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How Yoga Works: The Scientific Foundations
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"The starting point for someone who is ill is very different than for someone who is well. You taught me this and now I understand it. As a teacher, we need to meet the student exactly where they are if we are going to help them."

– M.T., Munich

Kundalini Yoga Set to Recharge Yourself

Rest on your hands and knees. Arch the spine down and raise the head into Cow.

Then arch up the spine and lower the head into Cat.

Do Cat-Cow with breath of fire.

11 Minutes.

Breath of Fire: Continuous rapid breathing, 2 to 3 breaths per second, while thrusting navel point in on the exhale and out on inhale.

Sit in easy pose and reach your left arm straight out in front. Then reach your right arm straight out in front as you twist your torso to the left, pulling your left arm in.

Continue. Twist your torso and shoulders left and right as if you are pulling a heavy rope. Move vigorously.

3 Minutes.

On the stomach, reach back and firmly grasp the ankles. Arch the back up from the ground and balance into Bow Pose by pulling the ankles. Rock back and forth on your stomach in Bow Pose with Breath of Fire.

3 Minutes.

Stand up with your arms straight out in front, palms facing down....

...sit down and stand up again

20 Times.

Sit cross legged with your arms stretched up over your head, palms together. Chant your favorite mantra.

2 Minutes.

Inhale and stretch up. Exhale and relax.

Lie down on your stomach and sleep 11 to 21 Minutes.

Meditation: Developing Your Capacity for Serenity

How do we develop our capacity to stay relaxed, clear, and calm amidst constant new information and change? Of course, each day eat well, drink plenty of water, exercise, breathe, meditate, make time for quiet, and remember.

What to remember? I find that keeping in mind the five sutras of the Aquarian Age, upon which this magazine is based, is a great stress buster:

When time is on you, start, and the pressure shall be off. In other words, just get going. Right away, take a deep breath, and call upon the unseen resources of the universe. Next, select the most important task that needs to be addressed right now. Direct your attention, your thoughts, and your actions toward the solution.

There is a way through every block. This is helpful to remember, especially when you have no idea in the moment just what that way through is. Simply knowing that there is one will help you be both receptive to, and active toward, finding one. Remember that the help you need can come from unexpected places.

Vibrate the Cosmos. Cosmos shall clear the path. That's right, chant. Out loud is better, although silently works, too. Changing your mental frequency changes your emotional response to the situation and environments, allows you to focus on the present demands, and opens up your own inner wisdom and clarity. It also helps others stay calm around you. "Vibrate the Cosmos" also means to be aware of your words, and tone of voice. Avoid venting your frustration by bad mouthing someone or repeating over and over what a lousy situation you're in. Make a practice of consciously choosing your words, and then notice how much energy and spirit you have, how others change around you, and how quickly you get things done.

Understand through compassion, or you will misunderstand the times. Be kind to everyone, even when you are angry or upset or in a hurry. Responding kindly to others when the pressure is on makes it safe for them to come forward with solutions and to take appropriate action. Aren't you more willing to help someone when they are kind to you? Kind understanding makes good will for the next project.

Recognize that the other human being is you. It is easy to blame others, or to think poorly of them, when the pressure is on. Why waste time and energy upsetting yourself over the actions or lack of action of another person? Remember that they have an infinite soul, too. Draw on the other person's intelligence, talent, creativity, time, and energy. You will both feel great when the job is done.

Tips for Beginners

Tuning In

Every Kundalini Yoga session begins with chanting the Adi Mantra "Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo." By chanting it the student becomes open to the higher self, the source of all guidance, and accesses the protective link between himself or herself and the consciousness of the "golden chain" of all Divine teachers.

Reciting the Adi Mantra

Sit in easy pose with the palms together as if in prayer. Gently press the sides of the thumbs into the center of the chest at the sternum. Inhale deeply.

Focus your concentration at the third eye point. As you exhale, chant the entire mantra in one breath. Chant this mantra at least three times before beginning your Kundalini Yoga practice.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo

The "O" sound in Ong is long and of short duration. The "NG" sound is a prolonged sound through the nose. The first part of Namo is short and rhymes with "mom." The "O," as in "go," is held longer. "Gu" in Guru is pronounced as in the word "good" and is short. The second syllable rhymes with "true" and is long. The word Dev rhymes with "gave" and is short.

Pacing Yourself

Kundalini Yoga exercises may involve rhythmic movement between two or more postures. Begin slowly, keeping a steady rhythm. Increase gradually, being careful not to strain. Usually the more you practice the exercise, the faster you can go. Just be sure that the spine has become warm and flexible before attempting rapid movements. It is important to be aware of your body and to be responsible for its well-being.

Concluding an Exercise

Unless otherwise stated, an exercise is concluded by inhaling and holding the breath briefly, then exhaling and relaxing the posture. This consolidates the effects of any exercise and circulates the energy to your higher centers. Allow one to three minutes of relaxation in easy pose or lying on the back after each exercise.

Yoga instructions reprinted with permission from Self Experience: Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan compiled by Harijot K. Khalsa available from Spirit Voyage.