“I began with love and prayer, I changed to anger and rebellion. I was transformed into what yo see before you.”
Frank Herbert

God Emperor of Dune

Energy – Kundalini

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Kundalini is a famous myth in the realms of Yoga & Energy – there’s even a school of Yoga named after it.  It is considered a majestic goal of Yoga, but it is by no means the end of the journey.

Like Granthis, Kundalini is an obstacle/blockage – actually the king of all obstacles. It is located above (and gets it’s name from) the Kanda – the point of origin of all Nadi – (HYP Chapter 3 Sloka 113).   The metaphor used to describe it, is that of a coiled snake – which prevents a merging of energy flowing in Ida & Pingala into and through the center channel – Sushumna. The snake is said to be coiled three and a half times so symbolize “om” – which is actually made of of three sounds a/u/m – a coil for every sound and then a gap of waiting.

kundalini

HYP Chapter 3 Sloka 2: “… when the sleeping kundalini is awakened by the grace of a guru”
HYP Chapter 3 Sloka 3: “then the cleared path becomes the royal road for prana…”
(translation by Brian Akers)

After careful and intense purifying preparations (assuming you are a young healthy man who is dedicating his life to Yoga and living in a hut)  including asana, pranayama and kriyas (mentioned in the first two chapters), Kundalini is introduced. The tools to awaken Kundalini are intense energetic practices – intended to awaken the serpent and causing it to straighten – and in doing so opening the blockage and allowing the two energies (ha & tha) to merge.

HYP Chapter 3 Sloka 12: “Thus the kundalini will stretch out, like a snake that has been hit by a stick The two nadis die off thereby, because the prana leaves them.”
(translation by Hans Ulrich Reiker)

The posture prescribed for beating Kundalini is an asymmetric  seated posture called Mahamudra – which is very uninteresting externally but can be very energetic inside. I am not going to get into the posture in this article – because (a) it has many subtle points; (b) requires intense, specific and personalized breathing; (c) needs to be incorporated in a practice with proper preparation and counter-postures; (d) should be taught and practiced with a teacher present; (e) all of which means you REALLY shouldn’t play around with it (you can, and people have, suffered injuries from it). I do want to point out that a core seated posture, and not some convoluted circus posture, is at the gateway to the higher-plains of Yoga.

If, like me, you are of a western mind-set then the words “prevent” & “obstacle” are calling out for you to do something. But, before rushing off to awaken your serpent and get your juices flowing, please ask yourself if there maybe a reason it’s there? I invite you to read one story of a person who apparently did manage to awaken the snake: Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man.

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