Whether you practice Kundalini or any other style of yoga, we modern yogis by default walk the path of tantra. When life throws us a curve, we complete the circle. When the world is spiraling down, we spiral up, and seek to elevate all. Now in the dark days of winter, 2021 — with the world frozen in place by the egregious, the outlandish, and the unknown — we conscious contrarians know that opportunities for inner advancement abound.
Here is a Kundalini quick set to elevate, celebrate, and raise spirit high. Spirit is not an amorphous thing. It’s a profound quickening — the currency of consciousness dispensed by Goddess Kundalini. She is our hope and protection. Through her grace may the world be healed and blessed.
In true tantric fashion, Kundalini bottom-lines everything. It gets right to the point. Is the point to rocket into the blue ethers and forego this life? That actually accords with the old model. The new model is to invoke Spirit to give life to our life with vibrancy, clarity, creativity, and the ability to contend in this earthly arena with Love.
By Ravi Singh
1. Have your hands in Prayer Pose.
Traditionally, each sacred yogic endeavor is launched with a sense of the sacred. We’re going to chant Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times. It means: Infinite Creative Consciousness, I call on you. Divine Wisdom within, I call on you. This protects us, guides us, and links us to the source of these Teachings which is the Infinite Teacher. It’s chanted in a monotone with a slight pause after Ong Namo and with “Dev” a minor third higher than the tonic.
2. Raise your arms to the sides at 60-degrees.
Have your palms facing inward, fingers spread wide. Begin Breath of Fire, a somewhat-rapid, rhythmic breath through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale. It’s a bouncy even breath. As you do Breath of Fire intone Sa Ta Na Ma. Concentrate on your little finger and meditate on the solidity of earth; ring finger, the fluidity of water; middle finger, the fierceness of fire; index finger, the expansiveness of air; thumb, the subtlety of ether. After you’ve cycled through your fingers three times, continue for one more minute intoning Sa Ta Na Ma.
Sa Ta Na Ma translates as Existence, Life, Death, Rebirth. It represents the inevitable progression of life and being. It puts us in rhythm with the cycles of the seasons and the pulse of the Universe.
3. Rock Pose Flex: Sit on your heels in Vajra Asan, palms down on your thighs.
Begin flexing your spine in rhythm with the Breath of Fire. Your spine is alternatively arching forward and rounding back. Keep your crown aligned over your sacrum. You are in effect inhaling as you pass center and exhaling at the end of each arc, forward and back. Move and breathe smoothly for 1–3 minutes.
To end, inhale deeply as you come center. Hold the breath for 10 seconds as you contract Root Lock. Hold the breath out for 10 seconds with Root Lock. Inhale deeply and relax. Meditate for a minute.
The solar plexus is where we let life in. When open, it puts us in rhythm with the rhythms of life. An open solar plexus is the doorstep to an open heart.
4. Sat Kriya.
This is one of the most powerful and important kriyas in Kundalini practice. Kundalini is the pulse of the Universe in us and Sat Kriya synchronizes us with that pulse. It activates and balances the chakra system, is great for glandular balance, and addresses depression on the deepest level.
Sit on your heels in Rock Pose or assume Full Lotus. Have your hands in Prayer Pose or interlace your fingers with your index fingers extended. Extend your arms straight up with your upper arms in line with your ears. As you chant “Sat,” contract the lower muscles, pelvic floor and navel. Feel the sound implode in your navel. As you chant “Nam,” feel the sound moving from your navel to the base of your spine and up your spine to the center of your brain, exploding like a soft firework there. Repeat this for 1–3 min.
To conclude, inhale deeply. Hold the breath and apply Root Lock. Exhale. Hold the breath out. Contract the lower muscles. Inhale, relax the breath and lie on your back and relax. After practicing this, relax on your back for at least 3 minutes.
Sat Kriya is a form of self-psychotherapy. Three to 11 minutes a day balances the glands, aligns the chakras, helps to delete depression, activates the navel fire, and transmutes sexual and obsessive impulses into energy we can use to do great things. Sat Kriya will turn you into a true doer, motivated and masterful.
5. Sit cross-legged.
Take hold of your knees. Begin to raise and lower alternate shoulders to the rhythm of the Breath of Fire. One up, then down, and the other, up, down. The shoulders resemble the movement of a piston. Continue for 1–3 minutes. To end, inhale as you raise both shoulders. Hold the breath briefly and relax.
This balances the energy flows on either side of the spine (ida and pingala) to activate shushumna for healing and Spirit in evidence.
6. Sit in Easy Pose.
This meditation will align you with the life cycle of the Universe. Existence. Life. Death. Rebirth. Focus at the Third Eye and slowly chant Sa Ta Na Ma as you press your thumb against your index, middle, ring, and little fingers doing the following visualizations. As you chant Sa visualize the Universe. As you chant Ta visualize our solar system. As you chant Na visualize a winter scene (in a place you’ve been) on earth. As you chant Ma visualize that place coming alive in spring. Let these scenes flow into one another. Tune into the rhythm of creation. Do this for 3-31 min.
Ravi Singh is a Co-Founder of Yoga Unify. He is co-author, with Ana Brett, of The Kundalini Yoga Book—Life in the Vast Lane. To join Ravi in his mission to preserve the tradition and steward the forward evolution of practice, join the Founding Circle! To learn more, please click here.
Photo of Ana Brett, courtesy of Ravi Singh.