Part I: Energy and Anatomy in Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga
Guest author: Jamie Carmody; Jamie teaches Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga in San Antonio, Texas.
Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga: the Biomechanics of Self –Evolution
Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) are compatible systems of healing and self-transformation – technologies of self-evolution. “Self-evolution” is equivalent to self-transformation, self-growth.
Both technologies work through the body structure in order to access and process the body energy. The practice of Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga technologies results in a less rigid perception of the self and shifts in consciousness. Thus, “self-evolution” becomes easier and more accessible. The key factor in both is the conscious movement and balancing of the energy of the human unit using the energetic mechanisms housed in and around the physical body.
Zero Balancing is a hands-on mind-body therapy that works to balance and align body energy and body structure simultaneously, creating an expanded state of consciousness where the client is able to heal at a deep level. Receivers often report feeling more integrated, vertical, and open after a Zero Balancing session. Postural alignment also improves. Deep relaxation and a meditative state are a common result in both giver and receiver during a Zero Balancing session.
Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, “The Yoga of Awareness”, is a technology that is focused on awakening the kundalini life force energy that is said to reside at the base of the spine. This awakening is kindled through asana (postures), pranayama (conscious breathing), mantra (chanting), hand and eye mudras (positions). The goal is to unite and align the relationship between the body, mind, and spirit. Meditation and a quiet mind (shuniya) are an inherent aspect and direct effect of Kundalini Yoga.
Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga complement each other and support practitioners in cultivating personal growth, healing and wellness. Here we explore and compare the benefits of Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga, and explain why one might like to practice either, or both!
Movement and the Body: Bones, Muscles and Organs
Our bodies are made to move. There is constant movement within them. The musculoskeletal system is like a locomotive. The skeleton acts as a frame, complete with shock absorbers and ligaments like bungee cords. These create greater flexibility around the stability of the skeleton and its bony armature. The muscles are there to contract and relax, producing synchronized and graceful movements. The organs provide a means of support for the entire body via circulation, nourishment, and waste removal.
Most people assume that body movement is just voluntary and under our conscious control. In fact much, if not most, movement in the body is involuntary. We miss a lot of what is happening: digestion, circulation, breathing, and even consciousness itself. All of these physiological processes are below our level of attention, and many times, beyond our level of comprehension. We see our body without understanding how it really works, without understanding how to use it for our own self-evolution.
Energy and Anatomy
Our bodies not only move us, but more importantly they move, transmit, and conduct energy through us. How do we understand the movement of energy throughout the physical body? We need to look to the ancient cultures of Asia and their traditional models of body energy.
Western biomedicine is based on a model of physical anatomy. This anatomy can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled and heard. As our microscopes and other tools of science become more and more refined, the parts that can be detected get smaller and smaller. In the biomedical model, something must be measurable to count.
And yet, there is much that can be sensed but cannot necessarily be measured. We must rely on a different kind of sensitivity and awareness beyond what science can currently ascertain. Here we must substitute less systematically measurable models with what can be best perceived through certain practices that require more conscious awareness.
Pre-dating the electron microscope, Eastern models of energy help us make sense of how we are organized or even alive, held together by invisible forces as we are. The ancient cultures of India and China each developed an understanding of energy flow in the body – an anatomy of energy.
Where does the energy come from and how does it work in the body? How are we plugged in? And through what circuits would the energy move? How would we keep the circuits clear and well-functioning? What are the circuits and how would we know?
To answer these questions, we look to our ancestors, who were less distracted than we are today. A thousand or more years ago, people existed who were able to deeply connect with themselves and feel energy flow in the body, through deep meditation practices. The energetic anatomies of the chakras (in India) and acupuncture meridians (in China) were agreed upon and developed from these internal practices. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, and other methods of self-transformation and wellness are based in this deep knowledge, as are the healing arts of Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.
Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga: Energy Anatomy and Practices
My practices are Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. I teach both. I live both. They are both technologies with specific step-by-step processes geared for specific results. And while I cannot necessarily prove by Western scientific standards that what I will be saying here is true, I will assert that it is true according to my experience, and that I am not alone. Through these practices I am able to move energy through my body (Kundalini Yoga) and/or facilitate the movement of energy in another person’s body (Zero Balancing). Sound fantastic? Yes! I would say that it is!
Because both Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga are based on natural principles, they are completely compatible. Kundalini Yoga is based on a system of nadis (energy flows), chakras (energy centers), and the 10 bodies (the physical body, three mental bodies, and 6 energy bodies). The chakras organize the human unit with 8 centers, the 8th being the auric field. These must be balanced for optimal function. The 3 main nadis (the ida, pingala and the shushumna) are the plug-in to the cosmic life flow. These work best when connected and unimpeded.
So, if we compare a person to a TV set, the chakras are like the internal mechanisms of the TV and the nadis are the electrical flows that allow the TV to work. This is a fairly complicated system, as the chakras each have special qualities and there are another 71,997 nadis after the three main ones. The 10 bodies I won’t even try to explain here! What is important is how well they function.
Think about it. If your TV is only producing and perceiving static, what’s the point? Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga both refine your body-antenna to help you to tune in and set your frequency for better reception and transmission. They also result in better programming! As the person becomes healthier and more resilient, the tendency is to make better choices. Life gets better when there is clear connection and communication.
Zero Balancing simplifies the energy model of Kundalini Yoga and integrates it with Western biomedical understanding of body structure. It also builds on concepts of energy based in Chinese Five Element theory. The Zero Balancing model includes the three main nadis, which are called the Vertical Flows. The model also defines three layers of body energy: deep, middle and superficial. Each layer has special properties. A fourth layer is the background energy field, which corresponds to the auric field. It surrounds and permeates the physical body. Each of the layers has a special energetic quality either as absorptive or protective. The deepest level, and the one we are most interested in, is the skeleton – the bone level.
Bone Energy and the Skeleton in Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga
The bone level is the energy that flows through the skeleton. This magnificently engineered armature is the deepest framework and circuitry of the human body-antenna. Without the skeleton, none of these energetic mechanisms would be possible because our biomechanical movements would be completely different. And movement is required for them to work the way they do, which is another reason why movement is so important.
Part II of this article will delve more deeply into discussion of the bone level and its significance in Zero Balancing and Kundalini Yoga. Key concepts and techniques to utilize bone energy for healing and self-evolution will be introduced and discussed. Stay tuned!