Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is ...

by Stoma

Sometimes students write to or ask Swami Veda and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  When this happens, Swami Veda may answer the question himself or ask a senior teacher to do so, or if the question is asked directly to a senior teacher, the senior teacher will respond.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I have some questions about kundalini awakening. Since 5-6 weeks my body strongly moves back and forth during meditation and feelings like waves of electricity and pressure in the Ajna Chakra arise. And sometimes I wake up at night and have a feeling as if the whole body is full of electricity. I guess kundalini starts to awaken - should I do any particular practice now? And if kundalini is awakening, isn't she supposed to awaken in the lowest cakra and move upward through the other cakras?


It is quite possible that some awakening is happening. Sensations of pressure or even pain in the Ajna cakra are commonly associated with awakening of that center. The movements of subtle energy in the body are often experienced as being like heat or electricity, or, as the Hatha Yoga texts describe, "like the feeling of ants crawling on the skin." There is usually a clear sense that these sensations are not physical. (If they do seem physical, consult a physician.) It is often the case that when the energy begins to awaken it awakens in the Ajna center first, contrary to the popular imagination.

The movements you experience are due to warps and blockages in the nadis, or subtle energy channels of the energy body or Pranamaya Kosha. These knots and kinks in the flow are the result of mental and emotional disturbances that perturb the flow of prana. They operate like resistance in an electric wire; put a high voltage through that wire and it might burn up! You can smooth these knots out through work on emotional purification in your sadhana. An intensive practice of the 108 breath Nadi Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing exercise, will also speed the process along. Do this at least once daily, twice if you can. Practice of the four brahma-viharas (Yoga Sutras I.33)--friendliness, compassion, joyful mindedness and looking beyond the shortcomings in yourself and others--will also help to make your body/mind clear and stable. For more on emotional purification you might consult Swami Rama's The Art of Joyful Living.

If you can travel to India, it is often helpful to sit with Swami Veda in his evening meditations at Swam Rama Sadhaka Grama. The calmness and clarity of mindfield there often helps to still these disturbances and movements. He has recently published a wonderful book on Kundalini, Kundalini, Stirred or Stilled, which will explain much of this.

It is difficult to know when or how the awakening of Kundalini will happen. Jesus told his disciples, "No one shall know the hour of my coming." It is a common belief that the awakening always begins the lowest cakra (Muladhara) and proceeds through all other cakras. The reality is more complex. How the awakening occurs depends on a sadhaka's state of readiness, the nature of their subtle impressions (samskaras) and the progress they may have made in previous lives. A full awakening is actually quite rare. You can read accounts of these in the books of Swami Muktananda and Gopi Krishna. For most of us the awakening is a gradual one that allows us to assimilate the energy as it awakens. It is called krama-mukti, liberation by stages.

When the energy is awakened in Muladhara, it usually returns there until it has risen above the navel (Manipura) cakra. After it has crossed this boundary, the ascent is usually continuous, however gradual it may be. For example, your awakening may occur in the last cakra that you reached in a previous life. It could take an entire life to move the energy through one cakra. This is intended to show that the process can be manageable, not to make it seem interminable. Another good source on the subject is Swami Satyananda's Kundalini Tantra.

Shantih,   Stoma





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