This easy set of exercises is excellent as a tune-up. It systematically exercises the spine and aids in the circulation of prana to balance the chakras.
1. Ego Eradicator
This exercise opens the lungs, brings the hemispheres of the brain to a state of alertness, and consolidates the magnetic field.
Sit in Easy Pose. Raise the arms to a 60 degree angle. Curl the fingertips onto the pads at the base of the fingers. Plug the thumbs into the sky.
Close the eyes, concentrate above the head, and do Breath of Fire.
Continue for 1 – 3 minutes.
Inhale and touch the thumb tips together overhead. Exhale and apply mulbandh. Inhale and relax.
2. Spine Flex
This exercise stimulates and stretches the lower and mid-spine.
Sitting in Easy Pose, grasp the shins with both hands. As you inhale, flex the spine forward and lift the chest. As you exhale, flex the spine back, keeping the shoulders relaxed and the head straight.
Continue rhythmically with deep breaths for 1 – 3 minutes.
To End: Inhale, exhale, relax.
3. Spinal Twist
This exercise also stimulates and stretches the lower and mid-spine.
In Easy Pose, grab the shoulders, with the thumbs in back and the fingers in front. Keep the elbows high, with the arms parallel to the ground.
Inhale as you twist the head and torso to the left. Exhale as you twist to the right. Continue for 1 – 4 minutes.
To End: Inhale facing straight forward. Exhale and relax.
4. Front Life Nerve Stretch
This exercise works on the lower and upper spine.
Stretch both legs straight out in front. Grab the toes in finger lock. (Index finger and middle finger pull the toe, and the thumb presses the nail of the big toe.
Exhale as you lengthen the core of the spine, bending forward from the navel, continuing to lengthen the spine. The head follows last.
Inhale, use the legs to push up. The head comes up last.
Continue with deep, powerful breathing for 1 – 3 minutes.
To End: Inhale up and hold the breath briefly. Stay up and exhale completely, holding the breath out briefly. Inhale and relax.
5. Modified Maha Mudra
This exercise helps elimination, stretches the sciatic nerve and brings circulation to the upper torso.
Sit with the right heel tucked into the perineum and the left leg extended forward. Grasp the big toe of the left foot with both hands, applying a pressure against the toenail. Pull Neck Lock.
Exhale, bring the elbows to the ground as you lengthen the spine, bending forward from the navel, continuing to lengthen the spine, bringing the head to the knee. Spine stays straight.
Hold this posture with Breath of Fire for 1 – 2 minutes.
To End: Inhale. Exhale and stretch the head and torso forward and down. Hold the breath out briefly.
6. Switch Legs
Inhale, switch legs and repeat the exercise for 1 – 2 minutes.
To End: Relax.
7. Life Nerve Stretch
This exercise develops flexibility of the lower spine and sacrum and charges the magnetic field.
Spread the legs wide, grasping the toes as in Front Life Nerve Stretch. Inhale and stretch the spine straight, pulling back on the toes.
Exhale and, bending at the waist, bring the head down to the left knee.
Inhale up in the center position and exhale down, bringing up the head to the right knee.
Continue with powerful breathing for 1 – 2 minutes.
8. Center Stretch
Then inhale up in the center position and exhale, bending straight forward from the waist touching the forehead to the floor.
Continue this up and down motion for 1 minute.
To End: Inhale up, stretching the spine straight. Exhale, bringing the forehead to the floor. Hold the breath out briefly as you stretch forward and down. Inhale and relax.
9. Cobra Pose
This exercise balances the sexual energy and draws the prana to balance apana so that the kundalini energy can circulate to the higher centers in the following exercises.
Lie on the stomach with the palms flat on the floor under the shoulders. The heels are together with the soles of the feet facing up.
Inhale into Cobra Pose, arching the spine, vertebra by vertebra, from the neck to the base of the spine until the arms are straight. Begin Breath of Fire and continue for 1 – 3 minutes.
To End: Then inhale, arching the spine to the maximum. Exhale and hold the breath out briefly, apply mulbandh. Inhale.Exhaling slowly, lower the arms and relax the spine, vertebra by vertebra, from the base of the spine to the top.
Relax, lying on the stomach with the chin on the floor and the arms by the sides.
10. Shoulder Shrugs
This exercise balances the upper chakras and opens the hormonal gate to the higher brain centers.
Sit in Easy Pose. Place the hands on the knees.
Inhale and shrug the shoulders up toward the ears. Exhale and drop the shoulders down. Continue rhythmically with powerful breathing for 1 – 2 minutes.
To End: Inhale. Exhale and relax.
11. Neck Rolls
The shoulders remain relaxed and motionless. The neck should be allowed to gently stretch as the head circles around.
Sit in Easy Pose. Begin rolling the head clockwise in a circular motion, bringing the right ear toward the right shoulder, the back of the head toward the back of the neck, the left ear toward the left shoulder and the chin toward the chest. Continue for 1 – 2 minutes.
Reverse the direction of the neck rolls and continue for 1 – 2 minutes.
To End: Bring the head to a central position and relax.
12. Sat Kriya
Sat Kriya circulates the kundalini energy through the cycle of the chakras, aids in digestion, and strengthens the nervous system.
Sit on the heels with the arms overhead and the palms together.
Interlace the fingers except for the index fingers, which point straight up. Men cross the right thumb over the left thumb; women cross the left thumb over the right.
Begin to chant ‘Sat Naam’ emphatically in a constant rhythm about 8 times per 10 seconds. Chant the sound ‘Sat’ from the navel point and solar plexus, and pull the navel all the way in and up. On ‘Naam’ relax the navel.
Continue for 3 – 7 minutes.
To End: Inhale and squeeze the muscles tight from the buttocks all the way up the back past the shoulders. Mentally allow the energy to flow through the top of the skull.
Exhale. Inhale deeply. Exhale completely and apply mulbandh with the breath held out. Inhale and relax.
13. Deep Relaxation
Deep relaxation allows you to enjoy and consciously integrate the mind/body changes which have been brought about during the practice of this kriya. It allows you to sense the extension of the self through the magnetic field and the aura and allows the physical body to deeply relax.
Relax in Easy Pose or on the back with the arms at the sides, palms up.
Continue for 5- 11 minutes.
©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
Photos courtesy of Kundalini Mobile