KRIYA – TO BALANCE THE HEAD AND HEART
(Kundalini Yoga, Shakta Kaur Khalsa, pp. 92-93)
Center yourself with three deep inhalations and exhalations (or by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo).
Arm Twists. Sit in Easy Pose or in a chair with your spine straight, feet flat on the floor. Arms straight out to the sides from the shoulders with the wrists bent perpendicular to the arms, as though you were pressing the palms flat against two walls. There will be pressure on the wrists as you keep them pulled back in this position throughout the exercise. The beginning position is with the fingers straight up. This is the inhale position. Now exhale and rotate the entire arm until the fingers face forward. Inhale and return to the beginning position. Then exhale again and twist the arms until the fingers point backward. Then inhale in the beginning position. Continue, keeping all four movements distinct and separate. The elbows rotate. Move in a rhythm of 1 full cycle per 4 seconds. Continue for 3-7 minutes, then inhale, exhale and relax. Massage the arms and shoulders for a few seconds.
Arm Arcs. Still in Easy Pose, extend the arms straight out to the sides, palms facing out, as in the previous exercise. Inhale and raise the arms overhead to form an arc, with the palms crossing each other and held slightly in front of the crown of the head. Exhale and lower the arms straight out to the sides once more. Then inhale again and raise the arms, crossing the palms as before, but this time slightly in back of the crown center. Continue the four-part motion powerfully, keeping the wrists pulled back the entire time. Continue for 1-2 minutes.
Crow Squats. Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart. Add Crow Squats to the previous arm movements. As you exhale, squat down so the buttocks are close to the floor. The arms will be straight out to the sides. On the inhalation, stand up and bring the arms overhead in an arc, in front of the crown. Then exhale and squat with the arms out. On the next inhale, stand up and arch the arms in back of the crown. Continue with a strong breath for 2-4 minutes, moving as quickly as possible. (Beginners might need to experiment with placement of the feet, i.e., you may need a wide placement to keep the feet flat on the ground. Also, to keep your balance, try supporting your back against a wall so that you can get the feel of the posture. Then move away from the wall so you can squat as in the exercise.)
Comments: This set helps to bring a balance between logic and feeling, between ideas and the “fire” to put them into action, between an overly intellectual mind and overly sensitive emotions. It aligns the head and heart so you can be great and graceful, aware and loving. Exercise 1 changes the chemistry of the brain fluid. Exercise 3 opens the lower back and hips. It is also good for elimination.