Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.-Yogi Bhajan
May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you, guide your way on. (Traditional Song to Seal and Close your Kundalini Yoga session)
Thirty Years Ago
Though this is not one of my official Personal History posts, I’ll give a wee bit of background here. In spring of 1989 after having lived in a veritable Spiritual Storm for months—clearing, balancing, receiving council from Ascended Masters, and surviving one of the most traumatic periods of my life— I experienced a complete Kundalini Awakening.
For several weeks I had endured episodes of energy movement that caused my navel point and diaphragm to convulse quite painfully. I was too overwhelmed to be afraid or nervous, and Merlin told me several times to relax and let it happen.
I was in fairly good physical condition at the time. I had worked for a couple of years as manager/operator of a Lawn Service owned by my father, then months as a route person filling vending machines and emptying them of their heavy loads of change. I’m not certain what it would have been like otherwise. As it was, my entire torso was sore to the touch.
Then came an evening when my partner and I were meditating, and I felt the fiery energy rocket up from the base of my spine, encountering blocks at both sacral and solar plexus chakras. The pain was excrutiating but soon over as the energy hurtled itself up and through. It felt as though my skull was being split in two.
And then I was free of my pain wracked form and in a place of Light. I felt waves of Love and Benevolence enfolding me, and experienced a Bliss I had never felt before, nor since. I wanted to stay more than I have ever wanted anything. I felt free. I felt as though I were where I belonged.
I don’t know how long I was there. Not long. In the physical world, I had collapsed and didn’t seem to be breathing. My partner, used to the ebbs and flows of energy work, didn’t panic but waited a short time to see what would occur.
There was a voice, or at least I was communicated to — told I had to go back. That it wasn’t my time to stay there. I can’t tell you how wrenching it was to open my eyes to the mundane world.
Only the world I returned to wasn’t mundane. For weeks afterward, I saw not just auras around people, but around everything, and the energy currents that swirled through creation. Sometimes the beauty of the world swelled my heart and filled me so full that I had a hard time working and functioning. I would stop my work van ( I worked the beach side route at that time) and stare out at sky and sea, drinking in the wonder of it all. And nature responded to me. Pods of dolphins would appear and dance in the ocean before my eyes, welcoming me into their realm.
My very presence helped to heal and awaken those I encountered, or terrified those who were not ready for whatever it was I was exuding. The grandmother of one of my friends got a Priest to come exorcise both granddaughter and her house. My presence had wrought such a change in my friend that her grandmother was sure she was possessed, and that I was demonic.
There was nothing in me that was not of Love and Light though. Even the stars at night scintillated with Life and visible Energy. The sky was literally a cathedral above my head. I knew things about life, about God and about those I encountered—so many things that I no longer know or can remember. All of these wonders faded with time, though I was left with a Consciousness and Awareness much richer than that I had previously.
I grieved the passing of these miraculous abilities at first, then remembered them though a bittersweet lens that left me longing for something I was no longer certain of.
Over the years, at times of stress, upheaval and change in my life, Kundalini has stirred. She would shake me up, get me headed in the right direction, then resume her long sleep. At my initial awakening I did not know until after, what was occuring. Then I knew so many things that I didn’t even think of it as remarkable. Strangely, it was not that long ago experience that brought me to Kundalini Yoga. Earlier this year, determined to quit procrastinating about exercise and health, I started doing Rodney Yee’s beginner yoga (he does a version of Iyengar Yoga) classes with a bit of Vinyasa and Hatha thrown in. One day, more from curiosity than anything else, I tuned in to a beginner Kundalini class with Guru Jagat…
The Past Four Months
I was hooked at that first class. It felt like coming home, like undertaking something so familiar I surely must have done it before. But I hadn’t, at least not in this life. Kundalini Yoga was and is not like anything I’ve done. However, some of the breaths and postures are reminiscent of things my own body has done spontaneously when Kundalini stirred.
I am also not implying that familiarity and attraction to the practice made it anything like easy. I am not young, and I was not in particularly good shape after just a few weeks of other Yoga. Though I breathed my way through a good deal of those early sessions, joining in when I could and resting until I could again, and was actually unable to do some of the more difficult postures and repetitions— I kept at it.
Truly, after the first session I felt better, more alive than in any time in recent memory. I hurt, and my poor muscles continued to complain mightily. But there was a rush, a feeling of enlivened energy and all around fitness that I relished. I happily told everyone I encountered those first weeks that I had rediscovered my Core, because I had most certainly lost track of it over the years. Now I was quite aware of it, not only because of the complaining muscles, but because of the significant progress I made in strength and endurance in a relatively short time.
Not every session left me feeling the endorphin rush of that first set, but there was steady increase, not just physically, but in my mental focus and discipline as well. It has been years since I was able to maintain a regimen of any sort of physical exercise. I would always tell myself that, well, I was too busy, had an appointment or some other Real World distraction, but I’d get back to it. And gradually, I just wouldn’t. Somehow, my yogic and meditative sessions have become my priority —a craving I don’t care to deny.
After a few short months, I am a different woman. I look forward to waking up in the morning, to donning yoga clothes and a white head-wrap, and sweating copiously for one to two hours. Once the energy gets moving in Kundalini, it doesn’t matter whether you’re moving a great deal or not. The heat is internal. You sweat from the inside out. And in the process, your endocrine system and glands come alive, your circulatory system oxygenates every cell in your body, your consciousness ramps up, and toxins flush from your body.
For myself, I welcome the Kundalini energy once more moving through my body, clearing out old emotional blockages and activating Chakras that haven’t functioned fully in years. I would be quite happy to experience another total Awakening as I did years ago, but I am patient these days, and I am content to accept the gifts that this magical yoga gives me every day.
I don’t think that Kundalini Yoga is for everyone, but I do feel that it only just beginning to come into it’s own, that it is an invaluable tool for many Seekers, and for others who just want to live a more expansive life. I will continue to pursue this path as long as I am allowed and able, and I’ll let you know how it goes.
The word yoga means Union. Ultimately, the aim of the practice is to bring the practitioner into a Union with the Divine. Nobody knows for sure how long Yoga, as a spiritual or physical practice, has been around. There are visual records that go back as far as 5000 years, but it is more likely that 10,000 years or longer is more accurate. It is certainly the oldest spiritual practice still existent on Earth.
Our yoga today is, in the majority of cases, far divorced from the original practice. Many people practice the physical manipulations with little heed or understanding of its spiritual roots. Ideally, at least in my view, it should be a melding of the physical and deep meditation. Perhaps that is why I was so drawn to Kundalii Yoga.
There are literally dozens of different styles, philosophies and types of yoga. In the case of Kundalini Yoga, the aim is to awaken the divine energy that resides at the base of the spine. It was traditionally symbolized by a coiled snake or serpent, for the way it uncoils and travels in a spiral fashion up the spinal column.
Originally , Kundalini Yoga was never taught to the masses . Treated as an advanced technique, the select students were required to go through a period of initiation before they were prepared to learn the deeper mysteries of the Kundalini masters. And perhaps Kundalini would have remained shrouded in mystery if not for the intervention of a man we call Yogi Bhajan.
His original name was Harbhajan Singh Puri, born August 26, 1929, in an area of India that became Pakistan in 1948. The son of a medical doctor, he was well educated in exclusive private schools. At just eight years old, he began his yogic training with Sant Hazara Singh and was proclaimed a Master of Kundalini Yoga at the age of sixteen. He came to the west in 1968.
Upon observing the “hippie” generation and their quest for consciousness expansion, he saw the possibility of Kundalini offering a more satisfactory route than the use of mind-altering drugs. He decided (after a visionary experience) to break the ancient silence surrounding kundalini yoga and teach it to those who wished it. Thus began a slow-building revolution that I believe may just change the world. There is much more on the fascinating history of Yogi Bahajan and Kundalini Yoga on sites like YogiBhajan.org or 3HO.org (Healthy, Happy, Holy ).
In my view, Kundalini Yoga is not for everyone. But, for the serious Seeker who wishes to embrace a philosophy that holds the possibility of reconciliation with All-That-Is—for anyone who is sincere about the desire to clear and attune the subtle bodies as well as the physical — it is a most valuable Path. Not everyone who engages in Kundalini Yoga will experience a Kundalini Awakening, but it will certainly enhance your awareness and bring greater understanding and stamina.
I would advise that anyone who embarks upon this path be prepared (and educated — read) for the possibility of intense energy experiences. There are far reaching ramifications to the sudden Spiritual Awakening.
I will be glad to answer any questions about my own practice or Kundalini Yoga in general, that I am able.