Yoga blog 7/16/2013
It has been a busy week at the ashram, haven’t made it to blogging about yoga for a few days! In any case, we have been alternating between vinyassa and kundalini practices, and were joined this week by Mary, Debra, Mitylene, and Lacy.
Today we did a kriya for the upper body. This practice is gentle but demanding in terms of the times allotted to the exercises. The entire kriya is done in easy pose or half lotus, somewhat demanding in itself, and requiring a few breaks to shake out the legs and wiggle the feet. I really like this kriya as it is a wonderful self-adjustment for the neck and head. This Kriya is from Yogi Bajan’s manual Maintenance Yoga. The first two exercises are mudras for balancing electron exchange in the brain. Then moving on to application of pressure to the neck and head. My favorite part of this kriya is the fifth exercise in which gentle pressure is applied by pressing the fingers of both hands along the top of the cheekbone, just under the eyes, and rapidly vibrating the tissue by moving the fingers sideways, in toward the nose, and out toward the ears. If you do this for the full recommended five minutes it is amazing. This is followed by five minutes of rolling the tongue around the front teeth, top and bottom. This also feels wonderful, and adjusts the jaw. This kriya also includes body drops, pushing into the mat with the fists, and lifting the body, in easy pose, off the mat, and dropping back down. This definitely becomes easier with practice, and is another exercise I really enjoy.
Debra, with MS, is modifying the poses and times to accommodate herself within the context of her condition. We both had a great savasana, or corpse pose at the end of the practice. I am coming to realise that the body of the kriya truly culminates in the final savasana, as we fully relax and integrate deeply all that we have done in the session. The work of the kriya is all about the fullness of the savasana. I never limit the time for savasana at the ashram. This is where the true benefit of the yoga comes to bear throughout the body, each person exploring and releasing on their own journey within themselves. We have been known to lie in savasana for a half hour, even forty-five minutes at times, allowing for a full and complete integration of the benefits of the kriya.