Read the first posts in this series here:
- Committing to a Forty Day Sadhana of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya
- Day 1 to 7: Forty Day Sadhana of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya
- Day 8 to 14: Forty Day Sadhana of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya
I’m over halfway through this sadhana, and the results have been incredible. Last week I shared some of the burning away process, whereby the movement of prana in the body releases old samskaras. This can be a painful and at times bewildering process, yet ultimately it leads to freedom.
It is SO worth facing the pain in order to release old beliefs and thought patterns that are subconsiously ruling one’s current experience. And while my experience is emotionally tough, that’s not to say everyone’s will be. Everyone experiences different things on the road to jivan mukti, or living liberation.
But these moments of release and surrender are matched by incredible experiences of ease, of joy, of wonder, of effortless being. This week in particular, I have been practicing Sodarshan Chakra Kriya earlier in the morning and have found it sets up my entire day. This morning, I was awake before my 6am alarm and couldn’t wait to get up and meditate. I was excited about it, looking forward to it… in fact, in general, I’m more excited and enthusiastic about life than I have ever been.
During my practice, I continue to notice physical phenomena – that is, prana moving through the body, finding knots, breaking them open, releasing. I often do a third eye opening and balancing meditation series straight after this kriya, and the movement of prana during this series has increasing enormously.
One of the most remarkable changes in my day to day life, especially over the last week, is that I feel relaxed. Truly relaxed. I’d never realised before this sadhana how often I was in flight or fight mode. Literally all the time – I was either fighting against the experience of life in that moment, or I was running away from the experience of life in that moment. And I tell you, it’s such a RELIEF to see this, and be able to let it go. It’s quite possibly the biggest and most awesome positive benefit of this sadhana so far. (Even more amazing than my increased ability to “see” clearly – but more on that later.)
Take another look at that photo of me (you can click on it for a larger version). My body may be, more or less, assuming the physical position of Ardha Padmasana (half lotus) but I am not really present in the posture – I’m up in my mind, thinking about what I’m doing, concentrating on what I’m doing – doing, rather than being. There is tension, a holding on, a fighting. In postures like Warrior, it’s not so obvious because this fighting tension more easily becomes part of the strength of the posture. But in asana that requires one to more obviously surrender, I can clearly see now my propensity for fight or flight.
Can you imagine always either fighting life or fleeing life? What kind of thoughts and feelings that generates moment to moment? What kind of reactivity that leads to? The greatest joy for me this week has been shifting into a moment by moment acceptance of what is. My tendency to constantly judge or evaluate everything and everyone has dropped away, and in the dropping away I find that life, and people, become much, much clearer. I feel like I can “see”.
Of course, now that my attention has been brought to this way of being, it’s not all sweetness and light. I still judge. I still fight. I still flee. But because I am more present, I catch myself shifting into these ways of being and am able to consciously release back into a place of acceptance. Over and over, practicing a new way of to be. This is the process of yoga spilling off the mat and creating deep abiding change in everyday life.
This shift is changing my experience of relationships enormously. I find myself feeling more compassion, more openness, more joy, more authenticity. It’s great to be with the people closest to me again! This new sense of calmness is such a relief when it comes to being with people – I don’t feel the need to defend myself, or to push my views and ideas forward. I’m able to listen more deeply to people, and in doing so am amazed by what I am hearing and seeing – often far more than they can hear or see of themselves.
So does Sodarshan Chakra Kriya deliver on all the lavish benefits it’s supposed to?
Overall, it’s meant to promote peace, joy and strength. And yes, this is exactly what I am experiencing – I’m peaceful, I’m joyous, and I feel a strength within that just makes everything OK, moment to moment. Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is also supposed to open one up fully as a human being. That is, in Yoga terms it will give you Nao Niddhi (the nine precious virtues) and Artha Siddhi (the 18 occult powers). Sounds far fetched, and I haven’t yet looked into exactly what the Nao Niddhi and Artha Siddhi are, but I do know that I can “see” more clearly than ever before. It’s something I’ll be paying close attention to, and will go into more detail in future updates.
In the meantime, if you’ve been following this series, I highly recommend that you start your own forty day sadhana. It doesn’t necessarily have to be this particular kriya – find a yoga practice that resonates for you, and prepare to be transformed.
Until next week!
Read the next post in this series: