|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 226 ]
Another seemingly simple, yet profoundly powerful practice within the group of jnana yoga kriyas is the nadi jnana kriya, otherwise known as the "cleansing of the psychic sewage."
Integral to a healthy mind, emotions and body, is the free flow of prana. One may often here the term 'energy blockages' in yoga and Eastern healing. What does this mean?
We have already explored the concept of prana to a certain degree and have come to understand its place as both the source and sustenance of all life. In the human, the prana nadis are these "psychic channels' within which the free-flow of prana delivers health and harmony throughout the being.
But this flow can become interrupted or limited according to many factors, and conversely affect the being in many negative ways.
The nadi jnana kriya uses the mind to open up the flow of prana throughout the being and release these energetic blockages.
This is achieved in a uniquely effective way. The visualization is entirely impersonal, seeking only to 'release and let go', and not to characterize, classify or analyze. We simply allow ourselves to be washed clean.
This is an excellent way to get rid of years of psychic 'garbage'. It is a great therapy for the release of mental stress and strain as well as for discharging body tension, and should be practiced with regularity.
Note: This kriya is also an excellent form of relaxation that we can now add to our final relaxation in shava asana at the end of our morning hatha yoga practice.
- Lie in shava asana with your head to the north and do a few rounds of deep breathing.
- Image that you are lying inside of a long hollow tube, as in a sewer pipe or culvert, with your head protruding out of one end and your feet out of the other, and that you are surrounded by mud, heavy sand or dirt.
- Continue to breathe in a relaxed fashion, and imagine that clear water or fresh air is rushing through from the top to the bottom, rinsing the heaviness, the sand, mud or dirt from around you out through the bottom end of the tube.
- Feel a great rumbling out of the foot end as this 'psychic sewage' is washed away.
- Keep this visualization going until you have a sensation of only pure and fresh water or air moving through the tube around you and a feeling of freshness and cleanliness.
- Let yourself continue to relax for 5 or 10 minutes afterwards, then do some deep breathing in order to re-energize yourself back to activity.
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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