There are many good books on Kundalini. I quote from what I have read or heard from my Gurus.
Our Body is actually the Physical sheath, called Annamayi kosha.. Anna means grain or food.. it is made from the food we eat.
Ayurveda explains how the food is then broken down into bones, flesh, blood, marrow, etc.. in stages..
But there is more to the body. We also have the Manamayi Kosha which is another body that covers our physical body, and Bhutamayi Kosha which is the uppermost sheath… They are akin to energy body; something on the lines of Aura..
Our Bhutamayi Kosha holds karmas – anubandhanas, from this and previous lives that is to fructify sooner or later.
The Manamayi Kosha holds our emotions and attitudes!
Now to keep all the three bodies in perfect order there are the 5 pranas (life-force) in the body. For e.g. Paana takes care of inhalation etc, Apaan takes care of excretion and reproduction etc..
Also there are Seven Energy Centers in the Body (I have attached a pic for the locations)
1.Root Chakra i.e. the Moolaadhaara chakra(Lord Ganesha is considered to be the Lord of this Center)
2.Sexual Chakra (sacral Chakra)
3.Solar Plexus (Swadhisthanna)
4.Heart Chakra (hrydaya)
5.Throat Chakra (vissudhi)
6.Third Eye Chakra (between the brows: Aangya)
7.Crown Chakra (Sahasrara chakra)
Apart from the Energy from food, we also get energy from the Universal Energy known as chi or ki in other languages. (In Reiki we make use of this) We Indians call it Shakti.
If for any reason e.g. by disturbed thoughts, or due to some problem if any of our Chakra is affected (& they usually are), there is an energy imbalance in the body.
We also have Nadis in the body: Sushumna, Ida and Pingala nadis. Nadis are channels for the flow of Energy in the body.
My understanding of Kundalini is this: Kundalini is the dormant energy that lies asleep in one’s Moolaadhaara chakra. Hindus call it the Goddess Shakti.
With Saadhana (i.e. practice under the guidance of a true Guru only), this dormant energy is slowly and gradually awakened.
Saadhana is differently prescribed by different Gurus and Gurukulas and schools of thought…. It can be mantra, visualization, meditation etc.
There are also traditions wherein the Guru bestows his grace to the Disciple at the beginning of the Guru Student relationship, i.e. at the start of the Spiritual practice through Deeksha (initiation into the Tradition of the Kula) in the form of Shaktipaat (transfer of Energy) or giving some secret mantra to the disciple.
With further progress in one’s Sadhana (spiritual practice) which may take a whole lifetime or lifetimes, the dormant energy travels through the Channel: from Chakra to chakra rising higher towards the Crown Chakra. When that happens, a person becomes enlightened. He gets all his answers about Life, our existence, the past, future etc. He may then choose to become a Guru perhaps, but he has still to be a Karma yogi i.e. he goes through his usual life.
Here there is a line of caution: the Sadhana has to be done only under the supervision of a True guru. There are many problems that one encounters on the way as Kundalini progresses and only a Guru who has himself awakened his Kundalini and is efficient, can help you through these problems. There have been cases wherein people have done Sadhanas from books without a Guru and have ended up in Mental-asylums or Psychiatric-wards! Also there are Siddhis (power to work miracles or karaamats) that comes along the way but these are to be ignored by sincere students or they may end up getting entangled further in Karmas.
There are 8 parts to Yoga of Patanjali, the great seer who wrote the Masterpiece on Yoga called the Yogasutras… This comprehensive Yoga is called Ashtanga Yoga.
There are guidelines called Yama and Niyama, which form the first two parts of Yoga which one vows to practise before one takes the other parts of the Ashtanga Yoga one by one.. Sivananda Yoga and Satyananda Yoga (of the Bihar School of Yoga – where my Guru belongs to), necessitate that even before the Yama and Niyama, the student should go through Shrama (physical labour) in the Ashram atleast for four months even as he takes up Yoga.
The third limb of Ashtanga Yoga are the Aasanas, like Sukhaasana, Garudasana etc… which develops flexibility of the body to make it a proper vessel for future Sadhana. In modern times we use it also for physical well-being. The Yoga Institute of Mumbai says that Power Yoga is not Yoga and Bihar School of Yoga agrees!
The fourth step ahead is Pranayama. This purifies the Nadis… Even these are to be done under strict supervision starting from simple pranayamas and then one should proceed gradually to the difficult ones. Baba Ramdev’s Pranayama shown on TV should be done, according to my humble opinion, much later after having practised the simple Pranayamas over a period of time.
Beyond these, any decent Yoga teacher or Institute would want you to be patient before you learn about the remaining four limbs of Yoga.
- Pratyahara – abstraction of the senses, withdrawal of the senses of perception from their objects
- Dharana – concentration, one-pointedness of mind
- Dhyana – meditation (quiet activity that leads to samadhi)
- Samādhi – the quiet state of blissful awareness, superconscious state.
My Yoga teacher at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai warned that Pratyahara was the bridge between the material world and the world of Renunciation… Once a person crosses this bridge, there is no coming back. He loses interest in the material world.
Almost 99% of the students then did not want to learn anything about the remaining four limbs of Yoga
Yoga is a Special science, and is the heritage of India.
-Golden BoyRead More