Q: Quick question, Baxter. Every morning when I wake up and come down, I stop at the middle landing, grab two post on both sides of the staircase and take a deep breath and slowly start bending back and I stay that way for about 20 seconds or less till I start getting a slight dizziness/rush/ kinda thing and then I do the "cow" pose (reverse). And I feel so fresh after that...now while doing this am I doing something that could be not right in course of time and I should stop doing that...does it sound like a kundalini rush or just a good work out for the back? I do need to know if you please. I am sixty five years old and do not wish to hurt myself in any manner that would make me bed bound. So please advise. Appreciate that. Thanx
A: Dear Stair Cat-Cower,
What a fascinating question! I am curious as to how long you have been doing this little morning ritual cat/cow standing on your staircase. Has the dizziness ever been so severe that you felt you might pass out? I suspect not, as I cannot imagine you would continue to practice this half way down the stairs, as a fall from that place could be quite injurious!
As to what is going on, that is anyone’s guess without more information and without personally examining you to make sure you don’t have any underlying conditions that would be worrisome, such as high blood pressure or cervical disc disease. The fact that it is somewhat mild sensation that leaves you feeling refreshed seems a good sign. However, if you have any concerns of doing something detrimental for your health, I’d get a general check up and mention the symptoms to your primary care doctor. It might be worth requesting some plain x-rays of your neck to look for any obvious reason to not be tipping your head backwards first thing the morning.
As to the question of “kundalini” energy, this is usually discussed in the setting of pranayama breath practices and deep meditations, although there are anecdotal accounts of kundalini energy activation via asana practices. However, once released, that sort of energy is usually described as having a more constant and continuous effect on the inner sensations of the body, as compared to your short and brief rush of feeling. It would be interesting to hear where you are getting this inner feeling? Is it in a particular location or does it run a particular course? These could be clues to the underlying precipitating cause of the sensations. If you have not done so, you might also have a private consultation with the most experienced teacher in your area to get their slant on what it happening for you. In the meantime, I’d recommend doing this at the bottom of the staircase, and make sure there is a soft landing in front of you in case the dizziness gets worse! And thanks for your intriguing question!