Date: Fri Jan 9, 2004 2:35pm
Subject: Siddhasana Living in a fountain of ecstasy
Okay, we are ready to move on to some more advanced yoga practices.
We are crossing over here into practices that are decidedly more
aggressive. Before taking on any of these, it is essential that you
be stable in the practices previously undertaken. If you jump right
into these new practices without meditation, pranayama, and the rest
very comfortably in place, not much good will come of it. Make sure
you are in tune with your unique time line. You may spend years in
the other practices before you feel ready for these very advanced
yoga practices coming up, and that is perfectly all right. Rome was
not built in a day.
By “aggressive,” we mean more focused on stimulating prana in the
body. While this means more pure bliss consciousness moving and more
ecstasy coming up in us, it also means more purification in the
nervous system. More purification means more stuff loosening and
coming out from inside, and discomfort is possible. Always gauge your
practices and lifestyle to keep at a stable rate of purification. We
are always looking to balance our routine so it results in maximum
spiritual progress while maintaining smoothness in daily life. How we
feel outside practices during the day is the best measure. This has
been said over and over, and can’t be said enough. It is a fact of
life for anyone seriously treading the path of yoga. You could call
it the fine art of housecleaning without making a mess.
Having said all that, let’s delve into it.
If you are still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after all we have been
through so far, you will be a natural for what is coming up. And you
will love every minute of it. Either that, or you will be
crying, “This is outrageous!” Maybe you will be doing both at the
same time loving the outrageous.
Siddhasana is the next step in our integration of practices. It
means, “seat of the perfected ones.” You will recall way back in
lesson #33, we talked about “a new way of sitting” in meditation. You
may wish to go back and review that lesson now.
We are going to take what was discussed in lesson #33 a step further.
We said there that it would be good to become comfortable using a
cross-legged position while meditating, tucking the toes under the
opposite legs a bit with the feet turned partially upside down. This
is best done on a soft surface, like a bed, and with back support.
This applies in both pranayama and meditation.
Now we are going to bring the inner foot further under and put our
heel under our perineum. We will be sitting on our heel there with
the top of our foot lying almost flat on the bed. It is not a good
idea to try this while sitting on a hard surface.
It is not necessary to put all of our weight on the heel. If we are
using back support, as recommended, we can lean back a bit and find a
reasonably comfortable position where we are sitting with our heel
firmly against our perineum. Not too firm, not too light. We can use
either foot underneath, and can switch them for comfort as necessary,
as discussed in lesson #33. As with all new practices we take on,
there will be a “clunky” stage, where it feels a bit awkward. This
one may feel a lot awkward. Don’t let that stop you from learning. It
should not take long for you to find that this position is sexually
stimulating, and that will add to the clunkiness of it. In the
beginning, it will probably be clunky and sexy combined.
We will keep the other foot where it was, tucked under the shin of
the leg going under, or we can leave that second leg out straight on
the bed at times if this is more comfortable. This is a simplified
form of siddhasana. The formal version has the second leg up on top
of the first, as in half-lotus, with no back support, and maybe
sitting on a hard rock somewhere. It is not necessary to do all that
to get the correct effect. That effect is a constant stimulation of
sexual energy upward from the perineum during our sitting practices
of pranayama and meditation. We want that, and we sit with pressure
at the perineum in such a way to deliberately foster it. It is
supposed to feel good.
“How can I ever meditate while doing this?” you say. You can. Maybe
not in the beginning without some distraction, but it is something
you can work into gradually over time. Maybe at first you will only
want to be in siddhasana during pranayama, and leave it out during
meditation. In time, you will become completely comfortable in
siddhasana and even forget that you are doing it throughout
practices. It is a training that you are embarking on, a gradual
buildup of a habit. There are two kinds of training going on at once,
which is what makes learning siddhasana tricky.
First is the physical part of culturing the body into it to the point
where it is completely comfortable physically to be in siddhasana. We
all know that we can gradually coax the body in a particular
direction. If we have managed to get comfortable in crossed legs
before now, we know it can be done. If we have not gotten into
crossed legs, this form of siddhasana won’t be happening easily right
now, not in the way just described. But there are other ways to do
it. More on that below.
The second kind of training that is going on can be more challenging.
That is riding through the sexual feelings that siddhasana creates.
What we are doing in siddhasana is training our sexual energy to be
comfortable flowing up, opening previously dormant pathways in our
nervous system. We do siddhasana during our spiritual practices for
two reasons. First is because we are sitting there for our time of
pranayama and meditation, and that is automatically a certain amount
of time of being in siddhasana as well. That makes siddhasana a
regular daily practice like everything else, and we don’t have to add
any time to our practices to do it. Second, pranayama and meditation
interact with the effects of siddhasana to greatly expand the flow of
prana and pure bliss consciousness in the nervous system. In
addition, we are also doing mulabandha and sambhavi. The integration
of all these practices supercharges the process of evolution going on
Think of sexual energy as being like a wild horse. We want to use
this horse for a useful purpose. So what do we do? We get on the
wild horse and ride it. It jumps all over the place at first the
proverbial “bucking bronco.” But pretty soon, the horse figures out
who is in charge, and begins to settle down. It finds a new way of
being within the conditions we have created. Then the horse becomes
very useful for whatever our purpose has been in training her. This
is exactly what siddhasana does. It creates a condition that sexual
energy has to accommodate itself to, to our benefit. Our purpose in
yoga with regard to sex is to expand its use upward, adding something
more in addition to the externally oriented reproductive function. We
want to train sex to support our inner spiritual transformation. We
have covered this principle in the lessons before when we first
discussed kundalini and mulabandha. Now we are taking it a step
further. When we cover tantra yoga methods, we will add other things,
also leading in this same direction.
As the bucking bronco of sexual energy in siddhasana begins to calm
down, our experiences in pranayama and meditation will change
dramatically. What was before crazy sexual energy going this way and
that, becomes a smooth upward flow of delightful energy, much like a
fountain coming up from our root. It is peaceful luminous energy,
ecstatic energy that we can sit in indefinitely with comfort. No more
bucking bronco. When we get up and go about our daily activities the
energy will still be there, even when we are not sitting in
siddhasana. Our inner biology relating to prana flow inside will be
changing to something much more. We will feel natural with it, being
filled with divine light. We will become more self-sufficient in
every aspect of life. Then we are in the best position to give to
others, because our basic needs will be filled by an overflowing
bliss from inside.
So, siddhasana is a very important practice. A tricky one to get
established, but well worth climbing the learning curve for.
How long does it take to train the bucking bronco? It depends on the
person. It is gradual for most. The first week or two can be crazy.
In a month things will be settling a bit. In three months, it will be
getting comfortable. In six months to a year there will be stability,
and it will become a natural part of everyday life. After a few
years, we are used to being bathed in ecstasy all the time, but never
taking it for granted. We can sit in siddhasana anytime we want
without any distraction just normal ecstatic bliss. It is normal
life with a spiritually awakened nervous system.
All of the effects of advanced yoga practices that have been
discussed in these lessons are greatly enriched by siddhasana, and we
can go on to more and more. That is the important thing, for there is
always more progress to be achieved. A true yogi or yogini never
stops, no matter how terrific the experiences get.
During all of this change brought on by siddhasana, we will be
keeping our daily pranayama and meditation going just as before. The
feelings that come up in siddhasana are treated just like other
thoughts and feelings that come up in pranayama and meditation. We
just easily favor the practice we are doing, as always. We also keep
our practices of mulabandha and sambhavi as before. Siddhasana has a
huge effect on the opening of the spinal nerve, and the rise of
ecstatic conductivity in it.
For those who are unable to get into crossed legs for any reason,
there can still be siddhasana, with the effects created by different
means. You can use a prosthetic wherever you sit for pranayama and
meditation. Maybe a rubber ball, or a hard little pillow, something
that will approximate the pressure of your heel pressing up on your
perineum. This is perfectly adequate. You can do it that way. You can
avoid having to train your body in the physical bending and so on.
You will still be training your sexual energy, which is the point of
siddhasana. Everything else will be the same as discussed above. You
will just be using a different method to achieve the same results.
If at any point the stimulation is just too much, and it is not
possible to meditate or do anything comfortably in practices, it is
important to back off. That goes for all advanced yoga practices. We
back off when we know we are overdoing, because this is how we avoid
falling off the wagon of practices completely. We don’t try and be
heroic and suffer though excessive difficulties. Always retreat if it
gets to be too much. Find your best stable platform of reduced
practice, and relax there before trying to move ahead again. You can
always come back and pick up where you left off another day.