One of the earliest take-aways from the YTT is the morning kriya or “cleansing” that was introduced to us by Master Paluu. For the uninformed, it consists of the following five steps:
- Kapalabhati (cleansing the skull of negative thoughts)
- Anuloma Viloma (one of the more accessible pranayamas)
- Udiyana Bandha/Nauli (Abdominal lock/Small Intestine cleansing)
- Three complementary poses of 1 min each – Paschimottanasana, Bhujangansana, Ardha Matsyendhrasana)
- Showing gratitude (to God/Higher Being, Parents, Teachers)
It all seemed a lot at first, especially since we mere mortals could all do with the extra 15-20 mins of sleep every morning before the YTT. To make things worse, the kriya has to be done on an empty stomach. No coffee, no juice. No nothing. Our bodies would have to go on auto-pilot mode. We also risked having to place and balance two blocks on the head if we hadn’t done it. Well, Satya, one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, watched me like a hawk to make sure that I didn’t lie.
But it was all for the better. According to Master Paluu, it would take 48 consecutive days before we can feel the benefits/effects. I have been doing it diligently for 25 days now. I don’t think I’ve transcended to a higher dimension but I do feel cleaner, fresher and “better” each morning. Strangely, I particularly liked the last step where we express gratitude. To be honest, I skipped this step when I first started. I thought it felt contrived and a little bizarre. I decided to be a little more open-minded and included it in the third day. I was pleasantly surprised how liberating it was! I still can’t fathom why it makes me feel this way but I like that feeling. Maybe I’ll find out one day. Or maybe not…