Advanced Yoga Practices

Main lessons

by Yogani

Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 183 - Movements and Automatic Yoga

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

From: Yogani
Date: Sat May 8, 2004 8:10am

Q: I have started to do yoni mudra kumbhaka and dynamic jalandhara along with spinal breathing and meditation. During meditation I find sudden jerks in some parts of my body like my hand moves involuntarily and most times upper part of my body moves towards the ground. These movements are sometimes distracting. Just want to know if this is normal or am I doing anything wrong.

A: Yes, the jerks are normal. It is energy opening inner pathways. The movements will reduce as the pathways open and offer less resistance.

Sometimes movements point to “automatic yoga” positions. For example, if you feel compelled to go down to the mat with your head and torso while sitting, this is the sushumna (spinal nerve) wanting to stretch itself for more purification. If you do some maha mudra as part of your asanas before pranayama and meditation it can help pre-empt the tendency during sitting practices. The basic version of this is a sitting toe grab with legs out straight and head toward knees with chin toward chest. Or, if your head and torso irresistibly want to go down during sitting practices, then let them for a few minutes. Or you can let yourself go into it for as long as necessary at the end of your sitting practices. It is a natural expression of the connectedness of yoga through your nervous system.

Obviously, we don’t want to interrupt our sitting practices too much with spontaneous yoga positions, but sometimes these things happen, so we let them if the urge gets to be strong enough. The best way to minimize movements in pranayama and meditation is with a good set of asanas before we start. And, if the movements become too much, we do as we always do when symptoms of purification become excessive. We use self-pacing in our practices and back off for a while until we find stability in our routine, and continue from there. When we hit a few pot-holes in the road, we slow down until the road smoothes out again.

The occasional jerks are common at certain stages of development, and a sign of purification going on. Milestones on the road to enlightenment!

The guru is in you.

Note: For a detailed overview on building a daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.

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