3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas – Sodarshan Chakra Kriya – Part 1

Sodarshan Chakra Kriya – Part 1

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Sodarshan Chakra Kriya Video

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Pranayama, the science of breathing and breath control, is undoubtedly one of the greatest arts one can learn and practice for spiritual growth and personal development.  It holds within itself the power to transform the lowest most gross to the highest most refined.  This transforming power of pranayama can act upon any and all levels of your being, whether that be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual (energetic).  This science has been perfected over the centuries in the East and was mostly kept secret, only handed down verbally from Guru to a deserving disciple.  Now, it is much more available to those who seek it, but I still feel that the knowledge really only finds those who are deserving of it.  Having said that, life has brought you here now, so take this opportunity and discover the tremendous power of the Science of Pranayama.

The 3 Pranayamas I am going to present here are typically not for beginners.  Fortunately, all 3 have modifications, which you can start out with first before building up to the advanced techniques.  I will also present these modifications here and I strongly suggest you start with them first before jumping ahead to the advanced techniques.  In moving forward sanely, gently and systematically you will prepare the system to better handle the affects of the advanced forms.  This systematic approach is not only much safer, but is also better for extracting the full benefits of the pranayamas.  Part 1 of this series is about Sodarshan Chakra Kriya.  Before I go into Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, I want to give some quick guidelines that should be followed for all 3 pranayamas in this series.

Basic Guidelines for practicing Pranayama:

  1. Do not practice any advanced pranayama if you are unwell.  Only do light easy pranayamas.
  2. Clothing should be loose and should not restrict the movement of the abdomen.  Our breathing is already very shallow, we don’t need to compound the issue further by hampering the natural movement of our diaphragm.
  3. Your stomach should be empty.  Which means you need to wait at least 2-3 hours after a meal before practicing pranayama.
  4. If possible practice in the early morning.  Early morning is the best time to practice your sadhana (spiritual work).  For more information and help on this you can read The Secret on How to Become an Early Riser.
  5. You should sit in a comfortable position, preferably in some variation of cross legged (sukh asana).  For more information on  sukh  asana or other positions you can sit in (like a chair) see Silent Mind Meditation Program: Basic Meditations – Chapter 7
  6. Most importantly, DO NOT STRAIN.  I cannot emphasize that enough.  Take your time, you will enjoy your practice more and you will be able to establish a regular routine as you will not dread doing your daily work.
  7. One last thing.  The pranayamas being taught here, when practiced sincerely over time, can bestow great power to the practitioner.  Normally, these techniques were not transcribed and as mentioned earlier, were taught only to those held in great trust, so I ask you to respect that trust and agree to not in any way misuse the powers obtained from the practices described below.

Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:

Background:  Sodarshan Chakra Kriya (set) was taught to me by my Kundalini Yoga teacher Ravi Singh who studied it under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan.  It dates back a few thousand years and is reputed among all the known Yogas, including Kundalini Yoga, to be the most powerful Pranayama exercise there is.  You will notice that it is called a kriya, although a kriya typically is a complete set of asanas and yogic exercises (see Introduction to Kundalini Yoga for more information on kriyas and how Kundalini Yoga works in general), it also applies in some cases to a single exercise, which is very complete in and of itself.  Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is a pranayama exercise that is exactly that, very complete and also very powerful.

Benefits of Sodharshan Chakra Kriya:  The superlatives describing Sodarshan Chakra Kriya are lavish to say the least.  In Yoga terms it will give you Nao Niddhi (the nine precious virtues) and Artha Siddhi (the 18 occult powers).  These 27 facets contain all of human life and in acquiring them you perfect all that can be perfected in a human.  Given this Kriya’s reputation for bestowing Psychic and Yogic Powers, it is is often practiced by those interested in acquiring these siddhis (powers).  There is no harm in this, as long the powers are used for the benefit of others and to assist you in your spiritual progress.  This kriya, though, is equally valuable to those interested in the final goal of human life – to see and merge with the Divine Non-Dual nature of Reality.  This is because, it is very effective in dissolving the blockages (granthis) caused by frozen emotional debris in the nadis (the channels for the movement of Kundalini Energy) and as the channels are purified greater flow of kundalini is facilitated allowing for the chakras (energy vortexes) to be activated and balanced.  In turn, the activation of the chakras and this greater flow of Kundalini Shakti (energy) leads to the refinement of awareness which allows one to penetrate the veil of illusion – that Reality consists of duality.

Sodarshan  Chakra Kriya also dramatically improves your physical wellbeing.  In fact, as you practice it you will start to feel quite invincible over time.  It expands your nervous system, respiratory system and helps your digestive system.  I find that the most profound health benefit is a boost to the immune system when I practice this kriya regularly.  Overall the kriya promotes peace, joy and strength.

Description of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Sit up straight, have your spine erect and bring head back slightly (not up) so your chin is subtly drawn in and back like a soldier at attention.  This aligns your spine with the back of your head and is also called Jalandhara Bandha.  Your eyes should be 1/10th open looking down at the tip of your nose.  Rest your left hand on your left knee.  Block your right nostril with your right thumb and have the remaining fingers pointing upwards.  Now breathe in deeply through the left nostril filling your lungs to capacity.  Lower your right hand now and place it on your right knee.  With your breath held in (Antar Kumbhaka) begin to pump your stomach (pulling in the abdominal muscles) to the mantra “Wahay Guru”.  You will pump your stomach 3 times for each iteration of Wahay Guru.  Once for Wa, once for Hay and once for Guru.  The mantra should be chanted mentally of course, since the breath is held in.  Chant for a total of 16 Wahay Gurus, so for a total of 48 stomach pumps with the breath held in.  Then raise your right hand, close off the left nostril with your right pinkie and breathe out of your right nostril.  This completes 1 cycle – breathe in through left nostril, hold and pump, breathe out through right nostril.  Continue to repeat this cycle for the duration of the kriya.

Duration:  There is no formal time duration for Sodarshan Chakra Kriya; it is left up to the practitioner to determine what is right for them.  Below I will give the recommendations when I discuss the modifications.

Beginners Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Modify kriya as follows:  Do only 1 pump for each chant of Wahay Guru.  So in total with your breath held in you will do 16 pumps per cycle.  Also, reduce the force of the pump to where you are comfortable.  Start with 3 minutes and build up to 11 minutes.  The kriya should be practiced daily.

Intermeditates Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Modify kriya as follows:  Do only 2 pumps for each chant of Wahay Guru.  One for Wahay and one for Guru.  So in total you will do 32 pumps with your breath held in per cycle.  Pump your stomach with a moderate force.  You should try to do 11 minutes, then go to 22 minutes and then to 31 minutes daily.

Advanced Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Do the kriya as described above in the description section.  You should be pumping your stomach with full force and you should do 31 minutes daily.  The commitment should be to do 40 days without missing a day, 31 minutes each day.  This was exactly the requirement by Ravi for his Kundalini Yoga teacher’s training course as well.  If you miss a day, you go back to 1 and start over till you complete 40 days.

Perfected Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Yes there is more, you are not done yet :-D.  To do the perfect and complete kriya and thus extract the maximum benefit and reach super human caliber, the requirement is to do 62 minutes per day and build it up to 2 1/2 hours everyday.  If you can discipline yourself to do that, the kriya will provide everything needed in all areas of your life.

Design of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  This kriya bestows its many blessings by taking full advantage of many important aspects of Pranayama and Yoga numerology.  Below are some of the details behind this successful design.

  1. Breathing in through the left nostril activates the right hemisphere of the brain.  This hemisphere is responsible for your meditative, creative and artistic powers.  Activating it helps unleash and grow these aspects of your nature.
  2. The number 16 is associated with the Ajna Chakra, also know as the Third Eye, Divine Eye or the Eye of Shiva.  Chanting the mantra Wahay Guru 16 times activates Ajna Chakra, which is responsible for many psychic abilities and the power of intuition and wisdom.
  3. The mantra itself, Wahay Guru, means ecstasy beyond words and represents one’s higher consciousness.  Chanting this mantra attracts this divine energy towards one.
  4. Pumping the navel helps ignite and awaken Kundalini Shakti so she can make her ascent up the primary Nadi (Shushumna) all the up to the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra) activating, rejuvenating, balancing and healing all the other Chakras and associated organs in her path.

In part 2 and 3 of this series I will describe and detail 2 more powerful Yoga Pranayamas that I hope will be of value to you in your spiritual growth and personal development.

Article Series - 3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas

  1. 3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas - Sodarshan Chakra Kriya - Part 1
  2. 3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas - Golden Nugget Yoga Pranayama - Part 2




What's Next:

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  1. Brain Development and Enlightenment Part II: Vitalize Energy (Kundalini)
  2. 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice
  3. Kundalini Yoga – The Yoga of Energy & Awareness
  4. SM Meditation Program: Yoga for Energy (Kundalini): Chapter 9
  5. Kundalini Yoga Set: Morning Wakeup Series



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324 Responses to “3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas – Sodarshan Chakra Kriya – Part 1”

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  1. 164
    What is a sadhana and why do I need one in my life? | Prana Flow NZ Says:

    [...] Want to get rid of old mental and emotional behaviour patterns? Try this powerful technique. [...]

  2. 163
    Anmol Mehta Says:

    Dear NP,

    Life does challenge us in the most difficult ways at times. I am with you.

    To rebuild lung capacity, please try following technique…

    4 Part Deep Breathing

    Will also email you some other information separately which should help.

    Best,
    Anmol

  3. 162
    n.p. Says:

    Dear Anmol! Hi ! Loved your site. Come to you for dire help!! Usually a highly enrgetic person, i suffered from over exercise August 2008. It’s been 8 months of bed rest and a very slow recovery. From a point of no movement, minimal talking, minimal laughing and maximum sleeping I have come to a point of 40% of my usual routine and talking and laughing quota.

    The thing that helped me was neurotherapy and yoga. In yoga I focused on my lungs and my spine. Did anulom voilom, and gentle kapaal bhaathi…

    My Current problems are – if I sit for longer than half day, talk at a stretch for more than 20 minutes I get completely short of breath. Then my leg muscles begin to feel weak and my spine tingles ever so softly.

    Please advise me what yoga asana I can do to bring back my lung capacity (i could play badminton for 2 hours at a stretch – now only 5 minutes…:( )

    And also what I can do to strengthen my heart muscles.

    Please help me get my life back on track! … I had to quit my job when I was at bed rest and even now my energies have do not sustain me for even minimal exertion.

    Eagerly awaiting your response.

    N.P.

  4. 161
    Online Psychic Research | 94% Believe Real Psychic Powers Exist Says:

    [...] Sodarshan Chakra Kriya – Most Powerful Kundalini Yoga Meditation [...]

  5. 160
    ra Says:

    Dear Mani Singh

    What was the manual that you mentioned on SCK and is it available?

    Sat Nam

  6. 159
    ra Says:

    Heat problem; more detail:
    Though i am increasing fluids, the dryness from heat seems concentrated in my right eye, right nostril and behind nose (right side) and right side of throat. I had also re-read that Anmol said to go from 11 minutes directly to 22, which i did yesterday. Extremely natural and easy….magnificent, deep, ecstatic, powerful energy and still-mind after, but the dryness sets in and is really irritating, so maybe i need to go for less time again……I actually love the heat, since i tend to be cold-blooded, but the dryness seems excessive. Stomach also tends to get acidic while fasting prior to practice, if the time without gets to be lengthy. I am trying a mudra, mentioned above (tip of thumb to tip of pinkie) to gather and distribute extra moisture….but, so far the dryness is winning.

  7. 158
    Ra Says:

    Mantra Correction
    The mantra i use for protection, as mentioned above is :

    Ong Namo Gurudev (not Devi) Namo.

    Sorry!

  8. 157
    Ra Says:

    Dear Sotantar

    Thank you so much for the note about the stretch pose….i say with a smile, i SURELY don’t like that one! Meanwhile, the SCK has become second nature, and i can see how an advanced student could do it 2 and a 1/2 hours per day!…It’s enchanting, as is Subag Kriya.

    I have settled into these 2 as my main practices.

    To Anyone:

    I have seen in some places that the “Shaking Exercise” should be done for 60 seconds after the SCK (and others) to disperse the energy around the body, as well as the corpse pose.

    I have developed a routine as best i can, as follows:

    Ong Namo Guru Devi Namo chant 3 times, slow-breath…connecting with Divine (protects us during practice)

    Subag Kriya (5 segments/ 4 min. each)

    SCK (13 min./very comfortable!)

    Standing “Shaking Exercise”, arms stretched straight up.

    Corpse Pose, with head toward North, 5 minutes (Anmol states that one should rest afterward, in a note above).

    Do a short SCK (3 min) in middle of the night, to keep energetic thread strong between days, in case a practice is late or missed.

    Does this seem like a good approach?

    Sometimes i do Subag after SCK, and wonder if it is not good, since resting is prescribed after SCK?

    Also, as mentioned in my long list above, i have trouble getting enough fluids down (no thirst!)….might this be a dosha imbalance? I try to drink more by force, but it’s not enough and the heat is drying me up! (Has been a problem for many years…must do a mudra to keep kidneys supple!). I take Chamomile and Aloe Vera concentrate, when i remember, and try to get tea and juices down…any suggestions to trigger a thirst or response to it when it occurs? Anmol suggested just water, but i can barely stand the thought of it, most of the time. T^T… WAAAAHH!!

    I hope your practices are going smoothly and powerfully!

    Sincerely,
    Ra

  9. 156
    Prateek Says:

    sat nam

    any change to the original method is just a play of ego….so dont worry about other things….just follow the teachings……all the aspects must have been looked after while designing the kriya…….and this apply to all the kriyas…..its a great mess if you are trying to change about a kriya or trying to find something wrong in it…….dont fall into it…..i am speaking that with my experience…much time is lost in it..instead just practise it bro…

    thanks :)

  10. 155
    Atul Says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Thank you for putting up such valuable information. I have a question on the Sodarshan Kriya. Should the 1st lock be applied while doing the Kriya ? If it is not applied the could the energy flow go downwards and are there any negative consequence ?

    Regards

    Atul

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