Date > 2023 > Feb
Activity > Yoga
Feb 12, 2023
Awakening the Kundalini Shakti
What is the Kundalini Shakti?
The Kundalini Shakti is the stuff legends stem from. It's mired in mythology, abstract spirituality and occult mysticism. But let's dispel all that and hear what yoga has to say.
The Kundalini Shakti (aka prana, chi, energy) is the power that lies dormant in the Muladhara chakra (at the base of the spine). It resembles a sleeping serpent coiled 3 1/2 times facing down. When awakened, it rises up through the Sushumna nadi (the central energy pathway, like spinal cord is the central pathway of the nervous system), activating the major Chakras (energy hubs) until it reaches the Ajna chakra (Third Eye). When this happens, a higher level of consciousness is reached and Siddhis (psychic abilities) are realized. But how do you awaken the sleeping Kundalini shakti?
Consciousness in Prana
Essentially, Kundalini being energy, is like electricity. But unlike electricity which is pure energy, Kundalini or prana for that matter has consciousness or an inherent intelligence to it.
Breath and Pranayama
Air is not the source of prana
Breath and prana are closely related to each other. When you understand this by heart, everything in yoga makes more sense. But there is a lot of misconception here. Because Pranayama (regulated breathing) activates Prana (energy), yoga practitioners (me included at one point), think that we get energy from the air we breathe. That is not true even though it seems like it.
We are born with a finite amount of Prana which we deplete as we live our day-to-day lives. When our Prana is completely depleted, there is no more life force left in us, and therefore, we die. So breathing per se, does not add prana in our system - otherwise, we can live indefinitely.
It's actually the other way around. Breathing is the physical manifestation of Prana - because we are activating our prana, therefore we are able to breathe. Putting it another way, regulating our breathing (Pranayama), activates the energy that already resides within us. Air is not an external source of energy.
Where does all that excess energy come from?
Then how come we become insanely strong when doing Pranayama, if not from the air we regulate from breathing? Actually, these are the questions that have long plagued me until I got the answers many years later. We have massive amounts of energy within us, but lie dormant, in the same way the Kundalini shakti remains dormant until awakened. Science even says every cell in our body pacts 1.4 volts of energy (depending on your reading source, it ranges from .07 to 1.5 volts). We have 50 trillion cells in our body. Can you imagine how much energy that is? Putting it in context using Einstein's relativity equation of E=mc2, it takes little mass to produce an enormous amount of energy. The energy unleashed by the atomic bomb that incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki only took a mass the size of 1/4 of one nickel - a quarter of your fingernail.
Things to Know about Prana (energy)
- Nadis - prana flows through energy pathways called Nadis. There are 72,000 Nadis in our bodies, of which the Sushumna is the most important. When Nadis are blocked, Prana cannot pass through and we undergo what is commonly called "getting sick"
- Ida and Pingala Nadis - after the Sushumna, the Ida (moon, female, chandra, right brain hemisphere) and the Pingala (sun, male, surya, left brain hemisphere) are the 2 most important Nadis. When we move prana upwards along the Ida nadi, we inhale. When we move prana down the Pingla nadi, we exhale. Breathing is the result of prana moving and not the other way around
- Prana, Mind, Matter - Prana is closely associated with mind and matter. Every one of them affects the other. It is best to see them as a singularity with just different functions
- Chakra - prana crisscrosses along the spine through 7 energy hubs called the Chakras. This activates the Chakras and different Chakras give rise to different Siddhis
The 5 Yogas and Kundalini
There are a few types of yoga and here's how Kundalini plays a role in it. They differ in their methodology but somehow aim for the same objective - lifting the veil of ignorance and opening consciousness to a singularity and pushing away the sense of separation (I am better than the next guy, I'm doing this for my own selfish benefit, I don't care about other people, I'm full already but let me eat a little bit more, ).....that we are the same.
- Hatha yoga - championed by the Nath yogis, they maintain that Kundalini shakti can be awakened by generating heat by fusing Apana vayu & Prana vayu in the Muladhara chakra through Mula bandha & Uddiyana bandha. The heat awakens the Kundalini and it penetrates the Sushumna nadi (located alongside the spinal cord) on its ascent up towards the Ajna chakra.
In short, it takes Pranayama, Kumbhaka, and Bandha (energy locks) to awaken Kundalini and push it up.
- Raja yoga - Patanjali's yoga sutras are the best examples of Raja yoga - the yoga of the mind. In this tradition, the kundalini is awakened and pulled up by sharpening the mind to have a single-pointed focus.
This is achieved through Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.
- Jnana yoga - yoga of knowledge, using the powers of the mind to discern the real from the unreal. Through knowledge, understanding and reasoning, the layers of reality are sifted through until absolute reality becomes apparent. This pursuit for self-realization through knowledge, also awakens Kundalini
- Bhakti yoga - yoga of devotion to the divine. This entails complete trust and surrender. Again, when this pursuit reveals the singularity of everything and removes duality, Kundalini awakens
- Karma yoga - yoga of selfless action for the benefit of others. In short, it's service to humanity - like what Mother Theresa has done all her life. I'm not even sure if you have to do any Downward Dog or Pranayama on this one, but this devotion to service awakens Kundalini
2 Ways to Awaken Kundalini
- Pushing from below - Hatha Yoga is known for this. From Muladhara chakra, Kundalini is awakened and pushed up through Pranayama + Kumbhaka + Bandha. Asanas also activate the chakras along the spine which help pushes up the ascending Kundalini. Chanting also activates the heart chakra and push up the upward Kundalini
- Pulling from above - Raja Yoga is a good example. Through meditation, the yoga of the mind, the Kundalini is magnetized upwards to the Sahasrara chakra on top of the head.
- Small Deeds, small awakening - Kundalini awakening isn't necessarily a one-moment event. Moreover, the little practice marginally awakens Kundalini...the chant, the asana, the mudra, the daily practice, the positive thought, tapas, etc. This is why people who have a long practice testify that over time, they have developed clarity of thinking, strength, resilience from disease, radiance, and diving lustre. Every good thing done amounts to the awakening of Kundalini
Should Kundalini be Awakened?
Yes, BUT! Kundalini is a validation of our spiritual journey. There are specific practices geared towards speedy activation of Kundalini. It's not a question of whether we can or cannot activate Kundalini. The more compelling question is, "Is the practitioner ready for a Kundalini awakening?". When Kundalini awakens, Nada sounds are heard, hideous-looking dieties become visible and interactable. A person's mental imbalance and emotional disturbance are amplified. Any unresolved personal trauma is reignited. This is a HUGE. If the person is not ready (and I've heard of such accounts), they can freak out. It's best not to rush the Kundalini awakening, but simply to keep going deeper into the yoga practice. When the person is ready, Kundalini will awaken on its own...and the person is strong enough by then to handle the energetic surges and reality shifts.
Beginner Kundalini Awakening Exercise
- Asana - do some kind of stretching + asana
- Padmasana or Siddhasana - sit with a straight spine
- Double in-Breath - do a double in-breath and hold, activate the 3 chakras
- Double out-Breath - do a double out-breath and empty the lungs. Repeat the above until you cannot
- Sambhavi mudra - still seated, resume normal breathing and bring awareness on the 3rd eye. Feel the Kundalini being awakened and being pulled up
- The above routine encompasses Hatha Yoga (asana + pranayama + kumbhaka + bandha) and Raja Yoga (Sambhavi mudra meditation)
Even though Kundalini awakening should not be the goal (let's face it, Kundalini awakening means Siddhi activation which can be intoxifying according to yogic text), as a yoga practitioner pushing boundaries to experience what lies ahead, includes that phase of Kundalini awakening. Yes, I want to experience what it's like when that happens. I won't deny the ego this desire entails or the curiosity of playing God when Siddhis are activated. That's part of my humanity and I offer no apologies nor feel shame for having that thought at the back of my mind.
When that happens and I develop my Siddhis, my analogy is more like being given a Lamborghini to play with. Yes, I will take it on the Autobahn and floor it. After a few days, I'm sure I'd be satiated and I'd bring my senses back to normal. I'd probably give away the Lamborghini since it already played its role. That's how Kundalini awakening comes across to me at this point.
I don't really know what I will do when that happens. Even if that never happens, it's ok. My yoga practice has given me many gifts already...strength, clarity of thinking, resilience from disease, delayed aging, vitality, harmony with my universe, acceptance of things I cannot change or fix, etc. This is plenty. I'm privileged already. But having said that, if Kundalini awakening is offered, I won't say no.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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- Kundalini Consortium - how and why kundalini, neuroplasticity, distance healing, mindfulness, meditation, near-death and out-of-body experience, and other metaphysical phenomena occur and how they influence evolution, creativity, and biology (DNA)
My Feb Yoga Practice: a Journal(Feb 21-28, 2023) I'm doing yoga on many fronts - reading/summarizing/codifying Hatha Yoga Pradipika, developing my online yoga classes and actually doing my practice. They all cover a span of time and by breaking it down into a journal, I can look back and see my progress...more »»
More on Lazi:
- Resorts - Lazi has some beach resorts on its west coast but the popular area for tourist resorts are in San Juan
- Transport - Lazi is the junction where the jeeps begin their clockwise route (Lazi-San Juan-Siquijor Port) or the counter clockwise route (Lazi-Maria-Larena Port). Even though Lazi has a port, it's not used for passengers. Because the jeeps are rare with about 2 to 3 trips/day, it's practical to just have a motorcycle here in Siquijor. With its affordability (a brand new Rusi motorbike is as low as P45k), people just buy motorcycles...especially those who live up in the mountains.
- The Boulevard - Lazi's main draw is its seaside cobblestone promenade. When the sun sets, people gather here for eats, drinks, open-air, harbor view and the sunset
More on Siquijor Island:
Siquijor Island Local Info
Jeeps - there are only 2 routes for jeeps within Siquijor Island - and they are rare. Most people have their own motorcycle transport.
- Siquijor Port to Lazi - last trip leaves at 3pm from station near market
- Lazi to Siquijor Port - jeeps depart from the Lazi Port area. 5 jeeps, the last trip at 12:30 pm. Lazi to San Juan, P50.
- Larena Port to Lazi - jeeps are unpredictable. As of this writing, there is only 1 jeep plying the Larena-Lazi route. This jeep leaves Larena for Lazi at 9:50am. After that, no more jeep. You'll have to take a tricycle to Siquijor Pob for jeeps going to Lazi
- Lazi to Larena Port - 6am (daily) and 9 am (M-Th)
Food - these were suggested by a local to me
- Lechon manok & liempo - roasted pork belly and chicken at Joel's in Siquijor Poblacion. I've tried this myself...yummy, even if the chicken was no longer hot
- Bibingka - sweetened rice cake by Fidy's Bibingka (P30) in Sawang, Maria. I've come back for this and I buy for other people as well as 'pasalubong' - they love this
- Siopao - at the Rosita store near Thrifty (P25) in Siquijor Poblacion
- Peanut butter - by Rene. Just ask around in Siquijor Poblacion. It's popular
- Torta - sweet cakish bread at the Thrifty story in Siquijor Poblacion
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
- Montenegro Lines - at Siquijor Port, P234.00/pax, P169/bicycle, 7:30am/10:00am/2:00pm/4:30pm/7:30? or 9:00? pm
- Ocean Jet - 40 mins,at Siquijor Port, 0919.066.5964, www.oceanjet.net, email@example.com, 6:00am/6:00pm, P350/pax (tourist/open air), P580/pax (business class)
- Atlantis Yohan Express - Siquijor Port or Larena Port?
- Aleson Shipping Lines - Siquijor Port, P200/reg, P250/a-c, 6:00 am daily, 1:30 pm & 6:30pm M-Sat
Siquijor - Tagbilaran - Cebu City Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
En route to Cebu City, the ferries usually make a stop-over to Tagbilaran (Bohol) to pick-up more passengers or unload.
- Ocean Jet - 2 hours, 8:20am, at Siquijor Port
To Tagbilaran: P800/tourist & open air, P1200/business class
To Cebu: ?
- Lite Ferries - at Larena Port,
To Tagbilaran: T-Th-Sun, P475/standard, 7pm, 3 hours, PHP?
To Cebu: T-Th-Sun, 7pm, 7 hours, PHP 650
Siquijor - Plaridel Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
- Lite Ferries - at Larena Port, T-Th-Sun, 2:00 am, 5 hours, PHP?
Siquijor - Cebu (Liloan) - Cebu City BUS Trip(as of Jan 2023)
There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Larena Port around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port (Sundays at 3 pm) for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) 10 pm.
Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because it goes around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena where it takes the ferry at 1 pm. This saves you the hassle and high transport cost of a tricycle. Besides, it's a long trip from the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.
Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island
These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat
- Bohol - Bohol is an island northeast Siquijor. Tourist attractions are Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Monkey, Loboc River Cruise, Beaches of Panglao, whale sharks (recent offering), freediving (recent offering)
- Cebu - Cebu City is the usual gateway into the Visayas. But in Cebu Island itself, there are many offerings - Whale Sharks of Oslob, sardine run at Moalboal,Thresher Shark of Malapascua
- Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.
- Dumaguete - Dumaguete is a small charming progressive coastal town in Negros Oriental. Cafe and restaurants line the famous Boulevard Boardwalk. Tourist attractions include Japanese Shrine, Casaroro Falls, snorkeling along the southern coastline (Dauin, Masaplod Norte, etc), Balinsasayao Twin Lakes
- Plaridel (Misamis Occidental, Mindanao) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.
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- My Feb Yoga Practice: a Journal Feb 21-28, 2023
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- 1:4:2:3 Nadi Shodana Jan 26, 2023
- Lazi's Boulevard Jan 22, 2023
- Lazi: A Monthly Stay Jan 21, 2023
- 7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023
- Capilay Spring Jan 17, 2023
- Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023
- Riding Around Siquijor's 86km Coastal Road Apr 3, 2012
- Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
- Jovee and Missy's Excellent Adventure Nov 6-7, 2010
- Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
- Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
- Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010
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