Today’s practice arose from a confluence of events that occurred yesterday. First, although I intended to practice a certain kundalini kriya, I spontaneously switched to a different set of exercises after about 5 minutes. My psycho-spiritual intuition had decided that I was in need of a kriya for success and prosperity. While I was vaguely curious about what part of me needed a boost in that category, I also recalled that the mantra connected to the exercises is one often used to both energize and clear anger.
A bit later in the morning, I had a conversation with my mother: We moved into a loving back-and-forth about changes in her mental capabilities, and I found myself assuming the role of calming, sympathetic supporter. A few of my statements of encouragement would rise up later in the day in a thoroughly unexpected, seemingly unrelated manner.
For example, I spoke with my mom about recognizing what circumstances become triggers for anxiety or frustration; and I further philosophized that often the things that can spark a bout of negativity are truly inconsequential. One can ask themselves when becoming riled: “Will this matter in 5 minutes, or 5 hours, or 5 days?” As the answer often is “no,” investment of emotional energy is simply not worth it.
That afternoon, I expected delivery of a package. When I tracked the package to ensure that it would arrive with the mail, I found an “alert” that our residence was “inaccessible.” This was a misstatement, to put if tactfully, as every drive entrance and pathway to the mail area was open, clear, and available. I first tried to call the Postal Service, and was told that there would be an hour-plus wait to speak with someone. I tried to contact Customer Service by email: Because I could not provide a street address associated with the e-commerce vendor, my email could not be sent. I also attempted to contact the local office; it had closed for the day.
My inability to remedy the situation compounded my exasperation with the carrier’s excuse for lack of delivery: Soon, the stirrings of anger began to bubble within; I paced, puttered, and muttered, and finally, about two hours after the “alert,” I called USPS again and got through. My voice was strident and quivering with building steam: As I spoke, I tried to modify my tone, yet remain firm that the situation be resolved.
As I listened to the supervisor’s explanations and mollifications, I also heard my own voice coaching myself with the words earlier meant for my mother. I began to realize that had I received a notification that the delivery date had been changed, I would not have balked: It was the untruth of the carrier’s reason that found my anger button. Once I realized that this situation absolutely would not matter in 5 days—nor at all, ever—I quieted immediately, thanked “Gladys” for her help, and offered an apology for my earlier heated words.
The conversation ended on a light, easy note. I did, however, marvel at how the small moments of the morning fed directly into my needs later in the day. After I hung up the phone, I stood and contemplated the quick, yet powerful shifts of energies that had occurred over the course of the previous hours. I then felt the need to create a kriya related to my experiences, and the result is the practice I offer you today.
Start with whatever physical “shaking off” you need to do: walk, run, jump, pound a pillow, dance to heavy beat-filled music, shower, vocalize… whatever your particular energy dictates. When you have shifted your anger or frustration to a manageable degree, come into practice. The accompanying chant is “har,” at first forcefully and out loud; then, whispered; and finally, silently repeated. Har is a mantra of heat, one that burns through negativity, thus allowing for the regeneration of positive energy.
First, stand with your arms by your sides. Inhale deeply as you sweep your arms out to the sides and overhead. When you have reached fully skyward, make tight fists; as you exhale, bring your arms downs in front of you in three vehement pumps: Chant “har” with each pump. Simultaneously, with each of the three strong pull-downs, you raise your heels and drop them quickly to the ground. This three-part strong, conscious move shakes loose any remaining anger or frustration, and releases it into the earth, where it dissipates.
Next, come to the floor to sit on your heels. (Remember that you may place a pillow between your heels snd bottom, and/or underneath your knees for comfort.) Interlace your fingers behind your neck; stretch the elbows back as far as possible. Ideally, you will feel a stretch through your armpit, which encourages the flow of cleansing lymph through the nodes in that region.
Special note: If you can not accommodate the position, place your hands on your shoulders, fingers in front, thumbs behind. Keep the elbows lifted, so that the upper arms remain parallel to the floor throughout the exercise.
With eyes closed, gazing at the Third Eye, inhale in your center starting position; exhale loudly through your O-shaped mouth as you twist to the left. Inhale in center again, then twist and exhale in the same way to the right. Continue twisting, possibly picking up the pace as your body warms up. Maintain the strong exhales through the mouth, always inhaling in the center; continue for 2-5 minutes.
When you have finished, bring your forehead to the ground with your arms extending onto the floor; as your hands slide out in front of your bow, form Prayer Mudra on the floor in front of your head (palms together, all fingers together and extended, edges of pinkies on the floor). Immediately inhale, and roll back up to the seated kneeling position, letting your hands slide up your thighs, and then coming into Prayer at the heart center. Each time you exhale and slide forward into the Child’s Pose with Anjali Mudra, whisper “har.” Move fluidly, bowing and rising with the breath and mantra continuously for 3-5 minutes. This movement helps to bring peace to your earthly interactions.
Finally, extend your legs straight in front of you, sitting upright. The arms reach forward at shoulder level. Palms face each other, with all four fingers straight and together; the thumbs point up to the sky. Inhale as you tilt your torso back to the point where your abdominals engage; exhale and bring the whole body forward over your legs, just to the point where you feel a mild stretch in your low back, hips, and/or hamstrings. Again, move fairly quickly, finding a pace that allows you to move back and forth in this manner for another 1-3 minutes. Inhale as you rock back, exhale as you stretch forward: With each exhale, silently chant, “har.”
After you have completed the full round of movements, lie in svasana for 5-10 minutes. As you enter into this resting pose, begin breathing deeply in through your nose, and out through your mouth: inhale for a count of 4, exhale fully for a count of 6-8. After a few rounds of this pranayama, allow your breath to normalize, and continue with the healing energy of svasana.