What’s For Fitness? Tip # 12 – Kundalini to Strengthen, Sculpt & Move Your Arms & Energy Today!

Three simply natural arm moves that will build definition and strength in your muscles. Warning: These exercises, while of simple design, are going to burn like crazy!  They will test your physical, emotional and mental stamina.  I refer to this as “my stick-to-it-iveness ability.”

These basic yet challenging arm movements are also known as Kriyas; used in Kundalini yoga to awaken our psychic energy, clear the chakras, heat and flush the body and mind of toxic invaders. They are reminiscent of the arm exercises I tortured my students with for an entire decade in the 80′s, never to be forgotten. Do you remember these exercises? Arm circles; small and large, forward and back? Bird raises; up and down, small and large? Arm swings; front and back, slow and fast, palms forward and back?  Basically, you will be reliving this upper body limb exercise and movement experience – with a bit of a twist. And I mean TWIST! Kriyas may appear and feel like they are targeting only one body part but you will soon discover that kriyas are about the sum of all parts. Let’s get stared! Skip to the bottom of the page for the exercises.

More about Kundalini Yoga and Kryias:

Kundalini

An incredibly powerful storehouse of psychic energy, sometimes called Shakti, symbolized as a coiled, sleeping serpent at the base of the spine (“Kundal” means ‘curl’). Once awakened it uncoils and ascends through the spinal column (in the psychic channel, Sushumana) to the Sahasrara (the masculine Crown Chakra) at the top of the head, and triggers a transcendent spiritual state. Repeated experiences produce enlightenment.

Prana & Apana

Prana is the basic life force of consciousness in the air we breathe and the food we eat, assimilated effortlessly, and Kundalini yoga practice enhances its absorption. Apana is the elimating energy stored in the lower chakras. When it is raised and united with Prana (by breath retention & body contractions or locks), psychic heat is generated which raises Kundalini through the chakras.

Kriyas

A series of one or more exercises or postures in combination with pranayama, locks, chanting, visualization, projection, etc., in specific sequence designed to produce specific effects. Kundalini Yoga kriyas are centuries old. The total effect of a kriya is greater than the sum of its parts. ‘Kriya’ literally means ‘work’ or ‘action’.

Asanas

A pose or posture designed to stimulate glands, organs or body awareness, and to quiet the mind for meditation. Asanas often apply pressure on nerves or accupressure points, reflexing to the brain and body for certain effects.

Mudras

A gesture or position, usually of the hands, that locks and guides energy flow and reflexes to the brain. By curling, crossing, stretching and touching the fingers and hands, we can talk to the body and mind, as each area of the hand reflexes to a certain part of the mind or body.

Bhandas

Body locks or muscular contractions applied for the retention and channelling of Prana.

Chakras

In the body, centers of exchange between the psychic and physical dimensions. Like transformers, then change subtle prana into physical energy flowing through a system of ‘nadis’ (psychic channels like the meridian system of Oriental medicine). Chakras are energy vortexes perceived as spinning discs of light (‘chakra’ means wheel) situated along the spine.

Mantras

A mantra is a syllable, word or phrase in one of the sacred languages (like Sanskrit & Gurmukhi) or sometimes in English, which elevates or modifies consciousness through its meaning, the sound itself, rhythm, tone, and even the reflexology or the tongue on the palate. Mantra is “The Yoga of the Mind”.

Pranayama

Breathing to channel and direct the flow of prana and alter consciousness.

Meditation

The stilling of the rational, reasoning, dualistic egotistical mind to allow the neutral mind to focus awareness on inner reality beyond intellectual concepts, and on outer reality beyond physical, earthly objects. Meditation uses many techniques to achieve this purpose, and produces a calm, sensitiveless emotional, alert, intuitive, effective, efficient and self-controlled personality, and an enhanced sense of being and consciousness. Consistent meditation promotes inner peace, happiness and life in higher consciousness.

The Workout – The Kriyas:

Sit comfortably; preferably cross-legged on a bolster or rolled up blanket if necessary. Your posture will be similar to that of seated meditation. Energizing drumming music is very motivating or you can choose quietness. Each kriya will be done for 3 consecutive minutes – just do the best you can! Link your breath with the movement and focus here. Your body and mind will feel amazing when you are done!

Setting a kitchen timer to 3 minutes for each exercise is helpful.

1- Crack Your Heart Open: Reach your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder level.  Vigorously reach them in front of your body, criss-crossing your wrists and then back. Think of “cracking open your heart” with each strong arm swing. Progressively swing your arms faster and faster. Keep your eyes closed and let your mind and body be loose and lost in the movement.

2- Side Arm Raises: Reach your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder level – keep your elbows extended! The movements are small but powerful. Think…Up…Center…Down…Center – a 4 count movement pattern.  Move your arms as quickly and vigorously as possible!

3- Twisting: Rest your finger tips lightly on your shoulders with your elbows reaching out to your sides. Keep your elbows at shoulder level. Begin to twist gently, side to side. With your eyes closed increase your twisting speed. Let your head, neck and torso completely relax and get lost in the twisting motion. Twist as quickly as you can – just let go!

Love the way you feel? Practice these Kriyas everyday, eventually building up to 15 minutes for each Kryia.

You can do this! Be Fit For Your Future1

With Love -

Allison

Check out last week’s Health & fitness tips:

Skip for Joy Today: Discover your inner child while burning fat!

Kitchen Sink Squats: Feel the love in your buns and thighs!

Wear A Pedometer: Your mini-motivator for weight loss!

Push-Ups For Life: Strengthen your body & mind & sculpt a beautiful upper body!

© 2011 Copyright   Allison Stuart Kaplan  www.Askinyourface.com LLC

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Comments

  1. Joanne Bellet says:

    Loved doing this today!! Thanks!

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