A persistent heat-wave is currently gripping parts of the Northern Hemisphere and smashing weather records in Canada, the United States, Europe and the Middle East. People everywhere are looking for ways to COOL OFF. I know I am . . . As a Kundalini Yogi whose dosha is predominantly pitta, the high temperatures of the last week have me feeling not only physically uncomfortable, but also emotionally "challenged." Okay. . .truth time. . .if you ask my family, I don't think they would use the word "challenged." I think they might use the words, "moody," "frustrated," or perhaps even (dare I say it?) "angry."
Pitta derives from the elements of Fire and Water and literally translates to "that which cooks." So, just as a campfire may turn into a forest fire without proper care, the internal fire of the mind and body must be kept in check - particularly during the more intense months of the summer season.
There are many tools available to help balance pitta, including dietary and lifestyle suggestions. Kundalini Yoga offers many kriyas that can help to cool, calm and moderate the internal fire of the body, mind and spirit. One such kriya is the Kriya for Relieving Inner Anger.
KRIYA FOR RELIEVING INNER ANGER
Originally Taught September 21, 1988
1. Lie down flat on the back in a relaxed posture with arms at the sides, palms open and legs slightly apart. Pretend to snore for 1.5 minutes.
2. Still lying on the back, straighten the legs, point the toes and raise them both up to 6 inches. Hold for 2 minutes. This exercise balances anger. It puts pressure on the Navel Point in order to balance the entire system.
3. Remaining in the posture, stick out the tongue and do Breath of Fire through the mouth for 1.5 minutes.
4. Still on the back, lift the legs up to 90 degrees. Keep the arms on the ground by your sides. Begin to beat the ground with all the anger you can achieve. Beat hard and fast for 2.5 minutes, keeping the arms stiff and straight.
5. Still on the back, bring the knees into the chest, and stick the tongue out. Inhale through the open mouth and exhale through the nose. Continue for 3 minutes.
6. Sit in Celibate Pose, buttocks on the floor between the heels. Cross the arms over the chest and press them hard against the rib cage. Bend forward and touch the forehead to the floor as if you are bowing. For 2.5 minutes move at a pace of approximately 30 bows per minute, then for another 30 seconds speed up and move as fast as you can.
7. Sitting with the legs straight out in front, begin to beat all parts of your body with open palms. Move fast for 2 minutes.
8. Stand up. Bend forward, keeping the back parallel to the ground, and let the arms and hands hang loose. Remain in this posture and sing for 3 minutes. (In class, Yogi Bhajan played a recording of Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru.)
9. Continue singing and come into Cobra Pose: Lying on the stomach, place hands under the shoulders with palms flat. Elongate the spine, lift the chest and heart up, drop the shoulders, and stretch the head back. Straighten the arms. Continue for 1 minute. Begin circling the neck and continue to sing for another 30 seconds.
10. Still in Cobra Pose begin kicking the ground with alternate feet for 30 seconds.
11. Sat Kriya in Easy Pose. Sit in Easy Pose and close the eyes. Stretch the arms overhead, keeping the elbows straight. Interlace the fingers with the Jupiter (index) fingers extended and pointing straight up. Squeeze the Navel Point in and up as you say “sat (sut).” Release as you chant “naam.” Continue for 3 minutes. To end, inhale and squeeze the muscles tightly from the buttocks all the way up the back. Mentally allow the energy to flow through the top of the skull. Exhale and relax.
12. Lie down in Corpse Pose (on your back with arms by your sides, palms face up) and nap for 5 minutes.
Stay tuned for other pitta-balancing suggestions in the upcoming days!