PS is practicing yoga since the age of 11. Her yoga retreats in India have helped her gain deep insights into self-awareness.
The spiritual awakening is not a synonym for the activation of chakras or initiation of Nadis (Sushumna, Ida, Pingala). The spiritual consciousness rises with the awakening of kundalini, which is the highest form of all types of awakening. The activation of chakras and Nadis slow down after a time, but when this activated energy hits your kundalini, there’s no going back. This also means that if you have opened all your six chakras up to Ajna, you don’t have an awakened kundalini yet.
Kundalini awakening demands a systematic process. It starts with the purification and proper functioning of the Ida and Pingala Nadis. Then, all the chakras are activated. Finally, the Sushumna Nadi is awakened to give a clear passage for your kundalini to rise to the highest level. If these steps are considered sequentially, you will experience positive results. In case, you neglect it, there can be some serious negative effects on your mental and physical well-being.
Consider this, if your Sushumna Nadi is not clear, then your activation of all chakras is worthless. It will obstruct the union of Shiva and Shakti. Your energy will be stagnated in the lowest chakra and you may sense certain neurotic and sensual issues. Instead of higher experiences, you may go through brutish encounters. This is a huge disadvantage and may severely impact your lifestyle. So, be careful.
The different forms of awakening are equally important as each of them contributes in its own way to boost your overall health. Ida and Pingala Nadis unblock your body from impurity. Chakras energize your body to boost your concentration and consciousness. Finally, Sushumna Nadi unites with the balanced Ida and Pingala and awakened chakras at Ajna chakra. It then carries it forward, as kundalini, to the highest awakening i.e. Sahasrara.
Each of your cells is a being by itself. The psychic manifestations that come from the combined forms of awakening replenish the energy of each cell. Thus, your body becomes a vessel for macro-cosmic energy.
1. Balancing the Ida and Pingala Nadis
Ida and Pingala Nadis are the source of a man’s existence. Pingala regulates the vital force and Ida controls consciousness. They simultaneously operate the two hemispheres of the brain, which regulate the working of the whole physical body. At this first step, we aim to discipline these two Nadis.
As you are already aware, Ida and Pingala Nadis work alternatively and influence the body temperature, digestion, brainwaves, hormonal secretions, and rest of the body functions. But due to bad lifestyle and poor eating habits, these Nadis start to function abnormally. This results in the domination of one Nadi and the suppression of others. This can cause physical and mental impurities, ultimately leading to illness.
That’s why these Nadis need to be balanced and must function as per the laws of nature. When they work normally, your Sushumna Nadi can be awakened.
You should practice pranayama, hatha yoga, and raja yoga. The best one is the Nadi Shodhana pranayama.
2. Activating the chakras
Generally, most of you have your lowest three chakras (Mooladhara, Swadhisthana, and Manipura) working sufficiently fine. Your basic yoga practices help you activate these chakras without any efforts. These three chakras also awake through your dedication and determination to your work. This also means the kundalini has ascended through the chakras, but you may have not realized it since there are no symptoms. However, in any situation, it is important that all chakras are activated before reaching the supreme consciousness.
Chakras are like the electrical junctions and Nadis are the wirings. If the electrical junctions are not organized perfectly, then even the presence of the best wiring is worthless. This restricts the distribution of electrical energy. Similarly, chakras distribute the energy to all the corners of your body and they need to be in the best shape.
Each of your body units is directly linked with the different chakras. Any sensation that you feel will instantly contact the chakra connected with that particular body area. This concludes your specific body functioning is related to a specific chakra. For example, the Swadhisthana chakra controls your reproductive and excretory systems, the Mooladhara chakra controls the sexual organs, the Manipura chakra controls the digestive system, and so on.
In most of us, the chakras lying beyond the Manipura chakra are in a dormant state. The lowest three are already functioning well, due to which you have sexual urges, eating desires, and cleansing needs. This is also a reason why social traditions thrive on five elements of tantra - sexual interaction, fish, wine, grain, and meat. This means, most of the people have their kundalini living somewhere between Swadhisthana and Mooladhara.
Once, the kundalini goes beyond these chakras and move to the Anahata and upwards, you no longer completely depend on these five elements. There are many ways to bring the rest of the chakras in operation. People with a strong and determined mind can begin with higher practices. Some of these practices include a focus on Bhrumadhya (the eyebrow center), Uddiyana Bandha, and Bija mantra. These can help you awake all the chakras, though you might need more practice for the crown chakra. If done correctly, you’ll experience psychic sensations that you can easily control.
The yoga asanas are performed for mild awakening in the chakras such as Sarvangasana is for Vishuddhi, Matsyasana is for Anahata, and Bhujangasana is for Swadhisthana. This mild awakening won’t give you any jolting experiences. On the other hand, sudden awakening may cause greed, fear, anxiety, depression, etc.
Each chakra’s traits are represented by a certain animal that symbolise a unique type of animal consciousness. The sudden awakening in any of the chakras causes you to show mild or strong animal emotions such as fear and violence, which are more common in an animal. A man always tries to get rid of the animal within him, yet at the same time, he is unconsciously maintaining it. That’s why you need to be careful and avoid giving an explosive manifestation to your chakras.
3. Initiating the Sushumna Nadi
Initiating the Sushumna Nadi is the final step in the awakening of the kundalini. This means you are required to work more intensely than you did with the awakening of the chakras. This sensation goes beyond human logic. It can’t be expressed or explained properly as it varies for different individuals.
To fulfill the purpose of kundalini awakening, your Sushumna Nadi must be in full working mode. Otherwise balancing Ida and Pingala and activation of chakras will be totally worthless.
Ida and Pingala Nadis are equally important as the Sushumna Nadi. The difference is the former ones are responsible for the individual portion of the brain, while the latter affects the whole brain.
According to the ancient texts of tantra, kundalini can pass through any of the channels (Nadi), but the result will vary for each of the channels. If it passes through Pingala, you can be a healer and have the talent to handle the matter and the mind. If it passes through Ida, you can be proficient in predicting the events. But when it passes through the Sushumna Nadi, kundalini reaches directly to the Sahasrara and you evolve into a state of Jivan-mukti, meaning self-realized and liberated soul.
Kriya yoga is the recommended starting point for the awakening of Sushumna. Followed by the intense practice of hatha yoga and pranayama. The most effective way is through breath retention, called Kumbhaka mentioned in the ancient Hindu text of Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Breath retention causes the suppression of Ida and Pingala Nadis and thus, the Sushumna awakens. Immediately after the practice, both the Nadis flow simultaneously and at this point, kundalini should be awakened to its full potential.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Prachi Sharma