Kundalini Yoga: Spine Rejuvenation Sequence
The following easy Kundalini Yoga sequence by Shakta Khalsa brings flexibility to your spine and rejuvenates your brain.
When practicing Kundalini Yoga, apply your meditative mind to each moment. It is essential to create an internal awareness during yoga, not only to reap the greatest benefits, but also to prevent injury to the body.
Feel the difference between a “good” hurt and “bad” hurt. A “good” hurt feels like a muscle offering resistance, then relaxing and unwinding.
One effective way to help muscles relax more deeply is to direct your in-breath into any tight areas and visualize yourself relaxing more deeply. On the out-breath, feel the tightness releasing.
LOWER SPINE FLEX
Start by sitting on the floor with the legs crossed and tucked in. Straighten the spine by pressing the chest slightly forward and lifting the ribcage. Relax the shoulders and slightly tuck the chin. This is called “easy” pose. Now take hold of the outside ankle with your two hands. Inhale and flex the spine forward, chest out and shoulders back. Exhale and slump the body. The shoulders curve forward, the chest caves in, and the spine is rounded. Continue in a rhythmic forward and backward manner. Focus on rocking the pelvis forward and back, as well as moving the mid and upper spine. Feel each vertebra of the spine curl and uncurl. As you continue, pick up the pace. Go for 1 to 2 minutes. Then inhale deeply, holding the breath. Exhale and relax the breath and the pose.
In this Kundalini yoga exercise, you are loosening the vertebrae of the lower spine, and stimulating the energy of the pelvic area.
Still sitting in easy pose, bring your hands up to the shoulders with the fingers in the front and the thumbs in the back. Straighten the spine and begin twisting side to side as far as you can in each direction. Keep the upper arms parallel to the ground as you swing freely from side to side. Inhale to the left and exhale to the right. Breathe rhythmically and powerful for 1-2 minutes.
In this exercise, the entire spine is loosened and adjusted.
Hands on the knees again. Make sure the spine is straight and your neck is in line with the spine. Inhale and roll the shoulders forward and up toward the ears. Imagine you want to touch your ears with your shoulders. Exhale as you roll your shoulders around to the back and down. Breathe deeply and continue for 1-2 minutes. Then inhale deeply, stretch the shoulders up—hold for a few seconds—and exhale down. Relax and breathe normally for a few seconds. Feel a warm energy circulating throughout the shoulder and neck area.
In this Kundalini Yoga self-massage, tension in the shoulders is pressurized and then released.
Having worked your way up to the neck, drop your head forward, and as you inhale begin to rotate the head around to the right. Keep the jaws relaxed, the mouth slack. The chin will come over the right shoulder as you inhale. The head will drop back in a smooth, continuous motion. As you exhale, the head will move over the left shoulder and back to the front. Move meditatively and slowly. Feel that the weight of your head is taking your neck around in a fluid circle. After two or three circles, reverse the direction. Inhale to the left, exhale as the head comes around to the right. Continue for two or three circles then inhale and bring the head to the front. Exhale and relax.
Energy has been stimulated and circulated in the spine upward to the neck area. This exercise releases the tension in the neck, allowing the energy to flow into the head.
Stand with the right leg forward and the left leg back at a 45-degree angle to the front foot. Straddle the legs about 2 1/2 feet apart. Raise the right arm straight in front, parallel to the ground, and make a fist as if grasping a bow. The left arm is pulled back as if pulling a bowstring back to the shoulder. The left forearm is parallel to the ground, and the hand is in a fist. Both wrists form a straight line with the arm. Bend the right knee and lean into it slightly so that you cannot see the right foot. Keep the body centered, do not lean forward, but put 70 percent of your weight on the front leg. Face forward and fix the eyes above the fist to the horizon. After 1-2 minutes, switch legs.
Archer pose brings the qualities of focus and fearlessness. It balances and strengthens the nervous system.
Shakta Khalsa is one of the world’s leading experts on children and yoga. She is the author of five well-known yoga books, including the classic Fly Like A Butterfly: Yoga for Children, and Yoga for Women. Shakta is founder of Radiant Child® Yoga, an international training program for teaching children yoga and working with/raising children consciously. Visit her site at: www.childrensyoga.com