Kundalini Yoga for Beginners: Why You Need to Sit Up Straight

Sitting Buddha [Converted]Kundalini Yoga for Beginners: Why You Need to Sit Up Straight

Simply put it’s all about flow. The flow of the breath, the flow of spinal fluid and the flow of energy are all affected by posture when we sit down for meditation or to do an exercise. Think of the spine as a hose, when there’s a kink, the water flow is cut off or limited. This is similar to what happens during a meditation or posture when the energy tries to flow, but the effect is diminished.

Breathe Freely

A straight spine allows the lungs and diaphragm to move more smoothly at full range. When the tailbone tilts towards the earth, the shoulders pull back and the chest rises, the lungs and diaphragm have extra space to move freely while the abdomen can be relaxed.

Give it a try, hunch your shoulders forward and down, experiment to see how much air will fill your lungs. Now as you sit up and bring the shoulders back while raising the chest notice the movement of your diaphragm. Which was easier for you?

The Spine

When the vertebrae are aligned the spinal fluid has free range of motion during meditation and certain other exercises. The flow of spinal fluid nourishes the brain and the nervous system, allowing messages to flow more clearly. This helps us to receive the benefits of meditation more fully. A slumped spine can also restrict blood flow during meditation and make us feel sleepy.

Learning about the spinal alignment more as I began reading Divine Alignment, I realized how little I actually paid attention to my own spine during meditations. It’s so easy to slip into a peaceful meditation space that makes us forget about the body that sometimes the posture slips on its own. I realized recently that it’s important to start working on this now. If you’re just starting it’s a great time to focus on correct posture so that it becomes a habit.

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The Flow of Kundalini

The creative energy within us also moves along the spine and when practicing Kundalini yoga, we activate this flow. When the spine is misaligned or in a slump it’s very easy to restrict the energy flow and cut off the effects of meditation. This sensitivity comes with time, I often chanted in the beginning with my head tilted back, feeling like my throat was more open. Now as I chant and realize that my head is falling back I can really feel the difference as I return my head into neck lock and hear the flow of sound move freely. I feel such gratitude for the teachers that emphasized proper posture so that I can now notice the difference as I practice.

I thought for a long time that I had near perfect posture, but practicing with Divine Alignment has really pushed me to sense and feel the challenge of perfecting the seated easy pose. I’ve discovered tiny muscles in my back that I don’t normally pay attention to. I was surprised how quickly my back felt fatigued and sore from the smallest amount of posture practice. Keeping that in mind it’s important to start with frequent short practices of sitting up straight in correct posture and extending from there. I suggest even accomplished yogis give this a try and see how returning to the basics can transform your practice!

 

5 Comments

  1. Sat Nam,

    It is important in articles like this to address the issue of people who have twisted spines. As you appear to be saying that if the spine is twisted, that those people are out of luck?

    I don’t think so, My spine is twisted due to scoliosis and that has been so for 60 years now. I have been told by clairvoyants that the energy flows up and down just fine.

    Maybe the power of intent has something to do with it as well?

    Blessings,

    Sat-Avtar Kaur

     
    Reply
    • You’re completely right and thank you so much for pointing that out. I have also experienced that the power of intent and visualization are very powerful tools in Kundalini Yoga.

       
      Reply
    • Sat Nam and Thank you for the comment Sat-Avtar Kaur,

      The intention for this article was to give beginners some awareness around the technology of posture. I’ve seen many students and myself lose posture and slouch very easily and the main focus of this article was to address this trend.

      If there are medical reasons for differences in the spine, then I would suggest looking into what it means for your spine to be aligned rather than looking at the “norm” or “perfect” posture. All postural alignment is dependent on the individual body, which is why we have alternate postures.

      I agree with you that intention has a lot to do with how well the technology works. Spinal issues that are medical in nature I believe will not affect the flow of energy in the same way as slouching, though I am not an expert on that topic. As with any exercise, anyone with a medical condition should consult their doctor or medical professional before beginning an exercise routine or changing a current routine.

      Thanks for helping to clarify this point!
      Blessings,
      Sohan Kaur Khalsa

       
      Reply
  2. Hello, thank you for your words!
    i’m brazilian and i’m administrator of site yogavital.net.
    i would publish your text for the brazilian people, first i will translate to portuguese, if you agree…

     
    Reply
  3. Sat Nam

    This article provided a great deal of inspiration.

     
    Reply

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