“... everyone who comes into contact with a child is a teacher who incessantly describes the world to him, until the moment when the child is capable of perceiving the world as it is described. According to Don Juan, we have no memory of that portentous moment, simply because none of us could possibly have had any point of reference to compare it to anything else. From that moment on, however, the child is a member. He knows the description of the world; and his membership becomes full fledged, I suppose, when he is capable of making all the proper perceptual interpretations which, by conforming to that description, validate it ...”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

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.

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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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