Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 63 - Cool and Warm Currents in Pranayama
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?”
Date: Wed Dec 31, 2003 0:49pm
Q: I think am getting it together with spinal breathing, mulabandha and sambhavi. My breath is going very slow, stopping by itself sometimes. I am getting strange sensations of coolness coming up from my root on rising inhalation and warmness going down there on falling exhalation. What is this? Is it a good sign?
A: Yes, a very good sign. A real milestone on the way to enlightenment. As sexual energy comes up it has that coolness to it, and the warmness going back down. So you are having a direct experience of awakening kundalini. It is one way the beginning is experienced. There are other ways. Not everyone has it begin the same way. But most everyone will have some form of the cool and warm currents sooner or later.
We can amplify those sensations of coolness and warmness to enhance our practice. It is kind of like pulling ourselves up by our kundalini bootstraps. This is accomplished by using the inductive power of the breath. We already are using the breath to induce the flow of prana up and down in the spinal nerve. Now we can latch something else on to that. The rising and falling breath has its own sensations of coolness and warmness built into it. This is a handle we can use in going from imagining the spinal nerve to actually feeling it. For those who are not feeling coolness and warmness rising and falling in the pelvis, adding this sensory awareness in breath can help it come up. For those who do have the feeling of cool and warm currents already, it can be enhanced. Here is how it works.
Purse your lips and suck air into your lungs. Do you feel the coolness of the air passing through your lips, through your mouth, and down your windpipe into your lungs? Now go the other way and push the air out. Do you feel the warmness coming up and all the way out through your pursed lips? Now try it with your mouth closed, just as you would breath in pranayama. The coolness and warmness is still going in and out your windpipe, isn’t it? Now, let that sensation of coolness coming in the windpipe on inhalation go along with your attention as you come up inside the spinal nerve. You begin at the perineum and end at the point between the eyebrows, coolness all the way up. Don’t forget the turn forward in the middle of your head. As you exhale, let the sensation of warmness that occurs as air comes out the windpipe go along with your attention as you go all the way back down inside the spinal nerve. And so on during your spinal breathing session. Like so much of what we do in pranayama, this is a habit that can be easily built into the routine. With a little patience you will get through the “clunky” stage fairly quickly. As with all practices we discuss, don’t take it on until you feel reasonably stable with everything else you are doing. There is no rush. Too much too fast is not a help.
If you don’t feel the coolness and warmness being induced in the spinal nerve, don’t worry about it. It will come at some point as your sexual energy begins to noticeably stir upward. In the mean time, you are helping it along with all the means we have presented. There will be more means too.
Over time, the coolness of sexual energy coming up and warmness going down will change. It will begin to spread out and develop a mind of it’s own. It can get fiery and expand into a column of swirling energies. This is kundalini coming awake inside. In our spinal breathing, we just continue easily, not trying to force any particular sensation on the energy moving inside us. At some point we will realize we are not directing what is happening so much any more. Instead, we are partnering with the energy inside, accommodating its needs. Spinal breathing is important in this, because it provides the balance of polarities necessary for kundalini to fulfill her destiny inside us. Spinal breathing balances the masculine and feminine energies inside. The I AM meditation also balances masculine and feminine energies, as discussed two lessons ago. Without that balance, things can get a little dicey. Kundalini can go a little crazy when she can’t find her husband. Even in the smoothest kundalini scenario there will be some symptoms. If there is imbalance between the masculine and feminine energies inside, the symptoms can become uncomfortable. We will talk about kundalini symptoms, imbalances, and remedies in subsequent lessons. The goal is to make the journey as smooth as possible.
Know you are on a great and wonderful adventure – a journey of destiny, homeward to your divine self.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on spinal breathing, see the AYP Spinal Breathing Pranayama Book, and AYP Plus.