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In the practice of Kundalini Yoga, postures, also known as asanas, combine with breath, mudra, eye-focus, mantra, and body locks to affect body, mind, and soul.
Postures practiced in Kundalini Yoga include forms that are familiar to the Hatha Yoga practitioner such as downward dog, forward bends, and seated poses. However, in a Kundalini Yoga class or manual, Sanskrit names are rarely used to identify postures; instead, they are verbally described and almost always include a demonstration or illustration.
Kundalini Yoga also includes asanas that are less commonly used in Hatha Yoga and may involve movement such as spinal flex, life nerve stretch, and spinal twist. A specific sequence of postures builds the foundation of a kriya.
The Effects of Postures
Each asana in a kriya is an exercise, a meditation, a connection to energy flow, and a self-diagnostic instrument for the Kundalini Yoga practitioner:
Asana as an Exercise:
- Isolates specific muscles
- Pressurizes specific points or areas to enhance glandular and organ function
- Re-directs, flushes, or increases circulation
Asana as a Meditation:
- Creates a special link and foundation between mind and body
- Releases emotional masking and blocks stimulated by the posture
Asana as a Connection to Energy Flow:
- Opens energy pathways between meridians
Asana as a Self-Diagnostic Tool:
- Signals of pleasure or discomfort and pain indicate conditions of the muscles, glands, and/or emotions
You’ll go through stages as you adjust to the effects of the postures in Kundalini Yoga. At first, you may feel awkward. If you hold it, it starts to feel better. The asana starts to find a natural place in you as you give a new form to your conscious and unconscious patterning. In Kundalini Yoga, the emphasis is not on perfecting the physical posture but on the experience and effects of it. Whatever you think your physical limitations are, there is a place for you in Kundalini Yoga.
Angles and Triangles
The angles we make with our bodies in different postures effect the flow of energy.
Effects of Lifting the Legs to Different Heights:
- 0-12 inches: everything below the navel point
- 0 to 6 inches: ovaries/sex glands
- 6 to 18 inches: navel point, kidneys
- 12 inches to 2 feet: liver, spleen, gall bladder, pancreas
- 1½ feet to 2½ feet: liver, upper stomach, gall bladder
- 2 to 3 feet: heart, lungs, stomach
- over 4 feet to 90 degrees: thyroid, parathyroid, pineal glands
- 90 degrees: pineal and pituitary glands, memory
Effects of Lifting the Arms 60 degrees:
- heart and lungs
[From the KRI Aquarian Teacher Training Manual Level 1]