The 3 Stages of Pranayama

Pranayama for effective Kundalini Shakti Awakening

How to start Kundalini Sadhana?

Kundalini Yoga must be practiced under the guidance of an able teacher. This is important to retain a proper balance of mind and body. An adept Guru can save the practitioner from the eyes of the world. He guides and controls the Sadhaka so that the veils of Maya does not trap him/her.

Before one makes up one’s mind to start Kundalini Yoga, one should be aware of what might follow after a prolonged, sincere attempt. Be mentally prepared for many shocking experiences as they are bound to crop up during the course of Kundalini Sadhana.

Fundamentals of Pranayama

Pranayama, is a very useful tool for awakening the sleeping Kundalini Shakti which is seated at the base of the spine. The practice of mindful breathing is Pranayama. It is done in combination with meditation. The spiritual shape of the Mooladhar Chakra is a triangle, located at the root of the spine. This is the prime house of Kundalini Shakti.

1) How to Do Puraka and What Is It?

Puraka is the 1st stage of Pranayama. First, we close the right nostril with the right thumb. We inhale through the left nostril and count 3 ‘Om’ mantras while inhaling. It is important to add certain meditations while inhaling. Consider visualizing the subtle Prana entering our body, via the nostrils, while breathing. The process of inhaling is called Puraka. It gets enhanced with meditative visualization. Becoming conscious of the Prana is the key for all Kundalini Sadhana.

Consciousness a need

Why is must we consciously inhale?
Well, we must be aware of the fact that consciousness creates reality! That is why Vedic Sciences and meditation processes stress on a healthy mind and a good thought-world. Hence, concentrating on Prana and drawing it consciously shall be revitalize our entire body system. This is most effective when we inhale (Puraka) as well as meditate/visualize. This is the secret while we perform Pranayama.

2) How to Do Kumbhaka and What Is It?

Next, close the left nostril with your little and ring fingers of the right hand. Retain the breath till you complete chanting 12 ‘Om’ matras. Retention increases with daily practice. In Yogic terms, this process of retention is called Kumbhaka. This is the 2nd stage.

The complementary meditative practice will be to visualize the Prana-nerve-current hitting the triangle (symbolic representation of the Mooladhara Chakra), present at the base of the spine. Feel the Kundalini Shakti getting activated as you do ‘Kumbhaka’, retaining of the Prana.

3) How to Do ‘Rechaka’ and What Is It?

After Kumbhaka, now, slowly exhale the air through the right nostril for a count of 6 ‘Om’ mantras. This process of conscious exhaling is called Rechaka. This is the 3rd and final stage of Pranayama. It completes the breathing exercise, through one nostril. After completing Rechaka, your spine will feel relaxed and currents will flow through your muscles, further increasing your energy.

The whole cycle is repeated starting with the right nostril as discussed above.

To Awaken Kundalini, it is needed that the practitioner must have faith on the process. Pranayama shall awaken Kundalini in a short time.

How Many Times Should Pranayama be done?

3 cycles in the morning and 3 cycles in the evening of Kundalini Yoga is a good practice. But, bear in mind that the whole process has to be performed only under the guidance of an able Guru. This is mandatory. Regularity and intensity of the practice are keys to achieving success in Kundalini Sadhana.

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6 Practices to Consider before Starting Kundalini Sadhana.

Kundalini is the female energy which runs the world. She is Prakriti, in Vedic terms. She is Jagadamba (जगदम्बा the mother of the world).

There are some key practices that aid in the Kundalini awakening process.

1) Japa

Repetition of an authorized, Vedic mantra has potency to clean the various layers of negativity. Negativity can be a result of previous life Samskaras. Hence, chanting Vedic Mantras cleans those layers so that Kundalini Shakti rises with ease.

2) Meditation

Meditating can be done on a form of Bhagawan (like Sriman Narayana, Sri Krishna or Sri Rama). Also some people meditate on abstract objects like a flame of fire, space, planets, breath or the universe. These objects of Meditation are effective techniques to increase concentration. Concentration is important to bring all energies in alignment with Will-Power. The ability to concentrate is indeed rare. We expend energy due to which negativity sets in our minds, creating ruffle. But, meditating on Bhagawan or an abstract form, forces all the mind’s energy on one centric point.

3) Kirtanam (Prayers)

Singing the glories of the Lord written or composed by enlightened beings. Many people might undermine the potency of Prayers. But, in my personal experience, it is the most effective of all practices. It is the most effective tool, exclusively for the Yuga we live in, Kali Yuga.

Nama Sankirtanam, according to Bhagavatham is Yuga Dharma. Meditation and Japa requires an already evolved mindset. But, according to our great scripture, it is only Naama Sankirtanam that requires no prior qualification.

Meditation and Japa requires conducive environment and some necessary tools to be carried out. But, it is Naama Sankirtana or singing the praises of Bhagawan alone that can be done at all time, place and circumstances. I highly recommend prayers from the Srimad Bhagavatham for this purpose.

Which Vedic Prayers are most effective?

Prayers of Queen Kunti, Sri Bhishmadeva, Suta Goswami, Shukhadeva Goswami, Dhruva, The elephant Gajendra are some of the most potent prayers I’ve encountered. They are fully charged mantras as they were not ordinarily composed by any poet. In fact, they were the words of great personalities and were directly accepted by the Lord. So there is no room for doubt as they have been in close union with the Lord.

Today, the modern-day prayers composed by ordinary poets or singers may or may not have power. But, these are sure shot prayers that can invoke the grace of Bhagawan. Moreover, they are in Sanskrit, which is a highly spiritually potent language.

Another example of Kirtan is the Naam Sankirtana, Hari Nama Sankirtanam preached by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is similar to Japa. But, the greatness is, it is sung aloud. Chanting aloud any Mantra become Kirtan.

4) Development of Virtues

This should be a conscious attempt from the end of the Sadhaka. Following the right role model is highly crucial. I must say, nobody today can be the perfect role model. Everybody fails somewhere or the other. But, following authorized people makes our attempt to become virtuous more legitimate.

Following the teachings of Vedic scriptures and ancient seers is the only way to go ahead. We must expand our knowledge of the scriptures to be able to succeed in the attempt of becoming virtuous. Only then can our thoughts be pure and Kundalini awaken.

Only a person with cleans character can awaken his Kundalini and use its potency to the maximum. Until then, we shall always be clouded with fear, anxiety and survival fears.

5) Truth

Speaking the truth is close to Godliness. It is the most prized quality and highly praised in the Vedic scriptures. Speaking lies has become the language of common man. But, our fundamental nature is pure, unsullied jiva, the soul.

So, it is necessary that when we are doing Kundalini Sadhana, we must consciously speak the truth and awaken our essential nature. Kundalini is energy personified.

It is pure energy. So, it is natural that it will circulate effortlessly is a person who has no dubious personality. Speaking the truth must be adopted at the earliest.

6) Non-violence

It is a saintly quality. Violence is a symbol of conflict between the mind and the external circumstances. Non-violence cannot be imitated. It can only happen when there is a deep sense of realization that Violence is not a solution for any problem. The above 5 practices, if done with sincerity automatically instils non-violence in the practitioner. When we hold calm, Kundalini Shakti gets a scope to manifest.

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