 10 seconds after each inhalation and
exhalation, while the cells of the body decontract, absorb the energy and begin to radiate.
Next comes spinal flex – camel ride. Again, you begin slowly. Sitting with legs crossed,
holding the shins with your hands, then pulling the hands inwards, the spine arches straight
and the neck comes into alignment stretching upwards in an easy neck lock. You will feel a
releasing of energy all through the spine and flowing up through the top of the head, a clear,
yet blissful sensation. After a few moments completely slouch the back, pressing the back
arched spine back, stretching the nerves, muscles and ligaments that start to release their
energy. Slowly come into the straight position, pulling the spine straight, and feel the released
energy radiate upwards through the spine. Continue this slow motion several more times,
then bring in the breath, inhaling to fill the lungs as you come straight, exhaling back,
continuing slowly, feeling the radiance increasing even greater. At a certain point you will
begin to feel the sensation in the spine of a will to vibrate more quickly, which in turn
increases the power of the voltage being generated. In classes the teacher usually leads the
movement until the power and speed is felt, then students continue on their own. Then inhale
and hold the breath. Pull the locks, pressing the shoulders back, chest forward, suspending
the breath 30 seconds, or longer. Then exhale, again, as previously squeezing all the air out
until the area below the navel contracts upwards bringing about a polarization of the flow of
prana (radiance) throughout the body field. Again continue with the Breath Awareness
Exercise, as above, than sit still and relax, and feel the circulation and expansion of the
radiance throughout the body, inside and eventually outside.
The exercises that follow are to open the moon channel and sun channel (the ida and pingala
nadis). There are many variations, but here are 2 that open these channels in opposite ways.
The first is to come kneeling on the knees. Then extend the right leg straight to the right side.
Then raise the arms up by the sides until they are stretched up, arms hugging the ears, with
palms pressed together. The pelvis is pressed slightly forwards to keep a straight tension
throughout the spine. Then begin very powerful Long Deep Breathing, completely expanding
then contracting the lungs with every breath for 10 to 15 breaths, stretching the arms upwards
with each inhalation. Then inhale, hold the breath for 10 to 15 seconds, pull the root lock,
stretch the arms up, press the pelvis slightly forward and stretch the spine upwards. Feel the
radiance fill the body, then slowly exhale, bringing the hands down in front of the kneed,
bring the right foot back next to the left foot and come sitting back on the heels. Bring the
spine straight, stretching the neck upwards, shoulders back slightly, chest forwards and wait.
You will begin to feel a releasing of an electric current all along the left side of the spine, the
moon channel, up through the back of the left side of the neck, up over the left side of the top
of the head, to the point between the eyebrows. Wait, notice the flow of the energy, then
release your attention and remain passive (negative mind meditation). The energy will begin
to increase and expand all through the left side of the body, flowing upwards through the top
of the head and around the left side of the body field. Just wait, maybe a minute or 3. Then
repeat the same exercise, kneeling and extending the left leg out, arms stretched up, and so on
to affect the sun channel to the right side of the spine.
The second part of this ida pingala / moon sun channel cleansing is again to come up in the
kneed, but this time, you press the pelvis forward as far as possible, arching the spine back,
pressing the shoulders back, expanding the ribcage forward, then arching the neck and head
all the way back. Feel the radiance. Then slowly extend the left arm up stretching the arm
and the fingers upwards, as though to reach for a lightning bolt. Then twist slightly to the
right to put the right hand on the right heal, then over the right foot. Press the pelvis forwards
more, extend the left arm and fingers upwards even further and begin the Breath of Fire for a
minute. Then inhale deeply, hold the breath, pull the root lock, press the pelvis forwards,
reach up, arch the spine more, feel the expansion in the chest area. Feel the energy radiance
beginning to increase forcefully throughout the body field. Then slowly exhale, come sitting
on the heels, hands resting on the thighs, spine straight. You will begin to feel a powerful
radiance through the moon cannel, then expanding to all the organs on the right side of the
leg, torso, neck and head, with energy flowing powerfully upwards. Wait.
After 2 to 4 minutes, feeling the radiance increasing, then balancing, you can repeat the same
exercise extending the right arm up and left hand back to the left heal, to affect the sun
Now that the ida and pingala are charges and balanced, the exercise that follows is to open the
central canal (the sushumna) and the Heart, simple but powerful. I this exercise, simply sit
cross-legged. Bring the arms behind the back with the hands clasped in Venus lock. Bring
the spine straight, arms stretched straight, press the shoulders back to bring the shoulder
blades together, expanding the chest forward. Now inhale deeply, then lean forwards keeping
the head slightly up, leading with the heart, while stretching your arms up from the back as
high as possible. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale coming straight, again pressing the
shoulders back. And continue slowly 10 to 15 times, then when you come up, after inhaling
down, this time inhale deeper, using all your strength to press the shoulders back, clasped
hands pressing into the lower spine, neck extending and stretching upwards, pull the root lock
and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Exhale completely, inhale immediately remaining with the
spine straight, again pressing the shoulders back, while pulling the root lock and neck lock 10
seconds. Repeat one more time, then very slowly exhale and bring th hands slowly around
from behind the back to the knees. Relax the breath. You will begin to feel a surge of e pillar
of light all through the spine, upward flowing through the top of the head, opening the central
canal of the spine (the sushumna) and the Heart. Wait for 1 to 3 minutes until the radiance
extends throughout the body through the top of the head and all through the aura.
The final preparation exercise is to open up the higher centers from the Heart to the brain and
the arc line. This is a very simple exercise. Sitting cross-legged, you reach your arms up 90
degrees, palms facing eachother. Then begin to stretch the shoulders and arms back, arching
the spine, opening the chest cavity. Stretch. Stretch the nick upwards and drop the head back
slightly, as though to look between the up stretched arms and hands. Begin a powerful Breath
of Fire for 3 to 5 minutes, all the while focused on the arching of the spine, stretching the
arms and shoulders up and back, expanding the chest. You will feel the radiance begin to
flow upwards through the neck and the chakras and governors in the brain and through the top
of the head, possibly feelings of bhakti and purity filling the mind. Then inhale, pull the root
lock and hold for 30 seconds. Slowly exhale bringing the hands to the knees and wait. You
will feel the radiance expanding throughout the body and flowing upwards. Just apply the
awareness to the flow, without direct attention, and the radiant flow will deepen and increase.
Try this series, as an example of what some might call a “warm up.” But in Kundalini Yoga,
what in other yogas and sports is called a warm up, is a preparation of the body and mind for
deep meditation on the radiance to be developed through every set, kriya and meditation.
There are variations of these after the Breath Awareness Exercise, but you are now ready to
experience the full benefit of a Kundalini Yoga set, kriya and meditation.
In Kundalini Yoga practice, while the importance of stretching may be taught, the breathing
and locks are somewhat different from hatha yoga practices, so it’s important to understand
how to do them so that the energy flows easily and correctly.
The Active and Passive Aspects of Each Kundalini Yoga Exercise:
Finally, it is vitally important to understand that each kundalini yoga exercise has an active
part and a passive part. In other yogas this is not the case. Each posture is a complete
exercise in itself, whatever the series might be or whether in a series (like a karate karta) or
single posture to corps pose.
But in Kundalini Yoga the purpose of the practice is to develop radiance (laya) and depth
(pratyahar), which is only felt in other yogas much further along in their practice.
In Kundalini Yoga you are maximizing and working directly with all the systems of the body
simultaneously – circulatory, pulmonary, endocrine, nervous etc. Each posture and
movement brings about a pressure in a specific area or system of the body. This pressure
means that the blood will saturate in that area. As powerful Kundalini Yoga breathing
techniques are combined with the postures and movements, these areas put under pressure
will have the strong effect of the purified and energized blood flow into that area. Initially,
this means that these areas, where the capillaries and cells open under the pressure of the
exercise, discharge their impurities and toxins in return for the vitality of the purified
energized blood flow. Moreover, these same areas begin to build a charge – a voltage.
Now, here is the important part to remember:
The body is like a car battery, only with many batteries working together. In a car battery,
there is water, and there are chemicals. As the chemicals are increased the voltage of the
battery also increases – 3 volts, 6 volts, 12 volts, 24 volts, are a standard we can buy at any KMart.
The body is mostly water, with some chemicals, whose secretion is the basis for the
maintaining of voltage generated in the body. (This is why it is said: You are as young as your
In the practice of other yogas, there is a gradual process in which the tensions and blockages
of the body are reduced and the mind begins to become still. The process accelerates with
increase practice and especially fasting and internal purification, such as (in the west) colonics
(versus Nauli Kriya for cleaning the large intestine).
Then, as the energies of the body are used less and less towards the incessant pressure of
thinking and identity encoding, imaging, impression taking and so on, there is a build up of
unused kinetic energy, that begins to fill through the body, so that the body begins to lose its
inertia, becoming satvic pure, transparent, blissful, easing into the ever-present oneness of the
Awareness to movement and eventually prana, as in Kundalini Yoga practice, is a key to the
expansion of this kinetic energy in other yoga practices, what in Buddhist meditation and
martial arts is called “Mindfulness.” This is because that simple awareness through which we
experience the inner and outer world is really the light of the Infinite Being. When the mind
becomes pure and still, this light of awareness, through which we experience the inner and
outer world, sinks into its source, and illumination flashes forth.
In Kundalini Yoga, the posture/movement (always practiced with still awareness) combined
with powerful breath creates this purification in various areas of the body directly, and with it
comes an electrical charge to these areas. To support this electrical charge, and this is the
very important point to remember in your Kundalini Yoga practice, the glands secrete very
specialized chemicals. The charge or voltage generated directly impacts the glandular system
causing the glands to secrete so that this charge may be sustained and maintained. Chemical
electric pathways open. Once the active part of the Kundalini Yoga exercise is completed, the
passive part begins. The reaction of the glandular and nervous system to the vitality of the
bloodstream impacting the specific areas of pressure brought about through the posture or
movement takes some time to complete. The time period depends on the duration of the
exercise and other dynamics of the body’s ability to circulate the secreted chemicals.
Therefore, you have an active aspect of each Kundalini Yoga exercise and a passive aspect,
which must be experienced for the exercise to achieve its full benefit!
In the experience of the passive aspect of a Kundalini Yoga exercise, initially, there is the
sensation of decontraction of the cells and muscles and ligaments in the area. Then comes the
sensation of opening and radiance. Then the radiance begins to balance with all the other
organs and cells of the body, strengthening the magnetic field of the whole body, bringing it
into balance with the area affected in the exercise. And you begin to feel a previously
impalpable sensation of “electric radiance” / “transparent electric” – which grows and expands
(and brings about a deepening) through each progressing Kundalini Yoga exercise (and kriya)
that make up a set, and then progressively building from set to set.
At the end of each set, usually before a meditation, we allow the body to go into a deep
relaxation, yoga nidra, through which all the energies compacted in various areas of he body
may finally release, merge, deepen, effecting an entire systemic new increased voltage plateau
in the body, so that gradually you will become aware of the inner and outer radiance
In Kundalini Yoga, we usually diversify the sets practiced in order to bring about the opening
of the cells, glands, organs, nerves and systems in every area of the body.
Typically, the passive part of a Kundalini Yoga exercise is as long as the active part, but what
you are looking for is a sensation of the radiance circulating and rising through the body to the
crown and beyond, which indicates the balancing of the electromagnetic field is complete.
Typically the Yoga Nidra is 10 to 15 minutes.
Purification of the subconscious:
The body is a mechanism that stores the impressions of who we think we are. (The body is
like the hard drive for computer storage, versus the brain as the RAM/cache
storage.) Because the impressions are stored in the body structure, we call it the
subconscious. With Kundalini Yoga practice, the electric chemical balance of the voltage of
the body increases to bring about a system wide vibratory frequency that is higher – more
subtle – than the frequency of thought vibration, so that your sense of identity begins to
become clearer and clearer, less linked to thought and sensation. No longer drawn to this or
that reactive thought or imbedded compulsion, but open single clear awareness of the
pervasiveness of consciousness throughout the body field (i.e., the ten bodies).
At the lower voltage level of the body, the mind’s focusing mechanism of attention needs to
be used to see and know. It moves through the darkness (unawareness) of the body/mind field
like a flashlight used to see on a dark night whose light grips each arising thought, sensation,
impression in order to compare or merge with the sense of “I” inherent in the light.
Sometimes more is seen. Like the waxing and waning of the moon cycles, the mind becomes
brighter (feelings of love, compassion – satvic) and dimmer (feelings of hate, distrust,
judgment – rajasic, tamasic).
Many people have no real sense or feeling of the energy radiance that pervades and sustains
the body, i.e., their own life force, let alone that this force of Life is actually the Light and
Life of the Infinite Being that denotes the single sense of “I” in the body. We focus to each
part of the body and feel that part of the body.
But with Kundalini Yoga practice, in particular a daily morning sadhana, the overall voltage
of the body begins to become the same as, even greater than, the voltage of the focusing
mechanism of the mind……..
The result of this is that you begin to lose your experience of the need to focus, i.e., direct
attention, as your awareness now simultaneously encompasses the whole body! You realize
yourself to be the single seer of the whole body and the radiant field around, which you
actually experience without focusing.
Kundalini Yoga practice includes the use of mantra and meditations.
Mantra in Kundalini Yoga is much different in effect and impact than with other yogas,
because through the practice of what we might call the “Yoga of Light,” as described above,
the “Yoga of Sound” is amplified. With the Yoga of Light, the whole body begins to
resonate. When you add the Yoga of Sound, the sound amplifies throughout the body, and
has the unique and special effect of integrating the energy that has been systematically stored
from each Kundalini Yoga exercise. It’s like playing a regular guitar versus playing an
electric guitar, where the reverberation increases with the amplitude of the voltage. But with
Kundalini Yoga, the very use of the mantra also increases the amplitude of the voltage, so that
you have a leveraged effect. Part of this is due to the effect of the sound causing a breakdown
of subtle blockages of energy flow. Part has to do with the effect of releasing of energy stored
in areas of the body from practicing Kundalini Yoga exercises. And, with the use of mantra,
the glands also secrete to support and sustain the increasing voltage. You may practice a
Kundalini Yoga set for an hour, and feel the radiance throughout your body and mind, and
now you practice a mantra, and within 5 minutes the energy is so tremendously greater, and
yet at the same time easy flowing and expanding, that there is no comparison.
While there are kriyas to benefit every part of the body and every aspect of the mind, and
kriyas to activate the energy channels and control governors between the base of the spine and
crown, there are also special kriyas and meditations to trigger the opening of the Spiritual
Heart (not the anahata chakra) and the Pathway of the Self between the Spiritual Heart and the
Crown. The Radiance felt here is both inward pulling and expansive, all absorbing and
pushing out from within and between the atoms of the body. Time and space lose there
meaning altogether. Stillness, radiance, pervasiveness, and all notions are relinquished.
Once you are able to “hear” the soundless pulsing of the “I as I,” the radiance takes on a
different characteristic that inwardly reflects the Truth (Sat), giving the continuous sensation
of Remembrance of your True Self single and pervasive and Abiding as That.
Kundalini Yoga meditations have a very specific purpose of opening the gate to the Infinite
Spirit, which is to say, to subtly dissolve the remaining idea that the notional sense of “i” we
feel as myself in the body is separate or different from the True “I” of which our notional “i” is
only a reflection in the mind of the Temple of the True “I” in the Spiritual Heart.
As the mind becomes pure and satvic, there emerges a sense of a clear Force of Intelligence,
that pervades the body field, but is felt initially in the area of the brain, wherein you feel the
question arising, without a thought formation, of inquiry into where the sense of seeing
arises. As the inner intensity increased, you feel a pulling force in your Heart (not the anahata
chakra), initially like a magnet, and then like a graviton, transfixing the body and mind as one
in Spirit, where inside and outside vanish, and “Everything is Whole” (YB)
Yogis call this force of intelligent awareness the budhi or discriminative faculty of the
mind. The emergence of this discriminative faculty is because the mind is experienced to be
radiant, clear, pervasive and still. Abiding in that stillness and pervasive field of radiance,
which has no here or there focus, the experiencer Itself amplifies Its own Intelligence to ask
“Who …? And suddenly something new happens, which we can call Yoga – Union. A
Hearing, Recollection and Abiding. You hear and experience with a deep inner clarity that
draws your sense of “i” powerfully inwards to a remembrance of who you are behind
everything. Yogis call this experience Turya.
You feel as though a sun is rising in the Heart, and with it that the moon of the mind is less
and less needed to see and know, even though it may appear in the crystal blue sky. The
notions of here and there become meaningless, and you abide in the recollection of your True
Identity, the Ground of Being, as though coming out of an amnesia.
Initially, this “hearing” (sunia, sravana) is felt like a pulsing of “I as I” – like the striking of a
tuning fork that reverberates as a soundless sound, or like a self-effulgent pervasive screen
upon which everything emerges into appearance, only the images on the screen are seen from
their perspective of the undifferentiated whole, and the idea of separateness simply dissolves
from the conscious field.
In Kundalini Yoga, the evolutionary/involutionary practice taken as a whole is called One
Star Spirituality, the One Star being the Reality in the Heart that expands Light of Being
outward while drawing the self inward to abide as one’s True Self. The True Guru within us is
experienced as sound and light that subtly draws us inward to awaken to our whole Self.
While Kundalini Yoga is not a religion, with daily practice the words in the spiritual texts of
all religions will be heard, and you will feel the force of your True Self awakening to the
meaning within the sound of the words, like being called from a sound sleep.
All this to say that, if a daily sadhana is taken up and you practice the breathing and locks
properly, and you practice each Kundalini Yoga exercise, kriya, mantra and meditation
understanding that with every active part there is an equally important (more important)
passive part, then fear, imbalance, and everything related will pass and you will experience
your True Whole Self. “Wait, be patient, relax, consolidate integrate, be You…” Yogi Bhajan
Just practice, practice the right way, and keep up, and “everything that is good will come to
you.” (YB) Sat Nam