Light Practice: Kriya
By Taran Cameron Macdonald-Parker
This Light Practice has been taken from Taran Cameron Macdonald-Parker’s chapter – The Body: Our Temple of Light – in The Light: A Book of Wisdom.
The following is a fundamental exercise in Kundalini Yoga and it is one of the few exercises that is a complete action within itself, known as a kriya. It is no ordinary exercise, a kriya works on all levels of our being—known and unknown. We might block the more subtle experiences of higher energies by pushing the physical body too much or we may have an experience of higher consciousness but not be able to integrate it into our life because our body is too weak. So we need to prepare ourselves by steady practice. This particular practice is called Sat Kriya and it is a highly potent spiritual workout, said to stand alone like a precious gem.
These are some of the benefits attained through the practice of Sat Kriya:
- Strengthens the entire sexual system and releases phobias about sexuality, allowing us to control the insistent sexual impulse. Sexual energy is re-channeled and transmuted into creative and healing activities in the body.
- Stimulates the natural flow of energy resulting in the improvement of our general physical health, as all the internal organs receive a gentle rhythmic massage. The heart gets stronger from the rhythmic up-and-down of blood pressure generated from the pumping motion from the navel point.
- People 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.
- This Light Practice works directly on stimulating and channelizing the kundalini energy, enabling us to deepen and embody our spiritual experiences.
Begin by sitting on the heels and stretch the arms over the head so that the elbows hug the ears. You can also sit in easy position or on a chair. Interlock all the fingers except the first ones (index) which point straight up. Cross the thumbs: females cross left over right and males cross right over left.
This Light Practice must always be done with the chanting of a mantra, a set of sacred and often secret syllables, which set up an intense healing vibration. If you imagine your body as a series of doorways, these sacred mantras are the keys which will open them. The mantra we must use is Sat Nam, Sat meaning Truth and Nam meaning Identity. It is important to make the right sound. Sat should sound like sutt and needs to resonate from the navel point and solar plexus. As you chant Sat pull the umbilicus all the way in toward the spine. Nam is chanted almost like a sigh and with a long a, so it sounds like naam. On chanting Nam relax the belly and release the lock. Begin to chant Sat Nam emphatically in a constant rhythm about eight times every ten seconds.
The eyes should be slightly open (one tenth of the way) staring at the tip of the nose. This puts pressure on the frontal lobe at the pituitary gland and aids the brain.
Continue chanting for at least three minutes. The hips and lumbar spine should not rotate or flex. Your spine should be straight as your arms stretch slightly up and down with each Sat Nam as your chest lifts. Inhale and squeeze the muscles tightly from the buttocks all the way up the back, past the shoulders. Mentally visualize energy waves flowing out through the top of the skull.
To end, inhale and stretch upwards. Hold the breath and squeeze the anal, sexual and navel muscles. These represent the first three energy centers and the position is known as Mulhabandh. Hold for ten seconds then release and repeat twice more. Do not try to force Mulhabandh—it happens automatically if the navel is pulled inwards. You may build the time of the kriya up to sixty-two minutes but remember to relax immediately afterwards. Ideally, you should relax for twice the length of time that the kriya was practiced. A good way to build up the time is to do the kriya for three minutes, then rest for two minutes. Repeat this cycle until you have completed fifteen minutes of Sat Kriya and ten minutes of rest. Finish the relaxation by resting for an additional twenty minutes. Respect the inherent power of the technique. Deep relaxation after this kriya is essential and nearly as important as the initial effort. The body’s systems need time to regenerate and reconstitute themselves.
Even if you have time for nothing else, make this kriya part of your everyday exercise!
BIO: Taran is a highly qualified physical fitness trainer who combines her love of dance, yoga and eastern martial arts with an extensive knowledge of healing therapies. She has worked throughout Europe as a dancer, choreographer, model and fitness trainer for international competitions. Taran now specializes as a Kundalini Yoga Aquarian Teacher and Gong Practitioner, healing through sound.