Kriya - Conditioning Series

(The Art, Science & Application of Kundalini Yoga, Nirvair Singh Khalsa, pp. 203-209)


Basic Spine Flex. Place the hands on the shins right above the ankles. Grasp the shins firmly and now inhale through the nose and lift the chest high and tilt the pelvis forward. Now exhale through the nose and gently tilt the pelvis the opposite way. Inhale up and exhale back. Continue. Remember to keep the chest high and keep the chin level to the ground in both positions (3 minutes).

(Strengthens and stretches the lower back. It changes brain wave patterns after 3 minutes to make you calm.)


Front Stretch Left. Stretch your left leg out in front of you straight; right foot against the inner thigh of the left leg. With both hands, stretch forward and then down over the left leg. Hold on to your thigh, knee, shin, ankle or foot (whatever you can reach) with both hands. Keep the chin at a right angle to the chest. Stretch forward and then down, until you feel gently challenged by the stretch. No bouncing. We like to do static stretching in Kundalini Yoga. Long, slow deep, breathing (2 minutes).

(Stretches the life nerve (sciatic nerve). Also good for the lower back, stretching the hamstrings and relaxing the quads.) 


Front Stretch Right. Stretch your right leg out in front of you straight, left foot against the inner thigh of the right leg. With both hands, stretch forward and then down over the left leg. Hold on to your thigh, knee, shin, ankle or foot (whatever you can reach) with both hands. Keep the chin at a right angle to the chest. Stretch forward and then down until you feel gently challenged by the stretch. Long, slow, deep breathing (2 minutes).


Side Stretch Left. Stretch your left leg out in front of you straight; right foot against the inner thigh of the left leg. Take your left hand and catch the thigh, shin, ankle or foot of the left leg. Take the right arm and place it behind the back. Tilt the pelvis forward so that it lifts the chest up high. The chin will be turned toward the right shoulder, don’t let the head flop over so that the left ear is near the left shoulder. Stretch sideways over the left leg a little ways. You will feel the stretch in the left hamstring as well as the right hip. Hold it steady. Long, slow, deep breathing (90 seconds).

(Life nerve (sciatic) energizer. Opens rib cage and clears lymphatic system. Good for the lower back.)


Side Stretch Right. Stretch your right leg out in front of you straight, left foot against the inner thigh of the right leg. Take your right hand and catch the thigh, shin, ankle or foot of the right leg. Take the left arm and place it behind the back. Tilt the pelvis forward so that it lifts the chest up high. The chin will be turned toward the right shoulder, don’t let the head flop over so that the left ear is near the right shoulder. Stretch sideways over the right leg a little ways. You will fell the stretch in the right hamstring as well as the left hip. Long, slow, deep breathing (90 seconds).


Half-Plow. Laying flat on your back with the arms by the sides palms down, slowly bend the knees and raise the legs up and over the body until the legs are parallel to the ground. If you feel unstable then support the back with the hands. Long, slow, deep breathing (90 seconds).

(Opens the spine and brings extra circulation into the head and higher glands. Has an anti-gravity effect on the body and is very soothing after you relax out of position. Note: For women on their menstrual cycle, it is generally recommended that all inverted positions not be practiced.) 


Three Quarter Shoulder Stand. Start from the plow position. Support the back with the hands. Raise the legs up straight into shoulder stand. Keep the legs together and point the toes to the ceiling. Keep the back at a forty-five degree angle to the ground. If your position is slightly jack-knifed, it is OK. Long, slow, deep breathing (90 seconds).

(Opens up the higher glands, i.e., pituitary & pineal, and brings extra circulation into the head and higher glands. Has an anti-gravity effect on the body and is very soothing after you relax out of position. Note: For women on their menstrual cycle, it is generally recommended that all inverted positions not be practiced.) 


Shoulder Stand Leg Lifts. Bring the legs back over the body into plow and inhale and lift the left leg up to the ceiling keeping the right leg back. Exhale and lower the left leg back down. Now raise the right leg. Inhale up, exhale down. Long, slow, deep breaths (2 minutes). Come out of the position by returning to plow pose and then keeping the head on the ground throughout, bring the knees close to the face and lower your self, in control, vertebra by vertebra and until you are back into laying flat on the floor.

(Has all the benefits of shoulder stand and, in addition, is very good for the hips and lower back.) 


Yoga Crunch. After you are lying flat on the floor, bring your knees up. Have your feet flat against the floor. Make the hands into a basket by interlacing them and placing them behind the head. We will do a six-count movement both up and down. Lift the head off the ground and remember to just support the head with the hands. Don’t pull the head with the hands or arms. Tilt the pelvis so that the lower back is flat against the floor. We want to keep the lower back flat throughout the exercise. In this position, inhale slowly and now exhale and slowly curl up tightening the abdominal muscles…One, two, three, four, five, six. Now inhale and slowly loosen the abdominals as you go back…One, two, three, four, five, six. Keep the head up in both positions. This will help you keep the lower back flat against the floor. Continue, go slow and concentrate your breath’s energy right at your navel point. Imagine as though you are breathing in and ou