I just finished reading a book on Kundalini yoga. I started taking classes in Kundalini yoga when I arrived here in Cozumel. I practice yoga three nights a week and take yoga theory/ meditation classes two nights a week.
What is Kundalini? It is believed that Kundalini is a force which lies dormant coiled like a snake, at the base of the spine in every human being. Yogi's bellieve that when awakened the Kundalini rises up the spine, through the 7 chakras and finds expression in the form of spiritual knowledge, mystical vision, psychic powers and ultimately enlightenment. Variously described, the Kundalini seems to represent a great increase in the connection between the mind and the universe/ nirvana/ god/ the powers that be. A higher level of conciousness, closely connected to the health of the physical self: "a marvellous transformation of the nervous system and brain, resulting in the manifestation of a superior type of conciousness"
Gopi Krishna was an Indian man who inadvertently awakened his Kundalini through yoga and meditation practices. He's a very down to earth guy who remains very humble despite his experiences:
"...the manifestaion [is] not a mark of special devine favor, vouchsafed to me in particular or earned by me as a reward for merit, but as an ever-present possibility, existing in all human beings by virtue of the evolutionary process still at work in the race, tending to create a condition of the brain and nervous system that can enable one to trancend the existing boundaries of the mind and acquire a state of conciousness far above that which is the normal heritage of mankind at present. In otherwords, instead of believeing that the experience, in spite of its marvellous and sublime nature, denotes a subjective apprehension of ultimate reality, complete and whole, it represents to me an upward climb from one rung of the ladder of evolution to another "
The book also contains a psychological comentary by James Hillman. He ponders whether these events actually took place in Gopi's physical body or in his yogic body/ body of the imagination. All agree that the chakra system of the yogic body is not suposed to have any objective existence in physical space. Gopi believed that his physical body was for him the material place of projection of immaterial events and there in the 'body' they were experienced by the senses and felt to be real. Our pshychology clearly can have an effect on our physical bodies - look at psychosomatic symptoms. I seem more susceptible to illness when I'm mentally run down and invincible to colds when I'm feeling on top of the world.
So is this a load of whoey? Interesting question - I have also purchased two books by Jung (who I think is fantastic) on Kundalini and yoga. One is a series of lectures and the other 'The Psyche-Body Connection". I certainly believe that there is a strong link between physical and mental health. I also strongly believe that people radiate energy - some have a powerful positive energy - those people I like to be around - Selene and a number of people at my yoga class, Allie, Cat, Monica. There are others who ooze negative energy and I can feel that accutely when I'm near these types. A Kundalini practicioner will cover their head with a turban to protect their prana/ kundalini power from such negative energy. My aunt Judith tells me that in body therapy its is recomended that you wrap a garment around your chest to protect your own energy from the negativity of others. Bit difficult to whip out my wooley hat around people who give off negative energy (Cat I was REALLY feeling ill last week when I was wearing my wooley hat around you!). My energy definately swings and yoga most certainly keeps me sane.
I will report further on the opinions on Jung on this phenomenom when I get through those books. For now I am reading, and loving, the "Tibbetan Book on Living and Dying".