Kriya - Exercise Series for Navel Energy

(Yoga for Runners and Skiers, Nirvair Singh Khalsa, out-of-print publication.)

Leg Lifts 90 Degrees. Lie flat on your back, arms by the side, palms down. Pull Root Lock (Mulbandh) to tilt your pelvis and bring your lower back in contact with the ground. Use the Root Lock to anchor the lower back to the ground during the entire exercise.

Inhale as you lift the left leg up 90 degrees. Keep the knee straight and the toes pointed towards the ceiling. Exhale and lower the leg down. Use powerful, deep breathing, concentrating on the navel center. Alternate legs with a deep, powerful breath, concentrate at the navel point (3 minutes).

Cross Crawl. Lie flat on your back. Inhale as you bring the right knee up to the chest and at the same time bring the left arm back overhead on the ground in a backstroke motion. Exhale and return the arm and leg to the ground flat. Then switch arms and legs. Use the opposite arm and leg. Keep your navel engaged so that your lower back stays rooted to the floor. Alternate with half breaths for 3 minutes.

Triangle Pose. Rock yourself up. Stand up. Come into triangle position. Have the hands on the ground shoulder width apart, feet together and heels flat if possible. Hold the position for 2 minutes with long, slow, deep breathing.

Stretch Pose. Lie flat. Apply root lock and neck lock. Raise your head and heels six inches off the floor. Point the hands toward your toes and begin Breath of Fire. The eyes are looking at the big toes. Keep yourself rooted so that the small of your back is pressed against the floor. If your back lifts off the floor, keep your breath going, but come down, re-establish your root line and come back up into the posture. To do Stretch Pose correctly, you’ll have to be in neck lock. The chest must be lifted to support the head. If you collapse the chest to get your head off the ground, it pressures your lower back to sway and lift off the floor. 60 seconds. (Keeping one or both heels resting lightly on the floor is an acceptable variation. Use this is your abdominals or lower back are weak.)

(Centers the navel center. Strengthens the entire nervous system.)

Leg Thrusts. Lie flat on the back. Arms are by the side with the palms down. Apply root lock. Bring both knees up to the chest. Inhale as you stretch the right leg out straight with the right heel 6 to 18 inches off the ground. Point the toes away from the body. Exhale, switch legs. Continue with powerful half breaths for 90 seconds. Keep Neck Lock and Root Lock gently pulled. Concentrate the breath at the navel point.

Bow Pose. Lie on your stomach. 90 seconds. Apply root lock to rotate your pelvis. Roll the tops of the thighs toward each other to protect the sacrum. This will help you to keep the feet touching. Press strongly through the root line into the ground. Pull the shoulder blades down the back to leverage the lifting of the chest. Use the legs to pull against the arms to raise the body up into the position.

(From “Divine Alignment,” by Guru Prem Singh Khalsa: Bow Pose is hard for many people, but it is important to get beyond the “bending where you are already bending” syndrome and open new territory in flexibility. If you really want to lengthen your spine out, particularly through the important pelvic muscles, you really have to keep the feet and knees close together and use the legs to pull against the arms. You may not come up as high, but it opens up the spine in a far more useful way.) 

Baby Pose. Push yourself up into baby pose. Sit on the heels with the forehead on the ground, arms by the hips, palms facing up. If it is more comfortable for you, put a blanket between your buttocks and your heels. You can also rest your forehead on top of your forearms. Allow the shoulders to relax with a normal breath for 60 seconds.

Camel Pose. Breath of Fire for 60 seconds. From “Divine Alignment,” by Guru Prem Singh Khalsa: Sit on your heels. Use the root line to push the tops of your feet into the floor. Rise up on your knees, pressing through the root line into the floor to give you leverage to arch your chest. The chest must be arched up as high as it can go before you lean over into Camel Pose. The image is “down into the ground and up into the heavens.” Press into the floor: the toes and tops of the feet must press fairly hard to lift the chest up. Keep pushing the chest up in opposition to the press of the lower body against the floor. The legs must be vertical from knees to hips when you are up in Camel Pose. Once your chest is arched as much as you can, pull your chin in to connect your neck to the upper spine. Exhale, hold the root lock and keep the chest lifted as you reach back for your heels. Allow your head to go back as far as it can without disconnecting it from your arch or compressing your neck.

You can use several methods to support your Camel Pose. You can reach back and grab your heels leaving the tops of your feet flat on the floor. This is the classic position. You can lift your heels up so that you are balanced on your knees and toes, raising your heels up and shortening the distance. Or, you can support your backbend by placing your hands on your hips. Only do the camel position you can achieve with your locks in place. Do not release your root line while you are in Camel Pose. (You can practice Camel Pose against a wall to get the feel of the correct position. Kneel facing a blank wall with your knees touching the wall. Have your knees about two fists’ distance apart. Come into Camel Pose, pushing through your root line from navel to knees. At the same time, keep your hips pressing up against the wall, creating a perpendicular line from hips to knees.)

Come out of Camel Pose by sitting down through the position as you lift the head up.

Baby Pose. Push yourself up into baby pose. Sit on the heels with the forehead on the ground, arms by the hips, palms facing up. If it is more comfortable for you, put a blanket between your buttocks and your heels. You can also rest your forehead on top of your forearms. Allow the shoulders to relax with a normal breath for 60 seconds.

Easy Pose. Apply root lock and neck lock. Hands in Gyan Mudra. Open the eyes slightly and gaze at the tip of the nose, keeping both sides of the nose in equal view. Long, slow, deep breathing for 5 minutes.

Deep Relaxation. Come out of position and rest on your back. Have the arms by the sides, palms facing up with the legs uncrossed. Allow the breath to return to normal. Have the knees up for comfort, if needed.

Comments: This series of exercises will center, strengthen and balance the energy of the navel point. Strong navel energy gives you boundless energy and the ability to transform yourself.


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