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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Laya Yoga

The Sanskrit term “Laya” means “clinging to” and also “dissolution,” or “absorption” but in this context a better definition might be “release.” Yoga has become a generic term implying “The path to union with the divine.” Specifically Laya Yoga deals with the management of kundalinī which is a non-physical “energy” that is normally latent at the base of the spine.

Kundalinī has, on very rare occasions, been raised by accident and such an event has undesirable consequences. In Laya Yoga specific techniques are employed to induce and manage the arousal of this so-called “serpent fire.” Central to the method are breathing exercises, but these should be done under the direction of a qualified teacher or guru.

When roused, kundalini flows through six centers called chakras which are situated at intervals along the spine. The chakras are connected to great nerve centers in the physical body, the etheric double and other subtle bodies. When the various chakras are energized by the inflow of kundalini subtle powers appropriate to the specific centers are generated, such as clairvoyance, etc.

Helena P. BLAVATSKY is unequivocal about the dangers attendant upon the careless tampering with kundalini; she states that it “is the serpentine or spiral force, which if misused can kill” (CW XI:488).

See also CHAKRAS; KUNDALINI; Yoga.

P.S.H.

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