Moving the Crow through the Chakras

It started with a big, commanding crow landing on my head as I walked down Jalan Melaka Raya. His perfectly, precise swoop butted my crown and landed briefly to alert me of my surroundings…A tingling sensation swept over and through my body as quickly as he had landed and left. I looked up to see the perpetrator retreat to his kingdom above, briefly hidden by the leafy branches, I could still see the enormity of this creature. I am always looking for the rational in why things happen and usually it's easy to find, but somehow the sensation that moved through me alerted me to something other than the obvious.

It was one week before the New Moon of September 27 2011 and Full Moon on the 12th had just passed. The alley of trees along the road where I often walk is crow territory, families of them weaving their way through branches and scavenging for food on the footpaths below. There! A nest in the tree where the crow flew back to. Well that made sense. The crow was protecting his territory... But was I being sent a message here?

I was teaching at this time and naturally started to include the crow asana, kakasana and kaki mudra pranayama into the class sessions. It was a way of integrating my experience to gain further insight into the crow and it’s symbolism in yoga. After all that's all I could do; is to be aware of what the universe had in store for me. The ancient Samkhya philosophy pre-dating Hinduism, made no distinction between microcosm and macrocosm of the universe; Matter and spirit are equally real and nature remained as the indicator of things to come. Tantra also derives its teachings from nature including that of the subtle cosmic divine in all manifested reality through ritualistic practices. No distinction is made between the good and the bad but acknowledged as part and parcel of one’s evolutionary state.  The goal of Tantra is to harness the duality of nature and entice the Kundalini life force to rise, awaken and merge all of our senses with the subtle life force of creation. The Chakras of the subtle body are well acknowledged in this tradition as a means of purification and liberation of our misperceptions of reality.

Looking back now from that new moon of Sept 27, signalled by the crow landing on my head on the full Moon Nov 11/11/11; all was revealed to me, exposed and radical decisions were made; changes in my life and relationships did come about auspiciously and precisely on that date.

Now once again two years later back in Melaka teaching a yoga workshop “Moving through the Chakras”. The first thing I do on arrival is go visit ‘Crow Alley’. This time I take my camera to confront the messenger of the astral world. I make a point of walking beneath their nests. I patiently waited looking directly upwards; they watched, flew around and away from me and basically cawed at me as if to say ‘well what do you want? Get on with your job and we’ll get on with ours” This time there was no big, commanding crow to be seen.

 

Each day during the two weeks of teaching, I included honouring the crows in the classes; kakasana and kaki mudra. I found that it was a foundational practice for the purification of the mind-emotional sheath. Kaki Mudra embodies the philosophy of Samkyha to explore matter and spirit.  We sip in the full breath, moving through the open mouth just like the beak of a crow.  The eyes are turned up towards the middle of the brow centre, the 6th chakra. The swat grounds the feet and hands which are tucked underneath you. When you take in the breath in this swatting position, you can feel what area of the spine the breath skips over, an indication of your emotional resistances. When it rides smoothly along the spine it merges with the 6th chakra, the 3rd eye of wisdom. This mudra and pranayama technique connects you to earth and heaven through your own intuitive wisdom or inner guru… The tongue reaches down to the bottom palate on the inhalation and up to the soft palate before exhalation stimulating the energetic channels within. Practicing kaki mudra pranayama incites the delicate juices of spirit (rasa) to become sweet and fluid. It helps to awaken your subtle body to the possibilities of merging with the space around you and entices the energy of consciousness to rise and touch the cosmic divine.

Kakasana and kaki mudra is believed to dispel all diseases in the body when you practice regularly. It contains the essence of being able to clear the passage of the Merudanda, spinal cord, and prepares the way of being able to transform emotions into devotion through coming to understand ourselves intuitively. It prepares one for the Kundalini Shakti to awaken through every cell of the body and the subtle energetic body where the chakras align.  A powerful sadhana (spiritual practice) that brings an intelligence into our knowledge, Samkyha. A Wisdom that embodies the seen with the unseen. This subtle matrix of the Chakras, (spirals of energy) awaken to become part of our expansive reality and path of our evolutionary process. Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo