(K.R.I. Level One Teacher Training Manual, article by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, pp. 227-236)
Easy Pose: Interlace the fingers; stretch the arms out in front, parallel to the ground, palms facing forward. Inhale, hold the breath and pump the arms all the way up over the head and back down parallel to the ground. Pump 8 times with the breath held in, then exhale with the arms straight, inhale, hold and pump again. Continue for 2 minutes. Then inhale deeply, lift the arms up, stretch up the spine and exhale.
Easy Pose: Make the hands into fists and alternately punch strongly and rhythmically across the midline of the body. Exhale with each extension of the arms, so that you are breathing Breath of Fire. Bring the elbows all the way back. Punch for 1 ½ minutes, then inhale, pull both arms back, pull the elbows back, hold briefly and relax.
Shoulder Shrugs. Put the hands on the knees and shrug the shoulders for 2 minutes. End by inhaling, lifting both shoulders towards the ears, keep the neck relaxed, stretch up the spine, concentrate at the brow point, hold briefly and relax.
Easy Pose. Concentrate at the brow point and take a deep breath. Chant Long Sat Nams for 3 minutes. End by inhaling deeply and holding the breath for 10 seconds. Then relax.
Arms Up Overhead & Shake. Shake the arms vigorously. The mind is tricky. It will say, “My arm is up, why am I shaking?” Just shake. The teacher is saying, “Shake.” That’s good enough. Shake! If it’s something good, you’ll feel good. It it’s something bad, still, you did good. You can’t lose by shaking but you can lose a lot by paralysis through analysis. In the end it’s what you do not what you thought about judging what you thought you might do.
Stand Up Straight. Put the legs together with the hands down along the sides like you’re at attention. Spine straight, chin in. Keep your arms by the sides and bend the spine forward until you are 30 degrees from the top. The spine is straight and tilted, the chine is in and you’ll find in a matter of seconds a pressure on the lower back. There’s a group of muscles that we’re working on. That whole area below the kidneys needs to be worked. It tends to give you anxiety and make you store grief and it has to be worked. Close your eyes and breathe long and deep. Hold the posture.
As you hold I want you to imagine that some beautiful, healing person comes and paints triangles on your body and you meditate on them. First, the person comes and touches the brush from the tips of the big toes and draws the triangle up to your navel point. Feel your feet on the ground like huge rays projecting all the way to the center of the earth and you stand steadily, secure. Breathe long and deep and look at that triangle between the two big toes up to the base of the navel.
Meditate further up as the person takes the brush and paints the triangle from the two sides of the pubic bone to the tip of the sacrum in a reddish-orange color. Breathe deep and simply create that link, mind and body together. Use the breath to connect them. It’s not automatic that they’re together. Make it your artistic creation and let the energy start healing that region. If you start to find a lot of pain and yet you’re not doing anything, take a hint, there’s a lot of things going on.
Now take your meditation to the two sides of the pelvis and the navel and meditate on that central triangle. The balance of the two hip points on the sides and into the navel.
Now meditate that the brush colors it in a greenish color, like spring green, from the navel point up to the two nipple points. From that triangle, you’ll feel it coming right up into the center of the chest. From the navel, energy moving up, to the tips of the nipples. Breathe long and deep. Keep your posture. Let the form transform you.
Now meditate in a sky blue color from the nipple tips up to the neck point of the collar bone, in that little dip there. Breathe deep; see a bluish radiance in that area. Let all things in the past go, all resentment go, all grief go. Let the past be the past. There is no past. It’s like a fish in a tank with a partition. After the partition is removed, the fish still stayed on the same side of the now-imaginary barrier. There was nothing to hold the fish back. So, don’t get trapped by your own habits. Breathe deep and let the past go.
Now meditate between the two corners of the eyebrows and the tip of the chin. Meditate on that triangle. Feel very light and airy. Breathe into the element like air and ether.
Lastly, meditate on the double triangle — the eyes to the tip of the nose — and the two eyes and the brow point. Lower and upper triangle. Breathe deep into that and feel like you’re just flying in the sky. Feel weightless and see all the colors of the blue sky up into the beautiful heavens.
Feel at the crown of your head a huge projected light that goes to Infinity and connects to all the stars, all the realms, all the levels of being.
Now, keep the angle on the spine and begin swinging your arms like you’re running in place. Swing them fast! Like you’re going to exhaust yourself. Swing them up to horizontal in the front and the back. Consciously engage your own posture and body and say, “I’m going to exhaust this body.” Self-conscious exhaustion makes you inexhaustible. Self-conscious shaking will make you unshakable. Use your breath any way you like. The body likes to hold its old place.
To end, inhale up; stand up straight, arms by the sides.
Still Standing. Lean back 40 degrees and swing the arms again. First, set your balance, and then swing fast. Go for 3 minutes, then inhale, stand up straight, exhale and relax.
Alternately Sit Down & Stand Up. Do this without using the hands. The first exercise of life is to sit down and stand up gracefully. 108 of these will make you perfect. But practicing fewer is also useful. Continue for 2 minutes. Then immediately go to the next exercise.
Easy Pose. Grab the knees. Tuck the lower spine forward, elbows straight and tilt back. The spine is straight, but tilted. Go back exactly 40 degrees. Meditate on your body. Close you eyes. Let go of any limitation. Imagine, “I am dumping all neuroses and becoming perfectly divine.” Give yourself your own self-hypnotic positive attitude. Convert every negative thought to positive. Think, “I am part of the One God, everywhere.” “God and Me, Me and God are One.” “Healthy am I, Happy am I, Holy am I.” Thought and body, body and thought are one continuous fluid experience. Meditate deeply and listen to the gong for 11 minutes.
To end, inhale, exhale, inhale and straighten the spine, inhale, exhale like a cannon through the mouth. Inhale, stretch the arms up over your head and exhale with a cannon breath again. Inhale, stretch the arms up over your head and exhale with a cannon breath again. Repeat the cannon breath exhalation one more time. Go on immediately to the next exercise.
Stand Up. Do jumping jacks, inhaling arms up and legs spread, exhale, arms down by the sides and legs together. Clap the hands overhead when they meet. Normally this is 15 minutes. We’ll just do it 3 minutes. To finish, inhale up and exhale down. Relax.
Comments: There are 18 major muscle groups that have to get involved in all the angles and triangles that underlie the balance of the body. For example, between the navel point and the two hips, there’s a triangle. If that’s off, even the slightest amount, you’re going to have energy problems. Adrenals are going to be out. You’re going to find yourself unable to express yourself with enough energy. You can’t get rid of anger. Then anger accumulates in the chest area. You start getting every chest disease and problem. You have to create a flow. You do it by balancing the angles and triangles throughout the body.
Yogis strive to be full humans. For that you have to balance your triangles. Then you can have the experience of being a full human being.
Take a posture (asana) as a yogi. You’ll go through different stages as you adjust to the effects of the posture. At first, you may feel awkward. We fall back on our Western habit to look at everyone else. When you first take a posture you take it very consciously. It’s new. The first thing you do is take this blob of unconsciousness, full of habits and patterns, and you put it into a specific, consciously established, fixed or rhythmic posture or asana. Awkwardness comes because you encounter the rigidity of your own ego and habits — consciously. If you hold, it starts to feel better. Your body adjusts, the shoulders relax, and you relax the 12 muscles you didn’t need to use. Suddenly, there’s a relationship established between you and you. Suddenly, that which is conscious starts to get natural, starts to give form, shape, flows of energy, patterning, to that which is unknown to you. If you hold the form long enough, the posture begins to become natural and the unconscious picks it up, saying, “Oh, I can do that, no problem” and starts doing it. First you create form, and then you start transforming all the things that you’re not even aware of as the unconscious continues the process.
When that process connects the conscious and the unconscious, it forms a bridge of energy that re-aligns you between the body and the mind. Then you enter into what is called kriya. Kriya is the spontaneous fulfillment of action through the engagement of asana or posture that links the Infinite self of you to this finite moment. It has to tear apart the old attachments and reform you.
Asana leads to kriya which leads to a committed position. Once you have a committed position, then you start to have a projection. Projection is called Akal Moorat which literally means timeless picture. You start to look like Infinity. The final stage would be perfection, Saibhung, which means self-illumined, when you are communicating with your own Infinity so you need nothing. The ultimate posture is one of prosperity. The ultimate posture is not of you fulfilling your own requests. The ultimate posture is one asking for that which is yours.
That’s what yoga is about. It’s very practical. There’s no philosophy in yoga that doesn’t come with some way of engaging the body to give you that experience. There’s no such thing as an abstract concept without a posture, kriya or sadhana to give you the capacity to experience it.
If you have a lot of beliefs and you have no sadhana (daily practice), how are you really changing? Sadhana becomes a key. In terms of the body and posture there is one law for sadhana, “Get up, set up and keep up.” If you don’t set up for the day, if you don’t posture yourself to engage the day, how are you going to keep up? If you keep up with your sadhana, you will start having a momentum above the time. And the possible human is timeless above time. As long as you feel that you are just at the whim of time, you’re not at the level of the extraordinary human (Sensory Human) that is your normal potential. And it all starts with sadhana and posture. That’s what spiritual posture is. It gives you spiritual fitness.
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