Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Introduction to Creation Level Exercises in Nadi Yoga

As some of you have experienced recently, we are now taking the Nadi Yoga to a much deeper level.

I call this level of the work Srsti Yoga, or the Yoga of Creation.

Are the many nadis or rivers of awareness places that we discover? Are they real outside of our own consciousness?

Or are they pathways that we forge through our own attention, inseparable from that very attention itself?

My recognition is of the latter.

It took me many years to figure out that the many deep level processes of Hatha Yoga were not about seeking to find the subtle but actually involved creating pathways in the field of mind/consciousness and working with what arises when we shape and construct those pathways.

Consciousness has an infinite ability to shape and manifest itself according to intention. Where does our intention lie? Do we even have to rely on the traditional sources to manifest these pathways? Not really, but I do think that some of the pathways that have been described in the past can be both valid and original corridors if we pay attention to our direct instrumental sensory level of awareness in shaping them.

However ultimately, the work has to become our own if we are to truly understand this level of yoga. Can we step outside of our habitual and unconscious constructions to truly allow these creations to unfold?

I feel that it is important to have a basic grasp of mudra when undertaking the creation level work. This is because mudra allows for a dissolving of mental constructions to take place, akin to wiping a blackboard clean before we draw on it. Mudra allows for us to ground in the central point of lucid clarity. See my other posts on mudra if you are unclear.

So lets try some techniques.

Try standing with the feet apart about 3 to 4 feet wide. Turn the feet out slightly. Keep the legs straight. Push into the shins and feet to establish the normal force (see the post on physics of yoga if you don't know what the normal force is) through the bones. Relax all musculature above the kneecaps, including the hips to allow for the normal force  to be felt upwards through the navel into the spine and arms. Raise the arms to about shoulder level to feel the uprising of the normal force. Use mudra to maintain clarity and the center. Wait until you feel the contact/normal force flood the bones.

At this point open from the navel to the sole of the foot like you would open a tube. Don't worry about whether you are getting it right. Just allow yourself to experience directly the opening in what ever way that comes. Feel the tubes of the legs expand into the ground. Now let the opening of the tubes continue from the navel up through the 'trident', the spine and two arms. Is there any place that the tubes feel more closed? Open them up.

Now begin to expand outwards from the navel downwards with blue fire. Why blue? It is higher frequency than red. And anyways, why not? Feel it come back from the earth purified and stabilizing the base of the position, simultaneous with the normal force generated by the shins. Feel the connection of the navel to the earth.

Now draw the blue fire up into the trident, the arms and spine. Fill the spine and take the fire out the arms to hold it in each hand. Like you are a strange 5-limbed spider made out of blue fire.

See it clearly in the mind eye. To stabilize the image in the mind eye, utilize Shambhavi mudra and recognize the union of clarity/emptiness and form. Don't attach to the form. Let it become clear in the empty lucid sky of consciousness. Let it burn.

Let the legs bend as the top of the shin presses out, allowing yourself to come down into horse. Open the fingers and let the palms face each other. Now, maintaining the continuous stream of fire in the legs and spine, release the continuous stream in the arms. Let the fire in the arms condense into a blue fire ball between the hands. Let it hover there for some time. Then absorb the fire into the left hand, draw it down into the navel and then let it rise through the right arm and come out from the right palm. Let it leave the palm, feel it as it moves from the right to left palm and then absorb it again into the left. Continue, letting the ball travel from right to left hand and moving the blue fire ball down into the navel and up through the right palm and out again. Repeat this several times. Then reverse the direction, taking the fire ball in through the right palm and bringing it out from the left palm. Let it travel in reverse direction several times, completing the circuit.

As you do this try to simultaneously see and feel the blue fire traveling through you. Sharpen the clarity of the form with the Shambhavi mudra.

If you decide to stop at this point, dissolve all forms back into natural lucidity and rest there for awhile.

If you want to continue, try the following, keeping in mind to stop the activity if you start to feel overwhelmed at any point:

Take the ball of blue fire above the crown of the head about 12 finger widths. Hold it there and then draw it down behind the body in an arc to 12 finger widths below the feet under the floor. Let it rest there a moment and then draw it up the front of the body in an arc back up over the head. Let it rest for a moment. If you like you can continue this movement with the breath, inhaling the ball down and exhaling it up. Or your can exhale it down and inhale it up. Or you can just focus on the movement of the ball separate from the breath. Mantra can also be used here simultaneous with the movement (more on that another time).

Once you've established the movement and the two points above and below, start to move the ball rapidly, basically forming a quickly moving ring of blue fire around the front and back of the body, like a rapidly spinning wheel going backwards. Hold the form clearly in the mind eye and feel it simultaneously. Use the Shambhavi mudra to sharpen and stabilize the form.

Then quickly and immediately stop the ball above the head. Hold it there briefly and then reverse the direction, taking it down in the front to below the feet. Hold it there. Take it up the back to the crown. Hold it there. Repeat several times. When it is stabilized, begin to move it rapidly in the 'forward' direction like a blue wheel of fire. Stabilize the movement and unify it with the clarity of Shambhavi mudra. After some time with this stop it immediately above the head.

For the second phase, try moving the ball down to the right and up on the left. Let the arc down and up go completely to the outside of the body to right and left, between the crown and foot points. Go between the two points holding at the points briefly and then begin to spin rapidly again. Hold this for some time. Then stopping at the crown, reverse the direction again, this time moving the ball down to the left and bringing it up on the right side in the same way as before. Stop the ball above the head when you are ready.

The third phase involves taking the ball down in front of the navel several feet out. We are going to circle the navel horizontally this time, beginning with moving the ball around the right side of the waist to several feet behind the spine, holding it there briefly and then bringing it around forward to the left back in front of the navel. Go back and forth around the body between the two points for awhile and then rapidly begin to circle it around the waist. This variation might get you hot. Stop the ball when you are ready in front of the navel and then reverse the direction this time taking the ball back to the left and forward to the right. Repeat as above until the ring of fire is spinning "counterclockwise". Hold for some time and then stop.

The fourth phase involves taking the blue fire ball down to the outside of the left ankle. This variation is influenced by the middle pillar exercise, described by Israel Regardie. We are going to take the ball on a counterclockwise spiral journey around the body and up from the ankle, circling the body counterclockwise and up until it reaches the crown. When the ball hits above the crown, it explodes into a shower and falls down like liquid fire through the body, pooling at the base and condensing again at the left ankle. You can do this in discrete movements with or without the breath, drawing it up and then showering and then you can do it in a constant flowing movement when you are ready. See the blue fire turn to white over the course of this activity. Unify the creation with the clarity of Shambhavi mudra.

When you are done with these practices, dissolve all forms into innate clarity and rest for some time. Then exit the position and rest briefly. If for any reason you are ungrounded by the activity, send everything down, connecting spine and navel to the earth. If this doesn't work, sit and repeat 'lam' (sounds like 'lum') over and over or go put your bare feet in the earth. You should feel energized and alert if you have managed to keep the forms stabilized with the clarity of the mudra.

The exercises described above are a very tiny sampling of the creation level work of the Nadi Yoga and give an example of how we can shape the mind space with our consciousness. Horse stance is nice but not necessary. We can also do these techniques from seated or pick another stance that works.

We are always creating whether we realize it or not. Working with this level of the work consciously allows us to recognize more and more our own unconscious creations and begins to build new pathways, simultaneously purifying our mental and energetic corridors.

I find this level of the work profound. Try it out for several weeks, and take note of the effects in your life.