There is an undeniable charm and power in the transformational time of spring. Everything comes alive again and we are renewed and refreshed by the gentle warmth in the air, the sweet and hope-inspiring buds on the trees, the pleasant sounds of chirping birds. We are reminded of the creative force of nature, and it awakens that force within us too.
Yogic subtle anatomy reveals that this creative force lives within our bodies in what is called the "lower triangle", the basis for our worldly existence. This lower triangle is located in the first three chakras, or energy centers located at the base of the spine, the lower belly, and the solar plexus. The energetics at work in these chakras relate to our foundational years, when we experienced (or lacked) stability (in all its myriad forms), expressed (or didn't) ourselves through play and creativity, and learned how to assert our wants and needs through our personalities.
The lower triangle is the seat of our raw potential. When this potential energy is improperly used, it can consume our physical, emotional, and psycho-spiritual energy, leaving us feeling depleted and powerless. The yogic practice of brahmacharya, however, empowers one to transform this raw energy into higher consciousness, giving us access to refined and aligned perception, speech, and action. When we become steady in this consciousness, we are no longer attached to or disturbed by the fluctuating nature of material wealth, sexuality, and ego attachments.
Brahmacharya can be painted in many shades, the most common (and sometimes controversial) being celibacy. When put into proper perspective, however, brahmacharya (and celibacy) are useful regulators in cultivating a stable, harmonious, and vital self. This yama, or guideline for living, can also be seen as fidelity in relationship and practicing moderation, controlling our consumption and over-indulgences. When our energy is no longer consumed by obsessive impulses to eat, drink, possess objects, be entertained, seduce and be seduced, we can harness that vital life-force to invigorate the mind and nervous system, healing subtle and gross energetic misalignments, as well as strengthening our commitment to spiritual life, ultimately experience deep and lasting fulfillment.
As we burst forth into a renewed cycle of seasons this spring, may we do so with an eye towards the rebirth of our inner fortitude, applying it to further our connection to higher principles in spirit and intelligent action in the world. Below is a helpful meditation practice, Sat Kriya, which strengthens and balances the lower triangle.
All best wishes on your journey of self-renewal,
Meditation of the Month:
Always tune in with the Adi Mantra 3 Times (Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo) to begin this practice.
1) Sit on your heels in Rock Pose (Vajrasana).
(Alternate: Rock Pose is the preferred posture but if you are unable to sit in Rock Pose, you may sit in Easy Pose.)
2) Stretch your arms above your head so that they are perfectly straight, no bend in the elbows, upper arms hugging your ears.
3) Interlace your fingers and extend your index fingers, pointing upward.
(Advanced students: If you're not a drinker or smoker and have never taken drugs, you may try extending all the fingers and placing the palms flat against each other.)
4) Close the eyes and roll them up to the Brow Point.
5) Inhale slightly to begin.
1) Powerfully chant Sat squeezing the navel back towards the spine.
2) Chant Nam as you relax and release the belly (breath will come naturally).
3) Repeat: Squeezing the navel in on Sat; releasing on Nam. Squeeze, release. Squeeze, release. Keep going at a moderate pace.
Let it come naturally with the rhythm.
One minute is good for beginners to get the hang of things. Three minutes is a good starting point for regular practice. Gradually work up to 7, 11, 22, or 31 minutes in one sitting. By the time you reach 31 minutes, you're in self-mastery territory! And some lucky folks do Sat Kriya for 62 minutes!
- Don't let the arms fall or the elbows bend. Keep stretching up and if you feel yourself fading, keep recommitting to the exercise. Stretch up from your armpits.
- Don't let your chest, shoulders, and arms move up-and-down as you chant. This isn't aerobics. The motion is simply the squeezing of the organs "below the belt." Keep the upper body nice and stable.
How it Works and What it Does:
The continuous "squeeze-release" motion creates a powerful pump for your kundalini energy. On the physical level, when Sat Kriya is properly done, this release gives your body the energy it needs to heal and regenerate every organ and cell. The energetic level, though, is where Sat Kriya really performs.
Sat Kriya works primarily on the lower triangle-the first, second, and third chakras. The lower triangle corresponds to the earliest stages of our human development, with the first chakra especially relating to birth, infancy, and the issues of fundamental security, being-ness, and belonging. Sat Kriya, in working on the lower triangle, has the power to excavate deeply entrenched wounds from our early life. That's why it's often recommended for healing mental and psychological imbalances. I like to think that Sat Kriya is probably the best way to heal the psychic residue of inadequate parenting and severe childhood wounds. That's how deep it goes!
Sat Kriya doesn't have to be the only Kundalini Yoga exercise you'll ever do, but if you make it a part of your daily practice, you're well on your way to being healthy, happy, and whole.
- strengthens the entire sexual system and stimulates its natural flow of energy
- relaxes phobias about sexuality
- allows you to control the insistent sexual impulse by re-channelizing sexual energy to creative and healing activities in the body
- those who are severely maladjusted or who have mental problems benefit from this kriya since these disturbances are always connected with an imbalance in the energies of the lower three chakras
- general physical health is improved
- all the internal organs receive a gentle rhythmic massage from this exercise
- the heart gets stronger from the rhythmic up-and-down of blood pressure you generate from the pumping motion of the navel point
- this exercise works directly on stimulating and channelizing the kundalini energy, so it must always be practiced with the mantra "Sat Nam."