This is part XVI of kundalini series. We have discussed about some additional exercises in part XIV of this series. This exercise (pulling kundalini through the spinal cord both during inhalation and exhalation) helps to hold the kundalini in a particular chakra. Once you are able to hold the kundalini in a chakra, you can effectively activate it by meditating on that chakra. This concept applies to all the chakras. Once your naval chakra is well activated, you have to move the energy to the next higher chakra called anahat chakra or the heart chakra. But moving the energy is not easy because of two factors. One is the distance from the naval chakra to the heart chakra, the longest distance between any two chakras. Secondly, there is Vishnu granthi or knot, which has to be pierced and is located just above the naval chakra. This can be pierced only by repeated practice. Piercing does not mean physical piercing, but removing the energy blocks in the area. It is dangerous to proceed further without fully understanding these granthis and the ways to get across them. Kundalini itself is very subtle and the granthis are subtler than the kundalini.

Secondly, if the chakras are not fully activated, it causes blockage of energy which leads to nervous breakdown. No one should venture into kundalini meditation without controlling one’s mind. The effective way of controlling the mind is through pranayama. The movement of kundalini can be effectively controlled by prana and apana. The air we breathe in gets converted into five types about which we have discussed earlier. Prana is situated in the chest area and apana is situated in our lower abdominal area. In between these two in our upper abdominal area is samana. When prana and apana gets mixed in equal proportion, your kundalini is ready to ascend. Another important use of pranayama is to enable the kundalini ascend through the central canal of the spinal cord instead of ida and pingala nadis. Pranayama with holding of breath and moola bhandha will be of great help in preventing the kundalini ascend through ida and pingala. You can reach the samadhi stage only if kundalini ascends through the central canal.

All the three granthis (we have discussed about two and yet to discuss on Rudra granthi) can be pierced and crossed only by these exercises combined with controlling and regulating the breath and mind power. There are no other options available to you. You have been already introduced to the exercises that enable you to open the granthis. To open the brahma granthi, moola bhandha is the tool. For opening the Vishnu granthi, pushing out and pulling in the stomach is used. This exercise is called uddiyana bhandha. This uddiyana bhandha should be done only with empty stomach. Do a few rounds of fast breathing. Resort to normal breathing. Inhale deeply by making your stomach bloat, exhale with force through your mouth, so that no air remains in your lungs. When you are exhaling pull your stomach inside. Be in this position for a few seconds and then inhale. The one additional feature is that you exhale through your mouth instead of your nose. This is mainly to open the Vishnu granthi. You can breathe out with force only if you exhale through your mouth. This force is required to open the Vishnu granthi. Breathing out through the mouth is only till you open your Vishnu granthi. Then you can revert back to normal breathing through the nose. It would be better if your start practicing this uddiyana bhandha in a standing posture. Another point to be noted is to keep your stomach muscles loose without any tension. Regular practice of this uddiyana bhandha will open up Vishnu granthi, which will enable kundalini to reach heart chakra.