New to Kundalini Yoga
Developed over many centuries, Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is the most powerful and revitalizing transformational system one can practice today to develop resilience and longevity of body, mind and spirit. Comparative studies done by researchers Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa (author of Brain Longevity, et. al. books) and Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa of Harvard University, confirm Kundalini Yoga’s capacity to elevate us out of worry, confusion, hopelessness, and a host of other conditions that interfere with achieving happiness and human excellence. Yogi Bhajan called Kundalini Yoga the Yoga of Awareness, and the Mother of all Yogas. It awakens and releases the kundalini (coiled) evolutionary energy contained within each of us. It calls upon all facets of the self, incorporating all branches of yoga – postures (asanas), breath (pranayam), sound current (mantra), meditation (raajaa yoga), et al. A sense of elevation and wholeness is a commonly shared experience of Kundalini Yoga.
Early morning sadhana as taught by Yogi Bhajan incorporates Japji Sahib, (a prayer of attunement with the soul), Kundalini yoga, meditation and Gurdwara (Guru’s Gate) – a meditative, music-based prayer service that Yogi Bhajan referred to as the social part of sadhana. Gurdwara is like a group kriya (complete action meditation). It is an opportunity to develop one’s sense of devotion and power of prayer within a spiritual community that values transformational disciplines.
During approximately four decades of worldwide teaching, Yogi Bhajan consistently referred to sadhana as the most important practice once could do to effect change and achieve success. Whenever anyone would ask him how he became so great he would always respond, Sadhana. First you make the habit, then the habit makes you. He referred to sadhana in lectures and classes as the basis from which our successes and victories would spring and be kept in balance. If we wished to flourish and find the reserve energy and flexibility to thrive within every realm of our life, then daily early morning sadhana was a must.
The two and a half hours before dawn are called the Nectar time (Amrit Vela) for meditation because 40 breaths per breath (the greatest possible pranic energy) are available in the pre-dawn hours. The Amrit Vela is a peaceful time when the distractions and energies of the day have not battered one’s body or carried one’s mind away from the infinite possibilities dancing within stillness. It is a time when spiritual masters travel within their subtle bodies to bless the earth – and all those whose very presence is a blessing.
Ideally, our aim is to maintain a meditative mind and behaviors in each moment of our lives. But early morning sadhana is the prime time and place to attune body, mind and spirit toward one’s infinite nature rather than one’s limitations, and toward the unity of One Self rather than divisions based on fear or anger.
“The totality of all yogas is one Yoga – Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness, the Yoga of Consciousness. It is specific. This Yoga is for those who want to do a specific and special course in consciousness and awareness. It demands a commitment.”
Yogi Bhajan, 8/23/78
In Kundalini Yoga the word God is used a lot. It is not required for you to believe in any God to feel elevated and transformed by the practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation. This spiritual science will deliver you to a higher consciousness no matter what you may start out believing or not believing in.
“The One who Generates, Organizes, Destroys or Delivers (g-o-d); those are the three powers of God.” Yogi Bhajan – 1996
Yogi Bhajan’s guidance on how to meditate
It was at the last Men’s Class Yogi Bhajan taught, in August 1997, where he conveyed during one of the breaks that all one (man or woman) has to do in meditation is listen to one’s own sounds. Meaning – deeply listen and keep listening to your own repetitions of the meditation mantras. Many, if not most Kundalini Yoga meditations involve using mantra (literally mental projection). Mantras are a way of seeding a positive thought in the mind to cut through any negative identifications or soundtrack you might otherwise play in your mind. If you’re thinking about some other place or time in your life rather than hearing the mantra as you speak/chant it, you are spacing out. We all do it. Sometimes we can even be entertained or pleased with particular thoughts that might come in that state of relaxation. Again there is no use for guilt. Maintain the objective to deeply listen, to develop your one-pointed capacity to focus and concentrate as well as to access your inner vitality, where all of you mental and emotional stresses will be neutralized.
In the Sikh scriptures (Siri Guru Granth Sahib) there are numerous references to the importance of having one-pointedness of mind to merge in the One Creator Lord. From my experience, this principle applies to Kundalini Yoga and meditation practice as well.
Try this technique: When you catch the mind wandering, gently bring it back and rivet your focus to the deep listening of your own sounds. Relating to everything you perceive as your Self, you may come to accept all the sounds you hear as those of your One Self. With consistent practice, you will cut through incessant thought patterns, and enjoy a space of inner vitality where all mental and emotional stresses are neutralized! The methodology for enjoying a peaceful inner space includes a constant Kundalini yoga and meditation practice, a clean temple (proper care and feeding of your physical body), service to others, and blessings from the Universe. Through dedicated efforts and good fortune you will be graced with intuition. Insights that answer the questions of your life will come to you. Intuitive wisdom is a precious commodity, as we all have challenges in our lives, for which we seek peaceful and positive resolutions.
“Prayer is when we talk to God; meditation is when God talks to us.”
Yogi Bhajan, 6/13/1971
So, as you work toward focusing your mind, and hearing your sounds (whether chanted aloud or mentally), expect that the Cosmos/the One will respond resonantly. Ideas may come that are good reminders for the day or for the rest of your life. If you would like to take a moment to make note of them, I remember the Master saying this is alright. Just return to a powerful focus after you have completed your note taking.
I often make quick notes into my smartphone, and then return to my meditation. (On my return home, those notes, through wifi, are automatically on my computer). My note-taking during sadhana began when I was the kitchen manager at the 3ho foundation Summer and Winter Solstice sadhanas, large yoga events held bi-annually in the United States. Essential reminders for the day’s meals would flash through my mind at morning sadhana.
If I had not carried a small notebook to sadhana, I might have forgotten ideas related to more optimal food prep or service.
Excerpt From: 'The Essential Element' book How to get the most out of Yogi Bhajan's core teaching - Morning Sadhana and why you won't want to miss it! By S.S. Jot Singh Khalsa
“Kundalini Yoga is the science to unite the finite with Infinity, and it’s the art to experience Infinity in the finite.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 10/27/88
Kundalini Yoga is called the Yoga of Awareness. It is a dynamic, powerful tool that is designed to give you an experience of your soul.
In Kundalini Yoga we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the domain of the will, which is the instrument of the soul. This technology precisely and consciously combines breath, mudra, eye-focus, mantra, body locks, and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity, and purifiy the blood. It brings balance to the body, mind, and soul.
“In Kundalini Yoga the most important thing is your experience. It goes right to your heart. No words can replace your experience. Your mind may accept the words or it may not, but your consciousness will not accept just words.”
-Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher Training manual, p. 20
Kundalini Yoga is not a religion. When we apply the technology of Kundalini Yoga to our bodies and minds, it has the effect of uplifting the spirit. It is for everyone. It is universal and nondenominational.
“Kundalini Yoga is not a religion. Religions come out of it. Kundalini Yoga is not a fad, and it’s not a cult. It’s a practice of experience of a person’s own excellence, which is dormant and which is awakened.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 7/26/96
Kundalini Yoga is a yoga for householders, for people who have to cope with the daily challenges and stresses of holding jobs, raising families, and managing businesses. It is a path for everyone who wants the skills to cope successfully with the challenges of our times.
Kundalini Yoga was kept very secret until 1969 when Yogi Bhajan taught it openly in order to prepare humanity for the major changes that this planet is going through as we cross from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age. The ancient technology of Kundalini Yoga gives us the awareness and the fortitude to make this a smooth transition. The legacy of technical and spiritual knowledge that Yogi Bhajan studied and mastered in India is the gift he brought to the West.
“The kundalini experience does not mean you have gone into a deep breathless trance and are beyond this world. … It integrates you more fully with reality and gives you a broader vision and sensitivity so that you can act more efficiently.
~Yogi Bhajan, from Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power, back cover
Many Kundalini Yoga sets include exercises which have the arms up at a 60 degree angle. Our 60 degree meter is designed to help you understand that your arms should be on the 11 and 1 of the clock during those. Angles are very important in Kundalini Yoga. All Powers to assist you to ‘keep up’ and be accurate, whether you are practicing or teaching.
Welcome to a wonderful, powerful path to a healthy, happy, holy life!
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