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Yoga Teachers Training Manual

By

Anmol Mehta

Learn and Teach the Profound Sciences of Meditation Yoga Pranayama

Fully Illustrated
Hosted on www.AnmolMehta.com

Dedicated to My Yoga Teacher Ravi Singh

CHAPTER INDEX
CH.
i. ii. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

CHAPTER TITLE
How to Use This Manual Please Read First Legal Disclaimer Please Read Week 1 Syllabus Introduction to the Universal Principles of Yoga Kundalini Yoga - The Yoga of Energy & Awareness Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System Overview Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Beginners Guide to Yoga Breathing Exercises (Pranayama) How to Meditate Simple Yogic Breathing Corpse Pose for Deep Relaxation Best Yoga Asana for Meditation Best Hatha Yoga Pose for Spontaneous Healing Simple Triangle Pose for Full Body Flexibility Yoga Palm Tree Pose for Warming Up

PG.
11 15 16 18 22 25 28 32

7.

39

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

43 51 56 61 65 69 73

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

Cat-Cow Yoga Exercise Cobra Pose Yoga Bridge Pose Spinal Warm-up Yoga Exercises Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise Sound Awareness Meditation Technique Week 2 Syllabus 5 Key Principles for Living an Enlightened & Good Life Top 5 Mistakes in Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Strength Eagle Pose for Powerful Aura Archer Pose for Self Confidence Spinal Twists for Lower Back Kundalini Jesus Pose for Inner Strength Plank Pose for Arms and Upper Body Deep Knee Bends for Thighs and Buttocks Kundalini Yoga Morning Wakeup Series Kapalbhati Yoga Breathing Exercise for Optimum Health & Healing

76 80 84 89 95 99 103 105

23.

109

24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

113 116 119 122 126

29. 30. 31. 32.

130 133 138 147

33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique Week 3 Syllabus Top 10 Profound Benefits of Meditation Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga Comprehensive Guide to Yoga Mudras 5 Excellent Yoga Tips to Elevate Your Practice 10 Things You Should Do Everyday For a Happy, Meaningful & Good Life (Combined)

152 156 158 161 164 177 181

40.

Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose for Health and Wellbeing Chair Pose for Sexual Health Downward Facing Dog for Nerve Strength Bow Pose for Eternal Youth Frog Pose for Toned Thighs Locust Pose for Digestive Power Yoga Exercise to Cleanse Your Aura Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set Powerful 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise for Vitality Zen Meditation Technique - Practice & Hidden Secret - Free Guided Meditation Week 4 Syllabus

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41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

191 197 200 204 209 213 219 225

49.

228

50.

234

51.

How Much Time Should You Practice Meditation For Daily? Essential Meditation Tips & Tools for Daily Practice Meditation Help & 5 Great New Meditation Tips for Beginners No Short Cuts to Enlightenment Crow Pose to Cleanse Root Chakra Shoulder Stand for Brain Fitness Modified Wheel Pose for Flexibility and Digestion Power Yoga Elbow Platform Yoga Boat Pose for Firm Toned Abs Yoga See-Saw Shoulder Exercise Yoga Ab Crunches for Six Pack Abs Heart Chakra Healing and Balancing Set

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52. 53.

239 242

54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

248 251 255 259 263 267 273 278 283

63.

Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise Anuloma Viloma Pranayama Opening Third Eye (Ajna) Chakra Meditation Technique for Psychic Powers Week 5 Syllabus How to Building a High Traffic Website SEO Insiders Tips Comprehensive Guide on How to Teach a Yoga Class

292

64

297

65. 66.

302 304

67.

317

68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78.

The Yogic Mind - The Perfected Mind Lion Pose to Detox the Body Tantric Technique for Sex Chakra Activation Maha Bandha for Channeling Energy Yoga Wheel Pose Yoga Plough Pose for Multi-Chakra Activation Crane Pose for Strength and Balance Kundalini Yoga Lotus Pose Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss Sheetali Pranayama for Reducing Stress 3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas Sodarshan Chakra Kriya - Part 1 Week 6 Syllabus Dangers of Kundalini Yoga Kundalini Meditation | Power of the Energy Kundalini Awakening Symptoms Meditation Techniques, Types and Practice - A Comprehensive Guide How to Design Yoga Sets Surya Namaskar Sun Salutation

328 331 335 339 344 347 350 354 358 370 373

79. 80. 81. 82. 83.

379 381 387 392 397

84. 85.

405 408

86. 87. 88. 89. 90.

Raja Yoga Set for Awakening Kundalini Surya Bedhi Pranayama for Energy Kirtan Kriya Week 7 Syllabus 5 Major Obstacles to Self-Realization & Enlightenment 5 Dangers of Not Meditating The Secret to Enlightenment Fountain of Youth Yoga Exercises Liver Detox Yoga Sequence Ujjayi Pranayama for Deep Relaxation Meditation for Improving Concentration Week 8 Syllabus How to Run a Yoga and Meditation Center 3 Keys for How to Live a Blessed Life How to Do Advanced Jyana Yoga Meditation Videos | Silent Mind Meditation SM Meditation Program: Practical Hints & Tips Yoga for Full Body Fitness Supreme Yogic Breath for Brain Development & Mind Control

413 417 420 425 457

91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100.

432 436 439 447 453 457 461 463 481 485

101. 102. 103.

488 492 514

104. 105 106. 107. 108. 109.

Silent Mind Meditation: The SM Meditations Bonus Yoga Sets Seven Chakra Healing Set Yoga Exercises for Mens Sexual Health Best Weight Loss Yoga Exercises and Poses SM Meditation Program: Yoga for Meditation Set: Appendix 1 Yoga for Kids - A Comprehensive Guide to Teach Children Yoga Yoga Exercises for Eye Care Yoga Positions for Beginners | Basic Yoga Poses Bonus Yoga Pranayamas Simple Chair Yoga for Energy and Stress Relief Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama for Energy and More Seetkari Yoga Pranayama to Lower Blood Pressure and More Bonus Meditations 3 Easy Kids Meditation Techniques with Videos Beautiful Light Meditation for Developing Intuition, Joy and Creativity Powerful Gayatri Mantra Download & Free MP3 SM Meditation Program: The Silent Mind

518 526 527 536 546 564

110.

572

111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116.

588 591 606 607 611 615

117. 118. 119.

619 620 624

120. 121.

628 631

Meditations for Phase 3


122.

Best Mind Meditation | Most Advanced Meditation Technique How to Teach a Gentle Yoga and Meditation Class | Comprehensive Guide Free Yoga, Meditation and Mantra Links

634

123.

638

124.

648

Copyright: Anmol Mehta 2010: No part of this book can be republished, recreated or sold without written consent from the author.

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PLEASE READ FIRST Yoga Certification Program Overview:


This manual is the official text of the Mastery of Yoga Teachers Training and Certification Program. If you are not enrolled, but have purchased this manual for self-study, please read through the instructions as well, as it explains how to use this manual to train yourself in yoga, meditation and pranayama. To those who are enrolled, welcome to the Mastery of Yoga Teacher's Training Program. This section will give you all the details regarding how the course works and how to go about completing the program. This certification course is a multi-media rich home study course. The material needed for study and practice is contained in this training manual, and also in the videos and MP3s that are online on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, and linked to from this manual. In order to complete the course you follow the 8-week program below. At the completion of the program, you email me at anmol@anmolmehta.com to receive the final examination, which you must pass by a score of 80% in order to receive your certification. If you fail the exam, you must take it again till you pass. How the program works is that every week you have certain chapters for study and certain techniques you must practice. These details are in the weekly syllabus chapter for each of the 8 weeks of the program. If you have not yet registered, but would like to earn your Yoga Teachers Certification, here is the page where you go to register for the program: Mastery of Meditation and Yoga Certification Programs. 11

How to Use This Manual:


I would like to mention a few important words about how to best use this training manual. Please note that this entire manual has active live links. All links are in blue and underlined. When you move your cursor over the link, it will display the target page and change into a small hand. To visit the target page simple click the link and it will take you to the respective page on the website. Please note that this manual is a collection of articles from the Mastery of Meditation and Yoga website, as well as some special articles that are not online. These articles all put together, in the order given, create the Yoga Training Program. I have preserved all the links within the original articles so you can easily access the related materials as well if it interests you. All this took a lot of work, I hope you all benefit from it . The yoga-training program also consists of 20 videos. These videos are obviously not in the e-book, but each chapter which has a video is clearly marked and you should click that chapter title or link provided to go to the website where you will find the video you need to watch. All chapter titles in blue are links as mentioned above.

All chapters with videos, alert you using the following statement: THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK

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How the Certification Program Works in Detail:


As I mentioned above the yoga-training program is designed for 8 weeks. Below is how it all works.

For each week, certain objectives are set. These are listed in the respective weekly syllabus chapter as Knowledge objectives, things you must learn, and Techniques objectives, which are things you must practice.

These objectives are met via a weekly study section and a practice section. The study section comprises of chapters you need to read and study for that week, and the practice section has the techniques you must practice. The practice section has a Yoga Section, Pranayama (Breathing) Section and a Meditation Section. You need to practice these daily. I have given approximate times for each section, but this is a soft number. You may take a little more or little less time than the one suggested depending on your capacity and level. The approximate time for the study and practice sessions is 1-2 hours per day, depending on your previous knowledge and skill level. Towards the end of the manual, I have also included bonus yoga, pranayama and meditation sets. These are to enhance your expertise and personal practice, but are not required to pass the certification course. In other words, the examination will only test you on the Required material and not the Bonus material. When you have completed the program, please send me an Email and you will receive your final exam, which you must pass as mentioned above. Upon passing you will receive your

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Certification via regular mail and your name will appear in the online listing on the Certified Teachers and Centers page. If you have enrolled in the program please go ahead and begin as soon as you are ready. Remember if you have any issues or questions, you can email me for help and support at anmol@anmolmehta.com. All Good Wishes, Anmol You can get more information on meditation, yoga and spiritual growth on my website http://www.AnmolMehta.com. All information there is available for free. I also welcome your feedback and you can email me at anmol@anmolmehta.com.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER PLEASE READ


Please check with your health care professional before starting any exercise or yoga program. The information provided within is intended for use used under professional instruction and guidance. It is not a substitute for medical care and attention. Please use common sense and walk the middle path as you develop your spiritual practice. We are not responsible for the consequences of the exercises or programs. The same applies to all the other material provided here, it is provided AS-IS with no warranties or guarantees. We are not responsible for, and will not compensate in any way for, any loss or damage related directly or indirectly to the information in this manual or on the AnmolMehta.com website. Thank-you.

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Chapter 1 Week 1 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge:

Learn the basics of meditation Understand the basics of pranayama for meditation Understand the basics of yoga for meditation Learn safety rules for yoga and pranayama Learn Kundalini and Chakra Models

Techniques:

Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn

Butterfly Pose Forward Bend Triangle Pose Palm Tree Pose Cat-Cow Pose Cobra Pose Bridge Pose Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise

Learn Spinal Warm-up Series Sound Awareness Meditation Technique

Articles for Study:


Principles of Yoga Introduction to Kundalini Yoga Introduction to Chakras Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Beginner's Guide to Pranayama Practice 16

How to Meditate How to do Simple Yogic Breathing How to do Corpse Pose

Daily Practice: Pranayama: 1-3 mins

Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise

Yoga Poses: Each Day Learn and Practice 1 Pose - 5 mins


Best Asana for Meditation- Butterfly Pose Forward Bending Yoga Asana Simple Yoga Pose for Flexibility | Triangle Pose Easy Yoga Pose for Stretching and Warming Up | Palm Tree Yoga Exercise for Emotional Health | Cat-Cow Pose Yoga Cobra Pose for Healthy Back Yoga Bridge for Healthy Back

Yoga Set: Each Day Practice the Set - 5 mins

Spinal Warm-up Series

Meditation: 10 mins

Sound Awareness Meditation Technique

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Chapter 2 Introduction to the Universal Principles of Yoga


Introduction to the Universal Principles of Yoga: Yoga is a time tested, powerful tool to help you blossom and reach your full human potential. The seeds are all within you; Yoga is the water, the sunlight, the nutrients and the love they need in order to make your life vibrant, beautiful and full of sweet fragrance. It is not a religion; it is really a science with which to develop your body, mind and spirit. The ultimate goal of Yoga, which literally means, Union, is to reunite you with the Universal Source. You may call this Universal Source by any name you wish, God, Brahman, Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness, Krishna Consciousness, Allah, etc, Yoga is a pathway to bring you to the realization that you and this Universal Source are inseparably One. There are many branches of Yoga, such as Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jyana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Nada Yoga, Karma Yoga, Kundalini Yoga to name a few. These all have the same one goal, unification with the Universal Source, but each follow a different path to get there. Depending on your personality one or the other path may suit you better. Here is a description of some of the major branches of Yoga:

Bhakti Yoga: Emphasizes love as the pathway to liberation and Union. This branch attracts those who are emotional in nature and have a strong longing to be reunited with their beloved creator. Jyana Yoga: Emphasizes the intellectual and philosophical approach to penetrate the illusion of dualistic reality. The practitioners of Jyana Yoga generally have a sharp mind and 18

swift intellect. They use the analytical powers of discrimination and detached awareness to make progress.

Karma Yoga: Emphasizes right action and selfless service as the path to moksha (liberation). This school is for those who have a strong desire to help others and have a capacity for work and action. Kundalini Yoga: Emphasizes the activation of Kundalini Shakti for enlightenment. This is probably the most powerful form of Yoga. It is for those with a strong will and a passion for the Supreme and the mystical. Raja Yoga: Considered the Scientific approach, this branch emphasizes Sage Patanjalis 8-step path to Self-Realization. Raja Yoga is for those who have a holistic approach to life. Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga and Nada Yoga: These forms of Yoga use the powerful science of Sound Vibrations to dissolve obstacles and empower the Yogi. They are often a part of some of the Yoga systems listed above and suit those with a devotional attitude.

In this article I will expand on Raja Yoga, as it is one of the most popular and prevalent Yoga system in use today. As indicated above Raja Yoga employs Sage Patanjalis 8 step path to achieve Union with the Supreme, also called the 8 limbs of Yoga (ashtanga) thus also the name Asthanga Yoga. This 8-step system consists of the following parts. Yamas, Niyamas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and finally Samadhi. This 8 step path is designed to bring about physical, emotional and mental harmony; and in the advanced practices of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi lead to the cessation of thoughts allowing the mind to realize that Reality is indeed Singular, Whole and indivisible.

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Here is a description of the 8 limbs of Raja Yoga: 1. Yamas: Yamas are self-restraints. These are non-violence, truth, control of sexual urges, stealing and covetousness (greed). 2. Niyamas: Niyamas are self-observances. There are 5 niyamas. These are contentment, self-study, austerity, purity and devotion to the Lord. 3. Asanas: Physical poses and postures. 4. Pranayama: Control of the Vital Energy (prana) with the use of breathing exercises. 5. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses and disassociation of the consciousness from the outside environment. 6. Dharana: Concentration. 7. Dhyana: Meditation. 8. Samadhi: The Union and Identification with the Supreme Consciousness. Sincere and regular practice of Raja Yoga promotes health, happiness and insight. Although the ultimate goal of Yoga is Union with the Supreme, many material benefits are also obtained by its practice. Today, many diseases and ailments are treated via the use of Yoga asanas and pranayamas, and the stress reducing benefits of Yoga meditation are becoming more and more valuable to us given our hectic and frantic lifestyles. Furthermore, the principles of truth, humility and other high values that Yoga promotes, are helping to offset some of the excessive materialism and greed that is eroding the spirit, joy and peace of our society today.

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The most important aspect of Yoga Philosophy is that it is based on Self-Realization. In other words, you are given the tools required, and using them you bring about the necessary transformations in yourself to reach your highest potential in life. It is now often said, that the next great Yoga and Meditation teachers will arise from the West. This is because generally the West has an empirical approach to things, as opposed to superstition and blind faith of the East. If something works it is embraced and utilized, if something does not prove to work, it is discarded as junk. This is probably the reason why Yoga has grown in such popularity here in the West - because it works. So dive in and reap the benefits.

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Chapter 3 Kundalini Yoga - The Yoga of Energy & Awareness


Introduction to Kundalini Yoga What is Kundalini Yoga and How It Works This article will provide a basic overview of what Kundalini Yoga is and how Kundalini Yoga works. At the core of Kundalini Yoga lies Kriyas and the best way to understand the methodology of Kundalini Yoga is to understand Kriyas and their function. Understanding Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Kriyas are a set of exercises done in a particular sequence to work on a specific theme. There are a wide range of Kriyas available, each refined over thousands of years to optimize their effectiveness. Kriyas utilize all the available Kundalini Yoga mechanisms to work their magic. They employ asans (postures), movement, pranayam (breathing exercises), bandhas (body locks), mantras (sound vibrations), mudras (hand positions), laya yoga (yoga of rhythm and sound), mental focus and meditation to do their work. Dynamic movement and asans bring expanding and contracting pressure via multiple angles to various areas of the body, this is accompanied with powerful pranayams, the combined effect of which is that the target regions are saturated with highly charged and oxygenated blood. This nutrient rich blood fills the capillaries forcing them to discharge toxins and other harmful elements, which are then eliminated, neutralized or expelled by the body. The health of the region thus improves and the nerves fire more completely, the glands and organs are invigorated and regain their natural voltage and secretion levels are returned to a condition of strength and vitality.

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The key is the removal of blockages (granthis) that is taking place on many levels of the organism thus facilitating the flow of energy. There are Kriyas designed for working on almost every part of the human system (Immune, Glandular, Circulatory, Digestive, Nervous, Respiratory, Sexual, etc), working on our various traits and characteristics (Awareness, Intuition, Willpower, Confidence, Compassion, Charisma, etc) and also for healing many different types of ailments and diseases. Lets now see how this ties in with the Chakra (energy vortex) system. Understanding Kundalini Yoga, Seven Chakra System There are 7 primary chakras that lie all along the spine from the base to the crown of the head. Associated with each chakra are the primary nerve junctions and organs of that region. Furthermore, each chakra is responsible for certain traits and characteristics that make up our personality. When we strengthen and rejuvenate the nerves and organs in a particular region, we are in fact activating these energy centers that reside there and are thus working on ourselves not only at a physical level, but also at an emotional and mental level (by affecting our traits and characteristics). Practiced over time, the chakras become charged and come into balance with each other, bringing us into physical, emotional and mental well being. Again, it should be noted that the work being done is primarily about dissolving granthis (blockages) in these regions, which introduce disease and imbalance into the system by preventing the chakras from functioning at their optimum level. Finally, let us see how this relates to Kundalini Shakti. Understanding Kundalini Shakti (Energy) Kundalini is energy. It is the fundamental energy whose flow through the organism allows for all its systems to operate, at all levels of consciousness. It is the energy of awareness, it can be said that where your awareness is, that is where Kundalini is flowing or that where Kundalini is flowing is where your awareness is. To awaken 23

Kundalini means to dissipate blockages in the gross and subtle systems in your being and allow for greater and greater flow of energy and awareness. As blockages are cleared trapped energy is released and pathways are cleared. Kundalini then is able to flow freely though those regions, healing, nourishing, rejuvenating and balancing them. The dissipating of blockages can also be thought of as the clearing away of the subconscious mind, the collection of unresolved emotional and physical disturbances, where lies the root of many of our attachments and fears. So overall Kundalini Yoga is a system by which one, through the process of dissolving the past, allows the infinite to shine through into the present. How to Begin Your Kundalini Yoga Practice You will find many Kundalini Yoga Sets on this website and I am constantly adding new ones. Please feel free to incorporate them into your sadhana (daily spiritual practice) as you see suitable. There are also Free Online Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Classes on Mastery of Meditation, please feel free to register and begin your yoga practice using them. For the initiates it is suggested that they read the 10 Guidelines For Kundalini Yoga Practice to help prepare you for Yoga practice. Always remember that the True Guru is within and just a glance away from providing you the guidance you need.

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Chapter 4 Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System Overview


Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System Overview What exactly are Chakras? How do they function? How can they be worked on? This article will look to answer these and other key questions regarding them, as well as give an overview of each of the Chakras that make up the Kundalini Seven Chakra System. Although, books can easily be written on this topic this document will concentrate on providing the most important aspects of this profound science. Charkas are the centerpiece of the Yogic Energetic model of man. Chakra, which literally means wheel, is best thought of as a MultiDimensional Energy Vortex. By multi-dimensional I mean that a Chakra bridges across the many dimensions that make up a human being. According to Yoga there are 4 bodies that constitute a complete human being. These are the physical body, psychic or astral body, the mental body and finally the causal body. Chakras reside in the astral body, and serve as transformers to move energy between these various bodies. The astral body can be thought of an aesthetic double of the physical body. Through it runs a vast complex of channels (nadis) that carry the energy of life (prana, chi or life-force). The quality and quantity of prana flowing through the nadis determines the health of the Chakras with reside there. The Chakras, as we mentioned are energy vortexes. They are opened and balanced by this flow of prana. The Chakras lie along the spine from the base to the top of the head and there are seven main Chakras. Each of these Chakras governs the physical region where they are situated and also, are responsible for certain emotional and personality traits. As they are properly 25

activated and energized by the correct flow of prana, the corresponding physical regions are rejuvenated and emotions of a higher quality are embraced. The seven Chakras and their main areas of influence, both physical and emotional are given below. The format is Chakra Name: Location: Primary Physical Influence: Primary Emotional/Personality Influences. 1. Mooladhara (Root) Chakra: Perineum: Excretory Systems: Physical Security & Fear 2. Swadhisthana (Sex) Chakra: Base of the Spine: Sexual Systems: Self-Expression & Creativity 3. Manipura (Naval) Chakra: Solar Plexus: Digestive Systems: Willpower & Anger 4. Anahata (Heart) Chakra: Center of the Chest: Circulatory and Respiratory Systems: Love 5. Vishuddhi (Throat) Chakra: Throat: Auditory and Speech Systems: Communication 6. Ajna (3rd Eye): Center of head, directly in line with center of forehead: Eyes & Perception: Intuition 7. Sahasrara (Crown): Top of Head: Brain and Nervous System: Bliss 26

Now that we know what Chakras are and what they do, lets see how we can work on them. The key to opening and balancing Chakras is by purifying the Nadis of blockages and increasing the flow of Prana. This is best done through the use of Yoga and Pranayama. Yoga, specifically Kundalini or Kriya Yoga, and Pranayama are the essentially the science of Chakra Activation. They are designed to systematically dissolve the debris that collects and blocks the flow of energy through the nadis. When the flow increases, the Chakras are opened and, over time, become optimally balanced. This leads to higher levels of awareness and consciousness which is to say that it leads to a human being achieving their highest potential.

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Chapter 5 Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice


Summary: A beginner guide for those who are new to the world of yoga. This guide details the 3 most essential guidelines for doing yoga exercises, as well as lists the other important requirements you should know before starting your practice. Key Concepts: beginner yoga, yoga instruction, yoga guidelines, yoga practice, starting yoga, how to practice yoga, basic yoga, yoga tips Although there is tons of information on Mastery of Meditation on yoga, I wanted to glean some of the most important information and compile it here for those of you who are beginners or new to yoga practice. This quick reference guide applies to all of you who are just starting your yoga practice and is independent of the type of yoga you are taking up. Three Essential Guidelines of How to Practice Yoga: Yoga is not just a series of exercises, poses or movements. As I have pointed out in the article Comprehensive Guide to the World of Meditation, yoga is a type of body meditation. It is meditation in motion. For you to extract maximum benefit from your yoga practice, these three key elements are a must and never to be forgotten. 1. Do Yoga Exercises With Full Awareness: Try to be as aware as possible of every posture and movement you are making during your practice. Check throughout your yoga session, as to where your mind is, and if it has wandered away, gently bring it back and focus again on the poses and the breathing. This is the

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number one requirement of doing yoga, regardless of whether you are just a beginner yogi or a yoga master. In addition, if certain feelings or energies awaken within you, bring your attention to them and observe them taking their course as you move through your practice. 2. Never Over Strain When Practicing Yoga: As the requirement above, this guideline also applies to both beginner yoga practitioners as well as advanced yogis. When doing my yoga teachers training course, what surprised me quite a bit, was how often these seasoned yogis were getting injured. Yoga is a journey, it is be enjoyed and the sights and sounds taken in, it is not a competition. If you are just beginning your practice, you need to give yourself time to gauge your capacity and limits. So start offering in the side of caution, rather than being over zealous. Learn to listen to your body. As you start to better understand your body and energy, you can start to explore your limits further and increase the challenge you place before yourself. Even as your yoga expertise develops, never forget this important rule of not overdoing it. 3. Yoga & Breathing Go Hand In Hand: Dont forget to breathe! There are 2 aspects of breathing which every beginner yogi should be cognizant of: First, yoga poses and exercises, generally have some breathing pattern associated with them. This breath component of the yoga posture should not be ignored. The breathing plays a very important role in yoga and in order to get the most out of your yoga practice, employ the correct breathing along with the movement. Second, pranayama, or the science of expanding and controlling prana (chi/life-force) is a key aspect of yoga and should be an integral part 29

of your yoga practice. So, in addition to developing your physical yoga practice, be sure to also develop your expertise in pranayama. As a beginner, make sure you start off gently, as pranayama is a very powerful science and make steady progress over time. A final word about yoga breathing, your breath can be a good anchor to help you retain your awareness when your mind is wondering. So it can go a long way in helping you with meeting the requirement of mindfulness, explained in guideline #1 above. Other General Guidelines for Beginner Yoga Practitioners: Having detailed the essential guidelines above, I will provide a bullet list below of some other general guidelines for the beginner yoga enthusiast to reference.

Dont eat a big meal at least 2-3 hours before your yoga practice. Wear comfortable athletic or other loose clothing so that your movements are not restricted. Try to do your yoga practice early in the morning if possible. Make sure your yoga space is well ventilated. If you have medical conditions, select your yoga exercises accordingly. Drink plenty of water after practice to wash out toxins released by the yoga sets. It is fine to use yoga props to help you, such as blocks, blankets, cushions etc.

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It is fine to use music while practicing yoga, but not during silent meditation. If you find a great yoga teacher, awesome, if you dont, use your inner guru to guide you. If is recommended to start and end your yoga practice with a prayer to the Lord.

The most important requirement in order to benefit from yoga is to practice. So jump in and start your journey, everyone is welcome.

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Chapter 6 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice


10 Important Guidelines For Kundalini Yoga Practice The following is a list of suggestions to help guide you on how to practice Kundalini Yoga, Kundalini Yoga Kriyas (sets) and Yoga sessions in general. To understand more about what Kundalini Yoga is and how Kundalini Yoga works, please read the following article Introduction to Kundalini Yoga. 1. Kundalini Yoga Attire: 1. Clothing should generally be loose and comfortable. Unlike other schools of Yoga, in Kundalini Yoga it is advisable to keep the shoulders and spine covered, so practicing without any covering on the upper body is not recommended. This has to do with the awakening, flow and distribution of Kundalini Shakti up and down the back, specially its movement via the 3 main psychic channels (ida, pingala and shushumna) that lie in and along the spinal cord. 2. Kundalini Yoga is generally practiced barefoot. 3. A blanket can be used to cover the body after doing a Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, during the relaxation period. Most Kriyas are followed by a period of relaxation that is usually done in corpse pose (shav asana) and during this time the body temperature tends to drop, so a blanket (or shawl) can be used to stay warm and comfortable. You will fall asleep at least once, no worries we have all done it :-).

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2. Kundalini Yoga Diet: This is a rather big topic, but here I will just provide some important highlights. 1. Try not to eat at least 2-3 hours before doing your Kundalini Yoga Kriyas and asanas. Given that Kundalini Yoga uses many different bandhas (body locks), pranayamas (breathing exercises), asanas and vigorous movement, you could be quite uncomfortable if your stomach is still full. Use a nutrient bar or other healthy snack if you feel you need some energy prior to your yoga set. 2. Although Yoga in general recommends a Sattvic diet (foods that promote calmness and clarity), and not Rajasic foods (energetic foods that promote activity) or Tamasic foods (foods that promote heaviness and dull the mind), due to the physical, energetic nature of Kundalini Yoga, including some Rajasic foods in your diet is not a significant issue. Still it is recommended that the bulk of your diet be Sattvic. Sattvic foods are generally fresh and sweet such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey etc. Rajasic foods are generally spicy and stimulating, such as onions, garlic, eggs, fish, tea etc. Tamasic foods are fatty foods, stale food, meat, etc. 3. Kundalini Yoga Kriyas are designed to force the organs, tissues, nerves and vessels to expel buried toxins out into the elimination systems of the body. So after any Kriyas or tough yoga set, one should drink plenty of water to help cleanse the body of the toxins and waste that have been released. 3. Kundalini Yoga Breathing: 1. Kundalini Yoga significantly relies on the Science of Pranayama (breathing exercises) to work its magic. Each 33

exercise and asana is accompanied by a specific pranayama. Unless it is specifically specified all pranayama should be done through the nose. 2. Although Jal Neti (washing the nostrils with saline water) is recommended for cleaning the nasal passageways to help maximize the benefits of the pranayamas, it is advisable as a minimum to keep a box of tissues handy. 4. Kundalini Yoga Safety: 1. Some Kundalini Yoga Kriyas can be quite challenging and it is recommended to always do warm-ups first before doing these tough sets and asanas. There are several good easy kriyas and sets, which work very well as warm-ups to the tough kriyas. It is especially important to do spinal warmups as charging the cerebrospinal fluid within the spinal cord and brain assists in the flow of awakened Kundalini Shakti. 2. This item cant be emphasized enough. Dont overdo it. Try to walk the middle ground between fanaticism and laziness. This goes for both, your overall practice and also for each kriya and asana you do. In other words, each exercise you do should not be too easy and not be too hard, and your overall sadhana (spiritual practice) should be equally balanced, between being ridiculously ambitious or excessively easy. With regard to your sadhana try to establish a steady, long-term daily practice, rather than doing 10 hours a day for 2 weeks and then nothing after that. 3. This is probably the most important guideline. Use common sense with regard to injuries. Use modifications that are provided for the difficult asanas and exercises and back off if you feel you are risking injury. Also, feel free to 34

increase the relaxation time between exercises or reduce the time suggested for doing a particular exercise to suit your pace. As my yoga teacher Ravi Singh used to say, Kundalini Yoga is all about you and you - it is not a competition - so listen to your body and let your inner voice guide and direct you. 4. The Kundalini Yoga teachings and methodology provided here have been perfected over the centuries to not only, optimize the benefits of the Kriyas, but, also to reduce any dangers and risks associated with awakening Kundalini Shakti. The general idea is not to activate the chakras by excessively using the Beej Mantas (seed sounds) associated with each chakra or other direct methods; the idea, instead, is simply to prepare the system physically, emotionally and mentally for greater and greater flow of Kundalini Shakti. The approach is to trust the Universe to awaken this energy in accordance with the level of preparation. This approach helps avoid many of the difficulties involved with the premature awakening of Kundalini that one sometimes comes across in literature. 5. Kundalini Yoga Teachings: 1. It is suggested to initially learn Kundalini Yoga from a teacher who can ensure that the knowledge is accurately transferred. If possible you should at least try to attend a few live yoga classes so that you can get a feel for the kriyas, asanas, and pranayamas. But keep in mind that the real Guru is within and is always available to guide you if asked. 2. There is also some good literature and websites available, which provide guidance and resources for practicing Kundalini yoga. You can look for books written by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Ravi Singh or visit their 35

websites for more information. Of course you can also go to the Kundalini Yoga Section or the general Yoga Section of this website for plenty of good stuff too: -D. 6. When to Practice Kundalini Yoga: In general Kundalini Yoga should be practiced in the early morning hours. But if you cant do your sadhana at that time, it is fine to practice at other times of the day as well. Some Kriyas, such as those that help you sleep, etc. of course need to be practiced at the designated times. Below are some reasons to motivate you to practice in the early morning hours. You can also ready The Secret on How to Become an Early Riser if this is something you want to accomplish. 1. Early morning is called brahmamuhurta in Sanskrit. It literally means "The Divine Time." This is the time of the day when the spiritual energy on our lovely planet is at its highest. 2. The air at this time is fresh and contains the greatest amount of prana (cosmic life force). 3. The mind is also fresh and unburdened with the worries of everyday life. This will help in the practice of concentration and meditation. 4. This is the time of day when you are least likely to be distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 5. The stomach is empty, which is necessary before practicing many of the Yoga asanas and pranayamas. 7. Where to Practice Kundalini Yoga: It is important for the place where you practice Kundalini Yoga to be neat, spacious and clean, but more importantly it should be well ventilated. You can also use a fan to keep the air fresh, but make sure it is 36

not pointed directly at you. Practicing outdoors is fine as well, although in direct sunlight it may become too warm due to the energetic pranayamas and exercises. 8. Tools for Kundalini Yoga Practice: 1. It is fine to use inspirational music when doing the Kundalini Yoga kriyas and sets, but music in general should not be used when doing the meditations, unless it is specified otherwise. 2. You can use a firm cushion, yoga block or folded blanket to sit on if it helps take the pressure off your knees, hips and back. You may also use a zafu, smile cushion and zabuton to practice the meditations or kriyas if you like. I have ordered my zafus and zabutons from here and have been very happy with them zafu.net. 3. It is recommended for obvious reasons to make sure you are not practicing on a slippery surface. A yoga mat or appropriate yoga rug should be used. 4. To help you stretch and hold certain asanas it is fine to use a yoga blocks or yoga straps. 5. Yoga neck pillows or folded blankets are fine to use to support your neck or lower back (by placing under your knees) during relaxation periods while in shav asana and similar asana. 9. Medical Conditions and Kundalini Yoga Practice: 1. Kundalini Yoga should never be practiced under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You are about to awaken the most potent force within yourself, trust me you wont need

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to get a high of anything else once you start this journey. 2. If you are taking prescription medication, or are under medical supervision you should check with your health care provider before starting a Kundalini Yoga Program. 3. If you are pregnant you should check with your health care provider before proceeding. There are also Kundalini Yoga kriyas specifically designed for Pre-natal and Post-natal periods.

10. Kundalini Yoga Attitude: Be committed and trust in the Universal Forces to guide, nourish and deliver you. Kundalini Yoga is a very powerful science and you will find it an invaluable asset in helping you reach and surpass your maximum potential.

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Chapter 7 Beginners Guide to Yoga Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)


How to Practice Yoga Pranayama The vast benefits of yoga pranayama, or yoga breathing exercises, are now starting to be discovered by mainstream society. It is inevitable; to those of us familiar with this profound science, that pranayama will gain equal, if not greater, popularity than the physical yoga exercises (Hatha Yoga Asanas) have done so far. This is because pranayama is absolutely something everyone can practice, regardless of age or physical prowess. If you can breathe, you can do pranayama. The beauty with yoga breathing is that simple techniques can bestow terrific benefits and that learning and practicing these techniques is something well within reach of us all. Whether you are a beginner or advanced yogi, pranayama is something you will find to be a powerful tool to help you with your spiritual evolution. That being said, there are certain guidelines and recommendations that you should follow with regard to pranayama practice, and in this article I would like to provide those to you. If you are an advanced yogi, from the point of view of Hatha yoga practice, and you have not done much pranayama, then you should approach this science with the same respect as a beginner would. This is because prana, or life-force, is the vast energy of atoms, and the bodys capacity to handle such energy should be built up gently and systematically over time. Rushing pranayama practice can create imbalances in the systems and other problems that could easily have been avoided if an intelligent approach had been embraced.

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Beginners Guide to Yoga Pranayama Practice 1. Clothing: Clothing should be loose, especially around the abdomen. This will ensure that the natural movement of the diaphragm is not impeded when doing the breathing exercises. 2. Diet: You should not have eaten any heavy meal at least 2-3 hours prior to practicing pranayama. The stomach should be empty. It is fine to sip some water though during the practice to stay hydrated, especially when doing heat generating vigorous exercises. If your diet can consist of light, fresh food that will help the cleansing process as well. 3. Time: Dawn is a terrific time to practice yoga and meditation, but this is more so for pranayama practice. This is because the early morning air is fresh and at this time the air contains the most amount of prana. Practicing at this time, will bestow benefits faster. Of course, if this is not feasible, no worries, practice when you can. Here is an article on How to Help You Become an Early Riser. 4. Posture: Always sit with your back as straight if possible. In addition, keep the chin slightly tucked in so that the back of the neck is aligned with the spine. This will help the flow of energy up and down the spine and up into the brain region. In addition, this will prevent you from getting dizzy during vigorous exercises.

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5. Illness: Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, do not practice any advanced pranayamas while you are unwell. Do the beginner versions of the breathing exercises or choose easy pranayamas to do instead. It is also fine to stop entirely until you have recovered fully. 6. Effort: Again, regardless of if you are a beginner or advanced yogi you should never strain when practicing yoga. This is especially true when doing the breathing exercises. As indicated above, pranayama, which means the expansion and control of prana, deals with the nuclear energy of atoms and progress should be made gently and systematically. This is even more applicable for any pranayama that requires you to hold your breath in or out for prolonged periods of time. If at all you feel uncomfortable while practicing a pranayama, stop, take a break and restart again when you feel ready. 7. Cautions: Dont practice any heat generating pranayamas while sitting directly under the hot sun. This can aggravate the heat in the system (pitta). Similarly, choose pranayamas according to conditions and state of your health. In other words, dont practice Sheetali Pranayama if you are suffering from a cold or chest congestion, etc. The following Overview of Ayurveda can be a helpful guide to you on this topic as well. 8. Location: Try to practice in a well-ventilated room with plenty of fresh air.

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Summary Yoga Pranayama is perhaps the best part of yoga. All the various types of yoga have contributed to this profound science and the following 2 e-books should give you plenty of techniques to incorporate into your daily practice: Free Online Yoga Pranayamas EBook and Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercises Videos. If you are just beginning your yoga practice, definitely incorporate pranayama into it, if you are an adept yogi and have not indulged in pranayama, then its overdue that you take advantage of this warehouse of profound wisdom.

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Chapter 8 How to Meditate


Learn to Meditate Meditation Instructions with Illustrations Learning how to meditate is the most important part of being a human being. In fact, to uncover and embrace all that you are, meditation is the key. Meditation reveals to you the Truth of your infinite, divine nature, and there are absolutely no material equivalents to these discoveries. Along the way to Self-Realization, many other priceless benefits are also bestowed by meditation practice, and I have detailed those in the following article to help motivate you even further: Top 10 Benefits of Meditation. So given how important meditation is, in this article, I would like to teach you step by step how to learn and practice this great art. Preparation for Meditation: One of the most important aspects of learning how to meditate and reaping the rewards of this spiritual science is to develop a consistent, daily practice. Without such a practice, you are unlikely to master this subtle art. I have previously discussed some tips on how to accomplish this in a few articles such as, Tips and Tools for Daily Meditation Practice and How Much Time Should You Meditate for Daily, and I would like to summarize all that wisdom for you here today. So below are guidelines of what you need to set-up in order to maximize your chances of learning and succeeding in meditation. 1. Meditation Time: To really increase the chances of meditation becoming an integral part of your life, set a particular time of day when you plan to meditate. Preferably this should be early in the morning if possible (See: How to 43

Become an Early Riser), but if not, then some other time of day when you can do your meditation consistently is also fine. For beginners, the optimum configuration is 2 times per day, 20 minutes each session, once in the morning, once in the evening. This configuration has been proven time and again to be the best for those just learning to meditate. 2. Meditation Space: Not far behind Meditation Time, is Meditation Space, if you want to learn meditation and establish a long-term, consistent practice. Having a space put aside for meditation, will make it much easier to do your daily meditation, and also help induce the right state of mind for meditation. The space should be inspiring, clean and simple, so that once you enter it, your mind reflects the outer order, thus making it easier to concentrate and penetrate beyond the superficial levels of consciousness. 3. Meditation Tools: Dont underestimate the importance of simple meditation tools to help you learn and master this art. A good meditation cushion, or Zafu will help you with your posture and relieve you of back pain. Proper meditation attire will keep your blood circulating and prevent your legs from falling asleep. A stopwatch will help you stay focused during meditation, as it will relieve the need to constantly check the time. Some incense, or a candle, will help calm the mind and inspire your spiritual nature. So put these items in place, as they will not just inspire, but also help prevent some of the common pitfalls that derail an early meditation practice. The Tips & Tools article above, gives you more information on this. You can purchase such items at your favorite yoga and meditation supplies store, or by visiting one of my partners if you like (Yoga Accessories).

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Meditation Posture: Once you have established your place and time. The next step is actually getting down to meditating. Although you can meditate sitting up straight on a chair or lying flat on your back, the traditional postures of meditation are sitting cross-legged with certain mudras (hand positions in place). These postures are the best for meditating and if you are learning how to meditate, I strongly suggest trying one of these sitting postures first. Below I am going to show you three postures that are excellent for meditation. One is a basic posture, the second is a typical Hindu meditation posture, and the third is a typical Buddhist meditation posture. How to Meditate Illustrations:

Basic Meditation Posture

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Hindu Meditation Mudra - Gyan Mudra

Hindu Meditation Posture

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Buddhist Meditation Mudra - Cosmic Mudra

Buddhist Meditation Posture

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How to Sit for Meditation: For all the postures above, following is common. 1. Sit up nice and tall, keeping your spine straight. 2. Pull your chin back slightly, like a soldier at attention, to align the back of the neck with the spine. 3. If possible sit in Burmese Style (or Full Lotus if you can). In Burmese Style fold your left leg in, and then place your right leg in front of it. The knees are touching the floor as shown above. This forms a very strong base, and also with the legs not on top of each other, prevents common leg issues, when meditating for longer periods of time. 4. For the hand position, there are 3 variations I have given above. Here are the details.

Drona Mudra: In this position (First Illustration), simply place your hands on your knees as shown. Gyan Mudra: This is typically used in the Hindu/Sikh traditions, where your thumb tips and index finger are meeting and the other three fingers are extended as shown. This closes a particular subtle energy circuit in the body, and helps the mind go inward for meditation. Cosmic Mudra: Place your right hand on your lap, and then gently place the left over it and have the thumb tips gently touching as I have demonstrated above. This is another excellent mudra for inducing a meditative state of mind. It is used in Buddhist meditation, especially Zen.

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How to Meditate: Now that you have got yourself into your meditative space and taken the right meditation posture, it is time to actually start meditating . To do this, the final step is to choose what type of meditation you are going to practice. I have given a wide range of meditations in the Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques E-book and I have also broken down meditations with regard to benefits, in the article Meditation Techniques | the Ultimate Guide, but for those who are just learning to meditate I would suggest starting with Breath Meditation first. This is a simple technique with profound benefits. It is the meditation of Lord Buddha. I have given details of this meditation in the article Zen Meditation Technique, but I will offer them here as well.

Once you take your posture, you can either close your eyes, or as it is in traditional Zen practice, keep them open with an unfocused gaze on the floor in front of you. Also, once you take your posture you should remain absolutely still, as if frozen in time. Next bring your awareness to your breathing and begin to count your breaths from 1 to 10, with each inhalation and exhalation incrementing the count. Once you get to 10, come back to 1 and start over. So you would do 5 completes breaths to get from 1 to 10. If your mind wonders during this time, simply see your thought, let it go and return to your count. If you get lost in your thinking, then again, simply see the thoughts that carried you away, let them go and return to 1, and start over.

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Above are the basic instructions for breath meditation practice and it is a great way for you to learn how to meditate. The simple act of watching your breath in this way, will teach you great concentration, expand your awareness and give you mastery over your mind and body. As your meditation practice deepens, you can expand your awareness to be mindful of not just your breath, but of any sensations that arise in your body, any feeling or emotions that come up, and finally develop the art of watching and comprehending your thoughts from moment to moment. Perceiving your thinking mind and having direct insight into the false nature of duality and thoughts is the ultimate goal of meditation. For this advanced version of Insight Meditation, see the article Silent Mind Meditation Technique. How to Meditate Summary: One of the most important goals of this website, is to help you master the art of meditation. As I mentioned at the very beginning, this is where the real treasures of life are found. Once you learn how to meditate, you will learn about your true infinite nature and see the perfection that is inherent in every moment of your life. One final resource I would like to mention to help you learn to meditate if you are just getting started is the free online meditation class offered here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga. Below is the link to this class enjoy! Learn How to Meditate | Beginners Meditation Class

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Chapter 9 Simple Yogic Breathing


Yoga Breathing I was just updating the ongoing Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercises E-book, with the recent Seetkari Yoga Pranayama article, when I realized I had not yet published the most fundamental and basic Yoga Breathing Technique - The Yogic Breath or Simple Yoga Breathing . The online pranayama (yoga breathing exercises) e-book has some excellent techniques of course, such as Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama, Kundalini Yoga Breath of Fire, Alternate Nostril Yoga Breathing, but it does not have the Simple Yogic Breath, which is a must. So today I am going to detail this breathing technique, which is capable of transforming your entire physical, mental and emotional state. Yogic Breathing is not really a technique, as really it should be the way you breathe all the time if possible. So learning and practicing this technique will help you regain your natural breathing pattern and along with it the many associated benefits. Below I explain this technique in detail and take you step by step in how to practice it. Please also read the Beginners Guide to Yoga Breathing Exercises to familiarize yourself with general guidelines on how to practice yoga pranayama. Benefits of Yogic Breathing: Physical: Improves lung capacity and helps treat all respiratory ailments such as asthma, etc. Improves the intake of Prana (life-force) to help the entire system rejuvenate and regenerate.

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Helps to detoxify the body and increases oxygen supply to the blood stream. Helps the cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems. Helps the mind, body and senses come into rhythm and better coordinate function.

Mental and Emotional:


Slows down the thinking process and calms the mind. Helps dissolve stress. Reduces anger and irritation. Promotes a sense of peace and tranquility. Improves awareness and mental clarity. Helps you evolve spiritually.

Cautions for Yogic Breathing: There are not many cautions for practicing Simple Yogic Breathing, just give yourself some time in developing the right rhythm and pace as it could take time to break old habits of shallow, rapid and wrong breathing. Step-by-step Instruction on How to Do Simple Yoga Breathing Technique: To practice Yogic Breathing sit up in a comfortable position, you can sit cross-legged or on a chair if needed. It is also excellent to practice on your back in Corpse Pose (see Best Relaxation Yoga Technique Corpse Pose). There are 2 distinct parts to Yogic Breathing and I will explain each of those below as well. 52

If you are sitting, elongate your spine upwards place your hands on your knees and relax. Next close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. First you should begin with Diaphragmatic Breathing. Which means to breathe into the abdomen. Also called Abdominal Breathing. To do this, as you inhale allow your diaphragm to move down and stomach move out (expand). Try to only use your abdomen, not allowing the chest to rise (or fall) as best you can. On the exhalation, let the diaphragm move up and he stomach move in towards the spine. So only your stomach region is rising and falling on inhalation and exhalation. Continue on for 2 minutes, just using your stomach/diaphragm to breathe. Now try Thoracic Breathing, which is done by just using the Chest region. To do this, as you inhale only allow your chest to expand. At the end of the inhalation make a small effort so even the shoulder rise slightly to complete the inhalation. On the exhalation let the shoulders and then the chest deflate. Begin filling the chest from the bottom up on the inhalation and emptying it from the top down on the exhalation. Again, try not to let the abdomen rise and fall while doing this phase. Continue on for 2 minutes. Now combine both Abdominal Breathing and Thoracic Breathing and you will have Yogic Breathing . To do this on inhalation let the air first fill your abdominal region and then move upwards into your chest region and finally filling out your upper chest with the slight rise of the shoulders. Then on the exhalation, let the chest empty and then your abdomen, finally pulling the stomach in towards the spine to fully expel all the air. Continue on for 5 53

to 10 minutes and see how wonderful you feel. There is another variation to Yogic Breathing, which is also very good and one I prefer, and that is the simultaneous expansion (rise) of the abdomen and chest on inhalation and simultaneous contraction (fall) of both regions on exhalation. So as you inhale let the diaphragm push down and stomach expand out, while at the same time let the chest and shoulder rise. Then allow them to fall and contract on the exhalation. There is no gap between exhalation and inhalation. As you practice, the goal is for the whole process to become smooth and effortless. Also, for the whole process to happen not in segments but as an integration whole. Like a gentle wave rising and falling. Going forward when I refer to Yogic Breathing I will refer to this description I have given above. I especially suggest you try the simultaneous rise and fall method I described above and I am sure you will find that most rewarding.

Simple Yogic Breath Tips and Tricks: Here are some nice tips to help you master this all important breathing technique. If you are having problems with Yogic Breathing, I suggest lying in front of a mirror and placing 2 heavy books on top of you. One on your abdomen and one on your chest. Then you should first practice Abdominal Breathing and just concentrate of having the book on the stomach rise and fall, after which you should just do Thoracic Breathing and have the book on the chest rise and fall. After that I suggest trying either of the 2 ways I have described Yogic Breathing. Having both stomach and chest rise and fall, or 54

having them flow sequentially as I have described above. Yogic breathing is excellent to practice in Corpse Pose to achieve deep relaxation. If you are suffering from stress or anxiety I strongly suggest 11 minutes of this practice everyday. It has been known to significantly help with hypertension and high blood pressure. In time, a good rhythm to shoot for is 12 complete breath cycles per minutes, with inhalation being slightly longer than the exhalation for each cycle. Try to do Yogic Breathing without making a sound. This will help make the breath very fine and silky, which in turn will bring great calm and peace to the mind, body and emotions.

Yogic Breathing can be done anytime and should certainly become a key part of your practice and life. It will also be incorporated into some of the new free yoga and meditation classes that we run here on the Mastery of Meditation and Yoga website.

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Chapter 10 Corpse Pose for Deep Relaxation


You may have noticed the emphasis I place on doing a period of relaxation after any set of yoga exercises or difficult Kundalini Yoga techniques. The importance of this relaxation phase should not be underestimated. During this time, the body and mind get a chance to assimilate the energy and changes that are produced by the yoga exercises, and this opportunity is essential for making the most of the work you have just put in. There are quite a few relaxation techniques available, but without a doubt the very best relaxation exercise is Yoga Corpse Pose. Relaxation, of course, has many more benefits that just providing the space for energy assimilation after yoga exercises, and so it is certainly a very valuable skill to own and master for healthy and peaceful living. To that end, Corpse Pose is great to practice if you are going through a stressful and tense time in your life, are fighting any health issues or if you are simply interested in cultivating a relaxed and peaceful mind and body. Despite how simple an exercise Corpse Pose might seem and despite thinking that relaxation is a natural state, you will be surprised how difficult this actually can be for people to do. The habit of endless thinking, worrying, stressing, planning, etc, has become hard to shake in today's hectic world, thus making the simple and natural state of relaxation hard to access. Perhaps even enlightenment is easier today to achieve than relaxation . This is all the more reason that we need to consciously practice relaxation and stress relief, so that we can enjoy the bountiful benefits this blessed state bestows. For successful relaxation, whether it is via the practice of Corpse Pose or some other technique, breath is going to always be a key 56

component. Breath can be used to not only signal the mind and body that it's relaxation time, but it can also be used as a mechanism in relaxation visualization techniques to help promote this state. Furthermore, by the simple use of the breath, stress relief can be achieved anytime, even when lying on your back and playing dead is not quite appropriate . So in the practice section below, be sure to pay particular attention to this aspect. In the practice section below you will also find several variation of how to take full advantage of Corpse Pose to not just relax, but also to do conscious stress relief and to set the optimum state for affirmations and visualizations. Corpse Pose will be included in our ongoing Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book and it will also be part of our Hatha Yoga Poses E-book, as this essential technique is common to all schools of yoga. For another excellent relaxation technique you can read the article on the Meditation Technique for Relaxation & Stress Relief. Benefits of Corpse Pose Relaxation Technique: Allows surrender to Infinity so it can speak to us. Allows surrender to the Universe so she can heal and rejuvenate us. Allows surrender to the body and indicates trust in it's ability to heal itself. Creates a highly conducive state for self-healing to take place. Helps the mind and body deeply relax and promotes stress relief. Allows the mind and body to assimilate the gains from previously done yoga exercises.

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Creates a state optimum for visualization techniques to be implemented thus, helping one manifest one's desires and intentions. Allows one to be free from worry and anxiety, thus promoting a peaceful and serene mind and body. Helps one combat insomnia and sleep peacefully.

Corpse Pose Relaxation Technique Basic Practice Details: Lie on your back and close your eyes. Have your legs shoulder width apart and allow the feet to fall away naturally. Have your arms outstretched and along the sides of your body, about 12 inches away. Have your palms facing up and allow the finger curled naturally. If necessary use a rolled blanket or small pillow under your knees to take pressure off your lower back. You can also use a light blanket to stay warm as the body will cool down when relaxed. Now start to take a deep breath, allowing it to fill your abdomen first and then letting the air fill you chest. Without pausing exhale, allowing the air to empty your chest first and then your abdomen. Your diaphragm should push down and out, expanding your stomach as you inhale, and then up and it pulling in your stomach as you exhale. Take 5 such deep long breaths to help melt away tension and stress. After the 5 long deep breaths, simply let go of everything and allow yourself to sink deeper and deeper into the floor and deeper and deeper into nothingness. Let go of all your worries, anxieties, problems, tensions, goals and plans. Allow the entire body, mind and breath to relax. Just relax completely and surrender to Infinity. Allow Infinity to do 58

what is necessary with you. Feel peaceful and quiet, and with every breath allow yourself to let go even more and relax even more deeply. Continue on for the duration of the relaxation period. Time is open for this exercise.

Corpse Pose for Conscious Stress Relief & Relaxation: In this variation you can use Corpse Pose to consciously relax and let go of tension in various parts of the body. To do this follow the steps above up to the point where you have completed the 5 long deep breaths. Now begin to scan your body starting with your feet and move upwards. For each part of your body, as you inhale, visualize white light entering that part and as you exhale visualize any tension stored in that area leaving your system. Move up at any pace you like, until you reach the crown of your head. So consciously relax your feet, shins, knees, thighs, buttocks, hips, stomach, chest, shoulders, arms, forearms, hands, neck, chin, mouth, cheeks, eyes, forehead, head, etc. See if you can find where you tend to store stress and tension, and then as you develop this familiarity, ensure you spend extra time in that region letting go of the stress.

Corpse Pose for Affirmation and Visualization: In this variation you can use Corpse Pose to set the optimum stage for visualization techniques and affirmations to work. To do this follow the steps above up to the point where you have completed the 5 long deep breaths. Now begin to breathe in a conscious rhythm where you are doing twelve breath cycles per minute. Each inhalation and exhalation cycle counts as one breath and you want to be at 12 such 59

breaths a minute. This will be slower that the 15-17 breaths you currently take per minute and this rhythm sets the stage for communicating with your Higher Self and the Universe. So once you reach 12 breaths per minute, stay there for a few minutes and then begin whichever visualization technique or affirmation you wish to practice. You will find yourself much more successful with them now.

Hope you enjoy this technique and it helps you get rid of stress, find peace and master the all important art of relaxation.

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Chapter 11 Best Yoga Asana for Meditation


Kundalini Yoga Asana for Meditation Hatha Yoga Asana for Everyday Practice Yoga Butterfly Asana (pose), just like Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose, is recommended by kundalini yoga as an exercise that should be an integral part of your daily yoga practice. As this pose is part of both hatha yoga and kundalini yoga, it is part of both e-books, Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses E-Book. Butterfly Pose, or Pooran Titali Asana, is how I always start my yoga practice. I remember doing this pose way back in high school during tennis warm-ups. I liked it back then and I still like it now. This asana not only works to raise the frequency of your sexual energy, so that it can be used to enrich the higher centers, but it also promotes flexibility in the all important groin region and hips. Us marathon mediators understand well the importance of flexibility in these regions, as this helps us to sit for long periods of time. In fact, if there is one asana I was asked to recommend to help yogis sit in meditation, it would be Pooran Titali Asana. Below you will find some illustrations of this simple yoga asana. I have shown two variations for the hand position and there are also two variations of how this stretch can be done, which I discuss in the practice section below.

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Butterfly Yoga Asana for Meditation

Picture of Pooran Titali Asana 1

Picture of Yoga Butterfly Asana 2

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Yoga Butterfly Asana for Meditation: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Butterfly Asana:

Sit up straight and bring the soles of your feet together in front of you. Wrap your fingers around your toes (illustration #1) and gently pull your heels in towards your groin. Keeping your back straight, lean forward from the waist as far as comfortable. You should feel a good stretch in your groin region. Use your elbows as levers to push down on your calves or inner thighs. You may do this stretch with the Breath of Fire or with Long Deep Breathing.

b. Duration for Butterfly Asana:

1 - 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Butterfly Asana:

Excellent yoga asana to improve the flexibility in the groin and hips region. Both important regions for helping to sit in meditation. This asana transmutes sexual energy into higher frequencies, allowing it to be used to nourish and heal the higher chakra points. For more information on chakras you can read Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview.

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d. Practice Tips for Butterfly Asana:

A hand position variation you can use for this asana is shown in illustration #2. Here I wrap my hands around my ankles instead. This technique can sometimes provide a more intense stretch. Also, notice in illustration #2, how I am using my elbows to accentuate the stretch by pressing down on my inner thighs. Another variation to how this asana can be practiced is by bouncing your knees gently (like a butterfly flapping its wings), instead of holding the stretch steadily. In this variation, make sure you dont force the legs too much. To assist in this variation you can also hold your knees and press down gently on the downward stroke. This technique helps open up the hips more.

As the end of this asana, you can inhale deeply, hold your breath and apply root lock (or mula bandha) to help redirect the energy back into the spinal cord. Root lock is described in the following article: Raja Yoga Set for Awakening Kundalini Shakti.

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Chapter 12 Best Hatha Yoga Pose for Spontaneous Healing


Hatha Yoga Pose for Health & Healing Kundalini Yoga Posture for Self-Healing If you decide that you are going to do just one hatha yoga pose a day, I would tell you to choose this one. It is called Paschimothan Asana, or simply The Forward Bend. This terrific posture also goes by some other names, such as Seated Head to Toe Pose and Back Stretching Pose. This pose is also a key component of kundalini yoga and according to kundalini Yoga; it is a fundamental stretch that you should perform every single day. As this pose is part of both hatha yoga and kundalini yoga, it is part of both e-books, Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses E-Book. In hatha yoga, this yoga asana can be categorized as both, a forward bending posture or a seated posture. The reason why this pose is so highly recommended is because when it comes to healing and longevity, no other posture is as effective. Spontaneous healing, miraculous healing, conscious healing has all been attributed to doing Paschimothan Asana. And, as if that was not enough, this pose also has other important health benefits, which are detailed below the illustration. Thanks to my wife Trupti for the following fine illustration of Back Stretching Pose. Yes, I managed to tear her away briefly from the children to help with the blog again. You will find her singing contribution in the article, The Greatest Vedic Devotional Mantra, and below I got her to put her artistic skills to good use as well in 65

exchange, of course, for doing innumerable house hold chores and changing dirty diapers, so I hope you all appreciate the effort here: -D. Back Stretching Pose for Health & Healing

Picture of Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose

Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

Sit with both legs extended straight in front of you. Make sure the legs are parallel and feet pointing straight up. Reach forward with your hands and hold onto your legs as low as possible without bending the knees. If you can hold your toes thats great, if not, arch them back towards you while holding your shins, knees or thighs. This will

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ensure you are stretching the calves and nerves.

As you reach towards your feet, ensure you are bending from the waist and try to keep the back as straight as possible. Try to bring the forehead to the knees if possible.

b. Duration for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

1 minute - 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

Excellent yoga pose to promote natural and spontaneous healing. Bestows health and longevity. Expands your entire nervous system, especially stretching the sciatic nerve, whose length, according to kundalini yoga, is directly related to the length of your life. The asana also promotes flexibility and strength in the hamstrings and calves. The pose stretches the entire back, with emphasis on the lumbar spine. Excellent posture to tone and rejuvenate the entire digestive system and all the important digestive organs. The liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, stomach all benefit from this pose. Helps fight obesity. Helps dissolve blockages that run along the shushumna (primary psychic channel for the flow of prana and kundalini. For more on

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this topic, see Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview). d. Practice Tips for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

Do not strain excessively when doing this stretch. When doing the pose, start off stretching gently and as your body gets warmed up, extend the stretch further. Try not to hunch over as much, instead try to concentrate of bending forward from the hips. As a variation to holding your toes, you can instead hold your big toes only and pull back on them. It is MUCH more important to keep your legs straight, than it is to reach your toes. Try to keep the back as straight as possible. As an additional chakra breathing meditation for this pose, as you inhale feel or visualize energy being drawn in from the soles of your feet, up along the back of your legs to the base of your spine, and then as you exhale, visualize the energy passing up the center of the spine and then out through the crown of your head. Continue to do long deep breathing is this manner as you hold the pose.

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Chapter 13 Simple Yoga Pose for Full Body Flexibility | Triangle Pose
The pose I will detail for you today, Triangle Pose, is one of those yoga poses that gives you a great many variations to choose from. From the base position you can take multiple postures and derive a wide range of benefits from each. These many variations to Triangle Pose give opportunities to both beginners and experts to find positions and movements that suit their level, which is why this is one of the most common poses you will find in yoga. Other great benefits of Triangle Pose are that it is capable of working on both your strength and flexibility at the same time, and also work on your upper body and lower body simultaneously as well. So with this one pose and it's many variations you can certainly extract a lot of good for your body all at the same time . Furthermore, due to the flexibility that this pose offers, you will be able to see your progress as you move from the easy variations to the more difficult ones. Of course, the wise yogi should not rush so please follow the guidelines I have outlined in the 2 documents below. Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Triangle pose will make a nice addition to the Standing Poses section of our ongoing Free Online Hatha Yoga Book and, as it is a common pose used in other types of yoga, including Kundalini Yoga, it will also be part of our Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book. Below you will find illustrations of this pose, along with practice details, benefits and other related information.

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Triangle Pose for Strength and Flexibility

Illustration of Triangle Pose Variation Kara Leah Grant illustrates the above pose. You will find much more great yoga information on her great yoga site Yoga Lunchbox (http://theyogalunchbox.co.nz/).

Triangle Yoga Pose: A. How to Do Triangle Pose: Stand straight up with feet spread wide apart as in the illustration above.

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Raise your arms up to shoulder level, out to the side, elbows straight with fingers extended and palms facing down. This is a base beginning position. From here you can come into many of the different variations. Variation 1: Turn your left foot so it is pointing to your left, while keeping the right foot pointing straight. Then bend to the left and reach down towards your toes with your left hand. You may bend your left knee slightly if necessary, but try to keep the body from leaning forward if possible. At the same time let your right hand reach straight up, palms facing forward. Once you come into the pose hold it for 10 - 60 seconds and then do the other side. This variation is great for bestowing flexibility. Variation 2: As a variation to the above pose you may do the pose as illustrated above, where you bend one leg to 90 degrees at the knees and rest your elbows on the thigh as shown. This pose is more strength oriented and is a mix of warrior pose and triangle pose. Again you should do both sides and hold for 15 seconds to 1 minute or more. Variation 3: Another variation is to reach down and across with the opposite hand to the opposite foot and hold the pose while reaching down towards your toes in this way. The other hand goes straight up in the air. Again try to keep the knees straight if you can, but bend the knees if you need to or just reach down as far as possible. In this variation you should keep your feet pointing forward and not force the stretch. Again hold for 10 60 seconds. This is an excellent pose for improving your flexibility.

B. Duration for Triangle Pose: Varies as per the variation or level. Generally 10 seconds to 1 minute is typical.

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C. Benefits of Triangle Pose: Great simple stretch for the entire body. Especially for the lower back, sides, shoulders, hamstrings and calves. Helps stretch and strengthen the spine and relieve back pain. Helps stretch the ligaments and joints as well. Stretches the side abdominal muscles as well. Good way to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Helps strengthen and tone the thighs and buttocks. Helps open the shoulders and chest.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Triangle Pose: This is a great yoga pose and as I mentioned above, you should find a variation suitable to your level and include it in your practice. This is a wonderful pose with which to help open up and stretch your entire body. Always come into the final positions slowly to ensure you don't risk injury. Generally Triangle Pose is done with normal slow breathing and if you are going to do the poses in a flow, inhale when you rise up and exhale when you bend down.

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Chapter 14 Easy Yoga Pose for Stretching and Warming Up | Palm Tree Pose
During my Kundalini Yoga teacher's training course, we were required to take yoga classes from different types of yoga, as well as yoga classes taught by other teachers. One such class was a Hatha Yoga Class, with an excellent teacher. During this class, one of the poses we practiced was a very simple and easy looking pose, designed to stretch the entire body. Sure it was an easy yoga pose, but boy did this simple posture end up giving us a great sweat and workout. Today's yoga pose is a variation of this very pose and I am sure you too will learn how to use this simple exercise as a great full body stretch. The pose is called the Palm Tree Pose in Hatha Yoga and the variation we practiced was called Mountain Pose. One of the first rules of doing yoga is to make sure you do easy poses first and then after you are nicely warmed up move onto more difficult poses and sets. Palm Tree Pose is perfect for the warm-up section of your practice. Since it is a very simple exercise, it is also very safe to do, and in addition, it helps to stretch the entire body nicely, thus preparing it for the tougher yoga that is to come. For more guidelines on doing yoga properly please refer to the following to articles: Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice I noticed recently that although we have many yoga poses in our Free Online Hatha Yoga Book, our Standing Poses Section needs to be beefed up a little. Palm Tree pose will contribute nicely towards this section and I will be adding some more standing poses in the near future as well. In general, the standing yoga postures tend to be easier and simpler than poses from the other categories. Palm Tree pose will also be added to our Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book. 73

Below you will find an illustration of this posture, along with practice details, benefits and other related information.

Easy Yoga Pose - Palm Tree Pose


Palm Tree Pose - Easy Yoga Pose: A. How to Do Palm Tree Pose: Stand straight up with feet about shoulder width apart. Keep your eyes open and focus on a point in front of you to help you keep your balance. Advanced practitioners can also look upwards. Interlace your finger, stretch your arms up and have your palms facing UP. Now slowly rise up onto your toes and STRETCH UPWARDS. Breathe normally and hold this pose for the duration of the exercise. Keep STRETCHING. The key to getting the most out of this pose, is to keep stretching upwards. This aspect makes the pose very effective. This pose has a few variations to this exercise and below I give 2 good ones. Variation 1: After you reach up, bend to the left and hold, then come back to center. Then bend to the right and hold. Repeat stretching gently from side to side for the remainder of the exercise. This is called Swaying Palm Tree, and is also a nice easy way to stretch and warm-up. Variation 2: In the version I referred to above, called Mountain Pose, you don't interlace your fingers. Instead keep the palm wide open, facing forward with the fingers all stretched and pointing upwards. Then STRETCH upwards, consciously 74

stretching every joint and reaching towards the sky. In this pose, you can also stretch left and right if you like. B. Duration for Palm Tree Pose: 15 seconds - 3 minutes. C. Benefits of Palm Tree Pose: Great easy stretch for the entire body. Helps stretch and strengthen up the joints. Helps stretch the ligaments as well. Stretches the side abdominal muscles and back as well. Good for your back and spine. Good way to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Helps build balance and mental focus.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Palm Tree Pose: This is a nice easy pose which almost everyone can practice without any problems. If you really stretch well, you will be able to break a sweat even while doing such a simple pose.

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Chapter 15 Yoga Exercise for Emotional Health | CatCow


Yoga Pose for Emotional Balance
Although the following Kundalini Yoga exercise is something that beginner's can easily practice, it is also an exercise that is recommended by yoga to be done everyday regardless of your level of expertise. This is because of the important benefits that this simple exercise bestows. Cat-Cow yoga exercise is the sixteenth entry of our Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-Book and, as it is also a part of Hatha Yoga practice, it is also part of the Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses E-book. The most important benefit of cat-cow is that it helps cleanse emotional debris that we end up accumulating in our gut/diaphragm region. This emotional debris then creates blockages in the flow of energy both up and down our main chakras (see Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview for more details on chakras). By dissolving these blockages in our energy pathways, cat-cow, helps to not only resolve remnants of old emotional traumas, pains, jealousies, anger and hurts, but also helps restore balance to the entire system. Below you will find two illustrations of cat-cow pose. The first picture is of cow pose and the second, is of cat pose. Details of how to practice this exercise are in the instructions below.

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Yoga Cat-Cow Pose for Emotional Balance

Illustration #1: Kundalini Yoga Cow Pose

Illustration #2: Kundalini Yoga Cat Pose

Kundalini Yoga Cat-Cow Technique Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Cat-Cow Technique:

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Come onto the floor on all fours. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, about shoulder width apart and knees are directly under your hips, about hip distance apart. Now come into cow pose by bringing your head up, while at the same time pushing your stomach down (as in illustration #1 above). Your eyes should be open and you should be looking upwards, thus giving your optical nerve and eye muscles a toning massage. Inhale deeply as you come into this posture. Next bring your head down and your chin towards your chest as you arch your back up like a cat (pressing your stomach up as in illustration #2). Exhale fully as you come into this pose. Start off at a slow pace, holding each position for a few seconds or more, and then begin to move faster as you feel yourself warming up. Only go as fast as you find comfortable, moving between cow pose and cat pose.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Cat-Cow Technique: 1 minute - 11 minutes. Start slowly and build up your time steadily from there.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Cat-Cow Technique: Clears emotional debris, thus promoting good emotional health and balance. Clears blockages in the energy pathways caused by unresolved emotions, thus helping energy flow to take place between the higher and lower chakras. Excellent exercise for your entire back and spine. Massages all 72,000 nerve junctions that lie along the spinal cord. Helped me cure whip lash I once got :-D. Great for the optical nerve and eyes. Gives you sparkly eyes.

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Good to regulate and balance the thyroid gland. Good for your arms and shoulders. Good for your digestive system.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Cat-Cow Technique: You can do this exercise, by either holding each position for a comfortable duration of time as you move between the poses, or doing the exercise by rapidly moving between the poses. Cat-Cow is a terrific exercise to start off your yoga session with. It warms up the cerebrospinal fluid which is absolutely essential to charge in order to get the most out of your yoga workout. The biggest mistake that yogis make, is that they rock back and forth. You should simply by arching your back and moving you head as indicated. You will also find this exercise demonstrated in the Free Online Yoga Exercise Videos in the Video for Spinal Warm-up. All the breathing should be done through the nose.

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Chapter 16 Cobra Pose for Healthy Back


Hatha Yoga Posture for Back and Digestion
Kundalini yoga's terrific cobra pose is the next entry in our Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses and Exercises E-Book. Here I would like to mention that Kundalini Yoga, as you can see, incorporates the postures and exercises from other types of yoga as well. Specially hatha yoga. In this way, Kundalini Yoga is like a superset of yoga poses and exercises and so is sometimes referred to as the Mother of all Yogas. For those keen on Hatha yoga poses only, I will be creating a separate e-book which will tease out those poses that are traditionally considered part of Hatha yoga and which form the basis of many other types of yoga practice. Cobra pose is one of those nice yoga postures, which is easy to do and bestows many, many important health benefits. It is not only great for the health and flexibility of your back and spine, but is also excellent for regulating your digestive system and toning other abdominal organs. Full benefits of this pose are listed below the illustrations in the practice instructions section. From a chakra point of view, cobra pose works on your sex (swadhisthan), navel (nabhi), heart (anahata) and throat (vishuddhi) chakras. That list should give you a good indication of how helpful this pose really is, as it works on four of the seven important chakras. Below you will find two illustrations of cobra pose. In this case you can use either pose. The first illustration shows cobra pose being done with straighter arms, while in the second the elbows are bent. Either way, the benefits are very similar and you are welcome to pick either or do either from time to time.

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Cobra pose can also be done with the eyes open or closed. With eyes open, one should look up as that also helps tone the optical nerve and is beneficial for your eyes and vision.

Yoga Cobra Pose for Healthy Back Picture of Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose w/ Straight Elbows

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose w/ Bent Elbows

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Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose: Lie flat on the floor, stomach down and feet extended. Place your hands near your shoulders and then raise your upper body and torso up off the ground. The upper thighs should remain on the floor. You back should arch up. Turn your head and look, upwards. Stretching your neck. You can either do Long Deep Breathing or do the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise. As a variation, you can go up and down in cobra pose. Coming up and breathing in, holding the position for a few seconds and then coming back down and exhaling.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:


15 Seconds - 7 minutes. Start slowly and build up your time steadily from there.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose: Very good for improving the health of the back and spine. Good for toning all the back muscles and tissue related to the vertebrae. Massages all the digestive organs improving both digestion and elimination. Works on balancing both the manipura (navel) chakra and the swadhisthan (sex) chakra. Works on all the nerve junctions that lie along the spine, as well as the important psychic channels that run through the spinal cord. 82

Works on improving functions of the ovaries and reproductive glands. Works on the thyroid and para thyroid glands and the vishuddhi (throat) chakra. Opens up the heart chakra (anahata) promoting softness of character. Good for improving vision and toning the optical nerve. Builds upper body strength. Specially the shoulders (deltoids), triceps and chest (pectoral) muscles. This is truer if you use the modified version of cobra pose where you go up and down.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose: Careful with your lower back! Do not over strain. Also, careful with the elbows if you are using the bent arm version. Going up and down in cobra pose is excellent for building strong arms, shoulders and chest muscles without risking injury.

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Chapter 17 Yoga Bridge Pose


Of all the different types of fitness exercises, yoga postures and poses are perhaps the best for helping to strengthen the back and help cure back problems and back pain. In a future article, I am going to summarize for you, all the great yoga exercises for helping you get your back strong and healthy, but in this article today I am going to present you with a fantastic yoga pose, which is perhaps the best posture for targeting the back and lower back muscles. It is called Yoga Bridge Pose and it will become a part of the Free Yoga Postures E-book hosted here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga. Yoga postures, not just help stretch the back, but there are also many great poses to help strengthen it. Bridge pose is one of these. Done regularly this pose will dramatically help strengthen your lower back and has a wide range of other excellent benefits as well. These are summarized below in the how to practice bridge pose section. One of the great things about yoga poses, is that single poses have multiple variations to them, which allow both beginners and advanced yogis to practice at a level suitable to their capacity. Bridge pose is a great example of such a flexible pose, and below I have given you several variations to integrate into your practice. All these variations carry the benefits of the pose and doing any of them is going to benefit your back and body. As always, please check with your medical care provider before embarking on any fitness regiment, including yoga, and please read our Legal Disclaimer. Also, please do follow the guidelines for practicing yoga that I have laid out in the following 2 documents. Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice

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Bridge pose is a fundamental yoga posture and is part of almost all types of yoga. It is also an integral part of Kundalini Yoga, thus it will also be added to our ongoing Free Online Kundalini Yoga Poses ebook. For those who are regular readers of the blog, you will know that one variation of Bridge Pose has already been presented as part of previous yoga sets. The easy version of this pose is part of the very popular Free Yoga Exercises for Beginners | Morning Wake-up Series and also, Free Kids Yoga Postures and Poses. In both those sets, it fills the need for strengthening and healing your back and body. Below you will find illustrations of Bridge Pose, along with practice details, benefits, cautions and other related information. I hope you enjoy and benefit from this pose and stay tuned for more free yoga postures coming soon.

Free Yoga Posture for Back - Bridge Pose Illustrations of Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose for Strengthening Back - Illustration #1

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Free Yoga Posture - Advanced Bridge Pose Illustration #2

Free Yoga Posture - Easy Bridge Pose Variation - Illustration #3 Free Yoga Posture - Yoga Bridge Pose for Strong Back: A. How to Do Bridge Pose: For the basic bridge pose, stretch your legs forwards and place your hands directly under your shoulders. Then raise your butt and torso up off the ground have it make a straight line all the way through to the top of your head. The final posture is shown above in illustration #1.

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Hold this posture doing Breath of Fire or Long Deep Breathing. You will feel it working your lower back, arms, shoulders, neck and hamstrings. Advanced Yoga Bridge Posture - Illustration #2: In illustration #2 above I have shown an advanced variation of this posture. Here you raise one leg up keeping it straight, while balancing yourself on the other leg. Switch legs between rounds. This pose will be tougher on the lower back and hamstrings, and only practice it when you feel good and ready. Beginner's Yoga Bridge Posture - Illustration #3: As I mentioned above, even the easy variation to Bridge Pose will be excellent for you back and body, so don't worry if need to do bridge pose as demonstrated above by my son Shivum in Illustration #3. This variation is also excellent for you. Here you have your knees bent at 90 degrees and are balancing on your hands and feet. In this posture, to really work your lower back, thrust your hips high into the air, so your torso is parallel to the ground. Bridge Pose with Movement Variation: Kundalini, Flow and Power Yogis know that using movement can often enhance the benefits of a particular posture, and that is certainly the case with Bridge Pose. To really have bridge pose work your back, arms and legs, raise yourself up and down for the duration of the exercise. So from the starting position, you want to come into bridge pose, and then lower yourself to the floor and then come into the pose again. This movement can be done for the easy or full version of bridge pose.

B. Duration for Bridge Pose: 15 seconds - 3 minutes.

C. Benefits of Bridge Pose: Excellent for strengthening the lower back. 87

Helps to stretch the lower back and alleviate lower back pain. Good for the immune, digestive and reproductive systems. Strengthens the arms, legs and shoulders. Good for your back and spine.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Bridge Posture: There are even more variations to bridge pose. One is with fingers pointing back instead of forward and reaching up as far as possible with your hips, thus arcing your back up. Another is letting your head drop back to stretch the neck. Finally, you can also push your feet down towards the floor. All these variations are valid and useful. If you have back problems, it is very important to progress slowly with these postures and exercises. The back needs to be strengthened over time so it can regain its health and flexibility. It is best to work with a yoga teacher when using yoga postures to deal with difficult back issues. Some strength is required to practice bridge pose, so make sure you work your way up gently if you are weak or unfit.

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Chapter 18 Spinal Warm-up Yoga Exercises


Free Online Book of Kundalini Yoga Poses and Kriyas - Spinal Warm-up Yoga Exercise Kundalini Yoga Kriyas: Hatha Yoga Poses: Yoga Meditation The first Kundalini Yoga Kriya we will explore is a very handy set called the Spinal Warm-up Kundalini Yoga Exercises. Kundalini Yoga Kriya #1 - Spinal Warm-up Kundalini Yoga Exercises THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO. BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Video of Spinal Warm-up Series from the Free Online Yoga Video series.

Purpose of Spinal Warm-up Kundalini Yoga Exercises: This kundalini yoga kriya is a very good set for doing as a warm-up before doing more advanced kriyas or doing independently if one is starting to put together their yoga practice. It very effectively warms up the most important part of the physiology, which are the entire back and especially the spinal cord region. Through the spinal cord runs the main subtle energy channel (shushumna nadi), which is considered the most important conduit for the movement of kundalini energy throughout the body. Also, along the spine lie the primary energy centers (chakras) and as kundalini energy moves up and down the spine it activates and balances the chakras and the associated organs and glands of that region.

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Description of Spinal Warm-up Kundalini Yoga Exercises: 1. Yoga Stomach Grind: a. Guided Instructions for Yoga Stomach Grind:

Sit up with your legs crossed. Hold onto your on your knees. Grind your stomach in a big circle counter clockwise for half the time of the exercise. Visualize drawing a big circle with your naval. Switch after half the time and grind your stomach clockwise.

b. Duration for Yoga Stomach Grind: 1-3 minutes c. Benefits of Yoga Stomach Grind:

Excellent yoga exercise for your digestive system as it gives all your important digestive organs a massage, forcing out toxins and waste into the elimination systems of the body. Works on the ileocecal valve insuring the proper direction for the flow of nutrients and waste. Warms up and loosens the lumbar area of the back.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Stomach Grind: Make sure you are not just leaning forward and back from the waist, this is the most common mistake people make. You have to arch your lower back forward and back as you make the circle.

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2. Spine Flex Yoga Exercise: (also called Yoga Camel Ride) a. Guided Instructions for Spine Flex Yoga Exercise:

Sit up on your heels and rest your hands on your knees (rock pose). Inhale and arch your back forward pushing your sternum out. Exhale and bring your sternum in, arching your back out. Continue at a comfortable pace and rhythm.

b. Duration for Spine Flex Yoga Exercise: 1-3 minutes c. Benefits of Spine Flex Yoga Exercise:

Stretches the middle back and spine. Opens up the solar plexus promoting better flow of energy between the lower and higher centers of the body. Improved emotional balance.

d. Practice Tips for Spine Flex Yoga Exercise: If you have hard time sitting on your heels you can place a small cushion under your feet/ankles for added comfort. 3. Cat-Cow Yoga Exercise: a. Guided Instructions for Cat-Cow Yoga Exercise:

Come onto your hands and knees, placing your hands shoulder width apart and knees hip distance apart.

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Inhale as you arch your back by pushing your stomach down and bringing your head up. Open your eyes and look upward. This is cow pose. Now, while exhaling, arch your back up by pushing your stomach up and bringing your head down (like a cat). Continue at a comfortable pace and rhythm going between the 2 poses.

b. Duration for Cat-Cow Yoga Exercise: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Cat-Cow Yoga Exercise:

Works on stretching your entire spine and strengthens all the nerve junctions that lie along the spinal cord. Give your entire system a glandular tune-up. Improves your eyesight and works on the optical nerve.

d. Practice Tips for Cat-Cow Yoga Exercise: Make sure, you are not rocking back and forth, just your spine (and head) are moving. 4. Yoga Twist: a. Guided Instructions for Yoga Twist:

Sit up with your legs crossed. Hold your shoulders with your fingers in front and thumb in back.

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Your elbows should be parallel to the ground and at shoulder level. Inhale as you twist to the left; exhale as you twist to the right. Your head moves with your torso.

b. Duration for Yoga Twist: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Twist:


Promotes flexibility in the entire back. Massages the inner organs.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga twist: The motion should be continuous and keep the pace at a level you are comfortable with. Slow down if you start to feel dizzy. 5. Yoga Neck Rolls: a. Guided Instructions for Yoga Neck Rolls:

Sit up with your legs crossed. Open your mouth as if in a half yawn. Roll your neck in a big circle going in one direction for half the time and then switch directions for the rest of the time.

b. Duration for Yoga Neck Rolls: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Neck Rolls:

Releases tension in the neck and shoulders.

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Promotes better blood flow to the brain and higher centers.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Neck Rolls: Spend additional time working on areas, which feel particularly tight or knotted.

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Chapter 19 Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise


Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama Yoga Breathing Exercise #1: The Breath of Fire THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK Breath of Fire Video - Free Online Yoga Videos What Is The Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama: The first Yoga breathing exercise we will explore lies at the heart of Kundalini Yoga practice, it is the legendary Breath of Fire Yoga Pranayama. As mentioned above this breathing exercise is absolutely essential to the practice of Kundalini Yoga. The roots of this pranayama are impossible to trace but I would like to thank my teacher Ravi Singh under whose expert guidance I learned this technique. Tools Required for Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama: Just your nose: -D. Benefits of Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama: Primary:

Quickly oxygenates your blood, thus helping the body detoxify itself and remove waste more effectively. Builds lung capacity and helps purify the respiratory system.

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Generates heat and increases your level of energy by activating the energy flows in your body. Synchronizes your entire system under one rhythm, thus promoting greater internal harmony and health.

Secondary:

Balances and strengthens the Nervous System. Magnifies the benefits of exercises done in conjunction with this breath. When done forcefully, the pulsating of the diaphragm massages the internal organs, thus improving the digestive system.

Cautions for Practicing Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

If you feel dizzy when practicing Breath of Fire, you should stop and substitute normal breathing. If you suffer from vertigo, you should use caution in practicing this breathing exercise. If you are menstruating you should not practice Breath of Fire, use Long Deep Breathing instead. You should be careful practicing Breath of Fire if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or suffer from stroke or epilepsy. Also, if you have acid or heat related gastric issues such as ulcers you should use caution.

How To Do Basic Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

To practice this breathing exercise, sit up in a comfortable position.

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Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Close your eyes. Rest your hands in any comfortable position. Relax your stomach muscles. Now begin to breathe rapidly through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation. It will be like very fast sniffing. Keep the breath shallow, just at the tip of the nose. Proceed at a comfortable pace and establish a steady rhythm. Pay no special attention to the chest or diaphragm other than staying relaxed. You will find the stomach will pulse on its own to the rhythm of the breath, continue for 1 minute. Thats it.

How To Do Intermediate Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:


Perform the breathing at a faster pace. Increase the duration of the exercise to 3 minutes

How To Do Advanced Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:


Build up the pace and power with which you do the breathing. Build up the time for this pranayama to 11 minutes.

Secret of Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama: So the trick question is, "How many breaths are you taking when doing the breath of fire yoga pranayama"? This will be of some special 97

concern to those who believe in the idea that each of us is born with a preset number of breaths and once we finish our quota - the fat lady sings. So for those folks it would be rather alarming to practice this exercise regularly, as they would be drastically reducing their life span - but thankfully they need not worry. The beauty of this breathing exercise, aside from its lengthy list of benefits, is that it registers to the brain as only 1 breath. So put your worries aside and enjoy the practice of this pranayama, which I have found to be one of the real gems of Kundalini Yoga.

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Chapter 20 Sound Awareness Meditation Technique


Free Online Guided Meditation Book for Daily Practice Background of Sound Awareness Meditation Technique: This simple, yet profound meditation technique does not belong to any particular religion or sect. Its origins, generally, lie in the Eastern Philosophies and due to its effectiveness various schools of meditation have adopted it. Tools required for Sound Awareness Meditation Technique:

An alarm clock, stopwatch or other time device.

Benefits of Sound Awareness Meditation Technique: Primary Benefits:


Builds choiceless awareness of the present moment. Builds ability of detached observation - ability to let go. Silences the mind of thoughts. Provides insight into the workings of your mind.

Secondary Benefits:

Develops the auditory system. Promotes health and wellbeing.

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Cautions for Practicing Sound Awareness Meditation Technique: Your auditory system will improve significantly by practicing this meditation technique, so please protect your ears when exposing yourself to very loud places as you will be more susceptible to sound induced hearing damage or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). If you feel the place is way too loud (like a dance club, rock concert, etc.) just use a common pair of ear plugs, they work fine. Guided Sound Awareness Meditation Technique: Follow the stepby-step guided meditation below to practice this technique.

Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. You may also lie on your back, sit on a chair or lean against a wall for this meditation. Set your alarm or other time device for 20 minutes. If sitting, elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Close your eyes. Rest your hands in any comfortable position. Close your mouth, swallow your saliva creating a slight vacuum and place your tongue against the roof of your mouth. After this point there should be absolutely no more movement of the body. No fidgeting, scratching, shifting - nothing - be like you are frozen in time. Take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose. This will oxygenate your blood and relax you.

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Now bring you attention to your breath without trying to manipulate it further in any way, just become aware of its flow. Spend a few minutes just observing it intimately till it starts to become regular and relaxed. At this point turn your attention to the ambient sounds in the environment. Slowly expand your awareness to the most distant sounds you can hear and start to pay close attention to them. Just listen to the actual sounds that are taking place without getting thinking involved as best you can. If the sound is constant, just attend to it, if it rises and then dissolves, notice that. The quality of your attention should be that of a detached witness - you are just standing apart and listening to the music of life. If you find yourself lost in a mental story line, notice those thoughts and then gently return your attention to the sounds you were attending to. Spend some time, up to five minutes or so listening to the far away sounds and then slowly bring you attention to sounds closer and closer to you. Continue this till you are listening to the sound of your breath or other sound in very close proximity to you. That is all there is to this simple, yet very effective meditation.

Hints and Tips for Sound Awareness Meditation Technique:

You can practice this meditation technique anywhere, so take advantage and experiment with it in various areas of your life. Try this meditation technique when it is raining, using the sound of the rain as the object of your careful attention. It helped reveal to me the secret below.

Secret of Sound Awareness Meditation Technique: This meditation technique is certainly designed to bring you into the present and develop your power of detached observation, but the illusion that this meditation works to dissolve is the illusion that there 101

is an inside and an outside. Listen very, very carefully and you will realize that all sounds are only taking place inside you. That everything is only taking place inside you. You are everything. Observer is the Observed. Tat Vam Asi - Thou Art That.

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Chapter 21 Week 2 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge: Expand your knowledge about the art of meditation. Learn the principles of living. Review of week one material.

Techniques: Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Basic Stretch Pose. Eagle Pose. Archer Pose. Spinal Twists. Jesus Pose. Plank Pose. Squats. Morning Wake-up Series. Kapalbhati Pranayama So Hum Mantra Meditation.

Articles for Study: 5 Key Principles of Living an Enlightened Life The Top 5 Mistakes in Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice Review the Articles from Week 1 so you have a sound foundation.

Daily Practice: Pranayama: 1-5 mins 103

Kapalbhati Pranayama

Yoga Poses: Each Day Learn and Practice 1 Pose - 5 mins


Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Power Eagle Pose for Powerful Aura Archer Pose for Self Confidence Yoga Spinal Twists for Lower Back Jesus Pose for Inner Strength Plank Pose for Upper Body Strength Deep Knee Bends for Lower Body Strength

Yoga Set: Each Day Practice the Set 5-15 mins

Morning Wake-up Series

Meditation: 10-15 mins So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique

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Chapter 22 5 Key Principles for Living an Enlightened & Good Life


Purpose Driven, Meaningful, Happy & Good Life Series I think its time to update the famous Yamas (Dos) & Niyamas (Donts) spelled out by the great Yoga Sage Patanjali. These observances are the ethical and moral requirements generally accepted by Yogic teachings. Dont get me wrong, I am a big fan of Patanjali and the Yoga Sutras, but frankly, I was never very impressed with the Yama Niyamas that he laid out in the Sutras. Furthermore, recently I am seeing many attempts to broaden and reinterpret the meanings of these observances to make them "fit" better and be more comprehensive, and I think these arguments are getting a bit out of hand. For example, "celibacy" is being translated as healthy sex with your partner if you are married and between the ages of 25 and 50 with no adultery. I mean come on, lets just be brave and come up with a new model. It could very well be that in Patanjalis time these Dos and Donts made sense, or it could be that they were meant for a different purpose than what is currently thought (I suspect Ashram rules to assist in the study of Yoga), but, in any case I think its time to put forth a new set of principles for enlightened living and that is the focus of this article. The 5 Universal Principles below for living an enlightened and good life is the result of decades of spiritual exploration, experimentation and self-study. These are the principles that I live by. They are my mantras, my vows and I have found them to be extremely helpful in navigating the waters of spiritual living and help forge a sweet life. First, I will just briefly list the original Yamas & Niyamas of Sage Patanjali, which can also be found in the article Introduction to the Universal Principles of Yoga, and then I will go into my 5 principles for 105

living an enlightened and good life. Original Yamas Nyamas from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Yamas: Yamas are self-restraints. They are non-violence, truth, control of sexual desires, stealing and covetousness (non-greed). Niyamas: Niyamas are self-observances. There are 5 niyamas. These are contentment, self-study, austerity, purity and devotion to the Lord.

New & Improved 5 Key Principles for Living an Enlightened and Good Life: 1. Relax: This principle is not to be brushed over. It is the key to developing the right approach towards life and all the twists and turns that inevitably come your way. If you can stay relaxed you will have a chance to break the reactive pattern of automatic response to conditions, thus, meeting more of the moment with more of your being. It all begins with having this ease of being. To relax means not to be easily swayed by the pull of dualities. Neither, buying excessively into the promises of gain nor fearing excessively the consequences of loss. Here are some articles that explore the concept of relaxation in more detail: Embrace Reality and Let the Universe Fulfill Your Desires, Shunryu Suzuki Speaks on Enlightenment & Zazen Practice and Today I Finally Passed the Test & Officially Became a Man. 2. Witness: This is a big task I know. No human being ever has or probably ever will be able to bear witness constantly to all that is taking place within their mind and body. That being said, the more you can do it the more awareness will illuminate the inner walls of your mind, thinking 106

and emotions. At the end witnessing is really all that is needed for enlightenment, so devote yourself to this practice of mindfulness. As Osho and Gurdjieff describe it, look with double arrowed awareness. One arrow observing, that which is being done, thought and felt, while one arrow observing the doer, thinker and feeler. This is the secret to self-knowledge and being a light onto yourself. In addition, witnessing is the basis of all insight meditation and you will find more details, hints and tips on this practice in the following articles: Brain Development & Enlightenment - Insight Meditation Part 3, Silent Mind Meditation Program - The Silent Mind Meditation Chapter 12 and The True Meaning of Laziness. 3. Affection: Forgive, be kind, be thoughtful, be nice, be good, be sensitive, be loving, be compassionate. All in all, its the practice of LovingKindness Meditation. Let me tell you the hard part here. It is easy to do all of the above when things are going your way, but can you do all of the above when things are not? As they say a well-fed dog is friendly, but the real nature will be revealed when he is hungry. So it is with us. We can put up our best when all is good, but can you do the same when you dont get what you want? When someone insults you? When your ego takes a hit? Will you be able to side with affection under duress or will the subconscious, hidden, egotistical nature take control? That is the real test of adhering to this principle of affection; be warned it is not easy, but if you wish to ascend this practice must be mastered. 4. Honesty: Absolute honesty I should say. In word, deed and behavior. You will have fun with this one. Just give it a try and you will be amazed by how much you learn about yourself. How hard the mind works to manipulate perception and procure security, without any consideration to what is true. I have gone into this concept in more detail in the 107

following article so head on over to read the nitty gritty: Silent Mind Meditation Program: Honesty - Chapter 6. An important tip, in the article, 10 Things to do Everyday for A Happy, Meaningful & Good Life, which I hope you are all following religiously :), item #7 speaks of doing your daily accounting at the end of the day. This is a great time to reflect on all the times during the day you were dishonest, insincere, hypocritical and pretentious. Please dont start judging yourself, simply maintain a healthy sense of humor and learn about the antics of your ego and mind. 5. Courage: By courage here, I also mean self-confidence and self-belief. Courage is important on 2 fronts. First, the path to enlightenment is ultimately walked alone. Without courage you will not get very far, as at the first sign of danger you will balk. Second, to live a good life means to live according to your passion and if you lack courage you are going to play it safe always and never take the necessary chances to follow your heart. This is another topic on which you can find lots more information here on Mastery of Meditation. I would suggest the following 4 articles to help explore this concept more: Silent Mind Meditation Program: Confidence - Chapter 5, Inspiring Osho Quote on How to Live Courageously, New Kundalini Yoga Classes & the Courage to Live Dangerously and How to Escape Your Suffering - The Blind Man vs. The Cripple. Conclusion: So these are my 5 golden rules for living an enlightened and good life. I try to review them every morning and have them posted in handy places as reminders as well. If you have a set of observances you follow or other techniques, which have helped you in your life, please share them with us, so others can benefit. 108

Chapter 23 Top 5 Mistakes in Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice


Art of Meditation: Personal Development & Spiritual Growth I have been practicing meditation now for over 23 years damn I must be getting old :-). In these 2 decades plus I have explored much of the spiritual landscape and discovered many of the profound treasures hidden there. Also, during this time I have made my share of mistakes and seen others make theirs. In this article I want to help you to avoid repeating some of these mistakes, especially those that are related to establishing a deep and strong Daily Personal Meditation Practice. Here are the top 5 mistakes people make when trying to setup their home meditation practice 1. Procrastinate Starting Your Daily Meditation Practice: As Lord Buddha said, "There are only 2 mistakes you can make in life. First mistake is not to take the first step and the second is that having taken the first step to not go all the way." I am amazed how few take the first step. Many people who talk and read about religion, spirituality, yoga, meditation, etc. never actually start a personal meditation program. They even come to me and discuss these matters in great detail, but never get down to doing it. Meditation in this regard is just like exercise, you can read every book on fitness, but until you break a sweat you will have zero benefits. You have to get started, you have to do it, and there is no other way. No one can do your meditation for you. The biggest mistake is to procrastinate starting your practice. There are endless excuses to delay, there is just one solution: START NOW.

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2. Dont Prepare Your Meditation Environment: Once you have decided to start your daily meditation practice the first thing you should do is create the necessary environment to make doing your daily practice easier. What does this mean? It means, at the minimum, the following Create a space in your home where you will practice your meditation. The space should be quiet and exclusively used for only meditation and spiritual matters if possible. Get a meditation cushion and/or mat to help you sit. If you need to start with using a chair that is fine too. Place some items that inspire you in this location (picture, idol, saying, symbol, etc.) Get a stopwatch or setup another convenient time device. Put aside some clothes or get some that will help you sit comfortably. Make a silent, firm commitment to do your meditation practice regularly.

It is very important to do this. This is because it is very possible that at the time you decide to start you daily meditation program you are in a highly inspired state, which might not be sustainable over time. Having the meditation environment set-up will make it easier to maintain your consistency even during these "uninspired" periods. Having everything in place, believe me, dramatically increases the chance that you just plop down on your cushion and do your daily meditation.

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3. Dont Set a Definite Time for Your Daily Meditation: This is similar to mistake #2 in that setting a definite time for your daily meditation is a significant psychological factor in getting you to be consistent with your practice. Just trying to find random times in the day to do your meditation will generally work once in a while and usually only for a short period of time. You must set a time and if possible set this time to early in the morning, before all the distractions of life begin. 4. Think Meditation is Too Hard & Give-up: Forget about all you have read with regard to how meditation is supposed to work and instead just do your best. Given that just sitting still and focusing on your breath can be hard, it is fully understandable that one is going to have trouble watching the swift and subtle mind. We all fail and fail repeatedly and there is no shame in that. The only mistake is to not get back up the next day and try again. So dont give up, just keep going and your mental muscles will develop. They have no choice. If you exercise them they develop. So dont judge yourself harshly and keep the golden rule of Meditation all the time in the back of your mind, it is Keep Going! 5. Look for Immediate Results: In our age of instant gratification, trying to get the fastest results possible with minimum effort seems to be the mantra. Diet pills, cosmetic surgery, mega millions lottery, medications for everything under the sun, recreational drugs, constant electronic stimulation, etc, etc. have made trying to get "the kick" the prime objective. Well sorry; meditation is like getting wet while walking in a misty fog. You dont even realize you are getting wet, but if you stay out there long enough you will be completely soaked. Meditation is the blossoming of goodness. It will happen on its own, in its own sweet time. Dont worry about the results just put your best foot forward and keep marching ahead. Soon you will find yourself standing on Heavens 111

Doorsteps. Conclusion: So today, setup your environment, decide on a time, and dont worry about success or failure; JUST BEGIN YOUR DAILY MEDITATION PRACTICE. There is nothing in life more important than this.

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Chapter 24 Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Strength


The very first kundalini yoga pose from the Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses & Exercises E-Book will be the powerful Stretch Pose. This yoga pose is a frequent entry in many Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, especially those that deal with opening, healing and balancing the important navel chakra, the third chakra of the kundalini yoga seven chakra system responsible for your abdominal region. Early in your kundalini yoga practice, it is important to focus on the abdominal area. This is because strengthening your navel center will, not only give you important core energy to develop your yoga practice, but will also help build your character and willpower, which are essential for a long term consistent, fruitful practice. Below, you will find 2 illustrations of kundalini yoga stretch pose, the first is the normal pose, and it is followed by an illustration of the modified version of stretch pose. You can also switch back and forth between the two poses, as you develop your abdominal strength. Below that are practice details and instructions for this most important kundalini yoga exercise. Also, provided are the online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas which use this posture.

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Picture of Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose

Picture of Beginner Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose

Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose Practice Details:


a. Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: Lie on your back. Place your hands under your buttocks palms facing down (to support your lower back).

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Raise your heels 6 inches, point your feet and toes away from you, raise your head slightly and stare at your toes. You will feel the abdominal muscles go to work immediately. Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: 15 seconds -11 minutes.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: Builds abdominal strength. Increases core energy and power. Helps develop the much coveted 6 pack abs. Opens, heals and balances the Manipura Chakra (aka. Nabhi Chakra, Navel Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra) which is the seat of willpower. It is recommended to build this center early in your Yoga practice as it will give you the strength and character to see things through. Improves your digestive system.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: To modify this pose you can do this posture with your legs bent at the knees, or do one leg at a time. Either way you will reduce the pressure on the abdominal muscles. Be careful with your lower back when practicing this pose, roll more of your arms underneath you to help give it more support.

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Chapter 25 Eagle Pose for Powerful Aura


This second Kundalini Yoga pose in the Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses & Exercises E-Book is perhaps the most depicted pose of Kundalini Yoga, it is the Eagle Pose. This pose is also part of many Kundalini Yoga kriyas, and is part of the famous Kundalini Yoga Morning Wake-up Series. This pose does not work on any specific chakra of the Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System per se, but, in fact works on building your aura or magnetic field instead. Your aura is the total strength of your nervous system and it protects you from the unseen forces. This aura is also responsible for you presence, charisma, magnetism and the impact you have on others. Below, you will find an illustration of Kundalini Yoga Eagle pose, practice details and instructions for this fantastic Kundalini Yoga exercise. Also, provided are the online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas which use this posture. Picture of Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose

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Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: Sit up with your legs crossed. You can also sit on a chair if necessary. Raise your arms to 60 degrees keeping the elbows straight. Curl your fingers in towards your upper palms. Note: Do not make a fist. Point your thumb up towards the sky. Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: 1 minute - 11 minutes.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: Strengths your Aura and Magnetic Field. Gives you charisma, charm, magnetism and presence. Give you the ability to heal others. Gives you the ability to uplift and inspire others. Gives you the ability to influence others (please use wisely). Protects you from unseen forces (negative thoughts, viruses, bad vibrations etc.)

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: As you become more proficient in Eagle Pose, try not to give up on the first sign of discomfort. If you see through these first points of resistance, the exercise will get easier as your energetic pathways open up. Ride Breath of Fire to help you get through the shoulder pain. The Breath of Fire will also help with charging your magnetic 117

field and building your aura. Take a break though from Breath of Fire if you start to feel uncomfortable.

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Chapter 26 Archer Pose for Self Confidence


Kundalini Yoga is often called the yoga for warrior saints and the one pose that perhaps best reflects this unique attitude is Archer Pose. This pose will be the third entry in the Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses & Exercises E-Book. Archer Pose is often part of Kundalini Yoga kriyas geared towards expansion of energy and self, as it helps open up your psychic channels to promote the greater flow of energy and power. It works on all the chakras of the Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System simultaneously, helping them open, heal and balance. Below, you will find an illustration of Kundalini Yoga Archer pose, practice details, cautions and instructions for how to employ this powerful posture to help boost your confidence and self-esteem. Also, provided are the online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas which use this pose. Picture of Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose

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Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose: Stand and place your feet wide apart. Now have your left foot pointing to your left, have you right foot pointing in slightly, the heels of both feet should be in a straight line. Your torso should be straight and facing forward. Low lean to the left so that 70% of your weight is on your left leg. Your left knee should occlude your left foot from view if you were to look down. There should be a stretch in your right upper thigh. Now extend your left arm out to the left as if holding a bow and turn your head to the left and gaze over your left fist. Now with the right hand pretend as if you are pulling back the bowstrings. Your right hand should be all the way past your right chest. Do Long Deep Powerful Breathing while holding this posture and gazing steadily over your left fist. With every breath, engage the mind, and feel yourself expanding and growing more and more powerful. Keep you gaze deadly focused, with the intent that you are breaking through all obstacles and barriers. After half the time reverse the direction of the posture.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose: 1 minute - 3 minutes / side

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose: Excellent yoga posture for your entire body, mind and spirit. Opens up and expands your energy channels.

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Builds confidence, courage and self-esteem. Helps the body eliminate stress from deep within the tissues. Expands and builds your nervous system. Improves concentration and mental focus. Expands your chest and lungs, improving your respiratory system. Good for toning your leg muscles and strengthening your shoulders.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose: If you are already an egomaniac and have power issues, this exercise is not for you. This posture is going to make you feel very powerful, strong and brave so use it accordingly.

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Chapter 27 Spinal Twists for Lower Back


Veteran yogis know that as soon as we start to mention lower back exercises or spinal workouts, we are entering the domain of kundalini shakti. This is because kundalini energy resides as pure potential at the base of the spine, and exercises which target this lower back region, inevitably tend to stimulate this latent energy, often causing her to stir and awaken. Kundalini Yoga Spinal Twists is no different. In fact, much of the design of this exercise is to stimulate kundalini at the base of the spine, so along with helping you stretch your lower back, this exercise will also help you with realizing your full human potential. As I have mentioned before, doing spinal warm-ups is very key before doing any yoga sets, as this not only helps prevent injuries, but also helps to prepare the spine for the conduction of energy throughout the important regions of the body. The Spinal Warm-up Series is the best set to get your entire back ready for more vigorous yoga, and Yoga Spinal Twists demonstrated here in this article, can be used to substitute for the spinal twists which are given with the Spinal Warm-up Series. Using this variation of Spinal Twists can help you add variety to your workout and also, this version has some different benefits than the original as well. Some of the important aspects of Yoga Spinal Twists are the hand position and the breathing that accompanies this exercise, so be sure to pay special attention to these two parts. This exercise will be part of the following 2 free online e-books here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga: Free Hatha Yoga Poses and Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises, where you will find a large collection of other yoga poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed. Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga, which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. 122

Yoga Spinal Twists for Stretching Lower Back

Illustration #1 Starting Position for Yoga Spinal Twists

Illustration #2 Lower Back Stretch Left

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Illustration #3 Lower Back Stretch Right

Yoga Spinal Twists for Stretching Lower Back: a. Instructions for Yoga Spinal Twists: Sit in easy pose (legs crossed). You can see I am using a cushion in the illustrations above and sitting in Burmese Style (one leg in front of the other). Extend both arms behind you, interlace your fingers and pull your hands away from your lower back, as I have demonstrated in illustration #1. Close you eyes and concentrate on the base of your spine. Inhale through the nose as you twist to the left. Then exhale through the nose as you twist right. Start slowly and allow the back muscles to get limber and warmed up before picking up your pace. Continue at a smooth, steady pace for the duration of the exercise.

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b. Duration for Yoga Spinal Twists: 1-5 mins

c. Benefits of Yoga Spinal Twists: Excellent for stretching your lumbar spine and lower back region. Strengthens your lower back muscles. Stimulates Kundalini Shakti (Energy) at the base of the spine. Stretches your shoulder and arms. Improves your respiratory system. Helps balance your energies and creates internal harmony. Good for your digestive system.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Spinal Twists: Take a break in between in you start to feel dizzy or tired, then start again once ready. Great exercise to use in the beginning of any set to stretch and warm-up the lower back and spine. If you have back problems, twist slowly and don't over strain. As your back heals you can pick up the intensity.

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Chapter 28 Kundalini Jesus Pose for Inner Strength


Before I get into this wonderful Kundalini Yoga pose I would like to encourage you all to participate in the most interesting survey on enlightenment that I am currently running on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga. Here is the link to this survey, please do take a moment and give your input: "Survey: How Many Enlightenment Experiences Have You Had?" Now onto the yoga pose which captures the very essence of sacrifice and compassion, while at the same time building inner strength and willpower. A core concept in all religions, which is also very much a part of Kundalini Yoga, is the idea other mindedness. This simple, yet invaluable idea, is simply that we ought to not just live for ourselves, but also ought to find ways to have the strength and energy to help others. Well, the following Kundalini Yoga pose makes it possible for you to integrate this beautiful concept right into your yoga practice. I call this pose, the Jesus Pose, in honor of one of the greatest examples of inner strength and self-sacrifice that humanity has ever known. We all know the wonderful benefits of yoga practice, but by incorporating this exercise into your practice, you can take it to another level by making the practice not just for yourself, but also for others. In addition to cultivating this attitude of other mindedness, this pose is also great for increasing your inner strength and willpower. I tend to add this exercise to the end of my set, especially anytime I am doing a Heart Chakra Set, but you can add it to other sets as well. If you are a Kundalini Yoga teacher, I find the students really willing to do this pose for longer periods of time despite discomfort it produces. The motivating statement I use is along the lines of the following,

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"Are you willing to carry the load for others who are unable or unwilling to carry their own load?" From the response I see, the answer always seems to be a resounding "YES!" This, yoga pose, in the seventeenth, entry in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Poses E-book. As our collection of Kundalini Yoga poses grows you will be able to use these exercises to create your own customized yoga sets. To do so you can use the guidelines laid in the following article: 6 Important Guidelines for Designing Kundalini Yoga Sets. Kundalini Yoga Pose for Inner Strength & Sacrifice Illustration #1: Kundalini Yoga Jesus Pose

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Illustration #2: Kundalini Yoga Jesus Pose (Side View)

Kundalini Yoga Jesus Pose for Inner Strength & Sacrifice: a. Instructions for practicing Jesus Pose for Inner Strength & Sacrifice: You can do this pose, sitting on your heels in Rock Pose, sitting, legs crossed in Sukh Asan, sitting on a chair or while standing. Generally I do it in Rock Pose sitting on my heels, with my back straight (as shown in the pose illustrations above). Bring your hands straight out to the sides with palms facing up. The arms should be shoulder level and parallel to the ground. Throw you head back and close your eyes. Begin Breath of Fire, at a pace and intensity which is comfortable for you. Hold past the point of discomfort. Remember you are doing this exercise to help burn the Karmic Debt of others and not just for yourself. Keep that in mind as the pain tries to get you to quit.

b. Duration for Jesus Pose for Inner Strength & Sacrifice:

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1 minute - 11 minutes. Generally add this exercise to the end of a set and do it such that you have to at least bear some discomfort (see tips below for more on this as well).

c. Benefits of Jesus Pose for Inner Strength & Sacrifice: Helps burn the Karmic Debt of others. Builds your inner strength and willpower. Opens your Heart Chakra and makes you compassionate. Helps you develop the ability to sacrifice and be thoughtful of others.

d. Practice Tips for Jesus Pose for Inner Strength & Sacrifice: Don't give up on the first sign of discomfort. If you can get through that phase, you will find your energy systems opening up and the exercise getting EASIER to sustain. If you are teacher, remind the students of the sacrifice they are making here, this motivates and inspires them to hold on a little longer than they normally would. Add this exercise to the end of a set and take your kundalini yoga practice up to a higher level.

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Chapter 29 Plank Pose for Arms and Upper Body


If you looking to tone up your arms, as well as strengthen your back and spine, this pose is perfect for you. Plank pose is simple enough for beginners to do and is a good way to balance your yoga workout by adding some upper body work into it. Plank position is a fundamental yoga pose, and is part of most schools of yoga. Here on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga, it will be part of the following 2 free online e-books: Free Hatha Yoga Poses & Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises. There are a few variations to this pose and in the pictures below I am demonstrating a relatively uncommon variation, in which I do the pose with toes extended instead of curled under. This variation is often used in Kundalini Yoga and is a little more difficult than the basic pose. I mention some of the other variations in the Practice Tips section below as well. Yoga Plank Pose for Upper Body Strength Illustration #1 Basic Yoga Plank Pose

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Illustration #2 Kundalini Yoga Plank Pose (Toes Extended)

Yoga Plank Position For Upper Body Strength: a. Instructions for practicing Yoga Plank Pose: Most of us are familiar with doing push ups, and plank pose is essentially the up position when doing a push up. For plank pose be sure to keep your body in a straight line, like I have demonstrated above. Don't allow the butt to sag and the hands should be directly underneath the shoulders. There are also the two typical eye position variations. You can keep the eyes open and fix your gaze steadily at a point in front of you (typical of Hatha Yoga), or you can do this pose with your eyes closed (kundalini yoga). Breathing is normal, except if you are doing a particular Kundalini Yoga Kriya, which might require you to do Breath of Fire while holding Plank Pose.

b. Duration for Yoga Plank Pose: 15 seconds - 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Yoga Plank Pose: 131

Strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders, back and spine. Develops your core strength and abdominal muscles. Tones the triceps. Good for improving your nervous system.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Plank Pose: Advanced variations of Plank Pose include, lifting one leg up and holding the pose, or lifting one arm up and holding the pose. In the Kundalini Yoga variation, the toes are kept extended as show in illustration #2. This can put more pressure on the lower back, so be careful when using this version.

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Chapter 30 Deep Knee Bends for Thighs and Buttocks


One of the best yoga exercises for strengthening your legs is Frog Pose for Toned Legs, but not far behind is another superb and simple exercise for firming and toning your thighs and buttocks, and today I would like to detail this excellent exercise for you. It is simply called Yoga Deep Knee Bends or Deep Squats Yoga Exercise, and for those familiar with my free yoga videos, you will have already encountered it in the popular Rapid Weight Loss Yoga Exercises Set. As kids there was a famous exercise that we all used to have fun doing, which was called "Uttack Battack", which is essentially standing up and squatting back down repeatedly, and Deep Knee Bends is pretty much this same exercise with a small variation for the arms. For those of you familiar with Indian Bollywood Actresses, Shilpa Shetty, who is known for having a slim, fit and firm body, confessed that this very exercise was instrumental in helping her shape and tone her thighs and buttocks early in her career as well. So for those of you looking to get your legs and butt toned and shapely, it's time to revisit this favorite exercise from the days past. Of course, there are more important benefits to having your lower body strong and fit, than just sexy looks, and a workout including Deep Knee Bends is sure to help you enjoy those many benefits as well. These I have detailed below in the practice section for this exercise. In addition, you will find cautions, modifications and illustration of this exercise in that section as well. Deep Squats Yoga Exercise will be part of the following 2 free online e-books here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga: Free Hatha Yoga Poses and Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises, where you will find a huge collection of other yoga poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed.

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Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga, which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. Yoga Exercise to Firm and Tone Thighs and Buttocks

Illustration #1 Deep Knee Bends Starting Position

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Illustration #2 Deep Knee Bends Ending Position

Illustration #3 Deep Knee Bends Ending Position - Side View

Deep Squats Yoga Exercise for Toned Thighs and Buttocks: a. Instructions for Deep Squats Yoga Exercise: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Extend both arms straight out in front of you, with fingers extended and palms facing down. Illustration #1.

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Find a point in front of you to concentrate on, this will help you with your balance and focus. Inhale through the nose as you squat down slowly. You should try to squat down to where you are making a ninety degree angle at your knees as I have shown above in Illustrations 2 and 3. Exhale as you slowly stand back up. Continue at a smooth, steady pace for the duration of the workout.

b. Duration for Deep Squats Yoga Exercise: 1-5 mins

c. Benefits of Deep Squats Yoga Exercise: Excellent for firming and toning your thighs and buttocks. Increases energy and builds vitality. Helps burn fat and calories to promote healthy weight loss. Works on your fitness level by increasing your heart rate and circulation. Increases virility and improves sexual fitness. Strengthens your shoulders.

d. Practice Tips for Deep Squats Yoga Exercise : If you have bad knees you need to careful with this exercise. Only go as far down as you are comfortable. If you feel your thighs burning too much, stop and take a short break. Then begin again once you have recovered. If your shoulder tiers, but your legs feel strong, you can lower your hands and continue with the squats.

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Another great exercise that I would like to mention for shaping and toning your thighs and butt is Yoga Chair Pose and you will find details for that exercise in the following article: Yoga Chair Pose for Sexual Health.

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Chapter 31 Yoga Positions for Beginners for Daily Morning Practice - Kundalini Yoga Morning Wakeup Series
Beginner Yoga Poses for Daily Morning Practice The following beginners Kundalini Yoga Set is also described in this post (Morning Wakeup Kundalini Yoga Set), but I am including here as part of the Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Book for the sake of completeness and better organization. Even though this set of yoga positions and exercises is simple for the beginner yogi to do, it is not any less valuable than many advanced Kundalini Yoga Kriyas. It is an excellent yoga set with a wide range of great benefits. In fact, it is a set which encompasses many of the daily recommendations of Kundalini Yoga. THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Beginner Kundalini Yoga Exercise Video

The Pranayama (breathing exercise) used for most of this set is the Breath of Fire, which is described in Breath Control & Yoga Pranayama Book - Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise - Ch 1. Here is also a video demonstration of Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise to help make sure you doing it correctly. THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama Video

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Overview of Beginners Morning Wakeup Kundalini Yoga Exercises: The yoga postures and exercises below, should be done in sequence without taking a break in between if possible. The set can be done anytime of the day, although it is best done in the early morning hours. Even though this set is designed for beginners, I still recommend reading the 10 Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice post first before starting it. This set is ideal for beginning a Kundalini Yoga practice and done regularly can help form a very good foundation from which to progress to more advanced work. It is also suitable for doing prior to a meditation session. In addition, this set has the advantage of not requiring much time so can be perfect for those with a busy schedule. Overall, the set works on your respiratory, digestive, immune and nervous systems. How To Do Beginner Morning Wakeup Kundalini Yoga Exercises: 1. Yoga Rowing Exercise: a. Instructions for Yoga Rowing Exercise: Sit up with both legs extended straight out in front of you. Extend the arms and have the thumbs facing up towards the sky, fingers extended forward and keep the elbows straight. Lean back 20-30 degrees - Inhale. Then lean forward about the same distance and exhale. Continue at a moderate pace.

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b. Duration for Yoga Rowing Exercise: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Rowing Exercise: Opens up the Solar Plexus. Promotes flexibility in hamstrings and hips.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Rowing Exercise: Your knees may bend slightly but elbows should remain straight. Curl your toes back towards you to accentuate the stretch in the calves. 2. Yoga Single Leg Extensions: a. Instructions for Yoga Single Leg Extensions: Sit up with both legs extended. Raise your left leg. Hold your toes/foot with both hands. Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise. Switch legs halfway through the exercise.

b. Duration for Yoga Single Leg Extensions: 1-3 minutes / leg c. Benefits of Yoga Single Leg Extensions: Stretches the Sciatic nerve and hamstrings.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Single Leg Extensions: If you cant hold your toes, hold as far up your leg as you can and curl your toes back towards you. Your leg should be straight and you should try to sit up. If you are just beginning your yoga practice, be careful not to over stretch and incur injury.

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3. Yoga Bridge Pose: (also called Yoga Table Top Pose) a. Instructions for Yoga Bridge Pose: Raise yourself on your palms and feet keeping your torso parallel to the ground. You should be facing the sky. The feet are hip distance apart while the hands are shoulder width apart. Your fingers point away from you. Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Yoga Bridge Pose: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Bridge Pose: Helps the immune system. Strengthens the arms and back.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Bridge Pose: Press your hips upwards towards the sky and try to keep your back straight. Rest your head on your collar muscles. For starters, take frequent breaks if the arms get tiered and then restart the pose again when ready.

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4. Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: (Article: Illustration of Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose)

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose

Picture of Beginner Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose

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a. Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: Lie on your back. Place your hands under your buttocks palms facing down (to support your lower back). Raise your heels 6 inches, point your feet and toes away from you, raise your head slightly and stare at your toes. Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: 1-7 minutes. c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: Builds the Navel Center. This exercise works on your Manipura Chakra (aka. Nabhi Chakra) which is the seat of willpower. It is recommended to build this center early in your Yoga practice as it will give you the strength and character to see things through.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: To modify this yoga pose you can do this position with your legs bent or do one leg at a time. As a beginner, it may take you some time to develop your abdominal strength, but if you stick with this exercise it will go a long way in helping you develop this important area. 5. Kundalini Yoga Tuck Pose: a. Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Tuck Pose: Lie on your back.

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Bend your legs and bring your knees towards your chest. Wrap your hands around your knees, raise your head and bring your nose between your knees. Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Tuck Pose: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Tuck Pose: Works on the digestive system.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Tuck Pose: If your back of neck hurts it means your digestive meridians need work. Often when starting a yoga practice, our weaknesses are exposed, look at this as an opportunity to get healthier and more fit. 6. Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose:

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose 144

a. Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: Sit in Easy pose (cross legged simple, also called Sukh Asana). Raise your arms out to the sides and up 60 degrees. Curl your fingers in towards your upper palm (not quite, but like a fist) then point your thumbs up towards the sky. Keep your head up and elbows straight. Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: Works on the Magnetic Field. Increases the power of your presence. Makes you charismatic.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Eagle Pose: Try to keep your arms up and elbows straight. Dont give up at the first sign of discomfort. As you develop your yoga practice, try to hold this pose longer it will help develop your willpower and spirit, as a beginner dont over do it. 7. Yoga Corpse Pose: (also called Shav Asana) a. Instructions for Yoga Corpse Pose: Lie on your back and have your arms out to your sides about six 145

to twelve inches away from your body. Turn your palms slightly upward. Relax your body and breath.

b. Duration for Yoga Corpse Pose: 5 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Corpse Pose: Allows the body to consolidate the gains from the previous exercises. Helps the body heal and rejuvenate itself. Promotes relaxation and peace.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Corpse Pose: Try to consciously relax your entire body. Release all your tensions and worries and stay in the present moment as best you can.

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Chapter 32 Kapalbhati Yoga Breathing Exercise for Optimum Health & Healing
Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Free Online Video of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama What Is Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise): Of the many wonderful pranayamas that Yoga gives us, Kapalbhati (aka Kapal Bhati) is one of my favorite breathing exercises. It is not at all complicated to do and yet, when done even for a short time consistently, the benefits are undeniable. If there was only one pranayama that you elected to do, Kapalbhati might well be the one to pick - its that good! Kapalbhati of course dates back to the Yoga Sutras of Sage Patanjali, but recently its popularity has been revived by the work of Ramdev Swamiji. Kapalbhati is part of Ramdev Swamijis set of 6 pranayamas and the practice of this set has spread like wildfire across India as well as the rest of the world. Kapalbhati, in my view, is like the corner stone of this set and many of the absolutely unbelievable benefits that practitioners have been getting from practicing Ramdev Swamijis set, I am sure, can be attributed to this powerful breathing exercise. Below are the details of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama.

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Benefits of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise): Primary:

Works on the Heart Center (Anahat Chakra) and associated organs and systems of that region. Thus improving respiration, lung capacity and blood circulation. Kapalbhati helps cure associated diseases of this region (asthma, bronchitis etc). Works on the Naval Center (Manipura Chakra) and associated organs and systems in that regions. Thus improving digestion and elimination. Cures diseases and imbalances associated with this region such as indigestion, gas, diabetes, etc. Practiced over time, Kapalbhati Pranayama also helps reduce abdominal fat, fight obesity, tone abdominal muscles and bestow core abdominal strength and power. From an emotional stand point Kapalbhati Pranayama purges the system of accumulated emotional debris such as anger, hurt, jealousy, hatred etc., thus dissolving the blockages and removing the imbalances such emotional history causes in the energetic pathways. The cleansing of the energetic pathways (nadis) increases the magnitude and flow of prana (life-force) and Kundalini Shakti (energy) throughout all regions of the body. From a mental stand point Kapalbhati Pranayama assists in throwing out all negative thoughts from the psyche. thus, helping to cleanse and illuminate the mind. From a body stand point Kapalbhati Pranayama should be used to eject any illnesses, diseases, weaknesses from the body thus 148

allowing it grow in health, vitality and vigor. Secondary: Generates heat in the system to help dissolve toxins and waste matter. Adds luster and beauty to your face.

Cautions for Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapalbhati Breathing Exercise): If you feel dizzy or nauseous you should slow down the force and pace of Kapalbhati pranayama or stop entirely and return to normal breathing. If you have acid or heat related gastric issues such as ulcers you should use caution with Kapalbhati Pranayama. Kapalbhati is not to be practiced by those suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke or epilepsy.

How To Do Beginners Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise): To practice this breathing exercise sit up in a comfortable position, cross-legged is best. Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Close your eyes. Have your hands in Gyan Mudra. In Gyan Mudra have your thumb tips and index finger meeting, with the wrists resting 149

gently on the knees and the palms turned slightly upwards. Relax your stomach muscles. Now expel the air as forcefully as you are comfortable with through the nose. This should cause the abdominal muscles to contract sharply and should draw the abdomen inwards towards the spine (like when you suck in your stomach). Then allow the inhalation to occur completely passively without any additional effort. To repeat, the exhalation is done using conscious sharp force, while the inhalation is just a recoil action bringing the air back into the lungs. All the breathing takes place through the nose. Right after the passive inhalation, exhale again forcefully and continue at a steady rhythm. Do a round of 10 repetitions. Work your way up to doing 5 rounds, while taking a break between each round. Practice Note: Unlike doing Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama you use force during both the inhalation and the exhalation, in Kapalbhati force is only to be used during the exhalation.

How To Do Intermediate Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapalbhati Breathing Exercise): Once you feel comfortable with the Beginners version of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama, perform the breathing exercise with more force if possible and also increase the number of repetition per round to 50. You may also prefer to do a single round, but with many more repetitions instead (up to 5 minutes worth)

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How To Do Advanced Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapalbhati Breathing Exercise): Build up to doing this pranayama for 15 minutes straight or equivalent number of rounds with more repetitions per rounds. Secret of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapalbhati Breathing Exercise): The secret of the success of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama lies in where your mind is when doing this terrific breathing exercise. If you need to cure your body, then with every exhalation imagine that disease is being purged from your system. If you need to regain emotional balance, then again, with every exhalation visualize the negative emotions or weaknesses being thrown out of your system. If negative thoughts are the issue, let every exhalation expel them from your heart and mind. The power of the mind has been well documented, you are read about some of its incredible capability in this article Mind Power to Manifest Intentions & Desires Instantly, so use your mind to help you accomplish that which you have intended and unleash the full potential of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama.

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Chapter 33 So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique: Free Guided Meditation Book for Daily Practice
Background of So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique: The simple, yet profound, So Hum Meditation technique is probably one of the most popular Mantra Meditations. It emerges from the Yoga school of Hindu Philosophy and belongs in the category of Japa Meditations (Meditations that require the chanting of Mantras). The So Hum (aka So Ham, Soham or Sohum) Mantra Meditation, done sincerely, is very effective in bringing about a complete transformation of individual consciousness. So Hum literally means "That I am " (So = "That" or "Thou" or "Divinity"; Hum = "I am") and the mantras aim is to bring about this union (yoga) between your individual consciousness and Divine Consciousness. Another way to interpret this is that the meditation brings about the realization that all that you see is yourself The Observer is the Observed. THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique Video Tools Required for So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique: An alarm clock, stop watch or other time device. Or you can use a traditional bead necklace (Mala) to count repetitions if you prefer.

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Benefits of So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique: Primary Benefits: Realization of your Divine Nature. Realization of the non-dual Nature of Reality. Stress Reduction, Relaxation, Peace and Tranquility. Spontaneous Joy and Happiness.

Secondary Benefits: Promotes Self-Healing. Builds mental focus and concentration.

So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique Cautions: None.

Guided So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique: Follow the step-by-step guided meditation below to practice this technique. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. You may also sit on a chair or lie on your back to practice this meditation. Set your alarm or other time device for 10 to 20 minutes. If using a Mala (rotary\prayer beads) do the appropriate count (for a traditional 108 bead mala its about 1 full cycle through the mala). If sitting, elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and 153

subtly bring your chin back and in, like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Place your hands in Gyan Mudra (Gesture of Knowledge). Which is thumb and index finger lightly meeting, wrists resting gently on the knees and palms facing upward. The other 3 fingers are extended. Take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose. This will oxygenate your blood and relax you. Try to remain as still as possible. Now inhale slowly while saying the sound "Soooooooo" mentally and then slowly exhale while silently saying the sound "Hummmmmm". After spending about half the time in meditation as described above, start with every cycle to feel your awareness expanding and merging with the Universe Consciousness. So as you continue to chant silently the mantra in rhythm with your breath, feel its real meaning acting upon you. Continue for the duration of the meditation. At the end of the meditation, try to remain with the all inclusive awareness and sense that all is included in you.

So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique Tips: Another way to practice the So Hum Mantra Meditation is to visualize life, light and Divine energy flowing into you when you inhale and mentally say "Soooooo" and to feel your egocentric limited consciousness flow out and evaporate into the atmosphere as you exhale and mentally say "Hummmmm". This variation is also consistent with the meaning of the Mantra. 154

At you develop this practice increase the exhalation phase such that it grows to about two times the inhalation phase.

Secret of So Hum Mantra Meditation Technique: Where did this Mantra come from? That is the secret of this Mantra. It is actually the sound of the breath during inhalation and exhalation. Inhalation sounds like "Soooooo", while exhalation sounds like "Hummmmm". So this is the music of life and by practicing this meditation we can learn to dance in tune with it.

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Chapter 34 Week 3 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge: Benefits of Yoga and Meditation. Mastering Daily Yoga Practice. Learn Yoga Mudras. Mastering Daily Living.

Techniques: Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Camel Pose. Chair Pose. Downward Facing Dog Pose. Bow Pose. Yoga Frog Exercise. Locust Pose. Aura Cleansing Yoga Exercise. Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set. Anuloma Viloma Pranayama Zen Meditation - Zazen.

Articles for Study: Top 10 Profound Benefits of Meditation Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga Comprehensive Guide to Yoga Mudras 5 Excellent Yoga Tips to Elevate Your Practice 10 Things to Do Everyday for a Happy and Meaningful Life

Daily Practice: 156

Pranayama: 3-5 mins 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise

Yoga Poses: Each Day Learn and Practice 1 Pose - 5 mins Camel Pose for Health and Wellbeing Chair Pose for Sexual Health Downward Facing Dog Pose for Nerve Strength Bow Pose for Eternal Youth Frog Pose for Toned Thighs Locust Pose for Digestive Power Yoga Exercise to Cleanse Your Aura

Yoga Set: Each Day Practice the Set 5-15 mins Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set

Meditation: 15 mins Zen Meditation Technique

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Chapter 35 Top 10 Profound Benefits of Meditation


Benefits of Meditation Meditation is an art that has been around since the dawn of the age of man. This is not a statement to be brushed over. After all, many things about mankind have changed over time, but the profound art of meditation is something we have clung to dearly. This is because there is no substitute for meditation. Nothing else, single handedly, bestows the many wonderful blessings that meditation brings in fact nothing else even comes close. In this article I will outline the top 10 benefits that meditation brings and hopefully it will inspire all to learn and practice this timeless art. 1. Enlightenment: This is the one ultimate purpose of meditation. To help you discover the True Non-Dual Nature of Reality. To make you realize that your True Self is Divine and One with God. 2. Peace & Tranquility: The mind of one who meditates is like the easy, leisurely flow of the Ganges River, as compared to the ordinary mind, which is like Niagara Falls. In other words your mind is at peace, deeply silent and so you are at peace. 3. Wisdom: Meditation opens up the channels of communication between all levels of your being. What this means is that you have access now to the guidance that is coming directly from your Divine Self. This link gives rise to the flow of intuition and wisdom. 158

4. Joy & Happiness: Meditation strips away the layers of false identity that mask your True Self from shinning through. Once you eliminate these false egos and stop catering to their nonsense you can reside in your True Nature. This brings forth joy and happiness as it allows you to be at ease with life, existence and yourself. 5. Love & Compassion: As meditation reveals to you the interconnectedness of all humanity a great sense of compassion and love will spontaneously emerge. Knowing that deep within we are all divine in nature will change the way you view the apparent differences you see in others. This will also dramatically improve your relationships both intimate and casual. 6. Stress Reduction & Good Health: This goes hand in hand. As meditation teaches you the art of living in the present moment, anxiety and worry fade more and more into the background. This state of relaxed awareness is most beneficial, to not only helping the body heal itself, but also for preventing illness and disease by eliminating the poison of stress. 7. Improved Brain Function: All serious meditators know how much their brain function has been enhanced by meditation. Now, empirical studies every day are indicating this link. Meditation will undoubtedly increase your awareness and will significantly increase your intelligence. 8. Discover Your Purpose & Gifts: As you start to drop those aspects of you that are artificial and pretentious you will get a chance to see the real you. The natural 159

parts that are not put on will emerge. This will give you insight into who you really are and what you really love in life. That is the secret of mastering the art of living and discovering your true talents, gifts and purpose. That which you love, you do for its own sake without the need for reward or accolades. Once this is discovered, life can be lived with passion, zeal and independence. 9. Yogic and Psychic Powers: We currently use only about 10% of our brain capacity. The practice of Yoga and Meditation awakens those regions of the Brain that normally lie dormant. When these areas of the brain are activated the powers they hold are unleashed. Such powers, used wisely, can be of benefit to others and of help to you in making progress on the spiritual path. 10. Magnificence: Charisma, Confidence, Courage, Character and Balance are all brought about by meditation. This leads to an individual who is immensely charming and magnetic. Best word I could think of to describe the collective affects of these personality improvements was Magnificent. Meditation will let your magnificence shine through.

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Chapter 36 Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga


Benefits of Yoga Yoga is currently taking its final exam. Even though this science dates back many thousands of years, it has only recently come to the West. This is where Yoga is being empirically tested. The Western mind demands results and evidence, if none are produced, the system does not survive. This is a valuable approach and Yoga is currently being put though the rigors of this process. So far Yoga is passing with flying colors. Dont get me wrong, its not that the East did not expect that, its just that this approach filters out the fraudulent and frivolous methodologies, which might otherwise survive simply because of superstition and fear, and the East is just as happy that this is being done as the West. This scrutinizing process results in separating the stones from the diamonds and the diamond that is Yoga is starting to shine though bright and clear. Over the last three to four decades a great deal of research has been done by the medical community and they now, more and more, recognize the health benefits of Yoga. Below, I will highlight the top 10 health benefits that Yoga bestows and I hope it will inspire all of you to take up this wonderful practice is some capacity and reap the rich rewards as well. The health benefits have been divided into 3 categories. The Physical Health Benefits of Yoga, Emotional Health Benefits of Yoga and the Mental Health Benefits of Yoga. A short explanation is given along with each benefit to help you understand better the mechanisms that Yoga employs to bestow it.

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Physical Health Benefits of Yoga: 1. Energy: Yoga exercises, breath control training (pranayama) and use of yoga body locks (bandhas) all work to activate and balance your energy pathways, giving you the vitality and power you need to maximize your potential. 2. Strength: By strength here we dont just mean physical muscular strength, although that will benefit greatly as well due to the steady holding of yoga poses and the exercises that yoga incorporates, but also the strength of your internal physiological systems. Strength of your immune system, nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive system, etc. 3. Healing: The power of Yoga to heal ailments and cure diseases is becoming more and more an integral part of mainstream medical practice and treatment methods. This ability of Yoga to heal also promotes longevity. 4. Flexibility: Yoga postures (asanas) are perhaps the best type of exercises you can do to improve flexibility. Flexibility is essential for avoiding injuries as well as for the health of the joints, tendons and muscles. Emotional Health Benefits of Yoga: 5. Peace: Yoga meditations and practice methodology promotes a greater awareness and appreciation of the present moment, which calms the mind and allows the peace deep within to surface. 6. Joy: With the maturing of a Yoga practice, the beauty and depth of life become more apparent and the spontaneous joy of existence emerges. 7. Compassion: Yoga values and philosophy, along with the practice of yoga meditations, dissolves ones egocentric reality, thus developing other mindedness, thoughtfulness, generosity and compassion. 162

Mental Health Benefits of Yoga: 8. Brain Development: Yoga breathing exercises and yoga meditations develop parts of the brain that are normally dormant. Once these parts are activated the power of intuition, as well as other latent powers are unleashed. In addition as the brain develops so does your intelligence and clarity of thoughts. 9. Concentration: The requirement of many Yoga meditations to keep the mind focused on a single object or mantra (sound vibrations), helps to dramatically increase your power of concentration and focused attention. 10. Awareness: Yoga can simply be called the Science of Awareness. This is its primary purpose. To refine and increase awareness so that you can penetrate the veil of the ordinary dualistic mind and encounter your Divine Nature within.

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Chapter 37 Comprehensive Guide to Yoga Mudras


Yoga Hand Gestures In part 1 of this series I detailed 5 important Yoga Mudras for you, which I will include in this Free Comprehensive Guide to Hand Yoga. So below you will find Yoga Mudras Part 1 and following it are more illustrations and details of yoga hand positions and how they can enhance your personal spiritual practice. In the future, as I add more yoga mudras to the website, I will include them here in this guide so you have complete access to this wonderful science all in one place. Yoga Mudras An important aspect of yoga is the subtle, but key practice of hand, body and eye postures, to invoke certain flows of energy and create certain states of consciousness, called yoga mudras, hand yoga or hand yoga gestures. In last months newsletter I introduced you all to yoga mudras and provided 5 important mudras to start with. In the newsletter I also mentioned I would be creating a comprehensive guide to yoga hand gestures, and here now is that guide. What exactly is Hand Yoga or Mudras? Mudras are hand, body or eye positions that facilitate certain energy flows in the body and by forming these mudras you can induce certain states of mind and consciousness. Many of the meditation and yoga techniques on this website utilize mudras and mudras are a key part of yogic technology. Hand yoga gestures generally work by preventing the dissipation of prana (life-force) from the fingertips. In order to do this, one brings the fingers together in various ways, which helps create certain subtle 164

energy circuits. These circuits then channel prana along particular pathways to affect the mind/body complex in specific ways. Although their effects are subtle, those with refined awareness can sense the changes they produce. Below you will find illustrations of many important hand yoga positions and an explanation of what their benefits are. Many thanks, to the hand model for these pictures, my wife Trupti . Hand Yoga Gestures: Hand Yoga Gesture 1: GYAN MUDRA: Practice: Taken by bringing together the thumb tip and index finger of each hand. Other 3 fingers are kept extended. This is the traditional hand posture for Hindu meditations. Benefits:

Excellent for meditation. Helps the mind go inward. Bestows wisdom and insight. Gyan Mudra Front View

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Gyan Mudra Side View 1

Gyan Mudra Side View 2

Hand Yoga Pose 2: COSMIC MUDRA: Practice: Taken by placing the right hand over left (some prefer the other way around) with the thumb tips slightly meeting. The index finger and thumbs form a nice oval. This is the traditional hand posture for Buddhist meditations. 166

Benefits: The benefits of Cosmic Mudra are very similar to Gyan mudra as they are both used for meditation.

Excellent for silent meditations. Helps the mind go inward. Promotes the flow of intuition, insight and awareness. Helps silence the mind of thoughts. Cosmic Mudra

Hand Yoga Position 3: ACTIVE GYAN MUDRA: Practice: Taken by folding the index finger under the thumb. Other 3 fingers are kept extended. This is good for active techniques, especially active yoga breathing exercises. It is also good for some meditations. Benefits:

Excellent for active pranayamas. Promotes the flow of knowledge. Also promotes a meditative state of mind.

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Gyan Mudra Active Front

Gyan Mudra Active Side

Hand Yoga Gesture 4: NAMASTE POSE: Practice: Taken by bringing the palms of both hands together and pressing together gently. All fingers are together and pointing straight up. This is the traditional mudra for praying and greeting each other, in the Hindu, Buddhist and other cultures.

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Namaste essentially means, "My Divine Aspect Lovingly and Respectfully Greets Your Divine Aspect". Benefits:

Promotes humility and sense of respect. Balances the two hemispheres of the brain. Creates a prayerful state of mind. Can be used to stimulate the Heart Chakra and also the Third Eye Chakra. Namaste Pose - Front View

Hand Yoga Pose 5: SURYA MUDRA: Practice: Taken by bringing the ring finger and thumb tip together, while other fingers are kept straight. This mudra is used in yoga techniques and meditations that are very active and powerful in nature. A variation to Surya Mudra is to place the ring finger under the thumb, instead of just having the tips meeting, which is how it is how it is illustrated below.

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Benefits:

Promotes energy and power. Promotes health and vitality. Surya Mudra - Front View

Surya Mudra - Side View

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Hand Yoga Pose 7: SHUNI MUDRA: Practice: Taken by bringing the middle finger and thumb tip together, while other fingers are kept straight. Benefits:

Promotes patience. Shuni Mudra - Front View

Shuni Mudra - Side View

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Hand Yoga Gesture 9: BUDDHI MUDRA: Practice: Taken by bringing the little finger and thumb tip together, while other fingers are kept straight. Benefits:

Promotes communication. Helps the body and mind heal. Buddhi Mudra - Front View

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Shuni Mudra - Side View

Hand Yoga Gesture 10: APAN MUDRA: Practice: Taken by bringing the middle and ring finger and thumb tip together, while other fingers are kept straight. Benefits:

Works on the Apana Vayu and helps cleanse the system. Helps the elimination system.

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Apan Mudra - Front View

Apan Mudra - Side View

Hand Yoga Gesture 11: PRAN (CHRIST) MUDRA: Practice: Taken by bringing the little finger and ring and thumb tip together, while other fingers are kept straight. Also called the Christ Mudra, in which the little finger and ring finger are brought under the thumb,

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instead of just having the tips meeting (as shown in the illustrations below). Benefits:

Helps the eyesight by working on the fire element in the body. Known to increase prana and energy in the body. Christ or Pran Mudra - Front View

Christ or Pran Mudra - Side View

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Hand Yoga Gesture 12: BEAR GRIP: Practice: Taken by clasping the hands together as shown. The Left hand faces away from the body, while the right hand faces the body. Usually held at chest level for many yoga exercises. Benefits:

This grip is used in conjunction with Kundalini Yoga exercises to help draw Kundalini up and down the spine. Helps create intensity during practice. Bear Grip

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Chapter 38 5 Excellent Yoga Tips to Elevate Your Practice


Yoga Tips Previously, in the series Clever Yoga Tips for Busy People, I gave some handy tips on how to incorporate some useful yoga techniques into your everyday life. These included doing the wonderful Kapalbhati Pranayama for Weight Loss and Health while walking or driving, and doing Toe Touches (Padahast Asana) while in the shower. But, today I want to share with your some very good tips which you can easily integrate right into your yoga routine, in order to get a whole lot more out of it. After all, you are doing your practice anyway, might as well get the most out of the time you spend on the mat. These simple yoga tips will help you awaken your Third Eye, release stress, increase the vibration of you energy, heal better, improve concentration and also help you develop the great yogic mind or witnessing consciousness. So lets get started 5 Simple Yoga Tips to Enhance Your Yoga Practice: Tip #1. Practicing Mula Bandha - Root Lock: Apply root lock at the end of any exercise(s). To apply root lock, once you are done with your exercise, sit up straight, inhale deeply, then exhale completely and holding your breath out pull your rectum, sex organ and lower navel muscles up and in. Hold these three muscles up and in as tight as you are comfortable doing with your breath held out. When you need to, release this lock and inhale. Then repeat two more times for maximum benefit. 177

Mula Bandha or Root Lock is excellent for activating the three lower chakras (root, sex and navel chakras), and it has the added benefit of redirecting energy generated by the previous exercise(s) back into the spine for further use by the body. I strongly suggest using this tip to help raise the level of your energy and level of your practice. Tip #2. Adding Relaxation Periods: After doing a few of the exercises (and now after applying Mula Bandha ), take a minute or so to relax. This relaxation period, whether done on your back, sitting or even standing is very important to give the body a chance to assimilate the energy that is now circulating as a result of the previous work. During this relaxation period, the body rejuvenates, heals and charges itself, especially in the regions that were targeted by the previous poses and postures. When doing this relaxation on your back, use yoga corpse pose and if doing it while sitting try to keep your back straight. In addition, just do long deep slow breathing during this relaxation time, which helps deepen the level of relaxation. This practice is also excellent for stress and anxiety relief. Tip #3: Practicing Shambhavi Mudra: As you start to sprinkle the relaxation periods into your workouts, you can enhance their value further by adding the following aspect to it, Shambhavi Mudra. This is to turn your eyes upwards, while closed and look through the center of your forehead. This is called Shambhavi Mudra, and it helps stimulate and activate the Third Eye or Ajna Chakra.

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The Third Eye is the seat of intuition and awakening this center is a key aspect of making progress in yoga and kundalini awakening. Shambhavi Mudra is a very useful technique in this regard. One important caution with regard to applying this mudra, is to apply it for only as long as comfortable and releasing it when you feel you need to (and applying it again when ready). In other words, dont over strain your eyes when practicing this mudra. One final note with regard to this tip, is that you can use Shambhavi Mudra during the active portions of your practice as well, whenever the opportunity presents itself. So when holding certain postures or during certain movement, apply the mudra as best as you can. If applying the mudra is difficult, then you can just bring your attention to the Third Eye region, without the mudra, as that too will help stimulate the activate this important center. Tip #4: Practicing SAT NAM Mantra: Another excellent way to enhance the relaxation period more and use it to develop your concentration and spiritual energy is to mentally chant a mantra while in relaxation. This is also perfectly compatible with practicing Shambhavi Mudra and therefore can be done in conjunction with that mudra in place as well. Mantras of the nature of SAT NAM work very well during these periods, where you think the sound SAT as you inhale slowly and think the sound NAM as you exhale. SAT NAM is a fundamental mantra which means True Identity or True Self, and practicing it helps you journey back to your infinite, divine nature. Again, if during the active portions of your practice, the opportunity is there to do mantra work, you can integrate it in and thus get more out of the session.

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Yoga Tip #5: Developing Witnessing Consciousness - Yogic Mind: This is not just a tip, but I it feel should be an essential part of your practice and although I have included this in the important Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice, I would like to remind everyone of this very important aspect of yoga practice here, which is that you should do your entire practice with full awareness. The purpose of yoga is to develop your witnessing consciousness or Yogic Mind, and the best way to develop this mind is by constant awareness of the here and now. So watch your mind, body, breath and feelings with as much awareness as you can muster right though your session. Then your yoga practice will actually become meditation in motion. When this witnessing aspect matures, there will be no doer, just doing taking place. This is why when people would watch masters like J. Krishnamurti do yoga, they would say that it is like there is no personality there, just yoga being done. So aspire for that level of awareness, where it is so complete, that the thoughts required to assert the sense of separate identity do not have the opportunity to rise. This is then real yoga. This is Unity. More Meditation & Yoga Tips: For more meditation and yoga tips you can head over to the following articles: Essential Tips and Tools for Daily Meditation Practice, Meditation Help & Tips for Beginners and 3 Simple Tips to Invite Enlightenment.

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Chapter 39 10 Things You Should Do Everyday For a Happy, Meaningful & Good Life (Combined)
Art of Living Part I: Our good buddy Lazy Yogi Ponchie had just read a great blog on Meditation ;-), where the author had revealed the secrets of how to live a happy, meaningful and good life and the highly inspired Yogi Ponchie immediately went about implementing the recommendations in his own special way of course. The article, he read, explained that the secret to a happy and fulfilling life was to live life one day at a time. Not only that, the author had provided his thoughts on what 10 activities one should include in ones life on a daily basis in order to accomplish this. Here was how Ponchie spent some of his day, which he felt met the requirements laid out in the post. 5:00 am: Ponchie checked the time and smiled 5:00 am Woo Hoo! The recommendation was to wake up early, but since waking up early was impossible for our lazy yoga friend, he had decided instead to stay up all night. Thus, he would be awake during the early morning hours and be able to take advantage of this most spiritual time of day. 6:00 am: Ponchie headed to the Gym to get his dailyrecommended sweat. He spent the next hour in the sauna. 7:00 am: Ponchie listened to a meditation tape in his car on the way back home from the gym, thus meeting the most important criteria for doing his daily meditation practice. 8:00 am: Ponchie watched Sunrise Earth on Discovery by sitting very 181

close to the television spending time with nature done. 9:00 am: Ponchie called his dad and asked him to pay his credit card bills and help fix the leaky faucet in the kitchen. He told his dad that this had to be done today itself, since he was eager to meet the requirement of "completing your daily affairs" as had been suggested that was easy. So here we are, with Ponchie at the half way mark of meeting the daily activities that the article laid out. Lets summarize this article that has so profoundly inspired Mr. Ponchie. Essentially, the secret to a Happy, Meaningful and Good Life, the article said, was to live one day a time. This did not mean not to plan; it meant not to obsess with the outcome. Put money away in the retirement fund, enroll in an MBA program, start a daily fitness routine, launch a new blog, sure do all these things, but dont focus on the results. Instead, just go about the business of life by living each day as well as you can. In addition, the article continued, try to incorporate the following 10 activities into each day, as they would go a long way in expanding your spiritual and personal growth and ensuring that you really maximize your human potential. In part 1, I will list 5 of the 10 daily suggestions that were made and here they are 1. Wake up Early: This gets the day off to a great start. The early morning hours are full of spiritual energy and prana (life force) and are an ideal time for your daily sadhana (meditation, yoga or other spiritual practice). 2. Sweat Everyday: If possible try to break a sweat everyday, and a sauna does not count. This means to get some form of exercise and keep the body in tip top shape. The body is not you, but is the vehicle through which 182

you live and worship, so treat it like a temple and take care of it. 3. Daily Meditation: This is the most important criterion. If you have come to the Mastery of Meditation website, something is stirring within. This invitation by the Divine should not be taken lightly. Not all receive the invite, or at least not all are aware of the beckoning, so if you are being roused from the dream by the gentle hand of your Divine Nature do everything you can Wake Up! 4. Spend Time is Nature: The spiritual path can be described in 1 word CONNECT. That one word describes all the Vedas, Gita, Upanishads, Bible, Koran, Tantras, etc. One of the best ways to connect is to be with Nature intimately. Hopefully the author will write an article on this topic of Connection as well as is it a very interesting and powerful concept :-). 5. Complete Your Daily Affairs: Dont procrastinate, dont delay, dont put off what needs to done. The old proverbs are very wise. "A stitch in time saves nine" and "Dont put off till tomorrow what can be done today". Life, the moment, provides challenges to you and when you meet them, life opens up. If they linger, they are like blockages, they prevent your life from moving forward. Your inner voice will constantly remind you what needs to be completed. Heed this suggestion and you will be surprised at the rewards. In part 2 of this series I will go into the last 5 suggestions for what should be done everyday in order to live a happy, meaningful and good life, and we will also see how the rest of Lazy Ponchies, I mean Yogi Ponchies, day went.

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Part II: In part 1 of this series we followed lazy and crazy Yogi Ponchie through the first half of his day as he looked to complete the "10 must do everyday activities for a happy, meaningful and good life" that he had just read about. In part 2 of this series we will explore the final 5 daily recommendations and see how Yogi Ponchie manages them in his own unique way. In fact, I will just outline how Ponchie spends the rest of his day and see if you, the reader, can guess what requirement he is trying to meet by his activities. We left Ponchie at 9:00 am when he was convincing his dad to pay off his bills and help with household chores. Once he managed to pull that off, here is how he spent the rest of his time 10:00 am - 10:00 pm: A very tired Ponchie, from having stayed up all night, locked his puppy in the bathroom and hit the sack. 10:00 pm: Ponchie spent 2 minutes reflecting on how well he had slept. 11:00 pm: He called up his dad and asked his father to be grateful for being allowed to pay his credit card bills and for being asked to fix his leaky faucet. 12:00 am: He chugged down 2 bottles of wine. 1:00 am: He struggled hard to stay awake again, so he could once be awake for the early magical part of the day. There you have it. The last 5 activities Yogi Ponchie indulged in, in order to complete the last 5 "must do everyday activities for a happy and successful life." Any guesses? Here are the suggestions from the author and how Ponchie thought he was meeting them.

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6. Spend Some Time Alone: Each day we should try to make some space for spending time alone. Not only that, we should spend this time not in entertainment. In other words sitting alone watching TV, or surfing the internet, or locking your puppy up in the bathroom and going to sleep does not count. One should try to just be alone without excessive stimulation and of course be Awake. When one is alone in this way, not escaping into some entertainment, it will give one visibility into the self in action. This is essential if one is to be a Light Onto Oneself. 7. Do Your Daily Accounting at the End of the Day: This is a wonderful meditation to adopt into ones lifestyle. It does not require much effort to do and the rewards gained from this simple technique are enormous. At the end of the day spend some time and reflect back on the day chronologically, from the time you woke up to the present time. Look back and see how you acted, what you said, how you said it, what you felt, what you thought etc. Especially reflect on situations that posed a challenge or were emotional in nature. Were you overly reactive, did you respond too quickly, did you really listen, were you honest and forthright? So much self-knowledge can be gained by this simple accounting method. I cannot over emphasize the value of this meditation, so do your daily accounting. It will help balance your life, prevent incomplete emotions from spilling over into the subconscious mind and give you tremendous insight. Yogi Ponchie actually did this correctly, but since he had slept all day, there was not much for him to reflect on. 8. Do at Least One Good Deed: Everyday do something good for someone else. Do something thoughtful, kind, and generous. Greed, aggression, competitiveness, arrogance, ambition are so widespread, take a moment and contribute to the energy of thoughtfulness, generosity, compassion, humility and giving. Do it without focusing on the reward. My grandfather would 185

daily, randomly and secretly give some money away to the poor who he would encounter on the street; because it was a nice thing to do. Our Yogi friend thought giving his dad a chance to do a good deed counted as doing a good deed nope that is no good. 9. Get Some Entertainment: You need to relax and enjoy yourself daily as well. You will find that when you dont endless pursue the pleasure principle all day, the time when you do indulge, is so much more fun and enjoyable. You will really be able to laugh and be happy. You will be full of joy and humor. Try to not go overboard during this time and chug down bottles of wine like our buddy, but do spend some time just in healthy entertainment everyday as well. It is important for your mind, body and spirit. 10. Do Something Difficult: Everyday you should take on the challenge of doing something which is outside your comfort zone. It is easy to live in a cocoon, with a do not disturb sign on the door, but then chances are you are not growing and are instead falling into a pattern of reactive living. So have courage and take on the challenge of doing those things, which you know deep inside you need to do, but have been able to cleverly avoid. It does not have to be running the New York Marathon; it could be as simple as making a difficult phone call, to turning off the TV, to volunteering to change the stinky diaper. Ponchie struggled to stay up all night as his difficult daily deed, but perhaps the challenge he should have undertaken, was to go to sleep on time and wake up early instead. So there you have it. The 10 activities you should do daily to have a happy, meaningful and good life. So take one day at a time the best you can and include in it these 10 pearls of wisdom. All another can do from the outside is guide and inspire you, the actual work you have to do yourself. So its time to walk the walk 186

Chapter 40 Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose for Health and Wellbeing


Welcome to the fourth entry in the Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses & Exercises E-Book. The first few poses were excellent, but not very difficult to do. Kundalini Yoga Camel pose is a bit more challenging. This pose is one though that is worth having in your repertoire, as it is responsible for a long list of wonderful health benefits and, if done regularly, will certainly elevate the level of your overall wellbeing. Many Kundalini Yoga kriyas incorporate Camel Pose and in the near future I will be uploading some onto Mastery of Meditation. Camel Pose is also part of Hatha Yoga and is a key asana (posture), in that type of Yoga as well. In fact this asana is widely recognized for it's benefits and has been embraced by almost all types of Yoga. Below, you will find two illustration of Kundalini Yoga Camel pose. The first is a modified version that should be practiced by beginners, following that is the full version of Camel Pose, which you should try only when ready. As usual, the practice details, cautions and instructions for how to employ this terrific posture, to help boost your health and wellbeing, are also provided.

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Picture of Modified Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose

Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: To start this yoga pose, come up onto your knees and have your feet hip distance apart, with toes extended. For modified Camel pose have your hands, fingers pointing downward supporting your lower back and arch back as far as 188

comfortable (Illustration #1 above). Now tilt your head back and such that you are facing the ceiling. You should be pressing forward with your hips and also expanding your chest region, by pressing your elbows back. In the full version of Camel Pose, drop your hands back and hold on to your heels. Again you should arch your back, press your hips out and expand your chest. Begin Breath of Fire Yoga Pranayama, in either pose.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: 30 seconds - 7 minutes

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: Excellent yoga posture for overall health and wellbeing. The pose expands the abdominal region, helping digestion and elimination. It helps to heal and balances the Navel Chakra. Opens and heals the Heart Chakra by expanding and stretching the chest region. Excellent for the respiratory and circulatory systems. Bestows softness of character. Releases tension in the ovaries and helps the immune system by working on the lymphatic system. The posture, activates and balances the Throat Chakra, and works to heal and rejuvenate the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

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The exercise opens up the hips and builds strength in the thighs and arms. Stretches and strengthens the shoulders.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: Start with the modified version of Camel Pose and work your way to doing the full version over time. If the Breath of Fire makes you dizzy or uncomfortable, just switch to normal breathing instead.

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Chapter 41 Chair Pose for Sexual Health


Hatha Yoga Posture for Toning Thighs & Buttocks Chair pose is not chair yoga (which you will now find here - Chair Yoga for Energy and Stress Relief). Not that I have anything against chair yoga, I am (as you must have guessed by now :-) a fan of all types of yoga, but chair pose, unlike the easier postures of chair yoga, is instead a tough little yoga pose. It is for toning your leg muscles, building lower body strength and improving your overall sexual health. Chair pose, is the fifth entry in our Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses and Exercises E-Book and is certainly a posture worth including in your yoga practice for building lower body strength and sexual virility. This terrific exercise is part of many different types of yoga, such as Hatha yoga and Kundalini Yoga, and is also a pose used by western physiotherapy when leg muscles need to be strengthened. Below you will find several pictures of chair yoga pose. These illustrations include a modified version as well. Please feel free to use this modification until you feel strong enough to try the full posture. You will also see close-ups of the hand positions as they are a little tricky to describe. The demonstrations below are with my eyes open, but Kundalini Yoga practice is generally done with your eyes closed, and you may do this exercise with eyes closed as well. Finally, please be careful of your knees, and even in the modified version of this pose, only go as far down as you are comfortable. In time you can work your way lower and then finally do the full version when you feel ready. Below the pictures, are written instructions for practicing this yoga posture, along with other pertinent details.

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Illustrations of Yoga Chair Pose Side View Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

Front View Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

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Hands Position Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose Hands Close-up

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Side View of Modified Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

Front View of Modified Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

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Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose: Stand and place your feet shoulder width apart, with toes pointing outward. Lean forward till your back in parallel to the ground. Reach down and grasp your ankles, such that the elbows are passing from the inside of your knees. Keep your head up and begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose: 15 Seconds - 3 minutes. Start slowly and build up your time steadily from there.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose: Excellent yoga posture for toning your thighs and buttocks. Improves sexual health and builds sexual virility and vitality. Helps the body burn fat to promote healthy weight loss.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose: Use the modified versions illustrated above. Take a break, if the legs start to burn too much and then restart the exercise again once ready.

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Be careful with your knees and only go as far down as comfortable, regardless of whether you are doing the modified posture or the full pose. If Breath of Fire is too much, then switch to long deep breathing or normal breathing which continuing to hold the pose. You can also do the modified version of chair pose by standing against a wall and working your way lower as your legs get stronger. This is the technique used in physiotherapy in general.

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Chapter 42 Downward Facing Dog for Nerve Strength


Kundalini Yoga Posture to Tone the Nervous System In kundalini yoga, although muscle strength is desired and developed, it is not considered real strength. Nerve strength is considered real strength and the following yoga position is ideal for developing this much coveted power. The following pose is again common to both hatha yoga and kundalini yoga and thus, is a part of both the e-books that are available on Mastery of Meditation. The Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses E-Book. This posture has many names to it as well. In hatha yoga, it is called Mountain Pose, while in kundalini yoga it is called Triangle Pose. The pose is also commonly called Downward Facing Dog, which I will refer to it as. In kundalini yoga, you might have noticed, I am always emphasizing building the health and fitness of the internal systems first and then allowing the greater flow of kundalini to take place. This is opposed to directly opening the chakra points and forcing an increased flow of energy. This approach, of building the system up and then allowing energy flow to increase, helps prevent problems with premature kundalini eruptions, as the body, especially the nervous system, is now able to handle the greater flow of energy without getting fried. You can read the 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice and the following 2 articles for more details on how best to approach and practice kundalini yoga: Introduction to Kundalini Yoga and Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview. In addition, the following

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article discusses similar concepts: The Top 3 Chakra Meditation Techniques. Below you will find an illustration of hatha yoga Mountain Pose and details regarding this important yoga position. Hatha Yoga Mountain Pose for Nerve Strength Picture of Hatha Yoga Mountain Pose

Hatha Yoga Mountain Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Yoga Downward Facing Dog Position: Essentially you are making an inverted V as shown above in the illustration. Make sure you press your heels down towards the floor and press your head down towards the knees. Your legs are parallel and knees locked and your arms are parallel with your elbows locked.

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Press up with you buttocks to elongate both sides of this triangle.

b. Duration for Yoga Downward Facing Dog Position: 15 seconds - 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Yoga Downward Facing Dog Position: Excellent yoga position to strengthen and build your nervous system. Develops the nerves throughout your entire body, with extra focus on the arms, legs and spine. This yoga pose also build arm strength and leg strength. It promotes flexibility in the hamstrings, calves, forearms and shoulders. Good for the digestive system and overall energy of the body.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Downward Facing Dog Position: Take breaks in between if you are not strong enough to hold this position for prolonged periods of time. Slowly as your arm strength increases, increase the time for the pose. Use a mirror or have a picture taken of you while in this position, as that will really help you in mastering this pose. It is good to stretch the shoulder first, before practicing this yoga posture.

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Chapter 43 Bow Pose for Eternal Youth


Hatha Yoga Dhanur Asana for Total Healing Bow pose or Dhanur Asana is perhaps the face of yoga. It is another one of those yoga poses that is worth incorporating into your daily practice. It is not as difficult as Wheel Pose, which is detailed in the article, Advanced Yoga Technique - Wheel Pose, but it provides many of the same benefits and a few more when done the special Kundalini Yoga way. Bow pose is again common to both hatha yoga and kundalini yoga and thus, is a part of both the e-books that are available on Mastery of Meditation. The Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses E-Book. Bow pose has a long list of benefits, especially for the entire digestive system, but the technique employed by kundalini yoga when practicing this posture, is the real secret for unleashing it's full potential. In kundalini yoga, we rock back and forth in bow pose, thus giving our entire abdominal area a terrific massage. Practicing bow pose in this way is reputed to help you maintain eternal youth. Although that might be a slight exaggeration, my yoga teacher Ravi Singh, pointed out that he knows of a particular yogi in California who rocks in bow pose for 20 minutes daily, and his age was impossible to tell. Of course, don't jump ahead to this advanced method, until you have first mastered the basics of this posture. I recommend the following 3 articles as good starting points for more information on Kundalini Yoga practice: Introduction to Kundalini Yoga 200

10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Dangers of Kundalini Yoga. Below you will find an illustration of Bow Pose (Dhanur Asana) and details regarding this fundamental yoga posture. Yoga Bow Pose for Eternal Youth Picture of Yoga Bow Pose (Dhanur Asana)

Yoga Bow Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose: Start by lying on your stomach with your chin on the floor. Next, bend your knees and bring your heels towards your buttocks. Beginner Yogis: Reach back and grasp your ankles, keeping the rest of your body on the floor. Pull your heels into your buttocks.

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Intermediate Yogis: Raise yourself up off the floor as shown in the illustration above, by pressing your ankles away from you. Your chest and thighs should be raised off the floor. Advanced Yogis: Rock back and forth in bow pose, inhaling as you come forward, exhaling on the way back.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose: 15 seconds - 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose: The ultimate yoga pose to improve and perfect your digestive system. Excellent for your respiratory system, to relieve breathing problems and ailments such as asthma, etc. Good for the entire spine and back. Great pose for improving the overall flexibility of the entire body. Helps improve overall health and wellbeing. Good for weight loss.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose: Progress gently towards the advanced version. For some, even the beginner version is difficult to get into, in which case just bring your heels as close to your buttocks as you can, and reach as far back with your arms as possible.

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Do not eat for at least 2-3 hours before practicing this posture, or you will be quite uncomfortable. Careful of your knees and back when doing this pose.

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Chapter 44 Frog Pose for Toned Thighs


Want to have toned, strong legs right through life? If so, this Kundalini Yoga exercise is just what the doctor ordered. It is the famous kundalini yoga frog pose. Kundalini yoga frog pose is a hardcore kundalini yoga exercise, that is quite unique to this type of yoga and it will be the next entry in our Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses and Exercises E-Book. Certainly, frog pose is fantastic for building lower body strength, and specially good for shaping the legs and thighs, but at the same time this exercise is also indicated for working on the heart chakra and the associated functions of that region. The health of the heart, respiration and overall circulation are all improved by practicing frog pose. Although some flexibility in the hamstrings helps one to practice the frog pose (froggies), this exercise is primarily a strength move. You will find lots of important details in the practice section below the illustrations. Be ready for a workout!

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Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose for Toning the Legs Picture of Starting Position of Yoga Frog Pose (Eyes Closed)

Picture of Starting Position of Yoga Frog Pose (Eyes Open)

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Picture of Ending Position for Yoga Frog Pose

Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose: Squat on the floor on your toes, with your feet apart and your heels either touching or very close together. Have your knees spread out and your arms inside your knees with your finger tips touching the floor. The elbows are straight. Look up, you can have your eyes opened or closed. Inhale. This is the starting position for frog pose. Rise up now by straightening your legs. At the same time bring your head towards your knees and keep your fingers touching the floor. Your heels should move down towards the floor. Straighten your legs as much as possible. Exhale. This is the 206

end position for frog pose. This completes 1 repetition. Come back down to the starting position and repeat the cycle as many times as indicated.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose: Beginners, start with as many as you can do and work up to 26 froggies. Intermediates, work up to 54 froggies. Advanced, work up to 108 froggies. Fanatics, keep going :-).

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose: Shapes, tones and strengthens the legs and lower body. Specially the thighs muscles. Builds the cardiovascular system and respiratory system. Promoting better circulation and better respiration. Promotes flexibility in the hamstrings and calves. Overall, builds one level of fitness and endurance. Builds sexual potency and virility.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose: Careful with your knees. If you have bad knees, approach this exercise with caution.

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Take breaks in between if your legs are burning too much. Once they recover continue on. This yoga exercise will get your heart rate up, so careful not to get dizzy. If you feel breathless, light headed or faint, stop and take a break. Here is a secret. Doing froggies slowly is harder. Some kundalini yoga kriyas (sets) demand you go slow, but in general a brisk pace will allow you to do more. Just don't push too hard. It is ok to be sore in the legs the next day. It means the muscles got a much needed workout. It is beneficial to stretch the hamstrings before doing frog pose.

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Chapter 45 Locust Pose for Digestive Power


It is time to add some more hatha yoga asanas to our ongoing online hatha yoga poses e-book, and today we will add a classical and important posture to this resource. This pose is called Locust Pose or Shalabh Asana and it is very good for your lower back as well as toning your digestive organs. It is a slightly more difficult posture, so I will give you some nice variations below to help you practice and master this fundamental yoga pose. This pose, as you will see below, can be practiced in the classical hatha yoga style, by holding it steady, or dynamically as well, which tends to be the kundalini yoga approach, by adding movement and dynamic breathing to it. In either case, please pay special attention to the cautions I have indicated for this posture, as it can be challenging for the beginner yogi. Locust Pose will be part of the following 2 free online e-books here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga: Free Hatha Yoga Poses and Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises, where you will find a large collection of other yoga poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed. Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga, which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. Also, be on the lookout for more free online yoga classes which are going to incorporate sets which use this classical pose in the very near future.

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Classical Hatha Yoga Pose - Locust Pose Illustration for Locust Pose

Classical Hatha Yoga's Shalabh Asana: a. Basic Instructions for Hatha Yoga Locust Pose: Start by lying flat on your stomach, with your chin on the floor. Have your hands in fists and place them underneath your body at the point where your hips and torso meet. As a variation to this hand position, you can also have you hands along your body, with your palms facing down, instead of tucked underneath in a fist. Close your eyes. Now push down with your hands against the floor and at the same time raise both your legs up as shown in the illustration above. Only raise your legs as far up as comfortable. Hold this position, which breathing deeply through the nose. Lower your legs and release your arms once you are done with the pose and rest on your right cheek. Variation for Beginners: If you are just starting yoga or starting to practice this pose for 210

the first time, start with lifting just one leg at a time, instead of both. As you get stronger and more fit you can move to the classical locust pose as I described above. Dynamic Locust Pose: Once you can do the classical version described above, you can try the dynamic version of this posture as well. In this variation, lift your legs up as you inhale and then lower them as you exhale. Continue this dynamic motion for the duration of the exercise. Locust Pose with Dynamic Breathing: Another variation is to hold the classical pose illustrated above, and then do Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise with holding this posture. This too is a very good variation to this pose. Finally, you can also do the dynamic movement of the legs going up and down, which doing breath of fire at the same time. Now you are practicing some serious Kundalini Yoga .

b. Duration for Hatha Yoga Locust Pose: 10 seconds - 3 mins

c. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Locust Pose: Excellent for strengthening your lower back muscles. Tones all the digestive organs and excellent for the digestive system. Promotes stress relief and deep relaxation.

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Strengthens and firms the hamstrings and buttocks. Increases flexibility in the lower body.

d. Practice Tips and Cautions for Classical Hatha Yoga Locust Pose: Although this exercise is great for you back, if you have major back issues you should proceed with caution. For minor back issues, this exercise can be used as an effective treatment. As this pose increases blood flow and puts pressure on the heart, you should be cautious if you have high blood pressure or major cardiovascular issues. Feel free to take breaks in between the leg raises to allow your muscles to recover while you develop your strength and stamina.

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Chapter 46 Yoga Exercise to Cleanse Your Aura


Clearing and developing the power of one's aura and magnetic field is an important aspect of yoga in general and is especially true in Kundalini Yoga. There are many wonderful exercises to accomplish this, such as Eagle Pose for Powerful Aura, which I have published previously, and the exercise in this article is another fundamental Kundalini Yoga exercise great for cleansing the aura and charging your magnetic field. The Aura is a part of the 10 Bodies of Light Model, on which Yoga Numerology and Master Number Analysis is based, and it is the sum total of your nerve strength and bio-electric energy. It plays a subtle but important role in your life, as the aura spontaneously affects and influences others who come within its reach. Thus, a person with a clear, powerful aura would be very charming and magnetic, and able to mesmerize others with their simple presence and being. In addition, the aura is like a shield against negative energies and unknown forces which may wish to influence or harm you. For anyone who has taken a Kundalini Yoga class, the section that involves shoulder work is usually the most dreaded , and unfortunately most work involving the aura requires this kind of exercise. This technique is no different and will tend to challenge your mental willpower, more than your physical prowess. Just keep in mind all the great benefits you are going to enjoy, to help you get through the tough phases of this technique. Another point I wish to make regarding cleansing and strengthening the aura, is that the breath plays an important role in that process. The Kundalini Yoga techniques which are designed to clear the Aura, almost always have a vigorous breathing pattern associated with them. This technique is again in line with this approach, and uses the 213

powerful Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise to maximize its purification powers. So, keep that in mind as you practice this technique. This exercise will be part of the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises series here on Mastery of Meditation. In that series and the other free online e-books you will find a large collection of other yoga poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed as well. Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice kundalini yoga, which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. Yoga Criss-Cross Technique for Cleansing Aura Illustration #1 Starting Position for Yoga Criss-Cross

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Illustration #2 Alternate Mudra for Yoga Criss-Cross

Illustration #3 Yoga for Aura Criss-Cross

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Illustration #4 Yoga for Aura Criss-Cross

Yoga Criss-Cross Technique for Cleansing Aura: a. Instructions for Yoga Criss-Cross: Sit in easy pose (legs crossed). I am using a firm cushion in the illustrations above and sitting in Burmese Style (one leg in front of the other). Extend both arms in front of you, slightly raised such that your palms are at hairline level (top of the forehead). You can either have all your finger extended as I have done in Illustration #1, or do the more advanced mudra, where your thumb is at the base of your pinkie (Illustration #2) with the other fingers extended. Close you eyes and tune into your energy. As you do this exercise you can visualize your Aura glowing brighter and brighter. Begin to rapidly criss-cross the arms in front of you, bringing one on top (Illustration #3) and then the other (Illustration #4). At 216

the same time being powerful the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise. The arms should cross only up to about the elbows and go outwards only slightly wider than shoulder width, as I have shown in the pictures above. Continue to criss-cross your arms in this way at a rapid rhythmic pace for the duration of the exercise.

b. Duration for Criss-Cross Technique: 30 seconds - 5 mins

c. Benefits of Criss-Cross Technique for Cleansing Aura: Cleanses and powers your Aura. Strengthens your Magnetic Field. Bestows charisma and magnetism. Tones your arms, shoulders and chest muscles. Improves your respiratory system. Builds willpower and character.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Criss-Cross for Powerful Aura: Take a break in between if it gets too difficult, and then start again when ready. As you develop your mastery of this technique, start to see through the initial phases of discomfort that you feel. It will get easier as the energy pathways open up and your mind and body stop resisting the pain.

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At the end of the exercise, use Mula Bandha as I have described in the following article, 5 Simple Tips to Elevate Your Yoga Practice. This will give your Aura an additional boost.

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Chapter 47 Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set


Yoga Exercises for Navel Strength and Power THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set Video Purpose of Core Abdominal Power Yoga Exercises: The following set of Kundalini Yoga exercises builds the navel center and works on the 3rd Chakra (energy vortex) of the Kundalini Energy System. The 3rd Chakra is called the Manipura or Nabhi Chakra. The navel center is not only important for core energy and necessary physical fuel, but also the Manipura chakra, which governs this region, is associated with the attributes of willpower and strength of character. Thus, it is recommended that early in ones yoga practice one builds and balances this chakra. Doing so helps one to remain committed to their yoga and meditation practice, thus reaping the full rewards that such practice brings. Of course developing washboard like abs in the process does not harm either :-). Description of Core Abdominal Power Yoga Exercises: 1. Single Leg Rotations: (Chakra Padasana) a. Guided Instructions for Single Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise:

Lie flat on your back. Raise your right leg up to about 45 degrees. Point your feet and toes away from you.

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Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise and keeping your leg straight rotate it in a big circle clockwise. Make the circle as big as you can without touching the floor. Do 10 rotations in 1 direction and then without resting rotate the same leg in the other direction (counter-clockwise).

Repeat with the left leg.

b. Duration for Single Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Takes about 1 minute / leg, but use the count provided above. c. Benefits of Single Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Builds your Navel Center and strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.

Activates and balances the Manipura Chakra (naval center). Builds willpower and strength of character. Loosens and opens up the hips.

d. Practice Tips for Single Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: To modify the exercise bend you knees or do fewer rotations at a stretch. You can also take rest as needed.

(Take a short break to let your hip flexors and abdominals recover). 2. Double Leg Rotations: a. Guided Instructions for Double Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise:

Continue to lie flat on your back. Now raise both legs up to about 45 degrees. 220

Point your feet and toes away from you. Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise and keeping your legs straight rotate them in a big circle clockwise. Make the circle as big as you can without touching the floor. Do 10 rotations in 1 direction and then without resting rotate your legs in the other direction (counter-clockwise).

b. Duration for Double Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Takes about 1 minute, but use the count provided above. c. Benefits of Double Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Builds your Navel Center and strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles. Activates and balances the Manipura Chakra. Builds willpower and strength of character. Loosens and opens up the hips.

d. Practice Tips for Double Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: To modify the exercise bend you knees or do fewer rotations at a stretch. You can also take rest in between as needed. To support your lower back you may want to put your hand underneath your buttocks with your palms facing down.

3. Relax in Yoga Corpse Pose: (also called Shav Asana) a. Guided Instruction for Yoga Corpse Pose: Lie on your back and have your arms out to your sides about six to twelve inches away from your body. Turn your palms slightly upward.

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Relax your body and breath.

b. Duration for Yoga Corpse Pose: 1-2 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Corpse Pose:

Allows the body to consolidate the gains from the previous exercises. Helps the body heal and rejuvenate itself. Promotes relaxation and peace.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Corpse Pose: Try to consciously relax your entire body. Release all your tensions and worries and stay in the present moment as best you can.

4. Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise: a. Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise:

Lie on your back, bend your legs and bring you knees in towards your chest. Hold on to each knee. Right hand grasps right knee, and left hand grasps left knee. Now try to explode off the ground like you are a pop corn popping. So you are trying to launch your whole body towards the ceiling (you will probably not leave the ground, but its the effort that counts here :-).

If you are doing this right, pretty soon your abdominal muscles will let you know.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise: 1-5 mins c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise:

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Very good for building your core power and abdominal strength. Good for building overall fitness and stamina.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise: Another yoga exercise that you should not be quickly fooled by. If doing it correctly it is a great way to burn fat and develop strong abdominal muscles without putting any strain on the joints and lower back. Make sure you are using a soft surface when doing this exercise.

5. Yoga Boat Pose (Maha Shakti Kriya or Nauk Asana): a. Instructions for Yoga Boat Pose:

Lie flat on your back.

Have your arms straight out to the sides with your palms facing in. Keep your legs together and straight out as well with your toes pointing forward. Now bring your legs and torso up such that you are balancing on your sacrum. Keep your eyes focused on your toes, this will help you keep your balance. You are forming a V shape, with your legs and torso.

Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Yoga Boat Pose: 1-3 minutes c. Benefits of Yoga Boat Pose: Builds your Navel Center and strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles. Activates and balances the Manipura Chakra.

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Builds willpower and strength of character. Awakens all the systems in the body (digestive, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, etc.). Develops focus and balance.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Boat Pose: To modify the exercise hold on to your knees or thighs. Keeping a steady gaze upon your toes will go a long way in helping you keep your balance. If you need to, you can take a break and then come into the pose again once you are ready. This is a very powerful kundalini yoga pose and is sometimes practiced on its own as a complete set (kriya). You can build up the time for Maha Shakti Kriya to 11 minutes.

6. Relax in Yoga Corpse Pose (#3 above) for 2-5 minutes: This concludes the Core Abdominal Power Yoga Exercises.

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Chapter 48 Powerful 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise for Vitality


Video of 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: From Yoga Pranayama Video Series - Deep Breathing Exercise Background of 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise: This is the yoga breathing technique that my Kundalini Yoga teacher, Ravi Singh, almost always started our classes with. This is because despite being a simple breathing exercise, its ability to open up and get ones energy going is astonishing. In addition to awakening ones energy, this particular yoga pranayama also has other significant benefits, which I will detail below. Whether you are new to Yogic breathing techniques or an expert, this particular breath control exercise should be a permanent member in your goodie bag, which you can pull out anytime you need to fire up and vitalize your pranic body (energetic body). Benefits of Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise: Primary:

Rapidly oxygenates your blood, thus helping the body heal, detoxify and remove waste more effectively. Increases the amount of Prana (life-force) you are bringing into your system.

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Improves the elasticity of the lungs and increases respiratory capacity. Activates the energy flows in your body.

Cautions for Practicing Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise:

If you feel dizzy when practicing this breathing technique, you should stop and substitute normal breathing. If you suffer from vertigo, you should use caution in practicing this breathing exercise. You should be careful practicing this pranayama if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or suffer from stroke or epilepsy.

Step-by-step Instructions for Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise:


To practice this breathing exercise, sit in a comfortable position. Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Close your eyes. Bring the palms of your hands together at sternum level (like when you pray), but have them 2-4 inches away from your chest. Your elbows should be up such that your forearms are parallel to the ground. Press the palms of your hands together applying equal pressure to both sides. The pressure should be firm but not excessive. Relax your diaphragm and stomach muscles.

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Now inhale in 4 sniffs and exhale in 4 sniffs. So you are breaking up 1 inhalation into 4 equal parts and breaking up 1 exhalation into 4 equal parts. By the fourth sniff, during the inhalation, you should have completly filled your lungs with air and by the fourth sniff, during the exhalation, you should have completely expelled all the air. Completely inhaling and exhaling by the last sniff is a key part of this breathing technique. Continue for 1-5 minutes. Thats it.

Secret of Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise: The real benefit of this yoga pranayama is hidden in benefit number three listed above (increases lung capacity). According to Yoga, your evolution can be triggered simply by the capacity of your respiratory system. When it reaches a critical threshold relative to your size, you evolve. By partitioning the breath, this particular breathing technique forces you to maximize the use of your lungs. Thus, helping them expand and absorb more prana (life-force) from the air. Generally, in everyday life we dont use our full lung capacity and over time this capacity diminishes. So take a bold step towards your spiritual growth and include the Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise into your daily yoga practice. It is a great way to start and will go a long way in helping you finish. This concludes the Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise.

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Chapter 49 Zen Meditation Technique - Practice & Hidden Secret - Free Guided Meditation
The Practice of Zen Meditation Technique - Zazen The first meditation we will explore in the Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques E-Book is the famous Zen Meditation Technique, also called Zazen or Breath Meditation. At the end of the meditation script I will reveal the real secret behind this most profound meditation technique. THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Online Meditation Video Series for Daily Meditation Practice

Background of Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): This was the meditation technique of Lord Buddha - I should have to say no more in order to motivate you to try this meditation. It is one of the most widely used meditations in the world and is the heart of Zen Buddhist teachings. If one was to make a short list of the best meditation techniques, Zazen would most certainly make the top 10 list. Tools required for Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): Zafu (traditional Zen Buddhist meditation cushion), Smile Cushion or other firm meditation cushion. I purchased mine from zafu.net. I also purchased a zabuton (meditation mat) from them, a zabuton though is optional. Loose comfortable clothing.

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An alarm clock, stopwatch or other time device.

Benefits of Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): Primary Benefits: Builds Concentration and Focus. Self Knowledge - both, the workings of little self (ego) and awareness of the Big Self (True Divine Nature). Calmness. Compassion. Spontaneous Joy.

Secondary Benefits: Improves health and wellbeing. Increases willpower and builds character. Bestows psychic powers.

Cautions for Practicing Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): There are very few cautions with regard to Zazen practice, but the one I would like to point out has to do with emotional storms. There can be periods of time, either during a single sitting or spanning across several weeks, when emotions you may have suppressed rise up to the surface and force you to deal with them. During these turbulent times, dont exacerbate the issue by chewing on the emotion laden thoughts that come up. Traumatizing yourself in this way has no value. Instead, sit with the emotions and related thoughts without 229

resistance, and then let them go and return your awareness to your breath. This emotional cleansing is due to the visibility of the subconscious mind once the conscious mind is quieted by the meditation. In the short term, this can be a difficult time to go though, but in the long term its a necessary and healthy cleansing that will promote greater peace, depth, joy and clarity in your life. Guided Basic Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. If using a zafu or similar meditation cushion, sit on the forward third of the cushion. The objective is for your hips to be raised above your knees and to form a three-point base with your knees and buttocks touching the floor/cushion (leave a comment below if want to use a chair or meditation bench and would like me to explain those details). Set your alarm or other time device for 20 minutes. Now elongate your spine upwards and to align it with the back of your head, subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. There will be a slight inward arch in your lower back. Now rock gently from side to side in big arcs, making them smaller and smaller till you drift to a stop. You should find yourself perpendicular to the floor with no tension or pull from either side. Have your eyes half open with an unfocused gaze on the floor in front of you. You should be looking down at a 45-degree angle about 2 to 3 feet in front of you. You may also close your eyes if you prefer. Bring your hands to your lap and place them in the cosmic 230

mudra. To do this rest your right hand on your lap, then rest your left hand on top of it and have your fingers overlap. Now bring the thumb tips together thus forming an oval frame. Close your mouth, swallow your saliva creating a slight vacuum and place your tongue against the roof of your mouth. After this point there should be absolutely no more movement of the body. No fidgeting, scratching, shifting - nothing - be like you are frozen in time. Take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose. This will oxygenate your blood and relax you. Now bring you attention to your breath without trying to manipulate it further in any way, just become aware of its flow. Spend a few minutes just observing it intimately till it starts to become regular and relaxed. At this point begin counting your breath. Count an inhalation as one, then the exhalation as 2 and continue to count your breaths until you reach 10. At which point return to 1 with the next inhalation. If at any point you get caught in a mental story line and loose your count, gently, without passing any judgment, return to 1 and start over. Thats it, continue for the duration of the meditation.

Guided Intermediate Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): Follow all the steps for the Basic Zen Meditation Technique, except for the last step a complete inhalation and exhalation cycle should be counted as 1. So you will do 10 full cycles of inhalation and exhalation before returning to 1. You can also increase the time to 30 - 40 minutes.

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Guided Advanced Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): Follow all the steps for the Basic Zen Meditation Technique, except for the last step instead of counting the breaths, just "be the breath". Dont try to jump to this step too soon, first build your concentration and focus. You can also increase the time to 1 hour. Hints and Tips for Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): Do some stretching or Yoga before sitting in zazen. It will help your body adjust better. Be regular, the benefits of this meditation are vast, but they take time to manifest. Some good internet resources and books on Zen meditation and Zen teachings are listed below 1. Charlotte Joko Becks Ordinary Mind Zen School and her book Everyday Zen: Love & Work 2. Zen Mountain Monastery - Mountain and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism 3. Shunryu Suzukis San Francisco Zen Center and his book Zen Mind, Beginners Mind Secret of Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen): The secret of zazen does not lie in the awareness of the inhalation or the exhalation. It lies in the gap in between these breaths. It lies when the breath is spontaneously suspended. It is in this gap where the mysteries of the Universe are hidden. This gap and the gap between 2 thoughts are best friends, and in this silence between 2 thoughts the absolute is revealed. Dont try to force this pause, just continue with your zazen, it 232

will come about naturally.

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Chapter 50 Week 4 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge: Deepen and Consolidate Meditation and Yoga Knowledge.

Techniques: Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Crow Pose Shoulder Stand. Modified Wheel Pose. Elbow Platform. Boat Pose. Yoga See-Saw. Yoga Ab Crunches. Heart Chakra Healing and Balancing Set. Anuloma Viloma Alternate Nostril Breathing. AUM Mantra Meditation.

Articles for Study: How Much Time Should I Meditation For Tips and Tools for Meditation Meditation Help | Tips for Beginners No Shortcuts to Enlightenment

Daily Practice: Pranayama: 5-10 mins Anuloma Viloma Pranayama 234

Yoga Poses: Each Day Learn and Practice 1 Pose - 5 mins Crow Pose for Root Chakra Cleansing Shoulder Stand for Brain Fitness Modified Wheel Pose for Digestion Tough Power Yoga Elbow Platform Pose Boat Pose for Abdominal Training See-Saw Yoga Shoulder Exercise Yoga Ab Crunches for 6 Pack Abs

Yoga Set: 5-15 mins Heart Chakra Balancing Set

Meditation: 10-20 mins AUM Mantra Meditation Technique

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Chapter 51 How Much Time Should You Practice Meditation For Daily?
Meditation Guidance There is a famous story of a Kundalini Yoga Master who was desperate to increase the amount of time he spent doing his daily meditation practice. The story says that the Yogi nailed his ponytail to the wall so that when he would start to dose off his contraption would rudely awaken him, and that this technique allowed him to successfully meditate for 22 hours daily. Are you ready for that :-)? Luckily, 22 hours of daily meditation is not a prerequisite for spiritual growth or enlightenment, but the point of the story is that the task is not cheap either. So for how long should one meditate daily? Before we go into the numbers it is important to clarify exactly what type of meditation we are talking about here. There are many schools of meditation, each with their own techniques and methods. Here, we are referring to the meditations that are done being mostly physically still. So this would include zen meditation (zazen), vipassana, insight meditation, jyana yoga, the Silent Mind (SM) Meditations, and meditations that utilize an object for concentration (3rd eye meditation, mantra meditation, visualization, sound, trataka (candle flame gazing), 3 step rhythmic breath (3srb) meditation or similar variation of breath meditation, etc). The other types of meditations involving dance (shiva tandava - dance of death), Oshos meditations (kundalini, dynamic, etc), laya yoga meditations, and other such meditations have specific time requirements to work their magic and I am not referring to them in this discussion, now on to the numbers. The minimum time one should aim to set aside for daily meditation is 20 minutes. Let me tell you a true story. In my post graduate years I was studying cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence, looking to 236

actually do empirical studies on meditative states of consciousness. One of my philosophy professors told me to join a Zen meditation club, which practiced zazen regularly on campus. Till then, I had only meditated on my back lying down or during long walks, but I decided to attend their zazen session. It was meant to be two 20-minute sessions and let me tell you I ran away after the first 20 minutes. I still to this day remember the sensei saying, "I guess he is leaving," as I snuck out of the back door. Only later, after luckily coming across Charlotte Joko Becks Everyday Zen: Love and Work, did I really start to establish a strong, regular zazen practice. The point here is that 20 minutes initially, if you have not done formal sitting meditation before, is much harder than you might think. So, if it takes you some time to get to 20 minutes of daily meditation that is perfectly fine. Start with less, but aim at building up your meditation to this amount of time. Read The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now for more guidance to get your practice started if you need it. Why 20 minutes of meditation? From my experience I can say that 20 minutes daily proved to be very effective; everything just started to transform. Others, over time, have also probably found that this amount of time has worked well for bringing about positive changes in themselves and so the number has become the de facto standard for a starting practice. The next stage is 30 minutes, 2 times daily. On my trip to Zen Mountain Monastery for their Zazen Training program, 30 minutes was the minimum time requirement for any zazen session. I could relate to the difficulties some of the first timers were having with this length of time and unfortunately for them there was no back door to escape from either ;-). Also, interestingly at Zen Mountain Monastery, you could request to be struck with a cane on your shoulders (at special acupressure points) to help you stay awake, drain emotional junk out of your system or as an aid to go deeper. This is called Keisaku and it can work as an alternative technique for you if you dont have long hair like our Yogi friend above :-). So work your way up to 30 minutes of meditation, and try to do that twice daily if possible. 237

Finally, you should build up to 1 hour of steady meditation practice everyday. For extracting the maximum benefit from a meditation program this is the golden number. To get to the experience of "Big Mind" as Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki describes the detached state, or the "Big Self" as described by the Advaita Vedanta teachers, or to get to the explosion of insight as put forth by J. Krishnamurti and the Silent Mind Meditations, 1 hour of meditation is usually needed. This is primarily because it takes some time for the thinking process to slow down and for us to extract ourselves out of the daily drama of our little egos. So there you have it. Start and aim for 20 minutes of daily meditation and then build up to 1 hour. You will find everything you are looking for, as you will discover that everything is you.

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Chapter 52 Essential Meditation Tips & Tools for Daily Practice


Mastering Your Daily Meditation Practice Series What are the key items you need in order to start or deepen your daily meditation practice? To help answer this question I thought it would be best if I simply shared with you my personal meditation tools and some tips that have helped me establish and benefit from a strong daily meditation practice. In the article Top 5 Mistakes in Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice, mistake #2 was "Dont Prepare Your Meditation Environment." In that section I listed the essential tools of the trade for a successful meditator. Below are illustrations of these meditation tools straight forms my meditation world. Hope it helps you to plan and set-up your own meditation room and environment. My Meditation Space 1. My Meditation Space: Here is my favorite place in the Universe. Some items worth noting from this illustration are Related Meditation Tips: Lamp: I use a touch lamp, which is within reach of where I sit. It has 3 levels of illumination and really helps set a very serene and inviting atmosphere to help my mind settle down quickly to prepare for meditation. Its really pretty cool as it works with touch so is easy to deal with in the dark as well. Shawl: You will also see a shawl, which I drape over my legs to stay comfortable on cold mornings. Early mornings are by far the best time for meditation if you can manage it. Here is an article that expands on that more: The Secret of How to Become an Early Riser. 239

Meditation Cushion & Zabuton 2. Meditation Smile Cushion & Meditation Zabuton: There were both purchased over the Internet from the website zafu.net. Related Meditation Tips: Meditation Smile Cushion: I also have a traditional round Zen Meditation Zafu, but I have found the smile cushion above to be more effective for me as it gives more support to the legs. If you were going to sit for 1 hour plus, without intermittent Kinhin (walking meditation) or other breaks, I would strongly recommend investing is a good meditation cushion. Meditation Mat (Zabuton): I normally cover my zabuton with a towel when I sit, so I dont have to worry about it getting dirty often. Meditation Clothing 3. Meditation Clothing: My wife was like, you are NOT going to put pictures of your self-tailored pajamas on the website are you? Well yes I am and I am very proud of the design, which I am ultimately planning to sell to Armani for a fortune in the near future: -D. Related Meditation Tips: Meditation Pajamas: The shorts are really for the Yoga practice, which I do after my meditation practice. The custom butchered pajamas are for meditation and they serve 2 very important purposes. First, they are cut at the upper thighs so no material bunches up behind the knees to cut off blood supply to put my legs to sleep. Second, the waistband is not elastic, but instead uses a woven tape (nala), which I loosen once I sit so that my diaphragm and breathing are not impeded in any way.

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Meditation Motivators 4. Meditation Motivators: These are just some items, which inspire me and help set the right atmosphere for spiritual work. Related Meditation Tips: Baby Proof Stuff: I have little ones who you can read about here: How to Make a Baby the Right Way with Illustrations. So my incense box is baby proof, as is the lighter you will see in the picture below. Meditation Tools 5. Meditation Tools: For insight meditation practice no music should be used, so the remote is much more important for the Yoga & Pranayama practice, specially if you are using rhythm for the breathing exercises. The most important item in the list above is the stopwatch. Related Meditation Tips: Stopwatch: Make sure you have a stopwatch, which counts down from a particular time period. This way you wont have to disrupt your practice by looking at a clock to determine the length of your meditation. Conclusion: One item I realized I forgot is my meditation journal. It sits right under my little table, or in my basket and any profound insights or enlightenment experiences I have I note them down there. I hope giving you this glimpse into my meditation practice inspires and helps you with your daily spiritual work. You can also get more meditation hints and tips from this article: Silent Mind Meditation Program - Practical Hints & Tips- Chapter 18.

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Chapter 53 Meditation Help & 5 Great New Meditation Tips for Beginners
Meditation Help In the 2 previous article, Essential Meditation Tips & Tools for Daily Practice and the Top 5 Mistakes in Establishing a Meditation Practice, I shared many important meditation tips to help you establish a strong meditation practice. Today I would like to give you some more valuable meditation help. Todays article will give you tips, which are very practical in nature and should help you deal with common issues that many beginner meditators have. First, I will do a quick review of the tips from the previous articles I mentioned above and then, I will move ahead to the new meditation tips I would like to share with you today. If you are familiar with the two articles above, then you can skip down to the New Meditation Help & Tips Section below. Meditation Help for Beginners 1- Meditation Space: This is a must. Gorilla meditation tactics, meditating here and there are everywhere and are usually just good for short bursts. If you are interested in a sustained campaign, designating a meditation space is a huge help. Those college students who complain to me about this suggestion due to living in a dorm, your entire room is your meditation space mine was. Of course, in this case just do the best you can. 2- Meditation Tools: Loose fitting clothing, that doesnt bunch up behind your knees, an 242

alarm clock, good firm meditation cushion (preferably a Zafu or Smile Cushion) are all very helpful meditation accessories. 3- Set Meditation Time: This should have been number 1, but I am feeling too lazy to cut and paste it up there now, so here it is incorrectly at number 3. Set a specific time to do your daily meditation practice. Preferably this should be early in the morning, earlier the better, but certainly before your day kicks into full gear. There are many good reasons for this and you can read about those in the article: The Secret to Becoming an Early Riser. 4- Right Meditation Attitude: Here are attitudes that get in the way of establishing a strong meditation practice. Some of these are the ones I listed in the meditation articles above, but some are from the comments of other meditators offering their ideas and meditation help. Think meditation is too hard and give up. Be patient, persist and do as much as you are comfortable doing. Overdoing it and not enjoying your practice becomes an obstacle to long-term practice. Want enlightenment or positive changes fast. The rewards take a little time to emerge, but they do come and are certainly worth it. Just keep going, without expectations or desire for lollipops and psychic powers. Try to Stop/Empty the Mind: It is ok for thoughts to come up; the Big Mind and unearthly silence will emerge. It just takes time for such evolution to happen.

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Meditation Help & 5 New Beginner Meditation Tips Here are 5 more helpful meditation tips, which should help you raise the level of your meditation practice. These are very practical tips and deal with difficulties both, beginners and others, will typically encounter during their actual meditation sessions. Meditation Tip #1- Sitting Through Restlessness: This is perhaps one of the most common difficulties encountered by beginner meditators. You have set the alarm for 20 minutes and about 10 minutes in, you are cruising along doing your Zen Meditation counting your breath, when you start to feel restless, start wondering how much time is left and start to feel the urge to get up and get busy with life oh oh! If this is happening to you, you are lucky. Yes that is correct, you are lucky and I am jealous. This is precisely why meditation, especially silent, still meditation, is so effective and why you will benefit so much from your early practice. At the very end, enlightenment is nothing but the art of being ok with "what is", no matter what that "what is" is. It is the art of embracing the present, and being empty of the desire to change or escape it. Guess what, here is your chance to develop that art. You see, once you become an expert meditator, that restlessness and boredom tends to come up much less, so really you get less opportunity to practice this great art of staying with the unpleasant present. Developing this art is what Zen Meditation (or other such meditation) facilitates and that is precisely why it works wonders for you during the early days of practice. So the next time you get the urge to end your session early, bear down remember this is your chance to grow. Treat this unpleasantness as a gift and remain with it. Neither, suppress it, or run away from it. Just observe it. You are now developing your 244

highest potential, the muscle of awareness you are now developing the Witnessing Consciousness. You are now mastering the Art of Living. Meditation Tip #2- Just Sit Down: If you are a gym rat, you know that if you can just get to the gym, you will get some degree of workout done. Half the battle is won if you can just get there. The same is with meditation. If you can just get your butt down on the Zafu (meditation cushion), half the battle is won. And if you can remember meditation tip #1 above, well then the battle is really going to go well, as you are now probably going to complete the entire session. This is further facilitated if you have a set meditation time and a set meditation space. Although, meditation is the ultimate science and bestows the ultimate freedom, if you need to respond like Pavlovs Dog (classical conditioning) did to the sound of a bell, in order to jump onto your cushion and start your meditation session, so be it. Just find a way to get on the cushion; the rest will start to take care of itself. Meditation Tip #3- Make it Count: Well since you have already sat down, you might as well make the most of it. Of course you could sit and spend the entire time thinking about all the things you need to do that day, but really that can wait till you have finished meditating. If many things are on your mind, then write them down before you sit and tell your mind that right after you are done, you will address those issues. This technique works great if you have insomnia from over thinking as well. It puts the mind at ease by telling it that it will get a chance to chew over all those problems later, so it leaves you alone to get your meditation done. Also, always remind yourself how precious your time here is, remind yourself that life is short and you simply cannot afford to not use your 245

meditation time as best as possible. As Zen Master Charlotte Joko Beck points out, if you are going to sit and not apply yourself in any way to observe your mind or breath, you might as well be out playing golf. So apply yourself as best you can. Thus, you will be doing your part. The rest, as usual, will take care of itself. Meditation Tip #4- Mind Over Body: I know your knees hurt and oooooohhhh that aching back. No, that is not the reason to stop, in fact that is not even the reason to move or flinch. Unless you are going to blow out a knee and have to go to the emergency room, you are not to move unnecessarily. If its Zen Meditation or other such Insight Meditation Technique, then it is not necessary to move at all, so you should be as if you are frozen in time. aching knees and all (see meditation tip #1 above for inspiration). Once you give in and start adjusting during meditation, there will be no end to it. Why? Because the body knows then that it is still the master. It knows that it still calls the shots and by a little pain here, a little phantom itch there, a little phantom tickle here, it can still boss you around. Yes phantom sensations. The body is not going to like being subdued and made to be still at your command, so it is going to create ghost feelings to get back on top. Just say no. If you can endure the first few attempts by the body to regain dominance, the body will understand that the true master is back in the house and it will stop troubling you. Try this and validate it for yourself. Meditation Tip #5- No Negative Thinking: I dont have the discipline. I dont have the gift of insight. I cant watch my thoughts. I am not intelligent enough. I cant concentrate. I am not flexible enough. I dont have the willpower. After all I am not the chosen one Eddie Murphy is (The Golden Child). 246

Look, meditation is arduous. It is not complex, but at its highest levels it is arduous, so dont make it harder than it is. The fact is you just dont know what is going to happen, so there is no need to think that the worst is going to happen or that you dont have what it takes to make the best happen. This type of negative thinking just creates more obstacles and is totally worthless. It serves no good purpose, so just dont do it. I know those beginning meditation can have such discouraging thoughts and you should guard against believing them. They are just thoughts, dont give them life by buying into them. Just observe them, smile, and let them go. As I mentioned above, your job is simple; do your best. Leave the rest in the hands of the good Lord. Summary of Meditation Help & Beginner Meditation Tips: I think I will need another article on this topic as more and more great tips keep bubbling up into my mind (must be this creativity experiment I am doing, but that too is another article). But for now I think the above tips will go a along way in getting your started with your meditation practice and help make it into one that is strong and deep. If you have meditation help you can offer others, please do share them with us in the comments section below. If you are looking for more meditation help or looking to enhance your current meditation practice, you can check out the Meditation for Beginners | Learn How to Meditate Class this is a part of the Free Online Meditation Classes offered here.

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Chapter 54 No Short Cuts to Enlightenment


Enlightenment A single Shakyamuni Buddha, a Lord Jesus Christ, a Saint Mahavira, a Lord Krishna, a Mahayogi Pantanjali, a Guru Nanak have a massive lasting impact on the whole of humanity, so tell me something, if there was a school, institute, program or person with a short cut solution for pumping out enlightened folks by the dozens would not humanity be in better shape than it is? Would not the message of love and peace spread and penetrate society at least to a larger extent than today, where it seems to be almost non-existent? OK, forget that argument, think about this, would not this saint-producing factory have a line twenty miles long outside of aspirants and be all over the news? This is the Internet age, the age of information, a time where multiple 24/7 news channels thrive, where small news in a remote corner of the world shows up at your doorstep almost instantly. So given that, would not this incredible nirvana factory be the talk of the town? Wouldnt all the spiritual junkies be flocking to it? But the last time I tuned into CNN, the news was still who just died, alas I might have missed the grand opening. OK, forget that argument; think about this, the monks and yogis of old retreated to the mountains and forests for decades to practice meditation. Were they mad, incompetent, or masochistic? Were they just plain dumb and clueless to the fact that there was a quick fix available? Could it be that these potent, massive human beings just all kept missing the short cut? These fellows have practiced meditation for thousands of years and all of them never discovered the short cut! No, sorry my friend there is no short cut, but if you are still not convinced I will continue with some more reasons below. Lets look at life. Getting in shape takes hard work, mastering an art can take a lifetime, learning a science, skill or language can take 248

years, but you figured that the greatest art of all, the highest accomplishment possible to man, would be made possible via a 20 minute CD!! Sorry, it will not be handed to you on a silver platter no matter what the salesman says. And speaking of salesman that is probably the best clue of all that something is amiss. The one trait that is common across all the definitions of enlightenment is compassion. Does it really make sense that a fully awakened enlightened person, who is supposed to be completely free, full of joy, bliss and compassion, decides he would rather be a businessman and only help you if you pay him? He decides to rake in the cash to buy his third BMW since he is just not quite satisfied with having a Buddha Mind? If the source feels more like a business than a genuine place to help guide you, be warned - you are about to be conned. No, my friend, dont waste your money, there are no short cuts and I will tell you something else, it is not even possible to have one; ever. Enlightenment cannot be brought about through any act of will. It comes on its own and goes on its own. No formula can produce it, no method can create it, and no path can take you to it. Any effort on your part to bring about enlightenment only strengthens the noose of desire and perpetuates self-centered activity, so no outside solution can possibly work for this condition. To illuminate this point the following traditional example is often used Think of your life as a movie. Reality is what is happening on the screen, everything that takes place is in the movie; the Truth is the screen itself. It is forever hidden by the images moving on it. It only becomes visible when the movie stops playing. Any willful attempt to stop the movie just adds another theme, another story line and the show goes on. Any angle you undertake is another scene in your movie. This movie has to stop itself and when it does the Truth becomes visible. All you can do is watch the movie. As you watch and study the movie you start to see its monotony and meaninglessness. You start to see the pettiness of being endlessly drawn into your selfcentered drama. This is the beginning of the end. Keep watching carefully, meticulously, and diligently. This watching leads to the movie ending itself. Then you may be blessed with the Truth. So next 249

time someone comes up to you and tries to sell you magic beads of enlightenment, politely show them the garbage can.

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Chapter 55 Crow Pose to Cleanse Root Chakra


Hatha Yoga Posture for Root Chakra Opening Kundalini yoga crow pose, is the sixth entry in our Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses and Exercises E-Book and this pose helps balance two very important chakras of the kundalini seven chakra system. Crow pose works primarily on clearing the root chakra (muladhara chakra), but at the same time it also helps in opening the heart chakra (anahata chakra). By working to cleanse and balance the root chakra, this posture helps to bestow good health, strong sense of security, connectivity to nature and ample wealth. By balancing the heart chakra, this yoga pose helps love, compassion, forgiveness and generosity flow abundantly from you. Crow pose is also common to various schools of yoga, including Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. Below you will find two illustrations of crow yoga pose. The first is a modified version of crow pose, while the second is the full version. Please do feed free to use the modified version, never risk injury by trying a posture you don't feel ready to do. Unlike other kundalini yoga exercises, this posture is done with the eyes open. Detailed instructions follow below the illustrations.

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Yoga Crow Pose for Clearing Root Chakra Picture of Modified Kundalini Yoga Crow Pose

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Crow Pose

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Kundalini Yoga Crow Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Chow Pose: Swat on the floor with legs shoulder width apart and feet flat on the ground with the toes pointing outward. Reach forward with your arms and have your index finger pointing forward, while the other fingers are interlaced. Gaze over your extended arms and stare out into infinity. Keep your back straight and begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Crow Pose: 15 Seconds - 3 minutes. Start slowly and build up your time steadily from there.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Crow Pose: Opens and clears the root chakra bestowing great sense of security, connectivity to nature, good health, fit body, proper perspective on diet, ample wealth and clear practical, down-toearth thinking. Balancing the root chakra also helps remove fears. Balances and heals the heart chakra, allowing love and compassion to flow. Increases flexibility in the groin and hips.

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Good for the health of the knee joints and ankle joints. Very good for toning and healing the elimination system of the body.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Crow Pose: Use the modified version illustrated above. You can also place a rolled up blanket or hard cushion under your heels to help you with this posture. Be careful with your knees and only go as far down as comfortable, regardless of whether you are doing the modified posture or the full pose. If Breath of Fire is too much, then switch to long deep breathing or normal breathing which continuing to hold the pose. Feel your heart center expanding as you reach forward and stare out over your hands into infinity.

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Chapter 56 Shoulder Stand for Brain Fitness


This yoga asana (posture) is our first inverted pose and it is about as inverted as you should go according to kundalini yoga. In hatha yoga, the inversion is taken one step further, in headstand (Sirsh Asana), but kundalini yoga stops at shoulder stand (Sarvanga Asana). So this pose is another one which has been adopted by these 2 great schools of yoga, and thus, it is a part of both the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Poses E-book as well as the Free Hatha Yoga Poses Photo Galleries. Shoulder stand has a long list of benefits, not the least of which is the additional flow of nutrient rich blood to the brain region, to enhance brain fitness and health. Needless to say, this pose should be approached with caution and the posture should not be forced in any way. Below you will find an illustration of shoulder stand. The variation to this pose is not having the legs vertical, but instead they are leaning more towards the floor (not over your head though).

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Hatha Yoga Shoulder Stand Pose for Brain Health Picture of Hatha Yoga Shoulder Stand Pose

Hatha Yoga Shoulder Stand Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Hatha Yoga Shoulder Stand Pose: Lie flat on your back. Curl up your legs and lift yourself up onto your shoulders, with your hands supporting your lower torso as shown. Extend your legs up straight into the air and point your toes. Work your self into as much of a vertical position as possible, keeping the torso and legs aligned.

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In the final position, have your chin pressed into your chest as you reach up with your body and legs. Begin long deep breathing, to help oxygenate and enrich the blood. Once in position, close your eyes and let the asana do it's magic.

b. Duration for Hatha Yoga Shoulder Stand Pose: 15 Seconds - 5 minutes. Start slowly and build up your time steadily from there.

c. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Shoulder Stand Pose: Excellent yoga pose for nourishing the brain with oxygen rich blood to help it remain healthy and fresh. The asana also reverses the affect which gravity has on the organs and helps the inner systems realign themselves. Helps drain and remove stagnant blood from the extremities. The pressure in the neck region massages all the nerves and subtle channels, again promoting improved brain fitness by ensuring better flow to this important region. In addition the thyroid and parathyroid glands are massaged and toned, improving the functioning of the endocrine system. Helps counteract varicose veins. Pacifies the mind and induces peacefulness.

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Helps boost the immune system, as well as overall health and wellbeing.

d. Practice Tips for Hatha Yoga Shoulder Stand Pose: Careful with your neck. Very important to not over strain this delicate region. So only straighten as much as you are comfortable doing. Don't fall over. If you can't get all the way vertical, that is fine. Just straighten as far as you can and slowly improve the posture over time. Strong abdominal muscles will help you master this pose. Don't do this asana excessively. One time per day is more than enough and I don't recommend it for more than 5 minutes max.

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Chapter 57 Modified Wheel Pose for Flexibility and Digestion


Kundalini Yoga's Modified Wheel Pose is certainly an exercise worth including as part of your daily yoga routine. It is an integral part of mine. This exercise is called Kandhar Asana in Hatha Yoga and also goes by a few other names in various yoga circles. Since it is often used as a modification to Wheel Pose (see Advanced Yoga Technique for Total Body Workout), and offers many of that position's benefits without the same degree of difficulty, I find the name Modified Wheel Pose most suitable for it. Modified Wheel Pose, as mentioned above, is part of both Kundalini Yoga and Hatha Yoga and so here on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga, it will be part of the following 2 free online e-books: Free Hatha Yoga Poses & Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises. One of the best aspects of Kundalini Yoga, and yoga practice in general, is the vast array of modifications that poses offer, so that almost all of us can do some variation of the posture and still enjoy many of the benefits that the exercise bestows. Modified Wheel Pose is a perfect example of this. Not only is it a modification of Full Wheel Pose, but it also has a modified version for those who are just beginning yoga and find the posture hard to come into. Below I have given illustrations of both, the modified version of and the full version of Modified Wheel Pose. Modified Wheel Pose This yoga exercise offers many important benefits, such as increasing flexibility, promoting better digestion and toning female reproductive organs for improved function, and I discuss these in more details in the practice section below.

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Kundalini Yoga Modified Wheel Pose Illustration #1 Modification of Modified Wheel Pose

Illustration #2 Kundalini Yoga Modified Wheel Pose

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Kundalini Yoga Modified Wheel Pose: a. Instructions for practicing Kundalini Yoga Modified Wheel Pose: Start by lying on your back. Have your feet hip distance apart and bring your heels up against your buttocks. Reach forward with your arms and grasp you ankles. Now raise your torso off the ground, by pushing up with you navel and hips. You should feel a stretch in you upper thighs and in your back and spine. Try to stretch up such that your chest nears your chin and you feel a good stretch in your lower back. Continue to hold your ankles throughout and keep the feet flat on the floor. Hold this position. In the Kundalini Yoga version the eyes are closed (Illustration #2 above). You can have them open or closed in the Hatha Yoga version. Once you come into the final posture, either do Long Deep Breathing, or do Kundalini Yoga Breath of Fire.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Modified Wheel Pose: 15 seconds - 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Modified Wheel Pose: Excellent to build and increase flexibility of your back and spine. Also promotes flexibility in your shoulders and upper thighs.

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Stretches the entire abdominal region and helps improve your digestive system. Stretches the female reproductive organs, massaging and toning them. Improves conditions related to these organs. Strengthens your legs and thighs. Expands your respiratory system and improves lung capacity. Activates and help heal the Vishuddhi Chakra (Throat Charka) and promotes healthy thyroid function.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Modified Wheel Pose: Modified Version of Modified Wheel Pose: If you find the full version of Modified Wheel Pose too difficult, I suggest starting with the modification to this exercise which is demonstrated in illustration #1 above. In this modification, interlace your fingers as shown and push down against the floor with your arms as you thrust up with your hips and navel. All else is the same as the full version, except that you don't grasp your ankles in the modified version. This modified version will also bestow many of the same benefits and you can use it to slowly increase your flexibility and strength, until you can do the full version. Be careful of you back, knees and neck when doing this pose. Remember to not strain too much and slowly build up the pose to the full version. Also, increase your time gradually and you can take breaks in between as well.

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Chapter 58 Power Yoga Elbow Platform


For the power yoga fans who have been enjoying the high powered sets such as Core Abdominal Power Yoga Exercises and the Yoga for Full Body Fitness, here is an advanced yoga pose that is sure to challenge and test you as well. Of course, if you are a beginner yogi looking to learn yoga or if you are looking for more gentle yoga sets, you will find plenty of those on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga as well, such as the Yoga Poses for Beginners Set and the Kundalini Yoga Best Beginner's Yoga Set, to name a few. The following power yoga pose, Elbow Platform, comes from the timeless school of Kundalini Yoga and is designed to help you build grit and willpower. Along the way to developing these and other intangible assets, the pose will also of course strengthen your body and muscles. Specifically, it will work on your hamstrings, back, abs, buttocks and arms, more on these benefits in the practice section below. Although the basic version of this pose should be sufficient to challenge most yoga enthusiasts, I have also provided an advanced version of this advanced pose, for the real power yoga fanatics . Needless to say, please be careful when coming into this pose, and don't hold it for longer that you feel comfortable. This posture is part of Kundalini Yoga Warrior's Kriya, which I will upload in the future. It can also be integrated into your routine as per your needs. This pose will be part of the following 2 free online e-books: Free Hatha Yoga Poses & Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises, where you will find a huge collection of other yoga poses and postures, fully illustrated and detailed.

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Below you will find illustrations of this power yoga pose and complete practice details. Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. Power Yoga's Elbow Platform Pose Illustration #1 Elbow Platform Pose Basic

Illustration #2 Elbow Platform Pose Advanced - Left Leg

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Illustration #3 Elbow Platform Pose Advanced - Right Leg

Power Yoga Pose - Elbow Platform: a. Instructions for practicing Elbow Platform: Come into the position as indicated by Illustration #1. Essentially you are going to support your entire body with just your elbows and heels. No other parts of the body should be touching the body. The toes should be extended and the entire body should be kept straight. The eyes can be either closed or if kept open, they should be focused on your toes. While doing this yoga pose, you should be doing powerful Breath of Fire Breathing exercise, to reap the full benefits of this posture. In the advanced version of this power yoga pose, you are going to raise one leg about 12 to 18 inches above the ground, so you will then only be holding yourself up with your elbows and 1 heel (Illustration #2 and Illustration #3). Do one leg at a time (unless you have mastered levitation ). Start with your left and then switch to the right. Keep the toes pointed throughout and your body straight. 265

b. Duration for Power Yoga Elbow Platform Pose: 15 seconds - 3 minutes. If you are doing the advanced version, split the time between each leg. Again, don't push too hard, remember that as the muscles tire, the chance of injury rises.

c. Benefits of Power Yoga Elbow Platform Pose: Excellent exercise to strength the upper and lower body simultaneously. Good for shoulders, triceps, back, abs, hamstrings, buttocks and calves. Great for building willpower and grit. This exercise builds character and the ability to overcome challenges and obstacles in life. Good for your nervous system.

d. Practice Tips for Power Yoga Elbow Platform Pose: It is important to do some warm-ups before attempting this pose. Specially warm-up your back, hamstrings and shoulders. Use the Breath of Fire to carry your through as you become more proficient at this pose. Forget about the body and mind, and just breathe powerfully.

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Chapter 59 Yoga Boat Pose for Firm Toned Abs


Today I want to illustrate and detail for you one of the best yoga exercise to help you tone your stomach muscles and get great firm abs. In fact, this particular exercise might just be the single best exercise from the world of health and fitness to work on your abs. It is such a potent pose that in Kundalini Yoga it is considered a Kriya in and of itself and called Maha Shakti Kriya (Great Strength / Power / Energy Set), and this is also a key Hatha Yoga pose, and there it is called Nauk Asana or Boat Pose. As I have mentioned in the past, varying your workout routine is a key element in abdominal and other muscle training, and to help you do that there are several excellent ab exercises and sets already on the website. Here is a quick list of these resources for you, which will give you plenty of ways to introduce variations in your workout. Rest assured, I will continue to add more exercises and sets to help you target your abs and core muscles in a variety of ways in the future. Yoga Workouts for Toned Firm Abs: Stretch Pose for Abdominal Strength Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set (This set uses Boat Pose) Excellent Yoga Workout to Shape and Tone Stomach Yoga Exercise for Great Toned Abs: Boat Pose along with Stretch Pose I think are great exercises to use to benchmark the fitness level of your abs. So even if you switch to other abdominal workouts, you can do either of these 2 poses from time to time to measure the progress you are making with your core 267

strength and power. Stretch Pose is a little more basic, while Boat Pose is more advanced. In addition, if you are doing a yoga set where you are not getting enough abdominal work, I suggest adding Boat Pose to your routine, generally at the end, to ensure you get your work in for this key region. Like almost all yoga postures, Boat Pose also has modifications for beginners to do and I have explained that in the practice section below. This pose will be part of the following 3 free online e-books: Free Hatha Yoga Poses, Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises & Free Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, where you will find a huge collection of other yoga sets, poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed. Below you will find illustrations of this great ab exercise and done regularly I am sure it will help you tone your abs and give you a firm, flat stomach. Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice.

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Boat Pose for Firm Toned Abs Illustration #1 Yoga Boat Pose for Rock Solid Abs

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Illustration #2 Yoga Boat Pose for Rock Solid Abs

Yoga Boat Pose (Maha Shakti Kriya or Nauk Asana) a. Instructions for Yoga Boat Pose for Rock Solid Abs: Lie flat on your back. Have your arms straight out to the sides with your palms facing in. Keep your legs together and straight out as well with your toes pointing forward. Now bring your legs and torso up such that you are balancing on your sacrum. Keep your eyes focused on your toes, this will help you keep your balance. You are forming a V shape, with your legs and torso.

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Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise and continue on for as long as you can.

b. Duration for Yoga Boat Pose: 15 seconds - 11 minutes

c. Benefits of Yoga Boat Pose: Builds your Navel Center and firms and tones your abdominal muscles. Activates and balances the Manipura Chakra. Builds willpower and strength of character. Awakens all the systems in the body (digestive, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, etc.). Develops core energy and vitality. Develops focus and balance.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Boat Pose: To modify the exercise hold on to your knees or thighs. This is a good way for beginners to start. Keeping a steady gaze upon your toes will go a long way in helping you keep your balance. If you need to, you can take a break and then come into the pose again once you are ready. Generally I will do this exercise 3 times, with breaks in between.

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You can build up the time for Maha Shakti Kriya to 11 minutes. This will give you rock solid abs like Bruce Lee, who often practiced this very exercise .

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Chapter 60 Yoga See-Saw Shoulder Exercise


If you have attended a Kundalini Yoga class, you know there is going to be that phase when it's time to do shoulder exercises and it's going to test your pain threshold, at least just a little bit . Being quite an obsessive personality myself, I remember spending a lot of time out of class simply testing my willpower by seeing how long I could hold my arms up, etc. This was to better prepare me for completing the shoulder exercises during class. There are a lot of excellent sets to work on your shoulders in Kundalini Yoga, but today I am going to give you just one simple shoulder exercise which will prepare you nicely for these sets that I plan to upload in the near future. I call this exercise Shoulder See-Saw and it is excellent for warming up before jumping into more difficult exercises or more advanced yoga sets. Although this exercise focuses on the shoulder region, it is also used extensively to work on the Heart Center or Anahat Chakra. This is because, it uses the expanding and contracting theory of Kundalini Yoga exercises, to bring pressure and oxygenated blood to the heart region, allowing the muscles, organs and glands in that area to be cleansed and rejuvenated as well. The following 3 articles will be useful to you, if you are new to Kundalini Yoga, as they will give you some good guidelines on how to do the workouts safely, as well as introduce you to how these Kundalini Yoga exercises work. Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Introduction to Kundalini Yoga - The Yoga of Awareness

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Shoulder See-Saw Exercise will be added to our free ongoing yoga exercises e-book, which you can find here: Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book. In addition, be on the lookout for yoga sets incorporating this exercise in the near future here: Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets. And also, be sure to check out the Free Online Yoga Classes that we already offer on the website. Below you will find illustrations of this exercise, along with practice details, benefits and other related information. Yoga See-Saw Shoulder Exercise: A. How to Do See-Saw Exercise: Sit in any comfortable position. Cross legged is preferred. Bring your elbows up to shoulder level. Bend your arms and have your right palm facing your sternum and your left palm facing away from you. So right thumb is above and left thumb is below. Low clasp your fingers together to form a firm hold. The fingers are not interlaced, but instead the fingers of each hand are cupped in the other hand. This is called bear grip. Your hands should be 4 to 6 inches away from your chest. Relax the shoulders. Now apply some gentle pressure by pulling trying to pull your hands apart, without breaking the grip of course. Then begin the following movement. As you inhale bring the left elbow up and at the same time bring the right elbow down.

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Then as you exhale bring the right elbow up and the left elbow down. So you are going up and down like a see-saw. Begin at a gentle pace and then as your shoulders start to warm-up pick up your pace. Breathe powerfully and go faster as you feel more ready. Remember to listen to you body at all times, and slow down or take a break when necessary. Soon you will start to feel it in your shoulders as they are given a good workout by this movement. Try not to give up on the first sign of discomfort and continue on as best you can. To finish: Inhale deeply, hold your breath and try to pull your arm apart with great force. Then exhale completely and again try to pull your arms apart with great force. Those that are more advanced can apply Triple Lock during the last step, when they have exhaled and are trying to pull their arm apart. You can repeat the inhale/exhale/pull step up to 3 times. You will find details of Triple Lock (Maha Bandha) in the following article: Advanced Tantric Yoga Video to Channel Sex Energy.

B. Duration for See-Saw Shoulder Exercise: 15 seconds - 3 minutes.

C. Benefits of See-Saw Shoulder Exercise: Excellent for warming up the shoulder muscles.

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Good for strengthening and toning the shoulder muscles. Opens up the Heart Center and promotes love, compassion and forgiveness. Good warm-up exercise to get the blood flowing and respiration going. Good for the respiratory system and builds fitness. Stimulated the flow of Kundalini (Energy) up the spine and to the higher centers. Helps build willpower and character.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for See-Saw Exercise: Doing this exercise regularly will go a long way in helping you tone and strengthen your shoulder muscles. Stretching the shoulders after doing this exercise feels good, use Palm Tree Pose below while seated to do this after you finish.

More Shoulder Exercises: There are also other great shoulder exercises already on the website, so be sure to check some of them out below. Good Shoulder Stretch: Easy Yoga Pose for Stretching and Warming Up - Palm Tree Pose 2 Good Shoulder Exercises for Building Your Aura and Magnetic Field: Eagle Pose for Powerful Aura 276

Aura Cleansing Power Yoga Technique Exercises to Strengthen Shoulders and Arms: Jesus Pose for Sacrifice and Inner Strength Hatha Yoga Position for Nerve Strength - Mountain Pose Yoga for Upper Body Strength and Training

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Chapter 61 Yoga Ab Crunches for Six Pack Abs


If you are interested in developing your abs, whether to get a toned six pack or to enjoy the energy and willpower developing this center gives, this article are some excellent yoga crunches for you to do. If you have been following this blog for some time, you will certainly have come across some potent ab exercises and sets already such as the, Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set and the Terrific Yoga Ab Exercises and Workout for Shaping Stomach, but I feel that when it comes to developing your abdominal muscles and core strength, variety is always very useful. The ab crunches I am going to detail for you in this article are not the easiest to do. But, if you have been doing your daily yoga workouts, then you should be ready for these challenging exercises. If you are new to yoga or just getting back to getting fit, not to worry there are plenty of other ab exercises on the website for you to start with. So, if you are looking for something a little easier then please try Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Power. That is a good exercise to start training your ab with, and has some nice modifications for beginners. Also, at the end of this article I list a few more ab exercises that you might want to try which are great for helping you develop those six packs or balancing your Navel Center. I call these particular exercises, Yoga Ab Crunches, and many different types of yoga use these movements. They will become part of the Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book and the Hatha Yoga Galleries hosted here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga. In addition, be on the lookout for ab yoga sets incorporating these crunches in the near future in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets. Also, be sure to check out the Free Online Yoga Classes that we already offer on the website.

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As always, please follow the guidelines for yoga I have laid out in the following documents... Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Illustrations for Yoga Ab Crunches

Illustration #1 - Ab Crunches Starting Position

Illustration #2 - Ab Crunches Ending Positions - Variation 1

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Illustration #3 - Ab Crunches Ending Positions - Variation 2 Abdominal Crunches for Six Pack Abs: A. How to Do Yoga Ab Crunches: Lie on your back, interlace your fingers and place your hands at the back of your head as shown in Illustration #1 above. This is the starting position. For variation #1 above, in a smooth motion raise your torso up to 90 degrees and press your chest forward. Exhale as you come up and then Inhale as you return to the starting position. This completes 1 crunch. Keep going and try to isolate and use your abs muscles to pull yourself up. For variation #2, you are going to work your lower abs and your upper abs at the same time. In this case, as your raise your body up, also bring your legs up and off the floor as far up as you can. The ending position is shown in Illustration #3 above. Again exhale as you crunch up and exhale as you lie back down. Keep going. Both exercises above will give your stomach muscles a great workout, and are great for developing the core center as well as

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getting six pack abs. B. Duration for Yoga Ab Exercises: 15 seconds - 11 minutes.

C. Benefits of Ab Exercises: Excellent exercises for developing six pack abs and strengthening your core. Balances and awakens the Navel Center (Manipura Chakra). Build willpower and strength of character. Strengthens the lower back and hip flexors. Increases energy and gives vitality and vigor.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Yoga Ab Crunches: Don't over strain. These crunches are not the easiest to do, so if can't do them yet, follow the suggests I gave above for easier ab exercises and try these later once you are stronger. These crunches can be incorporated into other abdominal sets. Add them in towards the end. It is perfectly fine to do take breaks in between repetitions. Just lie on your back when you do and relax, until you are ready to go again. Squeeze your abs to max out the workout, when you bring legs and body up for variation number 2. This will really give you a great burn.

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More Yoga Ab Exercises: As I mentioned above, there are plenty of other ab exercises you can do to train your core and develop your 6 pack. Below are some of these for you to try... Best Yoga Exercise to Get Firm Toned Abs Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Power Dynamic Yoga Sit-ups for a Fast Ab Workout

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Chapter 62 Heart Chakra Healing and Balancing Set


Heart Chakra Balancing Kundalini Yoga Kriya The following set of Kundalini Yoga exercises opens, clears and balances the Heart Chakra (energy vortex), which is the 4th Chakra, of the Tantra Kundalini 7 Chakra System. This Chakra is called the Anahata Chakra, meaning "unstruck sound". It is located on the spinal cord directly in line with the center of the chest. The Heart Chakra governs the respiratory and circulatory organs and systems and is associated with the attributes of love, compassion and forgiveness. This kriya activates the Heart Chakra and overall is excellent for improving and strengthening the heart and lungs. It promotes better circulation and helps detoxify the system. It also helps soften ones character and makes one more loving and kind. Even though the yoga poses and exercises in this kriya are not complex, the set itself is not the easiest, so take more rest as required and Do Not Overdo it. Video of 4 Heart Chakra Kundalini Yoga Set THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: From Yoga Pranayama Video Series - Deep Breathing Exercise

Description of Heart Chakra Balancing Kundalini Yoga Kriya: 1. Chest Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: a. Guided Instructions for Chest Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise:

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Sit up straight with your legs crossed (sukh asana). Bring your arms out to the side with the palms facing forward. Arms are parallel to the ground. As you exhale rotate your arms forward, keeping them straight almost to the point where the palms meet (but dont clap). The pectoral chest muscles will contract. Now rotate your arms back as you inhale thus expanding and stretching your chest area. Start off slowly at first to stretch and warm up your shoulders, then find a good rhythm and continue at a comfortable pace.

b. Duration for Chest Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: 1-5 minutes. c. Benefits of Chest Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Works on your chest muscles, shoulders and upper back. Activates and balances the Heart Chakra. Improves lung capacity.

d. Practice Tips for Chest Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: For all the Kundalini Yoga exercises in this kriya that require you to sit in sukh asana, you may want to keep a firm cushion or rolled up blanket under your buttocks so your hips are raised above your knees. This will help take the pressure off you lower back, hips and knees. Yes you will be sitting a lot :-). 2. Ringing Bell Kundalini Yoga Exercise: (Variation of Rajju Karshanasana)

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a. Guided Instructions for Ringing Bell Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Sit with your legs parallel and extended in front of you. Now lean back and look upwards. Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise. Now reach up and pull down with alternating hands each time pretending you are pulling a bell rope to make a bell ring. As you reach up make a fist around the rope and pull down so your fist ends by your waist. When you reach up straighten you arm. Remember you are reaching up grasping pulling down with one hand, as that hand is coming down you should be reaching up with the other. You should go at a moderate to fast pace.

b. Duration for Ringing Bell Kundalini Yoga Exercise: 1-5 minutes c. Benefits of Ringing Bell Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Works on your chest muscles, shoulders and upper back. Cleanses the Heart Chakra. Loosens the shoulder joints.

d. Practice Tips for Ringing Bell Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Use the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise to help get you through the early points of resistance. 3. Relax in Yoga Corpse Pose: (also called Shav Asana) a. Guided Instruction for Yoga Corpse Pose: 285

Lie on your back and have your arms out to your sides about six to twelve inches away from your body. Turn your palms slightly upward. Relax your body and breath.

b. Duration for Yoga Corpse Pose: 1-3 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Corpse Pose: Allows the body to consolidate the gains from the previous exercises. Helps the body heal and rejuvenate itself. Promotes relaxation and peace.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Corpse Pose: Try to consciously relax your entire body. Release all your tensions and worries and stay in the present moment as best you can. 4. Double Arm Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: a. Guided Instructions for Double Arm Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Sit up straight in sukh asana. Bring your chin back and in slightly like a soldier at attention, you should feel a slight tension in the back of your neck. Extend your arms out in front of you.

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Make a fist of both hands, with your thumbs inside your fist. Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise and keeping your elbows straight make big circles with your arms. The circles should be big, but kept in front of you. The right arm is moving clockwise, while the left arm is moving counter clockwise. The arms should move at a moderate to fast pace. The arms should move in sync outward together and inward together.

b. Duration for Double Arm Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: 1-5 minutes. c. Benefits of Double Arm Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Awakens and expands your Heart Chakra. Improves respiration and circulation. Oxygenates your blood and gets your energy going. Develops your shoulder and upper back muscles.

d. Practice Tips for Double Arm Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Dont give up at the first sign of discomfort. 5. Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: (The following article has Illustrations of Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose).

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Picture of Modified Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose

a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: To start this yoga pose, come up onto your knees and have your feet hip distance apart, with toes extended. For modified Camel pose have your hands, fingers pointing downward supporting your lower back and arch back as far as 288

comfortable. Now tilt your head back and such that you are facing the ceiling. You should be pressing forward with your hips and also expanding your chest region, by pressing your elbows back. In the full version of Camel Pose, drop your hands back and hold on to your heels. Again you should arch your back, press your hips out and expand your chest. Begin Breath of Fire Yoga Pranayama, in either pose.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: 30 seconds - 7 minutes c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: Excellent yoga posture for overall health and wellbeing. The pose expands the abdominal region, helping digestion and elimination. It helps to heal and balances the Navel Chakra. Opens and heals the Heart Chakra by expanding and stretching the chest region. Excellent for the respiratory and circulatory systems. Bestows softness of character. Releases tension in the ovaries and helps the immune system by working on the lymphatic system. The posture, activates and balances the Throat Chakra, and works to heal and rejuvenate the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The exercise opens up the hips and builds strength in the thighs and arms. Stretches and strengthens the shoulders. 289

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose: Start with the modified version of Camel Pose and work your way to doing the full version over time. If the Breath of Fire makes you dizzy or uncomfortable, just switch to normal breathing instead.

6. Shoulder Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: a. Guided Instructions for Shoulder Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Sit up straight with your legs crossed (sukh asana). Bring your arms out to the side with the palms facing up. Arms are parallel to the ground. As you exhale rotate your arms up, keeping them straight almost to the point where the palms meet (but dont clap). Now rotate your arms back down to the starting position (out to the side and parallel to the ground) as you inhale. Find a good rhythm and continue at a comfortable pace.

b. Duration for Shoulder Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: 1-5 minutes c. Benefits of Shoulder Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: Works on your shoulder muscles and upper back. Balances the Heart Chakra.

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Improves the functioning of the lymph nodes and strengthens the immune system. Good anti breast cancer exercise. Draws the energy upwards to the higher centers. Improves lung capacity.

d. Practice Tips for Shoulder Fly Kundalini Yoga Exercise: This is the last tough exercise in this kriya and since you have come this far, why not finish well. 7. Relax in Yoga Corpse Pose (#3 above) for 2-5 minutes: While in Shav Asana, try this simple Heart Chakra Meditation. With every inhalation feel more and more love radiating from your heart center and flowing through your system.

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Chapter 63 Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise Breath Control & Yoga Pranayama Book
Chakra Balancing | Anuloma Viloma Pranayama THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Video of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama

To see the full version of this video please go here Free Online Yoga Video of Chakra Balancing Yoga Pranayama Background of Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama): This is a wonderful and essential breathing exercise to practice before moving on to the practice of other more advanced pranayamas. This breath control technique comes from Patanjalis Yoga Sutras and actually goes by several different names. It is called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama, Anuloma Viloma Pranayama, Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique, but I think the name that will describe it best is Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise. The version given here is the basic technique, which must be mastered first; later in this book I will give the more advanced versions of this pranayama. Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise is designed to purify the psychic channels (nadis) through which Kundalini Energy and Prana (LifeForce) flow. There are 3 primary channels for the flow of this energy: Ida, Pingala and Shushumna. It is essential to balance the flow of energy between the Ida and Pingala channels, which run alongside and intertwine the spine. Through the spinal column runs the Shushumna Nadi, the central master channel. The Ida and Pingala can be considered the lunar and solar channels respectively. With the Ida 292

Nadi responsible for cooling, feminine, passive, mental energy and the Pingala Nadi responsible for hot, male, active, physical energy. As the flow through these 2 channels is harmonized, prana and Kundalini start to flow through Shushumna. This flow through the Shushumna Nadi activates and balances all the seven chakras. Benefits of Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama): Primary: Activates Kundalini Flow through the Shushumna, thus awakening the chakras. The flow of Kundalini through the Shushumna also induces meditative states of consciousness. Calms the mind, promoting peace and tranquility. Creates balance, harmony and rhythm in the entire system. Prepares the system for more advanced Pranayamas.

Secondary: Improves the respiratory system. Strengthens the nervous system. Purifies the body by oxygenating the blood supply.

Cautions for Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama): As with all breath control practice, only do as much as you are comfortable with. Start slowly and build up steadily. 293

Do not do this breathing exercise if one nostril is blocked or you are requiring force to breathe through it.

How To Do Simple Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama): To practice this breathing exercise sit up in a comfortable position. Preferably in a variation of sukh asana (cross legged). Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Fold your index finger and middle finger into the palm of your right hand so just the thumb, ring finger and pinkie are extended. Hold your knee with your left hand. Close your eyes. Bring your attention to your breathing and take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose. This will oxygenate your blood and relax you. For the rest of the exercise the attention should remain on your breath. Now with your right thumb gently close the right nostril and breathe in slowly and completely through the left nostril only counting mentally from 1 to 4. Now gently close the left nostril with your right ring finger and pinkie and releasing the right nostril breathe out through it only, counting mentally from 1 to 4. Now breathe in through the RIGHT nostril only, keeping the left closed, counting mentally from 1 to 4.

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Finally, re-close the right nostril and breathe out through the left only, counting mentally from 1 to 4. This completes 1 cycle of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama. Start with 5 rounds a day and start to add 1 additional round as you make progress. Also, start to add to the count, based on your level of comfort, by 1 for both the inhalation portion and exhalation portion till you reach a count of 12 for each phase. When you can comfortably manage that move onto Intermediate Anuloma Viloma Pranayama.

How To Do Intermediate Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama): All steps are the same as above except you should now build up to 15-20 rounds a day and your count should be built up to 24:24 for inhalation and exhalation. After you reach 24:24 (even with less rounds if you dont have much time) you can progress to the Advanced version.

How To Do Advanced Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama): In the advanced version you will introduce the optimum ratio for inhalation to exhalation. The ratio should be 1:2. In other words for every count of 1 for inhalation, exhalation should last twice as long. So now perform Nadi Shodhana Pranayama at the ration 12:24 (12 counts for inhalation phase and 24 for exhalation). Build up to 30 rounds a day, or as many as time allows you to do. The upper limit allowed is 80 rounds 4 times a day, so dont worry about over doing it unless you are hitting this limit. Later in the website I will introduce the versions of the Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise utilizing both, breath retention and bandhas (body locks). In general though the above breathing 295

technique should be practiced for at least 4-6 months first before combining with breath retention or body locks. Hints and Tips Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama): 30 years. It took Yogi Bhajan 30 years to master and perfect the flow of breath through either nostril without the use of his hands. This is a worthwhile mental exercise to try. By bringing the power of your attention to the flow through a particular nostril see how well you can modulate it. Here is the link to Yogi Bhajans Kundalini Yoga Website if you want to explore. Apply the knowledge from this breath control technique to your everyday life and monitor the affects. If you are looking for active energy, breathe exclusively through the Right Nostril, on the other hand, if you are looking to relax or do mental work breathe exclusively through the Left Nostril. Experiment, learn and enjoy.

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Chapter 64 Opening Third Eye (Ajna) Chakra Meditation Technique for Psychic Powers
Chakra Meditation Technique to Open Third Eye The second guided meditation technique we will explore in the Free Online Guided Meditation E-Book is a widely used and accepted method for opening, activating and balancing the mysterious and powerful Ajna Chakra (Third Eye). It is the potent AUM Mantra meditation technique. THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: AUM Meditation to Rapidly Open Third Eye

Background of Ajna Chakra Meditation Technique (Third Eye): The Ajna Chakra is the sixth chakra of the Kundalini Seven Chakra System. A chakra is an energy vortex, which resides in a particular location of the body and governs the organs and glands of that region. A Chakra is also associated with certain traits and characteristics of the personality and forms a bridge between mind, body and spirit. The Ajna Chakra (or Third Eye) eye lies at the very top of spine in the medulla oblongata. It relates to the pituitary gland, the pineal gland, the nasociliary nerve plexus and frontal lobes of the brain. Chakra Meditation means to activate and balance a particular chakra, thus improving the functioning of everything in that particular region as well as refining the associated personality traits and characteristics. In some cases psychic powers associated with a particular chakra are also unleashed. 297

Ajna Chakra literally means To Command. This chakra is also called the Third Eye as the activation gives one the power of intuitive knowledge. In addition, it is called the Guru Chakra as its activation connects one to the Inner Guru. Similarly, it is also called Eye of Shiva or The Divine Eye for its awakening implies the higher stages of meditation and wisdom. Each chakra can be activated by several means. In this guided meditation we will use the physical trigger point of the chakra (kshetram) as a point of concentration to activate it. In addition, each chakra is associated with a particular seed sound (Beej Mantra), which can be utilized to awaken it. For the Ajna Chakra the Beej Mantra is the primordial sound OM (AUM) and this guided meditation will be using that as well. Tools required for Ajna Chakra Meditation Technique (Third Eye): An alarm clock, stopwatch or other time device.

Benefits of Ajna Chakra Meditation Technique (Third Eye): Primary Benefits: Builds the power of intuition. Bestows and increases Psychic Powers. Increases and refines awareness. Provides clarity of thought, insights and wisdom. Allows one to connect to the inner guru or higher self for guidance and inspiration.

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Builds the Yogic Mind or Neutral Mind, which is free from attachments of the ego. Build the power to read others and detect their subtle and gross energetic conditions. Promotes flow of Kundalini Energy into the higher centers.

Secondary Benefits: Promotes the ability to have Lucid Dreams. Allows for non-verbal communication. Builds focus and ones pointedness of the mind. Improves your vision. Promotes health and wellbeing.

Cautions for Practicing Ajna Chakra Meditation Technique (Third Eye): Do not strain when holding shambhavi yoga mudra (detailed below). Guided Ajna Chakra Meditation Technique (Third Eye): Follow the step-by-step guided meditation below to practice this technique: Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. You may also sit on a chair or lean against a wall for this meditation. Set your alarm or other time device for 20 minutes. Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly 299

bring your chin back and in, like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose. This will oxygenate your blood and relax you. Keeping the head straight look up at an imaginary point in the middle of your forehead, just above the eyebrows. This eye position is called shambhavi yoga mudra. Close your eyes while holding this mudra. Do not strain excessively. Rest your hands in any comfortable position; you can place them on your knees. Try to remain as still as possible. Now inhale deeply and begin to chant in a soft, slow, steady voice the manta OM (pronounced AUM). One chant of OM (AUM) Mantra should last for the entire exhalation. It is a long Oh, followed by a semi long Mmmm during each exhalation. Once all the air has been expelled, inhale fully again and begin to chant the mantra once more. Visualize the OM sound coming from a point in the middle of the forehead just above the eyebrows and emanating throughout your entire body. Continue for the duration of the meditation. If your eyes tire from shambhavi yoga mudra release the mudra but continue to chant the OM (AUM) mantra as above. Reapply the mudra again when ready. Once you have completed the meditation, rub the palms of your hands together to make them warm and place them on your eyes as you open them slowly. This will relax and comfort your eye muscles.

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Hints and Tips for Ajna Chakra Meditation Technique (Third Eye): There are many variations to OM (AUM) Mantra chanting for the activation of Ajna Chakra. I will provide a variation that only requires silently chanting OM Mantra and therefore can be practiced almost anywhere. Follow all steps from the guided meditation above except instead of chanting OM (AUM) Mantra out loud, as you inhale chant Oh silently, while visualizing the sound flowing into Ajna Chakra from your forehead and then silently chant Mmmm as you exhale, visualizing the sound leaving your forehead from Ajna Chakra. The rest is the same as the guided meditation above.

Secret of Ajna Chakra Meditation Technique (Third Eye): Many women today are actually practicing Ajna Chakra Meditation without even knowing it. This is resulting from the tradition of wearing a bindi. A bindi is the colorful decorative dot placed in the middle of the forehead and was originally designed to provide continual stimulation to Ajna Chakra by way of its Kshetram (physical trigger point). So next time you wear a bindi, remember that not only does it look oh so fine, but it is also raising your level of awareness and consciousness - not bad for a dot.

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Chapter 65 Week 5 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge: Learn advanced mind meditation and advanced gyan yoga. Learn chakra yoga techniques. Review any material from previous 4 weeks as necessary.

Techniques: Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn Lion Pose to Detoxify the Body. Vajroli Mudra. Maha Bandha. Wheel Pose. Plough Pose. Crane Pose. Kundalini Yoga Lotus Pose Yoga for Healthy Weight Loss Set. Sheetali Pranayama Sodarshan Chakra Kriya.

Articles for Study: How to Build a High Traffic Website SEO Tips. Comprehensive Guide on How to Teach a Yoga Class The Yogic Mind The Perfected Mind

Daily Practice: Pranayama: 3-11 mins

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Sheetali Pranayama

Yoga Poses: Each Day Learn and Practice 1 Pose - 5 mins Lion Pose to Detox the Body Tantric Technique for Sex Chakra Activation Vajroli Mudra Yoga Exercise to Direct Sexual Energy Maha Bandha Wheel Pose Plough Pose for Multi Chakra Activation Crane Pose for Balance Kundalini Yoga Lotus Pose

Yoga: 5-10 mins Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss

Meditation: 3 mins 31 mins Sodarshan Chakra Kriya

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Chapter 66 How to Build a High Traffic Website SEO Insiders Tips


One of the most important aspects of a business today, especially a service-oriented business, that a yoga or meditation center is, is having an impressive web presence. Not only does this give a great impression of your business, but if optimized correctly, can be a great source for attracting new clients and being an additional source of significant income for you. So how do you go about building such an envious website. Let me show you . There are many sources for getting traffic to your website, which can lead to new clients and sales, and I will indicate all the various sources for you here. But, the number source of traffic for you should be organic search traffic. This is traffic from those searching the Internet with keywords related to you your business, such as yoga and meditation. If you can win the search over then you will have taken a huge step towards a successful and lucrative business. SECTION 1 Traffic Sources As I mentioned above, let me give you a list of possible sources for your website and then I will concentrate on how to you can build a high traffic website and specifically how to win the search engines over. Traffic Sources: 1. Search Engines 2. Social Media 3. Direct Traffic 304

4. Referral Here are a few words regarding each of these sources. Social Media: Social Media can be a great source of traffic, but in general such traffic comes in a burst and is fickle. By fickle, I mean this traffic tends not to spend much time on your website or become part of your community. In addition, this kind of traffic needs a continuous time commitment on the Social Book Marking websites, and can vanish once you stop putting in the hours to generate it. I do though suggest you build some presence on these sites as they can get your website started nicely and also, does give you some exposure for sure. The sites that are amongst the best for such traffic are www.stumbleupon.com www.digg.com www.twitter.com www.facebook.com www.delicious.com www.reditt.com You will notice I have included the Social Networking sites with the Social Book Marking sites above, as they are all require and use just about the same philosophy. Direct Traffic: These are readers and visitors you have built up and now have bookmarked your site and visit it directly.

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Referral Traffic: This is traffic you get from links on other sites which visitors click to come to your website. Now I will move to the section of SEO, where I will also give you guidance on how to build your site as well. SECTION 2 - Website Basics Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of how to optimize your website so that it is a magnet for search traffic, which is the number 1 source of traffic for website on the Internet today. So SEO is going to be the key to building a high traffic website. I want to remind you here though that a good website can be very helpful to impressing clients, even if it does not get a lot of traffic. In other words, students who have seen or heard about your yoga or meditation classes, will most certainly check out your website to learn more about your service, and here a good website can make the difference between getting a customer or not. And this does not depend on traffic, so whether or not you are looking for a high traffic website, a good website is still a must. So I am going to give you some tips on creating such a website first, which is actually a prerequisite for a high-traffic website anyway. Build a Blog: I strongly recommend that if you are launching a new website, make it a using a blog technology. A blog allows you to constantly and easily update your website, thus giving search engines new material which they like. In addition, a blog lets you keep your students up to date with your postings and helps organize everything for you chronologically and easily. A blog will save you a great deal of time and effort, while at the same time appealing to your customers and the search engines.

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Use Wordpress Software: I suggest that you use Wordpress to build your blog. This is free software and there are many addons (plugins), freely available for Wordpress, which can enhance your blog immensely. My website, Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, is a blog and uses Wordpress as well. The one caution I will give is that if you plan of using Wordpress, it helps to be computer savvy. If you are not, it is still possible, but you will have a longer learning curve. In the end though, if you are serious about having a high traffic website, it is worth the effort. Web Hosting: Dont use the cheapest web hosting you can find. Web hosting is already cheap, and paying that extra $10 a month, will be well worth it for having a reliable and top of the line web hosting company. The hosting service you choose should allow SSH access to your server, along with FTP of course. You should also be able to modify the .htaccess file and manage your own data servers. I use Pair.Com and I have found it excellent. One more advantage of using a good service is that they will have upgrade paths available to you to handle your traffic as you grow. Read reviews regarding your service and pick the best one, not the cheapest one. The hosting I have with Pair costs me around $25 / month, and it is well worth that. Get Your Own Domain Name: Dont use the blog services where you have a sub-domain. Get your own domain name, it is not expensive and will be worth it for sure. Later I will discuss how domain name can help with SEO.

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SECTION 3 SEO Insider Tips Now finally we are ready to discuss the SEO details which will get your high ranking on the search engines and thus, drive organic traffic to your website. I am going to discuss several aspects important to SEO in each of the sections below, and implementing this strategy will certainly go a long way in getting your site the traffic it needs to flourish. Before I give you this inside information though, I want to show you why you should feel confident in what I have to say. Simply look at the chart below of how my website (www.anmolmehta.com) has fared with regard to traffic growth in the 3 short years it has been online. I think that is a good indication of the value of the SEO secrets I am sharing with you . If you are unable to see the chart for any reason, you can find a similar one on my website at the following URL: http://www.anmolmehta.com/blog/2009/10/06/mastery-ofmeditation-and-yoga-passes-3-million-hits-and-growing-fast

You can see from the graph above the phenomenal growth of my blog and I assure you that the primary reason for this, is due to the SEO strategies I have employed.

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I am going to break down SEO into the following aspects and go over each of these parts with you in detail below. 1. 2. 3. 4. Domain SEO Page SEO Link Building Misc Topics

1. Domain SEO The SEO I will discuss is to win over Mr. Google, who is the big boy in the search space. Also, if you optimize for Google, you will still get decent traffic from the other engines as well (Bing and Yahoo primarily). Webmasters know the well-known formula that Google generally uses to determine the importance of a page and how it will do on a search result. This is the Age of the Domain and the number of links coming into the particular domain. The age of the domain, you really cant control, unless you buy an aged domain within the yoga and meditation sphere, but there are other aspects of a domain that you should know about which would help you with SEO, and here are those. A. Keywords in Domain: It is often recommended to have your most important keywords and keyword phrases, such as yoga and meditation in your domain name, but you can also do as I did and make your domain you name if you like. I went with the name, as that was the branding for the service that I was offering. But having done this, I always make sure I use keywords and keyword phrases in the URL of my pages. This makes up for the missing keywords in my domain name.

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B. Length of Domain Registration: Register your domain for a long term, such as five years. This gives the search engine confidence that you are in it for the long haul and it will give you better weighting. C. Domain Register: Now we are getting into the more subtle aspects of SEO. What you should do is ensure that the Register where your domain is registered has full contact information for you. This includes phone numbers, address, email, etc. This is again to get a small SEO boost. In this very competitive category, every bit will help you get the edge. 2. Page SEO: Once you get the domain pieces in place you, have your hosting service activated and Wordpress installed, it will be time to create pages. Earlier, page SEO used be the most important piece of optimization, and although now links are, page SEO should not be ignored. It is still very important. Here are the key pieces of page SEO. A. Title: The most important aspect of you page is your title. There is debate on whether the title should be long or short, but from my experience both work fine. What is key in the title is that the keywords or phrases that you want the particular page to show up on search engines should be in the title, and should be early in the title. So dont go for cute or clever titles go for titles with your keywords in them.

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B. Page Structure: Next it is important to have the keywords in your page content. Here you want them distributed throughout, but with emphasis on their occurrence towards the early part of the page, and early in paragraphs. Preferably in the first sentence of the paragraphs. In addition, you want to use the html header tags in a page, and use them correctly. Search engines love order; after all they are based on algorithms, so order your tags correctly as well. Start with the h1, followed by h2, h3 and h4 tags in a nice structured way. Of course, try to put your keywords in these tags so they are highlighted for the search bots (search engine algorithms that visit your pages and are responsible for indexing the world wide web). If you cant get your keywords in the tags, then put them in bold or italics as a minimum highlight. C. Meta Fields: It is a very smart idea to use the meta keyword and meta description fields on an html page. Put your keywords in here, and make the description very attractive. Many search engines will use your meta description directly in describing your page on search results, so this is your chance to sell the page to the reader, so they click and come to your website. As you start building out your website you will start to get better and better at doing this and soon it will not take you very long to create and populate these fields. D. Insider Secrets: So now let me share with you some not so well known SEO tricks with regard to page optimization, which will give you the edge. Use the alt tags in pictures you embed in your page to give the engine more information on the page contents. In addition, outgoing links to other 311

pages, which rank highly for your keywords, can also help. Finally, when you respond to comments for your article in your blog, repeat the keywords in your response if you can. One warning I want to give you though is to be careful that your page does not end up reading like spam. Readers wont like that. But, you have to include SEO elements in your page to some degree otherwise you wont have any readers at all, so find that right balance, and you will soon learn the art of writing to humans and bots at the same time . 3. Link Building: As I mentioned the most important aspect of SEO now is link building. Links are essentially counted as votes for the page and the more good incoming links a page has, the higher it will rank for the keywords its optimized for. You will notice I said good links above and lets start with that. Google uses a term called Page Rank to rank how important a page is on the Internet. From a link perspective you want to understand that page rank flow from one page to another it is linked to. One aspect of a good link is the page rank of the page the link comes from. Page rank goes from 1 to 10, with 10 being highest, so the higher the page rank of the page where you are getting the link from the more power that link will have for your page. The second aspect of a good link is the relevancy of the page where you get the link from to the content of your page. The more closely they are related, from a keyword perspective, the better that link is for you. So you want links from similar pages, which have high page rank. This is of course easier said than done, but this is your goal when it comes to your link building campaign.

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Finally, a good link is one, which has your keywords in it, when pointing back to your page. So if you have a Beginners Meditation title page, you want the link text to have that phrase in it as well. So now that you know what a good link how is do you go about getting links for your website and pages. Here are some ways of doing it, most of which I have used successfully. One thing I will say about link building is that it is time consuming, but really for creating a high traffic website you dont have much choice. 1. Directory Linking: Getting directory links is the place to start. There are three dimensions to getting these links. A. Free Listings: Many directories allow for free links to be submitted for inclusion. They may ask for a link back in exchange. These you can certainly do. Make sure you are picking the best category for your domain of course. Generally yoga or meditation. B. Paid Listing / Editor Option: There are also great directories (high page rank) where you can get a link, but you must either pay or become an editor to do so. Depending on your budget you can decide which route you want to take. C. Paid Listings Only: The third type of directories is the really big ones like the Yahoo directory, which will require a payment for listing. There are worth it too, when you are just starting out and trying to get noticed by the search engines.

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You may wish to know if it is ok to use SEO companies to do this work for you and the answer is yes, but be careful. Doing something like directory listing is pretty clear and you can have a company do the leg work for you, but be careful of using such companies for getting links, where you are not sure where those links are going to come from. Getting links from spam sites, would tell search engines that you are trying to game them, and they could hold this against you. 2. Blog Networking: A. Comments: The next method of getting back links would be commenting on other blogs in the yoga and meditation niche. In most cases your name will be the link. As you recall, the third aspect of a good link is the anchor text, so when you leave your comment, make sure you put your keywords as part of your name. For example, I use Anmol Mehta | Mastery of Meditation, to get the term meditation in the anchor text of the link back to www.AnmolMehta.com. B. Blog Networking: Blog networking can also be done via trackbacks and ping backs. These are links you get from other blog articles, which you link to in the body of your article. So you write an article, in which you put a link to another bloggers article, and then the other bloggers article will create an automatic link in its comments section back to your article. Pretty cool huh ? C. Link Exchanges: The next method of link building is via link exchanges. Here you essentially email other websites and request a link exchange with them. Many webmasters will be willing, but the larger ones you may need to wait for until you have some page rank yourself 314

before trying. For pure blogs, you make this exchange via using your blogroll. D. Blog Carnivals: You can use Blog Carnivals to get links to your articles as well. Here you essentially submit your articles to Link Carnivals that other bloggers hold. These carnivals collect links to other bloggers articles on particular topics. So you can submit your article links to such carnivals and this is done at the following website: www.blogcarnival.com. E. Forums: Similar to comments you can also get links via making posting on forums, social networking sites and discussion boards. Often here your signature or profile can contain a link to you site, or you can put links in when you leave your message. Some forums may require you to leave a minimum number of posts before you can put links in your message. 3. Article Directories: Article directories are large repositories of articles that writers can submit which owners of websites and e-zines can use as free content. Essentially, the key here is to have links to your website and articles in the Author Resource area that is allowed for the articles you submit. What happens as a result of this is, that you get a link back from the article repository itself and you get a link whenever the article is used by other webmasters. The agreement of course that webmasters have with the article repositories is that they must keep your Author Resource intact when they use your article.

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4. Miscellaneous Methods: In addition to the above well-established methods there are also many other miscellaneous methods that can be used to get back links. Here is a list of such methods. A. Press Releases: Here you do a press release, which sends your information to various online media agencies, thus earning you exposure and back links. B. Social Bookmarking: Google is now index links on sites like Twitter, so that is another way to get backlinks. C. Profile Pages: Also, links on your YouTube profile page or Squidoo Lens page is a way to get backlinks as well. So there you have a lot of detailed information on how to build your website and how to optimize it for search engines. As I mentioned having a high traffic website, will go a long way in helping you create a successful yoga or meditation business and attract clients and additional income.

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Chapter 67 Comprehensive Guide on How to Teach a Yoga Class


Teaching Yoga & Kundalini Yoga Class Part 1 My good friend and author of the great Yoga Blog PranaFlowNZ, KaraLeah Grant, dropped me a note the other day with a suggestion that I give some pointers on how to teach the yoga techniques and meditations that I publish here on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga. I thought this was a great idea, and so would like to kick off this new topic with a discussion of how to teach a great yoga class in general first. Also, going forward I will include teaching tips for the exercises and meditations as well that make up the free yoga & meditation ebooks and videos. I obviously love to teach, which is luckily also the Universes plan for me and is what I was born to do according to my numerological reading, and if through this website I can help others to become great yoga and meditation teachers as well, it would just be icing on the cake . For those who have not taken a live Kundalini Yoga class, I strongly suggest you to try one. It is quite a blast. Here is an article with my thoughts regarding the Benefits of Group Yoga Practice. What I will present below is the sequence and details that I have found to work best in teaching a yoga class. The instructions are specifically for a Kundalini Yoga class, but they certainly apply to any other type of yoga class as well.

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Typically a single class can be broken down into 3 phases. I will call them, Orientation, Warm-up and finally The Work. Below is how these come together to form a great class and a great, transforming experience for the students. In this article I will cover the Orientation phase, and in the next part will cover the other 2 phases. One final note before I jump ahead is that this is also a great sequence for you to follow for your own personal yoga practice. Teaching a Yoga Class Phase 1 - Orientation: Objectives: Get the students settled in. Ensure the spacing is correct for safety and comfort. Get their mind and awareness into the here and now. Introduce/Accomplish some silent meditation. Give a short overview of the yoga style, class structure and planned yoga set. 6. Give important practice instructions to the newbie. Yup, in every class I try to cover the above, unless there are no new students there. If all the students are veteran yogis, then you can skip items 5 & 6. To tell you the truth, such classes are sometimes more fun for the teacher, because it means the intensity can be turned up a notch and more challenging techniques can be practiced. Here now are details of each of the items above. Items 1, 2, 3 & 4 Above: As the students file into the class, I make sure the early ones move up and near to where I sit, as for some reason students always tend to keep more of a distance from the teacher than they need to. I dont like to feel lonely sitting all by my lonesome self at the head of the class . This is of course so that the late comers, and there always are some and you know who they are , can join in towards the back. 318 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

I am also making sure during this time that spacing is good between students, which generally mean that they should be able to spread both arms out to their sides without hitting anyone. In addition, I am usually pointing out cushions, mats, water, etc to newcomers as well. Shortly I announce the start of the class, and immediately get everyone to start long deep breathing. After few long deep breaths, I give instructions to start breath awareness meditation (posture, technique, etc). I find the long deep breathing initially gets everyone to relax and awaken, and the breath awareness meditation (essentially Zazen - Zen Meditation Technique) gets everyones mind into the present, where all the work is going to get done. I will vary the demands of this meditation from time to time, depending on the expertise of the students present. During this time of Zazen, the last few students generally arrive and I move onto items 5 & 6 next. Item 5: Now I give a short overview of Kundalini Yoga, what it entails and how it works. This is for the new comers, thus the veteran yogis can just tune me out and continue to work on their meditation. Specifically here I mention the mechanisms Kundalini Yoga uses to work its magic and also, some details of how this all helps to rejuvenate and heal the body/mind complex. You can get details on this information in the Introduction to Kundalini Yoga article. In addition, I let the students know what the class structure is going to be exactly. I find this helps put them to ease and helps them know how the class is going to flow. I also here let them know which particular aspect of their being we are going to focus on today (the theme of the Yoga Set), as I always find sharing this information to be very motivating and encouraging to them. My class structure is generally the following

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Meditation and orientation period. Tuning in to their Higher Self and the Universal Energy. Breathing exercises (pranayamas) to get their energy going. Warm-ups. Main Yoga Set. Relaxation.

Item 6: This part is perhaps the most important aspect of the orientation and here I now give the key guidelines I want the students to follow. Essentially the following points are covered here.

I tell them, I will demonstrate first the pose or exercise, which after observing they do with their eyes closed. All breathing is done through the nose, unless otherwise instructed. Use the modifications for tough exercises. To not overdo, be careful with injuries and work around them whenever possible. To not compete and not worry about how anyone else is doing. Throughout the class to do the practice will full awareness.

Here are 2 articles that cover these and other important yoga guidelines: 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice & Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice. 320

In the next part of this series I will cover the Warm-up and Work phase of teaching a fantastic yoga class. Part 2 In part 1 of the series, How to Teach a Fantastic Yoga Class, I explained that there are typically three sections to a Yoga Class. These I called, Orientation, Warm-up and the Work. In part 1 I also went over the orientation section and discussed what items one should cover in that section. In part 2 here I will cover the Warm-up phase, which when well put together, goes a long way in helping make the class a terrific experience for the students. Phase 2: Warm-up Dont ever underestimate the importance of the warm-up phase. Also, dont underestimate the benefits it bestows. A well planned warm-up, will not just help the students get the most out of the set you are planning to teach, but in and of itself will cover many areas that should be worked on a daily basis. These two points are what I take into account whenever I am designing the warm-up phase. In addition, you should also start a class by helping the students tune in to their Higher Self and the Universal Mind, to get protection, guidance and inspiration. Here are the objectives you should shoot for with the warm-up section: Objectives: Tune in to your Higher Self / Universal Mind. Get the students energy going.

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Cover the must do everyday yoga stretches and exercises if possible. Prepare the students body for the final yoga set, so they can get maximum benefit from it.

1: Tuning In Always start a class with tuning in. Yoga is not just a physical science. It is a spiritual science and without spirit, you may as well be doing aerobics or something. In yoga, whether you have been explained it or not, you are dealing with cosmic energies; you are dealing with, Kundalini & Prana. Such energies should be approached with respect, and the purpose of tuning in is ask your Higher Self and the Universe for Protection, Guidance and Inspiration. This ensures the energies do not harm you, you are guided correctly and you are provided ample inspiration to see the journey all the way back to the Source. This tuning in you should also do prior to doing your personal yoga practice as well. There are many ways to tune in and accomplish the above. Silent prayer, chanting of the AUM mantra or the beautiful Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo mantra that we use in Kundalini Yoga. You can see an actual demonstration of this tuning in the following video article: AUM Mantra Video for Starting Yoga Class. Also, for teachers who teach classes in club and gym settings. I have myself taught in such environments and have had no problems in including this tuning in phase in those classes as well. So dont shy away from it simply because you think the students will be turned off. Do it with confidence, and they will embrace this aspect of the class wholeheartedly.

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2: Energize the Students: After the meditation period and tuning in phase the students are calm, peaceful and relaxed really they are tooooo calm, peaceful and relaxed , so its time to fire up their systems to get their energy flowing and get them going. So hit them with some powerful vitalizing pranayamas here. Here are some suggestions. 4 Part Deep Breathing Kapalbhati Pranayama Breath of Fire Bhastrika Pranayama 3-4. Daily Essentials & Essential Warm-ups: Here I make sure I cover as much of the daily essential work as recommended by yoga as I can. I almost always make sure we do Butterfly Pose, which is great to start off with and we also do Forward Bend, to stretch the all important life nerve. One tip is to do these 2 poses before the breathing exercises so that the students, who have by then been sitting with legs crossed for some time, get a chance to stretch their legs. In addition, you can do these 2 exercises with Breath of Fire (or Long Deep Breathing) so you accomplish the task of firing up their energy as well. Next in the warm-up section I will do the all-important Spinal Warmup Series. This is not just great for getting their back, hips, neck, shoulders, etc warmed up, but this set heats up the cerebrospinal fluid which runs through the spinal cord. This is key, as it maximizes the benefit of the yoga set you plan to do later, as through the spinal cord run the main energetic channels which carry kundalini and prana up and down the primary energy centers (chakras). For some more details of how this works you can read the article Introduction to Kundalini Yoga.

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One addition note, is that if your yoga set is not going to do any abdominal work, then include some navel, third chakra work in this section as well. This is also an area, which one must work on each day. Here are 2 sets from which you can get some good abdominal exercises to use. Core Abdominal Power Yoga Exercises Terrific Ab Yoga Workout to Shape Stomach In the final part of the series I will go over the Work phase of teaching a yoga class. If you are a yoga teacher and would like to share any of your warm-up tips, please feel free to do so in the comments section below. Part 3 If you have followed the steps laid out above in parts 1 and 2, your class should be going really great already. The students should feel very comfortable, be well warmed up and should get the sense that they are in the hands of an experienced Yoga Master. Now it is time to do the more intense yoga exercises, which makes up the core of the class. This is the section, which I call The Work. This is phase 3 of your yoga class. Phase 3 - The Work: In this phase of the class you are going to do the set, which you indicated to them in the Orientation phase. It is the set, which you are building up to and it should be a set, which has a particular theme or purpose. In Kundalini Yoga such sets are called Kriyas, and there are Kriyas designed for a very wide range of purposes. From working on a particular body system, such as the digestive system, to working on a particular trait, such as confidence, to dealing with certain conditions, such as insomnia, to working on a particular body of light, such as the Aura, etc, etc, etc. You will find some excellent kriyas in the Free

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Online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas E-book, but there are many more you should be familiar with already if you are a Kundalini Yoga teacher. Objectives for Phase 3 of Your Class: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Give all students an appropriate workout Ensure they are safe Have period of relaxation Ending prayers Question & answer period

1-2. Give the Students a Safe Workout: Kriyas come in all level of difficulties, but generally your class will have students with mixed levels of capability, so it is really important to have modifications for the difficult exercises in mind. This ensures that all students will be able to participate in the poses and exercises for that particular set, and that all students will get a workout relative to their level of expertise and capacity. Also, during the set the following statements I find to be helpful:

Dont forget to remind them to not overdo it. For motivation, remind them that the chance to do yoga and such spiritual practice is a rare opportunity. For motivation, remind them of the value of each exercise and how it is helping their body and systems. For motivation, tell them not to give in to their constantly complaining mind. For motivation, tell them to go a little further than they have gone before.

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3. Relaxation Period: After their set (which should be the end of the physical aspect of you class), a relaxation period is a must. Have them do Corpse Pose for Relaxation now, and see the details for how to instruct them for that in that article. This relaxation period is a must to maximize the benefits of all the hard work your students have done, so plan your time accordingly. 4. Ending Prayers: At the very end of class, after the students have risen from their relaxation period, it is an ideal time for a few important prayers. Here are the 3 prayers I do at the end of every class. To pray with power and focus; so the thoughts manifest in reality, have them inhale deeply hold their breath and then prayer/visualize. So before each of these prayers below, have them inhale, hold their breath, focus their mind and then do the prayer. Then exhale and move on to the next prayer.

Visualize you and your life exactly as you want it to be. Send out a healing prayer to someone who you know needs it. Pray for peace and love on Mother Earth, and peace and love in everyones heart.

5. Question / Answer Time: Since a Kundalini Yoga class has a certain rhythm and flow, I request the students to ask their questions at the end of class. As long as you are very clear in your instructions, have followed the guidelines laid out above and do good demonstrations before the poses and exercises, this works very well. So at the end of class, relax, sit back and allow the students who want to ask questions to do so, other 326

students can stay for this period, or leave if they want to. So there you have a very detailed and comprehensive guide on how to teach a yoga class. Hope all you teacher out there, who are doing this noble profession, find it useful and hope it helps make your yoga class a fantastic and transforming experience for your students.

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Chapter 68 The Yogic Mind - The Perfected Mind


Summary: In Kundalini Yoga the Yogic Mind, is called the fourth spiritual body, and for those of us drawn to meditation, this is the mind we look to have emerge and persist during our meditation practice and beyond. This mind is also called the Neutral Mind and its development leads to enlightenment. Key Concepts: yogic mind, neutral mind, enlightenment, zen meditation, insight meditation, jyana yoga, krishnamurti, meditation practice, meditation technique, intelligence, brain development, Buddhism, Hinduism The Yogic Mind - The Perfected Mind - Insights from Advanced Meditation Practice This series is about insights that occur during advanced stages of Silent Mind Meditation. These are insights that emerge due to direct perception of that which is taking place within the inner walls of the human mind. The quote below is from the notes put down after such meditation sessions. The silent mind meditation technique employed belongs to the category of Jyana Yoga or advanced Zen Meditation and is closely related to the work of J. Krishnamurti. Here is the quote that I noted after such a session of insight meditation: The Yogic Mind - The Neutral Mind Quote There have been suggestions to just say no to struggle, to negate it, there have been suggestions to not-resist struggle 328

etc. The idea is really to do both simultaneously. In other words, to neither indulge and also, to not resist. Just, observe just let it go. Just as the body first resists to being made to be still, so does the mind resists to not being catered to. It puts forth what should be done and resists being simply observed. This impulse to do, to be occupied, to try, is very deeply ingrained and will not easily fall away - or subside. But we must have the relentless passion to not engage in it, so that it weakens and eventually dissolves. This is true mastery, to be able to observe the Truth in action and this is worth praying for. The Yogic Mind - The Neutral Mind Analysis The above is the greatest application of the Yogic Mind. To be wielded as an instrument of keen observation. The point that I think is very rare to grasp, and is only really understood by those who actually practice meditation seriously, is that we are talking here at the level of individual thoughts. Most conversations regarding meditation simply speak to attitudes, such as being mindful, kind, calm, etc. These attitudes are absolutely wonderful and emerge naturally as a result of your spiritual practice, but here we are indicating something much more precise, fundamental and "real time". Here, we are speaking of the human capacity to devour each thought completely, prior to the onset of the next thought. By devour, I mean to comprehend completely. Such digestion of thoughts requires fantastic observation, so that no aspect of any thought goes unnoticed. When one comprehends thoughts in such a way, only then is there neither resistance nor indulgence taking place, there is simply insight flowing under 329

the full light of awareness. Any deviation from this observation is the return to the ordinary mind. Mediation of this nature is illumination, is awakening. This is intelligence at work. If you have understood what has just been described, then you understand what is meant when one says, the beginning is the end. The Alpha is the Omega. This is Jyana Yoga and Vedanta; this is Insight Meditation. This mind is the Neutral Mind in action. This is the Yogic Mind.

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Chapter 69 Lion Pose to Detoxify the Body


This particular Kundalini Yoga exercise is excellent for cleansing your body of toxins and helps you to detoxify your entire system. It can be added to the end of any Kriya and should be done prior to the final relaxation period. This pose is officially a part of Kundalini Yoga Warrior Kriya, which is an advanced kriya that I will publish in the future, and it uses a powerful breathing technique to help purge and cleanse the system. As with all yoga techniques, don't overdo this exercise and build up your capacity slowly. This particular exercise will be part of the following 3 free e-books here on Mastery of Meditation, as it is a Hatha Yoga pose, a Kundalini Yoga exercise as well as a yoga breathing technique: Free Hatha Yoga Poses, Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises & Free Yoga Breathing Exercises E-book. One last thought before I jump into the details of this terrific pose. I was once attending a yoga camp in upstate NY, where a Hatha Yoga teacher was teaching the class. She asked us to do this pose and afterwards commented that she could immediately tell the Kundalini Yoga students apart from the rest, because they are absolutely not shy and seem to have no social inhibitions when asked to do yoga exercises that are a odd, weird, crazy or even downright embarrassing . I tell my students exactly that when I ask them to do any technique which is strange or embarrassing. I remind them they are Kundalini Yoga students and they we Kundalini Yogis are fearless and have no inhibitions. We do whatever is necessary to make spiritual progress. So remember this if you feel uncomfortable doing the exercise below. 331

It is cleansing your system of garbage and toxins, don't worry about how it looks, don't hold back, just go for it! Yoga Exercise to Cleanse & Detox Your Body Illustration #1 Detox Yoga Dog BOF

Illustration #2 Detox Yoga Dog BOF

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Yoga Exercise to Cleanse & Detox the Body: a. Instructions for practicing Detoxifying Panting Dog Breath of Fire: Yes the pose is called Panting Dog Breath of Fire! As illustrated above, sit up on your heels in Rock pose, except lean forward slightly. Rest your hands on your knees as shown. Now open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out as far as it will go. Now begin to pant like a dog. Remember what I said above and don't hold back. You are a Kundalini Yogi, just stick your tongue out and pant like a dog. All the breathing should be taking place through the mouth. Emphasize the exhalation, and with every exhalation your stomach should be contacting in towards your spine sharply (similar to Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama in this way). The pace should be fast, just like a tired dog panting. If you feel a metallic taste emerging on the back of your tongue, this is toxic heavy metals being release and cleansed from deep within your tissue, keep going!

b. Duration for Detoxifying Panting Dog Breath of Fire: 1 - 5 minutes. If 1 minute is too much you can start with 15 seconds and build up from there as well.

c. Benefits of Detoxifying Panting Dog Breath of Fire: Detoxifies and cleanses your system of garbage, toxins and heavy metals. Strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.

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Builds your respiratory capacity. Promotes good health and longevity.

d. Practice Tips for Detoxifying Panting Dog Breath of Fire: Like I mentioned above, you can add this exercise to the end of any Kundalini Yoga Kriya. It helps your system purge itself of any toxins that have been released into the blood stream as a result of the Kriya. After doing this cleansing exercise, I also recommend drinking plenty of water once your yoga session is completed, to further help wash out any released toxins. Given the amount of pollution in our air and water, we can't afford not to incorporate Panting Dog Breath of Fire into our routine from time to time. It really will help cleanse and detoxify your entire system.

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Chapter 70 Tantric Technique for Sex Chakra Activation


Kundalini tantra yoga practice is essentially the high art of awakening the chakras to promote rapid spiritual advancement and personal mastery. It is a misunderstanding to think of tantra yoga as just sexual yoga. Although there is an entire segment of this science dedicated to the use of sex as a means of awakening kundalini to accelerate spiritual evolution, tantra yoga is much more than just that. In fact, Kundalini Yoga (Hindu or Sikh versions) is actually Kundalini Tantra Yoga, and is essentially the use of tantric techniques to purify the body, balance the chakras and awaken kundalini. The Tantra Yoga technique that I will detail today, is an example of a tantric technique which falls into the subcategory of sexual tantra, but as you will see, it is consistent with the overall aim of tantra yoga practice, which is to purify and balance the chakra system. If you are not familiar with chakras, you can first read the following article: Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System Overview. Previously I have detailed a very powerful tantric technique, which when practiced sincerely and consistently, helps you raise the vibration of your sexual energy and helps you master your sexual dimension. You can read the details of that technique in the article: Ultimate Tantric Yoga Technique to Raise Sexual Energy - Sat Kriya. The practice I will detail today, is subtler than Sat Kriya, but it is also an excellent tantric technique to help you harness and master your sexual energies. This technique is called Vajroli Mudra, and it is a fundamental part of tantra yoga practice. Below I have detailed the benefits of this technique, provided step-bystep instructions on how to practice it and also provided some practical 335

hints and tips for it. This tantra yoga technique is part of both Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga and so will be included in our Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses and the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises ebooks as well. Vajroli Mudra - Tantra Yoga Practice Benefits: Helps to awaken and balance the Sex Chakra (Swadhisthan Chakra). Stimulates Kundalini. Helps you master your sexual energies and sexual drive. Corrects sexual dysfunctions such as impotence and erectile dysfunction. Improves sperm strength and sperm count. Helps improve sexual function and balances hormonal levels. Develops self-expression, creativity and sensuality.

Beginner's Tantra Yoga Practice - Vajroli Mudra: Sit in any easy meditation pose. Take 5 deep slow breaths. This will relax your body and mind. Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in, like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Inhale deeply, hold your breath and contract your urethra muscle. This is the muscle you contract when you are holding back from urinating. Contracting this muscle is the act of pulling 336

it up and inwards. Hold the contraction and your breath in for a count of 5 seconds. Then release the contraction and exhale. Repeat this cycle for 5 more rounds.

Advanced Tantra Yoga Practice - Vajroli Mudra: After you are able to comfortably isolate the muscle and hold for 5 seconds you can increase the time of contraction to a level you are comfortable with and also increase the number of rounds to 10.

Female Tantra Yoga Practice - Sahajoli Mudra: The female version of this tantric technique is called Sahajoli Mudra and it involves the same muscle contraction as the male version (the urethra muscle). In the male the testes will move slightly, while in the female the labia will move slightly when applying this mudra.

Hint & Tips for Vajroli / Sahajoli Tantra Yoga Practice: Unlike Sat Kriya, this tantric technique is more subtle and requires mental focus and concentration to master. This is primarily because for this technique to be most effective you must be able to contract the urethra exclusively and not engage the other genital and sexual muscles. It takes time to develop this aspect of the technique so have patience and persist. This tantric technique is easily practiced anywhere and at any time, so you can find many opportunities throughout your day to develop your expertise.

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A good Kundalini Yoga set of exercise for sexual health can be found here as well: Yoga Exercises for Sexual Health. A tantric technique to prolong sexual intercourse can be found here: Effective Tantra Yoga Technique to Prolong Sexual Intercourse.

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Chapter 71 Maha Bandha for Channeling Energy


Along with the use of postures (asana), breath control (pranayama), mantras (sound and thought vibrations) and mudras, another fundamental part of kundalini tantra yoga is the use of bandhas, or body locks. In the past, I have discussed the most important lock, the Root Lock, and how it's clever use can greatly enhance any yoga practice. You will find that discussion in the article 5 Simple Yoga Tips to Elevate You Practice. Today though I am going to take the use of Body Lock exercises to the next level, and discuss the use of the advanced tantric technique, Triple Lock or Maha Bandha, for advancing your yoga expertise. Maha Bandha, which literarily means the Great Lock, is the combination of Root Lock (Moola Bandha), Diaphragm Lock (Uddiyana Bandha) as well as Neck Lock (Jalandhara Bandha). In the video below I demonstrate Maha Bandha, specifically for enhancing the benefits of the wonderful White Tantra Yoga exercise Sat Kriya. Sat Kriya is essentially a powerful technique for transmuting sexual energy to higher rates of vibration, so it can be used by the higher centers for personal and spiritual evolution. You will find all the details for Sat Kriya in the following article, Tantric Yoga Technique to Raise Sex Energy - Sat Kriya. But Maha Bandha can be used in conjunction with other exercises as well, and is also a viable practice on it's own for encouraging the movement of Kundalini up the central spinal channel (Shushumna). All schools of yoga use Maha Bandha and it will be part of our ongoing free online Kundalini Yoga Exercises and Poses e-book and the Hatha Yoga Poses e-book.

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Let me first give you the video demonstrating Maha Bandha and then below I will discuss numerous details regarding this tantric exercise. Tantric Yoga Exercise - Video Demonstration of Maha Bandha THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Tantric Yoga Technique for Channeling Sexual Energy

How Maha Bandha Works: In the video above, I show Maha Bandha being applied after doing Sat Kriya, and in this rare case it is being done with breath held in, but in general one should do Maha Bandha with breath held out. This is primarily due to Diaphragm Lock which can be uncomfortable to do with breath held in. If you find this to be the case for yourself, you can do Maha Bandha with breath held out after Sat Kriya as well. To understand Maha Bandha completely one has to delve quite deep into Tantric theory and practice. I will though go over the mechanism by which these locks work here briefly. Essentially, each lock targets a particular knot or granthi in the energetic channels. These knots are responsible for preventing the movement of Kundalini up the spine and to the higher centers. The application of the Bandha is to break these psychic knots and free Kundalini to rise. Root lock breaks the Brahma Granthi in the lower spine and is associated with the Root and Sex Chakras. Diaphragm Lock breaks the Vishnu Granthi, along the middle spine and is associated with the Navel and Heart Chakras. The final knot is Rudra Granthi, associated with the Throat and Third Eye Chakras and is pierced by the use of Neck Lock. Piercing this final knot, can be seen as the ultimate aim of Kundalini Yoga. So Maha Bandha is a technique by which one directly works to dissolve these knots and promote the rise of Kundalini.

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For more information on the Chakras, you can study the following article: Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System Overview. Below are the benefits of this tantric technique and how to practice it. In the practice section, I only go over Maha Bandha, please refer to the article on Sat Kriya linked to above, for details on how to practice Maha Bandha in conjunction with Sat Kriya. Benefits of Maha Bandha: Awakens Kundalini Shakti, and sequentially allows this energy to travel up the spine, activating each chakra and opening up the higher centers. Balances the entire endocrine system. Promotes deep relaxation and stress relief. Improves the respiratory, digestive and nervous systems. Promotes a meditative state of mind. Promotes spiritual evolution.

Maha Bandha Practice - Advanced Tantric Technique: I will explain how to practice Maha bandha using the more common method with breath held out. Also, in the instructions below, I suggest using Sukh Asana (simple cross legged), but in the video I am demonstrating it in Rock Pose, as that is how it is done after Sat Kriya. Sit with your legs crossed and close your eyes. Elongate your spine upwards. Sit up nice and tall.

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Take a deep breath and then exhale completely. Now with the breath held out. Apply the following locks in sequence. Root Lock (Mula Bandha): To apply root lock you should contract the rectum, sex organ and naval (lower abdominal region) by pulling these 3 muscle groups up and in. Diaphragm Lock (Uddiyana Bandha): To apply diaphragm lock you should pull the abdominal muscles up and in under the rib cage. Suck your stomach all the way in. Neck Lock (Jalandhara Bandha): To apply neck lock draw your chin back firmly and slightly down (like a soldier at attention) creating tension in the back of the neck and causing a compression of the throat region. Hold these locks with your breath held out, for as long as comfortable. Then release them as you inhale and relax. Repeat again for a total of 3 rounds initially. As you become more proficient, you can increase the number of rounds to 10 or more.

Maha Bandha - Tantra Yoga Technique Hints & Tips The first rule of practicing Maha Bandha, is not to over do it. Please start off gently and slowly and build up your capacity systematically over time. Don't squeeze too hard and don't hold for too long. Please refer to the following articles for more guidance: 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. If you are interested in more tantric techniques associated with sex and sexuality, you can check out the Tantra & Sex category

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here on Mastery of Meditation. Sat Kriya is chapter 10 of the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets Ebook, where you will find many other interesting and helpful yoga sets and techniques. Including the following advanced set, which uses the Bandhas in a powerful way to awaken Kundalini: Raja Yoga Set for Kundalini Awakening.

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Chapter 72 Yoga Wheel Pose


Wheel pose is a fairly advanced yoga technique that should only be tried after perfecting some of the preliminary postures for building the flexibility of the spine. It is not recommended you do this posture if you find it strenuous on your wrists, elbows, shoulders, spine or knees. So in other words, this is a great yoga technique, but don't do it till you are good and ready. Wheel Pose or Chakra Asana is common to both hatha yoga and kundalini yoga, so you will find it as part of both the following e-books on Mastery of Meditation: Free Illustrated Hatha Yoga Postures and Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-Book. This advanced yoga technique though, if you can do it, is very good for toning your entire body and is beneficial to multiple internal systems simultaneously. More details on the benefits of this pose can be found in the practice section below the illustration. Advanced Yoga Technique for Total Body Workout Picture of Hatha Yoga Wheel Pose

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Hatha Yoga Wheel Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Hatha Yoga Wheel Technique: Lie on your back and bring your feet very close to your buttocks. Place your hands near your shoulders, with your fingers facing in. Raise yourself up, so you are resting on the crown of your head. From here, press upwards, such that you come into the position as illustrated by the picture above. You should try to get a good arch in your back by pressing up with your hips and let your head hang down between your arms.

b. Duration for Hatha Yoga Wheel Technique: 15 seconds - 3 minutes.

c. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Wheel Technique: Excellent yoga technique to tone your respiratory system, digestive system, reproductive system and your nervous system. Great for a total body workout. This yoga pose also builds arm strength and leg strength. It promotes flexibility in the spine and shoulders.

d. Practice Tips for Hatha Yoga Wheel Technique: Practice partial wheel pose, with your head resting on the ground first, and then move into the full posture when you feel ready.

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Do other simpler backward bending exercises first, to build up the flexibility of your spine, before attempting Chakra Asana. Make sure you are properly warmed up before doing this advanced pose to help prevent injury.

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Chapter 73 Yoga Plough Pose for Multi-Chakra Activation


Plough pose (Hal Asana) is another yoga posture which is slightly more advanced and should therefore be practiced carefully. As this position puts pressure on the neck, it is important to not force the pose and to gently develop the necessary flexibility to come into the final position. This yoga pose though, is certainly worth the time and effort to master, as it is capable of bestowing multiple benefits by working to open several key chakras simultaneously. The following pose is again common to both, hatha yoga and kundalini yoga and thus, is a part of both e-books that are available on Mastery of Meditation. The Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses E-Book. As mentioned above, Plough pose works on several of the chakras of the Kundalini Seven Chakra System. Some articles that will help you understand better this chakra system and how kundalini yoga looks to open and balance them are as follows: Introduction to Kundalini Yoga and Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview. It is also important to note, that hatha yoga, or for that matter all yoga, looks to open and balance the chakras to promote the greater flow of kundalini shakti throughout the nadi system (psychic channels of the energetic body). Specifically, Plough pose works on the throat chakra (vishuddhi chakra), heart chakra (anahata chakra) and the navel chakra (manipura chakra). More details about these benefits are in the practice section below.

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Yoga Plough Pose for Multi Chakra Activation Picture of Yoga Plough Pose (Hal Asana)

Hatha Yoga Plough Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose: Lie on your back, bend your legs and bring your knees above you. Use your hands to support your back by placing them on ribcage, as show in the illustration above. Straighten your legs and keeping them together slowly swing them over till your toes touch the floor behind you. Try to stay on your upper back (instead of your shoulders) and keep your legs as straight as possible.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose: 15 seconds - 5 minutes.

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c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose: Works on your navel chakra and improves the functioning of all your digestive organs. This asana also develops the abdominal muscles. This pose also stimulates the heart chakra and improves the respiratory, circulatory and immune systems. Tones the thyroid and para-thyroid glands, and helps activate and balance the throat chakra. Plough pose develops flexibility of the spine, entire back and hamstrings.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose: Do not practice this pose if you have problems with your back or neck. It is also not recommended for those suffering from high blood pressure. To modify this exercise, keep a small chair or low table behind you to rest your toes on, if you can't reach the floor with them. It is also fine, to only bring your legs over as far as possible and to bend your knees if necessary, until you are flexible enough to do the full posture. One should stretch the neck, shoulders, back and hamstrings prior to doing Hal Asana. Do not force this pose and be careful of your neck as you bring your legs over.

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Chapter 74 Crane Pose for Strength and Balance


What I would like to do today is start to expand our popular Online Hatha Yoga Poses book, and add to it some poses that are slightly more challenging and advanced. The pose that will be the next entry of this book is Hatha Yoga's Crane Pose. This pose, as you will see below, requires quite a bit of strength and balance to do, but is a pose that I find quite a bit of fun to practice. As I was writing this article, my wife just phoned me from the parking lot and asked me to look out of the window. Unbelievably, walking around outside are 2 magnificent looking cranes! Nature is having some fun with me today . The first thing to do before trying this pose is putting a nice big soft cushion below your face so that if you topple over you don't end up breaking your nose. Now that we have that out of the way, the rest of the pose depends a great deal on your arm strength, balance and coordination. What you will tend to find with this pose, is that once you are able to come into the posture, holding it for longer periods of time is where the challenge really lies. Again, as with all yoga, make sure you warm up before doing such challenging poses, and don't over strain. Our Free Online Hatha Yoga Book now has 22 excellent poses and Crane Pose will be pose 23 of this book. As this pose is also used in Kundalini Yoga it will also be a part of the Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book, where you will find a large collection of kundalini yoga poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed. Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga, which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. Also, be on the lookout for

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more free online yoga classes which are going to incorporate sets which use this challenging pose in the very near future. Hatha Yoga Book Pose 23 - Crane Pose Illustration of Crane Pose

Hatha Yoga's Baka Dhyana Asana - Crane Pose: A. Basic Instructions for Hatha Yoga Crane Pose: Squat down, come up on your toes and place your hands onto the floor in front of you about shoulder width apart with fingers pointing forward. Making sure your elbows are slightly bent, bring your knees up to the outside of the elbows and lean forward slowly. You knees will be resting on your arms. Continue to lean forward until you have raised your toes off the ground and are balancing on just your hands as shown in the illustration above. Make sure you lean forward slowly to avoid toppling over.

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Keep your eyes open and either focus on a point under you to help you keep your balance, or focus on the tip of your nose. Hold this position, with normal breathing or do Breath of Fire while holding this pose. Lower your feet to the ground once you are done. Again, don't forget to place a cushion in front of your face before trying this pose, to protect you in case you topple over.

B. Duration for Hatha Yoga Crane Pose: 5 seconds - 3 mins

C. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Crane Pose: Excellent for strengthening your arms, shoulders and wrists. Helps you develop balance and coordination. Develops mental focus and concentration. Calms the mind. Improves and strengthens the entire nervous system.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Hatha Yoga Crane Pose: As this pose increases blood flow and puts pressure on the heart, you should be cautious if you have high blood pressure or major cardiovascular issues. You can do this pose in segments, where you come into it for a few seconds, then take a break and repeat the posture once you are ready. 352

Other great exercises from the Online Hatha Yoga Book which are great for developing your arm strength and balance are the following. Start with some of the easier ones below to build up your strength if you are finding Crane Pose too difficult. Yoga Plank Pose for Strong Arms Hatha Yoga Mountain Position Simple Yoga for Upper Body Training Basic Yoga Pose for Balance

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Chapter 75 Kundalini Yoga Lotus Pose


The last yoga pose we added to our free Online Hatha Yoga Poses book, Crane Pose, required considerable balance and strength to do, and today's addition is similar in that it requires a great deal of balance as well, but unlike Crane pose, this one needs flexibility more than strength. It is the scary looking White Tantra Yoga Lotus Pose , and as I mentioned, since we are now adding some more advanced postures to our collection, please follow the safety guidelines from the following 2 articles carefully when practicing these postures. Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Kundalini Yoga, is also known as White Tantra Yoga, and as I have previously pointed out, sexual energy is the most condensed form of physical energy and, if correctly channeled, it can play an important role in one's personal and spiritual evolution. There are many tantric exercises, which help you, harness your sexual potency, and for a complete set of such exercises, you can refer to the Tantric Yoga Exercises for Sexual Health article. For those interested in the refinement and transmutation of sexual energy for higher purposes, the pose today will be of particular interest. This is because Kundalini Yoga Lotus Pose, is designed specifically for this purpose. There are other benefits of Lotus Pose, in addition to the channeling of sexual energy, and those are listed below in the practice section as well. Since this position requires quite a bit of flexibility to do, it should not be attempted before doing sufficient warm-ups and stretches. In particular the hamstrings and groin should be stretched and warmed up prior to trying Lotus Pose.

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Lotus Pose will focus on opening and balancing your Sex Chakra (Swadhisthan Chakra), and as with all Tantric exercises, your mind can help magnify the benefits of the exercise. For this reason you should concentrate your awareness upon the Sex Chakra while doing this pose and can visualize energy rising up the spine from this region while you practice the position. The following three articles will be useful in helping you understand more about the Sex Chakra and how to add a chakra meditation component to this exercise. Kundalini Seven Chakra Overview How to Analyze and Heal Your Chakras Top 3 Chakra Meditation Techniques In addition to being added to the Free Online Hatha Yoga Book, Lotus Pose will of course become part of the Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book. Also, be on the lookout for more Free Tantra Yoga Classes which are going to use Lotus Pose in the very near future. White Tantra Yoga Position - Lotus Pose Illustration of Lotus Pose

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White Tantra Yoga Position - Lotus Pose: A. How to Do Tantra Yoga Lotus Pose: Sit on the floor with your legs bent at the knees in front of you. Wrap your index and middle finger around your big toe of each foot. Now slowly start to extend your arms and legs, while you balance on your sacrum. Try to straighten your legs all the way if you can. Don't force it. Keep your eyes open and focus on a point in front of you to help you keep your balance. In the final position, you will be leaning back about 30 degrees. Try to keep your back straight. Once you come into the position, hold while doing normal breathing or do Breath of Fire. Bend your knees and lower your legs to the ground once you are done. If you cannot hold your big toe, as indicated above, you can also simply grasp your feet instead.

B. Duration for Tantra Yoga Lotus Pose: 5 seconds - 3 mins

C. Benefits of Tantra Yoga Lotus Pose: Build sexual potency.

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Opens and balances the Sex Chakra. Channels sexual energy up the spine so it can be used by the higher centers. Excellent for the digestive system. Good for the back and spine. Helps detoxify and cleanse the system.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Tantra Yoga Lotus Pose: As this pose increases blood flow and puts pressure on the heart, you should be cautious if you have high blood pressure or major cardiovascular issues. Be careful in doing this pose if you have back or spine problems. Be sure to warm-up correctly and not force this position. There are many other good stretches you can do to prepare your body for this pose, so start with the easy ones and only attempt Lotus Position once you have improved your flexibility sufficiently.

Here are some more excellent White Tantra Yoga exercises for opening the Sex Chakra and building sexual potency. Tantra Yoga Technique to Raise Sexual Energy Tantra Yoga Technique for Sexual Mastery Yoga Exercises for Male Sexual Health

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Chapter 76 Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss


Yoga Exercises for Safe and Natural Healthy Weight Loss Video of Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss

Background of Online Kundalini Yoga Techniques for Healthy Weight Loss: Don't be deceived by the apparent simple nature of the yoga exercises that constitute this set. Once you begin to practice this program you will realize its profound benefits to healthy weight loss and much more in a relatively short period of time. The eight yoga exercises that form this set come primarily from the schools of Kundalini Yoga & Hatha Yoga. They, like all yoga poses and movements, work on your being at many different levels. This potent set is designed to not only help you lose weight and burn fat effectively, but, also helps you significantly at an energetic and metabolic level. The breathing exercises done in conjunction with the movements, help expand your lung capacity, improve your circulatory system and raises the internal heat of the body, thus helping it to burn up and eliminate toxins, dead gases and waste products. For safe and healthy weight loss, practice this set daily if possible. Start off doing each exercise for only about 30 seconds or 1 minute 358

each and then build up from there. Use the modifications that are provided if you need to and be sure to pace yourself. If you need to take a short break between the exercises do so, otherwise do them in sequence one after the other without rest. The purpose of this kundalini yoga set, is not only to help you loose the weight, but also to develop a healthy, fit body full of abundant energy. For complicated postures, illustrations have been provided. Also, provided below is the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise Video, as this kundalini yoga pranayama is extensively used throughout this set. Free Online Yoga Video of Breath of Fire

(From the Article: Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama Video) Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss: 1. Yoga Arm Raises: a. Guided Instructions for Yoga Arm Raises:

Stand up tall. Inhale deeply through the nose as you swing both your arms up with palms facing forward. Now swing the arms down and powerfully exhale through the mouth. The exhalation is brief and powerful. Just throw the air out of the system. Continue at a fairly brisk pace, swinging your arms up and down in this fashion in conjunction with the breathing.

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b. Duration for Yoga Arm Raises: 1-5 mins c. Benefits of Yoga Arm Raises:

Very effective in getting your energy going. Expands your chest cavity and lung capacity. Throws all negativity out of your body (toxins, negative emotions, stress, negative thoughts). Assist this process by visualizing any negativity that has been troubling you being expelled from your system as you exhale. Works on your shoulders, promoting flexibility and strength.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Arm Raises: As you develop mastery over this exercise, try to work through the discomfort in the shoulders this exercises produces. You will notice that after you get past the initial points of resistance, the energy pathways open up and the exercise gets easier. 2. Kundalini Yoga March: a. Guided Instructions for Kundalini Yoga March:

Continue standing. Have your arms in jogging position and begin marching in place. Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise. Try to bring your keens up high as you march.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga March: 1-5 mins

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c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga March:


Gets your heart rate going. Quickly oxygenates your blood. Effective warm-up before doing the more strenuous exercises. Works on your legs.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga March: To modify this exercise switch to Long Deep Breathing or Normal Breathing if Breath of Fire is too much to do. Also, you need not bring the knees too high and instead walk in place. 3. Kundalini Yoga Jogging: a. Guided Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Jogging:

Continue to have your arms as if you were jogging, also continue the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise, and start jogging in place.

Try to bring your keens up high as you jog.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Jogging: 1-5 mins c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Jogging:

Picks up your heart rate and really gets the blood circulating throughout your body.

Done with Breath of Fire the benefits of this exercise are significantly magnified. Doing a few minutes with Breath of Fire is equal to doing the exercise much longer with normal breathing.

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Works on your legs.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Jogging: If Breath of Fire is too much, switch to normal breathing. Also, you need not bring the knees up too high; instead just continue to walk/march in place, if you feel over worked. (Take a break at this point if you are feeling very winded.) 4. Kundalini Yoga Jumping Jacks: a. Guided Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Jumping Jacks:

Stand with your arms down and feet together. Now take a half inhalation and jump your legs to about shoulder width apart and swing your arms straight out to the sides parallel to the ground. The palms are facing down finger are extended. Now complete the inhalation as you jump and bring your feet wide apart. At the same time swing your arms directly above your head and clap your palms together. Now do a half exhalation as you jump your feet back to shoulder width apart and swing your hands back to being parallel to the ground with palms facing down and fingers extended. Now complete the Jumping Jack by jumping your feet back together and bringing your hands back down all the away. Continue on for the duration of the exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Jumping Jacks: 1-5 mins

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c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Jumping Jacks:


Good for your heart and lungs. Works on building concentration and focus. Works on your calves and leg muscles. Works on your arms and shoulders.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Jumping Jacks: This yoga exercise is not as easy as it sounds initially as you have to focus in order to break the pattern of how you normally do Jumping Jacks. The partitioned breathing will help build your lung capacity. To modify just do the legs or just the arms as needed. (Take a break at this point if you are feeling very winded) 5. Deep Squats Yoga Exercise: a. Guided Instructions for Deep Squats Yoga Exercise:

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Extend both arms straight out in front of you, with fingers extended and palms facing down. Inhale through the nose as you squat down. Exhale powerfully through the mouth as you stand back up. Continue at a smooth pace for the duration of the exercise.

b. Duration for Deep Squats Yoga Exercise: 1-5 mins

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c. Benefits of Deep Squats Yoga Exercise:

Excellent for toning and strengthening the large muscles of you thighs and buttocks. Builds vitality and virility. Works on your shoulders.

d. Practice Tips for Deep Squats Yoga Exercise : If you have bad knees you need to careful with this exercise. Only go as far down as you are comfortable. (Take a break at this point if you are feeling very winded.) 1. Kundalini Yoga Archer's Pose: (Article: Online Illustration of Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose) Illustration of Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose

a. Guided Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Archer's Pose:

Stand and place your feet wide apart.

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Now have your left foot pointing to your left, have you right foot pointing in slightly, the heels of both feet should be in a straight line. Your torso should be straight and facing forward. Low lean to the left so that 70% of your weight is on your left leg. Your left knee should occlude your left foot from view if you were to look down. There should be a stretch in your right upper thigh. Now extend your left arm out to the left as if holding a bow and turn your head to the left and gaze over your left fist. Now with the right hand pretend as if you are pulling back the bowstrings. Your right hand should be all the way past your right chest. Do Long Deep Powerful Breathing while holding this posture and gazing steadily over your left fist. After half the time reverse the direction of the posture.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Archer's Pose: 1-3 mins / side c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Archer's Pose:

Excellent yoga posture for your entire body, mind and spirit. Opens up and expands your energy channels. Builds strength of character, self-esteem, confidence, concentration and mental focus. Expands your chest and lungs. system. Also, works on your nervous

Good for your legs and shoulders as well.

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Eliminates Stress.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Archer's Pose : This yoga asana (posture) is the favorite of many students and teachers alike. It will make you powerful and strong. Don't over do it if you already have ego issues. 7. Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise: a. Guided Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise:

Lie on your back, bend your legs and bring you knees in towards your chest.

Hold on to each knee. Right hand grasps right knee, and left hand grasps left knee. Now try to explode off the ground like you are a popcorn popping. So you are trying to launch your whole body towards the ceiling (you will probably not leave the ground, but its the effort that counts here :-). If you are doing this right, pretty soon your abdominal muscles will let you know.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise: 1-5 mins c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise:

Very good for building your core power and abdominal strength. Good for building overall fitness and stamina.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Abdominal Pop Corn Exercise:

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Another yoga exercise that you should not be quickly fooled by. If doing it correctly it is a great way to burn calories and develop strong abdominal muscles without putting any strain on the joints and lower back. Make sure you are using a soft surface when doing this exercise. 8. Kundalini Yoga Dance & Shake: a. Guided Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Dance & Shake:

Sit Comfortably with your legs crossed. Use a firm cushion if you need to.

Raise your hands above your head. Now move everything from the hips up vigorously and chaotically. You should be moving your arms, shoulders, chest, waist, fingers, head, etc. Breath very deeply and powerfully during the entire duration of the exercise. You navel should be pumping due to the force of the breathing as well. Don't hold back let everything fly.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Dance & Shake: 1-5 mins c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Dance & Shake:

Charges, invigorates and awaken all your cells and organs. Excellent for throwing out all the garbage of the past and breaking down deep-rooted patterns of thought and behavior. Detoxifies your system and builds your ability to handle more energy. 367

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Dance & Shake : If you are listening to music, turn it up during this exercise. It is the last physical exercise for this set so give it all your all. 9. Relax in Yoga Corpse Pose: (also called Shav Asana) a. Guided Instruction for Yoga Corpse Pose:

Lie on your back and have your arms out to your sides about six to twelve inches away from your body. Turn your palms slightly upward. Relax your body and breath. With every breath visualize your body as you would ideally want it to be. Visualize it taking that shape and visualize yourself having optimum health and fitness. Visualize the weight melting away. Don't underestimate the power of your mind. Really believe this to be taking place, especially because is it.

b. Duration for Yoga Corpse Pose: 1-5 minutes. c. Benefits of Yoga Corpse Pose:

Attracts that which you set your mind to (in this case, a healthy, fit, toned, slim body). Allows the body to consolidate the gains from the previous exercises. Helps the body heal and rejuvenate itself. Promotes relaxation and peace.

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d. Practice Tips for Yoga Corpse Pose: If your mind wonders, don't judge or criticize yourself, just gently return back to the visualization process. You have done your part, now let the Universe do Hers.

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Chapter 77 Sheetali Pranayama for Reducing Stress


Sheetali Pranayama The Cooling Breath
Video of Sheetali Pranayama THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: From Yoga Pranayama Video Series Sheetali Pranayama What is Sheetali Pranayama: Sheetali Pranayama is Yoga's answer to heat, stress, anger and irritation. Sheetal means calmness and peacefulness and those are the results of practicing this cooling breath. I recently undertook the practice of Sheetali Pranayama when an internal heat imbalance took place within my body and I am happy to report that the energies within have been cooled and equilibrium has been restored. Sheetali Pranayama comes directly from the traditional schools of Hatha Yoga, but, it was also taught to me in my Kundalini Yoga training and is a widely used breathing technique to combat Ayurveda's Pitta (Heat: see Introducing Ayurveda - Alternative Medicine for Self Healing) related issues. Sheetali is another pranayama worth having in your repertoire and its simplicity makes it possible to do it anywhere and an anytime. Below are the details of Sheetali Pranayama. Benefits of Sheetali Pranayama: Primary benefits of Sheetali Pranayama:

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Cools the mental, physical and emotional systems and reduces internal heat.

Reduces stress and creates a sense of tranquility and peace. Reduces anger and irritation promoting calm. Reduces fever. Combats other Pitta related disturbances such as acidity, burning eyes, heat rash etc.

Secondary benefits of Sheetali Pranayama:


Stimulates and assists in digestion. Helps combat restlessness and helps induce sleep.

Cautions for Sheetali Pranayama: There are not many cautions for practicing Sheetali Pranayama. Since it's a cooling breath it will increase Kapha (mucus) so don't practice it if you have cold and respiratory related issues. Also, in winter don't overdo it to avoid exacerbating Kapha and excessively cooling the system. Instructions for Beginner's Sheetali Pranayama: To practice Sheetali pranayama sit up in a comfortable position, you can also practice this breathing exercise standing up or lying down. The instructions below are for as if you are sitting, but, for other positions only a slight modifications should be needed.

Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will

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align the spine with the back of your head.


Close your eyes and place your hands on your knees. Now curl the sides of your tongue up to create a tunnel and slowly breathe in through your mouth allowing the air to pass over your tongue thus creating a cooling sensation. After you inhale, bring the tongue back in and exhale through the nose. Then again stick the curled tongue out and repeat. Do 10 repetitions. One breath cycle of inhalation and exhalation makes 1 repetition.

Instructions for Intermediate Sheetali Pranayama: The only change for intermediate Sheetali Pranayama is to increase the number of repetitions from 10 up to 50. Modification for Sheetali Pranayama: The key to Sheetali Pranayama is the cooling of the air as it passes through the curled tongue, unfortunately, not everyone can curl his or her tongue in this manner. If you fall into this category just curl the sides of you tongue up as far as possible and breathe in allowing the air to flow over the tongue to create the coolness as best as possible. Secret of Sheetali Pranayama: According to Yoga lore, The Fonz (Fonzie from the TV show Happy Days) practiced Sheetali Pranayama in secret and it was the reason why he was so cool :-).

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Chapter 78 3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas - Sodarshan Chakra Kriya - Part 1
Most Powerful Yoga Pranayama Video THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Sodarshan Chakra Kriya Video

Pranayama, the science of breathing and breath control, is undoubtedly one of the greatest arts one can learn and practice for spiritual growth and personal development. It holds within itself the power to transform the lowest most gross to the highest most refined. This transforming power of pranayama can act upon any and all levels of your being, whether that is physical, emotional, mental or spiritual (energetic). This science has been perfected over the centuries in the East and was mostly kept a secret, only handed down verbally from Guru to a deserving disciple. Now, it is much more available to those who seek it, but I still feel that the knowledge really only finds those who are deserving of it. Having said that, life has brought you here now, so take this opportunity and discover the tremendous power of the Science of Pranayama. The 3 Pranayamas I am going to present here are typically not for beginners. Fortunately, all 3 have modifications, which you can start out with first before building up to the advanced techniques. I will also present these modifications here and I strongly suggest you start with them first before jumping ahead to the advanced techniques. In moving forward sanely, gently and systematically you will prepare the system to better handle the affects of the advanced forms. This systematic approach is not only much safer, but is also better for 373

extracting the full benefits of the pranayamas. Part 1 of this series is about Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. Before I go into Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, I want to give some quick guidelines that should be followed for all 3 pranayamas in this series. Basic Guidelines for practicing Pranayama: Do not practice any advanced pranayama if you are unwell. Only do light easy pranayamas. Clothing should be loose and should not restrict the movement of the abdomen. Our breathing is already very shallow, we dont need to compound the issue further by hampering the natural movement of our diaphragm. Your stomach should be empty. Which means you need to wait at least 2-3 hours after a meal before practicing pranayama. If possible practice in the early morning. Early morning is the best time to practice your sadhana (spiritual work). For more information and help on this you can read The Secret on How to Become an Early Riser. You should sit in a comfortable position, preferably in some variation of cross-legged (sukh asana). For more information on sukh asana or other positions you can sit in (like a chair) see Silent Mind Meditation Program: Basic Meditations - Chapter 7. Most importantly, DO NOT STRAIN. I cannot emphasize that enough. Take your time, you will enjoy your practice more and you will be able to establish a regular routine, as you will not dread doing your daily work. One last thing. The pranayamas being taught here, when practiced sincerely over time, can bestow great power to the practitioner. Normally, these techniques were not transcribed 374

and as mentioned earlier, were taught only to those held in great trust, so I ask you to respect that trust and agree to not in any way misuse the powers obtained from the practices described below. Sodarshan Chakra Kriya: Background: Sodarshan Chakra Kriya (set) was taught to me by my Kundalini Yoga teacher Ravi Singh who studied it under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan. It dates back a few thousand years and is reputed among all the known Yogas, including Kundalini Yoga, to be the most powerful Pranayama exercise there is. You will notice that it is called a kriya, although a kriya typically is a complete set of asanas and yogic exercises (see Introduction to Kundalini Yoga for more information on kriyas and how Kundalini Yoga works in general), it also applies in some cases to a single exercise, which is very complete in and of itself. Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is a pranayama exercise that is exactly that, very complete and also very powerful. Benefits of Sodharshan Chakra Kriya: The superlatives describing Sodarshan Chakra Kriya are lavish to say the least. In Yoga terms it will give you Nao Niddhi (the nine precious virtues) and Artha Siddhi (the 18 occult powers). These 27 facets contain all of human life and in acquiring them you perfect all that can be perfected in a human. Given this Kriyas reputation for bestowing Psychic and Yogic Powers, it is often practiced by those interested in acquiring these Siddhis (powers). There is no harm in this, as long as these powers are used for the benefit of others and to assist you in your spiritual progress. This kriya, though, is equally valuable to those interested in the final goal of human life - to see and merge with the Divine Non-Dual nature of Reality. This is because, it is very effective in dissolving the blockages (granthis) caused by frozen emotional debris in the nadis (the channels for the movement of Kundalini 375

Energy) and as the channels are purified greater flow of kundalini is facilitated allowing for the chakras (energy vortexes) to be activated and balanced. In turn, the activation of the chakras and this greater flow of Kundalini Shakti (energy) leads to the refinement of awareness, which allows one to penetrate the veil of illusion - that Reality consists of duality. Sodarshan Chakra Kriya also dramatically improves your physical wellbeing. In fact, as you practice it you will start to feel quite invincible over time. It expands your nervous system, respiratory system and helps your digestive system. I find that the most profound health benefit is a boost to the immune system when I practice this kriya regularly. Overall the kriya promotes peace, joy and strength. Description of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya: Sit up straight, have your spine erect and bring head back slightly (not up) so your chin is subtly drawn in and back like a soldier at attention. This aligns your spine with the back of your head and is also called Jalandhara Bandha. Your eyes should be 1/10th open looking down at the tip of your nose. Rest your left hand on your left knee. Block your right nostril with your right thumb and have the remaining fingers pointing upwards. Now breathe in deeply through the left nostril filling your lungs to capacity. Lower your right hand now and place it on your right knee. With your breath held in (Antar Kumbhaka) begin to pump your stomach (pulling in the abdominal muscles) to the mantra "Wahay Guru". You will pump your stomach 3 times for each iteration of Wahay Guru. Once for Wa, once for Hay and once for Guru. The mantra should be chanted mentally of course, since the breath is held in. Chant for a total of 16 Wahay Gurus, so for a total of 48 stomach pumps with the breath held in. Then raise your right hand, close off the left nostril with your right pinkie and breathe out of your right nostril. This completes 1 cycle - breathe in through left nostril, hold and pump, breathe out through right nostril. Continue to repeat this cycle for the duration of the kriya.

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Duration: There is no formal time duration for Sodarshan Chakra Kriya; it is left up to the practitioner to determine what is right for them. Below I will give the recommendations when I discuss the modifications. Beginners Sodarshan Chakra Kriya: Modify kriya as follows: Do only 1 pump for each chant of Wahay Guru. So in total with your breath held in you will do 16 pumps per cycle. Also, reduce the force of the pump to where you are comfortable. Start with 3 minutes and build up to 11 minutes. The kriya should be practiced daily. Intermediate Sodarshan Chakra Kriya: Modify kriya as follows: Do only 2 pumps for each chant of Wahay Guru; once for Wahay and once for Guru. So in total you will do 32 pumps with your breath held in per cycle. Pump your stomach with a moderate force. You should try to do 11 minutes, and then go to 22 minutes and then to 31 minutes daily. Advanced Sodarshan Chakra Kriya: Do the kriya as described above in the description section. You should be pumping your stomach with full force and you should do 31 minutes daily. The commitment should be to do 40 days without missing a day, 31 minutes each day. This was exactly the requirement by Ravi for his Kundalini Yoga teachers training course as well. If you miss a day, you go back to 1 and start over till you complete 40 days. Perfected Sodarshan Chakra Kriya: Yes there is more, you are not done yet: -D. To do the perfect and complete kriya and thus extract the maximum benefit and reach super human caliber, the requirement is to do 62 minutes per day and build 377

it up to 2 1/2 hours everyday. If you can discipline yourself to do that, the kriya will provide everything needed in all areas of your life. Design of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya: This kriya bestows its many blessings by taking full advantage of many important aspects of Pranayama and Yoga numerology. Below are some of the details behind this successful design. Breathing in through the left nostril activates the right hemisphere of the brain. This hemisphere is responsible for your meditative, creative and artistic powers. Activating it helps unleash and grow these aspects of your nature. The number 16 is associated with the Ajna Chakra; also know as the Third Eye, Divine Eye or the Eye of Shiva. Chanting the mantra Wahay Guru 16 times activates Ajna Chakra, which is responsible for many psychic abilities and the power of intuition and wisdom. The mantra itself, Wahay Guru, means ecstasy beyond words and represents ones higher consciousness. Chanting this mantra attracts this divine energy towards one. Pumping the navel helps ignite and awaken Kundalini Shakti so she can make her ascent up the primary Nadi (Shushumna) all the way up to the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra) activating, rejuvenating, balancing and healing all the other Chakras and associated organs in her path.

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Chapter 79 Week 6 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge:

Learn about Kundalini Energy. Learn how to design yoga sets. Understand the fundamentals for Enlightenment. Expand knowledge regarding meditation techniques.

Techniques:

Learn Learn Learn Learn

Surya Namaskar Sun Salutation. Raja Yoga Set. Surya Bedhi Pranayama. Kirtan Kriya.

Articles for Study:


Dangers of Kundalini Yoga Kundalini During Meditation Kundalini Awakening Symptoms Meditation Techniques, Types and Practice | A Comprehensive Guide How to Design Yoga Sets

Daily Practice: Pranayama: 3-5 mins

Surya Bedhi Pranayama for Energy

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Yoga: Practice Both Sets Each Day - 15-30 mins


Surya Namaskar Raja Yoga Set

Meditation: Generally its 31 mins for Kirtan Kriya, but adjust as needed. Kirtan Kriya Kundalini Yogas Highest Meditation

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Chapter 80 Dangers of Kundalini Yoga


Dangers of Kundalini Awakening Is Kundalini Yoga dangerous? Ah yes, the question I get asked more and more as people learn about Kundalini Yoga is general or discover this website. Kundalini Yoga is certainly a powerful science and if not approached with intelligence and respect it can produce some challenges and difficulties for the practitioners. That is not meant to discourage you from taking up its practice, it is meant to help guide you so that you undertake Kundalini Yoga practice safely and thus, enjoy the enormous benefits that this form of yoga bestows (See Rapid Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Practice & Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga Practice for more details on the benefits of yoga). Kundalini Yoga is favored over other forms of yoga, because of the rapid gains that can be made by those who practice it sincerely. What this means in practical terms, is that Kundalini Yoga can more quickly purify your energetic channels, charge and balance your chakras (energy centers) and awaken in you greater and greater flow on kundalini shakti (energy), than other forms of yoga. Thus, it is the fast track to spiritual growth and enlightenment. This is great, but herein also lies the danger. Improper Kundalini Yoga, coupled with incorrect lifestyle and preparation, can unleash more energy in you than you are ready for. This premature awakening of kundalini or excessive flow of shakti (energy), before the body is ready to handle it, is the danger with improper Kundalini Yoga practice, or with kundalini shakti in general. The reasons for kundalini awakening are vast and varied, and sometimes have nothing to do with yoga practice at all. You can read about the difficulties that sometimes arise with such kundalini awakening in the popular article Symptoms of Kundalini Awakening. 381

Ideally, you want kundalini to awaken as per your bodys capacity to handle her and to that end, there is no better approach to preparing the body than intelligent yoga practice, and specifically intelligent Kundalini Yoga practice. So what is intelligent Kundalini Yoga practice and how do we go about awakening kundalini safely and wisely? In many articles on this blog I have provided such important safety guidelines and in this article I would like to put all that wisdom together so that its easily accessible for all who are interested. Below are these important guidelines to help you minimize the danger of premature kundalini awakening and thus, avoid the problems that this condition can sometimes cause. Guidelines for Safe Kundalini Yoga Practice: 1. Dont Over Strain: This is rule number one for minimizing the danger of premature kundalini awakening by ensuring you are not going further than what your body is ready for. This applies to the practice of all forms of yoga. Weather you are doing yoga breathing exercises (pranayama), yoga poses (asanas) or kundalini yoga sets (kriyas), you should not push excessively. Of course some challenge is good, but you are looking to develop your capacity systematically, so keep that in mind and aim for steady progress. Remember, the turtle did beat the hare. Two more important safety notes when it comes to doing your Kundalini Yoga practice. First, be sure to warm up before doing any difficult kriyas (sets) or asanas (postures). Second, be sure to work around injuries and use modifications for advanced poses whenever necessary.

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2. Dont Do Excessive Chakra Meditations: I constantly have yogis reaching out to me, both online and at my studio, who have focused exclusively on Chakra Meditations and thus, created imbalances for themselves. I have given some powerful Chakra Meditation techniques in the following 2 articles, The Top 3 Chakra Meditation Techniques and the very popular AUM Mantra Meditation for Opening the Third Eye Chakra, and although, I expect you to learn and use these techniques, I have advised that they should not be the only focus of your Kundalini Yoga practice. Chakra Meditation techniques, directly stimulate and open the chakra points, which then creates the greater flow of kundalini to take place in the respective regions. The danger of course, is if the nerves, glands, organs, psychic pathways (nadis), etc, are not strong enough to handle this flow. As then it can create imbalances and issues for you. So the advice is to practice such direct techniques only after you have sufficiently developed your level of fitness, health and strength of internal systems. This of course you can accomplish by practicing Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Sets, Hatha Yoga Asanas and/or Yoga Breathing Exercises (Pranayamas), regularly and sincerely. 3. Danger of Using Drugs: Unless you are a wandering naked sadhu (Nanga Yogi) or a developed Aghori (see article Nude Yoga Exposed), it is very unlikely you are a master of how to use narcotics. The techniques of how to prepare mix and use narcotics (and certain rare herbs) for awakening kundalini, is still held in great secrecy and if you want to learn this alchemy, you are going to have to take a trip to India and get initiated. There are other ancient religions that also know some of these secrets (like the varied use of tobacco by the American Indians, etc.), but most of that knowledge is also not easily available. So, I suggest you just stay away from drugs all together. Besides recreational drugs and tobacco, even alcohol, which has a strong affect on kundalini can be dangerous to a practicing yogi and 383

therefore, should be approached with care. Overall, I am not an advocate of the use of chemicals to facilitate kundalini awakening, as more often than not, the end result of such attempts is bad. 4. Get Healthy First: Before jumping into any advanced Kundalini Yoga practice, you should first try to heal yourself from any serious diseases or illnesses. Of course, yoga itself is very helpful in this matter, but what I am saying here is that you should not jump ahead to doing advanced yoga if you are suffering from serious health issues. Resolving the health issues should be a priority and during this healing phase, only use gentle yoga techniques. This will minimize the danger of complicating your health issues with kundalini imbalances. In addition to practicing gentle yoga to help heal yourself, you should employ Ayurvedic treatments as well. Ayurveda is the ancient science of health and healing, and goes hand in hand with Kundalini Yoga practice. You can get more information on Ayurveda via the following links: Introduction to Ayurveda - The Science of Self-Healing and Ayurveda Category Articles. You will find Ayurveda to be an invaluable resource on the path to enlightenment and healthy living. It will not only help you achieve optimum physical health, but will also help you find emotional and mental balance, both of which are also prerequisites to advanced Kundalini Yoga practice. 5. Make Time & Space: Kundalini awakening is not a predicable process. It affects each of us differently and it is advisable to give yourself time and space to allow this process to run its course when required. I am not suggesting here that you need to join an ashram, but I am saying that if you have awakened kundalini, then there will be times you need to just rest, relax and be alone. By not providing such down times, you increase 384

the danger of imbalances, as kundalini is not able to complete the work she is doing within you. 6. Attitude of Gratitude & Prayer: Dont underestimate the value of right attitude when it comes to eliminating the danger that kundalini shakti can pose as she awakens. It is perhaps the best tool at your disposal, to help you make safe and graceful progress on the path of full kundalini awakening. Be respectful, appreciative, devoted and humble and the great Shakti, as well as the Universe, will cooperate with you. Here is a nice Vedic mantra to express your love and devotion, but feel free to use your own methods as well: Greatest Vedic Mantra to Express Gratitude In addition, before doing your Kundalini Yoga practices always start by asking for protection, guidance and inspiration. This ensures you are approaching these cosmic forces with the correct state of mind and heart. Here are 2 articles detailing how to do this: AUM Mantra Video for Starting Kundalini Yoga Class & Can a Guru Help with Enlightenment. Summary of Danger of Kundalini Yoga Practice: Life is dangerous. There is no getting around it. You can, if you wish, hide in a cave and play it safe until Yama Raj (Lord of Death) comes knocking, or you can choose to embrace the adventure. Kundalini Yoga & Meditation practice are doors to infinity and they are an exploration of the unknown. In fact, they finally take you to the doorway to the Great Void, at which point knowledge and mind end, and to enter requires the faith and courage to just let go. Kundalini Shakti is the wave you ride on this journey to the beyond. There are certainly dangers on the way, but if you follow the guidelines above it will go a long way in making your journey safer and smoother. My best wishes are always with you. 385

More Helpful Articles on Kundalini Yoga Safety: 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice Beginners Guide to Yoga Breathing Exercises Osho Quote on How to Live Courageously

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Chapter 81 Kundalini Meditation | Power of the Energy


Kundalini Energy During Meditation There are many Kundalini Yoga Meditations and you will find a number of them in the following free e-book here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga (Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques), but what I would like to discuss today is not Kundalini Yoga Meditations, but the flow and power of Kundalini energy during advanced meditation. Finally, meditation is the act of comprehending, at a glace, the entire story of every thought from moment to moment. I have explained this highest and purest form of meditation in some detail in the article Silent Mind Meditation Technique, and have discussed the insights that explode due to this quality of meditation in the ongoing series, Insights from Advanced Meditation Practice, and today I would like to give some actual kundalini experiences that take place when practicing such meditation. Please note, these are not general Kundalini experiences that are taking place as a part of your spiritual evolution, which you can read about in the ever popular article Kundalini Awakening Symptoms, but are the real time kundalini energy events that tend to occur during a single meditation session of the highest quality. In my view, until one applies oneself in full capacity to the silent, spontaneous comprehension of the moving mind, one has not yet explored their full human potential. No matter what your preferred technique or spiritual practice is, I would recommend a serious attempt at this method of observation, as it the most direct path to the cessation of the thinking mind.

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Prerequisites to Advanced Meditation The entire Silent Mind Meditation Program is really designed to help you explore this capacity, but briefly here are generally what the requirements are to practice such meditation.

You should be able to sit still for 1 hour. Minor adjustment or two during this hour is ok. You should have the ability to focus your mind on an object (such as the breath) for long periods of time. A full hour of such concentration is not necessary, but you should be in that ballpark. You should have a sound and clear intellectual understanding of the fundamentals of the thinking mind. Here I am referring to topics such as desire, psychological time, hope, effort, etc, not the neural, cognitive or "scientific" aspects. You should have an unending great passion for Self-realization and enlightenment. You should have a sense of urgency, equal to that of a person stuck in a burning house.

Now we can begin . I, of course, dont want to end up discouraging you, but I do want you to understand that tinkering about or dabbling in such meditation is simply not going to get it done. So before you give it a weak attempt or two and call it quits, I want you to realize that although this meditation is not complex, after all the only requirement is to carefully watch your thoughts, it does take some serious work to do. So be prepared to give everything you have to it and then see what happens. So when you finally get down to watching your thoughts, and comprehending them with direct observation from moment to 388

moment, you will soon realize that this requires great energy. At the heart of the required swift awareness and sharp intelligence is going to be energy. Without this energy, thoughts will run into one another and pile up fast, leaving you unable to keep pace with their vicious velocity. So to capture and digest each and every thought your mental engine (awareness and intelligence, not just logical systems) has to be running in tip-top shape and for that you will need energy. This energy is Kundalini and the experience of this energy during meditation is what I am referring to as Kundalini Meditation here. Kundalini Meditation Experiences So as you sit and divert all your attention to your thoughts, your passion and urgency will give you the necessary intensity, and this intensity is Kundalini going to work. A typical session of such meditation tends to have 3 phases. The first is just a silent watching of the breath to slow down the momentum and speed of the mind, the next is the phase of intense observation allowing for digestion of each thought to occur, and finally the explosion of insight and the ensuing shift into an enlightened state, whatever that might be. In the second phase, where there is great power of observation, is where you will tend to experience kundalini flowing, and here are some ways in which she will manifest.

Energy rushing up the spine, straightening it spontaneously and sometimes almost pulling you right off the ground. Tremendous vibration of the forehead and eyelids. Great energy is being drawn in from the soles of your feet and energy being generated by your legs and thighs. Spontaneous application of Root Lock or Mula Bandha, where your rectum and/or sex organ will contract sharply and stay contracted.

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Pressure at the base of the spine. Pressure at the back of your neck. One of the most common is pressure in the center of the forehead and all around the head region. Energy rushing into the brain. Feels like ants, tingling, flushing feelings. Contraction of the front chest and back regions to generate greater amounts of energy to divert to the observation. Shaking and trembling of the entire body. Lifting up of the head, as in looking upwards with great force. Stiffness of the entire body. Energy and vibrations in the inner ears, one or both.

Once explosion takes place and you start to move towards Samadhi or the enlightened state, from this state of Concentration and Continuous Unbroken Observation (Dharana and Dhyana), then the whole complexion of Reality of course transforms. But in the in-between stage, where you go from just calming the mind down to the state where the shift of awareness has taken place, you are going to dance with Kundalini. This is Kundalini Energy in Meditation. Summary of Kundalini Energy and Meditation Another article where I go into this advanced meditation technique some more; especially with regard to how it is related to Sage Patanjalis teachings is Best Mind Meditation | Most Advanced Meditation Technique. Of course, you will also experience a great deal of kundalini events and symptoms during kundalini yoga practice and 390

you can read about others and my such experiences here, Kundalini Experiences Being Reported by Readers Like You and Explosive Kundalini Rising in Yoga Class Today. The purpose of this article is to share with you some of what is experienced from the perspective of Kundalini energy, when one really gets down to the highest meditation. If you have experienced such or other kundalini symptoms, especially during meditation, then please do share them with us in the comments section below. For general kundalini awakening symptoms, the article I linked to at the very beginning, is a great place to share and discuss.

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Chapter 82 Kundalini Awakening Symptoms


Real Life Experiences & Descriptions of Kundalini Rising Are you going through a kundalini-awakening episode or experience? Lets find out Kundalini awakening symptoms are truly a very intriguing subject. Really there is no correct answer to the question, "What are the symptoms of Kundalini Rising? as thankfully, each of us is absolutely unique and thus, on a unique trajectory on the path to Kundalini Awakening. That said there are some common kundalini experiences that are often reported, which I would like to share with you in this article. Although we can draw up endless lists of symptoms from third party accounts, I would like to instead make this series about kundalini symptoms that you or I have actually experienced. In this article, I will give a recent account from one of my students about what she experienced shortly after class, and then I will add my own kundalini experiences and observations as well. In the comments section, I encourage you to add any kundalini awakening experiences or symptoms you have felt, so others can better understand what they might be going through. Here is the recent email I received from my student, Aida: Aidas Experience of Kundalini Awakening: I am a student of the "Gentle Kundalini Class". I just finished taking a series of exercise specifically for the spine.

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As I left the class I felt energized as I usually feel after each class, but this time it was a little different, I was feeling extra aware of my surrounding. Like a light turned on. My back was so straight. It lasted all day. If I could go to class every morning I would go. It makes my day start right in every way. And there are times when I am not feeling like going to class and I push myself to go and do not regret it. Thank you for being my teacher. Aida D. For those interested, here is a link to the Spinal Warm-up Kundalini Yoga Kriya we did in class that day. Thank you Aida, for sharing your personal experiences with us. This particular experience of kundalini is very interesting and significant. This is because it is the common experience of advanced meditation and of kundalini yoga. In the article, Powerful Kundalini Yoga Battles Profound Zen Meditation, I described my own such experience with kundalini awakening, but not from doing kundalini yoga, but instead from doing Silent Mind Meditation! Aidas experience points at the two things that all yoga and meditation boils down to, Energy and Awareness. My favorite description of Kundalini Yoga is, "The Yoga of Awareness," and as you see from her account, she felt more aware, as the energy of kundalini had risen up her spine. In meditation, it is the same. The demand for intense awareness, in order to comprehend the thought process via direct perception, leads to energy (kundalini) rising up and elongating the spine. Awareness then follows. Jiddu Krishnamurti describes this experience of kundalini energy flowing up the spine as "The rush of water filling up and thus causing a 393

pipe to stand erect." When we insist that the spine be straight during meditation, it is simply to facilitate this awakening and thus, to assist in being more aware. I have experienced kundalini rising and puling up with such force, during meditation, that it sometimes make me feel as if I am going to be launched right off the ground or as if its going to pull my head off and up into the sky. Symptoms of Kundalini Awakening: I am going to describe some of the physical symptoms my students or I have felt due to kundalini awakening. I know there are many emotional and mental symptoms as well, and you are welcome to share those with us in the comments section below. I am grouping the experiences into 3 categories, common, uncommon and rare, according to what I have observed. Common Kundalini Awakening Symptoms:

Tingling in the body and brain region. Also sometimes described as ants walking, tickling energy or flushes of energy. The brain being flushed with energy is quite pleasant :-). Heat or cold in the system, or running along various channels and chakra centers. Fluttering or twitching of muscles. Pinching or burning in various regions of the body or brain.

Uncommon Kundalini Awakening Symptoms:

Pressure in the Third Eye Region (Ajna Chakra). This is pressure, tingling or other sensation in the center of the forehead. Can go on for years (14 years and counting so far for 394

me). Caution: If the pressure, due to certain practices, intensifies to uncomfortable levels and you feel are "immense", you should cease that practice and consult a competent kundalini yoga teacher.

Sudden bursts of energy anywhere in the body. These are almost always short lived, from a few seconds to a few minutes. Spontaneous yoga asanas or kundalini yoga movements. They may come on spontaneously, or they may take over, as if on auto-pilot when one is practicing Kundalini Yoga Kriyas or Exercises (For an example see article: Explosive Kundalini Rising in Class Today). Kundalini Shakti rising up and elongating the spine. Incredible feeling of love and desire for your partner (not ordinary lust, alcohol induced or otherwise :-). Usually comes upon you spontaneously, deep in the night. Sex feels like its the first such experience and the intense feelings of attraction emanate from somewhere beyond yourself. Unfortunately, pain in the lower back, back of the neck and headaches.

Rare Kundalini Awakening Symptoms:

Experience of divine light within. Very intense light, usually pure white and incredibly beautiful. I call it the Radiation of the Lord. Tremendous vibratory energy (sometimes feels like its coming from the inner ears). Very blissful, but can intensify to the point where it would completely overwhelm your consciousness if you let it.

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Spontaneous bliss, intensely pleasurable. This one is a bit scary. Complete paralysis of the body. Complete immobility and rigidity takes place. As with the allconsuming vibratory energy, it requires some courage to allow. This one is exceedingly rare. I have experienced it only once in my life, and have only ever read about it being experienced by one other - the master of awareness, G. I. Gurdjieff. The arms and legs churn like that of a baby. It happens naturally and cannot be simulated. It is also intensely pleasurable and quite a remarkable experience.

There are of course a wide range of transcendental experiences, some of which you will find described in the category Spiritual Enlightenment Experiences. Above, I have provide those that are more commonly associated with kundalini awakening, although many would argue, including Swami Vivekananda, that all enlightenment experiences have to do with kundalini entering the brain region in some capacity. So if you have experienced some kundalini symptoms as well, please do share them with us below. I think it will benefit others identify if what they are going through is actually symptoms of the ever mysterious kundalini awakening.

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Chapter 83 Meditation Techniques, Types and Practice - A Comprehensive Guide


Best Meditation Techniques, Types & Practice There are as many types of meditation techniques as there are wonderful flavors of ice cream. This allows each person to find a flavor that is delicious to him or her. This article is the combined result of the 3 part series "Comprehensive Guide to the World of Meditation Practice". I created this one article out of those three to provide a single document, which one can refer to for an introduction to all the important meditation techniques and types available. This article provides this overview of all the significant meditation techniques and hopefully this will help you find the style that is sweetest to you. Some meditation styles suit those of an intellectual disposition, while others are more attracted to those who prefer the path of love and surrender. Still others, with an active approach to life, may like the meditation techniques involving movement, while those with a strong mind would enjoy the approach of thought, mantra, visualization or concentration. Overall, there are several broad categories under which we can capture most of these different meditation practices and this article will explore each of these types of meditation techniques. 1. Insight Meditation Techniques: These are the meditations of choice for the Gyan Yogis or those drawn to the intellectual path. It incorporates the advanced meditation techniques from the Zen school of Buddhism, the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, and certain schools of Western Religions among others.

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1. WHO AM I Meditation Technique: This technique comes from the school of Advaita Vedanta (Non-Dualism / End of Knowledge). The meditation was popularized by Shri Ramana Maharishi and is based on negation of the false self in order to realize ones True Nature. Here is an example of my experience with WHO AM I Meditation Practice. 2. Koan Meditation Technique: These meditations come from the Zen School of Buddhism and are designed to break down the ordinary pattern of conceptual, dualistic thinking. By breaking down the interference created by the thinking mechanism the practitioner is brought to confront the non-dual reality of "what is" directly and thus Awaken. 3. Contemplation Meditation Technique: These meditations utilize introspection, self-study, reflection, study of spiritual texts and contemplation to cut through the layers of false conditioning and false understanding that deludes the mind. These meditations have their roots in many Western Religions and are also a part of Eastern philosophies. 4. Silent Mind Meditation Technique: This meditation technique is my contribution to this category and it involves directly perceiving the fact of what is by acute observation of the thinking process. This is the flavor that I enjoy best and I have explained it in detail in The Silent Mind Meditations, which are part of the Silent Mind Meditation Program. These meditations are an extension of the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti. 2. Sound (Mantra) & Thought Meditation Techniques: The meditations that fall under this category use the science of sound and thought vibrations (Naad Yoga), along with rhythm and music (Laya Yoga) to purify the heart and mind. These meditations have a wide range of applications, from bestowing Enlightenment, to

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improving health, wealth, happiness, peace etc 1. Mantra Japa Meditation Technique: This meditation method uses the repetition of a mantra (a particular sound, word or phrase) verbally or mentally to create the necessary conditions for purification, refinement or expansion to take place. Mantras are essentially keys, which allow one to tune into the individual energy field or tune into the Universal Energy field to produce certain desired results. Here is an example of using OM Mantra to activate the Third Eye Chakra. 2. Rhythm Meditation Technique: This form of meditation uses the combination of rhythm, chanting, music and breath to calibrate and perfect the system. The excellent Three Step Rhythmic Breathing (3srb) meditation technique of Sage Patanjali and many Kundalini Yoga meditations fall under this category, among others. 3. Meditation via Song: Most of the meditations from the path of Devotion (Bhakti Yoga) and Love, designed to dissolve the ego belong in this category. This is a path most dear to those who are emotional in nature and feel a deep love for the divine. Christianity, Gospel, Sufi Meditations, Hare Krishna Meditations, Kirtans and Bhajans are some examples of techniques in this category. 4. Meditation via Prayer: All religions have meditations involving prayer and worship. This may be the most practiced form of meditation. 5. Thought Power Meditation Technique: The power of thought is becoming well-recognized world over and many of the ancient Eastern techniques using this science are starting to gain popularity in the West now as well. Meditations that use the power of intention, law of attraction, desire manifestation, selfhypnosis, positive thinking, laughter as meditation, etc. belong 399

in this category. These meditations can be useful to everyone. 6. Feeling and Emotion Meditation Technique: In these meditations one uses the combined power of feelings and attitude to produce the desired affects. This type of meditation technique is usually combined with and is a part of other types of meditations, but can be done independently as well. Meditation such as Zens Loving Kindness, Oshos crying meditation and many meditations which deal with maintaining an attitude of surrender, giving, gratitude, forgiveness etc, fall under this category. 3. Concentration and Visualization Meditation Techniques: These are probably the most common and well know of all the meditations and often meditation is defined by these kinds of meditations exclusively. They are closely related to the Insight Meditation Techniques with the difference being that Insight Meditation Techniques utilize the active application of intelligence and discernment, while the Concentration Meditation techniques use the power of focused attention to a greater degree. To some extent these meditations lay the groundwork for the Insight Meditations, which need a high degree of concentration as a prerequisite to being effective. 1. Breath Meditation Technique (Zazen): The heart of Zen Meditation is Zazen, the meditation of the Buddha. In this meditation awareness and concentration are brought to the breathing process to help build mastery over the mind and free the system from dualistic thinking. An in-depth look of this meditation can be found in the popular article Zen Meditation Technique (Zazen) - Free Book of Guided Meditations. Another breath-based meditation is Vipassana. In Vipassana one extends ones awareness from ones breath, to the body and the sensations that rise and fall within it. The objective being to have insight into the workings of the mind through self400

observation. This form of meditation is also called Insight Meditation as it helps one develop insight into the true nature of things. 2. Concentration Meditation Technique: There are many meditations that utilize an external object as a focus point for the mind. Zazen/Vipassana belong in these sections as well, but due to their widespread use I mentioned them separately. The objects of focus can be anything from a point on the ceiling, to a flower, to external sounds in the environment. These meditations all develop focus, concentration, self-knowledge, calmness and the witnessing consciousness. Their ultimate objective, though, is to have the meditator finally drop the object of concentration and encounter the non-dual nature of Reality directly. Some examples of these meditations can be found in the following articles: Sound Awareness Meditation Technique and candle flame gazing (Trataka) as described in Brain Development and Enlightenment - Awaken the Senses. 3. Visualization Meditation Technique: This meditation technique is suitable for those who are creative and perceptive. In this technique the meditator uses visualization techniques to produce the desired results. These can range from simply moving awareness to various areas of the body, to visualizing internal flows of light, to imagining mental places etc. Many internal Chakra Meditations, Kriya Yoga Meditations, Kundalini Yoga Meditations, Yantra (geometric shapes) Meditations fall under this category. In additions meditations on the image of God, visualizing places of power or peace, etc, belong in this category as well. 4. Mindfulness Meditation: This is a wonderful meditation technique and one that can be practiced throughout the day. Mindfulness meditation means to have moment-to-moment flowing awareness of your physical, emotional and mental activities. In other words, to be aware of what is transpiring in 401

the here and now. This is ultimately the goal of all meditation to awaken you to the present. Others definitions of this meditation are J. Krishnamurtis Choiceless Awareness, Oshos Double Pointed Awareness, Gurdjieffs Self-Remembrance and S. N. Tavarias Awareness of the Divine Fragment. An article demonstrating this meditation technique in action is The True Meaning of Laziness. 4. Body Meditation Techniques: These meditations and practices may suit those inclined to physical activity, but as you will see from the list below there are meditation techniques using the body, which can easily by enjoyed by all. In addition, the meditations of this type almost all have the added benefit of keeping us fit and healthy. 1. Yoga as Meditation: All forms of physical yoga are to be done with full awareness of the postures and movements. In addition breath is combined with the movements and poses to help open up the energy channels and free the system from the debris of the past. There is no prerequisite for the practice of Yoga, such as flexibility or diet, and all can benefit from the blessings this ancient and powerful technique bestows. 2. Walking Meditation Technique: This form of meditation should not be underestimated. It is really a treasure. In Zen, walking meditation has been formalized and is called "Kinhin". There are many styles of walking meditation, but for all these styles, awareness is a key component. In walking meditation you can either be fully tuned it to the physical process of walking, or you can be fully aware of the environment, either inner or outer, as you just walk. It either case, the objective is to be in the present moment as best you can. 3. Dance Meditation Technique: The only prerequisite to Meditation by dance is that you are alive. The range of this 402

meditation done via this technique is quite remarkable. There is the Dervish dancing of the Sufi mystics, the Dance Meditation of Master Gurdjieff, Oshos famous meditations using dance and movement, Lord Shivas Cosmic Dance the Tandon and the list go on and on. Dance Meditation is not only for celebrating life, but is a valid and powerful method to build awareness, induce catharsis and encounter Reality. An article that gives my experience with dance meditation technique is My Time at on Osho Retreat when my Body Disappeared. 4. The Martial Arts as Meditation: "Grasshopper life is a dream within a dream." For those of us who grew up watching the TV show "Kung Fu" know well the intimate relationship between the martial arts and meditation. Zen Archery, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and other related techniques all belong here in this category. Common to all these techniques understand the intimate connection between the breath, the life force it contains (Qi, Chi, Prana), the mind and the concept of Oneness. 5. Sex as Meditation (Left hand of Tantra): No I did not forget this most profound, yet very misunderstood, type of meditation. Tantra and tantric sex have been gaining notoriety over the past few decades as spirituality, tantra yoga and enlightenment have moved into the mainstream, where now most aspirants are married and sexually active. This meditation technique requires first the disciplining of the mind and control over ones passions. Then one can learn the techniques of vajroli and sahajoli along with the various bandhas (body locks) and yoga asanas, which help to maintain the height of sexual charge and the use of that energy to activate the higher centers. This method of meditation is indeed wonderful and if two like-minded people come together for its practice, for the right purpose, it can provide a powerful and potent vehicle for the attainment of enlightenment.

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So there you have it, to satiate your meditative appetite all the main flavors of ice cream available. Most important thing for you to do is indulge. Your soul craves meditation like children crave ice cream, so go ahead and take a bite I promise, you will absolutely get addicted and it will be the most beneficial addiction you can ever have. Internet Resources for Meditation: Yoga Meditation Tips: There are many positive benefits and advantages, which come from Yoga Meditations; however it is important to understand the basics of the activity before becoming involved in it.

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Chapter 84 How to Design Yoga Sets


6 Keys for Designing a Yoga Set At the heart of personal yoga practice, regardless of whether it's Hatha Yoga or Kundalini Yoga, lies yoga sets. The building block for these sets are, of course, yoga poses and exercises and now on Mastery of Meditation there are several free e-books and videos available which provide you these key components. The Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses E-book and the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-Book are rapidly growing resources for you to use in order to form your very own yoga sets and kundalini yoga kriyas. Before you go diving in though and start mixing and matching random poses and exercises, I would like to give you some important guidelines on how to construct these sets. 6 Guidelines for Designing Kundalini & Hatha Yoga Sets: 2. Who Should Design Yoga Sets: Don't try to design a set if you are just beginning yoga practice. Practice some of the sets provided in the Free Yoga Videos and the Free Kundalini Yoga Kriyas E-book and become more familiar with yoga practice first. The last thing you want to do is practice yoga and create more injuries and imbalances for yourself. 3. Yoga Sets Should be Balanced: This is one of the most important aspects of a yoga set. By balance here I mean that the poses that twist and stretch you one way, should at some point be balanced with poses that twist and stretch you the other way. Similarly, you should design sets 405

that stretch both arms, both legs, etc, equally if possible. In addition, rotations done in one direction should be followed by rotations done in the other direction. So if in your set you have a backward bending yoga posture, then at some point it is wise to have a forward bending yoga pose as well. As an example, if you employ Cobra Pose early in your set, you can balance it with the Forward Bending Pose sometime later. This will ensure that you don't end up creating sets after which you feel out of balance and un-centered. 4. Chakras Work Should Be Done Low to High: In general the rule to follow, especially for Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, is to start working on the lower chakras first and then move up towards the higher chakras. So you would tend to do an exercise like Crow Pose, which works on the Root Chakra, early in the set and do Stretch Pose, which works on the Navel Chakra, sometime after that. This helps to sequentially increase the vibration of the energy higher and higher. 5. Yoga Breathing Guidelines: For most exercises and postures a corresponding breath is indicated. In most cases, there are several options available that allow you to breathe at a level, which is comfortable for you. So advanced practitioners might do Breath of Fire, while a beginner might do Long Deep Breathing with a particular pose. One rule with yoga breathing though, is that generally you should inhale when expanding the chest and abdominal region and exhale during the movement, which contracts these regions. This allows for maximum benefit from the movements and exercises.

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6. Rest Periods: It is wise to design specific rest periods within a set. The one important aspect though of rest, which should be included in every Kundalini Yoga kriya, is a period of relaxation at the end of the kriya. This relaxation time is critical to allow the body to assimilate all the energy that has been awakened by the yoga exercises. It is during this time, the body heals, grows and nourishes itself. 7. Warm-Ups: If your set consists mostly of difficult yoga poses and exercises only, make sure you do a warm-up set first before jumping into advanced postures. An excellent warm-up set is the Kundalini Yoga Spinal Warm-up Exercises. If you plan to do your set only, then ensure that it first starts off with simple yoga postures and movements, so that you are properly warmed up, then moves on to the more challenging exercises. Warm-ups and not overdoing it are your best defenses against injury. Summary of Making Your Own Yoga Sets: The sciences of Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda, etc, are tools to help you in your own unique path to spiritual awakening. Designing your own Yoga Sets, to help you overcome your personal challenges, I think is a valuable skill to learn. I hope the guidelines above help you maximize the benefits from your personal yoga practice.

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Chapter 85 Surya Namaskar Sun Salutation


Morning is undoubtedly one the best times to practice yoga and the perfect morning yoga set is Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation, as it incorporates some excellent poses to help stretch the entire body. Surya Namaskar should probably have been the very first article on this blog, instead of now four years later, but hey, better late than never . Surya Namaskar is a set where you flow from one yoga posture to another. This style is called Vinyasa or Flow Yoga and it is a wonderful way to practice yoga. Flowing gracefully from pose to pose, when done with full awareness and attention, allows you to extract the calming and harmonizing aspects of yoga, in addition to it's well known physical benefits. As mentioned above, the poses which are incorporated into Surya Namaskar really stretch the whole body and they are also individually some of the best poses from Hatha Yoga. Surya means Sun and Namaskar means Salutations, and this set done in the refreshing early morning hours when the Sun is just rising, is a great way to salute the new day and a great way to prepare the body for it. Below you will find all the details needed to practice this wonderful sequence, which will become Chapter 22 in our ongoing Free Online Yoga Sets E-book. As with all yoga practice please follow the guidelines from the following 2 articles: 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice and Essential Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice. Finally, I will be putting together a new class for daily yoga practice, using Surya Namaskar, so be on the lookout for that on our free online yoga classes page.

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Morning Yoga Poses for Stretching - Surya Namaskar Illustration of Surya Namaskar

Best Morning Yoga Poses for Stretching: A. How to Do Surya Namaskar: Stand straight up with feet together and palms together at chest level as in illustration #1 above. Raise your arms up and reach back, arching your back but keeping your elbows and knees straight. This will stretch your entire back, neck and shoulders. Illustration #2. Inhale deeply. Next reach down towards your toes. Here make sure you only go as far as comfortable while keeping the legs straight. If you can, bring the palms of your hands down to the floor next to your feet. This is called Yoga Head to Toe pose and is excellent for stretching your hamstrings. Illustration #3 above. Exhale. Now come into forward lunge. To do this, reach back with your left leg as you lunge forward gently. Your left knee will touch the floor. This is a wonderful yoga pose for stretching and opening up your hips. Look up and press forward as you do this as in illustration #4 above. Inhale. Then come into Downward Facing Dog Pose. Press your heels towards the floor and your head down between your shoulders as in Illustration #5. This pose will stretch your calves, hamstrings and shoulders. It is also great for strengthening 409

your arms and shoulders. Exhale. From here come into the pose shown in illustration #6. Here your chin, knees, chest an toes are touching the floor only, while your rest on your palms. Great for upper body strength. Come down nice and slow into this pose if you can. Inhale, then exhale. Then come into Yoga Cobra Pose with straight arms as shown in Illustration #7. This will give your back and spine a great stretch and strengthen your arms, shoulders and chest. Inhale. From Cobra Pose come back into Downward Facing Dog. Don't forget to keep your awareness and attention in the present. Exhale. Now lunge again, but this time reach back with your right leg. Thus stretching the other hip. Look up and press forward. This is illustrated in picture number 9 above. Inhale. From here return to Head to Toe pose as in illustration #10. Exhale. Then reach forward from the hips as you come all the way up and back into back stretch pose. Inhale. Finally return to the starting posture as shown in illustration #12 above. Exhale.

B. Repetitions for Surya Namaskar: Sun Salutation is generally done in the morning, although it can be done anything during the day. It is also a great way to warm-up prior to doing more difficult poses and sets. I suggest starting with 3 rounds and building up from there slowly. Add 1 round every few days until you reach 12 rounds. As this set is so good for you, you may wish to do even more repetition is you 410

like. C. Benefits of Sun Salutation: Excellent for stretching and opening up the entire body. Especially back, shoulders, arms, neck, hamstrings, hips, quads and calves. Great way to get the whole body going in the morning. Helps your digestive, circulatory, respiration and nervous systems. Great for reducing stress and bestowing a calm, peaceful mind. Known for helping in weight loss and helping you be slim, trim and fit. Helps strengthen the arms, back, shoulders and legs. Helps open up the shoulders and hips.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Surya Namaskar: The entire sequence above is done along with a particular breathing pattern. This pattern follows the rule where you inhale on the poses where you are expanding the chest/abdominal region and you exhale on the poses where you are contracting the chest/abdominal region. So you inhale into illustration #2, exhale when moving into illustration #3, etc. I have marked the sequence above where you inhale and where you exhale as well. Only stretch as far as comfortable, don't force any of the stretches. When you practice many rounds, you will find 411

yourself getting more flexible as you do the later rounds. You will also find yourself getting more flexible over time as your practice this set regularly. When you do the lunges your front foot is between your arms. If you can't bring it up there in one smooth motion, adjust and "walk" in up. For the pose where you reach down towards your toes when standing, let your head hang down and allow it's weight to help you stretch. If you have high blood pressure or other serious injuries, specially to the back, do this sequence gently only and develop your capacity slowly over time. Many famous actors and actresses to lose weight and get fit have used Surya Namaskar. This is true and if it can work for them, it can surely work for you also.

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Chapter 86 Raja Yoga Set for Awakening Kundalini


This Kundalini Yoga Kriya hails from the Regal path of Yoga -- Raja Yoga. It is a powerful kriya (set) and you should approach it with respect and intelligence. The kriya uses the combined power of breath control (pranayama), specifically suspension of breath, in conjunction with Body Locks (Bandhas) to awaken and channel Kundalini Shakti (energy) from the lower centers (chakras) to the higher ones. You should practice this set by using the modifications provided and move to the more advanced techniques only after mastering and feeling physically comfortable with the easier versions. This kundalini yoga kriya, uses all three bandhas -- root lock (mula bandha), abdominal lock (uddiyana bandha) and neck lock (jalandhara bandha) -- to propel kundalini from one chakra to the next is sequence. The energy is brought first to the lower chakras (root, sex, naval) activating them, then moved to the heart chakra and throat chakra, and finally to the 3rd eye and crown chakra. Benefits of Kundalini Awakening Raja Yoga Kriya: As Kundalini is channeled upwards, the organs, glands and nerve junctions along the path are targeted with energy and their functioning rejuvenated and improved. Although this set helps the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, it is especially effective in strengthening your nervous system. Furthermore, this set helps bring energy into the brain region promoting greater power of awareness and intelligence.

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Description of Kundalini Awakening Raja Yoga Kriya: The following 3 body locks will be used in the practice of this kundalini yoga kriya so I will describe them first and then provide the details for the set. Root Lock (Mula Bandha): To apply root lock you should contract the rectum, sex organ and naval (lower abdominal region) by pulling these 3 muscle groups up and in. Abdominal Lock (Uddiyana Bandha): To apply abdominal lock (also called diaphragm lock) you should pull the abdominal muscles up and in under the rib cage. Neck Lock (Jalandhara Bandha): To apply neck lock draw your chin back and slightly down (like a soldier at attention) creating tension in the back of the neck and causing a compression of the throat region. Triple Lock (Maha Bandha): Maha Bandha is when all 3 locks above are applied together. There are some variations to the locks described above, but for this set they should be applied as described. Beginners version of Kundalini Awakening Raja Yoga Kriya: Sit up straight with your legs crossed (sukh asana). You can sit on a chair as well, but sukh asana is preferred. Hold onto your knees with your hands. This is called Drona Mudra. Inhale deeply, then exhale and while holding your breath Out, apply and release Root Lock 1 time(s).

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Now inhale, then exhale and while holding your breath out, apply and release Root Lock plus Abdominal Lock 1 time(s). So apply both locks together and release them together, not one at a time. Now inhale, then exhale and while holding your breath out, apply and release Root Lock, plus Abdominal Lock, plus Neck Lock 1 time(s). Inhale, then exhale and repeat the entire cycle increasing the count by 1 to 2, 3, 4... up to 8. So for each count you will do just Root Lock, then Root Lock + Abdominal Lock, then Root Lock + Abdominal Lock + Neck Lock. Once you finish the 8 count, inhale and interlace your fingers having the index finger pointing upward. They raise your arms straight up such that the upper arms are hugging your ears. Now exhale again and while holding your breath out, apply Triple Lock (Maha Bandha). Hold Maha Bandha with breath held out while stretching up with your arms. At the same time visualize energy flowing up your spine from the base to the crown of your head. Hold as long as comfortable and then release. Relax on your back in Shav Asana (corpse pose) for 5 minutes.

Intermediate version of Kundalini Awakening Raja Yoga Kriya: All the steps are the same as the beginner version, except work from a count of 1 all the way to 12. In addition, apply Maha Bandha with extended arms and visualization 3 times. Each time holding with breath held out for as long as comfortable. Don't forget to relax in shav asana at the end :-).

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Advanced version of Kundalini Awakening Raja Yoga Kriya: All the steps are the same as the intermediate version, except work from a count of 1 all the way to 16. Again you will apply Maha Bandha 3 times at the end and relax afterwards.

Hints, Tips and Cautions for Kundalini Awakening Raja Yoga Kriya: Students very much liked this kriya during our Kundalini Yoga teacher's training course, but at the same time this is the one kriya which has also created difficulty for students in my classes. So, take your time as you develop mastery over this set. Move ahead systematically. Any pranayama exercise that requires breath suspension should be approached with caution. Since this set is stirring Kundalini a little more directly, you should generally be in good health and good physical condition before undertaking its practice.

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Chapter 87 Surya Bedhi Pranayama for Energy


"Simple Yet Powerful", that is the apt description for Surya Bedhi Yoga Pranayama, also called Right Nostril Breathing. This breathing exercise simply requires one to isolate and breathe exclusively through the right nostril, the result of which is to ignite and activate the Sun channel (Pingala Nadi). Here is a brief overview of the Kundalini Yoga channel system to help understand better how this breathing exercise works and delivers it's many excellent benefits. In Kundalini Yoga there are 3 primary channels (nadis) for the flow of energy through the Chakras: Ida, Pingala and Shushumna (Read Introduction to Kundalini Yoga and Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System for more info on Chakras or Energy Centers). The Ida and Pingala can be considered the lunar and solar channels respectively and run alongside the Shushumna, which is the central channel running through the center of the spine. The Ida Nadi is responsible for cooling, feminine, passive, mental energy and the Pingala Nadi responsible for hot, male, active, physical energy. Breathing through the Right Nostril activates Pingala Nadi, thus increasing energy and heat in the system. This is the ninth chapter of our Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercises E-Book. Benefits of Surya Bedhi Yoga Pranayama (Right Nostril Breathing): Increases energy in the body. Creates vitality and gives strength for physical work.

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Fights malaise and lethargy. Alleviates depression and other aliments related to low energy and down emotions. Excellent to combat timidity and shyness.

Cautions for Practicing Surya Bedhi Yoga Pranayama (Right Nostril Breathing): If you have heat related issues you should not practice Surya Bedhi Pranayama. Very similar cautions as Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath), where you should be careful if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or suffer from stroke or epilepsy. Also, if you have acid or heat related gastric issues such as ulcers you should use caution.

How to Do Surya Bedhi Yoga Pranayama (Right Nostril Breathing): To practice this yoga breathing exercise, sit up in a comfortable position. Preferably in a variation of sukh asana (cross legged). You may also sit on a chair if you like, with your back straight. Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head. Fold your index finger and middle finger into the palm of your right hand so just the thumb, ring finger and pinkie are extended. Hold your knee with your left hand. Close your eyes if you like.

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Bring your attention to your breathing and take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose. This will oxygenate your blood and relax you. For the rest of the exercise the attention should remain on your breath. Now gently close the left nostril with your right ring finger and pinkie and breathe long, slow and deep through the RIGHT nostril only. You should inhale as well as exhale through the right nostril only, keeping the left nostril closed with your ring finger and pinkie. Do a round of 10 repetitions and then inhale completely, hold your breath in for 1-5 seconds and then exhale completely. Over time you can build up to 5-15 minutes of this pranayama. Be sure though to start slowly and work your way up.

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Chapter 88 Kirtan Kriya


On the website, you find many powerful Kundalini Yoga Meditations, which combine the use of mantras, mudras and pranayama (breathing), to bestow profound material and spiritual benefits to those who practice them sincerely over time. Some of the most popular of these meditations are Sodarshan Chakra Meditation, Infinite Energy and Prosperity Meditation Technique and Tantric Sat Kriya for Transmuting Sexual Energy. None of these though, are actually considered the greatest Kundalini Yoga Meditation. This honor belongs to the mantra meditation I am going to detail for you today and it is called Kirtan Kriya. One of the primary reason's Kirtan Kriya is considered the highest of all the Kundalini Yoga meditations, is because it uses the most important mantra from this yogic science, the Sa Ta Na Ma mantra. Sa Ta Na Ma is considered the most fundamental mantra in Kundalini Yoga. You will notice that the very greeting in Kundalini Yoga "Sat Nam" contains the Sa Ta Na Ma components. Sat Nam is a seed mantra and it means True Identity or the True Divine You, while Sa Ta Na Ma is understood as Existence, Life, Death and Rebirth. Kirtan Kriya uses this important mantra as the centerpiece of meditation. Kirtan Mantra Meditation will be the 16th entry in our ongoing and popular Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques E-book. As it is also considered a Kundalini Yoga Kriya, I will include it in the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Kriyas E-Book as well. In addition, I will soon be launching the Free Kundalini Yoga Meditations E-book, to help group those meditations specifically, and of course Kirtan Kriya will be a part of that book as well. Kirtan Kriya, like many of the other Kundalini Yoga Meditations, exploits the power of mantras, hand positions (mudras), mind power, 420

naad yoga (yoga of sound) to work it's magic and in the design section below, you will find details regarding these aspects of the meditation. As with all kundalini yoga technique and meditations, it is important to go slowly and follow the guidelines I have laid out in the following articles: Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. Benefits of Kirtan Kriya - Sa Ta Na Ma Mantra Meditation: Increases intuitive abilities and psychic powers. Clears the system of negative emotions, traumas and impressions. Heals, balances and uplifts the emotional body. Builds concentration and mental focus. Bestows peace and tranquility. Gives awareness of one's Divine Infinite Nature.

Design of Kirtan Mantra Meditation: As explained above, uses the fundamental Sa Ta Na Ma Mantra to help one realize their True Divine Nature. As indicated, this is considered one of the most important mantras for Kundalini Yoga Meditations. Uses the power of visualization to activate the higher chakras and associated endocrine glands. Specifically this mantra meditation is going to activate the Crown Chakra and the Ajna Chakra (Third Eye), thus it will stimulate the pineal and pituitary glands specifically. These are the most important glands of the endocrine system and the highest chakras of the kundalini yoga chakra system. For more information about the chakra model you can read the article, Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra System.

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Uses the science of Mudras or hand/body positions to create and complete certain circuits in the body. The following hand positions are used, which bestow the benefits as I have indicated below. Index Finger + Thumb --> Wisdom Middle Finger + Thumb --> Focus Ring Finger + Thumb --> Energy Little Finger + Thumb --> Connection In addition, Shambhavi Mudra is used, where the eyes are turned up to look through the center of the forehead, which stimulates and activates the Ajna Chakra (Third Eye). How to Do Kirtan Kriya - Sa Ta Na Ma Mantra Meditation: Sit in any cross legged posture. You can also do this meditation sitting on a chair. Elongate your spine and tuck your chin in slightly (like a soldier at attention). Rest your wrists gently on your knees, with your palms facing slightly upwards. Close your eyes, but turn them upwards such that you looking through the center of the forehead. This is shambhavi mudra, and only hold it for as long as it is comfortable. Release it whenever necessary and continue with the meditation, reapplying it once ready. While chanting the mantra as described below, follow the following pattern. Press the index finger + thumb for SA Press the middle finger + thumb for TA Press the ring finger + thumb for NA 422

Press the little finger + thumb for MA Begin to Chant the Mantra now. Slowly chanting the sounds Sa Ta Na Ma repeatedly. Do the following visualization as you chant. Visualize the sound S, T, N, M entering through the top of the head through the crown chakra, while visualizing the sound "A" leaving through the center of the forehead through the ajna chakra. Keep visualizing this flow of the mantra and keep making the finger movements as you chant the mantra in the following way. Chant aloud for 5 minutes. Chant in a whisper for 5 minutes. Chant mentally for 10 minutes. Chant in a whisper for 5 minutes. Chant aloud for 5 minutes. To end, sit completely silently and still for 1 minute and allow infinite to descend upon you. The total time for the meditation is therefore 31 minutes.

Summary of Sa Ta Na Ma Mantra Meditation: Although at first glance this mantra meditation might look complicated, it really is not. You are simply chanting the sounds SA TA NA MA, visualizing them flowing through your crown and ajna chakras, and applying the appropriate mudra for each sound. As far as Kundalini Yoga Meditation are concerned or for that matter any mantra meditation are concerned, Kirtan Kriya is one of the most profound and effective meditations you can do, so commit to it

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seriously and find out for yourself all the wonderful benefits of this timeless technique.

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Chapter 89 Week 7 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge:

Complete fundamentals of enlightenment. Expand knowledge regarding meditation. Learn more yoga and pranayama techniques.

Techniques:

Learn Learn Learn Learn

Fountain of Youth Yoga Set. Liver Detox Yoga Sequence. Ujjayi Pranayama for Better Sleep and More. Trataka for Building Concentration.

Articles for Study:


5 Major Obstacles to Self Realization and Enlightenment 5 Dangers of Not Meditating The Secret to Enlightenment

Daily Practice: Pranayama: 1-7 mins

Ujjayi Pranayama for Better Sleep

Yoga: 15-30 mins

Fountain of Youth Yoga Set

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Liver Detox Yoga Set

Meditation: 15-30 mins of Tratak

Meditation for Concentration - Tratak

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Chapter 90 5 Major Obstacles to Self-Realization & Enlightenment


Obstacles to Spiritual Enlightenment "Hitch your wagon to a star!" is a famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote urging you to aim high and have soaring aspirations. I would like you to actually raise the level of your aspirations even higher, I would like you to raise the level of your aim to the very highest achievement possible in life, I would prefer if you "Hitch your wagon to infinity!" Why even settle for a star? Before all the experts on non-duality start clamoring that there should be no purpose to life, you should not set goals, etc, let me say that if there is any purpose at all to life, then it is Self-Realization, or to put it another way, it is to find God. Everything else is immature. So you must make the most of this chance. No matter if you believe in reincarnation or not, this life is a golden opportunity to achieve this highest possible purpose of human life. For those who believe reincarnation exists, you know how very precious and rare a human birth is, and for those who believe there is just one go around, well you certainly dont want to waste this opportunity then for sure. Either way, since you are here anyway, why not shoot for highest high. In this article, I would like to discuss the 5 major obstacles that often prevent you from fulfilling this great journey to God Realization. 5 Major Obstacles to Self-Realization: 1. Ignorance:

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By ignorance here I mean that folks are just not aware that they actually have an infinite, divine aspect, which can be discovered and abided in. I remember speaking to a close relative once, who was surprised that there were people today who had awakened to their Infinite nature and lived life from there. You dont have to believe that there is an eternal aspect to your being, although doing so and clinging to that belief is a valid Advaita Vedanta technique for enlightenment, but what you have to consider is that there is this possibility, and then explore your inner walls to discover if there is any truth to this claim. If you outright reject that such as aspect to your being exists, life does not care, it does not matter to anyone else, it only means you will miss the whole point of being born. One other point I would like to make with regard to ignorance has to do with the pursuit of wealth, power, fame, etc. Without getting into a big debate regarding the Easterlin Paradox (the research that says, money cannot buy you happiness), I would like to point out that chasing these material pleasures can potentially make your dream world nicer, but they do little for you in terms of waking up to the Truth. This waking up, or Self-Realization, is worth it because it means you are now finally free from delusion, and can fully express your true self and live the life you were meant to live. So if you want to pursue just material pleasures, in lieu of Enlightenment, then please go ahead and do so, just understand that this is ignorant and only manipulation of a dream reality. Just to be clear here, I am not against material gains, wealth, power, fame, etc, what I am saying is that if you just chase that, you will go through life asleep. Also, one other secret I will share with you is that all these material rewards are likely to be yours anyway, if you truly

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walk the path to Enlightenment. After all, who is more famous than Lord Jesus and Lord Buddha! 2. Compromising: Just dont do it. Dont settle. I know life and society wears you down slowly. Chipping away at your heart and soul. The uncompromising attitude, fire and exuberance of youth are slowly smothered by the endless responsibilities and difficulties of life, but dont give up. Research finds that men in their 40s and 50s, are quite prone to depression, and this is primarily because they are starting to feel that the great life they aspired to live, wont be realized anymore. They feel they must swallow the bitter pill of "reality" and practicality. This is rubbish. Remain inspired, keep going, fight, and dont settle. Find ways to stay on course. The only answer ever is God; everything else will fall into its right place when Self-Realization is the underlying theme of your life. Let this great work, light your way forward. If you are young, choose wisely. I hope you find great teachers who will guide you well, so that you dont find yourself so mired in financial commitments and other responsibilities that you no longer have time to think about your divine nature. You are blessed with abundant energy and death is far on the horizon, you have no excuse to not walk the walk. 3. Confusion: Worse than the ignorant are the confused. They really piss me off. The confused are those who have health, know Self-Realization is the purpose of life, have food, clothing and shelter, but find excuses to run after other things endlessly. What is wrong with you all? Stop it. At least the ignorant were clueless, they simply did not know better, but you do. You know and yet you dont do what is necessary. Sometimes, at one point or another we all make this mistake repeatedly . I know I have and when I do, I get mad at myself too. What the hell am I doing? Not doing my daily meditation, not doing my yoga, not staying aware from moment to moment. What am I 429

doing? Blogging and working all the time. Its pathetic and I yell at myself and get back on to the right path. You must do the same, and if you need someone to yell at you, call me . So confused means you lose sight of the fact that the true purpose of life, if any, is God Realization, Self-Realization, Enlightenment. This must be the guiding force of your life. Dont worry, life will give you everything else you need, she is our mother, and she wont abandon us. You just keep your eye on finding Dad . 4. Laziness: Perhaps I should categorize these folks with the confused, but I wanted to give them their very own space so they could feel truly pathetic. The ignorant dont know better, the confused are at least trying to build an empire or something, what in the world are you folks doing? You know what is at stake, have time and health, but are just mindlessly wasting precious time. There are a million forms of mindless entertainment to keep you drugged and serving the purpose that society wishes from you. But from this you must break free. Come on yaar (friend), make some effort, show some willpower, turn off the TV, stop browsing the web, the sports matches can wait, infuse some balance into your life. Once you start to gather momentum and break the cycle of inertia you will be unstoppable, so lets get going. For more on this topic, here is an interesting read on how Zen views laziness: The True Meaning of Laziness. 5. Impatience: It is unlikely that the highest achievement in life is going to be easily accomplished by you overnight. We are being trained to become quite an impatient and instant gratification society. This can be easily seen not only in the use of medicinal drugs for muscle building, fat loss,

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pain, etc, but is also more subtly visible in relationships that today tend to skip romance all together and go straight to sex. This attitude has spilled over into the spiritual arena as well, and I have written about this in the article, No Shortcuts to Enlightenment. Essentially, the point here is that for Self-Realization, you will have to stay on the path for as long as it takes. Another secret I would like to share with you here is that the path itself is really a lot of fun, Enlightenment is great, but so is the work leading up to it. Summary: In the article, How to Discover Your Divine Nature, I wrote about how to recognize your Higher Self by experiencing an aspect of it. The key to such awakening is meditation and I want to stress that this is the real reason for human birth. Although Enlightenment has absolutely no material value, without it life is absolutely useless. If you dont want to have lived such a meaningless life, you need to wake up and claim your birthright of knowing you and God are One. Lets get to it. Resources: To get you started on meditation, you might want to sign up for the free online yoga and meditation classes offered here. Also, here is the link to the Beginners Meditation Class. If you are an advanced yogi or meditator, I challenge you to take a swing at the Silent Mind Meditation Technique.

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Chapter 91 5 Dangers of Not Meditating


Signs of Not Meditating Many popular articles on Mastery of Meditation expound on the benefits of meditation, such as Top 10 Benefits of Meditation and 10 Amazing Benefits of Meditation for Students and Young People, but today I want to present you with another view of meditation. I want to explore the dangers of not meditating. I want to discuss what happens when you dont meditate and what are the signs that are yelling at you to start meditating immediately. 5 Dangers of Not Meditating: 1. Anger: Every time you lose it. It does not matter what the reason is, this is a clear signal to you that you need to start meditating. Meditation means residing deep within, in your center, where you are infinitely at peace and have great composure, and the more you live from this center the less the storms on the periphery disturb you. This goes for irritation as well. Getting irritated with the children, coworkers, other drivers, spouses, etc., all mean the same thing. You are not meditating enough. Not that meditation alone will cure all irritation, as there can be bio-chemical reasons for this as well, but it will certainly help a whole lot. So next time you feel that anger creeping up, dont react, watch the energy carefully and set your alarm clock thirty minutes earlier for the next morning .

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2. Jealousy: Clearly a sign that you are on the wrong track, with the wrong perspective and wrong attitude is if you are a frequent victim of jealousy. In fact, this is so good an indicator of you not meditating enough, that I felt it was a good way to actually test your spiritual level. You will find the details of how to test yourself using jealousy in the article, How to Test Your Spiritual Growth. 3. Stress: Are you and Mr. Stress the best of buddies? Inseparable are you? Well if you want to end this relationship with Mr. Stress you have to start meditating. The key to a long, healthy life is to live stress free. An Ayurvedic Doctor I recently met told me that 80% of the problems that patients came to see her with were stress related. So a big danger of not meditating is ending up hanging out with Mr. Stress. And where Mr. Stress hangs out, Mr. Disease is not too far away. To help motivate you and give you some solid techniques to live stress free, here is a great resource: Best Treatments for Stress & Anxiety Disorder. You will notice I grouped anxiety along with stress, and I just want to mention that this is another sign that you are not meditating enough. If you suffer from panic attacks and anxiety, you need to start a meditation program. There is ample evidence showing the benefits of meditation with regard to anxiety as well. 4. Restlessness | Insecurity | Fear: Are you feeling your life is meaningless? Feeling you are not doing anything special in life? Feeling you are not achieving your true potential? These are signs that you are not meditating. Meditation puts you in touch with your infinite nature, and from there you realize that there is nothing lacking whatsoever in you. You are perfect and life is perfectly fine just the way it is. This realization is the reward of

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meditation, and the further you are from this realization, means the further you are from meditation. Related signs to restlessness are the feelings of self-doubt, insecurity and fear. These are other dangers you will have to face if you decide to not meditate. The ego is insecure. It endlessly seeks security and safety. Meditation helps you de-emphasize your egocentric mind, and instead reside in your simple witnessing awareness. This living in the witnessing consciousness, in the here and now, weakens the ego and thus, relieves you of the feelings of insecurity, fear and self-doubt. 5. Hatred: As Yogi Bhajan states, "If you dont see God in all, you dont see God at all." I love that saying, and cant put it any better way than that. Hatred is born of fear and is only possible when you emphasize differences. The more you break up Reality and side with different fragments, the more you open the door to hatred and fear. Eyes that see the world and humanity as one big family, in fact, eyes that see the whole world as just your family, are eyes that are going to be full of compassion and love. Meditation is responsible for opening your eyes to this view. So if you are filled with fear and hatred, the red flag is up, you need to start meditating. Looking around at the state of world today, I wish along with prescribing a daily multivitamin, everyone was prescribed thirty minutes of daily meditation as well. Dangers of Not Meditating Summary: I can always tell when I have drifted away from my meditation practice. Invariably one of the signs above will light up and remind me of what is the most important thing in life - meditation. I suggest the same for you. Keep an eye out for these danger signs above, if you notice their presence getting stronger, you know it is time to get back to meditating. If you are new to meditation and are looking to start this profound practice, whose rewards have no material equivalent, I 434

suggest you try some of the free online meditation classes offered here on this site. Below are some helpful links in this regard. Free Online Yoga & Meditation Classes Free Beginners Meditation Class | Learn How to Meditate

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Chapter 92 The Secret to Enlightenment


Summary: The mind is a shopping mall. For the mind, it is always Black Friday. There is always a great sale on within us and we are constantly buying into what is being offered. You may be able to get out of the machinery of consumerism, but can you get out of the machinery of the mind and find enlightenment? I will show you how. The Secret to Enlightenment - Insights from Advanced Meditation Practice Continuing with the insights that explode during advanced meditation practice, todays entry is about how the mind is a shopping mall, and it is an apt entry given we are entering the heart of the holiday shopping season. These insights are those, which take place during deep stages of meditation, and occur as a direct result of seeing the mind in action. The meditation technique I employ is my own. I have described it in great detail in the Silent Mind Meditation Program - The Silent Mind Meditation Technique. It is an extension of the work of J. Krishnamurti, and belongs in the category of insight meditation, advanced Zen meditation, advaita Vedanta and Jyana Yoga. If you are drawn to any of these schools of meditation, then you will want to apply yourself to this technique. In my opinion the Silent Mind Meditation Technique is one of the most powerful forms of insight meditation. Here is the quote that I noted after such a session of deep meditation: The Secret to Enlightenment Quote The key, the secret is not to set any goals. Goals lead to effort. The mind is very suggestive and extremely seductive. It will 436

constantly present juicy goals and one must remain very alert to this and Not Buy In! This has to be done moment-to-moment. The thoughts can lose their potency and become impotent. Then they are just flying around, but are unable to draw you in. You will have peace. Our prison is unfortunately of our own making. We are asleep to this fact. We attach to our goals and thus, are endlessly lost in struggle and misery. The way out is the pathway of awareness. The Secret to Enlightenment Analysis This is possible. At first when you sit and begin to watch the mind, it has great speed. It will not be easily examined, especially not in the capacity that is required to break through. But persist. If you persist, then during any elongated session, there will come opportunities when thoughts start of lose their momentum and become available for digestion. This is your chance. In observing carefully the movement of the mind and thoughts, you will start to see facts, such as the one above, clearly, through and through. Such acute perception from moment to moment brings about the necessary transformation in consciousness, as the need for negation becomes apparent. Let me explain. In this excerpt, as I see without a shadow of a doubt that engaging a presented goal implies struggle, the seeing brings about a state of being "de-clutched". In other words, the mind continues to try and seduce, but being keenly aware of the danger of "buying in", only observation is adhered to and the suggested goal is spontaneously negated. Thus, on the onset of any goal-oriented thought, negation takes place and just witnessing continues. What is being given away here is the secret to meditation. It is the secret on how to get out of the mess. It is the secret to

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enlightenment. If you want it, it is there for you, if you dont, it does not matter.

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Chapter 93 Fountain of Youth Yoga Exercises


Yoga Exercises to Stay Young and Feel Young

A part of the vision for Mastery of Meditation & Yoga, is to make available to you the entire science of yoga and meditation, from top to bottom (for free of course :-). For yoga, this means to first put together the building blocks for yoga practice, which are the yoga poses and kundalini yoga exercises. These are now available online via the Free Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustration Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book. Although there is more work to be done in completing these online resources, they are now ready. So can provide the foundation for bringing you useful, integrated and complete yoga sets and kundalini yoga kriyas. These integrated sets then help form more Free Online Yoga Classes, which further integrate meditation and pranayama, to help you work on different dimensions of your being. This article is an example of such an integrated yoga set and it details the wonderful set I call the Fountain of Youth Yoga Exercises. The Fountain of Youth Yoga Exercises Introduction As the name of this set implies, it is a collection of yoga postures and movements that are excellent for preserving your youthful energy, health, body and vitality. Yogic science, regardless of the particular type of yoga, hatha or kundalini, all hail the exercises in this set to be instrumental in extending life and bestowing longevity. According to yoga philosophy, long life is worth seeking as it lets you maximize the opportunity to express your True Nature and increases the possibility of enlightenment. In addition, I also think we 439

collectively agree, that not just are we striving for a long life, but we are in fact hoping for a long healthy life. To that end, the Fountain of Youth Yoga Set can be your most useful ally. Benefits of Fountain of Youth Yoga Exercises Each yoga posture or exercise below is linked to its individual chapter in one of the two free online books I mentioned above. You should visit each exercise to learn all the details for it. Below though I will provide highlights of the benefits that this set bestows.

Eternal Youth: Each exercise and the set as a whole is designed to promote long, health, happy life. It is never too late to start.

Optimizes Health & Healing: The yoga techniques employed by this set are the very best for promoting spontaneous healing and long-term health. Improves Key Internal Systems: The yoga exercises in this set, really improve your digestive, respiratory, nervous and immune systems to help optimize health and wellbeing. Overall Flexibility & Strength: The design of the set is to promote flexibility of the key areas of the body and help keep the major muscles toned and strong.

Fountain of Youth Yoga Exercises Practice Details Please read the following documents to help guide you in practicing the Fountain of Youth Yoga Set: Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice

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Remember the golden rule; please do not overdo anything. Use modifications for the exercises and back off if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy. Each exercise title is a link to the chapter with the details for that exercise. Any specific requirements or modifications for the Fountain of Youth Yoga set are given below. In addition an illustration for each yoga exercise is also provided. You will also need to learn the Breath of Fire breathing exercise, which is taught in the following video article: Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama. Fountain of Youth Yoga Set 1. Kundalini Yoga Butterfly Pose: Pooran Titali Asana

Duration: 2-3 mins Breath: Breath of Fire

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2. Forward Bending Yoga Asana: Paschimothan Asana


Duration: 1 - 3 mins Breath: Here you have some nice options to try. All these breath variations are good and I suggest you try to change it from time to time to keep the mind and exercise fresh. Long Deep Breathing with Visualization: Do long deep breathing. As you inhale visualize energy entering from the soles of your feed and making it's way to the base of your spine. As you exhale visualize this energy moving up the center of your spine, starting from the base and moving through the crown of your head. Your may visualize the energy as white light if you like. Rapid Yogic Breathing: You can also do rapid yogic breathing. Breathing fast and full. Inhaling completely and exhaling completely with each breath. This is a little advanced, so back off it you start to feel dizzy or uncomfortable, and develop your capacity slowly over time. Breath of Fire: Of course you can also do it with Breath of Fire and not go wrong :-D.

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3. Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose: Yoga Dhanur Asana This is the King Kong yoga exercise to promote longevity and youth. Along with the forward bending asana above, they are the key exercises of this set. If possible, try to work your way up to the advanced version of this exercise, which is to rock back and forth in bow pose.

Duration: 1 - 11 mins Breath: Do long deep breathing if you are just holding bow pose, or any variation of bow pose. If you are doing the advanced version, inhale as you rock forward and exhale as you rock back.

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4. Downward Facing Dog: Yoga Mountain Pose


Duration: 1 - 5 mins Breath: Do Breath of Fire or Long Deep Breathing.

5. Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose: Consciously put yourself under stress as you do this amazing yoga technique.

Duration: 1 - 3 mins / side Breath: Long Deep Powerful Breathing.

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6. Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: For the slightly more advanced yogi, do Boat Pose instead. The chapter for boat pose will be online soon, but you can see it being demonstrated in the Video for Core Abdominal Power, from the Free Online Yoga Video series. Others can do Stretch Pose as illustrated below. The timings and duration apply to either pose you choose to do.

Duration: 1 - 11 mins Breath: Breath of Fire

7. Corpse Pose:

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Once you are done with the Fountain of Youth set, make sure you relax on your back in corpse pose. For corpse pose just lie comfortably on your back and have your hands out to the sides or on your chest. Just let go during this time and let the Universe take care of you. Have no worries, anxieties or goals, and simply surrender to Infinity.

Duration: 1 - 11 mins Breath: Relaxed

What's Next The Fountain of Youth Yoga Exercise Set is chapter 7 of the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas E-book. You may wish to check out that book for more free kundalini yoga sets and kriyas.

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Chapter 94 Liver Detox Yoga Sequence


In this part of our all natural detoxification program, I want to focus on two very important aspects of full body detoxification - liver detox and firing up your digestive system. In part 1 of this series, Detox Diet Mistakes, I not only provided a list of incompatible foods, but also stressed the importance of building your digestive fire in order to prevent the build up of toxins in the first place. Today's article will teach you precisely such a technique, which is excellent for your digestive system and also, has the additional benefit for being a great liver detox technique. Best of all, it is a completely natural way to cleanse the liver. Natural Liver Detoxification: Liver detoxification is an absolute must if you want to live a healthy, disease free and long life. The liver is the largest organ in the body, and quite possibly the hardest working as well. Our life style and diet choices often put this organ under immense stress and it is very important to give the liver much deserved love and care from time to time. The liver is the most important organ for neutralizing toxins in the body and helping the body detox. And although that is one it's key functions, the liver has many other important roles as well. It participates in the metabolic process, plays a role in digestion, stores energy, vitamins and minerals for us, and also plays a role in immune function. The list goes on. So, cleansing and taking good care of your liver is a must. Detox the liver, so it can help you detox your body. You can find more information on this most generous and hard working organ here: Liver Wiki.

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Digestive Power: According to Ayurveda, a strong digestive fire is your best defense against toxins. A digestive system that is functioning well, will prevent the buildup of undigested food mass and also prevent the buildup of toxins. So along with cleansing the liver, improving the digestive system is essential for setting a good foundation for living toxin free. This particular technique, as mentioned above is great for these two purposes and so can play a very key role in any detoxification program. This particular detox technique, is called Pavan Sodhung Kriya, and will be part of the following 3 free e-books here on Mastery of Meditation, as it is a Kundalini Yoga exercise, a full Kriya, as well as a Hatha Yoga technique: Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises, Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets & Hatha Yoga Poses e-book. Benefits of Liver Detox Technique (Pavan Sodhung Kriya): Excellent technique to Detox and Cleanse the Liver. Very good for improving and building the Digestive System. Expels gas and helps prevent bloating. Cures constipation and other digestive issues. Builds the abdominal muscles and tones the stomach (a lot Balances the Navel Chakra. Bestows Willpower and Strength of Character. Expands the Pranic Body. ).

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Helps fight deep seated fears, including the fear of death. Builds lung capacity.

If you were debating whether or not to include this kriya in your detox program, that list above should put any indecision to rest . Natural Liver Detox Illustrations

Natural Liver Detox Illustration #1

Natural Liver Detox Illustration #2

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Natural Liver Detox Illustration #3 Liver Detox Technique Cautions: Although this is a completely natural way of detoxifying the liver, some caution is required since the technique using breath retention (on inhale and exhale). Do not hold your breath longer than you are comfortable doing so. Build up your capacity slowly over time. Start with just a few seconds and then go from there. This applies to any technique which using breath retention. Be careful of your lower back and use the modification I have shown to support it while doing this practice as well (placing the hands underneath the buttocks).

Liver Detox Technique Practice Details: Lie on your back and close your eyes. Place your hands, palms facing down, underneath your buttocks to support your lower back as I have demonstration in illustration # 1. Now inhale deeply, hold your breath as you raise your legs to 60 degrees as I have shown in illustration #2. As I mentioned, start with just a few seconds and build up to 15 seconds if you 450

can. So hold this position with your breath held in for as long as comfortable (up to 15 seconds). Now exhale as you bring your knees in towards your chest as I have shown in illustration #3. Hold this position, with breath held out for up to 15 seconds. Now return to the position in illustration #2 as you inhale. Again hold it for up to 15 seconds with your breath held in. If it starts to feel tough, remember how happy your liver is that you are doing this, and how much better you will feel after you detox your system. Finally, lower your legs and return to the starting position as you exhale. Now remain in this position for up to 15 seconds with your breath held out. Next inhale and move back to illustration #2, and hold for 15 seconds, and continue to repeat this cycle for the duration of the time.

Liver Detox Technique Tips: I mentioned in the benefits section that this technique can help you fight fears, and that is essentially the result of the breath retention aspects of this exercise. Once you start to get more confident, you can elongate those breath retention periods, and try to stay calm as you feel panicky during these periods. This applies primarily to when you have your breath held out.

Natural Liver Detox Summary: Making Pavan Sodhung Kriya a part of your practice from time to time, is really a great way to keep toxins away and cleanse your liver and body. This sequence is so good that it is considered an entire set all on it's own. If you really want to detox your liver, build your digestive 451

system and get six pack abs, you can build up to 31 minutes straight. I would suggest though to start with about 3 minutes and then go from there. Time to show your liver some love, after all the love it has shown you .

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Chapter 95 Ujjayi Pranayama for Deep Relaxation


Yogic Breathing for Insomnia and Longevity What is Ujjayi Pranayama? Ujjayi Yoga Pranayama, or the victorious breath, is another breathing technique worth having tucked away in your toolbox of valuable yoga exercises for optimum living. Anytime you find that you can't sleep, need to relax, regain your health, get a dose of joy or prepare your mind for meditation, you can pull out this amazing technique and enjoy it's wide ranging benefits. Ujjayi Yoga Pranayama is an integral part of Hatha Yoga and is widely used by many different schools of yoga. On Mastery of Meditation & Yoga, this breathing technique will be chapter 10 on our ongoing Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercises E-book. The great thing about Ujjayi Yoga Pranayama is that you can practice it anytime and in any position (in fact I am doing and enjoying this technique even as I write this article now), but the tricky part is that, although it is a very simple technique, it is a little bit difficult to describe in words. Nevertheless, I will try to explain it the best way possible and am sure soon enough it will become a part of your yoga knowledge and spiritual practice. Below are the bountiful benefits of this breathing technique, followed by step-by-step instructions on how to practice this pranayama. Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama:

Relaxes the mind and calms the entire organism down.

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Promotes a sense of joy and peace. Prepares the mind for meditation. Rebalances the internal systems, helps the body regain it's equilibrium and promotes longevity. Excellent technique for those who can't sleep and helps treat insomnia. Helps lower blood pressure.

Cautions for Ujjayi Pranayama: Although there are not many cautions for practicing Ujjayi Pranayama, I have presented an advanced version below, which you should not rush to do until you have developed your capacity sufficiently. So, in other words, steady gentle progress is the name of the game. Instructions for Beginner's Ujjayi Breathing Technique: As I mentioned above, one of the best parts of this breathing technique is that you can practice it in any position. You are welcome to do Ujjayi Pranayama, sitting, standing, lying down or even while taking a walk.

Start by taking five long, deep, slow breaths to help relax you. Close your eyes if you like. Do close them if you can't sleep and are going to use this breathing technique to help you conquer insomnia. Now comes the slightly tricky part. You are going to constrict the throat muscles slightly and visualize as if you are breathing through a hole in your throat. This slight constriction and visualization should lead to the air making a soft oceanic sound as it passes through your throat region. The sound should be 454

that of the distant ocean surf. Steady and soft as you inhale and also, steady and soft as you exhale. Pretend as if you are breathing not through your nose, but your throat instead.

Continue to breathe in this way and allow your entire mind and body to be consumed by this pleasant sound. Find a nice slow rhythm and lose yourself to it. Continue on for as long as you like, or until you fall asleep .

Instructions for Advanced Ujjayi Breathing Technique: The advanced version of this technique incorporates breath retention into the cycle. Don't use the advanced version if you are employing the technique to help you sleep. Simply use the beginner's version and extend the time for inhalation and exhalation to a comfortable level. For the advanced version, you are going to develop the inhalation, hold breath in, exhalation time cycle to a ratio of x-4x-2x. So if you inhale for 4 seconds, you will hold your breath in for 16 seconds and then use 8 seconds to exhale. But it is very important that you move towards this ratio slowly. A good approach is to work up to 4-4-4 and then gently increase the hold and exhalation portion to 4-5-5 until, 4-8-8. Then work your way up to 4-9-8 and onwards to 4-16-8. Again, find an approach that suits you, but in all cases don't strain or overdo it. You can practice Ujjayi Pranayama for 11 minutes or more. Ujjayi Breathing Technique Final Thoughts: Remember the key to this technique is the soft sound you are creating with the air passing through your throat. It is like the very soft

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snoring of a sleeping baby, and hopefully that is how it will help you sleep as well. Another breathing technique which bestows similar benefits to Ujjayi Pranayama is Anuloma Viloma Pranayama, which is perhaps the most famous of all yoga breathing exercises.

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Chapter 96 Meditation for Improving Concentration


Concentration Meditation Technique - Trataka I have mentioned this timeless meditation technique briefly in several articles on Mastery of Meditation before, but now I would like to provide all the details regarding it, in order to help you learn and master it. This meditation method is called Trataka or candle flame gazing, and it was introduced in the following 2 articles: Brain Development & Enlightenment Series Part 1: Awaken the Senses and Yoga Meditation Techniques - The Top 3. It is now the eight guided meditation of our Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques Book. Although Trataka is famous for being a meditation to build concentration, it has a solid list of other great benefits as well, which I will detail below. This meditation technique comes from the school of Yoga, and has been widely embraced due to its simplicity and effectiveness. Tools for Trataka - Concentration Meditation Technique:

Candle, candleholder and lighter/matches.

Benefits of Trataka - Concentration Meditation Technique: Primary Benefits:


Terrific for building and improving concentration. Builds mental fortitude, mental focus and willpower.

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Calms the mind and bestows inner peace and silence. Stimulates and activates the Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra) to bestow wisdom, intuition and psychic powers. Helps penetrate the veil of duality and see the non-dual nature of Reality.

Secondary Benefits:

Improves the visual system.

Cautions for Trataka - Meditation for Concentration:

Be careful not to strain the eyes excessively when practicing this method.

Instructions for Practicing Trataka - Meditation for Concentration:

Sit up in any comfortable relaxed position, preferably with the spine straight. You may also sit on a chair to practice this meditation. To practice this meditation your must hold absolutely still. Place your hands in Gyan Mudra. Such that the thumb tips and index finger are meeting, while the other three fingers are extended. Rest your wrists gently on your knees with the palms facing slightly upward. Gyan mudra will help you with your concentration. Make sure the room is darkened and there is no breeze of any kind.

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Light the candle and ensure that it is about 3 feet away from you and at eye level. You may need to use a long candleholder to accomplish this. Begin to gaze, without blinking, steadily at the candle flame for as long as comfortable. Once the eyes tire or start to tear up, close them and then position the afterimage of the flame between the eyebrows at the center of the forehead (the physical trigger point of the Third Eye Chakra). Focus on this afterimage, trying to keep it steadily fixed in the region of the Third Eye Chakra described above. Your level of concentration will determine the clarity of the afterimage. If the image wavers, moves or looses clarity, just reapply your concentration and restore the position. Once the image fades out completely, open your eyes and begin again focusing on the candle flame. Continue this cycle for 5-10 minutes. As your capacity to concentrate and meditate grows, increase the time by increments of 5 minutes till you reach 20 minutes. You may do this meditation even longer if you like. It is not uncommon to practice this technique for up to 1 hour, by those who are passionate about building concentration and mental focus.

Meditation tips for Trataka - Meditation for Concentration:

Try to get a decent size flame (make sure the wick is of good length). It will help prolong the afterimage and make it easier to

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practice the concentration portion of the meditation. Dont strain the eyes during the gazing period. Over time your eyes will adjust and allow you to concentrate on the flame for longer periods of time.

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Chapter 97 Week 8 Syllabus:


Objectives: Knowledge:

Learn Advanced Mind Meditation. Learn tips and tricks for advanced meditation. Learn pranayama for meditation. Learn yoga for full body fitness.

Techniques:

Learn Supreme Yogic 1 Minute Breath. Learn Yoga for full body fitness. Learn Silent Mind Meditation Technique.

Articles for Study:

How to Run a Yoga and Meditation Center How to Live a Blessed Life How to Do Advanced Jyana Yoga Meditation Tips for Silent Mind Meditation Technique

Daily Practice: Pranayama: 1-11 mins

Supreme Yogic 1 Minute Breath

Yoga: 15-30 mins

Yoga for Full Body Fitness 461

Meditation: 10 mins - Hour

Silent Mind Meditation Technique The SM Meditations

That concludes the 8 weeks Yoga Teachers Training Program. CONGRATULATIONS !! Please note there are many more yoga sets, pranayamas and meditation techniques in the bonus chapters below. Also, please feel free to visit Mastery of Meditation and Yoga for more yoga and meditation information. Once you have completed the program and are ready to take the exam, please email me at anmol@anmolmehta.com.

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Chapter 98 How to Run a Yoga and Meditation Center


As part of the Yoga Teachers Training Program, it is important to share with you what I have learnt with regard to setting up and running a successful meditation or yoga classes. In this document I am going to guide you on how to accomplish this important project, so that you can share the light of meditation with others, and also earn a living doing so. Although, setting up a full time yoga and meditation center with multiple services and staff, is a little beyond the scope of this article, the knowledge below will still be vital in helping you do that, if that is your ultimate goal. What I will share with you below though are the parts and pieces needed for you to teach meditation and yoga classes, and run a successful teaching business. If you are new to teaching the spiritual sciences or are interested in setting up your own classes, this article will be very useful to you. In order to teach meditation and yoga classes as a profession, the following aspects important. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Location and Space Essential Tools and Equipment Structure and Process Advertising Insurance and Legal Waivers Pricing

In the upcoming sections, I will address each of these items in detail. After studying the information below you will have everything needed in order to start your own meditation and yoga teaching business.

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SECTION 1: Location and Space There are 3 solutions to the space issue, and if you are just starting out then options 1 and 2 are what you should pursue. Option 3 is renting your own space on a long-term basis, but this is a serious commitment and one you should make only after trying out options 1 and 2 and gaining experience. Option 1: Using Your Own Home: The most common place where most such businesses start is in your own home. The basement in your home is a very appropriate place. This can work; but has some pros and cons. Below I will tell you what these are, and also give you some tips on how to make such a space good for meditation and yoga practice. Pros of Using Your Home: 1. Permanent Set-up: One of the best parts of using a basement, or other dedicated room, is that you can leave it pretty much set-up for your classes and save yourself time and effort. If you rent a temporary space, which is Option 2, then you have to constantly set-up and clean up the space. 2. No Commute Time: If you are starting a spiritual teaching profession, there is a good chance that this is your second job or that you are looking to do this on a part time basis to start. This generally means that time is a limited resource for you and every bit of time and energy you can save will be helpful to you. Thus starting the business in your home gives

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you that saving. 3. Full Control Over Environment: Running the classes from your home also gives you freedom with regard to how you want the environment to be set-up. Important items such as music, temperature, lighting, etc are completely under your control and you can mange them to improve the experience your students have. Cons of Using your Home: 1. Not Professional Enough: This is the biggest draw back of running the classes from your home. Unless you have a walk-out basement or separate structure where you are holding the classes, it is hard to make it a very professional environment, which in turn means it is harder to charge high rates for you classes. Also, having small kids and other homely aspects can affect the professional aspect of the business. 2. Parking: If your classes become successful, you need to be mindful of parking becoming an issue and the neighbors objecting. So be careful of this, and inform your students where to park so they are least intrusive for your neighbors. 3. Cancellations: You have to be on top of cancellations and schedule changes, as the students are going to show up at your house. This can be a little awkward as well if you have cancelled a class and then have to turn away students who have shown up on your doorstep.

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4. Restrooms: You will also have to have a restroom conveniently located for the students. This can be another item you need to address when running a home yoga or meditation center. How to Make Your Home Center Better: So how can you make your home meditation and yoga center more conducive to teaching classes? Here are some tips for doing this. 1. Separate Entrance: Having a separate entrance is very helpful in giving a home center a more professional feel. If you are planning to be a meditation teacher, then always look for a home with such a facility, whenever you plan to move. 2. Signs: It is helpful to have signs prominently displayed when you are running home classes. This is very important for new students to feel comfortable that they have come to the right house and are going the right way, and not wandering around in your bedroom . The 3 signs I had were the following, when I ran the classes from my home basement. One outside the house, one indicating the Restroom and one indicating the Yoga Center. More tips and hints for how to make your home center or other meditation space very good for teaching classes are in the next section on Essential Tools and Equipment.

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Option 2: Renting a Space: I have also in the past run a successful yoga and meditation program, by renting a space. This is almost like running the classes from your home, but as discussed above I am sure you see the advantages and disadvantages. Essentially, this requires more time and energy to do, but you benefit from having a much more professional set-up which clients expect to pay for. Here are some tips on how to find such spaces for your classes: 1. Art Buildings: Art building are great to find studios in which to hold your classes. I have used such a space previously and it was a reasonable and convenient option. 2. Yoga Centers or Karate Centers: Other places where you can rent the space for you classes or workshops are of course other Yoga Centers or Martial Arts Centers. Both these places often allow for their space to be rented for such activities. 3. Local Churches & Temples: Check with the local spiritual establishments if you can use their space for your classes. The difficulty here can be charging for them at times. 4. Local Municipal Buildings & Schools: Local libraries, recreational departments and schools always have spaces for events and classes. Again, you have to find one that allows 467

you to charge. If you are holding classes for free, then you will have a much easier time with using these spaces. 5. Local Firehouses, Restaurants and Clubs: Many local establishments have such halls available for rent on an hourly basis. They are also good locations for your classes. SECTION 2: Essential Tools and Equipment As a meditation teacher your job is to make sure that the class experience is transformational and memorable for the students. To this the following equipment will come in very handy. 1. Music: Although music may not be appropriate for most meditation sections of your class, it is great for the yoga and Pranayama phases. So make sure you have good equipments and more importantly good music selected for the class. Tunes that are spiritual, but not necessarily too relaxing are good. For the yoga and Pranayama phases you want more pick me up tunes, as they are doing physical work, so dont go for very slow stuff. If the meditation you plan to teach allows music, then perhaps you can have some relaxing, slow tunes for that section. It is better if you can control your music system with a remote. 2. Lighting: The lighting in your studio should be variable. In other words, you should be able to dim them when necessary. This is very key because although you need good lighting during the gentle yoga and Pranayama portions for the class, during the meditation portion or relaxation phase (for a full blooded yoga class), it is best to dim the lights to set the ambiance.

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It is better if you can control your lighting with a remote. 3. Incense: I suggest not using incense or other smoky items on the days you have classes. Many students are allergic to them and also, they can affect the pranayamas. Use them on off days to leave a nice fragrance, or burn them in other areas of the house or studio to minimize the smoky affect in the studio itself. 4. Fan: A fan is a must for any class that has pranayamas and yoga. It keeps the air fresh and circulating. If you have windows make sure they are open as well, to allow fresh air in. In winters, if it is cold where you live, open them a crack at least, but make sure the studio is not too cold, as that can lead to injuries during yoga. 5. Water: It is important to have water available for the students in your class. A few cups and a bottled water source, is a worthwhile investment for the benefits and appreciation it gets from the students. 6. Mats / Sheets: If you have a hardwood floor, then you need to either arrange for mats, or be sure your students know to bring one with them. If you have carpeting, then I strongly suggest using sheets. I used very large sheets that are actually sofa covers (I got them from Wal-Mart) and they were excellent for this task. Sheets can be washed weekly and covers hug the carpet so it does not slip and slide.

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7. Cushions: For a meditation or gentle yoga class, firm cushions are really good as well. They allow the students to sit more comfortably for the prolonged meditation periods and are really appreciated. Zen Zafus are the best, but since these can be quite expensive, you can get cheaper cushions to start with. 8. Sign-up Sheets and Basic Stationary: You should have a table set-up at the entrance of the studio where the students can sign-in when they arrive. More on this topic in the Structure and Process section. 9. Information Board: It is important to have an information board at your center as well, where you can have your class timings listed and also, any changes or special workshops. I got mine from Staples and used an erasable board with magnets to hang fliers, which worked great. 10. Index Cards: It is a good idea to have the set you are going to teach on Index Cards if you dont know them perfectly. You should not have a manual, other book or large papers with you when teaching, as that does not engender confidence. 11. Clocks and Stop Watch: Very important is to have a time device and stop watch when holding your class. This will help you time the exercises as well as the meditation session.

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12. Meditation Bell: A meditation bell, which you can ring to give updates to the students on the amount of time that has passed, is a very nice touch. For long sessions, where beginners are allowed a break after 5 minutes or 10 minutes, it can come in handy. 13. Gong: If you are doing Gong Meditation, then of course you need a gong . 14. Cash Register or Money Box: Whether you are running classes on donation or are charging for them, you will need a cash register or box to handle the transactions. If you have a sophisticated operation, then you will need to be able to accept credit cards as well. 15. Box of Tissues: Yes you will need to have a tissue box available for the students to clean their nose in order to be able to do the pranayamas comfortably. 16. Decorations: It is really helpful if your studio is decorated with inspirations photos and statues, but dont clutter it up. The feeling should be one of spaciousness and sanctity. You will notice after teaching here for a while, that the very quality of the air will change, and those that walk in for the first time will immediately feel the holy nature of this place. This is a tell tale sign that you are on the right track . SECTION 3: Structure and Process I have gone over many details on how to set-up your class in the article How to Teach a Meditation Class, but here I will concentrate 471

more on the overall process of running the classes. Essentially, your classes should flow as below. 1. Students Arrive: When students arrive, make sure you are guiding the new ones on what they need to do. The veterans usually go ahead and take their place in the class and do some light stretching or meditation. I dont suggest having back-to-back classes, make sure you have at least a 15-minute break between them. New students should be asked to fill out the legal waiver form and sign-in, while veterans just need to sign-in. The legal waiver I use is in SECTION 5 below. 2. Start On Time: Even if the class is half empty, start. Start on time. Dont delay as that just sets a bad precedence and then the students become habitually late. Once its time, start. The key here is to make sure that the students who come on time sit towards the front, so that there is space in the back for the latecomers to sit. 3. After Class: How to teach the class I have detailed in the article above as I mentioned. So once class is over do the question answer period and then approach the new students to get their thoughts and feedback. This way they feel welcome and can ask questions privately. 4. Class Preparation Information: I of course go over how to create a website for your business in the important How to Build Your Website document, but it is important to list what your students need to bring to class and other pre class instructions. Here is my website address for my classes, and the list of 472

how they should prepare for class is below as well. http://anmolmehta.com/blog/classes/ A. B. C. D. E. Please arrive a few minutes early to class. Wear comfortable clothing. Dont eat anything-heavy 2-3 hours prior to class. Bring your own mat if you like. Water is provided, but you may bring your own if you like

5. Managing Your Classes: So you now have classes and students regularly. This is great but now you have to manage all of this. When I say manage it is the need to be able to communicate changes to them effectively and keep track of class sizes etc. So you must do the following 2 things: A. Email Lists: You need to have email lists of each class and all the students as well. This way you can update them on cancellations, changes, etc. Have them put their email when they sign-in and right after class add them to your address book. Dont delay this step or the work will pile up and the students will start to miss out on important announcements. B. Phone Numbers: You also need phone numbers of the students, in case there is a last minute change. For in this case email wont help and it is professional courtesy to inform them of the changes. C. Payments: I cover this in the Pricing section. Important Miscellaneous Tips: Here are some miscellaneous tips that are important to run a good class:

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1. Turn off the ringer on your house and cell phone prior to class, and ask the students to do the same. 2. Whether you are teaching at home or in a studio, you will need to manage the new students and latecomers. So have systems in place to deal with this. 3. Prepare the night before for your class, so you are not stressed 5 minutes prior as to what you are going to teach. You want to be as relaxed as possible for your class. SECTION 4: Advertising As my teacher told us, although the great masters say there is no need to advertise, he suggests we do, and I suggest you do also . Your best advertisement is going to be your website. I will show you how to build that in the How to Build a Website document, but here I want to give you some more forms of advertising which I found to be very effective and good. 1. Local Township Website: One of the first places to get the word out about your classes is in the local township website. If they do not have a classifieds section here, what they will have is a forum. Or you will find your township forum on other large forum host servers. Just do a Google search for Your Town Name State Forum. You should post about your classes in all the local forums you find. This is actually something you should do periodically as forum topics age. You should also link to your website from these forums. 2. Craigs List and Other Classified Sources: You should also put classified ads for your classes on websites such as Craigs List (www.craigslist.com) and Sulekha (www.sulekha.com). 474

This is free to do and gets you some exposure and back links for your website. All sites that have classifieds for free, by location should be on your list for postings. 3. Free Yoga Directories: Next you should place ads for your classes in the large yoga directories. There are also for free and is where you will get most of your students. The big directories are www.yogadirectory.com www.yogafinder.com 4. Local Coupon Books, Magazines and Newspapers: Now we get to the aspect of advertising that costs some money. At this point you should see how your classes are going so you have some idea about your income potential. The next stage for advertising should be in your local print media. Here check for popular ethnic magazines, such as Little India and check your local newspapers. In addition, check the local coupon books that come as the can be a good source of exposure as well. 5. Local Radio and TV: Finally, you can look into advertising on the local radio, specially any ethnic or spiritual stations, and also local TV stations. For such advertising, contract agreements always fetch a better deal for you. SECTION 5: Insurance and Legal Waivers Liability Insurance for Yoga Teachers: In this age of lawyers and courts, it is very important to protect yourself. As I alluded to earlier, every new student should sign a 475

health waiver and you should also get insurance if you plan to follow this path seriously. The Yoga Journal and some other companies now provide liability insurance for yoga teachers and unlike in previous years, there are more options now for such insurance. Here are some useful links for insurance purchases. http://www.yogajournal.com/benefitsplus/ The following are insurance companies listed by Yoga Alliance: http://www.yogaalliance.org/Insurance.html Waiver Form: The waiver form I use for my yoga and meditation classes is below. Feel free to copy it. Agreement of Release and Waiver of Liability Form I, ________________________________________________________ (Print Name) hereby agree to the following: 1. That I am participating in the Yoga Class/Workshop, offered at Silent Mind Meditation Center, 66 Corona Ct., Old Bridge, NJ 08857, Held at: Called: Taught by: Silent Mind Meditation Center Kundalini Yoga Class Anmol P. Mehta

during which I will receive information and instruction about yoga and health. I recognize that yoga will require physical exertion, 476

which may be strenuous and may cause physical injury, and I am fully aware of the risks and hazards involved. 2. I understand that is it my responsibility to consult with a physician prior to and regarding my participation in the Yoga Class or Workshop. I represent and warrant that I am physically fit and I have no medical condition, which would prevent my full participation in the Yoga Class/Workshop. 3. In consideration of being permitted to participate in the Yoga Class or Workshop, I agree to assume full responsibility for any risks, injuries or damages, known or unknown, which I might incur as a result of participating in the program. 4. In further consideration of being permitted to participate in the Yoga Class/Workshop, I knowingly, voluntarily and expressly waive any claim I may have against Anmol P. Mehta or Silent Mind Meditation Center, its instructors and staff for any injury or damages that I may sustain as a result of participating in the program. 5. I, my heirs or legal representatives, forever release, waive, discharge and covenant negligence or other acts. I have read the above release and waiver of liability and fully understand its contents. I voluntarily agree to the terms and conditions stated above.

REGISTRANTS SIGNATURE: ________________________________________________________ DATE: ________________________________________________________

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SECTION 6: Pricing If you are passionate about meditation and have completed the course requirements so far, then I can assure you the money will come. People are very willing to pay for a good meditation and yoga teacher. There are many teachers, but not that many really good ones. What I have hoped to do with the program is to help you become not just a good teacher, but also a great teacher. This will mean that you will not just be able to inspire and uplift people, but you will be able to entirely transform their lives for the better, and they will be happy to repay you in any way you desire. There are basically 2 ways to run your classes. One is by voluntary donation and the other is by charging a set fee. Initially, while you are gathering experience as a teacher and building your confidence and clientele you might want to do donation based classes for a short period, but I suggest moving to fee based classes eventually. There is a lot of debate regarding this issue, and my personal preference is donation-based classes, but in todays world that just does not work as well. The biggest problem being that students dont take the classes seriously and for all your effort you dont get the level of commitment the classes deserve. So move to fees based, it will be good for you and the students as well. One note though is that always having an option for students who cannot pay for classes to be able to take them as well. A scholarship program or other exchange program is suggested. I have discussed this topic in detail in the following article, so please do read it to understand this complex topic better. http://anmolmehta.com/blog/2009/08/11/heated-controversyconfirmed-by-survey-should-spiritual-services-be-free-or-not/

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Option 1: Donation Based Model: If you have decided to use the donation-based model, permanently or temporarily, then the following tips will be useful for you. 1. Donation Box: You should have a donation box prominently in view where the students sign up for your class, so they know where to give the donation. 2. Suggested Donation: In you class information page on your website or flyer, you should mention what the suggested donation should be. For the US, I suggest $10 per class donation. 3. Remind Students: At the end of your class, you can remind the students that the classes run on donations and that you appreciate any support they can provide. Option 2: Set Fees: If you plan to use fees here are some guidelines for how to charge for your classes. 1. Amount Per Class: I suggest $10 / class in the suburbs, and if you are holding classes in urban areas you can charge as much as $15 / class. This is for a 1hour class. For longer classes and workshops you can charge more.

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2. Bulk Discount: Always have a bulk discount offer, which encourages students to sign up for multiple classes. A bulk discount is typically 20% or so off. 3. First Class Free: I strongly suggest that you have a first class free option. This is one of the best ways to get new students, and it gives those who are curious a worry free method by which to try your class. Also, after all you are a wonderful meditation teacher and there is no doubt they will love the class and sign up for more anyway . 4. Accounting: Make sure you keep all your accounting up to date. I suggest using Microsoft Excel or other computer software to keep track of payments and how classes completed. Also, this will help you run reports to see just well you are doing .

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Chapter 99 3 Keys for How to Live a Blessed Life


How to Live Life Enlightenment may seem a daunting task initially, but if you can just figure out how to live life well, you will be well on your way to fulfilling this great destiny of yours. In the past, I have given some guidelines on how to live in order to facilitate spiritual growth, and enjoy a happy and meaningful life, but in todays article I want to give you the absolute basic life keys to get you started on your journey to Enlightenment. The previous 2 articles I was alluding to above are also of course worth reading and learning from and here are the links to them: 5 Principles of Living an Enlightened and Good Life and 10 Things You Should Do Everyday for a Happy and Meaningful Life. Without a doubt living life with full awareness, watching the ego in action, meditating and having a personal spiritual practice are big factors in your spiritual growth, but not everyone is able to establish all these aspects right away. So for those just getting their feet wet, what is the best way to start? For those eager to take this great journey back to their original, infinite nature, how should they begin? Here is the answer to that question. Start by living peacefully, honestly and in an orderly way. This is something most everyone can aspire to and being able to live life in this way sets the stage for deeper and wider growth. Below, I will expand on these simple but important keys on how to live well and begin the journey to SelfRealization.

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3 Keys for How to Live Life Well: 1. Live Life Peacefully: The amount of conflict and violence in the world is appalling to say the least. In response to this, all decent people undoubtedly want wars and hatred to end, and the first step to this is to stop contributing to the state of human violence by living peacefully ourselves. I know there are deeper and wider meanings to conflict, in which "what should be" conflicts with "what is", but here I am suggesting a more simple thing - which is just to live at peace with everything and everybody around us. That is the starting point. Peaceful living softens the heart and teaches us how to diffuse our reactive nature so that we can become masters of our emotions. When the winds of conflict start to stir within, if you can remember your determination to live peacefully, it will lead you to becoming conscious and awake during such tumultuous times. Once conscious, you will be able to retain your composure and act intelligently, instead of becoming a slave to the storm of feelings conflict evokes. This ability to witness the ways of the ego and emotions puts you on the path to awakening. Learning how to live peacefully, will also teach you the art of forgiveness and the art of compassion. I have written about these topics previously and you can read about them in the following 3 popular articles. The Secret to Compassion My Simple Rule for a Peaceful Life The Time I Met God, Good News and Bad News 2. Live Life Honestly: The road to enlightenment is a path of negation. This is a very crucial understanding in order to make the right progress. What this 482

essentially means is when all that is false is taken away, what remains is your true, non-dual, already perfect nature. You are the substratum on which the game of life is being played out, and to encounter this timeless aspect of yourself, you need to shed all the masks you have put on. For that your have to learn how to live life honestly. This is not as easy as it may sound initially. To live honestly you will have to shatter many images of yourself that you hold dear and face many aspects of who you are, which will downright appall and even disgust you. But this cleansing, this dying of our many false selves is a necessary part of the process. Real honestly leads to real simplicity and innocence, which is essential for walking this path to your Natural Self. To work on yourself, you have to first see things as they are, even if they are a mess. This is the first step and as your understanding deepens, you will come to realize that the way to break through is to totally accept the actuality of "what is", without any attempt to change or escape it. A prerequisite for such action is brutal honesty. The mind is a master at deception and the practice of honesty in all forms is the beginning of clarity. This is also a topic I have written about in the past and you can find more of my thoughts on it in the following article: Silent Mind Meditation Program - Chapter 6 - The Importance of Honesty 3. Live Life with Order: One great advantage that monks and yogis have when they live in an ashram or monastery, is that their lives have great order. This structured living then helps them establish internal order and helps them establish a strong spiritual practice. So try to adopt some of these aspects into your life as well and therefore benefit from such structure as the monks and yogis do. 483

The more such order emerges from your passion and your practice the more natural and effective it will be. Allow your practice to thus shape your life and structure your days so that you can move forward systematically and gracefully. Generally, you will find setting up a consistent time for your practice, waking up early, getting proper exercise, eating healthy, spending time in nature and other such wholesome activities becoming a natural part of your life as you progress. Small things you do will matter also. Cleanliness, simplicity, balance, promptness, diligence, thoughtfulness will all start to emerge as you put your life in order. Also, order does not mean an absence of spontaneity. Being simple and making time for leisure will promote spontaneity, as will living in the moment, with honesty. So start to organize yourself and your time and get your life in order. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much this will help you in your personal as well as spiritual growth. So how to live life in order to begin the great adventure to enlightenment? Live peacefully, honestly and with great order, and surely you will find yourself on the path to awakening and SelfRealization.

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Chapter 100 How to Do Advanced Jyana Yoga Meditation Videos | Silent Mind Meditation
Advanced Meditation Videos The advanced Jyana Yoga (yoga of intelligence and insight) meditation videos below are a detailed discussion of the seven steps used by the Silent Mind Meditation Technique to bring about the cessation of thoughts and the explosion of insight. Another videos series will also be uploaded soon, which is a general discussion of this technique, which can be considered the most advanced form of Jyana (Gyan) Yoga and is based on the Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhist concepts of no-mind, end of knowledge and negation (neti). This technique, as I have pointed out before, is an extension of the work done by J. Krishnamurti and is in my view, the ultimate meditation for Self Realization. You are going to notice a flurry of activity on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga with regard to meditation, as my long term vision of offering a comprehensive multi-media meditation teachers certification program is nearing completion. Although, I dont expect mastery of the advanced technique described here as necessary for certification, I do feel it is important for authentic meditation teachers to understand this approach and have a feel for what it entails. This technique is ultimately a life long practice of moment-to-moment awareness. A great many benefits that meditation bestows can be achieved with more basic techniques, that I have already detailed on the website previously, and of course, knowing them is part of the training program. But to encounter the state of mind described by Sage Patanjali as the still mind or Samadhi, or the Zen state of Satori or Nomind, this technique is the best. Therefore I consider this one of the highest forms of Gyan Yoga.

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The Silent Mind Meditation (SM for short) is not really complex. It can be described in one line. Comprehending the mind is action from moment to moment, via direct perception. Even doing it is not complicated, but it requires great energy, awareness and tenacity. In the 2 part video series below, I explain the 7 steps, which I wrote about in chapter 12 of the Silent Mind Meditation Program, the Silent Mind Meditations. What I hope is for you to once catch a glimpse of the "Fact in Action". See the actuality of the beast of desire, the fact of desire. It is mind blowing when you do. And if you can do it even one time, you will realize a human potential that you have to comprehending the fact directly, not just intellectually, and this will open up a new way of observing for you. All of us humans have this potential, but very few develop it. Developing it leads to transcendence. I expect those taking the certification program, or those who are serious about meditation and Self Realization, to have questions about this technique. That is natural and healthy and I feel, since this is perhaps a new approach and subtle in nature, discussing it in many different ways is helpful in deepening our understanding regarding it. Once you understand completely what this technique is all about, you will have understood completely everything there is to understand (see the article Asking the Right Questions for more on this topic). After such understanding, you will have no more questions left. For a Gyan Yogi, mastering this technique and approach, should be the highest goal. Below is a 2 part series where I am discussing the 7 steps needed to practice this most advanced Gyan Yoga meditation, the Silent Mind Meditation technique. Also, to read how these steps equate to Sage Patanjalis steps of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi, please read the following article Most Advanced Mind Meditation Technique. For those who have inquired already about getting certified for teaching meditation, please be on the lookout for the teachers training program that will be coming online in the next week or so. The videos regarding the general discussion of Silent Mind Meditations 486

that I allude to in the videos below, will be uploaded soon as well. 7 Steps of How to Do Silent Mind Meditation Videos THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Silent Mind Meditation Videos Part 1 and 2

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Chapter 101 SM Meditation Program: Practical Hints & Tips


Silent Mind Meditation Program The following hints and tips are to help you with the Silent Mind Meditation Program. They will help you establish the practice required to master the art of meditation. Some are already mentioned in the program while others are new. 1. It is best to practice in the early morning at the same time daily. Once the day starts the chances of the session being disrupted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life increases dramatically. Also, consistency is going to be key and this is best established by setting a regular time for the practice. To add to this, the early morning hour (specially dawn) is indicated by yoga to be the most conducive time for spiritual activities. 2. Dont give up if thoughts keep slipping through your awareness and you find it hard to catch them. Keep plugging away, as best you can. Every bit of attention you apply works to change the physical nature of the brain, transforming the organ at a cellular level. Often you will find that even though the SM meditation session did not appear to reap rich rewards, spontaneously during the regular day the brain falls very quiet. As you practice over time you will see the direct correlation between this unearthly silence and the quality and sincerity of your SM sessions. 3. As your practice matures, you will find that sitting for at least 1 hour (as opposed to 40 minutes) is more helpful to effectively perform the more advanced Silent Mind Meditations. It will be well worth the time and effort.

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4. A technique that is very handy in bringing the fact, the current condition of the mind to light immediately is the technique of asking the right question. This question is often, What is it that I am doing right now? The answer of course is the very fact you are attempting to realize. This method of right questioning should not be underestimated. It has often proven to be the key in cracking the shell of the ego. 5. For the physical work it cannot be stressed enough not to overdo it. Use common sense. Dont eat for at least 1-2 hours before the sets and wear comfortable clothing. You have been given a fantastic body; dont push it prematurely to the point where you risk injury. 6. Drink plenty of water at the end of the sessions, especially after tough physical Yoga sets, as you will want to wash out toxins that are released during the workout. 7. If you find the sets difficult to do, increase the relaxation time between exercises and reduce the duration time for the exercises themselves. If you are finding the Yoga for Energy and/or Yoga for Awareness sets of phase 2 and 3 too difficult, you may want to substitute the Yoga for Meditation set for them, till you feel more ready for this advanced work. 8. Similar to the last recommendation, you may wish to spend more than just 4 weeks with the phase 1 basic meditations, if you feel your sitting and concentration are not strong enough to go forward. Let your inner voice guide you. 9. If you are not able to crystallize during SM and are just catching occasional glimpses of the fact that is ok. You just need to keep trying your best; the rest will take care of itself. (See #2 above.) 10. You may want to set some dos and donts for yourself to help you with your practice. These can be as broad as I will change to a healthy diet, to as specific as I will not watch TV after 9:00 pm. Find 489

those aspects of your life that are holding you down and make a resolution to correct them. 11. Helpful hints for making Sukh Asan easier for longer SM meditations Use a firm cushion to raise your hips higher than your knees. This coupled with Burmese style can make sitting for very long periods more comfortable. A tradition Zafu used for Zazen (Zen meditation) or Smile Cushion (crescent moon shaped) is specifically designed for this and may be well worth the purchase. Dont wear anything that will bunch up behind the knees, this will cut off blood circulation and put your legs to sleep and/or make them numb. Dont wear anything that is tight around the waist either, this will interfere with your breathing. Once you take the posture dont fidget, just remain still and the body will fall into line. If you start fidgeting it will never end.

12. You can use music while doing the physical Yoga work but do not use music during the meditation sessions. Music can help with you mood, especially if you are practicing alone and need to get motivated. 13. Pick a place in your house where you are going to do your practice daily. The place should be kept neat and you may wish to decorate it so it is inspiring to you. If possible ensure that you will not be interrupted or distracted during your SM session here. Having such a place helps in many ways establish a consistent practice. Over time, you and others will notice this place having a very different feel to it. 14. Anything is possible so dont let the mind dissuade you and make excuses. Thoughts like, I am not smart enough, committed enough, 490

strong enough, healthy enough etc. serve no purpose. Just start the program and put your best foot forward. Life will provide you with what is needed to progress. If you still feel that you are lacking something required to grow just sincerely ask the Universe for it. You will be surprised by her generosity. 15. There is no age requirement for starting the Silent Mind Meditation Program. You are never too old or too young to be your natural yourself. 16. After you complete the 12-week program you can choose to continue using any of the 6 SM meditations provided, or come up with your own as long as they meet the criteria laid out in Chapter 12: SM Meditation Program: The Silent Mind Meditations. 17. Often progress made in a meditation practice is compared to getting wet in a fog. In a fog you dont notice yourself getting wet but after some time you find yourself completely drenched. So, even if you feel you are not advancing stop being concerned with results and keep going. On a similar note, others may quite often notice changes in you before you do. 18. The silence sometimes emerges deep within the mind and there can be the presence of thoughts at the surface. Try to stay established in that silence within. 19. Dont wait for some perfect time to begin SM. The perfect time is now.

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Chapter 102 Yoga for Full Body Fitness


Yoga Exercises for a Complete Workout
Yoga, as I have mentioned previously, is not just for stretching and flexibility, but is perfectly capable of giving you a complete full body workout. Thus, if you are looking for fitness, strength and muscle tone, along with the added benefits of mental and emotional balance, yoga is an excellent solution for you. In this article today, I will combine for you several key exercises and sets, which when put together give you a complete fitness routine. This workout will target your upper body, stomach and abs, as well as help you tone and strengthen your lower body. On the way to doing this, it will even give your important heart muscle a bit of a workout. The techniques and exercises in this comprehensive set come of the school of Kundalini Yoga. I have found that Kundalini Yoga, because it uses so much dynamic movement, is especially good for routines geared towards fitness and dynamic strength. Don't get me wrong, other types of yoga also use flow and movement, and will deliver quite a workout as well, but in general, Kundalini Yoga fits the needs of a full body fitness routine very well. Your will find the exercises, poses and postures used in this Yoga for Full Body Fitness Set in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises Ebook and the Free Illustrated Hatha Yoga Poses E-book. In addition, this set will make up Chapter 17 of our popular Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets E-book. Soon it will also be a part of a even more complete yoga fitness program via the Free Online Yoga & Meditation Classes held here on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga.

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Benefits of Yoga for Full Body Fitness: I suggest visiting the exercises and sets in particular to see all the benefits and other details for these exercises, there are too many to list here. Below I will just give the highlights of what this delivers:

Helps you achieve full body fitness and health. Good for the digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system, immune system and nervous system. Increases your level or energy and vitality. Helps tone your abdominal muscles, shape your stomach and gives you core strength and power. Helps with weight loss. Significantly develops full body strength and flexibility. Tones legs, arms, chest, shoulders, abs and buttocks. Helps improve health and well being. Helps develop sexual fitness and virility.

Yoga Exercises for Fitness Preparation: The following two articles are important to read as they provide guidelines on how to practice yoga intelligently and safely: Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Remember the golden rule is please do not overdo or over strain. Especially if you are new to yoga, please use the beginner's version for

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the difficult exercises and back off if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy. For all the poses in this set illustrations have also been provided. You will also need to learn the Breath of Fire breathing exercise, which is taught in the following video: Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama. This breathing exercise is a fundamental breathing technique in Kundalini Yoga and is used in conjunction with the yoga poses in the set below. If at any time you feel it is difficult to keep up with breath of fire during the exercise, please switch to long deep breathing or normal breathing instead. Breath of Fire will play an important role in helping you achieve the level of fitness you seek, by adding an important respiratory and circulatory component to the workout. Yoga Set for Full Body Fitness: To meet the requirements of full body fitness, this set obviously utilizes a wide range of exercises and sequences. All these are illustrated and detailed below, but I want to give you a quick summary of them here first for easy reference. To get more details, you can scroll down to the particular section or head over to the article for that particular technique or pose. Do each exercise as per your strengths and weaknesses of your body regions. If your abs are already fit and strong, you can do more repetitions of the abdominal exercises, while if your legs are strong already you can do more Kundalini Yoga Froggies. If you are new to yoga or just getting started with your fitness program, do the beginner times for the exercises as I have detailed below. Fitness Yoga Sequence: - Cobra Push-ups - Upper Body Fitness - Yoga Ab Exercises Set - Core Fitness - Yoga Chair Pose - Lower Body Fitness 494

- Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose - Lower Body Fitness - Rest & Rejuvenation I have broken down this routine into 4 sections. First is upper body training, second is core abdominal fitness, the third is lower body strength and toning, and finally a relaxation section at the end. Fitness Yoga Section 1: Upper Body Training: Cobra Push-ups for Upper Body Fitness Illustration #A Starting Position

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Illustration #B Yoga Cobra Pose

Illustration #C Yoga Plank Pose

Cobra Push-Ups: a. Instructions for practicing Cobra Push Ups:

Start in the position as indicated by Illustration #A. Essentially this is the down position when doing simple push-ups (except toes are extended). You are lying flat on your stomach with your hands near your shoulders.

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Now come up into cobra pose and inhale deeply as you do so (Illustration #B). Next exhale as you bring yourself up into Plank Pose as indicated in Illustration #C. Then lower yourself back down to Illustration #A down as you Inhale. Finally, exhale in this down position and then repeat by coming back into Cobra pose and inhaling deeply.

Cobra Push-Ups Variation #2:

In this variation you will essentially skip Plank Pose, or Illustration #C. So come into the pose as per Illustration #A, exhale, then come into Cobra Pose (Illustration #B) as you inhale deeply. Continue to move between these 2 positions. Even though this is a simple movement, I guarantee you will feel this in your arms and chest very soon .

Cobra Push-ups Variation #3:

A slightly different variation to this exercise, is that when you bring your body up into Cobra, have your thighs come up off the floor as well (Upward Facing Dog Pose). The rest is the same.

b. Duration for Cobra Push-ups:

15 seconds - 7 minutes.

c. Benefits of Cobra Push-ups:

Excellent yoga exercise for upper body fitness. Good for chest, arms and shoulders.

Good for training your back and abdominal muscles as well. Essentially you enjoy all the many benefits that Cobra Pose and

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Plank Pose bestow.

Good for your digestive system and nervous system.

d. Practice Tips for Cobra Push-ups:

A smart way to build up your strength and train these important muscles is to use simple start stop tactics. Do 30 seconds, then take a break in the down position, and then start again and do 30 seconds more. Keep up this pattern, you will soon see marked improvement in your strength, muscle tone and upper body fitness.

Since the toes are kept extended as show in the illustrations above, be careful as this can put extra pressure on your lower back.

Fitness Yoga Section 2: Core Abdominal Training: Yoga Ab Exercises & Workout for Core Fitness 1. Yoga Single Leg Lifts:

Illustration #1: Yoga Ab Single Leg Lifts - Starting Position

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Illustration #2: Yoga Ab Single Leg Lifts - Left Leg Up

Illustration #3: Yoga Ab Single Leg Lifts - Right Leg Up Description: For this exercise lie on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back, as shown in Illustration #1. Then lift your left leg up to 90 degrees and then back down (Illustration #2). Follow that by lifting your right leg to 90 degrees and then down (Illustration #3). Repeat with left leg and continue on. You will feel your abdominal muscles working to raise each leg.

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Breath: Inhale as a leg goes up. Exhale when the leg comes down. Duration: 1- 3 minutes. 2. Yoga Double Leg Lifts:

Illustration #4 - Yoga Ab Double Leg Life - Starting Position

Illustration #5 - Yoga Ab Double Leg Lifts - Ending Position

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Description: For this exercise remain on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back. But now lift both legs smoothly up to 90 degree and then back down. Try to keep your knees straight and keep the motion controlled and smooth (illustration #5). This exercise works your abs muscles much harder than the single leg lifts, so be ready. Make sure to take a break between exercises to let the abdominal muscles recover a little before moving on. Breath: Inhale as legs go up. Exhale when the legs come down. Duration: 1- 3 minutes. 3. Yoga Criss-Cross Legs:

Illustration #6 - Yoga Ab Criss Cross Legs

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Illustration #7 - Yoga Ab Criss Cross Legs Description: Again for this exercise remain on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back. Now lift both legs up about 12-18 inches off the floor and have your toes pointing forward. Now begin to criss-cross your legs at ankle level rapidly (Illustrations 6 & 7). At first one leg will be on top, and then when you cross back have the other leg be on top. This exercise will give the side ab muscles (obliques) a workout, and is excellent for shaping your stomach region. Energy for fitness comes from your core, so when this gets tough remember all the good you are doing for yourself. Breath: Do the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise as you criss-cross your legs. Duration: 1- 3 minutes.

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4. Yoga Piston Legs:

Illustration #8 - Yoga Ab Piston Legs

Illustration #9 - Yoga Ab Piston Legs Description: Remain on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back. Again lift both legs up about 12-18 inches off the floor and have your toes pointing forward. Now begin to piston your legs back and forth rapidly (Illustrations 8 & 9). As one leg bends in (knee coming towards the chest), the other goes straight out and the motions reverse.

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Be sure to not bicycle the legs, the legs should move parallel to the floor for this exercise. This exercise will ensure that if any parts of your stomach muscles were left out of the workout, that they get a chance to now participate . Six-pack abs here we come... Breath: Breath out as you fire each leg out. Duration: 1- 5 minutes. 5. Add Stretch Pose or Boat Post (Optional). The above 4 ab exercises provide a great workout to tone and develop your stomach, but if you feel ready to take it to the next level, then add Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose to this set. If you feel really strong and would like to set the bar even higher, then add Kundalini Yoga Boat Pose to enhance this set further. You will find me demonstrating Yoga Boat Pose in the Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set Video and description also in that article.

Illustration #10 - Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose 504

Fitness Yoga Section 3: Lower Body Training: Illustrations of Yoga Chair Pose Side View Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

Front View Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

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Hands Position Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose Hands Close-up

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Side View of Modified Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

Front View of Modified Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose

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Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose:

Stand and place your feet shoulder width apart, with toes pointing outward.

Lean forward till your back in parallel to the ground. Reach down and grasp your ankles, such that the elbows are passing from the inside of your knees. Keep your head up and begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose:


15 Seconds - 3 minutes. Start slowly and steadily build up your time.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose:


Great for lower body fitness. Excellent yoga posture for toning your thighs and buttocks. Improves sexual health and builds sexual virility and vitality. Helps the body burn fat to promote healthy weight loss.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Chair Pose:


Use the modified versions illustrated above. Take a break, if the legs start to burn too much and then restart the exercise again once ready.

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Be careful with your knees and only go as far down as comfortable, regardless of whether you are doing the modified posture or the full pose. If Breath of Fire is too much, then switch to long deep breathing or normal breathing which continuing to hold the pose. You can also do the modified version of chair pose by standing against a wall and working your way lower as your legs get stronger. This is the technique used in physiotherapy in general. Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose for Fit Legs

Picture of Starting Position of Yoga Frog Pose (Eyes Closed)

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Picture of Starting Position of Yoga Frog Pose (Eyes Open)

Picture of Ending Position for Yoga Frog Pose

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Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose Practice Details: a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose:

Squat on the floor on your toes, with your feet apart and your heels either touching or very close together.

Have your knees spread out and your arms inside your knees with your fingertips touching the floor. The elbows are straight. Look up, you can have your eyes opened or closed. Inhale. This is the starting position for frog pose. Rise up now by straightening your legs. At the same time bring your head towards your knees and keep your fingers touching the floor. Your heels should move down towards the floor. Straighten your legs as much as possible. Exhale. This is the ending position for frog pose. This completes 1 repetition. Come back down to the starting position and repeat the cycle as many times as indicated.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose:

Beginners, start with as many as you can do and work up to 26 froggies. Intermediates, work up to 54 froggies. Advanced, work up to 108 froggies. Fanatics, keep going :-).

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose:

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Shapes, tones and strengthens the legs and lower body. Specially the thighs muscles.

Good for cardiovascular fitness and stamina. Promoting better circulation and better respiration. Promotes flexibility in the hamstrings and calves. Overall, builds one level of fitness and endurance. Builds sexual potency and virility.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose:

Careful with your knees. If you have bad knees, approach this exercise with caution.

Take breaks in between if your legs are burning too much. Once they recover continue on. This yoga exercise will get your heart rate up, so careful not to get dizzy. If you feel breathless, light headed or faint, stop and take a break. Here is a secret. Doing froggies slowly is harder. Some kundalini yoga kriyas (sets) demand you go slow, but in general a brisk pace will allow you to do more. Just don't push too hard. It is ok to be sore in the legs the next day. It means that the muscles have got a much-needed workout. It is beneficial to stretch the hamstrings before doing frog pose.

Fitness Yoga Section 4: Rejuvenation and Assimilation Corpse Pose: 512

Once you have completed the Yoga Set for Full Body Fitness, make sure you relax on your back in corpse pose. For corpse pose just lie comfortably on your back and have your hands out to the sides or on your chest. Just let go during this time and let the Universe take care of you. Have no worries, anxieties or goals, and simply surrender to Infinity.

Duration: 3 - 11 mins. Breath: Relaxed

Yoga for Full Body Fitness Summary: As I mentioned above, this set is going to eventually be part of a more complete yoga fitness program, which will then become part of the online classes that are offered, but in and of itself it is an excellent routine to develop total body fitness and health.

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Chapter 103 Supreme Yogic Breath for Mind Control


1 Minute Breathing for Brain Development The mind and breath are intimately related. In fact, one of the best and most effective ways to silence the mind, is by slowing down the breath, and the reverse is true as well, if your mind is calm and serene, your breath too will be slow and fine. Kundalini Yoga's 1 minute yogic breath is one of the most powerful techniques for creating this silencing affect on the brain, but like all powerful yoga pranayamas, this technique also demands that you approach it with respect and intelligence. This pranayama takes some time to master. It is difficult and since it involves one of the more advanced aspects of yogic breathing, breath retention, it is prudent to develop this technique slowly and build up one's capacity steadily over time. Once mastered though, for brain development and mind control, this pranayama is one of the best. If you are new to yoga practice, I suggest incorporating this technique into your practice so that you can start to develop your expertise in it and therefore enjoy it's great rewards in due course. 1 Minute Yogic Breath comes from the powerful school of Kundalini Yoga. Ravi Singh, who learned it from Yogi Bhajan, taught it to me. On Mastery of Meditation & Yoga, this breathing technique will be chapter 11 on our ongoing Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercises Ebook. Below are the bountiful benefits of this breathing technique, followed by step-by-step instructions on how to practice this pranayama.

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Benefits of 1 Minute Yogic Breath:


Gives one tremendous inner peace and tranquility. Helps rejuvenate the brain. Help one control the mind and thoughts. Helps you conquer fear and become courageous. Keeps the brain healthy. Calms the entire nervous system and helps dissolve stress. Excellent for inducing meditative states of consciousness. Develops willpower. Builds respiratory capacity. Expands and builds the pranic body (energetic body).

Cautions for 1 Minute Yogic Breath: As the name implies the 1 minute yogic breath, is a single breath cycle done over the course of 1 minute: 20 seconds to inhale, 20 seconds hold breath in and 20 seconds to exhale. This is, as I mentioned above, not easy to do initially and as it involves breath retention, it should be approached cautiously and slowly. The pranayama should not be done using strain. You should start with only 5 seconds for each phase and build up gently from there. From 5 seconds, work your way up to 10 seconds and then from there to 15 and finally to 20 seconds per phase.

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Instructions for 1 Minute Yogic Breath: This breath is not complicated at all, but yet it is immensely powerful.

Sit in any comfortable posture and close your eyes. You may also lie down, but sitting is better.

Take five long, deep, slow breaths to help relax you. Now start the pattern of inhaling slowly, holding breath in and exhaling slowly. As mentioned in the caution above, start with 5 seconds per phase and build up gently from there. Only when you are ready, should you be doing 20 seconds per phase. You may practice this pranayama from 1 minute all the way up to 31 minutes in a single sitting.

1 Minute Yogic Breath Tips: Alternate Technique for Improving Capacity: You may find over time that you are able to do the 20-20-20 cycle, but only for a few breaths. If that is the case, do a few such 1 minute cycles and then take a break by doing simple long, deep breathing and then return to the 1 minute breath. Using 1 Minute Breath to Test Pranic Body: I use 1 minute breath to test my pranic capacity from time to time. So even if I have not been doing this technique, I will sprinkle in 1 minute breath to see what my pranic status is. You will be surprised to find that even though you may not be explicitly doing this technique, a good yoga and pranayama practice builds and keeps your pranic (energetic) body in tip top shape, which will be verified by being able to do 1 minute yogic breath.

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1 Minute Breath for Meditators: If you are practicing Jyana yoga, awareness meditation, insight meditation, silent mind meditation, zazen or zen meditation, vipassana, etc., you will know the importance of spontaneous breath suspension. 1 minute yogic breath can be very helpful to you if you do practice such meditation techniques, as it assists in this suspension, which translates to greater gaps between thoughts and thus more access to one's silent nature within. I hope you enjoy this wonderful pranayama and I hope it helps you awaken to your true Self - Sat Nam.

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Chapter 104 Silent Mind Meditation: The SM Meditations


Silent Mind Meditation As outlined in Chapter 8 (SM Meditation Program: Phase 2: Daily Yoga and Meditation Practice) for the first 2 weeks you will do the basic meditation that you have chosen for 30 minutes. Once you begin the third week of Phase 2 it is time to start your SM meditations. SM meditations are done in the same posture as you have chosen for your basic meditations. For weeks 3 and 4 of phase 2 you should do your basic mediation for the first 10 minutes of the meditation session and then for the final 20 minutes you should practice the SM meditation designated for that week. No break should be taken between the basic meditation and the SM meditation. The basic meditation will serve to settle the mind down making it easier to observe. The SM meditation will take you the rest of the way. It is now time to explore exactly what SM meditation is and how to do it. From the program you have participated in so far you must have started to gather some ideas about the nature and purpose of SM meditations. SM meditations use the power of acute awareness and intelligence generated by a vitalized, intense system to directly perceive the mind and by virtue of this perception bring the thinking process to halt itself. This will be clearer as we break down and investigate the process behind SM. Following are the 7 steps of SM practice. 1. You have a single, absolute fact. 2. You personalize the fact. 3. You form a single intent to perceive this fact. 518

4. You apply all your energy and passion in pursuit of this intent. 5. You crystallize. 6. You negate the fact. 7. You let go. Let us now explore each of these aspects in detail. 1. You have a single absolute fact. SM meditation is based on generating the required energy and channeling it into swift attention and instant comprehension so that the fact of what is going on within starts to be directly perceived. One of the more interesting aspects of the condition we are in is that it can be stated in many irrefutable ways. In the first step of the process you choose one particular way of factually describing your internal condition. This description is the single absolute fact. This fact is what you will be pursuing to realize, not intellectually, but actually during an SM session. The fact must have the following constitution 1. It must be an absolute constant truth in the sphere of our minds and its relationship to Reality. 2. The more appealing it is to you the better it will work. 3. It must be intellectually understood. As stated above the fact is a truth related to the workings of your mind and thinking processes as it currently is. In other words, it is not an impersonal fact, like the mass of the moon or the elemental makeup of water. It is a fact that describes the constant internal state of your mind, such as, Desire is the phenomenon that drives you to struggle. In other words, the fact is in action, available for your 519

viewing, from moment to moment. It is a remarkable thing when you start to see how repetitive and simplistic your mind really is at a fundamental level where these facts are constantly in operation. The second aspect of the fact is much more subjective. Essentially, you want to use whatever description touches a nerve and carries a punch. A description that is inspiring and has an affect on you will be more effective. The deeper and greater the affect the better. As you try the various SM meditations, each based on a particular description of the condition of your mind, you will start to get a better feel for this aspect. Some meditations will be simply easier for you to grasp and work with at particular times. The third aspect is that we must understand the fact fully at the intellectual level. This understanding will be of great help to you when you are trying to apply yourself to see the actuality of the fact in action. This understanding can be ascertained and enhanced through study, discussion and self-dialogue. The SM meditations provided later in the program are explained clearly and fully to give you this understanding. 2. You personalize the fact. The second step of SM is to personalize the fact. So, for the above fact, Desire is the phenomenon that drives you to struggle, you would form the quest; Let me see desire driving me to struggle. This will then become the reality that you will seek to actualize. 3. You form a single intent, to perceive this fact. The third step of SM practice is to have a single passionate intent, which is to see this fact in action. You must have absolutely no other intention in mind except this one. Your mind forms just one desire, one wave, which is to perceive this fact. Be firm in this resolve for the mind is going to throw up many tantalizing subjects and you must repeatedly return to the pursuit of your intent. One of the main goals 520

of the basic meditations was to help you develop this ability to focus and stay on the topic of your choosing and in this case the topic has to be the single minded purpose of seeing yourself subjected to the fact. 4. You apply all your energy and passion in pursuit of this intent. This is where the work really begins. So far you have selected the fact, personalized it and set your single-minded intent. This is the step where you are going to apply yourself with as much passion and energy you can muster to see the fact in action. What is most important here is that we are not talking about understanding the fact intellectually, what we are saying is that you must encounter and realize the fact through direct perception. This is the key to SM and everything hinges on it so let us explore it greater detail. Normally we understand things intellectually using our logical and analytical mind, but now we are going to comprehend via direct perception. We are going to constantly, moment to moment, watch our thinking process and see clearly the actual fact in operation. In other words, instead of simply understanding conceptually that Desires drive you to struggle, the very process of Desire driving you to struggle, is going to be completely grasped and instantly comprehended as it occurs from moment to moment. The beast of desire can be and is going to be encountered. The verbal and intellectual understanding will occur in parallel to the realization of the actual phenomenon, instead of just existing as a mental construct. At first, since you may not have applied yourself in this way, you may continue to remain at the intellectual level, but as you persist keenly and arduously applying the full capacity of your energies, the thinking process will spontaneously start to slow down and you will begin to catch glimpses of the fact. Once this begins you must remain deadly focused and push forward so that the next step of the process can occur.

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5. You Crystallize. Crystallization brings with it a great joy. It is the witnessing of the fact in action from moment to moment without missing a beat. Your energies are now fully integrated and the fact along with its entire story is being understood effortlessly. The power of swift attention and acute intelligence are now at work and all movements of the mind are being comprehended. During this stage the mind is an open book. Not only is the fact clearly visible but so is the truth behind any other thought that occurs as well. This is insight now flowing. 6. You negate the fact. This step is very closely linked to crystallization and there is usually some back and forth between these two stages in a SM session. The negation of the fact arises naturally because it becomes clear from seeing the mind in action that its current state breeds suffering. The facts that underlie the movement of the mind all bind us to time and ego, and all have their roots in the desire/fear combination. They perpetuate in us a sense of incompleteness and dissatisfaction and keep us bound to the fruitless pursuit of self-security. Seeing the fact in action clearly brings this entire picture to light and leads to the natural, sane and spontaneous negation of this pattern. In other words you clearly see the state desire driving you to struggle, and all that it entails (greed, suffering, hope, fear, pettiness etc) and you just reject it. As it occurs again, for if the mind moves the fact is in operation again, you see it again and reject it. This leads to the last stage. 7. You let go. As you dive into SM meditation the subtle truth that will become ever so painfully clear is that you are the source of your suffering. The mind upon inspecting itself will realize that it is the creator of the very activity that is causing all the grief. For example, when one, seeing greed being the source of all the struggling tries to end it, one is just 522

perpetuating greed by hoping to attain a state free of greed. When one sees oneself struggling constantly and decides to try to stop that, one has in fact undertaken a new struggle. Startlingly, this perpetuation of the current state is all that the mind is capable of doing and SM meditation brings the mind to this realization. This then means that the mind will have to stop its mischief and that requires for it to cease, for you to let go of it. When you arrive here you will know what to do, and it will just be a matter of courage at this point. Have faith, be brave and Jump. SM Meditation I: Fact of Struggle The first SM meditation that we will introduce is one of the most powerful and potent. It is the following fact, One is constantly struggling. This is the way our mind is at all times- engaged in a struggle. Thus the fact meets the first criteria of being in constant operation in the sphere of self-consciousness. Although the impact of this knowledge on you is unknown (second criteria), in general this fact is quite poignant and usually has a strong impact. Finally, the third criteria requires that you understand the fact intellectually so lets explore it in some detail. By struggle we are referring to any internal effort that you are placing yourself under. It is meant in the broadest definition of the word and includes any attempt your mind is making to achieve. As you turn your attention to your thinking process you will see that you are constantly setting a goal for yourself and are busy trying to achieve that goal. The question that arises is - Can we ever free ourselves from this pattern of eternal striving? Of course, one must see clearly that trying to free oneself is just another struggle. So negation of the fact is not to try and chase its opposite. To pursue a state of "nonstruggle" is still a continuation of struggle. So what is meant by negation instead is to just drop it, finish it, reject it immediately. To summarize then, you have your intention set to see your mind in constant struggle and upon seeing this clearly drop it every time it is noticed. The mind must realize that anything at all it tries to do is just 523

useless - only creating more struggles. Remember the key to SM is that the concept is not the actual. What you need to do is to see the actual, the fact, and not just its interpretation by the mind. The very seeing of struggle is the ending of struggle. SM Meditation II: Pursuit of the Ideal The keen mind will start to see that any one piece describes the whole puzzle and that if you can understand one piece completely you will understand the whole puzzle and consequentially all the pieces. The second SM meditation is just another way of describing the current constant state of the mind; it is the fact that One is always in pursuit of the ideal. Another way to putting this, which lends itself to be easily seen during meditation is, One is always subject to shoulds. I should be watching my mind, I should not be greedy, etc. and, as always, to say that you should not be under the control of shoulds is just another "should". The ideal is the authority that prevents you from ever; just being in the present - as you are. It creates the gap, the conflict, between what is and what should be and then trying to bridge this gap becomes the rest of your life. It results in the endless effort of your mind to arrive somewhere, to become something. This authority arises from two sources. One is the authority of an outside entity, which then dictates what one ought to aspire to - how one ought to live ones life. Two, there is the authority granted to conclusions drawn from past experiences. Authority decrees, do this, do that, be like this, be like that, implying that as things are, as you are, is unacceptable. The problem is that in trying to change, to become the ideal you dont change at all. In other words, in trying not be greedy you remain greedy and in trying not be selfish, you are obsessed with yourself, in trying not to be violent you are in conflict. The ideals are just fictitious. There is no such thing as non-greed, unselfishness, non-violent etc. There is just the perpetuation of greed, conflict etc.

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SM meditation demands that you see that any attempt to change is to pursue the direction established by another "should", and so has to be dropped. The only truth is the way things are, exactly at this very moment. Whether it is the conclusions of past experiences or the voices of others that are telling you how things should be, your job is to see the painful condition of always chasing the ideal and reject it.

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Chapter 105 Bonus Yoga Sets


In the following chapters you will find many more yoga sets with a wide range of poses and postures. Feel free to incorporate these into your teaching and into you personal practice. For more yoga poses and more yoga sets, you always have the free online books at Mastery of Meditation and Yoga available as well. Here are the links to those online books Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises Free Hatha Yoga Galleries Free Online Yoga Sets

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Chapter 106 Seven Chakra Healing Set


The Seven Chakra model is the cornerstone of yoga and an excellent way to understand oneself and approach one's spiritual growth. I have explained this model in the following articles, and understanding the seven chakra system will help you maximize the benefit of this Kundalini Yoga Set. Kundalini Yoga Seven Chakra Model Overview Introduction to Kundalini Yoga The Kundalini Yoga set in this article is designed to work progressively through each chakra sequentially. The set therefore allows each center to be awakened and healed by the focused energy and prana of each respective exercise. I have added an additional element to this set, which is the visualization of the color associated with each chakra as you do the exercises. This visualization, complements the poses and postures, and helps to further stimulate and activate each center. The Kundalini Yoga Exercises in this set are all linked and detailed in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book, where you can get all the details, cautions, modifications, etc. This set will also make up Chapter 12 of our popular Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets E-book. Benefits of Seven Chakra Healing Set The purpose of this set is to introduce you to the seven chakra system and give you some tools and techniques to heal each chakra. There are many effective Kundalini Yoga Kriyas which are focused on healing particular chakras and these are certainly worth learning as well. I will provide such sets in the near future as well.

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Another article which will help you determine which chakras need the most healing, as well as gives you techniques to heal these chakras is the following: Chakra Healing | How to Analyze & Balance Your Chakras. Below are the benefits of the Seven Chakra Healing Set: Helps familiarize you with your chakras. Helps awaken and heal your chakras. Promotes physical, emotional and mental balance. Increases your overall level of energy and vitality. Promotes overall strength and flexibility. Improves balance and coordination. Builds mental focus and concentration.

Seven Chakra Healing Set Practice Details: The following two articles are important for beginner's to read as they provide guidelines on how to practice kundalini yoga smartly and safely: Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Remember the golden rule is please do not overdo anything. Especially if you are new to Kundalini Yoga, please use the beginner's version for the exercises wherever provided and back off if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy. Each exercise title is a link to the chapter with 528

the details for that exercise. For all the poses in this set illustrations have also been provided. You will also need to learn the Breath of Fire breathing exercise, which is taught in the following video: Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama. This breathing exercise is a fundamental breathing technique in Kundalini Yoga and is extensively used in conjunction with the yoga poses. If at any time you feel it is difficult to keep up with breath of fire during the exercise, please switch to long deep breathing or normal breathing instead. Seven Chakra Healing Set Remember that each title is a link to the article with full details on each pose. Also, in each of those respective articles, modifications for beginners are given whenever required, so make sure you use those modifications as you start out. In the details below I have given the body location and color you should visualize when doing each chakra exercise. As I mentioned above this will provide additional stimulation in awakening that center. I also suggest doing the Spinal Warm-up Series, before doing this set as it will help get the body ready and also, prepare the shushumna (central channel for the flow of kundalini) to conduct the energy up the spine and through the chakra centers. This preparation will greatly enhance the healing power of this set. 1. Kundalini Yoga Crow Pose for Root Chakra: Kundalini yoga pose to work on your root chakra. Visualize Red at the base of the spine. Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Breath of Fire. 529

Crow Pose for Healing Root Chakra 2. Kundalini Yoga Sat Kriya for Sex Chakra: Powerful tantra yoga technique to raise the vibration of your sexual energy. Visualize Orange at sacral spine area. Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: As given in the exercise.

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Sat Kriya for Healing Sex Chakra 3. Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Navel Chakra: This is an excellent pose for healing the navel chakra. Visualize Bright Yellow in the solar plexus region. Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Breath of Fire.

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Stretch Pose for Third Chakra Healing 4. Yoga Camel Pose for Heart Chakra: This pose will really open up your heart center and is excellent for healing this chakra. Visualize Green in the center of the chest. Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Breath of Fire.

Camel Pose for Heart Chakra Healing

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5. Yoga Shoulder Stand for Throat Chakra: Brings your energy to the brain and higher centers. Puts pressure on the throat chakra to help heal and rejuvenate this center. Visualize Blue in the throat region. Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Long deep breathing.

Shoulder Stand for Throat Chakra Healing 6. Third Eye Healing Chakra Meditation: You can do this meditation with your hands down as well. Specially as the next exercise also requires your hands to be up and that may tire your shoulder too much. Visualize the color of the hammer as indigo. And also visualize this color pulsating with each tap in the center of the forehead. 533

Duration: 1 - 3 mins Breath: As given in the meditation.

Third Eye Chakra Meditation Technique 7. Crown Chakra Meditation Technique: This is rare kundalini yoga meditation to open and heal the crown chakra. Don't overdo this one. Visualize Violet light on the top of the head. Duration: 30 seconds - 3 mins Breath: As given in the meditation.

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Crown Chakra Healing Meditation 8. Corpse Pose: Once you have completed the Seven Chakra Healing Set, make sure you relax on your back in corpse pose. For corpse pose just lie comfortably on your back and have your hands out to the sides or on your chest. Just let go during this time and let the Universe take care of you. Have no worries, anxieties or goals, and simply surrender to Infinity. Duration: 1 - 11 mins Breath: Relaxed

May your spirit rise and your awareness reach the One Source.

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Chapter 107 Yoga Exercises for Male Sexual Health


Yoga Therapy for Sexual Dysfunction Kundalini Yoga is considered the ultimate householder's yoga. Which means virility and sexual energy are not suppressed, but in fact considered an important aspect of one's health and life. Previously, I have also indicated that sexual energy, which is considered the most potent form of bio-chemical energy in the body, is the one form of energy that can be used for rejuvenating the entire physical apparatus, as well as be used for spiritual growth and transformation; so this energy is certainly important to have in quantity and quality. The ancient holy men, yogis and rishis (saints) of India were known to maintain their sexual charge and drive right through their life and towards that end, yoga played no small role. This article is going to provide a potent yoga set for men to heal any sexual dysfunction, increase their sexual potency and refine their sexual energy, so it can be utilized for spiritual transformation. Although this yoga set is excellent for women as well and can be done by them also, it is tailored specifically for men and the male sexual system. The Yoga Exercises in this set are all linked and detailed in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book and the Free Illustrated Hatha Yoga Poses E-book, where you can get all the details, cautions, modifications, etc. This set will also make up Chapter 13 of our popular Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets E-book. Soon it will also be a part of the Free Online Yoga & Meditation Classes held here on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga.

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Benefits of Yoga Exercises for Male Sexual Health: Below are the benefits of this yoga set:

Helps raise the vibration of sexual energy, so it can be used for healing and spiritual transformation.

Helps develop sexual potency and improves sex drive. Helps cure sexual dysfunction and sexual phobias. Helps cure erectile dysfunction. Increases your overall level of energy and vitality. Significantly develops lower body strength and flexibility. Tones legs and buttocks. Awakens, heals and balances the Sex Chakra.

Yoga Exercises for Male Sexual Health Preparation: The following two articles are important to read as they provide guidelines on how to practice yoga intelligently and safely: Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Remember the golden rule is do not overdo or over strain. Especially if you are new to yoga, please use the beginner's version for the difficult exercises and back off if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy. Each exercise title is a link to the chapter with the details for that exercise. For all the poses in this set illustrations have also been provided.

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You will also need to learn the Breath of Fire breathing exercise, which is taught in the following video: Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama. This breathing exercise is a fundamental breathing technique in Kundalini Yoga and is used in conjunction with the yoga poses in the set below. If at any time you feel it is difficult to keep up with breath of fire during the exercise, please switch to long deep breathing or normal breathing instead. Male Sexual Health Yoga Set: Remember that each title is a link to the article with full details on each pose. Also, in each of those respective articles, modifications for beginners are also given, so make sure you use those modifications as you start out. 1. Kundalini Yoga Butterfly Pose:

Kundalini yoga pose to stretch the sexual meridians. Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Breath of Fire.

Butterfly Pose for Stretch Sex Meridians

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2. Yoga Cobra Pose:

Cobra Pose to balance and heal the Sex Chakra. If your arms get tired, come down from cobra and then go back into the pose after recovering. Duration: 30 seconds - 3 mins. Breath: Long Deep Breathing.

Cobra Pose for Healing Sex Chakra 3. Forward Stretch Pose for Navel Chakra:

This is an excellent pose for healing the nervous system and promoting good health. Start the stretch slowly and as your body opens up, accentuate the stretch further.

Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Breath of Fire or Long Deep Breathing.

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Forward Bend for Health and Healing 4. Yoga Modified Wheel Pose:

The modified version of this pose (bridge pose) will also provide you with the necessary benefits, so if cannot reach your ankles, feel free to use the modified version.

Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Breath of Fire.

Modified Wheel Pose to Tone Sexual Organs 5. Yoga Plough Pose for Sexual Excellence:

First off, please develop your capacity to do this pose slowly and gently. Careful with your neck and do not over strain. Improving the flexibility in your hamstrings will help you with 540

doing this pose as well. This pose is absolutely excellent to improve your sexual systems.

Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Long deep breathing.

Plough Pose for Sexual Healing 6. Yoga Rock-n-Roll:


Good Posture to help distribute the energy you have generated. Duration: 30 seconds - 1 min Breath: Normal.

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7. Yoga Chair Pose for Sexual Health:

We now get to the exercises which really start to work the lower body and legs, which are the source of a great deal of the sexual power and energy. Be careful with your knees for the following two exercises. Remember, you can see more illustrations and details in the article linked by the title as well. Take breaks in between if you need to.

Duration: 15 seconds - 3 mins Breath: Breath of Fire.

Yoga Chair Pose for Sexual Health 8. Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose:

These can be a little tough for beginner's to do, but are excellent to tone and strengthen your legs and also, it will give your heart a good workout. Do only a few at a time in the beginning and take breaks between repetitions as you build up your capacity. Build up slowly to 52 in a row over time.

Duration: 11 - 52 repetitions

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Breath: Inhale Down / Exhale Up.

Yoga Frog Pose (Inhale)

Yoga Frog Pose (Exhale)

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9. Kundalini Yoga Sat Kriya for Sex Chakra:

This is a very powerful tantra yoga technique to raise the vibration of your sexual energy. It also helps remove sexual phobias and cures sexual dysfunctions. Make sure you don't overdo this exercise and build up your capacity slowly over time. Duration: 1 - 11 mins. Breath: As given in the exercise.

Sat Kriya for Healing Sex Chakra 10. Corpse Pose:

Once you have completed the Yoga Set for Men's Sexual Health, make sure you relax on your back in corpse pose. For corpse pose just lie comfortably on your back and have your hands out to the sides or on your chest. Just let go during this time and let the Universe take care of you. Have no worries, anxieties or goals, and simply surrender to Infinity. The longer you do Sat Kriya above, the longer you need to rest as well.

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Duration: 3 - 11 mins. Breath: Relaxed

Trust in the wisdom of this science and do your practice consistently. There is no reason why you will not be able to cure your conditions and improve your sexual health and stamina. Enjoy ...

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Chapter 108 Best Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss


Simple Yoga Exercises for Systematic Weight Loss In this final part of the series on Best Yoga for Weight Loss, I will include part 1, and also complete the Basic Yoga for Weight Loss Set that I had started in part 2, so you will have a complete illustrated guide of yoga poses and exercises to burn fat, lose weight and get fit. (Part 1 is below) Can You Lose Weight With Yoga? You can absolutely lose weight with yoga and there are enormous advantages to using yoga for weight loss over other artificial means and methods. In this 3 part series I am going to first discuss why yoga is good for permanent and safe weight loss, and then, in the second part of the series, I am going to give you a great set of yoga exercises for burning fat and losing weight. The set in part 2 is going to become part of the free online yoga classes here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga. The current weight loss program that is already available there, uses the excellent Online Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss Exercises Set, and this upcoming set will give you more choices and variety in selecting an effective yoga for weight loss program. The great thing about the set in part 2 is that it is designed for those who are overweight or obese, and thus, can be used by those who are new to yoga or severely out of shape. Don't think for a moment that this means the exercises are not going to be effective. These yoga exercises are tried and tested techniques for effective weight loss, and are part of various yoga therapy programs around the world. More 546

about this set in part 2 of the series, but for now let me go over why you should choose yoga to help you achieve your weight loss goals. This list of reasons is really quite long, but let me just point out the top five reasons why you are better off using yoga to help reduce weight, as opposed to being suckered in by all the other quick weight loss gimmicks, pills, gadgets and diets out there. Top 5 Reasons to Choose Yoga for Weight Loss: 1. Better Overall Health: Losing weight by doing yoga, also conditions all the internal organs and systems, in addition to getting rid of the excess fat. This means that not only will you lose the weight, but as you continue your practice, you will find yourself getting more and more healthy and fit. In addition, you will enjoy all the profound benefits that yoga bestows, and not just the weight loss aspect. You can read about these enormous benefits of yoga in the following articles: Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga 7 Rapid Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Practice 2. No Bad Side Affects: Always remember that the body has a blue print of perfect health and always tries to return to this state. You should always try to work with the body, in it's efforts to return to perfect health. Yoga and Ayurveda (the Indian holistic science of life and longevity) are designed to do just this. On the other hand, when you use chemical, surgical or other such quick fixes, you tend to not work holistically with the body, and even as you are fixing one problem, you tend to create many more. So using Yoga for weight loss is the best way to intelligently and naturally lose the weight and help the body return to optimum health. 547

For more on this concept, you can read the following article: The Key to Natural Healing 3. Permanent Weight Loss with Yoga: Experience of the yoga therapy programs to treat obesity have shown that weight lost from yoga therapy has proven to be permanent. This is certainly not the case when you use chemicals and other gimmicks. The weight lost by those methods tends to return in a hurry once they are discontinued. This is not the case with yoga, as long as you maintain at minimum, a healthy diet as prescribed by Ayurveda. These diets are almost always a part of the treatment in general, and these diets are such that they can be maintained comfortably throughout one's life. They are not extreme or unreasonable diets. You can read more about such a diet in the following article: Healthy Ayurvedic Diet to Burn Fat and Lose Weight So when you use yoga for weight loss, the body is gently brought back into alignment and underlying causes for the weight gain, whether they are emotional or bio-chemical, are also resolved. Also, since yoga works with the body to achieve optimum health, the excess weight once shed is no longer regained when the yoga is stopped. I would though recommend continuing the yoga practice if you can, so you can continue to obtain all the other benefits that such practice bestows. 4. Yoga Weight Loss Solution is for Free: Why pay for a solution, which is going to create bad side affects and not going to work in the long term anyway, when you can have a successful weight loss solution from yoga for FREE. You can no longer make the excuse that yoga classes are expensive, etc, 548

etc, because on this website, they are all free. If you see the online classes page, you will see the thousands of readers who have taken and benefited from these classes. So I don't see how you can go wrong here. Not only do you succeed in your weight loss goals, but also you get all the additional benefits of yoga, and you get it all for free . 5. Extreme Exercise is Not Necessary: You will see from the upcoming yoga set in part 2 of this series that even gentle yoga exercises done with moderate effort are good enough to put you on track to meet your weight loss goals. So you don't need to undertake an extreme fitness regime. Such regimes are generally short lived anyway and can be injurious to the body. Yes, when doing yoga in this sensible way the weight loss is not going be happen overnight, but you can expect to consistently lose about 5 pounds a month safely and naturally, without doing any harm to your body or mind. So stay tuned for part 2 of this series where I will be detailing for you one of the best yoga sets for losing weight safely and permanently. (Part 2 and 3 combined for you below) Yoga for Weight Loss Set Lose Weight with Effective Yoga Exercises and Poses In part 1 of this series on Best Yoga for Weight Loss, I answered the question, Can You and How to Lose Weight with Yoga? I hope that article has motivated you to take up yoga to help you achieve your weight loss goals safely and naturally. In this part the series, I am going to start detailing for you the basic, but effective, yoga poses for helping you lose weight and get healthy.

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Also, as I mentioned in part 1 there is a great weight loss yoga set already on the website and you can find that set here: Online Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss. This set has helped many successfully lose weight and you will find their testimonials in the comments section of the article as well. To further inspire you to take up yoga for weight loss, here is one of the latest comments from a reader. Kelly writes: I love you!!! haha you have helped me drop the 20 lbs that kept me from being ME! thank you!! Basic Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss Overview: So, I already have such a great weight loss set on the site, why create another one? There are 2 reasons for this. 1. New Set is Suitable for Everyone: Although the Yoga for Healthy Weight Loss set is comprised of fairly simple yoga exercises, they do require some degree of fitness to practice. In other words, if you are badly out of shape you will find that set more challenging to do. For this reason I want to give you the Best Basic Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss set, as even those struggling with obesity and significant excess weight can do this set. In addition, many new moms contact me to help them realize their weight loss goals, and it is important for them to practice gentle yoga exercises as opposed to vigorous ones, until they are fully healed. So this set will give them a nice option to begin working towards getting back in shape as well .

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2. Variety Helps Fitness: Those familiar with health and fitness sciences know that the body get acclimatized to exercise routines, and you tend to get diminishing returns over time. So varying your exercise routines is good for promoting better muscle and overall fitness. This new set will give you that variety. In addition, of course, there are many more excellent sets in the Free Online Yoga Sets E-book, so do check those out as well to add to your routines. How to Practice Yoga for Weight Loss: Before I jump into the set please remember it is important to follow the guidelines for yoga that I have put together in the following 2 articles: 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice and Essential Beginner's Guide to Yoga Practice. Also, please read the disclaimer (Ask your doctor, don't sue me, etc. etc. ). Each yoga pose and exercise below has a link to the document with all the details about that technique, so you can read more about it by heading over to that article. These poses and exercises are from across both great schools of yoga, hatha yoga as well as kundalini yoga, and you will find many of them used in the yoga sets and free online yoga classes that are offered here on the blog as well. Also, I will be putting together another free online weight loss class as well, which will incorporate this set. The way I want you to approach this set is as follows: If you are very out of shape or obese, just start with the first 2 exercises for the first week. Then move ahead and keep adding the following 2 exercises every week, till you are doing the entire set. For those is better shape you can start with 4 or more exercises, as per your level, and keep adding the ones further down in time.

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So if you are obese, do exercises 1 and 2 for week 1; then do exercises 1, 2, 3 and 4 for week 2; then do exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 for week 3 and so on till you are doing the entire set. Make sure you don't over strain, and just keep at it consistently. Again, let me remind you this set is comprised of yoga poses that have proven to be excellent for weight loss if done consistently over time. You should be aiming to lose about 5 pounds per month. This rate is very comfortable for the body and when lost in this gentle and safe manner, you will find that your body weight set point has realigned itself, and that with just a healthy diet you can keep the weight off (see part 1 for more on this). In addition, to the weight loss you will also find yourself much healthier, happier and holier . Below you find the Best Yoga for Weight Loss Set, complete with illustrations and practice tips. Best Yoga Set for Weight Loss: Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #1: Yoga Single Leg Rotations: The first exercise is from the popular video Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set and are the Single Leg Rotations. The video is below for you as well, but I have also given you exercise details below that. The first place to start a fitness routine is by strengthening the abdominal muscles and building your core strength. This workout for the first week or two will prepare your body nicely for the rest of the weight loss exercises to come. THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Video of Single Leg Rotations (From Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set)

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1. Single Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise: (Chakra Padasana) a. Guided Instructions for Single Leg Rotations:

Lie flat on your back. Raise your right leg up to about 45 degrees. Point your feet and toes away from you. Do 2-10 rotations in 1 direction and then without resting rotate the same leg in the other direction (counter-clockwise). Repeat with the left leg.

b. Duration: You can build up to 1 minute / leg. You can start with 2-4 rotations per leg, per direction and build up from there. c. Benefits:

Builds your Navel Center and strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.

Builds willpower and strength of character. Loosens and opens up the hips.

d. Practice Tips:

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To modify the exercise bend you knees or do fewer rotations at a stretch.

Start with just normal breathing and only incorporate Breath of Fire once you feel ready. You can also take rest as needed.

Yoga Exercise #2 - Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: In case you thought you were done with the ab work, sorry you need to do another stomach exercise as well to ensure we get your back and core muscles strengthened . So after you do your Single Leg Rotations, take a short break and then do Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose as described in that article. Please feel free to use the single leg modification of this exercise as described in the article. Also, you can take multiple breaks in between. Try to complete 1 minute, by taking as many as 4-8 breaks in between as necessary. Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose Illustration

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Weight Loss Yoga Pose #3 - Bhujanga Asana: The next exercise that you should move onto is the famous Cobra Pose for Healthy Back. This will start to work on your arms, shoulders and back, as well as other important body systems and internal organs. Again, take breaks coming in and out of this pose. For the purpose of this set, start with the version where you come into the raised position and hold it for some time. Later as you get fitter, you can do the cobra push-ups, where you go up and down in cobra pose. Start with 4 rounds of 10-15 seconds each, and build up from there. Cobra Pose Illustration

Weight Loss Yoga Pose #4 - Locust Pose Locust pose was recently added to our Online Hatha Yoga Picture Galleries, and just in time too, as it is needed for this set . The Classical Hatha Yoga Pose - Locust Pose article will give you all the details for this excellent posture.

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Again, use the single leg variation for beginner's if you are just starting out and for the purpose of this set try to do 4 rounds, holding each round for 10-15 seconds each. Build up from there.

Locust Pose Illustration

Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #5 - Tree Pose Hatha Yoga Tree Pose for Balance is the next posture of the set. Here is a new illustration of this pose below, except I would like you to do the variation where you bring your hands above your head, as demonstrated by my son Shivum in the original article. In that variation of the pose, again bring your hands together in Namaste Pose as shown, but now raise them above your head as straight as you can. Be careful not to lose your balance with doing this posture and if you have trouble with it simply do Palm Tree Pose (Easy Yoga Pose for Stretching and Warming Up - Palm Tree Pose) instead. You can do up to 1 minute per side, taking breaks in between as required.

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Illustration of Palm Tree Yoga Pose

Weight Loss Yoga Pose #6 - Forward Bend - Paschimothan Asana It is now time to the pose which should be an integral part of every daily yoga practice. This is important Forward Bend. You will find the details in the following article: Best Hatha Yoga Pose for Healing. It's important to stretch only as far forward as you can comfortable doing. If you practice this pose consistently you will see your flexibility

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improve steadily for sure. You can do 2-4 rounds of this pose, holding each time for about 1 minute.

Illustration of the Paschimothan Yoga Asana

Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #7 - Bow Pose We are getting to slightly tougher poses now in the weight loss set. These poses take more energy to do, but they will really help you burn fat and tone difficult regions of the body. Make sure you use the beginner modifications for them if you are not ready to do the full versions. In addition, you can start to include Breath of Fire for these exercises as well. Breath of Fire will help increase the benefits of these poses and also, increase heat in the body, open up your energy pathways and help burn up toxins and fat. The next exercise is Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose. This exercise will work on your thighs, hips and abdomens and is good for weight loss. You can do 1-2 minutes, taking breaks as required. 558

Illustration of Yoga Bow Pose

Weight Loss Yoga Posture #8 - Camel Pose Another excellent pose for targeting the thigh area and the abdominal region is Camel Pose. Again, remember to use Breath of Fire in order to maximize the benefits. You will find details of this posture in the article, Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose for Optimal Health. I have give both illustrations for this pose below, the modified version as well as the full version. Try to do 1-2 minutes with breaks in between. 559

Picture of Yoga Camel Pose (Beginner's Version)

Picture of Yoga Camel Pose (Full Version)

Weight Loss Kundalini Yoga Pose #9 - Yoga Spinal Twists The next pose will really bring the focus to your abdominal and stomach region and will work to tone all the muscles in this problem area. It is also very good for the back and entire digestive system. Note that for this exercise you are not using Breath of Fire, but instead will inhale as you twist to the left and then exhale as you twist right. 560

There are 2 good version of Spinal Twists, both will help you with burning calories, fat and toning the abs. Below I give illustrations of the version where the hands are behind the back. You will find the details for this exercise in the article, Lower Back Exercise - Yoga Spinal Twists. The second version, which gives you better range of motion, the hands are grasping the shoulder, with elbows up and at shoulder level. The second version is described in the following article, where there is also a video demonstration for you. It is called Yoga Twists and is exercise #4 of the great Spinal Warm Series. 1-3 minutes of this exercise with breaks as required will do you wonders. Picture of Yoga Spinal Twist (Twist Left)

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Picture of Yoga Spinal Twist (Twist Right)

Weight Loss Yoga Pose #10 - Yoga Bridge Pose The last pose in this set is Bridge Pose. It is part of the excellent Beginner's Morning Yoga Set (exercise #3), and also has a good variation for beginner's who cannot come into the full posture. This pose is great for your arms, shoulders, back, thighs and hips. You can come into the pose and hold for as long as comfortable and then take a break when necessary. You can build up to 1-3 minutes. Here is the video which has a demonstration of this pose. Weight Loss Ending Yoga Pose #11 - Shav Asana - Corpse Pose I have been stressing the importance of this pose for quite some time and it is simply doing corpse pose at the end of your yoga set. So, no matter how many of the above exercises you are doing, you should do Corpse Pose afterwards. The more exercises you do, the more time you need to spend in this pose, allowing the body to assimilate the benefits of the exercises. So if you do the entire set, you should do corpse pose for almost 10 minutes. During this time, relax completely and let the body heal, evolve and reshape itself according to your desires. 562

Here are the details of how to practice this most important posture. Best Yoga Exercise for Relaxation and Stress Relief. Best Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss Summary: This set will become part of the Free Online Yoga and Meditation Classes on the website. In particular it will be part of an entire second program to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Remember to follow the cautions I have laid out in the guideline articles and to check with your doctor prior to starting any new fitness regiment. In addition, remember that safe and healthy weight loss is not achieved overnight, but if you commit yourself to a regular yoga practice, you will surely love the results you get, and best of all, not lose these results easily.

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Chapter 109 SM Meditation Program: Yoga for Meditation Set


SM Meditation Program This set should take you 40 minutes to do. It is to be done daily for the first 4 weeks as part of the Phase 1 Yoga for Meditation physical work. 1. Long Deep Breathing (LDB): a. Description: Sit in Sukh Asan (choose the leg position of your choice as described in Chapter 7: SM Meditation Program Basic Meditations) with your hands grasping your knees and breathe by taking full deep breaths through the nose. The key to LDB is to fill the lungs entirely on the inhalation and then empty them completely on the exhalation. The diaphragm is kept relaxed and the stomach expands out on the inhalation and back in on the exhalation. b. Breath: LDB c. Duration: 5 minutes d. Benefits: LDB is excellent for expanding ones lung capacity and bringing in maximum amount of oxygen in every breath. It promotes healing and helps build the nervous system. e. Notes: If you feel dizzy return to normal breathing, but in general LDB should not pose much difficulty for you. If 5 continuous minutes is too much intersperse with normal breathing as required.

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2. Relax in Shav Asan: a. Description: Lie flat on your back in Shav Asan have your hands out to your sides with the palms facing slightly upward, the legs are shoulder width apart and everything should be relaxed. b. Breath: Normal Breathing c. Duration: 1 minute d. Benefits: Shav Asan is the best posture for relaxing completely as it provides maximum support to the entire spine and back. Relaxation between exercises gives the body a chance to consolidate the gains that the exercise produces and rejuvenate the areas of the body that are the focus of the exercise. e. Notes: Dont fall asleep. Especially if you are not used to waking up early and are trying to do the SM program in the morning. 3. Breath of Fire: a. Description: Sit up in Sukh Asan with your hands grasping your knees and begin breathing rapidly though the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation- like very fast sniffing. Keep the abdomen relaxed and allow it to pulse automatically with the breath. Remember that the breath is not taken in very deep and the pace is fast, about 3 cycles per second. b. Breath: Breath of Fire c. Duration: 5 minutes d. Benefits: Breath of Fire is the breath to do when you want to increase your energy and quickly oxygenate your blood. It generates heat it the body, helps detoxify your system and brings 565

your entire system under one rhythm. e. Notes: If you feel dizzy slow down the force and/or speed at which you are doing the breathing. Or you can substitute Long Deep Breathing for BOF until you feel ready to switch to BOF again. 4. Relax in Shav Asan: [Repeat #2 again for 1 minute] 5. Butterfly Stretch: a. Description: Sit with your back straight and the soles of your feet together. Interlace your fingers around your feet and using your elbows as levers push down on your inner thighs or calves so your knees approach the floor. b. Breath: BOF (Breath of Fire) c. Duration: 2 minutes d. Benefits: This posture stretches the inner thighs and groin. It transmutes sexual energy to higher frequencies to be used for other bodily functions. It is a fundamental stretch for any meditator and helps one to sit cross-legged with greater ease. e. Notes: Dont press down to the point of pain, just enough to feel a good stretch. 6. Hamstring Stretch: a. Description: Sit up with your legs extended away from of you. Lean forward from the waist (dont arch your back down) and keeping your knees straight try to hold your legs as far down as possible. If you can hold your toes pull them back towards you. If you cant hold your toes, arch your feet back towards you to impart a stretch on the calves.

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b. Breath: BOF c. Duration: 2 minutes d. Benefits: This posture stretches the longest nerve in the body (sciatic nerve), which is important for longevity and overall health. It also stretches the entire back of the body and is a fundamental stretch that should be practiced daily. e. Notes: Dont bounce when doing this stretch. As you feel your muscles starting to relax accent the stretch further gently. 7. Knee to Chest: a. Description: Lie on your back and bring your right knee to your chest. Wrap your arms around your knee and pull down towards your chest to accent the stretch. Repeat with the left knee. b. Breath: LDB c. Duration: 1 minute / sided. d. Benefits: This helps loosen the hips and stretches the groin. e. Notes: This is a simple stretch but works on the all-important hip area which is often stiff and the culprit in many injuries. 8. Frog Stretch: a. Description: Continue to lie on your back and bring both legs up into the air with the soles of the feet pointing up towards the sky. Reach up with your arms and hold onto your feet and pull your knees down towards your armpits. The legs should be spread wide, creating a stretch in the groin area. You should be holding your feet from the inside such that the backs of your hands are facing each other and your fingers are curled around the arches of 567

your feet. b. Breath: LDB c. Duration: 2 minutes d. Benefits: Stretches the buttocks, groin and hips. e. Notes: This is a very comfortable stretch. Just be sure that you are holding onto your feet the right way (inside out). 9. Bridge Pose: a. Description: This pose is also called modified wheel pose or tabletop pose. Bring yourself up on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. You should be facing the sky. Press upwards with your hips such that your torso is parallel to the ground. Your fingers are pointing backwards (away from your feet). b. Breath: BOF c. Duration: 2 minutes d. Benefits: Strengthens the lower back, arms, shoulders and nervous system. e. Notes: If you cant do 2 minutes at a stretch take a break and then come into the posture again. If you find this posture too difficult do the following modification. Interlace your fingers and bring your arms and hands under yourself. Now push up with your hips and raise them up while at the same time push down into the floor with your arms. Your feet are flat on the floor as before. Your chin should be tucked in towards your chest.

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10. Relax in Shav Asan: [Repeat #2 again for 1 minute]. 11. Cobra: a. Description: Roll onto your stomach, let your feet rest flat on the floor, place your hands under your shoulders and lift your chest and head up arching your back as you rise. Your hips should stay on the ground. Look up. b. Breath: LDB c. Duration: 2 minutes d. Benefits: Adds flexibility and strength to your lower back. Improves your digestive system. e. Notes: Go only as far up as is comfortable and take a break if 2 minutes is too much. 12. Knee Bounce: a. Description: Sit up with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your left leg and place your left ankle high up on your right thigh. Hold onto your left knee with both hands and bounce the knee gently up and down. Repeat with the other leg. b. Breath: BOF c. c. Duration: 2 minutes / sided. Benefits: This exercise targets exactly what a meditator is looking for. Flexibility in the hips so that one can sit in Sukh Asan at ease. d. Notes: Let gravity do the work, on the way down dont push aggressively. Do not force the knee towards the floor.

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13. Cradle Rock: a. Description: Staying in the same position as in 12 above cradle your left leg. To cradle the leg hold onto the left leg with your left arm from underneath (your left elbow will be on the inside of the knee joint and you will be holding your left foot from underneath) and with your right hand hold the left foot. Then rock your leg back and forth bringing the ankle towards your chin. Repeat with the other leg. b. Breath: BOF c. Duration: 2 minutes / side d. Benefits: This exercise perfectly complements the previous one and together they are meditators best friends. e. Notes: Be careful of your knees, do not strain, and only bring your leg up as high as is comfortable. 14. Split Stretch: a. Description: Now extend both legs out wide in front of you and lean forward from the waist and grasp as low on the legs as you can. If you can grasp the toes and pull them back towards you, if you are not holding your toes arch them back towards you to force a stretch in the calves. b. Breath: LDB c. Duration: 2 minutes d. Benefits: This posture is often used as an indicator for determining a persons flexibility; it stretches all the lower muscles of the legs as well as the groin area. 570

e. Notes: Again be careful of your knees and groin, and dont overdo it. 15. Spinal Twist: a. Description: Sit up in Sukh Asan hold your shoulder with hands bringing your elbows out to the side and up to shoulder height and twist to the left and then to the right. You are twisting at the waist and your head goes with the direction of the twist. Twist at a moderate pace. b. Breath: Inhale when you turn left; exhale when you turn right. c. Duration: 2 minutes d. Benefits: This exercise loosens up your entire back and helps your digestive system. e. Notes: Breathe forcefully to get your energy going. 16. Relax in Shav Asan: a. Description: You are now ready for your Meditation Session. As you relax with every inhalation feel yourself being filled with health and awareness and with exhalation feel disease and ignorance leaving your body. b. Breath: Relaxed and Smooth. c. Duration: 3 minutes d. Benefits: Relaxes your mind and body and gets you ready for meditation.

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Chapter 110 Yoga for Kids - A Comprehensive Guide to Teach Children Yoga
How to Teach Kids Yoga This comprehensive guide for kids yoga combines the Yoga for Kids Part 1 and Part 2 articles into one article for easy reference, linking and book marking. In the articles Kids Meditation Techniques with Videos and How to Raise Enlightened Children, I provided some nice easy meditation techniques for children and also, we discussed how to approach raising exceptional children. Now I would like to give you another awesome tool for helping raise your children so that they can achieve their maximum potential in this life, and the tool is of course none other than Kids Yoga. Before jumping in, I would like to thank my teacher under whom I studied and was certified for teaching Kids Yoga: Shakta Kaur Khalsa. Since there are a lot of kids yoga poses I want to share with you, I have broken this topic down into a series of articles. Here in part 1 of this series, I will present some standing kids yoga poses and also go over the guidelines and benefits of kids yoga. It is a good idea to be familiar with the general guidelines for yoga and kundalini yoga practice and you can get those details is the following 2 articles:

Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kids Yoga Practice

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Guidelines for Kids Yoga: I have gone over the guidelines and benefits of kids yoga in the article, Yoga for Kids Guidelines and Benefits, but am going to include this information in this article as well, so you can access it all in one place. 1. Children under 6 you can do up to 1 minute / exercise. The total time for the kids yoga session can be up to 15 minutes. 2. Children 6 and above can do up to 1 1/2 minutes / exercise and the kids yoga session can last up to 25 minutes. 3. Encourage the child to do the pose correctly, along with the breathing, but dont force perfection. Use lots of positive reinforcement to help the child learn and improve. 4. Take frequent little breaks in between, during which encourage meditation and being still. A break after strenuous exercises is a must. 5. Always demonstrate the posture or exercise, rather than try to just explain it. Use this technique even when trying to correct their poses. 6. Encourage the children to practice with their eyes closed when so indicated by the exercise. This will teach them the profound art of looking and feeling what is happening within them. 7. Remember even kids need to warm-up before doing vigorous yoga. 8. Kids tummies should also not be full when doing yoga. 9. Comparisons are odious. Never compare the children with each other.

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10. Start them off with joining you towards the end of your yoga practice. This is one of the best ways to inspire kids to start yoga. Benefits of Childrens Yoga: 1. Builds their confidence and self-esteem. 2. Improves their powers of concentration and focus. 3. Develops their brain and intellect. 4. Excellent for their bodies and health. Promotes balance, flexibility, coordination and strength. 5. Helps them cope with stress and difficult emotions. 6. Develops their creativity and imagination. 7. Sharpens and expands their awareness. 8. Helps them develop calmness. Tips to Help Teach Children Yoga: The most important things to remember with kids yoga is to keep it fun keep it open and keep it simple. Below you will find a collection of kids yoga poses, demonstrated by my son Shivum when he was about four and a half. The poses are for you to use in designing your yoga sets for the children. There are many fun ways to encourage the children to learn and do yoga and here a few ideas for doing this. Let your creative juices flow, I am certain many more good ideas will come to you as well.

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Imaginative stories are some of the best ways to teach yoga to kids. A trip through the jungle, etc, is a perfect way to incorporate doing the poses as you journey onwards. Do cobra, bear, tree mountain, etc, as you come across these in your story. Follow the leader is another great way to get kids to be creative and do the yoga poses. You can lead and do your favorite poses, and then the kids can lead turn-by-turn doing theirs. Yoga shows are great too and kids love nothing more than having your attention as they can put on a show of all the yoga they have learned.

Kids Yoga Poses (Standing Kids Yoga Poses) Kids Yoga Pose #1: Yoga Archers Pose: Good for mental focus, confidence and energy. Also, good when the prince has to hit the target to free the princess . Get more details of this excellent pose here: Kundalini Yoga Archers Pose.

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Kids Yoga Pose #2: Yoga Mountain Pose: Stand up nice and tall and reach up high in the sky with your palms together. Journey to the Himalayas anyone? Good for stretching the whole body and expanding ones energies.

Kids Yoga Pose #3: Yoga Tree Pose: Here is an article with gives all the details you need for this great pose: Yoga Tree Pose for Balance. Good for building balance and agility. Good for the brain development and concentration.

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Kids Yoga Pose #4: Sri Rama Pose: Well here is Shivum doing a pose that he wanted to do, even though it is not part of the traditional schools of hatha or kundalini yoga. It is the pose that Sri Rama takes when he is giving his blessings to others. It is never too early to learn about giving and devotion.

Kids Yoga Pose #5: Yoga Jumping Jacks: Jumping Jacks are great for kids in many ways. They not only help develop coordination and strength, but they also help develop the brain and concentration. Start in mountain pose and then jump to the pose shown below and then jump and return to mountain pose.

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Yoga for Kids Part 2 Below, I am going to give you tons more kids yoga poses, along with their overall benefits, which you can use to design your own yoga sets for children. Also, please note that all these kids yoga poses are great for adults too , and give the same benefits to you as they do for the little ones. So feel free to include them into your daily yoga practice as well. A great way for to encourage kids to do yoga and meditation, is by showing them other children enjoying and doing that practice. That is the primary reason for having Shivum demonstrate the kids yoga poses for this series. You can find his demonstrations of kids meditations in the following article: 3 Easy Kids Meditation Techniques with Videos. More Kids Yoga Poses (Floor Kids Yoga Poses) Kids Yoga Exercise #6: Yoga Rock-n-Roll: Yoga rock-n-roll is a great way to warm-up. It can also be used in between exercises, to go from positions done on ones back to other positions which require one to sit or stand. Good for the back, spine and distribution of blood and energy throughout the system. Very good for adults too. This exercise almost always finds its way into my personal sets.

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Kids Yoga Pose #7: Yoga Bowing Pose: Want to fee humble? Want to feel devotional? Want to show respect? Bow. Bowing is an integral part of Zen Buddhism and of course, all other traditions as well. It just shows adoration, love and respect for the higher powers in life. Yoga Bowing Pose below perfectly encompasses this attitude. Also, useful when the Knight meets the King .

Kids Yoga Pose #8: Yoga Baby Pose: Anytime you feel you have overdone it and need a break this is the pose to rest and relax in, assume baby pose and relax. It calms the mind and soothes the nervous system.

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Kids Yoga Technique #9: Yoga Shoulder Shrugs: Great way to warm-up and get started is by doing yoga shoulder shrugs. It is also a great way to release stress. You can encourage kids to use this exercise anytime they feel overwhelmed by too much stress or tension. Inhale up and exhale powerfully as you lower your shoulders. The starting position and ending position of this exercise are illustrated below.

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Kids Yoga Exercise #10: Yoga Bear Walking: This is a great kundalini yoga exercise. It will strengthen the childs arms, shoulders, chest and legs. It will also release the hips and promote flexibility in the hip joint, which is most important to avoid injuries. The kids, of course, love crawling around like a bear. Two illustrations are below for this exercise.

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Kids Yoga Pose #11: Yoga Bridge Pose: Yoga bridge pose if a part of the very popular Kundalini Yoga Morning Wake-up Series, which is part of the Free Online Introduction to Yoga & Meditation course here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga. Bridge pose is excellent for the immune system and also, builds leg, arm, shoulder, and back strength.

Kids Yoga Position #12: Yoga Cobra Pose: Cobra is an excellent yoga pose which is part of all schools of yoga. It is very good for flexibility and your back. You can get lots more details about this pose from the following chapter of the Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses E-book: Cobra Pose for Healthy Back and More.

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Kids Yoga Exercise #13: Yoga Leg Lifts: This kundalini and hatha yoga exercise is an integral part of many abdominal yoga sets. You will find it in the following set Excellent Ab Yoga Set for Shaping Stomach. It is great for building core strength and good for their little digestive systems as well.

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Kids Yoga Pose #14: Yoga Lion Pose: Well you can just imagine the fun kids have in doing these two poses below. Adults ought to do them to. It will help you break free of your inhibitions and is a great way to detoxify as well. In the second pose below, have them roar like a lion. In the first pose, have them stick their tongue out as far as they can.

Kids Yoga Pose #16: Yoga Plank Pose:

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Here is Shivum doing a variation of plank pose, also sometimes considered a variation of bridge pose. It has similar benefits to forward plank pose, which I demonstrated in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book, in the following chapter Yoga Plank Pose.

Kids Yoga Exercise #17: Kundalini Yoga Punches: Here is another kundalini yoga exercise that the kids absolutely love to do. Punch, punch and punch. Encourage them to use this exercise to break through and conquer their fears. Have them breath out forcefully as they punch out with alternating hands.

Kids Yoga Pose #18: Yoga Spiderman Pose!

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Sure why not? Like I mentioned, yoga with kids should be open and fun, so allow them to incorporate things they love into their practice. Here Shivum is doing Spiderman, which is actually a pretty hard pose to do, and is great for opening up the groin and promoting flexibility. If they want to incorporate Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Train or Lightening McQueen into their practice, find creative ways to do so. It will help your creativity and make doing yoga more fun for them.

Kids Yoga Pose #19: Yoga in Sink Pose:

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That is just the little yogi of the family, Taran, taking a self made bath, after a tough yoga practice .

Summary of Yoga for Kids: This comprehensive guide should give you plenty of information as well as poses to teach your children the wonderful art of yoga. In the future, I will continue to provide more information, as well as more yoga and meditation techniques to help you raise exceptional children.

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Chapter 111 Yoga Exercises for Eye Care


Yoga Set for Vision A few readers now have requested yoga exercises that would be helpful to them for general care of their vision and eye problems, and yoga certainly has some nice recommendations for that. The set below is a simple, yet effective set, to help you gently improve your vision or maintain the good health of your eyes. This set will be Chapter 8 of the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets Ebook, where each chapter is a unique set to help you with a particular dimension of your being. The free e-book includes sets such as the Fountain of Youth Yoga Set, the Healthy Weight Loss Yoga Exercises and the Beginners Kundalini Yoga Series. Background of Yoga Exercises for Eye Care: The yoga set below could well have been part of the Clever Yoga Tips for Busy People Series, as it is quick to do and can be easily done anytime you have a few free minutes to spare. If you have more time you can repeat this set more than once if you like. Benefits of Yoga Exercises for Eye Care:

Helps improve vision. Helps improve focus. Helps strengthen the eye muscles. Helps coordination between both eyes.

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Helps relax the eyes by relieving tension and stress in the eyes muscles.

Yoga Exercises for Eye Care Set:

Begin by taking 5 deep breaths and relaxing the muscles in your face and around your eyes.

Next practice Palming: Palming is done by vigorously rubbing your hand together until your palms get warm and then gently covering your eyes with your palms, allowing the warmth to relax and nourish your eyes. This can be done anytime in between the following exercises, whenever you feel you need to give your eyes a break. Blink several times quickly. Relax for a few moments. For all the movements below, look without moving your head and count 1 round when you have looked in both the indicated directions. Side to Side Movement: Look side to side, left to right, without moving your head 5 times. Up and Down Movement: Look up and down 5 times. Diagonal Movement: Look from bottom left to upper right 5 times. Diagonal Movement: Look from bottom right to upper left 5 times. Circular Movement: Move your eyes clockwise in a big circle 5 times.

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Circular Movement: Move your eyes counter-clockwise in a big circle 5 times. Nose Tip Focus: Hold your right arm out with your thumb up. Now focus on your thumb tip as you bring it slowly towards your nose. Upon touching your nose continue to gaze upon your thumb tip for a few moments, and then straighten your arm again, while continuing to focus on your thumb tip. Repeat 5 times. Close your eyes, relax and perform palming.

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Chapter 112 Yoga Positions for Beginners | Basic Yoga Poses


Beginners Yoga Poses Basic Yoga Positions It is time to expand the Free Online Yoga & Meditation Classes offered here at Mastery of Meditation & Yoga, and the class I am planning to add next is a Beginners Yoga Class (now online). The class will consist of the best yoga pranayama techniques for beginners and it will also incorporate the beginners yoga positions that I have detailed below. This yoga set, is built using basic yoga poses and exercises, but just because the positions used are not advanced or complicated, does not in any way lessen the value of this set. It is an excellent set to incorporate into your daily yoga practice and has been carefully designed to work on each and every aspect of your being. This set will also make up Chapter 11 of our popular Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets E-book. The poses and positions that make up this set can be found in the following two free online books: Free Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book & Free Hatha Yoga Poses Ebook. Benefits of Yoga Positions for Beginners | Basic Yoga Poses Set As I mentioned above, this set has been carefully designed to be beginner friendly and also, designed to ensure that it works upon all major aspects of your being in a balanced and harmonious way. The detailed benefits of each exercises, along with cautions and practice tips, can be found in the article devoted to each pose, below though are the overall benefits that this set bestows when practiced consistently. 591

Promotes overall flexibility and strength. Clears blockages and increases energy flow. Triggers the natural healing capacity of the body, promoting health and well-being. Promotes peace and emotional balance. Purifies ones energy and raises ones level of vibration and consciousness. Improves balance and coordination. Helps increase metabolism and assists in weight loss. Builds mental focus and concentration.

Yoga Positions for Beginners Practice Details: The following two articles are important for beginners to read as they provide guidelines on how to practice yoga: Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice Remember the golden rule is please do not overdo anything. Especially if you are a beginner, please use the beginners version for the exercises wherever provided and back off if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy. Each exercise title is a link to the chapter with the details for that exercise. For all the poses in this set illustrations have also been provided. You will also need to learn the Breath of Fire breathing exercise, which 592

is taught in the following video: Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama. This breathing exercise is a fundamental breathing technique in Kundalini Yoga and is extensively used in conjunction with the yoga poses. Yoga Positions for Beginners | Basic Yoga Poses Set Remember that each title is a link to the article with full details on each pose. Also, in each of those respective articles, modifications for beginners is given whenever required, so make sure you use those modifications as you start out. 1. Kundalini Yoga Butterfly Pose: Duration: 2 - 3 mins Breath: Breath of Fire

Butterfly Pose

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2. Kundalini Yoga Cat-Cow Pose: Duration: 1 - 3 mins Breath: Inhale in cow pose, exhale in cat pose

Yoga Cat Pose (Exhale)

Yoga Cow Pose (Inhale) 594

3. Yoga Cobra Pose: This is a very basic yoga pose that is part of every school of yoga practice. It can be done with the elbows bent and also done with the elbow straight. Beginners should be careful with their lower back and elbows, and should take frequent breaks if they get tired holding the pose. Duration: 1 - 3 mins Breath: Long deep breathing.

Cobra Pose w/ Straight Elbows

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Cobra Pose w/ Bent Elbows 4. Yoga Baby Pose: Another very basic yoga pose is the baby pose. It is pose #8 in the article. It is a good pose to relax in whenever you need to take break during your yoga session. In addition this pose will counterbalance cobra pose for you. Duration: Open Breath: Normal.

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Baby Pose 5. Basic Yoga Pose for Balance: Be sure to use the modified versions if you find doing the full version difficult. This is a good pose for the elderly to do as well. Duration: 1 - 2 mins / side. Breath: Long deep breathing.

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Basic Yoga Pose for Balance (Left Arm)

Basic Yoga Pose for Balance (Right Arm) 6. Forward Bending Yoga Asana: The important part of this position is to keep your legs straight. It is not necessary to reach your toes, which will happen over 598

time. Just reach forward as far as it is comfortable, while keeping your legs straight. For beginners even reaching their knees or shins is fine. Curl your toes back towards you though, even if you do cant reach them to accent the stretch in your calves and hamstrings. Duration: 1 - 3 mins Breath: Do long deep breathing. As you make progress you can do this pose with breath of fire.

Forward Bending Yoga Pose 7. Yoga Rock-n-Roll: Good yoga exercise to help you transition between poses. It is also good for lengthening the spine and redistributing the cerebral-spinal fluid. It is exercise #6 in the Kids Yoga Article that it is linked to. Duration: 15 seconds - 1 min. Breath: Normal.

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Yoga Rock-n-Roll 8. Alternating Leg Lifts for Abdominal Strength: Simply lie on your back, with your hands underneath your buttocks palms facing down to support your lower back. Then lift your left leg up to ninety degrees and lower it back down. Next lift your right leg up to ninety degrees and then back down. Continue on with these alternating leg lifts for the duration of the exercise. It is exercise #1 of the Abs Workout set which it is linked to. This set is an excellent set for beginners as well who want to tone their abs and build their core strength. Duration: 1 - 3 mins. Breath: Inhale Up / Exhale Down.

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Yoga Single Leg Lifts (Left Leg)

Yoga Single Leg Lifts (Right Leg) 9. Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: This is a terrific yoga posture; remember the beginners version is to do one leg at a time instead. Again you can take breaks 601

during this pose when you tire. The full version is illustrated below. Duration: 1 - 3 mins Breath: Breath of Fire

Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose 10. Yoga Rock-n-Roll: Again we will use yoga rock-n-roll to help us transition to a new pose. See exercise #7 above for details. Duration: 15 seconds - 1 min Breath: Normal.

11. Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose: These can be a little tough for beginners to do, but I wanted to include them in this set due to their enormous benefits. This 602

exercise will really help you tone and strengthen your legs and also it will give your heart a good workout. Do only a few at a time in the beginning and be sure to take lots of breaks. Build up slowly to 52 in a row over time. Duration: 11 - 52 repetitions Breath: Inhale Down / Exhale Up.

Yoga Frog Pose (Inhale)

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Yoga Frog Pose (Exhale) 12. Kundalini Yoga Archer Pose: We will end this set with Archers Pose. This pose is excellent for opening up your hips, strengthening your legs and helping you cope with stress. It is also good for the mind and developing confidence. Duration: 1 - 3 mins / side Breath: Long Deep Powerful Breathing.

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Yoga Archer Pose 13. Corpse Pose: Once you are done with the Beginners Yoga Set, make sure you relax on your back in corpse pose. For corpse pose just lie comfortably on your back and have your hands out to the sides or on your chest. Just let go during this time and let the Universe take care of you. Have no worries, anxieties or goals, and simply surrender to Infinity. Duration: 1 - 11 mins Breath: Relaxed

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Chapter 113 Bonus Yoga Pranayama Exercises


In the following chapters you will find more excellent yoga breathing exercises which bestow a wide range of benefits. Feel free to incorporate these into your practice or classes. For even more yoga breathing exercises, you can always refer to the free online yoga pranayama e-book on http://www.AnmolMehta.com. Here is the link to the online book: Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercises (Pranayamas)

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Chapter 114 Simple Chair Yoga for Energy and Stress Relief
Yoga Breathing Set As you can see from the popular series, Clever Yoga Tips for Busy People, yoga can be done while walking, driving and even taking a shower, and yes, there is also something called Chair Yoga, which you can do while sitting comfortably in your office or cubical as well . The credit for the inspiration for this article goes to my cousin and close buddy Ashim. He emailed me this morning and said he was enjoying Chair Yoga using the pranayama techniques taught in the Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercises Video series. This is really a great way to incorporate some excellent breathing techniques into your busy life, and in this article I will give you a nice condensed set of pranayamas to get you started with your own Chair Yoga program. This Chair Yoga Pranayama set is going to become part of our ongoing Free Online Yoga Breathing Exercise (Pranayama) e-book here on Mastery of Meditation. Chair Yoga Set Benefits: This set consists of 4 of the very best yoga breathing exercises and although you will be doing the entire set in 5 minutes, you will find this set to still be remarkably effective in bestowing the benefits of each of these exercise onto you. Here are some highlights of what this set will do for you:

Energize and refresh you.

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Remove stress and tension. Help you focus and concentrate. Help you develop intuition and unleash creativity. Help you to connect to your Higher Consciousness. Help you stay healthy.

Chair Yoga Breathing Exercises Set: Follow the step-by-step instructions below to do the Chair Yoga Pranayama set:

Sit up nice and straight and have your feet flat on the floor. Try not to use the back support of your chair.

Elongate your spine upwards and bring your neck back slightly, like a soldier at attention. Place your hands on your knees, relax your shoulders and let your stomach become soft and relaxed as well. Let your eyes relax as well and just keep an unfocused gaze, angling down in front of you. Now begin the beginner's version of Bhastrika Pranayama. Here all I want you to do is breathe deeply. Let your abdomen and chest expand fully on the inhalation, and let them contract completely on the exhalation. Continue to do this long deep breathing for 1 full minute. This exercise will relax you and help your entire respiratory system. Next begin Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga style for 1 full minute. Keep in mind that if at any time you start to feel dizzy or feel you are overdoing it, either slow down or switch to normal 608

breathing till you feel ready to continue again. Breath of Fire is going to wake you up, get your energy flowing and harmonize your entire system.

Next do 1 minute of the wonderful Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama. This is a great exercise to optimize your health and help your body heal. While doing this exercise make sure you visualize any negativity leaving your system with each exhalation. Finally, do the following breathing pattern for the last 2 minutes to really soothe your system, focus your mind and help you feel integrated, centered and connected. This is called Step Breathing. Inhale slowly taking 5 seconds to complete the inhalation, hold your breath in for 5 seconds, exhale slowly taking 5 seconds to complete the exhalation and then hold your breath out for 5 seconds. So 1 entire cycle will take 20 seconds, and you will be able to do 6 full rounds of this breathing in the 2 minutes. If the 5 second intervals are too much initially, just start with 3 seconds or 4 seconds and work your way up. After you are done with your set. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, hold it in, smile, exhale and then get back to work .

Chair Yoga Summary: The set above may be short, but since it consists of breathing exercises that require breath retention and rapid breathing, so it is important to observe the guidelines I have laid out in the article, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Pranayama. Of course, Chair Yoga does not have to be done in the office alone, and you can practice this set anywhere at anytime. Also, if you are looking to boost energy, you can do more of Breath of Fire, while if you are looking for more stress relief you can do more of the Step Breathing exercise. If you are looking for a full length pranayama video, you can check out the Best Beginner's Yoga Breathing Exercise product that is available on the website. 609

I hope you enjoyed the Chair Yoga set above, and find it useful in your personal and spiritual evolution.

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Chapter 115 Bhastrika Pranayama for Energy and More


Vigorous Yogic Breathing for Vitality Background of Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath): This important Yoga Breathing Exercise, Bhastrika Pranayama, is the ultimate pranayama for energy and power. It is one with a long list of benefits, which includes raising metabolic function at the cellular level to increase the burning of fat and promoting healthy, natural weight loss. Other that assisting in healthy weight loss and fat burning, there are a myriad of valuable reasons to include this breathing exercise into your daily Yoga practice and a full list of these benefits is provided below. Bhastrika Pranayama is also called Bellows Breath as it mimics the working of a bellows used to flame a fire. It pumps air and life-force (prana) vigorously and dynamically throughout the entire system. When practicing this champion of pranayamas be ready for a workout! Benefits of Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath): Primary:

Boosts your metabolic rate so your body burns fat faster promoting natural weight loss. Purifies your gross and subtle body by eliminating toxins and waste. Generates heat in your body and opens up your energy pathways.

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Builds lung capacity and helps clear and strengthen the respiratory system.

Secondary:

Expands and fortifies your nervous system. When done forcefully, the pulsating of the diaphragm massages the internal organs, thus improving your digestive system.

Cautions for Practicing Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath):

If you feel dizzy or nauseous you should slow down the pace of bhastrika pranayama or stop entirely and return to normal breathing. If you suffer from vertigo, you should use caution in practicing this breathing exercise. If you are menstruating you should not practice this breathing exercise. You should be careful practicing Bhastrika Pranayama if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or suffer from stroke or epilepsy. Also, if you have acid or heat related gastric issues such as ulcers you should use caution.

Beginner's Breath of Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath):

To practice this breathing exercise sit up in a comfortable position. You may also practice it lying down or standing up, but, sitting is best. Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head.

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Close your eyes. Place your hands on your knees. Relax your stomach muscles. Now begin to breathe as forcefully as comfortably through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation. The diaphragm should expand and contract in conjunction with your breathing. All the breaths should be deep and powerful and you should try to establish a steady rhythm. The pace should be about 1 second for inhalation and about the same for exhalation. Do a round of 10 repetitions and then inhale completely, hold your breath in for 1-5 seconds and then exhale completely. This completes 1 round. Take a short break. Work your way up to doing 5 rounds.

Intermediate Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath):

Once you feel comfortable with the Beginner's version of Bellows Breath perform the breathing exercise at a faster pace now, about 1 breath per second. Also, breathe more forcefully if possible. Increase the number of repetitions slowly till you reach about 50 repetitions per round. At the end of every round, don't forget to inhale completely and hold your breath. Build up this period of breath retention as well to about 15 seconds. You should still take a short break between rounds.

Advanced Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath): 613

Build up the pace and power with which you do this breathing exercise to almost 2 breaths per second. Increase the period of breath retention at the end of every round to 30 seconds. Still continue to take a break between rounds though.

Secret of Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath): The final goal of Yoga is to awaken Kundalini Shakti (latent human potential energy) and Bhastrika Pranayama is one of the most effective breathing exercises for stimulating and raising this energy in you. Think of Kundalini as smoldering embers deep within you and think of Bhastrika as waves of prana stoking and igniting these embers. Be ready to handle the inferno!

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Chapter 226 Sheetkari Pranayama to Lower Blood Pressure and More


Cooling Breath for High Blood Pressure Blood pressure can be influenced a great deal by many natural methods and therapies. One such natural way to combat high blood pressure is by the practice of certain Yoga Breathing Exercises (Pranayamas). Of the many yoga breathing exercises the ones that are calming and cooling in nature are good for lowering blood pressure, and of those, Seetkari Pranayama is one of the best. Although lowering blood pressure is one of the benefits of this wonderful technique, Seetkari pranayama bestows many other important benefits as well. You will find those enumerated in the benefits section below. This breathing exercise is very easy to learn and practice and it will become part of our ongoing Free Online Yoga Pranayamas E-book here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga. Also, a video demonstration of this technique is planned and I will upload that here once it is ready. Before practicing any yoga or fitness routine please make sure you are medically cleared to do so. Also, please follow the guidelines for yoga breathing as I have explained in the following article, Beginner's Guide to Yoga Breathing Exercises and read our Legal Disclaimer. The science behind many of these natural breathing techniques actually extends from Ayurveda, which is the ancient Indian science of health and longevity. You can get more information regarding Ayurveda in the following article, Introducing Ayurveda - Alternative Medicine for Self Healing, and also Ayurvedic dietary principles and natural therapies can be excellent to help you fight high blood pressure further.

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Seetkari pranayama is closely related to Sheetali Pranayama and both bestow many of the same benefits, including lowering blood pressure, so please feel free to try Sheetali Pranayama as well to see if it suits you better. You will find details of this technique in the following article, Sheetali Yoga Breathing Exercise for Reducing Stress. Below are the details of Seetkari Yoga Pranayama to help lower blood pressure and more. Benefits of Seetkari Yoga Pranayama: Benefits of Seetkari Yoga Pranayama:

Helps Reduce Blood Pressure. Cools the mental, physical and emotional systems and reduces internal heat (pitta). Reduces stress and creates a sense of tranquility and peace. Helps fight insomnia. Reduces anger and irritation. Reduces fever. Combats other Pitta related disturbances such as acidity, burning eyes, heat rash etc.

Cautions for Seetkari Yoga Pranayama: There are not many cautions for practicing Seetkari Pranayama. Since it's a cooling breath it will increase Kapha (mucus) so don't practice it if you have cold and respiratory related issues. See the Introduction to Ayurveda article above for more information on this.

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Instructions for Seetkari Yoga Breathing Exercise: To practice Seetkari pranayama sit up in a comfortable position, you can sit cross legged or on a chair if needed.

Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head.

Close your eyes and place your hands on your knees. Take 5 long deep breaths through the nose to relax and calm you. Your blood pressure should already start dropping . Now bring your teeth together lightly and pull the lips back. Your teeth should now be exposed. Now simply inhale slowly and deeply allowing the air to pass through your teeth. The air passing through the teeth should make a hissing sound. To exhale, close your mouth and exhale slowly and completely through the nose. This completes 1 round. Do 10 repetitions to start with and then over time you can build up to 50 repetitions.

Seetkari Yoga Pranayama to Reduce Blood Pressure Summary: As I mentioned above the cooling or calming yogic breathing exercises are excellent natural ways for lowering blood pressure. In addition to Sheetali Pranayama another breathing technique that has been know to be very effective for reducing high blood pressure is Anuloma Viloma Pranayama, and you will find the details for this technique in the article, Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise - Anuloma Viloma. This technique is really one of the best yoga breathing exercises and 617

whether or not you have high blood pressure, it is a must do everyday exercise for overall personal and spiritual growth.

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Chapter 117 Bonus Meditation Techniques


In the following chapters you will find bonus meditations for your own practice, your students as well as meditations to teach kids. Feel free to explore and incorporate these into your practice during the 8 week program or afterwards. For more meditation techniques, you can refer to the popular free online meditation techniques e-book on http://www.AnmolMehta.com. Here is the link to that online book Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques E-book

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Chapter 118 3 Easy Kids Meditation Techniques with Videos


Kids Meditations The popular article How to Raise Enlightened Children kicked off our kids yoga and meditation section, developing which is a key goal of Mastery of Meditation & Yoga. Towards that end I want to provide you some easy meditation techniques for kids and also some sample videos, which I hope will inspire and encourage your children to dive in and reap the enormous benefits of meditation practice. I will extensively cover guidelines for kids yoga and meditation in another article, once I start to provide kids yoga poses and exercises, but in general I have found the following 3 rules to work best when introducing your children to these wonderful spiritual practices. Keep it fun, keep it simple and keep it open. The more they enjoy the practice the more they will embrace it. Easy Meditation Techniques Good for Adults Too: The following 3 meditation techniques are not just good for kids, believe me they are good for adults as well: -D. Dont be misled by the fact that they are "easy", they are still top-notch techniques capable of rewarding you with all the benefits that meditation bestows. The chief difference between a kid practicing these techniques and an adult is generally the duration of the practice. A child may just do 15 seconds to a few minutes, while an adult may practice these techniques for up to an hour or more.

Benefits of Meditation for Kids: 620

Helps kids build concentration and mental focus. Helps develop creativity and power of imagination. Helps children develop inner silence and calmness. Effective for developing Brain Health and Mental Sharpness. Builds self-confidence and self-awareness. Excellent for overall health and wellness. Helps develop emotional balance and removes negative emotions. Helps reduce stress.

3 Easy Kids Meditation Techniques: I have found my son Shivum (nearly six now) is naturally drawn to the following 3 types of simple meditation and I feel these 3 techniques are a good way to get kids introduced to meditation practice. Below are the details of these 3 easy meditation techniques as well as video samples of Shivum demonstrating each one for you and your children. The biggest reason for having Shivum do these meditation videos is because I have noticed time and again, that one of the best ways to inspire kids to try something is to show them other children who are doing it. Children can start with as little as 15 seconds of meditation and build up from there to 5 minutes or more. Best Way to Inspire & Teach Children to Meditate: The number one way, I feel to inspire children to practice yoga and meditation is though example. If you have a strong practice, your children will likely be keen on exploring what mommy and daddy are 621

doing started. I suggest the following 2 free online courses for those who are new to the practice of yoga and meditation. Learn How to Meditate | Beginners Meditation Class (100) Introduction to Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Class (101)

Easy Kids Meditation Technique #1: OM Mantra Chanting: I have covered the "adult" version of this timeless meditation in the article, AUM Mantra Meditation to Open the Third Eye Chakra, but this meditation is definitely a favorite for children as well. I often hear this chant reverberating in the house as both Shivum and now his little 3-year-old brother, Taran; often seem to add it to their play spontaneously. Keep the instructions easy for kids to understand. Simply ask them to do the following Sit up straight. Place your hands in Gyan Mudra (thumb tip and index finger meeting with wrists resting on the knees) or have your hands folded in prayer pose. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and chant the sound AUM out loud for as long as you can. Then take a deep breath again and repeat the chant.

THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Video of Kids Meditation Technique #1 - AUM Mantra Chant

Easy Kids Meditation Technique #2: Gayatri Mantra Chanting 622

In this technique, have the child pick out any prayer that he enjoys and then have him sing it aloud. The mantra that Shivum is demonstrating in the video below is the most revered Vedic Mantra. It is called the Gayatri Mantra and is often the vehicle of meditation practice. I will put together a separate article with details about this mantra in the near future. Easy Kids Meditation Technique #3: Breath Awareness: The formal practice of breath awareness meditation is the heart of Zen Buddhism. It is called Zazen and I have detailed it in the following article, Zen Buddhism Meditation Technique - Zazen. Modify it though for children as follows Sit up straight. Place your hands in Gyan Mudra (thumb tip and index finger meeting with wrists resting on the knees). Close your eyes and try not to move at all. Just breathe normally and feel your breath as it goes in and our of your nose. If you notice the child is too young and does not pick up on these instructions, just have them sit still without moving as best they can.

The video below demonstrates both the above techniques. THIS CHAPTER HAS A VIDEO, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Video of Kids Meditation Technique #2 - Gayatri Mantra Chant

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Chapter 119 Beautiful Light Meditation for Joy and Creativity


Visualization Meditation Technique Today we will explore the Light Meditation Technique, which is part of the 10 Bodies of Light Yoga model. The 10 Bodies of Light is the basis of Yoga Numerology and a great way to understand what your strengths, weaknesses and challenges are in this life, thus helping you achieve your highest human potential. I have spoken about this model on the following page and talked about how it is used in Numerology, in relation to your Master Numbers and birth date (Numerology Readings and Master Number Analysis). In my view, a key aspect of such readings is the techniques one uses to balance and heal the indicated bodies. This is what I call a transformation program. The transformation program generally consists of meditations, yoga poses and breathing exercises from the rich schools of Kundalini Yoga and Hatha Yoga, such as this Light Meditation. The Light Meditation is used to heal and balance the Subtle Body, which is the ninth body in the 10 Bodies of Light model. This is the beautiful technique and it is excellent for those interested in expanding their artistic, creative, intuitive and subtle aspects. The Light Meditation Technique falls under the category of visualization meditations and is suitable for anyone to practice. As it involves imagination and visualization though, it is particularly enjoyable to artists, psychics, creative personalities and those who are visually or mentally oriented. The meditation involves certain mudras (hand and body positions) to help it achieve its goals, but its primary mechanism lies in your ability to use your mind and creative powers.

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Light Meditation Technique will be the 17th entry in our ongoing and popular Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques E-book. As it is also considered a Kundalini Yoga Kriya, I will include it in the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Kriyas E-Book, as well as the newly launched Free Kundalini Yoga Meditations E-book. Also, as always please follow all guidelines for meditation and yoga practice as I have laid out in the Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice. Benefits of Light Meditation Technique: 1. Increases intuitive abilities and psychic powers. 2. Helps one penetrate the mysteries of the Universe. 3. Promotes joy and inner peace. 4. Increases ones artistic and creative abilities. 5. Helps expand awareness. 6. Promotes radiance and inner light. 7. Helps one develop mastery over the subtle sciences. How to Do Light Meditation:

Sit with your legs crossed with the hands in Gyan Mudra (thumb tip and index finger meeting, other three fingers pointing forward). You can also sit on a chair for this meditation. Place your hands in front of you as if holding a book for reading (elbows are bent, the forearms are angled upwards and palms facing you). Now slide the right hand about six inches further up than the left hand. The fingertips of the left hand will be in line 625

with the wrist of the right hand. Hold this position.

Now visualize yourself walking at the break of dawn in an open field. See above you a single morning star shinning brightly in a still dark early morning sky. The light of a new day is just breaking in. Spend a few moments and immerse yourself fully into this scene. Now visualize a beam of pure white light emanating from the star and penetrating your Heart Chakra (middle of your sternum). Allow this beam of light to be a pathway leading up to the star and begin to walk up this pathway of light. Feel great calm and peace as you ascend this pathway of light. As you make your way up towards the morning star, repeat silently to yourself, I am beautiful, I am light. Continue to walk on this beam of light repeating this phrase mentally. Feel yourself merging more and more into the light, feel yourself become more subtle, more light, more aware, more beautiful, as you continue your journey upwards. Finally, take some deep breaths, holding each breath in for as long as comfortable and feel yourself becoming one with light. Feel yourself becoming a being of pure light, beauty and awareness. To end, feel bright, beautiful and full of light.

Summary of Light Meditation: You will notice that no time limit has been given for Light Meditation, as that is open and up to you. Do the meditation for as long as you enjoy . I would suggest starting with at least 3 minutes though. For those who have inquired, I am putting together a comprehensive training program on how to become a Master Numerologist, so that 626

those of you, who are interested in learning this great science, will have the opportunity to do so. The Light Meditation above is an example of a transformation technique that will of course be included in the certification program. The program is not just designed to teach you Numerology, but in it I will also share my knowledge on how to succeed in this arena. One last note is that a good Numerologist should also have refined intuitive abilities, and for that this Light Meditation is a great technique to practice, so while you wait for the program to go live, I suggest giving this meditation some serious attention .

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Chapter 120 Powerful Gayatri Mantra Download & Free MP3


Gayatri Mantra Meditation & Videos Of all the mantras in the Vedas, the most revered and powerful is the Gayatri Mantra. This mantra is certainly the most recited and also, perhaps has the widest range of applications. It is not just used to express ones devotion to the Lord, but is also used for japa meditation (mantra chanting), chakra meditation, naad yoga, putting the kids to sleep, etc. In addition to Hindus, Buddhists embrace the Gayatri mantra as well. Another powerful Vedic mantra is the Lord Shiva Mahamritunjay Mantra and you will find details and free MP3 of this great mantra on the following page: Lord Shiva Mahamritunjay Mantra MP3 Download. You will find a video of the Gayatri Mantra being recited by my son Shivum in the article, 3 Easy Kids Meditation Techniques, and in this article I want to give you some additional recitations of this terrific mantra. Below you will also find a MP3 version of the Gayatri Mantra, chanted by my wife Trupti, which you are free to download. Before I jump ahead to all that though, here is the written text of the mantra, as well as an English translation. Gayatri Mantra Om Bhur Buvaha Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath Although there are several interpretations of this mantra, with subtle 628

differences between each, the one that I find most suitable is the following Gayatri Mantra English Translation O Supreme Creator, Thou art the giver of life, the remover of pain and sorrow and the bestower of happiness; O Creator of the Universe, may we receive Thy supreme sin-destroying light; may Thou guide our intellect in the right direction. You can get more information and translations at the Gayatri Mantra Wiki Page as well. Gayatri Mantra Third Eye Chakra Meditation: As I had mentioned above, there are many application for this wonderful mantra. One particular application that I would like to present to you is the use of the Gayatri Mantra to awaken Ajna Chakra or the Third Eye Chakra. To use the Gayatri Mantra to do this, you would follow the steps laid out in the AUM Mantra Meditation article, except use the Gayatri Mantra instead of the primordial sound AUM, to do the meditation. So you would sit up comfortably, close your eyes and turn them upwards to look through your forehead (only hold this eye position as long as comfortable) and then chant the Gayatri Mantra, visualizing it emanating from the Third Eye (center of the forehead). As always, please dont over do such potent meditations, start slowly and build up your capacity gently over time. 1. Gayatri Mantra MP3 Download: Here is the Gayatri Mantra chanted by my wife Trupti. I can hear her sing it even now as I write this since its bedtime for the little ones. Thanks Trups! Right click link below and chose "Save Link As" to save to your computer. 629

THIS CHAPTER HAS A MP3, BELOW IS THE MP3 LINK: Free Gayatri Mantra MP3 Download 2. Gayatri Mantra Videos: There are also 2 excellent Gayatri Mantra videos on YouTube which I really like, so here are those videos for you to enjoy as well. THIS CHAPTER HAS MORE VIDEOS, BELOW IS THE VIDEO LINK: Powerful Gayatri Mantra Videos

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Chapter 121 SM Meditation Program: The Silent Mind Meditations for Phase 3:
Silent Mind Meditations for Phase 3 In phase 3 after you do the Yoga for Awareness set, the rest of the time (40 minutes) will be spent entirely on practicing the Silent Mind Meditation for that week. In the event that you find yourself very distracted and the mind exceedingly restless, switch to the Basic Mediation of your choice until the mind settles down and then return to the SM mediation. The following are the 4 SM meditations for phase 3. Any of the four can be a catalyst in propelling you to what lies beyond the mind. Each should be practiced for 1 week sequentially. SM Meditation III: Concept Meditation: Thoughts are just concepts. This SM meditation is very effective for disengaging from your thinking mind and breaking its hold on your awareness. As we mentioned earlier, the concept is not the actual, or put another way, the word is not the thing. The word or thought is a conceptual representation of the actual, but for us the minds projections have become real and the real has become hidden. This meditation utilizes the fact that every thought is just a thought; it is just a concept - not real - and asks that you see this fact and drop it. Generally we are always drawn into the thought due to our attachments, but in this mediation seeing the thought as just a concept de-claws it of its power and ends its reign on us. Any attempt to do anything different is just another concept so dont buy into it and just drop that as well. You will know you are getting this when you start to realize the difference between being inside a thought versus being outside a thought.

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SM Meditation IV: Time Meditation: Thought requires Time to move. This meditation is a little subtler than the ones you have been practicing so far. It is one that justifies the requirement that the fact should be intellectually understood (requirement #3). For this meditation we will focus on the future component embedded in our every thought from moment to moment. In every effort, every goal, every attempt there is the assumption of a future time in which the state sought after will come into existence. Without this assumption no effort or struggle could be born. The attempt to reproduce a previous state or achieve a new one implicitly requires the future to be a part of ones reality and the object of this SM meditation is to see that and disallow it. Without time, there is nowhere for you to travel to. The meditation will take you from the struggle of becoming into the ease of being. Remember the key to SM meditation is to see the fact. So here you must see the fact of time embedded in each effort, doing so and rejecting it will bring about an opportunity for the timeless to be. SM Meditation V: Hope Meditation: Hope is the constant state of our minds. We are always hoping. This is closely related to the previous SM meditation in which you were observing the fact of time. In this meditation, you have to see that you are always hoping, for whatever reason, to get somewhere. This hope gives rise to your efforts and your exertion of will in an attempt to fulfill. Remember the object of SM meditation is to start to see the reality of this and drop it from moment to moment. In the end even hope has to be abandoned if you are interested in the Truth. SM Mediation VI: Asleep Meditation: You are constantly asleep.

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In this final SM meditation you will begin to realize the fact that You are constantly asleep. As soon as a thought sucks you in, you are lost in the story line, asleep to reality. The only thing you can do is become aware that you are lost. The instant where you have attended to your inattention is when you are not lost. As the mind moves again, it will again try to seduce you into its reality and put you to sleep. Upon seeing that your attention has once again been compromised, you are in alertness. This is the crux of SM - to be awake from moment to moment as best as you can.

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Chapter 122 Best Mind Meditation | Most Advanced Meditation Technique


Best Mind Meditation Technique Mastery of Meditation & Yoga now has almost 400 articles, detailing a wide range of simple and advanced yoga & meditation techniques, along with other insightful articles for helping you achieve your highest potential in life. The techniques work on everything from your mind, body to spirit. While some of these techniques are suitable for beginners others, are quite advanced and should be approached with respect and intelligence. Of course, appropriate details are included in the respective articles, so you can design a personal program suitable to your level and capacity. With regard to meditation specifically, the website has mind meditation techniques, mantra meditation techniques, yoga meditations, breath meditation, concentration meditations, etc, etc. Given so many techniques have been detailed, I have tried many ways to organize the website so that you can quickly and easily find the meditation technique suitable to you. Towards this end, I have put together the Meditation Techniques article, where you will find selected meditations categorized by purpose, there is also of course the Free Online Guided Meditation E-book, which has video demonstrations along with written details, and there is also the meditation category and relevant subcategories. What this article is for is to point out one specific meditation hidden amongst all the others. This is a very powerful mind meditation technique and I consider it the best and most advanced meditation known to man.

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Most Advanced Mind Meditation Technique The meditation that I am referring to is the Silent Mind Meditation Technique. I have explained the meditation in that chapter and dont want to repeat that here, so please go through it there for the details of this meditation. This meditation technique is really an extension of the work of J. Krishnamurti and is the meditation I stumbled upon during my early days of practice, more than 20 years ago now. The Silent Mind Meditation Technique is an attempt to frame the art of mind meditation and make it easier to understand and especially, easier to practice. It is essentially the process one goes through when one is watching the mind, and comprehending thoughts from moment to moment via direct perception. The Silent Mind Meditation Technique is part of the overall Silent Mind Meditation Program, which has received stellar feedback by those of you with the passion and persistence to complete it. This meditation though can certainly be practiced independently and can be integrated into any personal meditation program. This is the meditation technique I practice till today. It is the only direct approach to Enlightenment, explained in How to Attain Enlightenment. When I wish for an indirect technique, the other mind meditation technique I practice is the Zen Meditation Technique or Zazen. Understanding the Silent Mind Meditation Technique When I first began working with the Silent Mind Meditation Technique, I was not involved deeply with yoga and was not intimately familiar with Patanjalis Yoga Sutras. But, yesterday when I wrote the article on Samyama (Samyama & Psychic Development Tools) and was explaining how it is the concurrent application of Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption), it occurred to me suddenly that this is the very thing that I had discovered with the Silent Mind Meditation Technique, and that this was really the process I was trying to explain when I was creating the

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framework for this method. Needless to say I was quite amused by this epiphany. Here looking at the Silent Mind Meditation Technique from Sage Patanjalis point of view. Silent Mind Meditation Steps 1, 2, 3 & 4 are Dharana or Concentration: These require you to focus your mind unequivocally on the fact you have decided to pursue. This is the concentration portion of the meditation. Silent Mind Meditation Steps 4, & 5 are Dhyana or Meditation: Here I call it Crystallization, where Patanjali calls it unbroken flow of awareness. This is the phase where you, without missing a beat, comprehend directly the story behind each thought from moment to moment. You will notice that step 4 is repeated here and is also a part of the mental concentration portion. This is not a mistake; it is because Dharana continues into Dhyana. In other words, concentration continues, even as comprehension (or insight) starts to flow. Silent Mind Meditation Steps 6 & 7 are Samadhi or Enlightenment: As Patanjali also explains, all you can do is Dharana & Dhyana, as Samadhi comes on its own. So it is with the Silent Mind Meditation Technique, whereby intelligence starts to see, without a shadow of a doubt, that the source of all the problems is the mind itself. This then leads the mind to negative itself from moment to moment, and what is left then, is unadulterated Silence, Truth and Absolute Reality. Put it another way, the mind stills itself of thoughts, so that awareness is then able to shift to that which is beyond time, space and duality.

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Summary of Best Mind Meditation Technique: Another epiphany that just took place is that Sage Patanjali defines the objective of Yoga as the science to still the mind of thoughts. Well, in that case the Silent Mind Meditation Techniques is true Yoga, for it is the process of mind meditation, which leads to this very state, the state of having no waves in the mind. When the mind is not, the projected reality is not, then that which is, IS. If you have undertaken the practice of the Silent Mind Meditation Technique and are having difficulties, do check out the Hints and Tips Chapter of the Silent Mind Meditation Program. Finally, as I have tagged this as the most advanced meditation and best of all mind meditations, it is unlikely you will master it overnight, so give it some time and stick to it. The rewards are beyond words.

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Chapter 123 How to Teach a Gentle Yoga and Meditation Class | Comprehensive Guide
How to Teach Meditation & Gentle Yoga [I have consolidated part 1 and part 2 of this series on How to Teach a Gentle Yoga and Meditation Class here in this one document. This is for ease of reference and in preparation for the upcoming Mastery of Meditation Teachers Training Program]. Coming in the very near future, Mastery of Meditation and Yoga is going to offer a complete multi-media Online Meditation Teachers Certification Program, and as part of that project, is this article series, which is going to teach you how to teach a meditation or gentle yoga class. The Meditation Certification Program is something I have been looking to offer for some time now, but wanted to first insure that all the necessary material had been created and published before I did so. Well, it only took three years of hard work to accomplish that , and now I feel the time is right for making this unique and comprehensive program available to you all. As I mentioned, this series is going to be a part of that training program and is one of the last few pieces of the puzzle needed to bring that course online. Previously, I put together the Comprehensive Guide to Teaching a Yoga Class, and teaching a meditation class has many similarities to that. Below is the approach I use in structuring the meditation or gentle yoga classes I teach. It has been refined over the years, and the classes using this structure have been thoroughly enjoyed by the students. Similar to the yoga class, I will also explain the meditation class by breaking it up into three sections. The first section I will call Orientation, the next section is the Warm-up and then the final 638

section, I will call The Work. This breakdown is for a class lasting around 1 hour. Below is how these come sections together to form a great class, and a transforming experience for the students. This series is in 2 parts. In part 1 I will go over the Orientation and Warm-up phase, while in part 2 I will discuss the "Work" phase. One final note before I jump ahead is that this is also a great sequence for you to follow for your own personal yoga or meditation practice. Teaching a Meditation Class Phase 1 - Orientation: Objectives: 1. 2. 3. 4. Get the students settled in. Ensure the spacing is correct for safety and comfort. Get their mind and awareness into the here and now. Give a short overview of the class structure, guidelines and planned meditation.

Here now are details for the items above. Items 1, 2, 3 & 4 Above: As the students file into the class, I make sure the early ones move up and near to where I sit, as for some reason students always tend to keep more of a distance from the teacher than they need to. I also of course try to ensure I sit in a way that I am visible to the entire class. If possible a raised platform is very useful for this. I am also making sure during this time that spacing is good between students, which generally means that they should be able to spread both arms out to their sides without hitting anyone, or the wall. In addition, I am usually pointing out cushions, mats, water, etc to newcomers as well. Shortly, I announce the start of the class, and immediately get everyone to start long deep breathing.

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Unlike a yoga class, I spend much less time in this phase of the class, than I do for a yoga class. This is simply because in the meditation class, the students are going to get ample time to meditate during "The Work" portion of the class, while in a yoga class, this is essentially the time I use to get meditation practice into the session. So for a meditation class, I only spend a few minutes maximum in this long deep breathing, get into the moment phase and then quickly get to the warm-up stage. During the long deep breathing phase though, I do try to give the details for the class structure and guidelines for doing the yoga, breathing exercises and meditation that is to come, especially, the safety instructions. See Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Pranayama Practice for more information on this topic. In general, the class structure is as follows:

Orientation Period (which they are in). Tuning in to their Higher Self and the Universal Energy. Breathing exercises (pranayamas) to get their energy going. Essential daily yoga exercises and yoga exercises for meditation. 1 or 2 meditation sessions, depending on the class duration. Ending prayers and visualizations.

In general, the safety and practice guidelines are the following:

I tell them, I will demonstrate each exercise, which after observing they do with their eyes closed.

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All breathing is done through the nose, unless otherwise instructed. Use the modifications for any exercises they find difficult. To not overdo, be careful with injuries and work around them whenever possible. To not compete and not worry about how anyone else is doing. Throughout the class to do the practice will full awareness.

If you are not able to cover all of the above, dont worry; you can continue to instruct them in the Warm-up phase as well. In general, I have noticed that for a meditation class lasting 1 hour, I always tend to run out of time and have to cut short the final meditation period, which is the key focus of the class, so make sure you dont linger in this section for too long. This completes the Orientation phase of the class, and then I move ahead to the Warm-up period. Teaching a Meditation Class Phase 2: Warm-up Just as for yoga class, the Orientation period, insures they get their daily dose of meditation, in a meditation class, it is during the Warmup period that I insure the students get their daily dose of yoga and pranayama. Here are the objectives you should shoot for in the warm-up phase: Objectives: 1. Tune in to your Higher Self / Universal Mind. 2. Get the students energy going. 3. Do daily essential yoga stretches and yoga that is beneficial for meditation. If you are teaching a Gentle Yoga class, expand this section and cut short the meditation period in the end. 641

4. Do pranayama that prepares the mind for meditation. 1: Tuning In Always start a class with tuning in. In yoga and meditation whether you have been explained it or not, you are dealing with cosmic energies, and such energies should be approached with respect, and the purpose of tuning in is ask your Higher Self and the Universe for Protection, Guidance and Inspiration. This ensures the energies do not harm you, you are guided correctly and provided inspiration to see the journey all the way back to the Source. This tuning in you should also do prior to doing your personal meditation practice as well. There are many ways to tune in and accomplish the above. Silent prayer, chanting of the AUM mantra or the beautiful Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo mantra that we use in Kundalini Yoga. You can see an actual demonstration of this tuning in the following video article: AUM Mantra Video for Starting Yoga Class. 2: Energize the Students: Since the students are going to get plenty of time to relax and practice awareness during the meditation portion of the class, during this phase it is healthy to do some energizing pranayamas. The following 3 are good choices for this, and will help the students a great deal. Pick one or two of them for you class, and vary it from class to class to give variety. 4 Part Deep Breathing Kapalbhati Pranayama Breath of Fire 3. Daily Yoga Essentials & Yoga for Meditation Exercises: During this phase it is a good idea to cover some of daily essential work as recommended by yoga. So try to do Butterfly Pose | Best 642

Asana for Meditation, which is also excellent for sitting in meditation, and also do Forward Bend, to stretch the all important life nerve and promote flexibility. Then, pick yoga poses that benefit meditation practice. Remember that the students who signed up for this class are here for meditation, so make sure the yoga you select is gentle in nature and plays a role in helping with meditation. A perfect example of such exercises is the great Spinal Warm-up Series. This is not just great for getting their back, hips, neck, shoulders, etc warmed up, but this set heats up the cerebro-spinal fluid which runs through the spinal cord. This is key, as it maximizes the energy flow during meditation and helps in promoting awareness by helping bring more prana into the brain and higher centers. For some more details on how this works you can read the article Introduction to Kundalini Yoga. Other places to look for good yoga for meditation exercises and sets are from the following collections: Yoga Poses for Meditation and Basic Yoga Poses | Yoga Positions for Beginners. In part 2 of this series I will discuss the final phase of the class which is where they will learn and practice the meditation technique(s) you have decided for them. Also note that by just extending the yoga part in the Warm-up phase, this becomes an excellent Gentle Yoga class as well, which is perfect for seniors and others not looking to do vigorous yoga. [Part 2 is below] Teaching a Meditation Class Phase 3 - The Work: In part 1 of this series on teaching a meditation class, Teaching a Gentle Yoga and Meditation Class, we covered the Orientation and Warm-up period and now we come to the most important phase of the meditation class, the Work section. In this section, you will actually teach the students a meditation technique and have them practice it 643

as well. Depending on the level of your students you should choose the meditation accordingly. For a class with students of mixed proficiency you can teach meditations which have levels within them, such as the excellent Zen Meditation Technique, which allows students to practice at a level suitable to them. Here are the objectives for this key phase of your class. Objectives for Phase 3 of Your Meditation Class: 1. Teach a useful meditation technique. 2. Give instructions regarding safety, especially if the technique has advanced components such as breath retention. 3. Practice the meditation technique. 4. Perform ending prayers and visualizations. 5. Have a question & answer period. 1-3. Teach and Practice a Meditation Technique: The whole reason for the class is for the students to learn and practice meditation with you. So this phase should be the primary focus of the class. Sometimes you can teach meditations based on special requests, or else you can pick ones you want to teach. You will find many meditations in the Free Online Guided Meditation E-book, and most of them have videos associated with them to help you see clearly how they are to be done. In general, I suggest the practice of Zen Meditation, Silent Mind Meditation, Silent Mantra Meditation, and other awareness techniques for long-term consistent practice in your classes. Such meditations continue to bestow benefits on those who practice it, and they allow each student to practice at their own level and pace. It is though often fun to practice meditation that require group chanting or other such meditation as well.

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Special meditations, which can only be done in groups, are also especially appropriate for classes. Such meditations such as the Healing Circle or Sufi Meditations can be a great experience for the students as well. I will be uploading such unique meditations as well to the website and you will of course find them added to the Free Online Guided Meditation E-book. Even though you are going to just teaching meditation, keep in mind that many meditations can be quite advanced, so dont forget to follow the safety instructions that are given with each technique. Specially be alert when meditations require students to hold their breath, host difficult mudras (hand/eye positions), or require body locks. Such meditations should be approached with respect and intelligence, and developed gently over time. In general, you are going to only have time for about a 20 to 30 minute session. Keep in mind that this is A LOT for a beginner. They might not be able to sit for this long, so be gentle with them. Instruct them that they can take a break after 5, 10 or 15 minutes, to stretch their legs and then restart again. The intermediate or advanced meditators should not be given this option. Unless they are about to injure themselves, encourage them to sit through the entire session. If you have a longer class, and have 40 minutes or more for the meditation phase, then I suggest breaking up this phase into 2 (20) minute meditation session, but giving the option for advanced students to continue right through the entire session. There are lots of tips on this website regarding meditation practice, which will really help you be a better teacher and meditator, so be sure to check them out as well. Look at the related articles and article series listed below for such tips. One important tip though is the use of cushions for meditation, and I strongly recommend having these available to students in your class. Zen Zafus work best here. Check out the article How to Meditate, for more basics like this.

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4. Ending Prayers: At the very end of class, after the students have completed their meditation, it is nice to practice a few important prayers. Here are the 3 prayers I do at the end of every class. To pray with power and focus, so the thoughts manifest in reality, have them inhale deeply hold their breath and then prayer/visualize. So before each of these prayers below, have them inhale, hold their breath, focus their mind and then do the prayer. Then exhale and move on to the next prayer.

Visualize you and your life exactly as you want it to be. Send out a healing prayer to someone who you know needs it. Pray for peace and love on Mother Earth, and peace and love in everyones heart.

At the very end of the class you can end with a long OM or end with the mantra SAT- NAM. Both are great ways to add a finishing touch to the class. 5. Question / Answer Time: Since a Yoga or Meditation class has a certain rhythm and flow, I request the students to ask their questions at the end of class. As long as you are very clear in your instructions, have followed the guidelines laid out above and do good demonstrations for the poses and meditations, this works very well. So at the end of class, relax, sit back and allow the students who want to ask questions to do so, other students can stay for this period, or leave if they want to.

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Summary of Teaching a Meditation Class: So there you have a very detailed and comprehensive guide on how to teach a meditation class. I hope it gives all you teachers some good tips and guidance, and I hope it helps make your gentle yoga and meditation class a fantastic and transforming experience for your students.

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God Bless You All

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