"Like the study of science and art, accounts of historical events can be intrinsically fascinating. But they have a wider significance. I believe that people are better able to chart their life course and make life decisions when they know how others have dealt with pressures and dilemmas---historically, contemporaneously, and in works of art. And only equipped with such understanding can we participate knowledgeably in contemporary discussions (and decisions) about the culpability of various individuals and countries in the Second World War. Only with such understanding can we ponder the responsibilty of human beings everywhere to counter current efforts at genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia to bring the perpetrators to justice."
"...we humans are the kinds of animals who learn chiefly by observing others---what they value, what they spurn, how they conduct themselves from day to day, and especially, what they do when they believe that no one is looking."
----Howard Gardner, from The Disciplined Mind, published in 1999

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Aaaaaaaaaay; or, Kundalini Rising

I have been keeping a yoga practice for some years now. A past injury healed in such a way that my body behaves differently than when I first engaged in practice.
In previous times, the Iyengar and Ashtanga styles were my guide. Now I am drawn to Kundalini.
I appreciate the movement and the rest. The chanting and the silence.
Balance indeed.

And how can you not embrace a set that includes the following instruction?

Lie on your back and laugh at the universe. When laughing, do it as if you are seeing something wonderful happening and you are enjoying it! Laughing is one exercise to raise your consciousness and it is also a comfort to the heart.

Dear reader, I laugh all the more when I come to this part of the kriya, for this is the step that precedes it:

Sit on your heels (Rock Pose). Stretch arms up to 60 degrees, pull shoulders back, fold first knuckle of fingers toward tops of palms, point thumbs straight up, focus at the third eye point. Do vigorous breath of fire, 6 mins. This is called "Ego Eradicator" because you must surrender to your higher strength in order to complete it. To end, imagine a rainbow forming between your thumbs, then inhale deep, gracefully bringing the thumbs together over your head, exhale and stretch, inhale, exhale and let the arms come down, clasped in Venus Lock in your lap.

Dear reader, it is "Ego Eradicator" indeed, in no small part because I can only imagine how I must appear---squatting, signalling with my hands as if I am the Fonz, and breathing as if I am Darth Vader, and trying not to cross my eyes or fall over.

Are you laughing too?
You have to be!

You can find this, the Kriya for the Heart Center, at the following link:
http://www.shaktakaur.com/Kriyas/Chakra%204%20-%20Heart%20Center%20Kriya.htm

Laughter and imagery. This happy couple has been serving people well for a very long time, and will for some time to come.
Thank for laughing with me.
And if you tried the "Ego Eradicator" before you finished reading the post, let me know. We'll have another laugh together all over again.

2 comments:

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

I have a belly dance tape where the instructor talks about awakening the kundalini - the great serpent asleep at the base of your spine. That comment always makes me laugh. (It is a video for women lest you get humourous ideas!!)You are reminding me of the Deteriorata, if that's any comfort!

neroli said...

I laugh at myself also, Artist, because there is so much body wisdom built into these more time-tested ways of working the body---and that modality is one that does not come as easily to me as some others.
So I feel like a little kid sometimes, snickering because I don't know any better!
But that allows me to approach the work with some humility...
and always good for a laugh. (smiling)