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 Kundalini has earned this skeptics respect
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mountain_cactus

USA
9 Posts

Posted - May 04 2019 :  2:12:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hey everyone, I'm new around here. Just wanted to introduce myself and also document my experience so it kind of helps me process it.

To start I found my way to AYP DM almost a year ago now. I was interested in learning TM but I am a bit on the frugal side and couldn't quite stomach the cost. I would up stumbling upon Yogani's book on DM and have been practicing ever since. I definitely noticed a lot of benefits in my life: more productivity at work, feeling better, more energy, less stressed, more social, more inner peace, feeling of being more connected to nature and animals, etc. I reached a point where for whatever reason my meditations became flat for a month or two. So for whatever reason one day a thought popped into my head that I should look into some breathing exercises prior to meditation to help ground myself prior to meditating. Well in searching for breathing exercises I once again stumbled across Yogani and his book on spinal breathing. So I decided to give it a shot.

So this was about a month ago. Spinal breathing was ok, I could definitely feel that it helped my meditations to become productive again. But I did not have any experience with it at all like what was described in the book. I could feel some very faint energy going up and down my spine, and the heavy breathing was relaxing, but that was really about it. So I became curious about why my experience was so different from what Yogani described in the book. It was nice and relaxing, but nothing on the level of what is described in the book. So I purchased the volume 1 book and started adding in some of the advanced practices: increased to 10 minutes, Mulabandha, Sambavi, the basic asana routine, and this last week I also added in Siddhasana. Now, you will notice if you read this that I added these in a lot faster than the book recommends. I had a very skeptical view and kind of thought that the descriptions and warnings were an exaggeration or a placebo effect. So, if anything I had the opposite of placebo, I had a nocebo mindset, which is all the more surprising given what happened next, as my nocebo mindset should have made the effects of my practice less effective. Either way, I am a curious person by nature and am a big time knowledge seeker, so my curiosity kept me moving forward in testing the waters.

Well I was really struggling with Mulabandha, where it kept interfering with my breathing so I felt like I must not be doing it right. I watched some videos on YouTube yesterday and that helped me get a better grasp of where to apply the pressure, I was not applying it in the right place. That combined with the newly introduced Siddhasana helped reinforce where to apply the pressure. So I go into my session yesterday evening and start spinal breathing and I instantly could tell something was different. I was generating large amounts of energy. It felt like touching a wall socket, up and down my spine. The energy was too powerful for me to fully control, and it felt like it was arcing out through my body periodically on the way up and down. It took pretty much all I had in me to even somewhat control the energy. But I was able to keep it going up and down. It was borderline debilitating how powerful it was. I have never felt anything like that before in my life. I can definitely tell I was not ready for that, and was not skilled enough to be able to handle that degree of power. I felt like a 16 year old kid behind the wheel of a race car, I just did not have the skill and experience to be able to handle the power of the machine. I also feel like I was pressing the gas pedal a bit too hard, and was definitely a bit too heavy handed in the Mulabandha once I knew it was actually doing something. Needless to say, I have a lot of the classic overload symptoms I've read about today: headache and pressure in the head, low energy, interrupted sleep, etc. I went for a long hike in the mountains by my house this morning and the blood flow helped a lot in grounding. I'm feeling quite a bit better now, but still not 100%

So what have I learned? Well I have learned that Kundalini and the advanced practices are definitely something to be respected and not taken lightly. I have learned that maybe I have a lot more to learn than I had imagined. I learned that I need to back off the gas pedal a bit and practice the skill of spinal breathing more before I try to push forward again. I would also say that while I wouldn't consider myself an experience seeker (I would consider myself more of a knowledge seeker), that the experience definitely added some extra to my curiosity and is fueling my desire to further go down the rabbit hole seeking further knowledge once I'm ready.

What am I going to do from here? I am first of going to go back and read the books again, because I really didn't take a lot of the claims seriously. I now have a new context with which to read the books, and hopefully it will help me be a bit smarter in my progression in the future. Until I've re-read all of that and feel ready I am going to put the Mulabandha on the shelf. When I do start to incorporate it back in, I will do so with a much lighter touch, the barely beyond intention he speaks about in the book. The rest of the advanced practices I don't feel were overloading me, so I will keep Sambavi, asanas, and Siddhasana in for the time being (my back feels in a much better position in Siddhasana vs just crossed legs), unless I start to feel overloaded again at which point I'll probably just cut all the way back to square 1 of just spinal breathing with no additions.

I'm still kind of trying to make sense of my experience. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone in the real world to talk to about this stuff. Writing this out was helpful in my processing. Any wisdom/advice is always welcome. Thanks.

Edited by - mountain_cactus on May 04 2019 3:14:20 PM

mountain_cactus

USA
9 Posts

Posted - May 04 2019 :  9:37:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Just as an update, I did my evening meditation session and now feel perfectly balanced and at peace again. I did exactly what I mentioned above, kept everything the same but removed mulabandha. Actually, I didn't totally remove it, as there was a point I wasn't getting much energy and used it very sparingly to rev up the energy a bit when I needed it and then let it coast without using it when I was at what felt like a productive energy level. It's like goldilocks, finding the level that's not too hot, not too cold, and just right. This prevented having another overload session, and actually finished balancing me back out from yesterdays overloading session. This is probably how I will continue forward with no more additions for at least a month or two, until I'm able to fully integrate mulabandha consistently without overload. Also I have been reading through the books again today, and it all makes a lot more sense now that I've actually experienced the energy first hand.

Edited by - mountain_cactus on May 05 2019 12:10:16 AM
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1481 Posts

Posted - May 05 2019 :  02:33:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the AYP forum, mountain_cactus

Thank you for sharing.
quote:
Originally posted by mountain_cactus
But I did not have any experience with it at all like what was described in the book. I could feel some very faint energy going up and down my spine, and the heavy breathing was relaxing, but that was really about it. So I became curious about why my experience was so different from what Yogani described in the book.

It can take months before the effects of spinal breathing become obvious. Hence the advice to let it bed in before adding anything else. It is a powerful practice, even without the enhancements. You are making fast progress with the DM and SBP combination. You really don't need to rush to add anything else for a while.

Mulabandha and Sambhavi go together. They are the two halves of the same practice. You have probably noticed that the Sambhavi lesson is immediately after the Mulabandha one, and Yogany does not say you need to wait several months between adding the two practices. You only need to wait till you have got over the clunky stage with Mulabandha.

Enjoy the journey. Take your time adding new practices. Slowly does it.
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mountain_cactus

USA
9 Posts

Posted - May 05 2019 :  10:19:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the reassurance. Yeah, I was really surprised how strong that session Friday evening was. It was like nothing I've ever felt before. It was kind of scary in a way. So yeah, I'm totally fine with slowing down now that I've gotten a taste of why we should take things slowly, haha. Like I mentioned in the original post, I'm a very curious person by nature, so I tend to push the boundaries a bit on things until I get zapped, like I obviously did here. There's no better teacher than experience, haha. But the truth is I am in no rush, I was just kind of testing the boundaries to see if there really is something to this stuff, and I learned there definitely is something there. Now I just need to regulate my Bhakti a bit and try to let things progress naturally without force.
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mountain_cactus

USA
9 Posts

Posted - May 11 2019 :  11:08:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Just as an update, it's been a very productive week in my practices. I think I finally have the hang of mulabandha. What was the turning point for me was actually letting a little bit of the buckwheat out of my zafu to lower myself down a couple inches. When I was fully raised up I had to squeeze hard to initiate mulabandha, and also was not able to hold mulabandha for much of the breath. This was leading to too much and too bursty of energy production. In lowering my zafu, not only am I in better contact in Siddhasana, but I am able to lightly enable mulabandha without overload, and for the entirety of the breath. This has given me a much smoother, consistent, and controllable flow of energy that has been very productive in my spinal breathing. Being able to keep mulabandha enabled on the exhale has also made tracing my spine down a lot more pronounced.

Also, I am really noticing a lot of silence coming into my day to day life. So much so that it is surprising just how quiet my mind is, and how much better I can focus not only in practices, but at work, in reading, in conversations, etc. I've also found myself more and more drawn to nature. I feel that I am growing a deep connection with nature where I'm almost cross pollinating energy with all the plants and animals while I'm outside. It is a wonderful, peaceful feeling and taking daily walks and/or hikes has really been a great side practice of sorts. Things are definitely changing in my life in a good way. I'm very glad that I started down this path. Thank you Yogani for making this knowledge so freely and cheaply available.
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Dogboy

USA
1555 Posts

Posted - May 11 2019 :  8:59:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome mountain cactus!

There is nothing like experience, and you have touched on one of the most important practices: self pacing. The AYP system and combination of practices are indeed powerful, so there is not shame in backing off of a practice or time should things get a bit rough. This is the main reason Yogani has designed adding practices one at a time, so you can decipher which of the additions are giving you issues.

By the end of three years of AYP, I had incorporated practically all of the practices in the system. At three and a half years, ecstatic conductivity bubbled up (the ability to feel and generate prana in the body), which took things to entirely new level. To check overload, I began to self pace frequently, reducing times and dropping/limiting some of the most powerful ones (yoni mudra kumbaca, spinal Bastrika, chin pump jalahara) and cementing some of the stabilizing ones (samyama, solar centering, amaroli) into my routine. Yogani labels this "the flywheel effect"; at this level, less practice is needed to generate energetic results, as inner blockages are fewer.

Now five plus years along, my practice is usually one sitting a day, 3-5 minutes of SBP, twenty minutes DM, samyama, and maybe one yoni kumbaka mudra for dessert before rest. On days I attend asana class, I skip DM at home and do it in shavashana instead. Yoga has blended into my "every day", I find asana in the minute, can hear inner silence sounding in the background like a chorus, feel bliss by attention and when drifting off each night to sleep. I smile more, find beauty in a met gaze; my opened heart has made me a better husband, father, and friend. Samyama in particular has taught me the beauty and necessity of surrender, in particular times of trouble or attachment.

There is no rush MC, take your time, enjoy and understand each step of the way of your changing neurobiology.
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mountain_cactus

USA
9 Posts

Posted - May 12 2019 :  10:56:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for that Dogboy. That is exactly what I am hoping to get out of this journey.

I think that the fact that I did DM for almost a year with crossed legs and no back support before adding any other practices did help me be able to add spinal breathing, asanas, mulabandha, Sambhavi, and Siddhasana in rather quickly. I think it also helps that I'm rather active and athletic, and the exercise is great for grounding and made asanas and Siddhasana especially easy and natural to add in. But yeah, I'm definitely at a point where I'm going to slow down and self pace a bit more. I'm not planning on adding anything new in for at least a month or two. I really want to focus on really getting good and comfortable with spinal breathing in conjunction with mulabandha and Sambhavi before I take any additional steps. While spinal breathing with the additions is still a bit clunky at times, I'm noticing a big difference in how I feel during the day since I added it in. The catch 22 here is that when I see these differences coming into my life it increases my Bhakti which in turn makes me want to add more in, haha. I need to work on taming my Bhakti a bit.
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