We are in the throes of a severe pandemic the world over, fighting a relentless battle against COVID-19. Isolation has taken a toll on us, and it is not easy to beat the doom and gloom. In such distressing times, Kundalini Yoga can be immensely helpful in soothing and relaxing our body, mind and soul, says Nancy Zabaneh.
Following on from the whirlwind of 2020, it has become imperative to understand the importance of learning to go inward and take control of our emotions. Our bodies and minds are naturally designed to serve us. When we get ample rest, drink enough fluids, eat whole foods, allow emotions to flow freely and keep stress levels low, we can navigate what life throws at us more easily. While the body is designed to naturally remove toxins that enter through the air we breathe, food we ingest and experiences we face, today’s overwhelming pace of life and ongoing stress make it difficult for the body and mind to do what they were designed to do.
While all forms of yoga help to detoxify, Kundalini yoga is a particularly helpful tool to purify. The practice helps us to connect to the best version of ourselves and to the Divine power. It arouses the sleeping Kundalini energy or shakti from its coiled base and awakens the full potential of human awareness.
Unlike other schools of yoga, this Kundalini yoga involves repetitive poses, breathing exercises, chanting and meditation. Kundalini yoga is essentially a blend of Bhakti yoga (the yogic practice of devotion and chanting), Raja yoga (the practice of meditation and physical control) and Shakti yoga (the expression of power and energy). A typical class not only offers an excellent workout, but paves the way for greater mental, emotional and spiritual flexibility. It activates your energies, balances your chakras and helps you move past your ego, to allow vitality a chance to thrive.
Kundalini yoga and meditation techniques focus on shifting the energy through the chakras to promote greater peace and clarity. The technology offers powerful tools to release anger and anxiety, all the while making you more resilient in the face of life’s challenges.
Try this simple exercise to begin your Kundalini journey, called the Ego Eradicator. It cleanses the lungs, opens the heart and balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain. It detoxifies the body, oxygenates the blood and strengthens your third chakra or your core.
- Sit in Easy Pose, flex your fingers at the middle knuckle so that the pads of your fingertips rest where the palms meet the base of the fingers
- Point your thumbs toward the sky
- Extend your arms to 60 degrees (or 2 o’clock)
- Focus your eyes at the brow point and begin the Breath of Fire, a powerful detoxifying pranayama technique that heats up the body
- Inhale pushing your stomach outward with gentle, intentional force
- Exhale, pull your stomach up and into your spine, expelling your breath with the same intentional force
Time: Practice for 3 minutes
Due to the detoxifying nature of the breath and the chemical changes that can occur in the body very quickly, you may feel dizzy the first few times you practice. Be sure to slow down the breath if this happens and drink plenty of water afterwards!
Just like you take a shower and brush your teeth at least once or twice a day, meditation is another important practice to detoxify and clean the mind. This tool helps you train the mind to work for you, promotes less distortion and paves the way for an unobstructed flow of spirit. Meditation is a process. After only 3 minutes of practice, you will be amazed at all the unsavoury and angry thoughts that may come to you. Meditation happens when you allow these thoughts to simply pass by, paving the way for a deep cleansing. If you refrain from physically moving at this time, the mind can become very still. This is known as the meditative mind.
The range and variety of meditation techniques in the Kundalini Yoga tradition is abundant. There are meditations that reduce stress, eliminate addictions and increase vitality. Whilst there exist many approaches to meditation across the plethora of yoga traditions, Kundalini yoga differs by virtue of its precision, efficacy and practicality.
Try this simple practice for deep cleansing: Sitali Pranayam
This pranayam has a deeply cooling and cleansing effect, all the while promoting strength and vitality.
Initially, as part of the detoxification process, the tongue can taste bitter. Sitali Pranayam is especially potent for eliminating anger and agitating thoughts, bringing the nervous system into balance. Practice for just 3 minutes, then drink a glass of water and see how you feel.
This exercise can be practiced as a deep meditation and is considered a powerful healer for the body and digestive system.
Breath: Roll the tongue into a “U,” with the tip just outside of the lips. If you cannot make a “U” with your tongue, then simple stick your tongue out, making enough space to breathe.
The comprehensive breath requires you to inhale deeply through the rolled tongue, exhale through the nose.
Time: Continue for 3 minutes..
In any situation that makes you hot and bothered, learn to adapt your breath. Breathe in through the lips instead of through the nostrils. Exhale through the nostrils. Make the breath slow and long. Sitali Pranayam will slow everything as needed, increasing your sensitivity and enhancing your projection.
Try following video which consists of a Celestial Meditation for Deep Healing: