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Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons
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Lesson 409 - Asanas (Postures) and Premature Kundalini Awakening  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: June 4, 2010

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"


Q: I have been practicing hatha yoga asanas for about 5 years now, and I also have some experience of pranayama practices, as well as having made some attempts at various meditation practices. I discovered your advanced yoga practices lessons recently and I have been trying out the deep meditation practice. My problem is that I have been experiencing quite a powerful response to the meditation practice. I started experiencing some nausea after practicing leading to having to miss a day's work through sickness. This was after about a week of practice. I stopped the practice for about 2 weeks and then tried a shorter, 10 minute meditation practice. After this I experienced strong nausea again, during and after lying in corpse pose after the practice.

I know a lot of yoga texts recommend mastering asanas before pranayama before meditation. I have also read you explaining that the spinal breathing techniques are a good way to achieve balance during the meditation practice. So, I am considering continuing my asana practice and introducing the spinal breathing technique after the asanas. I was thinking of continuing this for some time before starting the deep meditation again.

I wanted to know what you thought of this. I know your lessons recommend learning the meditation before introducing pranayama and then asanas. Would you discourage what I am considering? If so what would you suggest to alleviate the problems I am having?

A: It is not uncommon for avid long-time asana practitioners to experience some sensitivity to deep meditation. It is an energetic conductivity that has been cultivated in asanas, which may not have purified enough yet to become "ecstatic conductivity," as we call it in the lessons. It has also been referred to as premature "kundalini awakening," or perhaps in your case, pre-premature, since you are not generally symptomatic unless you meditate.

It is suggested to review Lesson 69 on kundalini symptoms and remedies. And also Lesson 367 on sensitivity to deep meditation, particularly the part on using "breath meditation" as a substitute for mantra meditation until things stabilize.

Regarding adding spinal breathing pranayama after your asana practice, it might help, as discussed in Lesson 69. But it may not, so self-pace the use of spinal breathing accordingly.

What is more fundamental to the situation is finding a balance between asanas, pranayama and meditation. Avid asana practitioners tend to be "over" with asanas coming into full-scope yoga involving the addition of other powerful practices. What is not always realized is that combining these three categories of practice makes each of them much more powerful. Less can be more in this situation.

Finding a balance in the time of practice of asanas with other yoga practices is a main theme of the AYP Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book. It is something you rarely hear about in yoga classes, because few have been teaching full scope yoga in that environment. Full scope yoga has unique characteristics, as you are finding, bringing the potential for rapid growth with stability, if approached prudently.

So, rather than focusing too much on energetic practice (asanas and pranayama), it is suggested to find a balance between asanas, spinal breathing pranayama and deep meditation. This may mean much shorter asana routines for a while (which can be replaced with grounding activity such as physical exercise), until you get a balance in hand. A typical asana routine before AYP sitting practices is about 10 minutes. It may not be easy for you to cut back that much, but try and see, in relation to say 5 minutes of spinal breathing and 5-10 minutes of deep meditation. If the deep meditation sensitivity continues, see measures suggested in Lesson 367 mentioned above.

I am sure this can be resolved, as long as you are willing to be flexible in your approach going forward. We have seen this sort of thing before. New ecstatic openings lie ahead. Wishing you all the best on your continuing path. Practice wisely, and enjoy!

The guru is in you.

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Note: For a detailed strategy on integrating asanas into a full scope yoga routine, see the Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book, and AYP Plus.

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