Springtime, for many people, can bring a sudden flurry of change - as things begin to move faster all around us. In nature, there is rebirth and renewal, as flowers and trees bloom and animals reawaken from a long winter. For many people, this outward expansion can bring to the surface emotions that really need to be looked at - tenderly and with compassion. Without this intention, the physical body often begins to respond.
Grief is the emotion of the lungs and the large intestine. Loss or unresolved grief of any kind can trigger a cold, a feeling of being energetically drained, or difficult bowel function. Grief can stay with us for a while, until we are ready and decide to release it. When grief is unresolved and becomes chronic, depression and an inability to ‘let go’ of things can arise from our lung deficiency. This could eventually interfere with lung function and oxygen circulation. Since our lungs control the flow of energy in our bodies, it’s important that we give ourselves space to deal with painful events rather than pushing them aside.
This special 40 day practice is made up of four breath exercises and is to be done only in the evenings. Yogi Bhajan also mentioned that it is preferably done when melons are ripe and eaten daily as part of a light diet.
This kriya is for healing the body and for ridding the mind of old emotional blockages.
The result of these exercises include:
releasing "centuries of old grief" and mourning - unresolved and unexpressed loss can hold us back from full commitment and confidence in the present
altering the balance of the 5 elements
allowing the aura to hold great waves of joy, happiness and pleasure
releasing guilt that some feel when successful
creating deep calm and focus
resetting the body's image of itself and activating the healing resources of the body.
Practice each exercise for the same length of time, not to exceed 11 minutes per exercise. And don’t forget to tune in!
FOUR EXERCISES TO WELCOME SUCCESS & HAPPINESS
and EXPEL GRIEF & GUILT
Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep the eyes wide open. Rest the back of the hands on the knees, with the elbows relaxed by the sides. In a single motion, raise the hands in an arc to bounce off the tops of the shoulders as you exhale and stick the tongue out and down as far as you can. Inhale powerfully as you return to the original position and pull the tongue in. Alternate between these two positions with a strong rapid breath for 6-11 minutes. At the end, inhale deeply and hold the breath as you press the tongue up on the roof of the mouth. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat the breath suspension a total of three times. (Originally, the track Say Saraswati was used).
This first exercise is “Siddh Shiva Kriya.” It opens the lungs and improves digestion. Emotionally, the exercise releases centuries of old grief and mourning. There are many things that pass on and which we long for. The loss that is unresolved, unexpressed and painful can hold us back from the full commitment to the present. It’s as if we honor the past by denying the present and betraying the future. This exercise centers you into the present with a vision toward the future as the old patterns are changed.
Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Extend both arms over the head, elbows straight, palms forward and thumbs extended stiffly toward each other. Press the eyes upward (look at the mid-point between your brows). Begin to rotate both arms from the shoulder and armpit areas. Move the left arm in a clockwise direction (if you are looking up) and the right arm in a counterclockwise direction. The movements of the two arms are not necessarily synchronized, but they do move continuously. Continue for 11 minutes. Inhale at the end and stretch the spine and the arms up. (The track Heal Me was originally played during class).
This second exercise creates a change by altering the balance of the tattvas. (Tattvas are the five elements of which everything is composed: fire, air, earth, ether and water). This creates emotions with lightness and perspective. It allows the aura to hold great waves of joy, happiness and pleasure. If you ever felt guilty for success or pleasure, this exercise adjusts your ability to welcome those positive experiences.
Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Inhale through the left nostril and block the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand, other fingers are straight up. Exhale through the right nostril and block the left nostril with the right index finer curled across. Look at the tip of the nose. Continue 3-11 minutes. (Wahe Guru Sat Nam Ji track is a good track to use).
The third exercise integrates the functions of the two hemispheres of the brain, increases your lung capacity, creates deep calmness and focus and balances the subtle energy in the “ida” and “pingala,” the main energy channels in the spine and chakras.
Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place the palms face down on the knees. Grasp the knees firmly. Keep the spine straight as you sway forward and then back in a steady, powerful rhythm. Inhale back and exhale forward. Keep the eyes 9/10th closed. Continue for 3-11 minutes. Then inhale, tighten the body and shake for 15-30 seconds. Repeat the breath suspension and shake for a total of five times. (Humee Hum Tumee Tum track was played).
This fourth exercise distributes the energy of the breath all through the central channel of the spine, the “shushmuna.” It resets the body’s image of itself and activates the body’s healing resources.
Originally Published in the KRI Level One, Teacher Training Manual