The ability to relax is essential for physical and mental well-being. Kundalini Yoga gives us the tools to be able to truly relax.
At the end of a Kundalini Yoga set, there is a layout—a time of deep healing relaxation—in Corpse Pose (shavasana). This deep relaxation allows us to enjoy and consciously integrate the mind-body changes which have been brought about during the practice of a kriya.
To experience deep healing relaxation we need to change the distribution of prana, the vital life-force, in the body and activate systems of nerves that allow the self to re-organize patterns of being and acting.
The physiological and neural state is elevated after completing a Kundalini Yoga kriya. The deep healing relaxation that follows a kriya alters the glandular balance in the blood and alters the functioning of the brain.
This is the time to completely relax.
Deep healing relaxation does the following:
- Distributes prana stimulated by the exercises.
- Rejuvenates, especially the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Releases rigid patterns in the muscles and blood flow.
- Circulates glandular changes.
- Centers one's emotional energies.
- Helps in learning how to handle stress and letting go.
- Serves in "memorizing" the relaxation sensation.
- Integrates a new pattern after an old one is broken.
- Creates a rhythm or pulse of energy.
The effects of Kundalini kriyas and chanting are cumulative. They build for a long time after practice. The deep relaxation period allows time for the energies that have been released in the body and mind to circulate and come to equilibrium. The body knows how to naturally balance itself. It is automatic.
The ability to relax is a divine quality. We are more centered and become more sensitive to the energy patterns of life. By relaxing into our elementary or core self, life becomes new, fresh, and revitalized. Lightness and hope come into every step.
To Practice Deep Relaxation
If you are practicing a Kundalini kriya on your own as opposed to going to a class, here are some brief instructions for the after class layout (relaxation):
- You may want to cover your body with a blanket or shawl to keep warm.
- Lie down on your back with your arms at your sides.
- Rest your arms with the palms facing up.
- Feet are uncrossed.
- Close your eyes.
- Relax the breath. Let the belly naturally rise and fall.
- Let everything else go. You've done all you could and all you should. Prepare to heal, rejuvenate, relax, let go and let God.
- Consciously instruct your body and mind to let go.
- Go through your body systematically and give permission for each part, limb, and cell to relax. Instruct each part of your body to lovingly release tension as you mentally say "relax," or "release," or "Sat Naam."
- Music is not necessary but if background music is desired, choose uplifting, calm mantra music.
Coming Out of Deep Relaxation
- Gently bring yourself back to your body awareness.
- Breathe in and out deeply.
- Move your fingers and your toes, rotate the wrists and ankles in both directions
- Stretch the spine, arms overhead, and do a few Cat Stretches to each side.
- Rub the hands and the feet together.
- Roll back and forth a few times on the back, then come sitting up.
Excerpt from the Aquarian Teacher Training Manual