I'm at about day 21 of my 40 day Sat Kriya. I'm not sure of the exact number of days because I learned very early on in my Kundalini experience that ticking off the days on the calendar doesn't work for me. I launch myself in to a Kriya, include it in my daily practice and then at some point I will notice it has been part of my routine for some time. The noticing usually happens when I become aware of a physical or emotional shift, and then I thank the kriya, and very often just keep going way beyond the 40 days until my soul whispers for me to change.
What am I noticing with Sat Kriya? There's a huge amount of letting go taking place - letting go of attachments, to people and places, to habits....a general feeling of freedom, no more clinging to the past. My body feels lighter, notably my hips (particularly the left), more open with no resistance or discomfort. Magical! Also assisted by an incredible physio I found in Southwell...get in touch if you want his name so you can double the Sat Kriya effect!
It is no surprise that the lightness and letting go is flooding in because its hand position is known as the Ksepana Mudra (the letting go gesture) which is also the Buddhist seal of enlightenment and helps you let go of stress and negativity. And in my case, to attachments and past.
It's not just an exercise, it is a kriya that works on all levels of your being. All arm lifts in yoga assist blood circulation to the heart and helps to balance the heart centre. Sat Kriya is one of the few exercises that is a complete workout in itself.
For beginners, this is a difficult kriya, not only on a physical level, sitting on heels, keeping the arms extended, moving the belly in and out, but also on an emotional and mind level. The rational mind really does not associate this with yoga, because you are not moving, not shifting the body into near impossible postures. Our ego wants us to move; the subtle energies of the body are not understood by the ego and it certainly does not want you to explore them....because then, the ego will have lost its grip on you. Your fear will be gone.
Here's my top tip:
Relax the entire body except for the muscles you’re using. You’ll be surprised at the power that’s saved and recycled back into the kriya when you relax your shoulders and thighs and the other parts you’re tensing because your mind is having a fit. This is the sort of crazy mind chatter after a couple of minutes of Sat Kriya...sound familiar?
How much longer are we going to do this? Are we going to die soon? What is this kundalini yoga anyway– is it really good for you? What kind of name is Sat Kriya ? What would my friends think of this stuff? This is embarrassing, I don't want anyone to hear me (note : your mind’s rubbish chatter may be very different!)
Acknowledge the thoughts and then bring yourself back to the Sat Nam. Hear your voice. nothing but your voice, repeating your Truth.
And please don't forget to relax at the end. You need it because:
It rejuvenates the body, especially the parasympathetic nervous system.
It distributes the prana stimulated by the exercise.
It helps release rigid patterns in the muscles and in the blood flow.
It helps to circulate glandular changes.
It aids in centering your emotional energies.
It helps us learn how to let go.
I hope this helps in getting you through Sat Kriya. Keep going, because it truly is a Kundalini gem.