by Liz McCollum Lord
The last few months I’ve been feeling a lot of challenging emotions. I’ve done enough yoga and meditation to know that the best course of action is to honestly acknowledge my feelings and process them so that they don’t become “stuck” in my body somehow. Instead I chose to bottle it all up and force myself to keep trudging forward.
Of course this didn’t change anything about how I felt, and my feelings of frustration and anger began to bubble to the surface more and more. My yoga practice diminished more and more during this time as well. One evening, in a fit of anger, I took apart my meditation altar, threw everything in a cabinet, and shut the door. I stopped doing my personal sadhana, which I’d been practicing for over 2 years. I was basically throwing up my hands to the Universe and saying “What’s the point of all this??”
As is often the case, the Universe will give us an answer if we ask. My answer came in the form of a trip to the doctor for a urinary tract infection. As yogic teachings about the kidneys tell us, these organs relate to our emotions, and help us to filter them. The moment I felt the first twinge of discomfort, I knew I had allowed my emotions to create a physical environment susceptible to infection. I felt myself softening up a bit, ready to start letting go of some of my anger and frustration. And ready to take a look at starting over with my yoga practice.
Sodarshan Chakra Kriya as one of the fundamental Kundalini yoga meditations that will carry us through. This kriya will cut through the negativity of the subconscious, help you to clear away the garbage, and build a flow of happiness and ecstasy. Sounds great, but yogis should take care not to get too crazy with this meditation all at once. Start with just a few minutes a day and build your way up slowly, especially if you are going to combine Sodarshan Chakra Kriya with other strong practices.
Sat Kriya is another essential practice for Kundalini yogis. Personally, it’s one I have never liked, though I’ve always suspected it’s because even just a few minutes are touching sore spots in my psyche. Which makes it a perfect practice for a time of starting over with open eyes and a clear mind. Sat Kriya will balance the energy in the lower chakras, tone your nervous system, calm emotional disarray, and channel your sexual and creative energies upwards. Sat Kriya is another place to take it slow. 3 minutes is great in the beginning, and should be followed by 2 minutes of relaxation.
Kirtan Kriya is another of the 3 fundamental kriyas given in Kundalini Yoga. He taught that even if all other teachings were lost, Kirtan Kriya would carry one through the Aquarian Age. It is said to bring complete mental balance to the individual psyche. Kirtan Kriya can appear deceptively simple, but in reality this practice combines the elements of mudra, mantra, visualization, and the use of 3 voices into a complex and powerful meditation.
The discipline of a daily practice benefits us in many ways. It shows us our own ability to commit to something and stick to it, it can help us to break habits we no longer need, and create a safe space in our daily lives to experience our true selves.
Start with 40 days, and see how you feel at the end. You might feel inspired to continue your chosen practice for 40 more days. Or you might feel that you are ready to move on to something else for a while. Particularly if you are starting out, or starting over, reevaluating things every 40 days is a good idea. Check your emotional commitment to your practice, and go from there.
If you feel called to elevate your practice a step farther, consider enrolling in our first-ever e-course The Fundamentals of Kundalini Yoga!
The Fundamentals of Kundalini Yoga is a 40-day online course that will transform your life from the inside out, led by 23 world-renowned master teachers of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It’s a journey through the core teachings of this transformative yogic technology. Discover how to ignite your inner power and develop strength, flexibility, and peace in your body, mind, and spirit. Enroll today!