KRIYA – HEAL YOUR BACK NOW

(The Art, Science & Application of Kundalini Yoga, Nirvair Singh Khalsa, pp. 103-107).

  1. Pelvic Grind Left. Lightly pull Root Lock (Mulbandh) and Neck Lock (Jalandhar Bandh) place your hands on your knees and begin grinding yourself in a big, smooth circle going to the left. Lift the chest up high as you tilt the pelvis back, then lean to the left, then arch and lean forward, then lean to the right. Keep the chin level to the ground in both positions. Normal breath (90 seconds).

Doing this exercise, by itself, for 31 minutes a day can maintain your youth.

  1. Pelvic Grind Right. Continue grinding yourself in a big, smooth circle going to the right. Lift the chest up high as you tilt the pelvis back, then lean to the right, then arch and lean forward, then lean to the left. Keep the chin level to the ground in both positions. Normal breath (90 seconds).

Great for lower back and hips. Helps make elimination regular. 

  1. Basic Spine Flex. Sit in Easy Pose. Lightly pull Root Lock (Mulbandh) and Neck Lock (Jalandhar Bandh). Grasp the shins firmly right above the ankles. Inhale and flex the spine forward keeping the chest high and regal. Exhale and flex the spine back. Inhale up and exhale back. Keep the chin level to the ground in both positions (3 minutes).

This exercise changes brain wave patterns after three minutes. 

  1. Front Stretch Left. Stretch the left leg out in front of you straight; right foot against the inner thigh of the left leg, heel held close to the groin. Hold on to the shin or foot with both hands. Keep the foot at a right angle to the ground. Gently stretch forward and then down, using your back like a hinge. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

  1. Front Stretch Right. Stretch the right leg out in front of you straight; left foot against the inner thigh of the right leg, heel held close to the groin. Pull Neck Lock and Root Lock. Keep the foot at a right angle to the ground. Gently stretch forward and then down. Hold the position steady for 10-15 seconds.

Exercises #4 and #5 stretch the life nerve (sciatic / hamstrings). They are also good for the lower back, stretching the hamstrings and relaxing the quads. Front stretch right is part of the liver series. It is one of several positions that places pressure on the lobes of the liver.

  1. Short Rest. Come out of position and rest on your back. Lie down flat, have the arms by the side palms up, with the eyes gently closed and the breath soft and normal. If you need to, have the knees up for comfort. Normal breath (30 seconds).

  1. Yoga Crunch. Bring the knees up. Pull Root Lock and have your feet flat against the floor. Make the hands into a basket by interlacing them and placing them behind the head. This is a 6-count movement both up and down. Lift the head off the ground and remember to just support the head with the hands. Do not pull on the neck with the hands or arms. Keep the lower back flat throughout this exercise. Inhale, then exhale and slowly curl up tightening the abdominal muscles, one, two, three, four, five, six. Then inhale and slowly loosen the abdominals as you go back, one, two, three, four, five, six. Keep the head up in both positions. This will help you keep the lower back against the floor. Concentrate your breath’s energy right at the navel point. Imagine as though you were breathing in and out through your navel (2 minutes).

This energizes the navel center and strengthens the abdominal muscles. It is also easy on the lower back. 

  1. Cow/Cat. Have the hands on the ground shoulder width apart, knees directly down from the hips, heels touching. Inhale as you tilt the pelvis forward, arching the lower back slightly downward. The head moves last. Arch the head back. Exhale as you arch the back up, tilting the pelvis the opposite way. The head moves last, towards the chest. Push up through the shoulders, chin on the chest. Alternate between cow and cat for 2 minutes. Keep the eyes closed and firmly fixed at the brow point.

Cow/Cat is a total spine exercise. It brings extra circulation into the face and head. It releases stored energy for healing the body. It stimulates the higher glands, in particular, the thyroid, pituitary and pineal.

Cow/Cat can “make your eyes glitter with a special light.” It’s also been said by Yogi Bhajan that Cow and Cat virtually polishes all your vertebrae! (Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power, Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, p. 250). 

  1. Half-Spinal Twist Left. Come out of position, sit down and stretch your legs out in front of you straight. Bring the left knee up. Cross the left foot over the right leg placing the foot flat on the floor. Take the left hand and bring it all the way back down and behind you on the left side. Take the right arm and wrap it around the left leg. Straighten up. Keep the chin in neck lock, level to the ground and turn the chin all the way to the left. Chest up high, left shoulder and chin all the way left. Long, slow, deep breathing (1 minute).

  1. Half-Spinal Twist Right. Stretch your legs out in front of you straight. Bring the right knee up. Cross the right foot over the left leg placing the foot flat on the floor. Take the right hand and bring it all the way back down and behind you on the right side. Take the left arm and wrap it around the right leg. Straighten up. Keep the chin in neck lock, level to the ground and turn the chin all the way to the right. Chest up high, right shoulder and chin all the way right. Long, slow, deep breathing (1 minute).

Both of the above exercises open up the hips and energize the spine.

  1. Shoulder Teeter Totters. Come sit in Easy Pose. Hook the hands together in Bear Grip. The left hand is facing out and grips the right hand. Keep the arms parallel to the ground to begin and use the heart center as a pivot point for your teeter-totter, with hands 4 to 6 inches out from the chest. Inhale as you lift the left elbow up and the right elbow goes down; then exhale and the right elbow goes up and the left elbow goes down. Continue. Let all the motion happen in the shoulders and the arms without leaning from side to side (1 minute). At the end, inhale the arms parallel to the ground. Pull on the Bear Grip and hold the breath, then relax the arms.

  1. Shoulder Shrugs. .Remain comfortably seated in Easy Pose. Gently grasp the knees with the hands. Inhale as you shrug the shoulders up to the ears. Exhale as you drop the shoulders down. Continue this motion for 60 seconds at a rapid pace.

This exercise opens the upper spine, loosens the shoulders and energizes the heart and throat chakras. 

  1. Shoulder Rolls. Remain comfortably seated in Easy Pose. Keeping the hands on the knees, roll the shoulders together in big, slow, smooth circles. Continue for 90 seconds with relaxed breath.

This exercise loosens tight shoulders, opens the chest, heart and throat centers. 

  1. Neck Rolls or Turns. Sit up tall with the chest high, neck lock and root lock both pulled. Place the hands on the knees. Inhale and turn the head to the left and exhale and turn the head to the right. Keep the chin level to the ground and breathe slowly move (1 minute).

Relaxes the neck and shoulders and the back of the head. Opens up the higher glands.

  1. Deep Relaxation. Relax flat on your back in Corpse Pose. Arms are by the sides, palms up. Eyes are gently closed; breath is soft and normal. Totally and completely relax.

Relaxation is as important in Kundalini Yoga as practicing the exercises. It allows the body to rebalance and the mind to refresh itself. This is the position at the end of every kriya.

Comments: Kundalini Yoga is excellent for the back. Experience has shown it is especially effective for congenital curvatures of the spine. Kundalini Yogis and Yoginis spend a lot of time working with the flexibility of the spine. We move the whole back in many different ways that you normally don’t do in normal adult life. We use static stretching, range of motion movements and also move energy through the spine. In addition, we work on the energy fields and learn and practice meditation techniques that clear and clarify the mind and emotions. The net result is a healthy and pain free back as well as the means to keep it that way!

The real solution to the physical part of most back problems lies in working with three specific areas of the body. To maintain a healthy lower back you must stretch the life nerve (hamstrings and sciatic nerve), build the strength of the third center--which is an energy center--through abdominal strengthening and move the back in a variety of ways.