This article is provided for information purposes only. Practicing kundalini is not recommanded, since it requires good Yoga and Pranayama training, and because it is difficult to manage energies correctly.
Here is the usual breathing structure:
"There are two internal forces or breaths, Prana and Apana, which govern the inhale and the exhale respectively. Prana rises, spreads and blossoms. Apana goes down, contracts and roots." The process of Yoga : Richard Freeman
"Can you feel the upward flow as you inhale? This is prana vayu. Can you feel the downward flow as you exhale? This is apana vayu". Breath and the five Vayus : Catherine Carrigan
Note that when you inhale, the air moves downward in your lungs, but the energy moves upward in the main nadis : Ida and/or Pingala and Sushumna if Kundalini is awaken.
Pingala is the right channel, masculine, hot, related to the sun and running from Muladhara to the right nostril, it is located on the right side of the spinal column. Ida is the left channel, feminine, cold, related to the moon and running from Muladhara to the left nostril; it is located on the left side of the spinal column. Sushumna is the central channel. Running from Muladhara to Sahasrara inside the spinal column.
Usually, men are more Yang than yin : Prana they inhale usually flows more in Pingala (Yang right nadi), than in Ida (yin left nadi).
As a consequence, to balance energy, Apana they exhale usually flows more in Ida.
More precisely, men usually inhale air while prana moves upward in Pingala (Yang right nadi), then they exhale air while apana moves downward in Ida (yin left nadi).
And more precisely adding sephiroth/chakras and the Tree of life structure:
This is symmetric for women or people who are more yin than Yang.
Women usually inhale air while prana moves upward in Ida (yin left nadi), then they exhale air while apana moves downward in Pingala (Yang right nadi).
"Breath predominantly in the left nostril is described as cool, and sometimes referred to as feminine. Breath flowing predominantly in the right nostril is described as hot, and sometimes referred to as masculine" says excellent swamij.com
When people breathe the usual way with attention, they develop their naturel energy : men develop masculine energies, and women develop feminine energies.
Some people try to breathe the opposite way from time to time, for example men trying to breathe like women, inhaling in left ida nadi and exhaling in right pingala nadi. As a consequence, it balances their natural energy.
Let's summarize : men usually inhale air while prana moves upward in Pingala (Yang right nadi), then they exhale air while apana moves downward in Ida (yin left nadi). And women usually inhale air while prana moves upward in Ida (yin left nadi), then they exhale air while apana moves downward in Pingala (Yang right nadi).
In both cases, the prana energy moves upward while people inhale : in pingala right nadi for men, in left ida nadi for women.
Awakening kundalini consists in directing the flow of prana DOWNWARD while inhaling, in order to focus energy on the first chakra, Mulhadara (located 1 on the pictures). Focusing energy on this chakra, very progressively during months, awakens progressively the energy of this chakra, Kundalini.
For men (or yang people), it means inhaling air while prana moves DOWNWARD in Ida (yin left nadi), then exhaling air while apana moves UPWARD in Pingala (Yang right nadi). This is achieved through attention, concentration, inner feeling and visualization.
For women (or yin people), it means inhaling air while prana moves DOWNWARD in Pingala (Yang right nadi), then exhaling air while apana moves UPWARD in Ida (yin left nadi). This is achieved through attention, concentration, inner feeling and visualization.
"Reversing Prana and Apana Vayu : Most significant about the five Vayus are Prana vayu and Apana Vayu. As mentioned above, Prana Vayu is an upward flowing energy and Apana Vayu is a downward flowing energy. One of the ways of describing the process of intentional Kundalini Awakening is that these two energies are intentionally reversed through a variety of practices. Reversing the energy causes the Kundalini at the base of the subtle spine to awaken, and to begin to arise. Although this is not necessarily an easy thing to do, it is very useful to know that there is a basic simplicity to this process, that of reversing these two energy flows. " Swamij
"Tantra teaches us to reverse the flow of Prana and Apana" Tantra Texas
Here is how to proceed for a man or a yang person:
By inhaling slowly and deeply this way, visualizing Prana energy flowing DOWNWARD in Ida Nadi, the energy should flow until it meets muladhara chakra n°1. When exhaling, visualizing Apana energy flowing upward in Pingala nadi, the energy should flow until it meets sahasrara chakra n°10.
After a few minutes, there's a special flow of energy between muladhara and sahasrara. People stop when they feel heat because it's the beginning of kundalini awakening.
This is the symmetric, with a DOWNWARD flow of Prana in Pingala, for a woman or a yin person :
Some men who are yin people may prefer practice this way with downward prana in Pingala, and some women who are yang people may prefer practice the masculine way with downward prana in Ida.
The next step in kundalini awakening is to add breath suspensions.
After DOWNWARD inhalation in Ida (masculine way) or Pingala (feminine way), people suspend their breath and concentrate on muladhara chakra. This breath suspension blocks the flow of Prana in muladhara and stimulates Kundalini :
After UPWARD exhalation in Pingala (masculine) or Ida (feminine), people suspend their breath and focus their attention on Sahasrara chakra. This breath suspension blocks the flow of Apana in Sahasrara and awakens this chakra too.
It is also possible to suspend the breath and focus attention on the flow of Apana in Ajna Chakra (number 8) instead of Sahasrara Chakra : it awakens the third eyes and develops mental and clairvoyance abilities ...
People working on energies sometimes use special rhythms to their exercises :
|Inhalation : Prana moves downward||4 s||5 s||3 s||6 s||6 s||...|
|Suspension in Muladhara
(while lungs are empty)
|4 s||5 s||6 s||4 s||8 s||...|
|Exhalation : Apana moves upward||4 s||5 s||3 s||6 s||6 s||...|
|Suspension in Sahasrara or Ajna
(while lungs are empty)
|4 s||5 s||6 s||4 s||0 s||...|
Trained people sometimes increase the intensity thanks to contractions during suspensions : click here to know more
Trained people sometimes inhale slowly and deeply, visualizing spiritual energy flowing DOWNWARD in BOTH Ida and Pingala nadis. The energy flows until it meets muladhara (n°1), then they practice suspensions and contractions.
The breath suspension and contraction blocks the flow of Prana in muladhara and stimulates Kundalini.
Then they exhale, visualizing spiritual energy flowing upward in central nadi SUSHUMNA. After months, the energy progressively flow until it meets Sahasrara chakra.
After exhalation in Sushumna, they sometimes suspend breath and focus attention on sahasrara chakra. This breath suspension blocks the flow of Apana in Sahasrara and also awakens this chakra :
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