“The Elements” is the Teaching Theme for February/March 2018

In the opening of Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radhananda offers insights and guidance on how to use Swami Radha’s book on the Kundalini system as the map to higher consciousness…that will lead to developing a foundation of understanding and awareness from which to grow.

Swami Radhananda also writes that each cakra of the Kundalini system is related to an element, a level of consciousness and a sense perception. Robin​ ​Macdonald,​ ​Juniper​ ​Glass,​ ​Patricia​ ​Young,​ ​Lisa​ ​Sadleir-Hart,​ ​members of the 2017 Kundalini Yoga and Dream Yoga Teacher Certification/Re-Certification group, provide a guide to explore the cakras of the Kundalini system through the elements.


  1. First Cakra: EARTH​ ​

* Creative force, Smell

  • Practice​ ​the​ ​Divine Light Invocation ​seeing​ ​the​ ​earth​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Light.​ ​​ ​
  • Reflect​ ​on​ ​the​ ​word​ ‘​earth’.​ ​​ ​What​ ​words,​ ​thoughts, images​ ​come​ ​to​ ​mind? ​​ ​Write​ ​your​ ​key​ ​words​ ​or​ ​main​ ​associations.


  • Move into the Tree pose. Observe silence. Reflect on the time and seasons in your life, your connection to the earth, the sky and the sun, and how you are sustained by life.

(Inner Life of Asanas, Swami Lalitananda, p 103)


  1. Second Cakra: WATER​

* ​Imagination, Taste

Water​ ​can​ ​be​ ​used​ ​as​ ​a​ ​symbol​ ​for​ ​the​ ​mind,​ ​which​ ​can​ ​flow​ ​uncontrolled​ ​and​ ​destructive,​ ​or be directed and beneficial. The kamandalu, which is a container, implies the control of water and thus​ ​the​ ​control​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mind.​ ​Therefore,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​advised​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​the​ ​mind,​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​the​ ​thoughts and​ ​images​ ​that​ ​appear,​ ​then​ ​reflecting​ ​on​ ​both​ ​the​ ​results​ ​of​ ​the​ ​exercises​ ​and​ ​the​ ​day’s events.​ ​Reasoning​ ​must​ ​be​ ​used​ ​to​ ​follow​ ​one​ ​thought​ ​to​ ​completion​ ​and​ ​to​ ​take​ ​action​ ​on whatever​ ​one​ ​has​ ​become​ ​aware​ ​of.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​no​ ​room​ ​for​ ​indulgence​ ​in​ ​emotions.​ ​This​ ​requires maturity.

(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 125)

  • What​ ​does ​water mean to you?​ Write your associations. ​What​ part ​does​ ​it​ ​play​ ​in​ ​your​ ​life?​ ​​
  • ​Do​ ​the​ ​Divine Light Invocation ​and​ ​write​ ​about what​ ​emerges.


  • The​ ​steady​ ​dropping​ ​of​ ​water​ ​wears​ ​down​ ​the​ ​hardest​ ​rock.
    • Can​ ​you​ ​apply​ ​this​ ​to​ ​yourself​ ​in​ ​regard​ ​to​ ​spiritual​ ​practice? Or to a habit you have been able to change or an obstacle you have been able to remove?


  1. Third Cakra: FIRE
    * Emotions, Sight  

Vajra: Thunderbolt

The thunderbolt is a symbol of power. It is a very powerful expression of nature that can strike and set afire that which it strikes. So the aspirant has to clearly decide if he or she wants to be set on fire with enthusiasm for success, name and fame, or wants to be consumed in the fire of seeking the Most High. Again, it does not seem possible to serve two masters or pursue two goals… the fire of passions is strong and powerful…

Fire​ ​of​ ​awareness
Fire​ ​of​ ​ambition
Fire​ ​of​ ​emotions
On​ ​fire​ ​with​ ​enthusiasm

(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, pp132-133)

  • Chant​ ​​Om​ ​Namah​ ​Shivaya​​. ​​ Reflection: Where​ ​is​ ​the​ ​fire​ ​in​ ​my​ ​life?

…in​ ​the​ ​Mantra,​ ​voice​ ​(speech)​ ​and​ ​emotions​ ​must​ ​work​ ​together.​.. ​​ ​The​ ​emotions​ ​expressed​ ​in mantra​ ​can​ ​be​ ​hope,​ ​longing,​ ​determination,​ ​or​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​achieve​ ​the​ ​power​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mantra…

(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, pp 136-137)

  • Reflect​ion: ​​What​ ​am I ​burning​ ​to​ ​know?​​ ​​ ​
  • Chant​ ​​Om​ ​Namah​ ​Shivaya​​ ​expressing​ ​this​ ​desire.


  1. Fourth Cakra: AIR

* Abode of Mercy (Spiritual Experiences), Touch/feelings

Now that the foundation has been laid in the first three cakras, some development will take its own course and bring about new experiences…It is circumstances that force this process, which is long and slow in the ordinary course of life. . . cleaning out the cupboards of the mind, taking down from the shelves old accumulated concepts that have dust over the years without yielding benefits. This process makes ‘space’ for extraordinary experiences…

(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 178)

  •  Can​ ​you​ ​see​ ​through​ ​all​ ​the​ ​tricks​ ​the​ ​mind​ ​and​ ​emotions​ ​play? Take time to reflect on insights gained through this exploration. Can you identify old concepts created by your mind and emotions?


The fourth cakra controls air as well as touch. It is important to observe how speech comes about…When we speak, we set up currents in the air and we are responsible for these currents…Let your mind create the atmosphere, let your feelings express that mood…and approach the Most High in an attitude of gratitude, awe and wonder.

(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 172-173)

  • How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​cultivate​ ​gratitude​ ​and​ ​humility?​ ​​ ​What​ ​does​ ​it​ ​feel​ ​like?


  • Sit quietly and still your mind with the 4/4 breath and move into the following reflection:

Visualize a beautiful garden. Remove any weeds you see growing. See a wishing well and make a wish. Find something of great value in your garden. Reflect on the meaning of these images you see. What is the message?

(The Yoga of Healing, Swami Radha, p 101)

  • Make note of the message you receive. Practice the Divine Light Invocation and place this message in the Light.


  1. Fifth Cakra: ETHER

* Will, Hearing

Ethereal​ ​is​ ​defined​ ​as:​ ​light,​ ​airy,​ ​heavenly,​ ​of​ ​unearthly​ ​delicacy​ ​of​ ​substance,​ ​character​ ​or appearance,​ ​something​ ​of​ ​great​ ​subtlety​ ​or​ ​transparency.​ ​To​ ​hear​ ​the​ ​music​ ​of​ ​the​ ​spheres would​ ​be​ ​an​ ​ethereal​ ​experience.​ ​To​ ​hear​ ​the​ ​Goddess​ ​or​ ​Devi ​speak​ ​and​ ​the​ ​sound​ ​of​ ​the cosmic AUM is the crown of all experiences through the sense of hearing…​​ ​Hearing​ ​is​ ​a​ ​subtle​ ​process.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​indeed​ ​ethereal​ ​because​ ​the​ ​interfering​ ​voices​ ​that prevent​ ​us​ ​from​ ​hearing​ ​are​ ​our​ ​own​ ​thoughts.​

(Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Radha, p 231)

  • Chant​ AUM.​​​​ ​​ ​Be​ ​aware​ ​of​ ​the​ ​subtle​ ​vibrations​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​or​ ​hear.​ ​​ Write​ ​about​ ​your​ ​experience.








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