Shambhavi is the name of the wife of Shiva. She is known by many other names including Parvati, Shakti, Uma and so forth. She symbolizes energy and the manifested world, while Shiva represents consciousness. They represent the two sides of the same coin of existence.
Kriya 12 is dedicated to Shambhavi, since without her power all the kriyas, and in fact all yogic practices, would be impossible. Without energy, gross or subtle, it is not possible to practise any sadhana.
In English this kriya can be called ‘Parvati’s lotus’ or ‘Shambhavi’s lotus’.
In order to practise shambhavi you need to know the following subsidiary techniques:
- Ujjayi pranayama
- Khechari mudra
These are an integral part of the previous kriyas and you should be familiar with them.
In this practice you have to visualize a lotus growing in the spine, with the roots in mooladhara and the flower in sahasrara. At first this may be difficult, but with practice it will become easier and easier. You have to gaze into the chidakasha (space of consciousness) in front of the closed eyes and feel that the space pervades everywhere, both inside and outside your body. You must feel that the lotus is in the chidakasha, but that its specific location is the spine.
If you have never seen a lotus, then you can visualize any other type of flower, for example, a rose.
You should sit in padmasana, siddhasana or siddha yoni asana, if possible. Otherwise you can sit in any other comfortable meditative asana.
To gain the most from the practice and to maintain one-pointedness of the mind, it is best to remain in the same position that is used for the previous kriyas. That is, it is best to do naumukhi, shakti chalini, shambhavi and the next kriya (amrit pan), without changing the physical position of the body. Keep the back straight throughout the practice.