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Lesson 216 - Kundalini Jolts and Self-Pacing in Practices   (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Fri Jul 9, 2004 10:59pm

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insights. I had an experience last night that slightly concerns me. While sleeping, I felt something like electricity coursing through my body, from the head to root. There was pain and soreness, throbbing as well. It got more intense as I relaxed and surrendered to it. After about 2 minutes of this, which felt like massive amounts of electricity jolting through me, I woke up. I noticed only 2 hours had passed since I went to bed, but felt alert and fully rested. 

I felt giddy and started giggling for a few minutes. I went back to sleep, and felt tired and groggy for most of today. I do 10 minutes of pranayama with sambhavi and mulabandha, then 20 minutes of the I AM meditation. I added the sambhavi and mulabandha about 1 week ago. I skipped my evening practice on the night this happened, prior to sleep. 

Am I going too quickly? My only concern is the pain. I've experienced this "painful electricity" twice in the past month or so, and it tires me out for the day. Otherwise, I feel great and the practices are of great benefit to me. The pain is bearable, but I wonder if it's telling me to alter my practice. And what exactly is the electrical sensation? It causes me to laugh uncontrollably afterwards. Please advise. 

Thank you for listening. You are providing a great service to people seeking a true spirituality.

A: Thank you for writing and sharing. 

Something is going on there for sure. The feeling of electricity is energy creating friction in not yet fully purified nerves. The giddiness is from this also, as is the let down later on. It is a bit too much going on during those short episodes -- it is a classic kundalini overload, albeit a small and short-lived one. 

It is surely not an experience we want to have happening on an ongoing basis, even though it does have the pleasant short term aftermath. What we want is a smooth and pleasant long term aftermath, always. Perhaps you should lighten up a bit until things stay steady for a month or so. The spinal breathing generally has a stabilizing effect on inner energies, if not taken to excess. Likewise with deep meditation. Even so, if you step back from 10 and 20 minutes to 5 and 15 minutes, that would be an appropriate lightening up. As for mulabandha and sambhavi, it should be okay to use them for the lesser time of spinal breathing. They are shortened in time by proxy. Try that for a month, and see if the jolts become less frequent. If not, then consider trimming a bit more, or at least not increasing anything significantly until you have a level of stability settling in that satisfies you. 

Make sure you take plenty of rest coming out of your sitting practices. And make sure you have good activity during the day and evening after practices - mental, physical, social, a good blend of these over the weeks and months. If we don't stabilize what we gain in practices with good activity, it can sometimes lurch through during sleep like that. Activity is an important part of the process of purification and the stabilization of inner silence and ecstatic energies. 

A set of light asanas before sitting practices can help with stabilization also, as can a diet that is neither too light or too heavy. Moderation is valuable in all aspects of life, including yoga. 

One thing I suggest you not do is forge ahead with more new sitting practices until you find the necessary balance and smoothness that is just right for your nervous system. Only you can do that. Good self-pacing is an art -- balancing the speed of purification with stability in daily life, including sleep time. I suggest you look for at least a month or two of good stability before stepping up to the next level. 

Except for the electric wrinkle, yoga looks to be going very well for you. 

I think if you work with the elements mentioned, you should be able to smooth things out. It is up to you. Use your best judgment, and with a little trial and error you will get the feel for your own process of unfoldment. Then nothing can stop you from forging ahead safely and surely toward your goal. It's kind of like learning to drive a fast car, only there can be a delayed reaction as we put our foot on the gas pedal, or take it off. Keep that in mind as you move forward, and make your adjustments accordingly. 

I'm honored to be able to help out, and wish you all success on your chosen spiritual path.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed instructions on building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.

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