December 19, 2010

Lake Wales, Florda -Winter Solstice


Tales from the Traveling Yogini-

Mastering Sodarshan Chakra Kriya from the road


My thirst for yogic knowledge and various projects regulate my travel itinerary for the past several years. I frequent many airports and have located ideal meditation spots in busy airport terminals to do my practice. Generally I find long corridors and empty gates (with windows facing the airplane) are the ideal inconspicuous locations to sit with little interruption.

Here are three tips to scout out your spot if you find yourself in the airport and want to make good use of your time deepening your practice:

1. Make sure you are no where near the smoking lounge or the childrens’ play area and forget the food court.

2. Try to avoid sitting underneath air vents and loud speakers too.

3. Lay down your mat/sheepskin and start.  People are quite respectful and no one has ever said anything to me.  Overall everyone is in a hurry to catch their flight to notice.


Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is said to be among the top 5 most quickly transformative meditations in Kundalini Yoga.  It is a precise science of navel pumping with a full belly of air, silently chanting Wahe Guru, keeping count, and eyes at the tip of the nose. It has been one of the most challenging meditations I have dared to practice and I can attest to the magic and miracles of it.  When I first began, I didn’t last 3 minutes before I would have to take a break from the oxygen depravation or the false worry of it. Then came the running to the bathroom to relieve myself (it’s great for digestion too!).  In time, I learned to develop the tone of my diaphragm and I found that locking in the udyaan bandh with the mul bandh really helped control the flow.


There comes a time in my practice (right around 3 years) where my meditations seem to get easier and easier to do. Perhaps it is the benefits of discipline combined with the long-term entrained neuropathways forged by the continual practice that the HAVE TO DO switches to the WANT TO DO status.


I can honestly say now that I cannot start my day without a cold shower and Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. It’s as if I went outside in my pajamas or sat down for a meeting without combing my hair. Energetically, I am not prepared to take on the world. Perhaps the long deep breathing oxygenates my 30 trillion cells thereby changing my mental thought patterns that is instrumental in maintaining my neutral state. Or perhaps, it’s the expanded lung capacity using the diaphragm lock that teaches me to hold my tongue and reduces my mental chatter.  Maybe it’s the constant Wahe Guru from the navel pumping clearing all my obstacles that makes me a seemingly YES sevadhar and constantly wishing to serve others.  With that intention, I inhale deeply, stretch my spine up and shake my hands high above. My next few inhales are profoundly deep and I slowly open my eyes, still in a sedated yet relaxed state and ready to greet the world.

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