Today’s practice follows yesterday’s discussion of how emotional detritus can impact and impede one’s physical well-being and spiritual development, respectively. The routine combines self-massage, kundalini kriya, qi-point stimulation, and meditation. Specifically, the Heart, Liver, and Stomach organ systems will be stimulated: As a result, anger will diminish; and compassion and inner strength will increase.
Before you begin, take a few moments to sit with your eyes closed. Notice if that mere act causes a feeling of resistance or resentment; perhaps a bit of anxiety stirs. Also remark upon any areas in your body that feel uncomfortable in any way. Your observations are meant only to serve as comparisons to how you likely will feel after your practice.
After your self-inventory, take three deep breaths, in and out through your nose. Then, bring the base knuckles of each thumb under each of your cheekbones: Starting on the sides of the nose, firmly press in and up under the cheekbones. Begin to work your way out toward the ears: Inhale to press, exhale to release and move slightly outward. Continue until each thumb knuckle lands just in front of each ear, where they will meet the thick muscle called the masseter: This tissue runs from the outer edge of the cheekbone to the lower jaw; it helps to open and close the mouth.
The masseter becomes very tight and stiff in anyone who clenches or grinds their teeth. With your thumb knuckles, press into the muscle as you slightly open and close your mouth: Move the pressure into different areas of the masseter as you open and close. This may be quite uncomfortable at first; ease up on the pressure that you apply, but continue to massage the area for at least a minute.
Next, bring one or two of your fingertips to the two knobs at the center of the collarbone. Press firmly into the knobby bones as your slowly turn your head left and right; continue for 30-60 seconds.
Now, move into a seated crossed-leg pose. If you have already been sitting in this position, change the cross of your legs. Then, bringing your left arm all the way up alongside your ear, lean to the right; reach through the left ring and pinky finger to help adjust your arm into correct alignment with the left side body. Remain in this right-leaning position for 1 minute. Then, continue to stretch to the right, but slowly bring your left arm down to rest on your side. Remain in this deep side stretch for another minute.
Inhale to rise slowly out of the pose; release and shake out your legs, and then come back into crossed-leg, again switching the cross of the legs. Lean to the left, bringing the right arm up and over; remember to reach through the ring and pinky fingers of the right hand. Let your head hang to the side, and breathe deeply for 1 minute. Then, lower the right arm, and continue deepening into the stretch for another full minute.
Next, stretch your legs out in front of you, and open them into a comfortably wide straddle. If you like, bring a pillow under the front edge of your buttocks to help till the pelvis forward. Then, with a long spine, reach forward to hold the big toes of each foot with the first two finger and thumb of each hand. If you can not reach that far without curving the spine, pull back a bit to hold the ankles or shins. Then, inhale, and as you exhale, bend forward between your legs. Inhale up, exhale forward: Breathe deeply and powerfully, and continue the movement for 1 minute.
Now, bend your knees and lean back on your hands. Inhale to lift your hips up into back platform: The shape of your body, legs, and arms is one of a table top; your feet should be in line under your knees, and your hands in line under your shoulders. Inhale each time you lift up into the pose, exhale to lower the hips: Continue for 1 minute.
Then, remaining in back platform, tilt the head back slightly, and begin Breath of Fire. If the head tilt bothers your neck, keep the head up, in line with the spine. Regardless, use your will power and hip strength to maintain the platform position: Continue Breath of Fire for 1 minute.
Slowly come out of the position, and move your body into Rock Pose (buttocks on heels). As always, feel free to place a pillow between your lower legs and bottom. Cross your arms, holding the elbows with opposite hands. Inhale, and exhale to bring your forehead to the ground. If you can not get all the way down, persevere: As you inhale up and exhale down for 2 minutes, the body will begin to allow you to move further and faster. The arm position applies pressure to the Liver meridian as you bend forward, helping to release toxic energy from your system.
After two minutes, release the arms. If you like, bring your knees closer together or further apart, and add or remove the pillow. Your Rock Pose is now going to become Baby Pose. In this version of the posture, place a heavy, folded blanket on your low back and buttocks; if you have a sandbag, you may use that. The idea is to weigh down your hips, so that they are encourage to relax and release.
Your arms stretch forward on the floor and open into a wide V, with your forehead resting on the floor. Of course, adjust the arms to your comfort level. This hip-weighted, long- and wide-arm variation of Baby Pose accentuates its ability to release old emotional pain from their storage area in the hips; further, the Heart meridian in the arms is fully stretched open, allowing for the free flow of its qi. As you breathe deeply into this posture, the energy of the Heart replaces the energy of unnecessary, detrimental emotion. Remain in the pose for 3 minutes.
Now, prepare to fire up the Third Chakra, which will insure that you emerge from the practice with confidence in your ability to apply calmness and wisdom to challenging situations. Lie on your back, with your arms stretched to the sides at shoulder level, palms up (i.e., your body and arms form the shape of a cross). With both legs straight and together, raise them 6-10 inches off of the floor. If your lower back bothers you, bring the arms down, so that you can slide your hands under your hips for support. In either case, hold the legs steady as you breath deeply for 2 minutes. If you need to bend the knees or release the legs for a moment, do so; then, resume the full posture and continue for the remainder of time.
When you have completed the exercise, bring your knees into the chest, and hug them as you roll back and forth a few times to come up into a seated pose. Now, extend each arm to the side at shoulder level. Make a fist of each hand, and bend the wrists back, so that the hidden palm of each hand points outward; extend only the index fingers straight up. With your eyes closed and gazing at the Third Eye, begin Sitali pranayama: Inhale through a curled tongue “straw;” exhale through the nose. (If you can not curl your tongue, breathe in through slightly parted lips; exhale through the nose.) Continue the breath with arm and hand position for 5 minutes.
Special note: The above is a stand-alone kundalini mediation to Conquer Inner Anger. Typically, it is done for 11 minutes; as today’s practice includes a follow-up meditation, we practice the first part for 5 minutes.
Next, bring your hands in front of your Heart center. With both palms facing you, touch the left thumb to the center of the right palm; the right hand lies gently in the palm of the left hand. Place the connected hands on your Heart center. Close your eyes, gazing at the Third Eye; breathe long and deep for another 5 minutes. When you have finished, bring yourself slowly down into Svasana for as long as you like.