(The Ten Light Bodies of Consciousness, Nirvair Singh Khalsa, pp. 65-69)
Alternate Nostril Breathing. Sit in Easy Pose with the left arm resting on the left knee, left hand in Gyan Mudra. Bring right hand up to your nose. Use right thumb to gently block off the right nostril. Inhale slowly, deeply and completely through the left nostril, then use your little finger to close off the left nostril and exhale slowly through the right nostril only. Then inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left. Switch back and forth like that. Right thumb closes off the right nostril; inhale slowly, deeply and completely. Little finger closes off the left nostril, exhale completely through the right. Inhale right; exhale left; inhale left; exhale right. Every time you exhale you switch nostrils. (This alternate nostril breath balances out the nerve channels on either side of the spine and brings your brain hemispheres into a little bit more balance. Play some 4th Body music like Guru Ram Das by Singh Kaur, “Crimson Collection,” Vols. 1 & 2). 3 minutes. To end, relax the right hand down, inhale and exhale.
Front Stretch Left and Right. Stretch the left leg out in front of you, right foot against inner thigh. Stretch over the left leg, spine straight, stretch forward and hold on to something (your thigh, your knee or your big toe if you can). Begin long, slow, deep breathing. Help yourself relax into it. As you feel more comfortable, you might be able to stretch a little more. As you’re doing the long, slow, deep breathing, listen to the Guru Ram Das music. 3 minutes. To end, inhale and exhale and slowly rise up. Switch sides now, stretch forward and down, hold on to something in the same manner as before. Long, slow, deep breathing. 3 minutes.
Butterfly Pose. Inhale and exhale, rise up slowly. Come into Butterfly Pose by holding the soles of the feet together. Hold onto the feet with the hands, lean forward, keeping the back straight and the chin at a 90 degree angle to the chest. Begin a light and fast Breath of Fire. (Butterfly Pose opens up the hips. It stretches the inner thigh and life nerve.) 1 minute
To end, inhale, exhale, hold the breath out and apply Root Lock. Release it, inhale and exhale.
Pelvic Lifts. Rise up out of position and lie down flat on your back with the knees up and feet flat. Reach down and catch the ankles with the hands if you can or touch the fingertips against the heels. Now, inhale, raise the pelvis up high, exhale, and lower it down. Get a good arch. Arch all the way up as high as you can. Eyes closed, focused at the brow point, concentrate at the navel point. Inhale, arch up and exhale down. 2 minutes.
To end, straighten out the legs for a moment and rest.
Shoulder Stand. (If you have a neck problem then avoid this exercise.) Have the legs together, now inhale and raise the legs up and over the body. Support the hips with the hands and bring the legs straight up into the air with the legs together and the toes pointing upwards. Your back should be at a 60 degree angle to the ground in full shoulder stand or a 45 degree angle to the ground in three-quarter shoulder stand. Hold this position with long, slow, deep breathing. Keep the concentration at the brow point. 1 minute.
To end, inhale; exhale the feet back over the head. To lower yourself down, move into Plow Pose (or Half-Plow Pose) and slowly lower yourself vertebrae by vertebrae. Once down on the back take a deep inhale and then exhale.
Rocking Bow Pose. Roll over onto your stomach. Reach back and catch the tops of the feet or ankles with the hands. Push the shins away from the body while pulling with straight arms. Lift the chest and head up and back. If you are able, lift the thighs off the ground. We’re going to do a rocking Bow Pose which means you’re going to rock back and forth on your stomach, the mid-section of your body, like a rocking horse. Inhale as you rock your chest off the ground and exhale as you rock forward. You may not be able to rock very big. If rocking becomes too difficult, stay in a stationary position. (Bow Pose opens the diaphragm and chest. It energizes the sex nerve. It is good for the pelvis, hips and entire spine.) 1 minute.
To end, inhale, arch up, exhale, and bring your arms and legs down. Legs hip width apart, arms by the side and rest on the stomach.
Baby Pose. Slowly push yourself up into baby pose, up on the knees and sit back on the heels, forehead on the ground. Have the arms by the sides, hand next to the heel with the palms up. Relax in this position with normal breath. (If there is too much pressure on the head and neck or you may place one forearm on top of the other and put your forehead on top of your forearms. Another acceptable alternative is to widen your knees so the belly hangs in between the knees.) Baby Pose is a resting posture that aids digestion and soothes the heart and circulation. 1 minute.
Wood Chops. Rise up and stay on the knees and heels in Rock Pose, otherwise, sit in Easy Pose. Have the hands in a basket in the lap. You’re going to inhale and bring your arms up, exhale, bring your arms down — a wood chopping motion — keeping the elbows straight. Inhale arms up, exhale, lower them down. (It loosens and strengthens the shoulders and opens the lungs.) 1 minute.
Sat Kriya. Sit in Rock Pose. Hands in a basket, index fingers pointing straight up. Bring your arms overhead. Chant “Sat” as you apply Root Lock, “Nam” as you release it. Remember to concentrate “Sat” at the navel and “Nam” at the brow point. We’re going to do it a little bit faster than normal. 3 minutes.
To end, inhale, stretch up, apply Root Lock, exhale and lower the arms down.
Shoulder Rolls & Head Rolls. Hands on the knees, begin rolling the shoulders. Big circles. Inhale shoulders up and exhale shoulders back and down. Do 6-8 rolls of the shoulders. Now, relax the shoulders and roll the head. Drop the head forward, bring the right ear to the right shoulder, drop the head back, bring the left ear to the left shoulder. After six head rolls, reverse the directions.
To end, inhale and bring the head center. Hold the breath for 5-10 seconds, then exhale and relax.
Shabd Kriya. Inhale in four equal parts, mentally chanting the mantra SA TA NA MA (which is SAT NAM broken down into the component sounds of SA TA NA MA). Then hold your breath for four mental repetitions of SA TA NA MA — that’s sixteen. Then exhale in two parts; mentally chant “WAHAY” for the first exhale and “GURU” for the second exhale. So, inhale in four parts, hold for sixteen parts and exhale in two parts. Have the hands in the lap, one hand nestled in the other, the right hand on top of the left hand, thumbs touching. Have the eyes 1/10th open and 9/10th closed, kind of hazily looking at the carpet in front of you and at the tip of the nose if you can keep the tip of the nose in view. (If you get lightheaded doing this breathing, then quicken the pace of your repetitions. You will end up holding your breath for a shorter length of time.) 15 minutes.
To end, inhale and hold the breath for 5-10 seconds, exhale and relax.
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