Living in the Aquarian Age can be incredibly stressful. This time of transition finds us juggling work, family, and regular day to day commitments at what can seem like warp speed. Simply getting through a “normal” day can be stressful enough – but throw in a crisis situation, and it can completely derail our already taxed nervous system.
Thankfully, Kundalini Yoga offers plenty of tools for managing stress. In fact, stress management is a wonderful side effect of a consistent Kundalini Yoga practice! If you can make time in your day for your practice, if you can give yourself the gift of a few precious moments to move your body, chant from your heart, and connect with your Spirit, you can move through life from a wonderfully grounded place – a place where the nervous system is balanced and able to carry you through the challenging times we are often presented with.
The Pittra Kriya, found in the “I Am A Woman: Creative, Sacred & Invincible” Yoga Manual is a beautiful kriya to practice for a 40 day sadhana to relieve stress, balance the chakras, and keep the sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous system balanced and strong.
About This Kriya:
“If you can spare 33 minutes in your life to do this kriya, you can eat up your own stress. The first exercise is going to take care of your glandular system and will affect the liver; it will relax you. The second exercise will balance the chakras. The third exercise will balance your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.” — Yogi Bhajan
This kriya is fantastic for releasing stress. It has a long history in India. When people were filled with grief over the death of a loved one or a tragedy of some sort, they did this first exercise standing in a river. Rivers were seen as the flow of life, as sacred and healing. They would toss the water over their shoulder. The yogis knew that the brain had to be restarted, broken out of the frozen state that stress produces.
This kriya works best if practiced regularly for a while. Yogi Bhajan explained that many people would do it a few times but then stop before the full benefit ripened; they would not do a full 40-day sadhana. So the priests connected the practice to Surya Namaskar, or worshipping the source of life, the sun, the inner spirit. This element of worship made it a more meaningful practice to them, more than just an effective technology of self-stimulation and self-adjustment. But, in fact, if you do this practice without a river and without belief in anything but your own Infinite Self, it works wonders.
Yogi Bhajan asked us to share this kriya, to give it to our friends, family, students and strangers, too. He said that it would save a lot of trouble in life. “Once you restore your own vitality, you can enjoy your virtues.”?
1. The left hand rests on the Heart Center, right hand cupped in front of you, with the elbow relaxed by your side. Eyes are focused on the tip of the nose. The right hand lifts up and passes the ear, as if you are splashing water over your shoulder. Feel the wind pass the ear as the hand moves toward the shoulder. The wrist must cross the earlobe; the hand must travel that far back. 11 minutes.
TO END: Inhale, stretch the hand back as far as you can, and suspend the breath for 15 seconds. Exhale. Repeat two more times.
“It will hit the kidney energy, start working with the adrenals, and then the whole system—the lungs, the central line, your hip-area, pelvic bone area. It is going to affect your body and you will become very relaxed. Do it with a rhythm and do it with a devotion and do it just to get rid of this stress. Get rid of this inner mental and physical tension. You are your vitality. Minus tension, you are fine.” — Yogi Bhajan
2. Place the elbows on the second rib below the base of the breast, in line with the nipple. Hands are slightly wider than the elbows and the palms are facing up in Shuni Mudra. The thumb covers the nail of the Saturn (middle) finger. Eyes are focused at the tip of the nose. As you repeat HAR, flick the Saturn finger. The sound HAR is very specific and made with the tip of the tongue. The mouth remains slightly open as you generate the sound. 11 minutes.
TO END: Inhale deeply. Continue moving the fingers. Suspend the breath for 15 seconds. Let it open the ribcage. It will balance the chakras. Cannon Fire exhale. Repeat three more times.
You have to touch the upper palate—34, 35, 36 meridian points that relate to the hypothalamus will regulate the pituitary and take the secretion which you have created and start asking the energy to open up the chakra. It will start changing the serum of your spine. It will revitalize the gray matter in the brain.?
3. Bring the arms out in front of you in a V, about 15° above shoulder height. Superman Pose. Hands are flat and facing down. At the rate of one repetition per second, repeat HAR as in the second exercise, crossing the hands in front of you and keeping the arms straight. Do not bend the elbows. Alternately cross one hand over the other. Eyes are at the tip of the nose. 11 minutes.
TO END: Keep moving the arms and inhale, hold for 10 seconds and Cannon Breath out. Repeat three more times, moving the hands as fast as possible during the last repetition. These kriyas must be done together and should never be done for less than or more than 11 minutes each.
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