Sacred Kundalini Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Harmonizing Nerves & Glands

50 min - Practice


As we move into the age of technology, compassion, connectedness, and adaptability become more favorable than aggression and power. Kara leads a practice to calm to an over-activated nervous system, minimizing anxiety and bringing in a feeling of balance and harmony. After our opening mantra and warmups, we move into a kriya set to stimulate the Pituitary gland, the “master gland”, balance metabolism, decongest the lymphatic system, and strengthen immunity. We close in the Meditation for a Calm Heart to help us connect to the rhythm and consciousness of the heart. You will feel refreshed, renewed, and aligned mind, body, and spirit.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

Statnam, everybody. Welcome to Sacred Kundalini. I'm Carol Looney. Today we are going to be working on strengthening the nervous system and activating the glandular system in the body. So with regard to the nervous system, in Kundalini yoga, it is highly important. Being considered more important than the actual physical strength of the muscles in some regard, at least to me, the nervous system is the strength and the balance of the nervous system is held in such high regard. The reason for this is, is Kundalini yoga helps us train our bodies to adapt to the demands of the modern world. We have information coming at us in all directions at all times of day in various amounts, right? I've heard it said before that what three generations ago we're asked to process in a lifetime, we're now being asked to process in a month. So our nervous systems are extremely overstimulated and as such we find ourselves kind of short-circuiting. So strengthening the nervous system helps the nerves bear a larger charge, you know, sustain a larger threshold of energy. And we also are educating the nervous system to be able to fluctuate more evenly and easily between the fight or flight sympathetic and the rest and digest parasympathetic aspect of the nervous system. With regard to the glandular system today, we'll be working with two very powerful, important glands, one of which is the pituitary gland up in the midbrain. This is our master gland. This is the gland that serves as the director of all the other glands. It signals to the other glands to activate, right? And so when the pituitary gland is not activated, the rest of the glands have no direction, so to speak. So we're working with the pituitary gland up in the midbrain and we're also going to be doing some work with the thyroid and the parathyroid, which is directly next to it. The thyroid gland is that which helps us balance our metabolism. So this keeps the body in proper functioning with regard to that metabolic function. And the parathyroid works with promoting the calcium balance in the body. So all of this serves to bring us into a state of harmonious balance, not only physically, but also emotionally, energetically, and brings us into a harmony that allows us to connect more deeply into spirit. And that's really what we're endeavoring toward often in this practice, is really to connect into the soul, into that which is by guiding in our lives. So let's rub our hands together, stimulating 72,000 energy channels. We call these nadis. All of these nadis running and meandering throughout the whole body, these energy channels, and this rubbing of the hands serves to stimulate. Close the eyes down. Allow yourself to turn inward and connect into that witnessing aspect of who you are, that neutrality. Let's bring the thumbs into the sternum, shoulders down away from the ears, and we tune in with the Adi Mantra. Aung Namo, Guru Dev Namo, I bow to the divine teacher within. We're calling on the high self. We're calling on the spirit and that within us, which is living consciousness. Let's take a deep breath in through the nose to begin. Aung Namo, Guru Dev Namo, Aung Namo, Aung Namo, Aung Namo, Guru Dev Namo, Aung Namo, Aung Namo, Gududevnamo Take a deep breath in through the nose.

Suspend it gently, root lock, third eye focus. Allow the diaphragm to drop and the belly to expand. Be a container for the breath. And exhale, release. Welcome everybody. I'm so happy to have you here today.

It always feels like I have to greet you a second time after we tune in because there's just a vibrational shift that happens after you tune in and connect to that sound current. Two things to note about today. We're going to be doing a lot of breath of fire. So if you are pregnant or on the first three days of your menstruation, please refrain from breath of fire and instead do a longer, deeper breath. We will also be doing what's called a kumbaka in antar kumbaka, which is a breath hold, breath retention on the inhale while applying particular movement of a kriya today.

So if you tend to have high blood pressure issues or things like that, just know that breath holds on the inhale tend to raise the blood pressure slightly. Let's start with our Sufi circles and warm up. Inhaling forward and exhaling back. Eyes are up at third eye center. And this is where we start to open up the energy channels that allow the kundalini to rise from the base of the spine up through the central channel.

The spine is one of the key elements to keep open, healthy and activated in kundalini yoga. So let's inhale forward, exhale back. Eyes at third eye center. And start to create space for yourself to connect into the group consciousness of the class. Whether you're here live or watching on video, there is a consciousness we tap into when we practice together.

Opening through the heart, rounding through the back. Let's go for four, three, two and one. Inhale, hold center and reverse the direction. Inhaling and exhaling. Let your breath be the guiding force.

Let's go for four, three, two and one. Inhale, hold center. And let's move into spinal flex. Inhale forward, exhale back. Powerful breathing.

Take it a couple steps above your normal daily breath. Move into a very conscious, deep, nourishing breath. Let it move through down into the belly. Let's go for four, three, two and one. Inhale, lift high.

And exhale. Hands come onto the shoulders. Shoulders are down away from the ears. Nice long neck. Let's put the chin to the chest slightly.

Inhale left, exhale right. Keeping the navel pulled in toward the spine. Feeling that beautiful rotation in the spine. Ringing out low body organs. A lot of today's work not only will be strengthening the nervous system, but through the glandular stimulation, we're going to be working on purification.

Right? So I think I'm drinking a lot of water today after class, allowing that detoxing process to take full effect. Let's lift those hands off the shoulders, joining index finger and thumb into ghee on mudra. Inhale, exhale. Let's reach those arms up 60 degrees.

Tip the chest and the face up to the sky. Maybe calling in a high vibration emotion like gratitude, allowing that energy to permeate your body, your soul. The energy in the cells. Such interesting science how tapping into particular emotions can modify the chemistry of the body. Holding on to that gratitude, feeling it in your heart.

Let's go for four, three, two, and one. Inhale, hold center. And exhale, sweep through the energy field. Reach strong through the hands, charge the energy in the palms, and sweep. Inhale and exhale.

Envisioning that beautiful energy field around the body, the auric field. Through this practice of Kundalini Yoga, we serve to charge and strengthen that field. We also serve to expand the field. We can move this field up to 12 feet around the body. Let's go for four, three, two, and one.

Inhale, reach the arms nice and high. And let's uncross the legs. Please extend the legs out into a gentle straddle. If you find yourself rounding in the back a little, feel free to put a blanket or a bolster under the hips to help lift the hips so the spine can grow longer. We're going to reach the arms direct overhead.

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Now feel free to put a bend in the knees if you're feeling a little resistance in the low back in the hamstrings. Just a little bend can be helpful. I'm working to open the legs today because most of the crease that we will be doing is in a seated cross-leg position today.

So I want to get some of the energy moving through this lower part of the body. Let's go for four, three, two, and one. Inhale, lift arms high. Exhale, hinge. Exhale forward, keeping those feet active, lifting through the head and chin and the heart.

Inhale, let's come over onto tabletop. Hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Let's begin. Nice, liberating cat-cow. Inhale, chin and tail.

Exhale, round tuck and dome. Distributing prana, disturbing consciousness and awareness throughout the body. Keep those eyes closed and drawn up to third eye, stimulating glands in the brain. Let's go for four, three, two, and one. Inhale, chin and tail.

Exhale, round tuck and dome. And for a moment, let's curl the toes under, ground strong through the hands, spread through fingers, engage into fingertips and knuckles, press back into a downward dog. And I'd like you to just pedal the feet and wag the tail, let that head hang nice and heavy. Again, I want to open up the legs, keep some liberation here, keep that navel drawn into the spine, and press those heels to the best of your ability, to the floor, chest to the thighs. Let's take a nice inhale, inside out.

All right, please come to a seated cross-leg position, and we'll begin our kriya. Now, each segment of this kriya set, this is actually a combination of two smaller kriya sets, focused on strengthening the nervous system and the glandular system. If you happen to find yourself easily agitated or easily upset, oftentimes, despite the drama that may be associated with that situation, it is indicative of a nervous system that's easily triggered, maybe a weaker nervous system. When we start to strengthen the nervous system through kriyas like this, even the practice of taking cold showers on a regular basis helps really strengthen the bandwidth of your nervous system to sustain a higher charge, and you feel more calm, cool, and collected on a more regular basis because the nerves can handle the stimulation. So that's what we're going to be working on today in addition to the glands.

So the first of which, we're going to be stimulating the pituitary gland up in the midbrain. I'm going to take my arms out to the side, shoulders are down away from the ears, and really stretch it out. And we're just lifting the middle finger, the Saturn finger. As I've mentioned before in class, the fingers themselves and the energy of the tips of the fingers have a direct correlation to energy meridians that connect to the brain. So we're going to take a slow-ish kind of breath of fire, or a longer, deeper breath if you prefer, lift and lower the middle finger in coordination.

Some of the other fingers may, by design, want to follow along, it's okay. So we're going to inhale, exhale, lifting the middle finger, eyes at third eye, breath of fire. Here we go. Keep going. Keep that belly pumping, eyes at third eye, shoulders down away from the ears, and arms are strong and engaged. You may feel some tension in the hands and the forearms, that's okay.

Consider that some stimulation to some of the extensions of the heart center, which are the hands and the arms. Opening up the energy of the heart chakra. Let's go for ten. And inhale. Suspend the breath, root lock, third eye.

And exhale. Release the hands for just a moment, roll the shoulders back. We're going to move into the next posture. The right arm extends out, the left hand comes on top and we interlock the fingers, okay? My apologies.

Left hand is on top of the right. We're going to keep a nice strong base. I'm going to inhale with straight arms, twist to the left. Exhale, twist to the right, okay? This is working on lymph node stimulation, lymphatic stimulation in the upper region of the body.

Inhale left, exhale right. We have all these tiny little lymph nodes that produce white blood cells that help us with our immunity, right? We have them in the neck, around the ears, the jaw, around the underarms, the breasts, all up through here. And none of these lymph nodes are self-cleansing, right? So they can get a little congested and minimize the strength of your immunity.

So, postures like this help us really charge that lymphatic system and help boost the immunity. Inhale, twist to the right, and exhale. Let's go for ten more seconds. And inhale, hold center. Suspend the breath, root lock, third eye.

And relax, release. And just sit here for a moment and allow the work to be done, allow some rebalancing. I don't know about you, but I feel a great deal of opening in the muscles in my intercostals, the ribs in the front of my chest and back between my shoulder blades. It's a nice feeling of liberation in my breath. All right.

I'm keeping with that energy. I'm going to extend my hands out in front of my face, my chest. I'm going to take my thumbs inside my hands and wrap my fingers around my thumbs, okay? And moving with a pumping action, this next exercise helps stimulate the thyroid and the parathyroid glands, okay, bringing a lot of balance. And it's statistically shown that people around the age of 30, 35, their thyroid gland starts to minimize its activity.

So when we do exercises like this in our 30s and on, we can help keep that thyroid gland acting in alignment during our lives, okay? So we're going to take an inhale and pump the arms. Keep a slight chin lock, a slight tuck of the chin to the chest. Eyes are up at third eye center. Keeping nice straight arms.

Try not to bend in the elbows. The movement is coming from the shoulders themselves, not the movement of the elbow joint. Stay in it, my friends, stay connected. Stay in that space, and if it starts to get a little uncomfortable, see if you can wrap your heart around engaging more, committing more into the work, as opposed to allowing the mind to talk you out of it. This is how we start to clear through blocks and through habits of tendency toward quitting things, stopping doing things, cutting progress.

Let's keep going. Ten more seconds, stay with me. And inhale, arms straight out from the chest. Suspend. And exhale, release.

And just rest for a moment. Feel that cleansing experience. All of this work serves as a beautiful reset button for so many layers of our awareness. I like to think of the process of strengthening the nervous system as a means of survival of the fittest, right? Years have passed, many years passed.

We always think of survival of the fittest of that, which is most powerful, most aggressive, most physically capable. And I think moving into this really intense age of information, just coming at us from all different directions, I think survival of the fittest really relies also now on compassion, connectedness, not so much aggression and power, right? And not so much unnecessarily physical prowess, but on the strength and capability of the nervous system to really be able to adapt and withstand the charge of the intensity of these times we're in. All right, let's take our soles of our feet together in sort of a cobbler-type pose, or butterfly pose, as it's also called. I'm going to take a Venus lock, which is the interlacing of my fingers.

Ladies are female-identifying people. You can take the left thumb on top of the right. Males and male-identifying individuals, you can take the right thumb on top of the left, okay? This is going to be a coordination. As I lift my arms on inhale, I gently lift my knees.

As I exhale, I drop my knees open and bring my arms down, okay? This helps us balance the prana and apana balance in the body. Prana is the intake of life-force energy. Apana is the output of energy, okay? Here we go.

Inhale, exhale. This also helps us balance the sexual energy of the second chakra, that creative energy. Good. Stay in this space. Stay in it with me.

Your repetition is the name of the game here in Kundalini. Let's go for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Inhale, lift knees and arms, suspend, then exhale. Relax and receive for a moment. Connecting to the breath and gently blink the eyes open.

All right. Let's come back into a seated cross leg. Now these next few exercises, we have a few more parts to this kriya set. Now the next, we're going to involve a pumping of the navel with a breath of fire. I'm going to take my right arm out in front of me with my palm face to the ground.

My left hand comes up and I'm going to take index, middle, ring, and pinky finger. I'm going to align them and I'm going to stack them up right on top of the bridge of my nose. So my pinky finger is on the top of the bridge of my nose. Pinky on the top of the bridge, ring, middle, and index run the length of my third eye space. My elbow is nice and relaxed and I have a gentle pressure with my fingertips on that space between the eyebrows.

I'm going to pump my navel nice and strong with a breath of fire. And as we end, I'll tell you, as we're finishing a few seconds in, a few seconds toward the end, we're going to take a full deep inhale, completely exhale, and then hold on the out breath. We're going to do that two times. Okay, and that will be at the end of this particular part of the crea. Let's take a deep breath and begin breath of fire.

Eyes are at third eye center, closed, pumping that belly. Be aware of your posture, be aware of the length of your neck, shoulders away from the ears. Thirty more seconds, stay with me. Last ten. Now inhale, completely exhale.

Hold on the out breath. Inhale. Again, completely exhale, empty, empty, empty. Hold. Inhale and relax, palms face up on the knees and just receive for a moment.

Being an observer, what is your state of awareness? How is your breathing? What is your energy? What is your quality of mind? Likely quite neutral, right there in the middle as a witness. Let's gently blink the eyes open.

Okay. I'm going to take my arms out, the gentle cupping of my palms, shoulders down away from the ears. I'm going to tip my head back with my eyes closed at third eye, creating an opening here, right? Putting a little bit of tension, for lack of better words, on the muscles of the neck to activate the thyroid. We're going to do a little breath of fire with a gently extended tongue through the mouth.

Okay, eyes are at third eye center. And at the end, we're going to inhale, suspend the breath, and then gently tighten the molars. Just gently, no grinding the teeth, but gently put some pressure on the back molars as we complete this practice. I'll remind you. All right, let's tip the head back, open the mouth gently, tongue extends, breath of fire.

Pump that belly. Feel the stimulation in the arms. The muscles are getting a bit of a challenge. As you continue through it, despite somewhat of the discomfort, know that it's strengthening the nervous system. It's allowing that nervous system to hold a stronger charge.

You become more resilient. Ten seconds, stay with me. Now inhale through the nose. Suspend the breath and gently press the molars. Keep the posture, exhale.

Again, inhale nose. Suspend, gently press molars. And exhale. Rest and receive for a moment. Always reflecting on the state of awareness, bringing yourself into the present moment.

All right, gently blinking the eyes open. I love this next set, I find this part of the set extremely provocative for stagnant energy, especially in the heart center and in the throat chakra. We tend to really get a lot of blocks here in the heart and in the throat, just through normal operation on a daily basis. We want to always endeavor to keep these energy centers in addition to our root and all the others. It's as open and clear and full functioning as we possibly can when we want to be full participants of our experience of life.

Now we're going to take the arms out to the side. My fingers are nice and strong close together. My arms are at what looks kind of like a little W shape. Okay, this is going to be my inhale. Hold and suspend the breath on the inhale.

And while the breath is held, we're going to cross the arms in front of the chest, creating hands one in front of the other for as long as you can hold the breath. Don't let yourself go blue in the face just until it feels like you've reached that point. And then exhale, inhale again, hold the breath, and we continue. Okay, exhale now. Let's inhale.

Eyes are at third eye center. Suspend, and here we go. Exhale, inhale. Suspend. Make sure when you're suspending that breath that the belly is also extended.

Let's go for three more. Last time. Inhale, suspend with the arms out to the side. And exhale. Palms face up on the knees.

Long, deep breathing. Likely you'll feel a lot of freedom in your lung capacity, a lot of opening in the energy of the heart and the throat. Breathe into that newly created space. And for the last thing I'd like to do before we come into savasana, I'd like to come into what's called a meditation for a calm heart. This really brings the nervous system into a state of balance by connecting not only to the rhythm of the heart, but the consciousness of the heart, right?

When we're identifying with the mind too much, we tend to get ourselves into that sympathetic nervous system fight or flight. When we identify with the awareness of the heart, we can really come into a more creative and receptive space. I'm going to take my left hand onto my heart, and my fingers are going to be parallel across the chest, and then the shoulder just relax down to the side. Okay, so the thumb is close to the chin and the pinky is close to the floor. I'm going to take a giyan mudra, index finger and thumb, join, and my right hand is out to the side.

My eyes are closed and my eyes are just looking behind the lids. You can also do a slight one-tenth of the eyelids open in this meditation, if you like that, just looking through the lashes, the eyes can be closed and the eyes are gazing directly behind the lids. We're going to take an inhale through the nose, and we're going to suspend it, and we're going to exhale through the nose, and we're going to suspend it out, just for a brief moment. Inhale, suspend, exhale, suspend out. Continue, follow the sound of my breath.

Inhale. Inhale. Inhale. Inhale. Let's take two more rounds.

Inhale. Inhale. Please take your final inhale. Suspend the breath, root lock, third eye. Feel the stillness.

And then exhale through the nose. Relax and release the mudra. And please gently come laying down onto your back for savasana. Feet and thighs turn out naturally. Palms face up next to the hips.

Shoulders are down away from the ears. Jaw softens. Tongue relaxes. Ears fall back, and eyes sink back. Please have a gentle awareness of the crown of your head.

Inhale. Inhale. Inhale. Inhale. Inhale.

Gently wiggling your fingers and your toes. Please draw your knees into your chest. Wrap your forearms around your shins and rock from side to side. Roll onto one side into fetal position. Bring a full inhale through the nose, sigh it out through the mouth.

Gently rise up. Seated cross-leg position. At the end of every Kundalini Yoga class, we close out with a blessing. May the long-time sun shine upon you. May the love surround you and the pure light within you guide your way on.

Let's sing that mantra one time through together. You can either join in or listen to it as a blessing. And then we close out from that with three long vibrational expressions of the sound in the mantra. Sat nam declaring, truth is my name, truth is my identity, truth is who I am. True living vibrating conscious awareness.

Bring the hands into the heart center. Take a deep breath in through the nose. May the long-time sun shine upon you. All love surround you and the pure light within you. Guide your way on.

Guide your way on. Sat nam. Sat nam. Sat nam. Take a deep breath in through the nose.

Suspending the breath, connecting to that sacred center of the heart. Draw that energy up to the third eye space, blessing that you'll be guided by intuition. Have the wisdom and guidance to follow it. Exhale, bowing forward. Sat nam. Namaste.

Thank you everybody. Sat nam.


Martha K
2 people like this.
Wowza! That got the energy moving and the lungs clearing and opening. The beautiful meditation with mudra and breath work brought it all back to the heart. A nutritious bowl of goodness to start the day. Thank You Kara.
Kara L
Martha K Hello! Oh I'm so happy to hear this! Thank you for sharing your experience and I look forward to seeing you in future classes.
Joseph H
2 people like this.
Another great class. Thank you Kara! I love the kumbaka breath, even though it is difficult to keep the body from gasping, it really engages the mind and creates an incredible space in the 3rd eye
Diane C
2 people like this.
Lovely energizing class!
Kara L
Joseph H Hello! Thanks for the feedback on your experience in class! Moving forward try not to hold breath to the point of gasping as it will stimulate sympathetic NS too strongly. Only hold until it feels “complete”. Your threshold for holding will increase overtime, but try not to apply force.  Keep up the great work!
Kara L
1 person likes this.
Diane C thanks! So glad you enjoyed it - looking forward to next week’s class 🙏
1 person likes this.
Beautiful! Thank you 🙏
Kara L
1 person likes this.
AnaSofia Sat Nam! Thanks for the note- glad you enjoyed!!
Diane C
1 person likes this.
I repeated this class today and felt increased awareness in my third eye area. It was beautiful and intense! Thank you.
Kara L
1 person likes this.
Diane C Hi!! Thanks for your note - I’m so glad you took it again. We can learn a great deal by practicing the same Kriya many times. It allows us to gain connection to more subtlety in the experiences generated. 
1-10 of 24

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial