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Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

The Inner Alchemy of Yoga


Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

Contents
Introduction .
Polarity .
Sublimation and Transmutation ..
Theory vs Practice ..
Traditions ..
Chakras and the Central Channel ..
Experiences ..
Tips for practice ..

3
6
8
9
11
12
14
17

Muladhara Chakra ..
Pascimottanasana
Mula bandha
Svadhisthana Chakra ..
Shalabhasana
Vajroli/Sahajoli mudra
Manipura Chakra .
Trikonasana
Nabhiasana
Uddiyana bandha
Anahata Chakra .
Bhujangasana
Gomukasana
Visuddha Chakra
Sarvangasana
Throat friction
Ajna Chakra
Garudasana
Halasana
Trataka
Alternate nostril breathing
Sahasrara
Sirsasana
Ardha sirsasana
Verticality

18
21
24

31
35
39

46

Meditation ..

51

Final Notes .

55

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

Introduction
Much of the yoga practiced today has become very diluted from its traditional origins.
Commonly practiced for just the physical body, it can often resemble some kind of
modern gymnastics. However, the tradition of yoga is an extraordinarily deep and
powerful spiritual practice, with the focus always on the ultimate goal to awaken to
our full potential, or the ultimate reality. This has many names in many traditions
such as Self realization, Enlightenment, Liberation, Cosmic consciousness, God,
Truth. It does not matter what you call it, what matters is that you are aiming for
the top the top of the mountain, the highest of high, the Absolute, the Supreme
reality, that which is beyond all concepts and unchanging.
If we look in the right places, we can still find a world of yogic practices that most
would not know. With the focus on energy, the chakras and spirituality, some would
call it the esoteric side of yoga, but in fact this is how yoga was traditionally
practiced, so this is the essence of yoga. Many modern varieties have been tailored
for the modern mentality of materialism and not much beyond the physical body.
This is unfortunate as there are many people that are drawn to yoga and do get all
of the health benefits from its practice but they feel there is far more to it, they are
craving something deeper, but because the yoga market has been flooded with
diluted yoga, as it has become a very profitable business, it can be difficult to find
genuine traditional yoga practices. It is without a doubt that the practice of modern
yoga has many health benefits and can improve the quality of life for all who practice
it, but we should keep in mind that all of these benefits are just by-products of its
traditional purpose. These things naturally come along the way when practicing for
its higher purpose.
Everyone that knows something about yoga would recognise the asanas, the various
postures that you put your body into and hold for various lengths of time. This is the
most recognised aspect of yoga, and yet it is the most misunderstood and
misrepresented. You may wonder how these postures could become diluted over
time? The earliest known texts of yoga are about 2000 years old. Even if we ignore
the many postures created in modern times to work on the physical body, and just
look at the traditional postures, many of which are still practiced today, then how are
they different?... Are they at all different?... YES! There is a major difference, but
not one that can be seen with the eyes. This is the subtle level, and is the most
important part.
The secret of all yoga is the mind. Without the mind there is no yoga! So, yes we can
put ourselves into a posture, but why? And what do we do with the mind? Our
grocery list, plan the rest of the day, think about friends or what you should have
said in that argument you just had with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Sure, you can do
these things but this would not be yoga. In fact the word yoga has lost its true
meaning since it is used to describe all kinds of practices or exercises that no longer
align with the tradition. Some may argue that everything must be adjusted to suit
the modern times. This means basically modern society, which is created through the
consciousness of the people, and we are in a time of extreme materialism, focusing
on the physical to the suppression of the spirit and not to mention violence and war,
all based on untruths. This is a large subject in itself, but is not the topic of this book
so I will be very brief. We can see a correlation between the declining consciousness
of the vast majority and the dilution of the tradition of yoga. None of this would be
possible if we all were in touch with the higher aspects of ourselves. This makes me

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

think of something I read once that said; we should stop taking authority as truth
and start taking Truth as authority! Truth is Truth no matter how many people
believe it, even if it is only one person that knows it is still Truth.
In yoga, whatever technique you are doing there must be a focusing of the mind,
and ultimately all yoga is done from the mind. Mastering the mind is of the utmost
importance if we wish to succeed on the spiritual path.
Now coming back to the postures First we should look at why we practice the
asanas (postures). Yes there is a physical aspect to them, such as the stretching and
strengthening of the muscles and tendons, increasing bone density and the
massaging of the internal organs which should not be overlooked. Our body is the
vehicle for our spirit through which we experience this world, and so having a strong,
healthy body is always beneficial when doing spiritual work. However there are much
deeper aspects. When we start working on raising our consciousness then working
with our chakras and energy has a far greater influence. So, traditionally we practice
postures to awaken and develop our chakras and our energy. The chakras are like
organs of our etheric and astral body and influence specific states of consciousness
and systems in the body. For example manipura chakra (the navel chakra) relates to
the fire element, aspects like willpower, courage, dynamism as well as the digestive
and immune systems. The cultivation of the chakras is essential for spiritual
development.
Each posture activates a specific chakra. The ancient yogis realized that when we put
our body into certain positions it makes the energy flow in certain ways and focus in
specific points, the chakras. If we know this we can practice more consciously,
powerfully and specifically. If we do not know these things then we become limited
or can even hinder our progress. For example if somebody has a very fiery or
agitated personality and they unknowingly start doing techniques that work on
creating even more fire then this person will become even more agitated and will
think that yoga doesnt work. But if you know you are like this then you should do
techniques that you need and will balance this condition. If we feel we need more
willpower then we know exactly what techniques to do. This is not just limited to the
asanas, but all yogic techniques have a specific purpose.
Now it is becoming clearer why it is important to know these aspects. Firstly,
because now we can choose the right techniques to practice, and secondly we know
where to focus the mind. When we put ourselves into specific positions there will be
a natural activation of the associated chakra. How strongly this activation happens
depends on the focusing of the mind. If there is no focusing of the mind the effects
will be minimal, but if the mind is well focused the effects will be strong. Keep in
mind that everything done with awareness is more powerful. Another aspect that
affects the results is the length of time you hold the posture for. Often modern yoga
is done moving from one posture to another with very little time spent holding each
one. This can have the effect of a great physical workout but if your purpose is to
awaken your chakras then it is missing the point. Other styles such as yin yoga do
hold the postures for longer periods of time but their purpose is mainly on the
stretching of the yin tissues of the physical body and so the postures used are
different and there is no mention of the chakras. It can take several minutes for this
natural activation to start happening, and the longer you hold it for the stronger the
flow of energy and arousing of the chakra. Of course in the beginning you may not
be able to hold the postures for too long but as you practice you gradually build up
to it. There is no need to push it from the start and strain yourself. The more you

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

practice the more comfortable the postures become, and holding some for 10
minutes is simple. For certain postures a lack of flexibility may make the posture less
comfortable, so working on your flexibility can help in this regard, but it in no way
makes the power of the posture less potent from the energetic perspective. The
focusing of the mind is the most important, the rest will come naturally. Someone
who is inflexible but with good focus will have a stronger arousing of the chakras
than someone who is very flexible but lacks focus.
You can see now that even though the postures may look the same, there is a huge
difference between doing them as just a physical position and doing them with
awareness and focusing of the mind. The techniques in this book are not only asanas,
I have just used the example of the asanas to demonstrate this point. There are
several other yogic techniques, but the same principle applies.

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

Polarity
All energy has a dual aspect, like a magnet, it has a north and a south pole. These
aspects represent the dual nature of reality. All levels of existence below the
Absolute have duality, without it they would not exist. In the yogic tradition these
polar aspects are referred to as lunar/solar, but can also be thought of as yin/yang,
feminine/masculine. The word hatha, as in hatha yoga can be broken down into ha
and tha: ha = sun, tha = moon. Therefore hatha yoga can be translated as the yoga
of the sun and the moon, or the yoga of polarity. There is obviously something
fundamentally important about this aspect to have given this name to the system of
yoga.
Polarity is a way to understand the dynamics of energy at a deep level. We
comprehend our existence through polarity. For example: temperature. We
understand temperature because we know hot and cold. Hot and cold are the two
polar opposites. If we had no comprehension of hot then we could not know what
cold is. Direction is the same, we know left because there is a right, we know up
because there is down, we know we are here because we have there. These are
examples of the gross level but the subtle levels are the same.
We can look at the qualities of these aspects. If someone has a predominance of
lunar/yin energy in their being then they will tend to be very sensitive and receptive,
they feel a lot and can often have difficulty saying no. This excessive receptivity
causes a lack of boundaries, they can have difficulty knowing what is them and what
is coming from outside, and in extreme cases can lead to madness. While if someone
has a predominance of solar/yang energy then they tend to be insensitive, they feel
nothing, controlling, dont care about other people. In this case the excessive
insensitivity or controlling aspect creates very rigid boundaries, and in extreme cases
dictators or warlords, they lack any sensitivity or empathy towards the people who
die for them For example, if a very yin person walked into a room that had bad
energy they would immediately feel the energy in the room and become very
uncomfortable. Without knowing what it is, they would feel very uneasy being there
and if they stayed for too long it may even feel like this negative energy is in them,
loosing the distinction between what is them and what is not them. While if a very
yang person walked into the same room they would not feel anything and could be
there for as long as they like without noticing anything unusual. Now, if someone
with a very balanced yin/yang walked into the room they would immediately pick up
on the negative energy in the room but would not be overwhelmed, instead they
would be clear in mind and be able to consciously decide the most appropriate action
to take. They would probably say something like Ok, there is something wrong in
here. So how are we going to change it. A balance of yin and yang allows us to have
the receptivity while at the same time have the control and clarity of mind to act in
the highest and best way.
This polarity of energy can also be seen on a grander scale. There are forces from
above and forces from below, cosmic and earth energy. Earth energy is the yin
aspect and is more heavy or dense, while cosmic energy is yang, refined or
immaterial. Earth energy gives us vitality, but when excessive can lead to laziness,
inertia, heaviness and being overweight. Cosmic energy gives us mental enthusiasm
and refined intellect, but when excessive can cause one to be weak, skinny and may
get sick often, due to a lack of vitality. People with excess cosmic energy would also

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

be considered very ungrounded. A balance of these forces is also important to


achieve health and spiritual growth.
Many people who take on a spiritual path can sometimes tend to work just on the
high chakras and neglect the lower ones. While the higher chakras do resonate
naturally with cosmic energy and the crown chakra being the ultimate goal for the
spiritual aspirant, neglecting the lower chakras can leave us lacking vitality and
unable to function in the world properly due to a lack of grounding. Spiritual work is
not about renouncing the world and spending all of your time in lofty spaces, but is
about being more conscious and present while incarnating deeper aspects of your
true nature.
All chakras also have this polarity, except for sahasrara (the crown), which by many
is not considered to be a true chakra. When we reach the level of sahasrara we reach
the Absolute, unity or oneness. Here there is no more polarity, or no more duality.
All of the other chakras have a yin and a yang aspect. This is important to
understand because some of the postures given in this ebook work directly on the
chakras, while some work on the polarity of the chakra. When a posture is performed
twice, once on one side and once on the other, it is activating the yin and then the
yang aspects of the chakra. The yin aspect is the receptive aspect, while yang is the
controlling aspect. For this reason the yin/lunar performance is always done first and
then the yang/solar. First we receive the energy and then we can control it.
So, some postures are polarised and some are not. One is not necessarily better
than the other, it is just a different way to activate the chakras. Ultimately when
your chakras are consciously awakened you will know all aspects of them.
During polarised postures be aware of the subtle difference between the arousing of
the yin and the yang aspect of the associated chakra.

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

Sublimation and Transmutation


Sublimation and transmutation are essential aspects for transformation of energy
and consciousness, like a process of inner alchemy. The alchemy most people know
of is that of turning lead into gold. Metaphorically it is the transforming of gross
substances into more highly refined substances, and in spiritual work it is the same
principle, the transformation of the lower energies and emotions into highly refined
energy and consciousness.
Sublimation is the process of moving the energy upwards, from the lower chakras to
the higher ones. When using the term lower chakras it refers to the first 3 chakras,
but mainly the first 2. This does not mean that the energy in the lower chakras are
not beneficial, they are. The problem arises when there is too much energy in the
lower chakras and it does not move as it should, therefore stagnating and turning
into low, heavy emotions such as fear, anxiety, jealousy, depression, frustration or
anger. However, when the chakras are purified and harmonious there are only
beneficial qualities emitted from them such as vitality, creativity, imagination,
enthusiasm, willpower. These lower chakras govern our basic life force and are very
important.
Everything is energy in varying forms. Everything, meaning everything you can see
and cannot see. This is probably something that most people have heard before, but
we can also say that everything exists because it is supported by an energy. When
phrased like this it begins to take on a deeper meaning. If there was no energy to
support a certain object then it could not exist, for example a plant: it exists because
it is supported by a specific energy. It is the same for emotions. Emotions exist
because they are supported by certain energies. The heavy emotions mentioned
above are all supported by the energy of the lower chakras. So what does this mean?
When someone wakes up one morning and it seems for no particular reason they are
in a bad mood, perhaps feeling a little depressed, this means there is too much
energy stagnating in the second chakra and it is manifesting as depression. If you do
nothing, or even begin to indulge in these emotions, then the day will most likely
proceed to get worse and worse. However, if you know how to sublimate your
energy you can transform it and therefore the rest of your day becomes more joyous
and enthusiastic.
As you do sublimation you take the energy (excess energy) that is supporting these
heavy emotions and move it upwards and out of the lower chakras. Without the
excess energy there to support the depression your mood transforms, the depression
cannot exist without support.
Sublimation is the process of moving the energy upwards. Transmutation is the
refining and transformation of the energy as it moves up through the higher centers.
The higher chakras are naturally more refined and cannot support the energy of
these low, heavy emotions, so as the energy is directed upwards it is transformed
into higher more refined spiritual energy.
For success in spiritual work the ability to sublime and transmute your energy is
essential. The ability to turn worthless into priceless!

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

Theory vs Practice
As when learning anything there is both a theoretical and practical component. The
theory is important as it gives us some instructions or directions, like a roadmap, it
gives us a basic understanding of the specific subject allowing us to comprehend
mentally what we are doing or where we are going with the practice. Unlike other
subjects one may study, spirituality differs in that it is essentially experiential. This
means to experience for yourself.
Expanded states of consciousness, true inner peace or the energy of the chakras
cannot be known intimately from a mental level or from reading a book. You can
read all the theory or philosophy you like, but it only takes one moment of direct
experience to know all these things beyond words or concepts. Yes, theory gives you
the context to understand what or why you are doing something but remember, this
is only a mental understanding. What is needed to create transformation, or
awakening, is the direct experience.
To awaken your chakras does not mean to do some exercises that someone says
works on a specific chakra and then just take their word for it. This is an attempt to
awaken your energy unconsciously. Specific exercises will create a certain arousing
of the various energy centers and their associated qualities, but without a conscious
awareness of the energy there is a limit to how much a chakra can awaken. It is
important to keep in mind that anything done with awareness is more powerful and
this is what separates a true potent yogic technique from a simple exercise or
movement of the body. Yoga is about becoming more conscious, an expansion of the
consciousness, so every technique must be done with conscious awareness.
After some time practicing the techniques you should be able to feel the chakras for
yourself and therefore you can verify them for yourself and know their true qualities.
Theory may always be interesting but there is no comparison to directly experiencing
it, and in this way you can also verify the theory.
An important point should be made here. Language is important as it is used to
define our experiences, and if our language is vague then our ability to convey our
experience will also be vague. To encourage clarity I will define two terms that are
often used in everyday interactions to mean the same thing. Knowledge and knowing.
For the sake of this book and spirituality in general these two words are as different
as theory and practice, and in fact that is the precise difference. Knowledge should
be defined as information or data, through which the theory and techniques are
created. Knowing should be defined as to identify or know something through the
direct experience or direct perception, a knowing that does not come from the mind
or logic. For example: if you had never tasted an apple before and someone was
trying to describe the taste to you, you might be able to grasp a vague idea of what
it might taste like by comparing the taste and texture to other foods that you have
tried. But you will never truly know what it tastes like until you have experienced it
for yourself. Therefore all mental theories are a waste of time... just take a bite and
you will know!
As you shift from a standpoint of knowledge to a state of knowing you can read any
theory about the chakras and verify this information against your own knowing. All of
the knowledge, theories or philosophy in yoga originally came from the great ancient
yogis, who attempted to convey their experiences, their knowing, to others. In an

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

effort to help others also reach similar experiences they created techniques and
philosophy or theories that could be followed. In essence: knowledge came from
knowing and now we use the knowledge to return to the knowing.
So the main purpose of this book is to provide techniques that will lead to direct
experience or knowing. Some theory is provided in the beginning to help understand
the deeper aspects of the techniques and the energy but the emphasis should always
be on the practice.

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

10

Traditions
It should be noted here that the techniques and theory provided in this ebook come
from a long lineage of Traditional Indian and Tibetan Yoga. Therefore the theory and
techniques will have the flavour of this tradition. There are many spiritual traditions,
both eastern and western, being practiced and all have developed their own
techniques and language, or jargon, to describe the inner processes of
transformation. Although they are describing essentially the same thing the
description may seem different. There are several reasons for this. The diverse
flavour of consciousness of the people developing each tradition throughout the past
have a large impact on the way things are described, and very often things of a
spiritual nature must be described metaphorically. For example when the yogis refer
to the solar plexus they refer to the plexus, or center, of the solar principle. This
center resonates with the energy of the sun, or the element of fire. Another issue is
the language spoken by the people of the various traditions cannot be directly
translated for some words or concepts.
So, if you have practiced or studied other spiritual practices try not to get caught up
in comparing one to another. Although it can be very interesting to notice the
similarities it is not important for the practice of the techniques in this ebook. The
techniques will work when done correctly and with the proper focusing of the mind,
regardless of any previous beliefs or studies. However, if you choose to hold a
previous belief while practicing these techniques then there is no assurance of their
effectiveness. Stubbornly holding onto a certain belief and expecting a specific
outcome will only create blockages. You are also not asked to believe anything
blindly, only to practice with an open mind and verify the results for yourself. It is
more effective to let go of rigid mental concepts and perform the techniques with a
fresh attitude of curiosity and wonder.

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

11

Chakras and the Central Channel


It is important to understand the basic structure of the chakras and the main channel
of energy that connects them. The chakras are gateways to different energies and
levels of consciousness. The central channel, referred to as sushumna nadi in the
yogic tradition, is the main channel of energy for the etheric body. Although it is not
just an etheric structure, it is also astral, and of all the channels in the human being
it is the most important as its higher levels are infused with the light of the spirit. It
is here, in the central channel that the chakras have their origins, which we can call
the core of the chakra.
The central channel runs through the center of the body from the root chakra to the
crown. It is very closely associated to the spine in the physical body, however it is
not the spine (see diagram). Many modern books, or teachers of modern yoga
indicate that the sushumna nadi runs along the spine, while some even say it is the
spine. In the tradition of yoga there has always been a very strong emphasis on the
health and flexibility of the spine. Ancient texts and yogic masters have always
stated that the health of the spine is directly related to the health, strength and
vitality of the individual. But any western doctor, chiropractor or physiotherapist
could tell you the same thing, because on the physical level the spine and central
nervous system is essential to
the healthy functioning of the
human being (as well as
animals), which the yogis
were very aware of. While
this is very true on the
physical level, the subtle
layers can be quite different.
The central channel does
have a special connection to
the spine but it does not exist
on the physical level.
Statements like the spine is
the central channel could
only be made by people who
cannot feel the central
channel for themselves, and
are possibly just repeating
what they have read or been
taught. Even on the etheric
level there is a very refined
energy that flows through the
spine but it is different to that
of the central channel, which
is etheric, astral and light of
the Spirit. When you develop
your subtle perception you
will be able to verify it for
yourself.
From the core of the chakra
in the central channel, the

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

12

chakra extends forward to the front of the body and backward to the rear of the
body, in a tunnel like structure (see the diagram). They actually extend beyond the
physical body. In a healthy chakra the energy within the tunnel has a spiralling
movement, it is a vortex. This vortex spirals inwards to the core of the chakra, or
outward depending on your point of reference. The root chakra and the crown are
different in that they do not have the same tunnel like structure of the other chakras.
They are the upper and lower gateways of the central channel. The root chakra is the
gateway to kundalini and to the energy and consciousness of the earth, while the
crown is the gateway to cosmic consciousness, infinity, or the Divine.
When describing the location of the chakras the points at the front of the body are
usually given. These are activation points and correspond to the denser layer of the
etheric body. The points at the back of the body are similar. So, in the beginning for
the practices in this ebook, this is where the mind should be focused. But always
keep in mind that these points are not the chakras, they are a small part of them. As
you progress and can feel this level of the chakras you can begin to take the mind
into the deeper layers, along the tunnel and to the core of the chakras. At this stage
the postures are not as necessary and this can be done in a meditation position. The
postures are actually the training ground to increase awareness and sensitivity of the
chakras, and after some time you will not need them to activate your chakras, you
will do it with your mind. However many people continue to use the postures to keep
the physical body healthy. But remember the focusing of the mind is still important.

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

13

Experiences
Having so far explained the importance of awakening the chakras in regards to
spiritual transformation and also stressed the value of direct experience against
intellectual knowledge there are some common experiences that I will share with you.
Every individual will experience the chakras in their own way, however there are
some experiences that many people share. What is listed here are only a few
possible experiences and should in no way negate the relevance of your own
experience should it not be listed here. We should not think in terms of an
experience being right or wrong, but rather the experience as an experience. You
cannot have someone elses direct experience, each experience is your own and
through them your self awareness and subtle perception grows.
It is also important to keep in mind that you are not being asked to visualize specific
images or effects, you are being asked to place your mind in a specific area and just
be aware. Allow your mind to discover what is already there. The examples given
provide a guide book or reference points to clarify your experiences. Sometimes we
can have certain experiences but because they are not dramatic we dont pay much
attention to them, and in this way we may miss the opportunity to learn and grow. If,
however, we know of certain experiences already validated by many people before
us it can give us a reference point, and we can recognise the experience if we have it.
Common experiences for each chakra are given in each chapter for the associated
chakra, but here I will give some examples related to chakra awakening in general.
How deep am I?
While performing the technique, whether asanas, pranayama or meditation, it feels
like you are not going very deep into it and the mind seems as if it will not even slow
down. You persist anyway. On coming out of the technique (especially meditation)
you feel like you have come back a long way. It is then you realize how deep you
were and that the technique did work. Always be very conscious when coming out of
any technique.
Purification.
These effects are some of the most common effect as one begins to open their
chakras. As this awakening happens on various levels, purification effects will be
experienced on different levels. Purification is the releasing of blockages. Simply put,
blockages are what prevent us from experiencing our energy, chakras and high
states of consciousness, therefore to spiritually awaken these blockages must be
released. These examples are not necessarily one time purifications and can be
experienced several times along a spiritual path, with each time the purification
coming from deeper levels. Some examples are:

The sudden appearance of pimples is the purification of toxins or impurities


being released through the skin.

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

14

You may experience that on a particular day you need to go to the bathroom
several times for bowel movements, perhaps even within just a few hours,
which seems for no particular reason. This may or may not be loose stools.
You do not feel sick or unwell but with each bowel movement you feel lighter.
This can also be accompanied with what might at first feel like a general
tiredness, but if you tune into yourself you may find that it is actually a
feeling of inner peace coming through your entire body. It is similar to
tiredness in that you dont feel like doing anything but in this case it is more a
feeling of contentment without a need to do anything. The feeling to do
nothing is a natural response, as the body is trying to tell you to just sit
quietly and enjoy this experience. If you are more active it is more difficult to
truly comprehend the experience. While the purification in this example is
manifesting in a physical response of bowel movements which is removing
physical toxins and impurities (just like the example above), it is a result of
etheric and emotional purification.
This kind of spiritual work can bring up deep emotional traumas (samskaras).
Samskaras are scars in the astral/emotional body caused by intense
emotional or traumatic events from the past, either this life or past lives.
These form the basis of our neurotic behaviours and combined with our
upbringing and social conditionings create negative belief systems. This is
simply the creation of the ego as we know it. These samskaras and negative
emotions are based in the astral body (the level of thoughts and emotions)
which in turn creates blockages in the etheric body. So, this means that when
emotional issues come to the surface, they will not only be experienced
during yoga practice, especially meditation, but will be felt in your everyday
life. Very often it is situations in your daily life that trigger these samskaras
into conscious awareness. This can feel unpleasant, more so if you have a lot
of emotional baggage, but this is a necessary process when doing spiritual
work. These samskaras must be released if we wish be truly free. Try to allow
it, watch it, without being drawn into it. Indulging in these emotional dramas
will only make the process more painfull and drawn out, and on top of this it
would not be yoga, it is the ego trying to hold onto an illusion of who you
think you are. For more information on samskaras and the releasing of them
please visit www.pastlife-regression.com
Sickness can also be a form of release or purification. There is a difference
between sickness that comes from a virus and sickness coming from
purification.

Subtle perception and the chakras.


How we perceive the chakras, and any other structure of our subtle bodies for that
matter, will vary depending on the standpoint of our consciousness and the subtle
levels of the chakra.
In the beginning the most tangible experience will be the feeling of the denser layer
of the etheric body. The nature of the etheric body is vibration, so when you feel
vibration you are experiencing the etheric level. If I asked you to become aware of
your hand now, without looking at it, you would feel some kind of sensation, whether
or not you can describe it does not matter. You may feel it as a subtle vibration, a
tingling sensation or perhaps a pressure, but what matters is that you can feel it. If
you are still unsure, I will ask you again without looking at your hand, how do you
know it even exists? How do you know it is still there?... because you can feel it. This

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is the energy you can feel. So when we begin to work with the chakras, we start by
placing our mind in the activation points of the chakras at the front of the body, the
surface level. With the same principle as the hand you become aware of what you
feel. Again, this is the most dense etheric level, but the most tangible, and from here
your subtle perception and arousal of the chakras grow.
Remember that chakras are not just points on the surface of the body, these are the
activation points which continue through the body and connect to the central channel.
As you go deeper into the chakras the experience becomes more subtle, so much so
that there can be a strong sense of space and expansion. So if you expect to feel the
deep layers just like the gross surface level then you may miss it. Discard preconceived ideas about what a chakra should like and keep an open mind, a sense
of fascination and wonder and your adventure will begin.
When our consciousness internalizes, or involutes, an interesting phenomenon occurs.
Our mind moves inward, focused on a single point, becoming sharper and sharper
until at some point there is an expansion and a strong sense of space occurs. Your
sense of dimensionality is now lost, as the more subtle you go the more nondimensional things become. This may or may not still have the subtle flavour of the
chakra you had been working on, depending on how deep you go. At the core of all
things, even the chakras, there is the Absolute, or Oneness. When you move inward
far enough you will find the Infinite.
This is where the experiences get really interesting. Your consciousness can merge
with the chakra, identifying with it and the experience can be that you are the
chakra! You can also experience the chakra from what could be called the
standpoint of the observer, like you are somewhere else (or everywhere else)
watching it.
If you were to see the world from the point of view of an ant, the world and
everything in it would seem huge compared to your current view. But then if you
saw the world from the standpoint of a molecule, the world would appear even larger
again. Following this analogy; when our mind involutes enough into the chakra the
experience can be that the chakra is massive and all around us, while if our mind has
not moved inward so much then the chakra can be experienced as being small, or
having a specific size. These are two ends of the scale and anything in between can
also be experienced.
On the more gross level the energy of the chakras can expand depending on their
level of awakening. The chakra itself is not actually expanding, its energy is
radiating and expanding. For example the energy of the heart chakra can feel as
though it is filling the entire chest and in this case your experience may be that your
heart chakra is as big as your chest. While this is a beautiful experience, the essence
or core of the chakra will be revealed, and ultimately awakened, when the focus
becomes sharp and pin pointed, turning inwards.
The experience can also be that of a vortex, a spinning motion either clockwise or
anti-clockwise. This can feel like you are spinning while moving forwards or
backwards, but it may also be experienced as you being still while inside the vortex.
This vortex can be used to assist involuting into the core of the chakras.

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Tips for Practice


The most important part of these practices is the focus of the mind. So for each
technique the primary focus is on the associated chakra. It is much like a meditation
in that you focus the mind on a specific point, and if the mind begins to wander, if
thoughts come into the mind just return the focus to the chakra. It is good to keep in
mind that meditation is more of a letting go than anything else. The same is true for
concentration or focus. When we concentrate it is not a forced action, you cannot
force the mind into silence, it requires the ability to let go of all other thoughts and
distractions and allow the awareness to rest on the single chosen focus.
For all of the techniques in this ebook there are recommended times for performance.
Keep in mind that these are only suggestions, and although can be very helpful in
the beginning, it is important that you begin to understand how the techniques effect
you personally. The trick when using postures to awaken the chakras is that the
postures need to be held for some time in order for the energy to start flowing and
activating the chakras. If we move more quickly from one posture to another,
without holding them for any length of time, then we dont get the same arousing of
the energy.
As you become used to the techniques and have begun to feel the energy you should
then begin meditating on the chakras. This is why the awareness phase is so
important, as it teaches you to feel the chakra while in a neutral position. Ultimately
it is all done with the mind, and this meditation aspect will take you deeper into the
chakras. To start, perform one or all of the techniques for the chosen chakra and
then choose a comfortable sitting position and go into a meditation on that chakra.
There is a chapter for meditation after the chapters on the chakras. Most importantly
keep the back straight. Keep the mind focused on the chakra. Every one is different
and some people will choose at some stage to meditate on the chakras instead of the
postures, while some people will do both.
It is also helpful to maintain an attitude of playfulness and curiosity, a kind of
childlike wonder. An attitude like this helps to keep your mind open and ready for
new experiences. If you wish to achieve results then a consistent practice is needed,
but sometimes people can take their practice too seriously and forget to keep a fresh
attitude.
These are all powerful techniques when performed properly. If you wish to see
results then the secret is practice. Through practice you will know!

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Muladhara chakra
Location: The perineum, in the pelvic area between the anus and the genitals.
Translation: Mula = root, adhara = support
Therefore it is referred to as the root chakra, or root support
Comments: Muladhara chakra governs the element of the earth and is the basis of
our physical nature. It is the gateway to connecting with the earth. It provides us
with endurance and is the source of our vitality, the basic battery of the being. It is
also the seat, or resting place, of kundalini. Only when muladhara chakra is
awakened can the kudalini energy begin to rise.
This chakra is strongly connected to our sense of security. When this chakra is
unbalanced it will lead to emotions such as fear, paranoia and greed.
Common experiences:
The feeling of a strong pressure at the base of the body. It could also be
experienced as an intense vibration or tingling in this area, bringing with it an
overall feeling of denseness and solidarity, as if very strongly connected to
the earth. In fact at some level there is a merging with the energy of the
earth and you may even feel yourself inside the earth.
There can also be the experience of heat in the area of the perineum. This
can vary from a slight warmth to very strong heat. In the latter case the heat
can begin to fill the entire body and you may even begin to sweat. This heat
is a consequence of the kundalini being activated and rising upwards.
Also a result of the kundalini awakening is the experience of what I best
describe as a cosy feeling permeating your entire being. It is more than just
a warmth in your body, it is far more intimate and profound. This cosy feeling
is also accompanied with a deep sense of inner peace and is a very pleasant
and enjoyable experience. The two examples given above are usually
experienced during actual yoga practice, or perhaps a little while after, but
this cosy feeling can last for one to two days.

Pascimottanasana (pose of the westward rising)


The technique:
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend forward from the hips
and hold the feet. How you hold the feet is not important. The feet should be either
touching or just slightly apart and the legs straight. If you cannot reach the feet then
use a belt or piece of cloth to hook around the feet. It is important to make the
connection of the hands to the feet, either directly or with a belt, as this creates the
circuit of energy. It is better to use the belt than to bend the legs. Over time your
flexibility will increase.

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Primary focus: Focus in muladhara chakra. Place your awareness in the area of the
perineum.
Secondary focus: Perceive
the earth energies coming
directly into the root
chakra and the flow of
energy running along the
spine, through the arms,
into the feet and along the
legs creating a circuit. The
energy comes in and
continually flows through
the circuit. The flow
becomes stronger and
stronger as more energy
continues to enter the
circuit.
You can start with holding
it for a few minutes and
working you way up to longer periods. If this is comfortable for you naturally then
start with 5 minutes or even longer. Do not strain.
Release the posture. You can rest back on your hands for the awareness phase.
Perceive the effects by becoming aware of any feelings/sensations at the level of
muladhara chakra, as well as throughout the entire body. Also note an increase in
vitality.
Comments:

This is a beautiful posture that has a strong natural arousal of muladhara


chakra. One can be quite comfortable in this position for a long time, so if you
would like to experience the effects of holding postures for extended lengths
of time then this one is perfect.

Mula Bandha
The technique:
In this technique you are contracting the muscles of the perineum. There are actually
three areas of contraction in this area and each of them has a different purpose and
associated energy. 1: the urethra. 2: the perineum. 3: the anal sphincter.
Due to the muscle structure and the connecting tissues, movement of one area
usually elicits a response from the other. Therefore in the beginning controlled
movement of one area alone can be difficult, but with practice you will get it. If you
look at the diagram to the right you can see the separate areas. In the technique of

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19

mula bandha you are contracting number 2, the perineum. This is directly arousing
muladhara chakra.
Take a comfortable sitting position. Make sure
the back is straight.
Part A: Begin to slowly contract the perineum.
Contract it fully and then release slowly.
Contract and release 50 times, then stop and
place your awareness in the area of the
perineum. For a minute or so just feel the
sensations in this area.
Do 3 5 rounds with an awareness phase after
each round.
Part B: Contract the perineum firmly and
maintain the contraction for 1 minute.
Release and go into the awareness phase.
Do 3 5 rounds with an awareness phase after
each round.
Part C: Contract and release the muscles of
the perineum as in part A 50 times and then
contract and hold as in part B for 1 minute.
Release and go into the awareness phase.
Comments:

In the beginning perform all parts. As


you become more proficient you can
just do part C, but begin to extend the
hold for longer than 1 minute 2 3
minutes.
You will also find that during the
awareness phase it becomes possible to
maintain the sensations in the area of
the perineum with the mind. This
sensation is the energy. It is now
becoming possible to consciously control
the chakra with the mind. You can now
go onto the advanced variation.

Part D (advanced): Take the same sitting


position.
This time there is no physical contraction, the
exercise is done with the mind.
Contract (activate) and release muladhara chakra 50 times.
This is a very subtle action that should only be on the etheric level. In the beginning
you may feel there is slight physical contraction but with practice you will feel the
difference between the physical contraction and the etheric contraction.
Let go of all effort and go into an awareness phase. Perceive the arousing of
muladhara chakra.

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20

Svadhisthana chakra
Location: In the lower abdomen, opposite the sacrum.
Translation: Sva = emotional self,
adhisthana = place of, or headquarters.
Therefore it can be called the place of the emotional self. Also referred to the sacral
chakra or sex chakra.
Comments: Svadhisthana chakra governs the element of water. This chakra
governs the sexual energy (ojas), sensuality, sensitivity, creativity and imagination.
Social interaction, creative and sexual expression are related to the healthy
functioning of this chakra.
This watery energy however, can have the effect of making the personality
unstable just as water has no form and forms to the shape of its surroundings so
does the personality of the individual with an excess or predominance of
svadhisthana energy. So named the place of the emotional self, people with an
imbalance here will be emotionally up and down, with a tendency to freak out. They
like to create dramas, can be insecure and lack a true sense of self. Preferring not to
be alone they can be very social, but tend towards social conformism like to feel
accepted, to fit in and go with the crowd (sheep like mentality). Can get caught up in
theyre own fantasy world. Emotions such as depression, jealousy, anxiety and
frustration are supported be the energy of an imbalanced svadhisthana chakra.
Common experiences:
A cool feeling that fills the lower abdomen. Not cold, but more a pleasant
coolness. I would describe it like the feeling of cool water on a hot day but
inside your lower abdomen.
The experience of what some might refer to as your inner child. A feeling of
very light hearted playfulness, joy and child like wonder. The innocence and
purity of a child.
The sexual energy begins to awaken causing you to feel very aroused.
Perhaps all you want to do in that moment is have sex. Sexual desire is one
of the most powerful natural instincts that we have, and can be a challenge
for many to surpass. By surpassing it, this does not mean that you have to
give up lovemaking. In contrast once you have mastered your sexual energy
your lovemaking takes on a far deeper dimension. Keep in mind that there is
a huge difference between you controlling your sexual energy and your sexual
energy controlling you. One leads to spiritual transformation, the other does
not. There is an entire branch of yoga practices designed for this purpose, but
as this is not the subject or purpose of this ebook, please visit
www.tantricsecrets.com for more information on theory and practices for the
transformation of sexual energy. However see the point below for one very
powerful secret.
Sex begins to dominate your thoughts and just looking at the opposite sex
makes you feel aroused. This is a very common experience when
svadhisthana chakra begins to awaken. Your secret weapon when this begins
to happen is sublimation! When your sexual energy is awakening it needs to
move. If too much builds up and stays in svadhisthana chakra then the sexual
desire will become overwhelming. However, when sublimed it is transformed
into more highly refined spiritual energy, directed upwards and now used to

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awaken the higher chakras. Techniques for sublimation are given in the
following chapters.

Shalabhasana (grasshopper/locust pose)


The technique:
Lie face down on the floor, keeping your chin on the ground. Make fists with your
hands, keep your arms straight and place them under your abdomen and pelvis. Try
to have the hands/fists palm side facing down.
Now with the legs as straight as possible raise the legs off the ground and hold them
there.
Primary focus: Focus
in svadhisthana
chakra, just above
the pubic bone.
Secondary focus:
Perceive the flow of
cosmic energy
descending along the
legs to svadhisthana
chakra.
In the beginning,
depending on your
condition, you can
start with holding for a minute or two and gradually build up to 3 4 minutes.
Release the posture. Lie face down and place your forehead on the back of your
palms for the awareness phase. Perceive the effects by becoming aware of any
feelings/sensations at the level of svadhisthana chakra, as well as throughout the
entire body. Also note a mood of creativity and imagination.
Comments:

For some people the hand/arm position is not comfortable and may bother
the shoulders, elbows or wrists. If there is sharp pain or extreme discomfort
then you can alter the hands or arms by turning the hands upwards or
releasing the fists into open palms. However if there is only minor discomfort
then try to stay with the original position. The body will adapt with practice.
Always use common sense when performing any technique.

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22

Vajroli/Sahajoli mudra
The technique:
Vajroli refers to the male technique while Sahajoli is the female. This is similar in
practice to mula bandha but very different energetically. In this one you are
contracting the urethra, number 1 in the diagram to the right. This contraction is the
same as when urinating and stopping the flow.
Take a comfortable sitting position. Make sure
the back is straight.
Part A: Begin to slowly contract the urethra.
Contract it fully and then release slowly.
Contract and release 50 times, then stop and
place your awareness in the area of the pubic
bone. For a minute or so just feel the
sensations in this area.
Do 3 5 rounds with an awareness phase after
each round.
Part B: Contract the urethra firmly and
maintain the contraction for 1 minute.
Release and go into the awareness phase.
Do 3 5 rounds with an awareness phase after
each round.
Part C: Contract and release the muscles of
the urethra as in part A 50 times and then
contract and hold as in part B for 1 minute.
Release and go into the awareness phase.
Comments:

When you are able to isolate the


contraction of the urethra, note the
difference between this and that of the
perineum.
In the beginning perform all parts. As
you become more proficient you can
just do part C, but begin to extend the
hold for longer than 1 minute 2 3
minutes.
As with the mula bandha technique
you will also find that during the
awareness phase it becomes possible
to maintain the sensations in the area
of the pubic bone with the mind. Again
you are gaining conscious control of
the chakra. You can now go onto the
advanced variation.

Part D (advanced): Take the same sitting


position.
This time there is no physical contraction, the

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exercise is done with the mind.


Contract (activate) and release svadhisthana chakra 50 times.
Remember, this action should only be on the etheric level. In the beginning you may
feel there is slight physical contraction but with practice you will feel the difference
between the physical contraction and the etheric contraction.
Let go of all effort and go into an awareness phase. Perceive the arousing of
svadhisthana chakra

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24

Manipura chakra
Location: The navel.
Translation: Mani = jewel/gem, pura = city
Therefore manipura can be refered to as the city of gems. It can also be referred to
as the Hara from martial arts, or the Cauldron in the Taoist tradition. Located
inside the abdomen, it is a sphere like structure of energy which can store large
amounts of energy.
Comments: Manipura chakra governs the element of fire. It is often compared to
the energy of the sun. Manipura distributes pranic energy throughout the entire
being, regulating and energizing the various organs and systems of the body. If we
think of the qualities of fire we can see how this energy also governs the immune
system, digestive system, metabolism and the circulation. For example, in
Traditional Chinese medicine or Ayurveda they will speak of the digestive fire. If we
have enough inner fire we will be strong and healthy. People with a strong manipura
chakra rarely even get sick.
The personality develops here, gaining a strong sense of self. Qualities such as
courage, willpower, dynamism, enthusiasm and honour are supported by this inner
fire.
The fire element has strong purifying effects.
When imbalanced the ego can become increasingly self centered (me, me, me),
ambitious, aggressive and violent. Love of power Dictators and tyrants in extreme
cases.
Common experiences:
A strong pressure or feeling of expansion in the belly. This could be described
as a real sense of power and presence, like you could do anything. This does
not mean that you should now go and do anything just to test yourself, even
if you think you are invincible. This can also be accompanied with a feeling of
heat.
Your appetite increases considerably and you find you are eating far more
than usual, and even then you dont feel fully satisfied. I call this manipura
flaring, because it is like your digestive fire has been turned up, flaring, and
burning everything you eat. This can last for a day to several days.
With the increasing fire you may begin to experience more anger. This can
bring up many doubts about what you are doing. If you are someone who has
never felt, or even been able to get angry, then this may come as quite a
surprise, even shock, especially if you have a specific self image that defines
you as a peaceful person. The issues (samskaras) that trigger the anger
were always there, you just didnt have the energy to express it. As all
emotions are supported by a specific energy, anger needs fire energy to
manifest. This does not mean that you are progressing in the wrong direction,
it means issues that were previously buried in the subconscious are now
coming into your conscious world. We cannot change something if we are
unaware of it. This is a good sign and means you can now work on it and
move beyond it. As with all issue or emotions that are brought up through
spiritual work try to allow it, watch it, without being drawn into it. Refrain
from indulging in the emotion.

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25

The strong feeling of joy and enthusiasm emanating from your belly. While
the joy experienced in svadhisthana chakra is light hearted and playful, the
joy experienced here is more grounded and powerful.

Trikonasana (triangle pose)


Trikonasana is the first of the polarised asanas, working on the lunar and solar
aspects respectively. This posture is first performed on one side and then on the
other, with awareness phases in between. When performing any polarised asanas the
lunar/yin side is always performed first, and then the solar/yang side. First we need
to receive the energy through the yin aspect and then we can control it through the
yang aspect.
The technique:
Starting position: Stand in a wide stance with
both feet at 90 degrees, facing front. Raise the
arms up to shoulder level, keeping them
straight and with palms face down.
Lunar performance: Keeping the body in one
line laterally (no twisting), bend to the right,
extending the left arm vertically upwards. The
hands and fingers should be relaxed (not limp,
but not stiff).
Primary focus: Focus in manipura chakra, the
navel.
Secondary focus: Perceive earth energy rising
up through the legs to the level of the navel
and cosmic energy descending down the raised
arm also to the level of the navel. There is also
an arousing of a secondary chakra to the left of
the navel.
Release the posture and come to a neutral
standing position for the awareness phase.
Perceive the effects at the level of the navel,
manipura chakra. Note also the arousing and
energizing in the left side of the abdomen, in
the secondary chakra.
Solar performance: Keeping the body in one line laterally (no twisting), bend to the
left, extending the right arm vertically upwards. Keeping the hands and fingers
relaxed.

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26

Primary focus: Focus in manipura chakra, the


navel.
Secondary focus: Perceive earth energy rising
up through the legs to the level of the navel
and cosmic energy descending down the raised
arm also to the level of the navel. There is also
an arousing of a secondary chakra to the right
of the navel.
Release the posture and come to a neutral
standing position. Perceive the effects at the
level of the navel, manipura chakra. Note also
the arousing and energizing in the right side of
the abdomen, in the secondary chakra.
Finally perceive the overall effects in the navel
center.
The performance of this posture will very much
depend on your level of strength and flexibility.
Therefore, in the beginning try for 1 2
minutes on each side and gradually move up in
time.
Comments:

To prevent any twisting when bending to


the side, imagine that you are between two sheets of glass that will only allow
you to bend laterally. You can open your eyes to check your alignment but
always perform the asanas with your eyes closed, unless specified.
It is not important in the beginning to bend and come down as far as possible.
If you are feeling extra pressure in your lower back dont make it worse by
pushing the posture. It is ok to bend just slightly, keeping the body more
vertical and with practice you will become more flexible and stronger. Keep in
mind that the most important aspect is the focusing of the mind. No matter
what level you are at physically be sure to focus on the energy.
The lower hand can also rest on the leg and even take some of the pressure
off the lower back, but do not get used to performing like this. This can again
be used in the beginning until your strength increases. Rather than becoming
reliant on this support, perform this posture more vertically as described in
the previous point.
The trikonasana described here looks different to the commonly performed
version in which one foot is turned outward 90 degrees, lining up with side of
the body and therefore giving an opening of the hips, which allows one to
come down further in the pose with a slight twisting action. Performed like
this it will cause the energy to move differently, therefore not having the
same purpose. The variation given in this book works specifically on manipura
chakra. You will notice straight away when you perform it, there is a strong
arousing and energizing in the abdomen, around the navel.

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27

Nabhiasana (pose of the navel)


The technique:
Lie on your back and raise
your legs, head, upper
torso and arms off the
ground as in the diagram
to the right. The arms and
legs should be straight
with the legs no more
than 45degrees. The
lower the legs the more
intense the posture will be.
The upper torso should be
raised so that the
scapulars are only just off
the ground.
Primary focus: Focus in manipura chakra, the navel.
Secondary focus: Perceive cosmic energy descending down the legs to manipura.
Give yourself 4 5 minutes for this one. This can be a very intense posture and for
some may be very difficult to hold for more than 30 seconds. You do not have to do
4 5 minutes straight hold for as long as possible, have a short break and go up
again. You may have to go up and down a few times.
Release the posture. Lie on your back for the awareness phase. Perceive the effects
by becoming aware of any feelings/sensations at the level of manipura chakra, as
well as throughout the entire body. Also note a sensation of increased willpower.
Comments

Be sure to keep the lower back in contact with the ground. A tendency for
some people is to arch the lower back, especially when straining. When this
happens, it means that certain muscles of the abdominal area are not being
activated, which in turn sacrifices the integrity of the posture and the body.
Consistently practiced like this over time may cause irritation to the lower
back. Therefore pressing the lower back into the ground while performing this
posture activates the entire abdominal area and enhances the activation of
manipura chakra.

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28

Uddiyana bandha
Uddiyana bandha belongs to a branch of yoga dealing with bandhas. A bandha could
be translated as a lock. A bandha is a contraction or movement of specific muscles,
or groups of muscles, for the purpose of creating a blocking of ones energy in one
location and redirecting it elsewhere. In the case of uddiyana bandha it is moving the
energy upward, sublimation, while also arousing manipura chakra.
The technique:
This can be done either sitting or standing. In the beginning it is better to start in the
standing position until you have mastered the action.
There are two retentions in this technique.
A retention is a holding of the breath, either
full or empty. The first is an empty
retention, holding the breath with empty
lungs (no air). The second is a full retention,
holding the breath with lungs full of air.
Starting position: Place the hands on the
thighs and rest the weight of the torso on
the arms, as in the diagram. This position
helps the abdomen to relax. The abdomen
must be fully relaxed for the next part to be
successful.
Stage 1: Begin with a deep exhalation. For
this action there will be a contraction of the
abdominal muscles to expel the air from the
lungs, but once this is done the abdomen
must be relaxed again. You can also lean
forward as you breathe out to help empty
the lungs fully.
Stage 2: Perform an empty retention.
While holding the empty retention make a
false inhalation. This means to expand the ribs (mainly the side ribs) as if inhaling
but do not take in any air. This action creates a suction effect on the abdomen,
sucking it in and up. The abdomen should now be hollowed.
Hold this for as long as comfortable. During this phase be aware of the sublimation
of energy rising along the back or through the torso and the accumulation of energy
in the area of the navel (manipura chakra).
Stage 3: When you have held the empty
retention as long as comfortable, first, release
the abdominal suction by letting go of the strain
on the ribs, this will allow the abdomen to return
to its original position. Then inhale through the
nose, allowing the belly to fill and hold a full
retention. Be sure to let go of the abdominal
suction before breathing in, this ensures a
smooth inhalation. Inhale fully but with not too
much force.
During the full retention focus your awareness on

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manipura chakra.
Hold this full retention for as long as comfortable and then breathe out through the
mouth. As you exhale come up to a standing position and focus on the effects at the
level of the navel.
Take a few breaths here focusing on manipura chakra and then perform another
uddiyana bandha. In the beginning start with 3 5 and work up. Performing 20 30
per day will have strong effects, but should be gradually worked up to. This does not
have to be done all in one session, and can be broken down into 2,3 or 4 sessions.
Comments

If you are having trouble with this technique, firstly make sure that your
lungs are totally empty, and secondly be sure that your abdominal muscles
are relaxed. You can perform the action lying on the floor to get the feeling of
it. Lying on the floor allows the abdomen to relax more fully. This is only to
get the feel for it, uddiyana bandha should be performed in the vertical
position.
Uddiyana bandha has very powerful sublimating effects and is therefore very
useful any time you might be feeling in a heavy or lethargic mood or when
experiencing negative emotions. Performing a few uddiyana bandhas will
transform your mood extremely quickly, and as negative moods tend to get
worse and worse throughout the day then it can change the course of your
entire day. Depending on how you feel about doing this in public, you may
want to find a private place to do it. Remember that ultimately you will be
able to do this with your mind; just a simple thought and you can sublime
and transform your energy (without anyone else noticing).
Performed consistently over time uddiyana bandha begins to awaken
kundalini shakti. Kundalini being a fundamental spiritual force lying dormant
in muladhara chakra.

Forbiddances
Abdominal disease in an acute phase. If there is a sharp pain when practicing
uddiyana bandha this may indicate an unknown disease and moderate practice is
advised.

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Anahata chakra
Location: In the centre of the chest at the level of the heart.
Translation: Anahata = unstruck.
Most often refered to as the heart chakra or heart center.
Comments: Anahata chakra attunes to the element of the air. Once we begin to
awaken at this level many of the heavy tendencies of the lower chakras, as well as
the ego, have been transcended and so there are very little if any negative
tendencies left. With the opening of the heart comes qualities such as selflessness,
pure love, compassion, empathy and a deeper understanding of universal connection
is present. Very often those who are not at this level will not understand the actions
of people with an open heart. People in their heart are always giving, patient and
non-assuming. An open heart allows one to be truly intimate with a loved one.
When there is a blockage or imbalance in anahata chakra then the negative
tendancies and dramas of the lower chakras can be experienced.
Common experiences:
Your entire chest feels as if it is expanding infinitely in all directions. A space
filled with a supreme stillness.
Your sense of self disappears and you experience pure love. A love that is
beyond words or concepts and is not dependant on anything, it just is. You
realise it has always been there and always will be. You experience the deep
interconnectedness of all beings.
There is a deep and profound feeling of joy. Again different to svadhistana
and manipura chakras, but this is the pure essence of joy, and is another
expression of pure love. With this there is the feeling of surrender. The letting
go of your little ego and surrendering to a higher power. This experience is so
magnificent and profound that one can begin to weep. Tears that comes from
the depths of your being as you contemplate such an experience.

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)


The technique:
Lying face down place
your hands on the floor
under your shoulders.
Slowly straighten the
arms coming into the
position in the diagram to
the right. Drop the
shoulders back and down,
expanding the chest. If
comfortable tilting the
head back.

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Primary focus: Focus in the heart chakra, in the center of the chest.
Secondary focus: Perceive cosmic energy coming directly into the heart and some
earth energy coming up through the legs, along the spine to the heart center.
Release the posture. Lie face down and place your forehead on the back of your
palms for the awareness phase. Perceive the effects in the area of the heart.
Start performing this for 2 3 minutes and build on this as your body becomes used
to the position.
Comments:

If this position is too much, if it puts too much pressure on the lumbar spine
you can do a variation where you rest on your forearms.
There will be a certain amount of compression in the lower back, this is
normal, and some compression is good, it builds bone density and strength of
the bones and ligaments. However if it causes a sharp pain then do the
variation. If it causes only a dull achy pain this is ok, and the body will
become conditioned with practice, but practice with common sense do not
try for 10 minutes straight away, gradually build the time, allow the body to
adjust.

Forbiddances
People with advanced forms of abdominal or pelvic hernia are warned against this
practice. Also those with an injured spine or displacement of the spinal discs must
seek the advice of a competent guru when performing this asana. Those suffering
from advanced hyperthyroidism are advised to perform a variation of this asana in
which the head is not bent backward but kept in a normal position.
Variation

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Gomukhasana (cow muzzle pose)


The technique:
Begin in a kneeling position with the knees about
fist width apart and the toes close but not touching.
The lunar performance: Raise
the left arm up above the
head with the elbow bent and
the hand behind the back.
With the right arm low and
bent at the elbow, bring it up
behind the back and grasp
the fingers of the left with the
right. Keep the back straight
and the head in line with the
spine.
Primary focus: Focus in the
heart chakra.
Secondary focus: Perceive
cosmic energy coming directly into the heart
chakra and on the left side of the chest.
Release the arms and remain sitting for the awareness phase. Perceive the effects at
the level of the heart center. Also note effects on the left side of the chest.
The solar performance: Raise the right arm up above the head with the elbow bent
and the hand behind the back. With the left arm low and bent at the elbow, bring it
up behind the back and grasp the fingers of the right with the left. Keep the back
straight and the head in line with the spine.
Primary focus: Focus in the heart chakra.
Secondary focus: Perceive cosmic energy coming
directly into the heart chakra
and on the right side of the
chest.
Release the arms and remain
sitting for the awareness
phase. Perceive the effects at
the level of the heart center.
Also note effects on the right
side of the chest.
Finally perceive the overall
effects in the heart chakra
and in the chest.
Perform for 1-3 minutes on
each side in the beginning

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and work up to 5 minutes.


Comments:

If the lack of flexibility in the shoulders doesnt allow your hands to come
together then use a belt or a piece of cloth.
During the performance note the difference between the right and left side of
the chest in each performance. The chest and ribs on the side of the raised
arm will be more open and the lung free, while the chest and ribs on the
other side will be slightly restricted, limiting the lung capacity on this side.
This fact makes this asana a great technique for asthmatics, as the lungs are
strengthened by exercising each one alternately. The open lung is exercised
in that it works more strongly, making up for the more restricted lung.

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Vishuddha chakra
Location: At the base of the neck, below the adams apple.
Translation: Shuddhi = to purify
Usually refered to as the throat chakra.
Comments: Vishuddha chakra attunes to the element of ether (the basic energy of
the universe). Purity, revelation, higher discrimination, aesthetic beauty, inspiration
and the ability to communicate are some of the qualities at this level of
consciousness.
The powers of creation are strongly connected to the throat chakra. In ancient
traditions the power of the word and the voice were highly regarded, as the mere act
of speaking was the same as creating. All you had to do was speak and it would be
so. The power of the creative word is even described in the bible. The first verses of
Johns gospel:
In the beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God,
And the word was God.
The Word was in the beginning with God,
Through the Word all things came to be,
And not one thing had its being without the Word.
In the Word was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men.
This demonstrates the enormous powers of this chakra. Just consider, if someone
with bad intentions were to have this power? Fortunately there is a built in safety
mechanism. In order to reach this level of mastery of the throat chakra any negative
tendencies must have been surpassed. Only one with pure intentions can attain
these powers.
Purity on all levels, physical, energetic, moral and spiritual, is a strong aspect of
anyone with an awakened vishuddha chakra. If individuals have an certain
awakening at this level but have not overcome metal conditioning, can often prefer
to be alone, not mixing with others who they perceive as being impure or having low
morals.
This chakra brings with it a fascination for astronomy, space, star gazing, mysteries
and sci-fi movies.
Common experiences:
Your mind is projected into deep space. This experience of space is very
tangible. Your consciousness feels as if it is stretched throughout the entire
universe.
The feeling of a lump in your throat. In the most extreme case it can feel
quite intense, like there is something physically blocking your throat. This
indicates there is some resistance, a blockage that has not yet been released.
There is a sense of verticality, like energy wants to move vertically upwards.
Vishuddha chakra has a strong influence on the flow of energy through the
central channel. When it is awakened it encourages the upward movement of
the energy and therefore also facilitates the rising of kundalini.

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Sarvangasana (shoulderstand)
The technique:
Lie flat on the back, with the legs stretched
out. Raise the legs and the torso slowly until
the torso becomes vertical and the weight of
the body is on the shoulders. The arms form
a triangle shape and the hands come onto the
lower back, supporting this position. Make
sure the elbows are not too far apart. The
position is now supported by the elbows,
shoulders and the back of the neck.
The body from the shoulders to the feet
should be as straight as possible, with the
feet relaxed and slightly apart.
Primary focus: Focus in the throat chakra.
Secondary focus: Perceive cosmic energy
coming in through the feet and legs and along
the spine to the level of the throat.
When releasing the posture, bend the knees
towards the chest and come back slowly and
in full control by using your arms along the
floor to support the body as it gently rolls
down along the spine.
Remain lying on the floor for the awareness
phase. Perceive the effects at the level of the
throat chakra.
Perform for a 1 2 minutes in the beginning and gradually increase the duration as
your body allows. This is a powerful posture especially when done for longer times.
Work up to 10 minutes, or even longer if your body allows.
Comments:

When in the posture never turn the head. If the full posture is too difficult or
is uncomfortable then you can perform the variation in the diagram to the
right. The focus will be the same.
The longer you perform this asana the longer the awareness phase should be.
The inverted nature of this posture creates a natural sublimation of your
energy. The cosmic energy descending down the legs and torso sublimes the
excess energy in the lower chakras towards the higher chakras, in this case
visuddha chakra. It can be used to sublime heavy or negative moods,
refreshing and invigorating the mind.

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36

Forbiddances
People with very serous heart disease should be cautious when attempting this asana.
It is recommended to wait until the condition has improved and then gradually
perform the variation of this pose. Acute afflictions of the head and neck such as
sinusitis, abscesses, and advanced sclerosis of the blood vessels of the brain are also
forbiddances for sarvangasana.
Variation

Throat friction
The technique:
Take a comfortable sitting position with the back straight. Elongate the neck by
slightly tucking the chin in toward the neck. This position of the neck also help
certain energies to activate in the throat center. You can also have the mouth
slightly open, which helps to keep the jaw relaxed.
Begin breathing with a friction in the back, lower part of the throat. It creates a wind
like noise and is done on both the inhale and the exhale. The sound is not a
humming or chanting of any kind and is essentially the same when breathing both in
and out. This is not a breathing exercise, so the breath should be as natural as
possible and it does not matter if it is through the nose or the mouth. The important
part is the friction created in the throat. Try to make the friction of a lower pitch, as
opposed to a high pitch, as this will be easier to maintain for longer periods.

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Focus in the throat and on the vibration created by the friction. Take your awareness
deeper and deeper into the vibration.
In the beginning perform for up to 5 minutes and as it becomes more comfortable
perform for longer periods.
Release the throat friction and go into an awareness phase. Perceive the effects at
the level of the visuddha chakra.
Comments:

After some practice you will begin to notice there is a physical vibration
caused by the friction, but there is also a subtle vibration. This subtle
vibration is the etheric level of visuddha chakra. Try to focus on the more
refined/subtle vibration. Eventually you will not need to perform the throat
friction and will be able to create the vibration with your mind.
While this is a very powerful practice for the arousing of the throat chakra,
this technique alone can have a strong calming effect on the mind and lead to
deep states of consciousness.

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Ajna chakra
Location: between the eyebrows.
Translation: Ajna = command or monitoring center.
Most often refered to as the third eye. It has other names in the yogic tradition such
as the eye of intuition, the eye of knowledge, the eye of siva and guru center.
Comments: Ajna chakra is a gateway to the experience of our inner world and when
awakened it governs qualities such as psychic abilities, telepathy, deep insight,
higher intuition, non-physical vision, higher intellect and objective perception. The
Third Eye is a command center and is essential for spiritual work as it is the key to
the subtle bodies and governs all other chakras, except for the crown, which is in a
league of its own.
Ajna chakra gives us the ability to concentrate and focus.
The term guru center indicates the ability to access inner knowing, beyond the
ordinary mind.
Common experiences:
A strong vibration or tingling sensation, or even pressure, in the area
between the eyebrows. This is the etheric layer.
A pressure inside the head. Not painful or uncomfortable like a headache or
migraine, but a feeling like something is expanding within your head. It is an
expansion that comes from involution. By moving inwards to a single point
you actually begin to expand.
A great sense of clarity. When you look at the world, especially nature, you
perceive a clarity that you have never seen before. This clarity is a feeling
more than something you see, even when you close your eyes you can feel it.
However this may be accompanied with perceptions of glowing energy around
people animals or plants.
Deep and profound inner stillness.

Garudasana (eagle pose)


The technique:
This technique works with the
polarity at the level of ajna chakra,
arousing both the yin (lunar) and the
yang (yang) aspects.
The Lunar performance: Take the
weight into the left leg and wrap the
right leg over and around the left. If
your flexibility allows, wrap the right
foot around the left lower leg also.
Try to keep the hips square. Extend

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the left arm in front of you and wrap the right arm
under and around the left arm grasping the left
thumb with the right index and middle finger. Push
the arms forward, straightening the left palm with
the middle finger about eye level and the back
straight and vertical. Finally, gaze over the left
fingers at a point on the wall, or some structure,
about body length away. The point should be at
the height of your third eye and you should gaze at
the point as if looking from the third eye.
The focus is in ajna chakra and your gazing point.
Release the posture and go into the awareness
phase. Perceive the effects at the level of the third
eye and note its lunar/yin qualities. You may also
note the energizing of the left side of the body.
Solar performance: The Lunar performance: Take
the weight into the right leg and wrap the left leg
over and around the right. If your flexibility allows,
wrap the left foot around the right lower leg also.
Keep the hips square. Extend the right arm in front
of you and wrap the left arm under and around the
right arm grasping the right thumb with the left
index and middle
finger. Push the
arms forward,
straightening the right palm with the middle finger
about eye level and the back straight and vertical.
Gaze at the same chose spot as before.
The focus is in ajna chakra and your gazing point.

Release the posture and go into the awareness


phase. Perceive the effects at the level of the third
eye and note its solar/yang qualities. You may also
note the energizing of the right side of the body.
Finally note the overall arousing of ajna chakra.
Perform for 2 -3 minutes per side and work up to
around 5 minutes.
Comments:

Copyright 2009 Lucas Vorly

This posture very quickly demonstrates the


quality of ajna chakra. If your concentration
is good your balance will be strong, but if
your concentration is not so good then you
will have trouble balancing.

40

Try to gaze without blinking as much as possible. Gazing as if looking from


the third eye means, in the beginning that you perform the posture while
maintaining awareness in the third eye. After some time you will get the
feeling like you are actually looking from this chakra.
If you cannot hook the toes around the lower leg, just bring the foot to the
outer side of the leg.

Halasana (plough pose)


The technique:
Lying on your back with
the arms close to the
body and the hand facing
upwards. Begin by raising
the legs up slowly, trying
to keep the back of the
neck on the ground, and
bring the feet over the
head to touch the ground
behind the head as in the
diagram to the right. The
legs should be kept
straight and be pushed
well behind the head. The
chin will naturally come in towards the chest and depending on your physiology may
touch the chest.
Primary focus: Focus in the third eye, the area between the eyebrows.
Secondary focus: Perceive earth energy coming in through the feet, along the legs
and spine to the level of ajna chakra. There is also some cosmic energy coming in
through the hands, along the arms to the third eye.
Perform for 1 -3 minutes in the beginning as your body allows and gradually build up
to 5 10 minutes or even longer.
Release the posture very slowly, using your arms on the ground to support the body
as it rolls down one vertebra at a time, trying to keep the head on the ground while
rolling down. Go into an awareness phase and perceive the effects at the level of the
third eye.
Comments:

Take care coming into the position, not too quickly, so as not to strain. If you
do not have the flexibility to get your feet to the ground then you can use a

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cushion to rest your feet on, or you can even do it up against a wall, as long
as your feet are making a connection to the ground in some way.
The longer you perform this asana the longer the awareness phase should be.
This posture also has natural sublimation effects. Similar to the shoulderstand
but in this case the energy is subliming to the third eye, and it is earth energy
that is creating the sublimation by flowing through the legs, along the spine
and torso to ajna chakra. The sublimation is not as strong as the
shoulderstand or headstand but it is still there, however the earth energy in
halasana makes this asana more vital, bringing in more vitality.

Trataka
The technique:
Take a comfortable sitting position in front of a wall. You can print out the page
below and stick it to the wall, or make a black dot of your own about the same size
as the one provided. When sitting, the dot should be about arms length away and at
the level of the third eye,
between the eyebrows. With
awareness in the third eye,
begin to gaze at the dot
without blinking as much as
possible. As in Garudasana,
gaze as if looking from the
third eye. While performing
this technique the eyes
should be relaxed, do not
strain or try to force it. Allow
the gaze to soften. Be aware
of the dot without focusing on it.
Focus is in ajna chakra, and the connection between the dot and your third eye.
In the beginning perform for about 5 minutes. Gradually work you way up to
anywhere between 10 30 minutes.
When finished close your eyes, rub your hands together to create warmth in the
palms and then place your palms over the eyes. This is called palming. Keep the
eyes covered with the palms for 1 2 minutes and then release the hands and keep
the eyes closed for an awareness phase. Perceive the effects at the level of ajna
chakra.
Comments:

You may perceive many visual effects while performing this technique which
are very common. You may start to see a halo around the dot, you may see
other colours, perhaps moving around the dot, or even that everything else
becomes dark. These are just a few examples and are normal you are
starting to see into the astral level. It is important that you dont focus on
these events, be aware of them but dont try to analyze or focus on them. As

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soon as you try to analyze or focus on these phenomenon you will loose the
perception straight away. So just continue to focus on the dot with relaxed
eyes and awareness between the eyebrows. Control comes with practice.
It is also very common for tears to start coming from the eyes during its
performance. This is a great purification of the eyes and can release many
toxins. Some people even report that their eyesight improves. If tears happen
do not focus on them, just allow them.
Another aspect you may discover is the secondary arousing in the navel
center, manipura chakra. There is a strong connection between the eyes and
manipura chakra. For some people there is a very strong arousing of
manipura and this technique is used for this purpose also.

Variation
Once you have practice the initial technique for a while you can try this more
advanced variation. The practice is performed the same as the initial technique, but
instead of using the dot you will use a candle flame. This time focus your gaze on the
flame. Make sure that the room is not breezy, so that the candle flame does not
flicker, the flame should be as still as possible.
This can also have the effect of increasing the arousal of manipura chakra, as you
are working with fire and manipura is the fire element.

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Alternate nostril breathing


This is a technique of pranayama. There are several variations of this technique, but
this is the most simple. This does not mean it is any less powerful.
The technique:
Using the thumb and ring finger to alternately block the nostrils, and tuck the index
and middle fingers in to keep them out of the way.
Keep the eyes closed throughout the technique. Begin by inhaling through the left
nostril by blocking the right. Exhale through the right nostril by blocking the left.
Inhale through the right nostril. Exhale through the left nostril. This is one round.
Continue breathing in this manner:
Inhale left.
Exhale right.
Inhale right.
Exhale left.
Focus on the air flowing in and out through each nostril to the area between the
eyebrows.
Perform for as long as you like. When finished, keep the eyes closed and perform an
awareness phase. Perceive the effect at the level of the third eye and the state of
consciousness aroused.
Be sure to always perform a full round, do not stop in the middle of a round, and
always start and finish with the left.
Comments:

This technique has a very powerful effect on states of consciousness. It can


take you into deep states and can be used anytime before meditation.
You may also find as you go deeper there is a natural pause of the breath in
between inhale and exhale and the exhale and inhale. You can practice
extending this pause consciously, but do not strain, try to keep it as natural
as possible. You should still be able to maintain the rhythm. If you find that
you are getting short of breath then you are holding for too long.
If your arm become tired and you wish to keep going, then change hands but
make sure to keep the correct sequence of breathing.

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Sahasrara
Location: Approximately 4cm above the top of the head.
Translation: Sahasrara = 1000. Can be called the lotus with 1000 petals, but the
word actually signifies something greater than a number something infinite
therefore it would be more accurate to say the lotus with infinite petals.
It is most commonly refered to as the crown chakra, or simple the crown.
Comments: Sahsrara is beyond form and transcends all aspects of polarity. For this
reason it is considered by many not to be a true chakra. It is the gateway to higher
consciousness, infinity and oneness/unity.
The goal of spiritual work is to raise our energy and consciousness to the level of
sahasrara.
There is an important link between sahasrara and muladhara chakra. For the crown
to open fully the kundalini energy in muladhara chakra must be awakened and rise
through the central channel, of which they are the two ends. When this happens it is
called The meeting of Siva and Shakti. When pure energy merges with pure
consciousness the moment of enlightenment occurs.
Common experiences:
Absolute peace and stillness. You can perceive it underlying the entire reality.
Anything you gaze upon it is there.
The experience of verticality. Your consciousness is stretched vertically
upwards, as if it extends to infinity. It does!
All sense of individuality disappears, there are no thoughts and you
experience oneness. This is very difficult to describe in any way that could
accurately convey the essence of the experience. In trying to describe it
words must be used, and then you must interpret those words with your mind,
but it is impossible to use the mind to understand such an experience that is
beyond the mind, and in fact there is no mind. However with this description I
have just given describing how it cannot be defined, may actually give you a
sense of it.

Sirsasana (headstand)
The technique:
First, create the base of support with the arms in the shape
of a triangle. Place the elbows on the floor and grasp the
elbows with the opposite hands, this will give the correct
distance between the elbows. Keeping the elbows in
position on the floor bring the hands together and interlock
the fingers, placing them on the floor also. While on the
knees place the hairline on the floor, just in front of the
interlocked fingers, so that the top of the head rests in the

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palms. This position of the arms, hands and head supports


the body while inverted.
There will be some weight on the head (hairline) but most of
the weight of the body should be supported through the arms.
With this strong support straighten the legs and begin to
bring them closer to the body until the torso becomes almost
vertical and the legs are at about 45 degrees. This is ardha
sirsasana, or the half headstand, and depending on your
flexibility may be more of a strain than the full headstand.
See below for more details on ardha sirsasana.
Then raise one leg at a time to come to the stage one
balancing position. Then gradually roll up to the final position
with the body in a straight line and keeping the feet slightly apart.
Primary focus: Focus in sahasrara, about 4cm above the top of the head.
Secondary focus: Perceive the decending of cosmic energy down through the legs
along the spine to the level of the crown chakra. Also some earth energy coming
directly into sahasrara.
Performance time depends on your ability. If this is a
new posture for you then start with 10 20 seconds at
a time and gradually build up. If you have done this
posture before and are confident in your ability then
start with 2 3 minutes. You can slowly work your
way up to anywhere between 5 10 minutes.
Release the posture slowly, coming down to childs
pose (kneeling with the head on the floor) and go into
an awareness phase. Never raise you head
immediately from the floor. Perceive the effects at the
level of sahasrara and the quality of consciousness
aroused.
Precautions

In the beginning it is advisable to do this


posture close to a wall to prevent accidental
falls. As your skill improves you should move
away from the wall, so as not to develop a false
sense of security.
If choosing to perform for longer periods of time then you should use a folded
blanket or something similar to soften the pressure. This posture has a strong
sublimating effect, bringing lower energies upward to the head. So, when it is
performed for longer times on a regular basis, it can have the effect of pulling
up much of your vitality and leaving you tired, so be sure to spend time on
the lower chakras also, to help balance and replenish your vitality.
You should be able to breathe through at least one nostril for the duration of
the posture. If both nostrils become blocked while performing then come
down. This is usually a temporary thing and may happen every now and then.

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Forbiddances
You should refrain from the practice of this asana,
if the blood-vessels of the brain are sclerosed.
Also those with cases of aneurism, high blood
pressure and low blood pressure are forbidden.
Gave cases of acute sinusitis, conjunctivitis,
glaucoma, otitis, otorrhoea, other infections of
the ears and detachment of retina are usually
forbiddances for the headstand. Even when one
is not aware that there are diseases which forbid
the practice of sirsasana, the body will
communicate substantial warnings. If this pose
immediately brings about a violent headache,
which worsens at every attempt, its practice
should be stopped, at least temporarily. Whizzing
and buzzing in the ears which increase with each
attempt, should make the practitioner very
cautious; however, if they decrease day by day,
then it is a normal phenomenon, in which there is
no need to worry. If during the practice of
sirsasana a very strong sensation of heat arises
in the entire being, then the practice should be
stopped immediately and one should always
practice only until the time when this
phenomenon manifests. Persons with excessive
weight, red eyes, pulmonary ailments, insomnia
or grave psychological problems should also
practice it very carefully and increase its duration
very slowly. Vertigo may also occur when one
mistakenly rises too soon after the end of the
performance.
Comments:

This posture has very strong sublimation effects. It is highly regarded among
yogis because of this sublimation effect and also because it is working on the
crown chakra, which is the ultimate aspiration for all yogis, awakening of
sahasrara.
Although one of the strongest postures for sublimation it is not as strong as
uddiyana bandha, but keep in mind that uddiyana bandha is not a posture, it
is a bandha.

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Ardha sirsasana (half headstand)


The technique:
The instructions above under sirsasana describe how to get into the posture of the
half headstand.
Primary focus: Focus in
sahasrara, about 4cm above
the top of the head.
Secondary focus: Perceive
earth energy coming in
through the legs, down along
the spine to the level of the
crown chakra. Also some
earth energy coming directly
into sahasrara.
Forbiddances
Are the same as for sirsasana
Comments:

Although this looks like a very similar posture, energetically it is quite


different. As it is working just with earth energy it activates sahasrara
differently. For this reason it is given as a separate posture, however it can be
used as a lead up to the full headstand, to increase strength and confidence
before going totally inverted.
If your hamstrings are tight you may have difficulty getting your body to 45
degrees with your legs. In this case your feet will be further away from your
body. When this happens it may tend to force more pressure into your arms
and head, so it is a good idea to work on the flexibility of your hamstrings if
you wish to do this posture. Many people prefer to just perform the full
headstand.
The earth energy rising through the legs and along the spine and torso
creates a sublimation effect.

Verticality
The technique:
Take a comfortable sitting position. Make sure the back is straight. Close the eyes
and take your awareness above the head. Tune into the vertical line that starts at
the top of the head and ascends infinitely upwards.

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Maintain your awareness in this vertical line. If the mind wanders just bring it back
to the vertical line.
Comments:

This is a meditation practice, and so can be


practiced for any amount of time, 10, 20, 30
minutes or even an hour.
The vertical line is a structure of energy, like
an upward extension of the crown chakra.
Verticality is the principle that you are tuning
into. Ordinary mental thoughts are horizontal
in nature while the spirit is vertical in nature.
By tuning into the verticality we align with
higher and higher levels of consciousness,
and ultimately reaching the Absolute.
As you refine the structure of the vertical line
it also has the effect of speeding up mental
processes. Your consciousness rises above
the dense astral layers and the heavy muddy
qualities of ordinary mental consciousness
and reached to levels that are more clean,
pure and less restrictive. Therefore the
thought processes are more efficient and
infused with a greater presence of your
essential nature, verticality.

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Meditation
Meditation is one of the deepest and most highly regarded aspects of yoga, or
spiritual work for that matter. However there are many misconceptions, especially in
the western world, about its purpose. Most commonly it is thought of as something
used to relax and calm the mind, decreasing stress. While this is a very common
effect, this is a very limited and simplified view of meditation. The word meditation is
used to describe many kinds of techniques these days that it has lost much of it true
meaning. To give a very brief background on meditation; in the traditional
understanding, and in the strictest sense, it is actually a specific state of being, not
something that you do. In the Yoga Sutras by patanjali, the oldest know texts of
yoga, he describes the 8 stages of yoga, which are: 1. Yamas and 2. Niyamas (the
basics morals of behaviour). 3. Asanas. 4. Pranayama. 5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of
the senses). 6. Dharana (concentration). 7. Dhyana (meditation). 8. Samadhi (self
realization or enlightenment). It can be seen here that meditation is just one step
from the top, Samadhi, therefore demonstrating its importance not just simply
relaxing and calming the mind.
Even in modern times it is still the most popular classification of yoga. So, when
people say things like I tried meditating but I couldnt do it, so I gave up, it is a
statement made with no understanding that, technically, no one is truly meditating
until they reach a certain state of consciousness. The most important aspect of
meditation is the turning of the consciousness inward. Involution. If it is not directed
inside then it is not meditation.
Having said this, I am using the word meditation to describe a particular technique
or process. A technique to take your consciousness inwards. The technique given
here is a third eye meditation. The reason I am using the third eye is because it is
the gateway to our inner world and is the command center for the entire etheric
body and chakras, while also governing our ability to focus and concentrate (an
essential aspect needed for meditation).
Meditation is about letting go! We cannot force the mind into silence, instead it
requires the ability to let go of all thoughts and distractions and allow the
consciousness to turn inwards. Always keep this in the back of your mind.

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Third Eye Meditation


Part 1.
The technique:

Take a comfortable sitting position. It does not matter whether you sit cross
legged on a cushion on the floor, in full lotus position, or even on the edge of
a chair. What matters here is that the back is straight and vertical. It is also
preferable to not lean against the wall, the back of the chair or anything
similar. This allows the free flow of energy along the central channel. However,
if you have some injury that prevents you from sitting as described, then do
as best you can and use support if needed.
Close your eyes. The eyes remain closed throughout the entire meditation.
Be aware of your breath for a couple of minutes. Just awareness, do not try
to change the breath, observe it as it is.
Bring your awareness to the area between the eyebrows. Become aware of
any sensation in this area. Possibly a vibration, tingling or pressure. If you
cannot feel anything do not worry, in time you will. For now just keep your
awareness between the eyebrows. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to
the awareness between the eyebrows.
Maintain this awareness for about 10 minutes.
While still maintaining awareness between the eyebrows, start to become
aware of any lights or colours that you might perceive. Do not try to create
them or focus directly on them, just be aware of what is there. Again. If you
do not perceive any colours or lights do not worry, just maintain your
awareness between the eyebrows.
Continue this phase for about 5 minutes.
Now take your awareness beyond any colours or lights to the background.
This is often felt as a deep purple or blue space. What matters here is the
feeling of space. You are surrounded, or immersed in this space. This is the
space of the third eye. Allow yourself to rest in this space.
Remain in this space for 10 15 minutes.
To finish, become aware of the vibration between the eyebrow. Also feel a
similar vibration throughout the entire body. Note the connection between the
vibration in the third eye and the vibration in the body.
Very slowly start to open your eyes.

Comments:

This is the first part of the third eye meditation. I have split it into two parts
because each part works on a different level.
Part 1 is mostly for the etheric level. Whenever we feel vibration, this is the
etheric layer.
It is recommended to practice the part 1 for the first week or two and then go
onto part 2.
Part 2 is the same as part 1, but now it adds a deeper level. This means that
the stages in part 1 are still followed but there is less time needed for each
part.

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Part 2.
The technique:

Take a comfortable sitting position.


Close your eyes. The eyes remain closed throughout the entire meditation.
Be aware of your breath for a couple of minutes. Just awareness, do not try
to change the breath, observe it as it is.
Bring your awareness to the area between the eyebrows. Become aware of
any sensation in this area. Possibly a vibration, tingling or pressure. If you
cannot feel anything do not worry, in time you will. For now just keep your
awareness between the eyebrows. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to
the awareness between the eyebrows.
Maintain this awareness for about 5 minutes.
While still maintaining awareness between the eyebrows, start to become
aware of any lights or colours that you might perceive. Do not try to create
them or focus directly on them, just be aware of what is there. Again. If you
do not perceive any colours or lights do not worry, just maintain your
awareness between the eyebrows.
Continue this phase for a few minutes.
Now take your awareness beyond any colours or lights to the background.
This is often felt as a deep purple or blue space. What matters here is the
feeling of space. You are surrounded, or immersed in this space. This is the
space of the third eye. Allow yourself to rest in this space.
Remain in this space for 5 - 10minutes.
Now start to move your awareness along the tunnel of the third eye coming
to rest in the center of the head. This point is the origin of the third eye and
its meeting point with the central channel. You mat still feel the vibration
between the eyebrows, but this is not important at this point.
Involution stage: Allow your awareness to rest in this point. This is a very
powerful point for involution. The sense of space that you felt before, the
third eye space, is still present, but now it becomes even more vast and still.
The more you can let go, the more your awareness can turn inwards, into this
point. This is involution. As the mind is drawn inward into a single point there
is expansion.
Rest in this new space for 10 15 minutes.
To finish, become aware of the vibration between the eyebrow. Also feel a
similar vibration throughout the entire body. Note the connection between the
vibration in the third eye and the vibration in the body.
Very slowly start to open your eyes.

Comments:

The 10 15 minutes is only a beginning recommendation for the involution


stage, but this can be extended. As you become more proficient and your
experiences become deeper, you will naturally want to stay in this meditation
for longer. This is up to you.
Meditating on the other chakras: When you choose to meditate on the
other chakras, you can still use this third eye meditation. When you get to the
stage of the third eye space (either part 1 or 2) you then hold a dual
awareness of the third eye and the chakra you have chosen to work on. This

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means to be aware of both the third eye and the chosen chakra at the same
time. As explained earlier, the third eye is the command center and controls
the 5 chakras below it. While it does not control the crown as it does the
other chakras, the third eye still controls the mind and therefore the ability to
focus our energy and consciousness, in this case towards sahasrara.
Using this technique of meditation we can work on the different levels of each
chakra as is done with the third eye.

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Final Notes
There are many ways to practice with the use of these techniques. There is no
reason to rush through every technique. Take your time with each one. You may
want to start with the techniques for one chakra and do them for a week or two and
then add the next chakra techniques, slowly building and lengthening your practice.
There is no point feeling that you have to do all of them right from the beginning and
then burning yourself out because you have done too much and then give up. This
would be a waste of time.
When working with energy the body will need to adjust and there are some points
you should be aware of.
In the beginning you may have days when you feel more tired than usual.
Dont think that just because you are now working to increase your energy
and awaken your chakras that you will never be tired again. This is a natural
process as the body adjusts to the increasing and opening of your energy.
Many of the channels (nadis or meridians) that were previously blocked are
now flowing, creating what we could call a re-wiring of your etheric body.
When this happens the body needs to rest and allow the process.
Another important factor in spiritual work is knowing when to rest. Diligent
practice is always beneficial, but when it is done to an extreme where one
keeps pushing and neglects the signals from the body this can slow the
process and create blockages. Burning out gets you no where. But this does
not mean that every time you feel tired you should stop your practice. This is
where self awareness becomes important. There is a difference between the
true tiredness as just mentioned and a feeling of fatigue that comes from an
emotional response. For example, when someone is depressed they will often
feel tired or fatigued. This comes from deeper emotional issues which cause a
lack of motivation. The source of such negative emotions come from
samskaras. So in the example given here there is a build up of excess energy
in the second chakra that is becoming stagnant and manifesting as
depression and fatigue. In this case, spiritually speaking, it would be a
mistake to think that you should stop your practice. Instead performing some
techniques of sublimation, especially uddiyana bandha, will have dramatic
effects, uplifting your energy and your mood, transforming this depressive
energy into something more spiritually beneficial.
The psychology of the human is very tricky and has many built in resistance
mechanisms. The ego has been developed over many years and does not
want to let go easily. If for example depression has been with you for most of
your life then it has become a solid part of your ego and your identity. The
same is true for any other emotion or neurotic behaviours. When we do
spiritual work we are working to release these aspects, to be free of them,
but as an attempt by these parts of the ego to stay they will often try to
convince you that you are tired or create some other excuse for why you
should not do your practice. So there is a subtle difference that through
practice you will come to recognise. As a clue, if this tiredness is emotional
you will feel refreshed and energized after practice, while if you are truly tired
you will still feel tired afterwards, although in this case it was too late to
choose to rest instead of practice but you will remember it and become more
familiar with the subtle difference and will know before you practice in the
future. This is not an exact rule as there are some very deep and intense

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emotional scars that may persist after your practice session, although greatly
diminished.
Your personal determination and willpower will ultimately take you to where
you want to be. As you develop your energy and your chakras, raising your
consciousness you can start to perceive the mystery of yourself and open
your heart to the universe, the infinite, reality as it truly is.

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