Amplifying The Central Nervous System
Kandasana is one of the few asanas that directly activate dormant centres in the body and the brain. It is a powerful meditation. There is no shortcut in activating the subtle body. It is important for the student who wishes to awaken the primal force of the kundalini to have a teacher. A practical teacher who has been in and out of the mystical experience and can keep their normal role in the mundane and communal environment shall be able to safely guide his students. The awakening process alone could take around 12 years. It is a safe way to go, slow and steady.
Our minds tell us we are intelligent. It is always ahead of us. Yoga teaches us how to slow down and breathe. We make better and sound decisions when we are calm and balanced. Self-discipline and control are developed through commitment, hard work, patience. Kundalini awakening should not disrupt our lives. There is a saying; “Before enlightenment – chopping wood and carrying water, after enlightenment – chopping wood and carrying water.” Yoga and all the techniques prescribed therein make us stronger, resilient, wiser, careful yet content and happy.
The electricity being released into the body once the kundalini is activated is many times higher than the normal amount of energy that passes through the central nervous system. The nerves are stimulated so powerfully that they stiffen to the direction of the brain. The nerve impulses fire one after another at a lightning-fast speed, triggering the release of electricity strong enough to knock one down unconscious. For the unready body, this could be dangerous.
Kandasana: Where All Begin
Hovering above the pelvic floor in the hips is a soft (cloud-like) element encased in a white pouch. It is the Kanda nadi. Kanda means ‘root’. The three fundamental nadis; Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are attached and spring from. From the kanda nadi, they branch out and will intersect again at the eyebrow centre in the middle brain. From experience, aside from khechari mudra, the kandasana can powerfully activate the ajna chakra.
The kanda nadi is not physical. It is a tunnel in the pelvic cavity where energy pervades. Picture a whirlpool or a vortex. The nerve impulses from the sacrum and lumbar spine (L4 – S4) are being released into this ‘energetic pouch’. It pervades three important astral and energetic centres in the pelvis; the muladhara, svadhisthana and manipura chakras. The reservoir of energy forms a soft, white, ‘egg-shaped’ floating substance inside the hips.
Initial absorption of energy into the nadis happen in the kanda nadi. The kundalini is filtered down to a safe level so she does not overstimulate the body. It is important for the healthy function of organs in the pelvic cavity. In particular, the reproductive glands are energised and rejuvenated. That is the reason why the kandasana could be a powerful technique for treating issues of the reproductive system, especially in males.
People who cannot do the kandasana can practice the siddhasana (for males) or siddha yoni asana (for females). Specific pranayamas, kumbhakas and mudras, can powerfully activate the kanda nadi. In turn, the CSF in the lumbar cistern is heated up, so that when it goes back up to the brain, it carries a higher level of electricity resulting in the stimulation of the entire central nervous system. The kanda nadi radiates a bluish radiance when it is brimming with energy.
Kanda Nadi: The Dormant Power
Although so subtle to be felt, the Kanda nadi occupies a wide region in the hips. It almost covers the whole pelvic cavity. Its role in the complete development of energetic anatomy cannot be overestimated. All begin in the kanda nadi.
This aspect is oftentimes overlooked. Unless fully open and developed, the Kanda nadi is too subtle to be felt in the body. The chakra directly above the Kanda nadi, the Manipura chakra is an active one and overpowers the Kanda nadi. Due to its proximity and weaker presence compared to Manipura, the Manipura chakra is oftentimes mistaken to being the point of origin of the three fundamental nadis. However, the Kanda nadi, being high and wide, intersects the bottom of the Manipura chakra, relaying all the nerve impulses from the pelvis.
Also, many techniques are being taught right away to develop the Manipura chakra, which could be dangerous for the nervous system for they can cause a premature awakening of the subtle body. The kundalini is filtered down at the Kanda nadi, making it much gentle and healthier for the brain. Therefore, the process has to begin in the hips, where the foundation is.
Bandhas: Essential Energetic Support
During inhalation, the bandhas magnetise the shakti to the midline. From the kanda nadi, the mulabhanda and uddiyana bandha work together channelling the kundalini to the opening of the sushumna nadi. It will continue its ascent, piercing through the chakras located in the spinal canal, from the muladhara to the visshudhi chakra.
The jalandhara bandha in the neck collects the kundalini and shall guide her up to the ajna chakra at the bottom of the brain. The kundalini is released, causing the electrification of the inner brain. She will flood the brain with her powerful electricity before draining out through the frontal sutures on the surface of the skull. This is samadhi.
The Sushumna nadi could be made to quickly open by awakening the Kanda nadi. The kundalini uses the Kanda nadi to pierce through the Sushumna nadi. From the Kanda nadi, the kundalini irrigates the Manipura Chakra.
By breathing properly through the kandasana, one could effectively unknot the brahma granthi. Once the kundalini enters the Manipura (through the kanda nadi), an energetic explosion occurs – breaking the barrier between the gross and subtle energies, unknotting the vishnu granthi (in the chest | anahata).
The electrified CSF (kundalini) shall surround the spinal cord and the brain. Finally, the magnetised energy (kundalini) shall be absorbed by the sutures (fontanelles) on the surface of the skull. Meditation is essential for transcending the subtle energy leading to high spiritual states (e.g. nada, samadhi).
Kandasana is an advanced technique. It is a beautiful technique for it reinforces the energetic exploration as one goes deeper into meditation. It is not for everyone. It is not required, even.
Related Lesson: Learn the alternative techniques to kandasana.
Kandasana: Preparing the Body
When it comes to asana, the most effective and safest are standing and sitting postures, dynamic hip-openers as well as lying down and restorative asanas. Amongst the Shatkarmas (cleansing techniques), the Kapalbhati is generally safe and effective for triggering centres in the brain responsible for sharpening the senses. When it comes to pranayama, the Nadi Shodhana and Bhastrika are the most effective ones in triggering the release of the kundalini energy.
Pranayama, when practised while seated in the Siddhasana (asana for meditation), swiftly activates the muladhara and svadhishthana chakras. The physical technique of pressing the heel against the perineum seals the energy, preventing it from leaking out. The nerve impulses in the hips amplify, irrigating and activating the muladhara and svadhisthana chakras. The kumbhaka in pranayama powerfully lifts the energy to the higher centres of the body and the brain, awakening the ajna chakra.
When ajna is awakened, the inner brain opens up, emerging the pure consciousness. It is the divine reality as designed by God, beyond senses and intelligence, The ajna chakra is the door to liberation. The spiritual force passes through the kanda nadi before it can rise. That is the reason why developing physical and energetic anatomy if the hips are very important.
But of course, the rest of the body would have to be developed too in different levels and order. There are off-the-mat observances as well such as diet, sense control and meditation which are needed to be accomplished side by side the stated. For a beginner, this is difficult. Therefore, the role of a practical teacher cannot be overestimated for a meaningful, safe and long-lasting practice.
Just as moderate diet is the most important of the yamas, and nonviolence, of the niyamas, so the siddhas know that siddhasana is the most important of the asanasHatha yoga Pradipika, Chapter One, Verse 8
Meditation is an advanced practice. Nowadays, meditation is indiscriminately practised for the sole purpose of relaxation. Yes, it could powerfully lessen anxiety, however, when the mental fluctuations cease abruptly, the subconscious could emerge. The sudden shift could result in the permanent withdrawal of the external senses. The parasympathetic nervous system could suddenly overpower the physical and mental energy, causing a sudden change in the body’s metabolic rate.