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...
Naturally, during the winter months we tend to want to sleep more and eat heartier foods. If we follow cues from the natural world, we see that winter is actually the time for doing less. If we are aware of the earth’s rhythms, we can tap into this yin energy and turn inward for self reflection. Yet, for many people, this kind of change can leave them feeling unproductive, without purpose, and depressed.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression usually experienced during the fall through winter months. The lack of sunlight and the cold temperatures can affect a person’s moods and overall motivation. Kundalini Yoga has many great kriyas to counter the “Winter Blues” and help a person maintain a steady level of mood and motivation throughout the winter season and beyond.
Kriya for SAD and Depression
This meditation is from the manual The Art, Science & Application of Kundalini Yoga.
In her incredible online course, Understand and Heal Pain, Anne Novak teaches that to experience true healing, you must understand the vital role that pain serves in your personal evolution. You cannot free yourself from pain without seeing the direct connection between your thoughts, emotions, and physical body. Through this process of deep self-discovery, you can permanently change your experience of pain.
Part of the process is finding balance. In the course, she shares this incredible kriya for balancing your your prana and apana. In yogic terms prana is the incoming life force and apana is the outgoing or eliminating energies. It’s important to balance what you bring into your life with what you are eliminating from your life.
Nabhi Kriya For Prana Apana Balance
Source: KRI Level 1 Instructor Yoga Manual, pg 346
Nabhi refers to the nerve plexus around the Navel Point. This kriya balances prana and apana by focusing on the 3rd Chakra at the Navel...
January is the perfect time for detoxifying the body, mind, and spirit! With winter upon us, our bodies are naturally slowing down, and perhaps we indulged a bit too much over the holidays! We can start to cleanse and rebuild with Kundalini Yoga kriyas & meditations.
For detoxifying, we love this kriya, and recommend practicing this one for at least 40 days!
Kundalini Yoga: Kriya for Detoxification
We detoxify continuously throughout life. We process food, thoughts, and all forms of energy. When that flow is continuous and clear, we are steady and flexible. The trouble is that we accumulate more than we process. We become weighted down under the ash of metabolism and the remnants of old emotions. This set systematically moves the energy of the body and mind to keep you light and vitalized. ~ Gurucharan Singh Khalsa
1. Lie down on your back with your legs straight. Your heels are together and your toes point upward. Keeping your heels together, spread your...
by Jenni Sells
Our ability to connect from our hearts with compassion and to empathize with what others are going through is part of what makes us human. Difficult times are much more manageable when we have loved ones around that have compassion for what we are experiencing.
As busy as life can be, and as infuriating as some circumstances are these days, it is easy to get cynical. Sometimes it feels impossible to keep our hearts open under the weight of the world’s problems. It’s easier to shut down, to turn off the part of us that feels so deeply all the pain and anguish.
Rather than approaching people who are struggling from a place of compassion, we might start to believe that people are going through a hard time because they brought it on themselves, or because of their karma, or because of bad decisions that they made. We might also start to believe that there is nothing we can do to help. But tolerance for other people’s differences, that compassion for...
by Liz McCollum Lord
Pranayama is an integral part of the yoga practice, but one that I don’t often think about. Most kriyas and meditations incorporate some type of breathing because of its numerous benefits. Somehow though, I had allowed myself to forget the powerful benefits that just a few minutes of focused pranayama can provide. Thankfully at Sat Nam Fest, I attended two classes that brought pranayama back to the forefront of my mind! Akasha closed out his class by teaching Breath of Ten, which is a wonderfully healing breath. And in the Ayurvedic class with Jai Dev Singh, we experienced several intense breathing practices that really shifted my energy drastically.
With that in mind, I came back home with pranayama on my mind. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this past month would end up being one of the most stressful months I’ve had in a long time. Many times I asked myself what more could possibly go wrong, only to be...
by Dr. Ramdesh
You say you can’t meditate. Perhaps you don’t know how, or you’ve tried to sit down and quiet your mind. Instead, all you heard was your thoughts pounding on the inside of your skull so loudly they could have been snare drums. You avoid it…it’s not for you. You’ve heard it’s good for your health, you know it would be nice to relax, but you know for SURE that you can’t meditate. Meditation is for people who live peaceful lives without stress. (Ha! If only you could see me laughing!) You’re certainly not alone in your trepidation, but you don’t have to feel skittish around meditation. You can meditate. Everyone can, with practice.
Meditation is a form of concentration. It is a paradox in being both a deliberate action, and often the practice of non-action, simultaneously. It can be learned, and it can most definitely be learned better. Just as you get...
by Puranjot Kaur
There is a radiant energy that moves through the world and flows in each and every one of us. This energy, known in the yogic tradition as prana, is carried throughout our bodies through something called a vayu. Vayu translates to “wind,” and our vayus are responsible for transferring this energy throughout the body.
Although vayus are subtle, they have a huge impact on how our bodies feel, so learning to move with their natural rhythms and find balance is absolutely vital for our health.
There are five principal Vayus:
by Puranjot Kaur
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my Soul longs for you.” – Psalm 42:1
“When it rains, there is happiness. Water is the key to all life.” – Guru Nanak
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi
Communing with the sacred has been likened to drinking water from a fresh stream, being cleansed by a cooling rain or submerging into a body of water since time immemorial. And although each person’s experience of connecting with the sacred (and even what that word means to them!) can be extremely varied and nuanced, I believe there is a reason for this – beyond the realm of metaphor. Tuning into the sacredness of the water element – through words, through a practice, through time spent in nature, ushers in healing. There is flow, a tapping into of Spirit. Call it what you like. The Spirit of the Divine. The Spirit of Nature. Even the...
by Julie Eisenburg
Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is a deeply relaxing meditative practice that rejuvenates the body and mind. Yoga Nidra is sometimes called “sleep with awareness” because we go into a place of total relaxation without actually falling asleep. For this reason, Yoga Nidra can be very challenging. However, by using guided imagery or systematically relaxing each part of the body, we can slip into that meditative bliss that Yoga Nidra brings to us without falling into a deep, unconscious sleep.
Millions of people suffer from a severe lack of sleep or disrupted sleep. At one time or another, we all struggle to fall asleep at night, or we wake up at 4 AM and can’t fall asleep again. For many of us, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to find time for the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep, so we stay up too late trying to fit everything into our day. If you’re someone who needs closer to 9 hours of sleep, then the...