Sat Kriya is one of the most fundamental kriyas is Kundalini Yoga, it is recommended to exercise this posture for 3 minutes for an effect or even longer when you are more advanced and feel comfortable practicing at longer times. This kriya has a lot of benefits and is designed to raise the Kundalini energy.
All arm lifts in yoga assist blood circulation to the heart and helps to balance the heart center. It is one of the few exercises that is a complete workout in itself. This particular exercise works on all of the chakras and its hand position is known as the Kshepana Mudra (the letting go gesture) which is also the Buddhist seal of enlightenment and helps you let go of stress and negativity.
Sat Kriya is a complete Kundalini yoga workout for all of the chakras. It is an amazing and powerful practice, complete and entire in one asana and mudra. Doing Sat Kriya every day for 40 days will have a profound effect on the function of your chakras. It specifically works on waking up the Kundalini energy and helping it move up your spine through your chakra system.
Sat Kriya can stand alone like a precious gem.
What does Sat Kriya mean? Sat is translated into “truth” and kriya means “action or effort” in the Sanskrit language.
Keynotes to remember in Kundalini Yoga
Things to remember when practicing kundalini yoga, either at home or at the studio.
1. Begin each yoga practice with finding your center, your inner stillness with long deep breathing to set the frequency.
2. We always tune in by placing palms together at the heart center while chanting the Adi Mantra (Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo*3 which means I bow to the teacher within myself.
3. With each exercise, we always internally chant “Sat Nam” (truth is my identity) Sat on the inhale and nam on the exhale to help us focus when meditating or with postures.
4. After each posture, we rest for a while, 1-2 minutes to feel the sensations in the body and mind. Having body awareness is an important factor which is essential to sharpening your present moment awareness.
5. After all, postures have been finished its time for a longer rest called “Yoga Nidra” which is translated as the yogic sleep where we let go completely of our breath and just relax our body and mind. We rest for approximately 10-15 minutes in total. When we are in this relaxed state of body and mind, it helps the body to integrate after the exercises.
Why is relaxation so important in Kundalini Yoga?
The ability to relax is essential for physical and mental wellbeing. Relaxation can be very difficult for most people because of a subliminal level of emotional conflict or turmoil but Kundalini Yoga gives people the tools to be able to truly relax. So what are the benefits of relaxations:
- It rejuvenates the body, especially the parasympathetic nervous system.
- It distributes the prana stimulated by the exercises.
- It helps release rigid patterns in the muscles and in the blood flow.
- It helps to circulate glandular changes.
- It aids in centering one`s emotional energies.
- It helps to learn how to handle stress and to let go.
6. After Yoga Nidra (the yogic sleep) we follow the recipe taught by Yogi Bhajan on coming out of deep relaxation with these simple steps I have written below.
- Connect with your breath again, with controlled long deep breathing all the way down to your belly. Feel that your stomach is filled up like a balloon and then exhale fully.
- Move your fingers and your toes, rotate both wrists and ankles in both directions.
- Rub the hands and the feet together by raising the arms over the center of your body.
- Roll back and forth a few times on the back.
- Come up to sitting position (padmasana)7. After coming up from yoga nidra there is usually a meditation but in this case, you can finish off with tuning out with Sat Naam*3.
8. Keep a meditation and kriya journal and write down how your exercises went, both physically, mentally and emotionally. This will be a valuable treasure to look back on.
Now onto the exercise itself, below I have listed a how to do the Sat Kriya with instructions. Or you can download, and print out this pdf I found on Kundalini Research Institute for your convenience here. Tip: Download it on your phone so you can have this precious gem right in your pocket.
1. Sit on the heels and stretch the arms over the head so that the elbows hug the ears. Interlock the fingers except for the first ones (index) which point straight up. Begin to chant Sat Naam emphatically in a constant rhythm about eight times per 10 seconds. Chant the sound Sat from the Navel Point and Solar Plexus, and pull the umbilicus all the way in and up, toward the spine. On Naam relax the belly. Continue at least
3 minutes, then inhale and squeeze the muscles tightly from the buttocks
all the way up the back, past the shoulders. Mentally allow the energy to flow through the top of the skull. Ideally, you should relax for twice the length of time that the kriya was practiced.
2. You may build the time of the kriya to 31 minutes, but remember to have a long, deep relaxation immediately afterward. You can after starting off with 3 minutes as a regular practice also extend the time of the Sat Kriya to 11 minutes and then 31 minutes in total.
Sat Kriya is not just an exercise, it is a kriya that works on all levels of your being.
3. Notice that you emphasize pulling the Navel Point in. Don’t try to apply mulbandh. Mulbandh happens automatically if the navel is pulled. Consequently, the hips and lumbar spine do not rotate or flex. Your spine stays straight and then only move your arms make is a slight up-and-down stretch with each Sat Naam as your chest lifts.
Watch the video below, Sat Kriya is one of the most POWERFUL kriyas in Kundalini Yoga.
Video by Guru Prem Singh Khalsa / facebook.com/guruprem.khalsa
What are the effects of Sat Kriya?
The effects of Sat Kriya are numerous, this exercise works directly on stimulating and channelizing the kundalini energy, so it must always be practiced with the mantra Sat Naam. Sat Kriya strengthens the entire sexual system and stimulates its natural flow of energy. This relaxes phobias about sexuality. It allows you to control the insistent sexual impulse by re-channelizing sexual energy to creative and healing activities in the body. People who are severely maladjusted or who have mental problems benefit from this kriya since these disturbances are always connected with an imbalance in the energies of the lower three chakras. General physical health is improved since all the internal organs receive a gentle rhythmic massage from this exercise. The heart gets stronger from the rhythmic up-and-down of blood pressure you generate from the pumping motion of the Navel Point. If you have time for nothing else, make this kriya part of your daily promise to yourself to keep the body a clean and vital temple of God.
The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan ©2002
Sat Kriya is found on Library of Teachings
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With loving kindness,
Tiaga Nihal Kaur.