Kundalini Kriya for pleasure and happiness
A simple practice from the Kundalini tradition to experience pleasure and happiness. By Jessica Banks aka Sat Shakti Kaur
Drawing from the Kundalini tradition, this set of exercises can help you feel more grounded, find your strength and enjoy greater vitality. Perhaps best of all, it can help you experience joy.
This sequence is challenging. The rewards come from the effort you put in. Don’t worry if you struggle to hold a position or need to adjust it to fit your body. Do your best. Honour your limitations. Keep smiling. And above all, have fun!
Just as you would at the start of a Kundalini class, before you begin this practice, tune in with Adi Mantra. Chant three times: “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”. Coming from Gurmukhi, the words mean:
“I call upon my creative consciousness, I bow to the divine teacher within.” Chanting this mantra helps tune you into your own innate wisdom. It also helps to bring you into a more meditative state. When practicing this set, do all of the exercises in the order they’re presented and for the times stated.
What to do
- Raise your legs to 60 degrees and grab your toes. Keep your legs together and try to straighten your knees. If you can’t reach your toes, try bending your knees or use a strap. Balance on your sit bones. Make sure that you keep your spine long and the front of your chest open. Chin should be slightly tucked. Hold the posture and breathe long and deep for eight (yes, eight!) minutes.
- Stand up. Interlace your hands and rest them on top of your head. Raise your left leg so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Foot hangs at about the place where the left knee would be if you were standing normally. Hold the position for two minutes. Switch sides and repeat the exercise standing on the left leg, raising the right. Hold for two minutes. Switch sides one more time. Stand on the right leg and hold for two minutes. ➡
- Stand with your feet hip width apart. Bend forward to the point that you can grab your toes. If you can’t reach your toes, you can bend your knees. Lift your head and try to arch your spine back. Similar to as you would in cow pose. Keep your eyes open. Breathe long and deep. Hold the position for two minutes. If you start to feel dizzy, stop!
- Continue to hold the forward bend as in the previous exercise. This time breathe more powerfully, pumping the navel with each breath. Do this for one minute. ⬇
- Sit on your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, you can rest your head on a block (or two, if needed). Interlace your hands behind your back and raise your arms as high as you can. Breathe long and deep. Hold the position for four minutes.
Once you finish this set of exercises, take a few minutes to rest before you get back to your routine. Close the practice by chanting the mantra Sat Nam (which means Truth is my identity) three times.
Jessica Banks aka Sat Shakti Kaur has been teaching Kundalini Yoga and meditation since 2007. She’s the founder and director of JOY Yoga, a Kundalini studio which offers classes online and in London (joy.yoga)