There are those kriyas I sometimes look at and think “I should do that…” but that’s about as far as I get until the next time I look at it and think the same thing. Last month I finally started one of those kriyas, the Navel Adjustment Kriya, not really thinking too much about it, just doing it once every couple of days. The Navel Adjustment Kriya always sounded like one of those really good ideas that only a dedicated hatha yogini could actually pull off. The sequence is only four postures, but if you’ve got weak arms or back issues, it can seem daunting to get into bow, wheel and fish pose (not to mention starting it off with stretch pose!). So like I said, not thinking about it too much, I decided to commit to the kriya for 40 days on the first heavy day of my menstrual cycle.* That of course left me with long deep breathing and very little actual push into the postures, which is a very light way to start this kriya. It was good to start!
There is a small note in the kriya about keeping the diet light the first few days of doing the kriya which I tried to ignore. I’ve had abdominal issues my whole life and stomach pain is not unusual for me so it wasn’t until I got a few more days into the kriya that I realized how sensitive my intestines were to food. The deep fried tofu at lunch was causing sharp pain in my abdomen and my body was craving raw vegetables. I regularly fast for a day or so with the moon cycles (see full moon), so I wasn’t expecting this kriya to be so tough on my digestion, but taking the hint I proceeded into a 3 day juice cleanse.
Since beginning the kriya my cravings for raw veggies have increased. I would suggest a food or short juice cleanse to start this 40 day set. Though I’ve started the kriya with modified postures, it is challenging. I’m always amazed at starting to work with a challenging kriya like this because the body begins to build strength so quickly when prompted with a little challenge. Although wheel pose is still going to take more work, having a partner to help me practice it here and there makes a difference and I feel the benefits from this kriya.
Yogi Bhajan talked about perfecting any kriya before starting a 40 day commitment. I find myself gaining benefits even though the practice is not perfect, but I also think it’s important to continue building strength to get into the postures even after completing these 40 days. There is a lot to be gained from these postures internally and externally.
In my body the adjustment to the navel point has eased a good amount of my menstrual discomfort and I feel a shift in my posture and the strength in my walk. My diaphragm has also felt the shift in alignment. I didn’t realize how much the misalignment of the navel could affect the whole system. My digestion has started working more regularly and my body is much more adamant about lighter food and fresh veggies.
The kriya mentions nothing about releasing at the emotional or energetic level and I did not expect to have experiences in that way. However some very heavy memories and past life issues came up during this time. I feel blessed to have such a supportive partner in my life because the release was occasionally very heavy. It was a great experience once those fears cleared away room for more joy and comfort to come in. Everyone will of course have a different experience in practice, but this is a very powerful kriya that is worth investigating and working with further. If you’re looking for a powerful experience in a short amount of time, this is a good one.
The Navel Adjustment Kriya is found in the Aquarian Teacher manual as well as the KRIYA manual KRI published in 2013.
*If you’re not familiar with yoga or Kundalini yoga, ladies should be careful with breath of fire and heavy-duty navel point exercises during the heavy part of the menstrual cycle.