Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Steve on the Breathless State

Steve goes by the username "umunhum" at Yoga Forums. Above is the view from his balcony in Panama City. As a fellow practitioner of Swami Satyananda's Kundalini Kriyas, he was excited to discover that I had combined Maha Mudra (kriya 6) and Maha Bheda Mudra (kriya 7) into a single kriya just as he had done. In my case, this is Step 3 in my Golden Age Kriya. In Steve's experience, he believes that it was by combining these two kriyas that he was able to achieve the breathless state. Below is an excerpt from one of his posts at Yoga Forums.

I also had an experience that I touched on in my last post but I will elaborate on it. I was doing Kriya #6 listed on page 291 of Satyananda's book Kundalini Tantra. Basically what this involves is sitting in Siddhasana (this is very important) taking a spinal breath up to Ajna. While retaining the breath you put your focus on the Ajna and mentally say Shambhavi (I say sham mentally), then you put your focus on your tongue and mentally say Kechari (kech), then you put your focus on Muladhara and mentally say muladhara (moo) – again it is important that your heel is pressed into your perenium so sit in Siddhasana. You keep repeating this cycle as many times as you can – sham kech moo until you have to exhale. The book says work your way up to 12 cycles for each breath. I have never came close to 12 cycles. I would do a few cycles and around the 4th or 5th one I would go up to Sham from Moo and then try to put my attention on my tongue and I couldn't feel my tongue. The first time this happened I got so freaked out that opened my eyes and pushed my legs out of Siddhasana and opened my mouth thinking where is my tongue? Of course my tongue was right in my mouth where it should be. I remember thinking you dork! You were about to have an experience and you blew it. I then looked out at the ocean for a few minutes and then went back into it.

Again around the 5th cycle I started to have a really strange feeling around my tongue. It felt like some magnetic force from Ajna was pulling on my tongue very firmly. I mentally thought Sham and then went to Kech but there was no Kech! Sham and Kech had become one and something was pulling my tongue back and up very firmly but not painfully. I freaked out and immediately opened my eyes and said My God what is happening to me. There was nothing but a blanket of dazzling prana dancing over the ocean. And then I had a vision of a large archway made of large white blocks of stone with a large wooden door. The door was shaped like the arch at the top. I immediately prostrated myself and said “I am not worthy. I am a sinner” and started sobbing. A few minutes later I composed myself and noticed everything was so much brighter and had a beautiful aura. The only message I can take from this experience is the devine was telling me that I made it to the door. Now do you want to come in?

I told this experience to my friend and yoga instructor the next day. I tried to do the Kriya the day after and my tongue kept gagging me from being pulled to the back of my mouth. I quickly realized that my frenulum was preventing my tongue from doing what the Kriya was designed for and that is to pull the tongue up the nasal pharynx to Ajna and instead was activating my gag reflex. And so in my mind a little piece of skin is preventing me from Yoga.

Two days after this event I decided to practice a different Kriya to experiment with because the constant gagging from this one was disrupting my practice. I then learned Kriya #7, the Nas, Udd, Moo exhale and on a whim decided to combine it with the gagging Kriya #6, did three cycles, turned on my kundalini and went breathless. My life has never been the same since.

Yoga is not a religion! It is a science! - Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

So let's go over what happened in my body. I was sitting in Siddhasana with my heel firmly pressed up against my perenium sending prana up my sushumna. My tongue was in kechari stage 1 as far back as it could go sealing off the throat. (this is very important – I don't think this will work without the tongue completely sealing off the back of the throat – If you haven't felt like your tongue is like a snake, this method will not work for you) With the breath outside, I did 10 moos (10 mula bandhas or anal squeezes) sending more prana up. I then took a spinal breath up to bindu. While retaining the breath I practiced ashwini mudra, with each moo squeeze I would mentally say the word bindu and place my concentration on my bindu. This sends more prana up and the first time I concentrated on my bindu instead of my ajna. On the exhale I went into Maha Mudra which is a combination of Jalahandra Banda, Uddiyana Banda, and Mula Banda. I placed my mental attention and look at the tip of my nose (Nasakagra Mudra) with my eyes open mentally saying Nas, then put my attention on my stomach mentally saying Udd, then my attention on my Muladhara mentally saying Moo.

There are many things going on here. Jalahandra locks out the throat, Uddiyana locks out the stomach and I go 100% when I do Uddiyana – every cubic millimeter of air is pressed out of my stomach and it is slightly lifted up. Mula Banda is pumping prana up, Nasakagra is opening up the muladhara. Right away I knew this was a powerful exercise and I thought lets go into the gagging inhale exercise. So on the inhale I started with my concentration on Ajna with the mental thought Sham, to concentrating on my tongue with the mental thought kech, and finally to my muladhara chakra with the mental thought moo. I first started seeing a light at my Ajna, then a light at my Vishuddha, and a light at my Muladhara. After a couple of rounds of this, the Ajna and Vishuddha lights started coming together like somebody was flicking a laser pen back and forth from two points close together very fast and then occasionally flicking the pen down to Muladhara. Then all three became one and this happened on my third cycle of switching from Kriya #6 to Kriya #7. Another effect of this switching is my diaphragm was being stretched one way on the exhale as I brought my head down into Uddiyana and Nasakagra and another way on the inhale as I moved my head up and looked straight ahead - similar to going from the cat and cow pose in yoga.

I've read that the kundalini is activated when you mix apana with prana. The Uddiyana Banda causes this to happen. Then I provided electricity with my thoughts activating Ajna and Vishuddha starting up some sort of magnetic attraction that eventually involved Muladhara too. So the electricity with the gases mixing turned my kundalini on? Something turned on inside my body that literally sounded like a jumbo jet passing over me. And the reason it was so loud is because the noise came from inside me and I heard it internally like I was under water. Our body is similar to a bag of water.

Try this Pranayama tonight and let me know what you experience from it.

Once again sitting in Siddhasana and practicing Kechari Mudra sealing off the back of the throat. Start with 10 moo squeezes and take a spinal breath up to bindu. Practicing ashwini mudra saying bindu with each squeeze. On the exhale go into Jalahandra bandha, Uddiyana bandha and mula bandha doing cycles with your attention on the tip of your nose, your stomach and muladhara. Do as many cycles as you can until you have to inhale.

Inhale into your Ajna putting your attention there and then go to Kechari and then to Muladhara saying sham, kech, moo mentally as you do this for as many times as you can until you must exhale and then go into the exhale of Nas, Udd, Moo. Do three cycles of each until you finally exhale. **this is important** When you finally exhale from sham, kech , moo on the third cycle you should inhale about half a breath naturally and then exhale immediately about half of what you inhaled. Then sit quietly in Siddhasana and Shambhavi mudra waiting for your body to tell you it is time to start breathing again.

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating. I am in an embryonic stage of kriya practice, and it is so awesome and satisfying to have descriptions of others' experiences.