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Awakening your consciousness: Kundalini Yoga

By Shama Kaur , Family Flavours - Jan 22,2023 - Last updated at Jan 23,2023

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Shama Kaur
Kundalini Yoga Teacher 
and Wellness Mentor

 

I often tell my students that once they experience Kundalini Yoga, they will not remain the same: the very nature of Kundalini Yoga is to awaken the energy of consciousness.

The practice brings to our awareness our self-limiting beliefs and habit patterns that we inherited from the past. It invites us to process and release painful memories that are stored in our subconscious. It awakens our ability to become intuitive and sensitive, to understand a person or a situation even if no words are spoken- to realise the consequences of actions before they happen.

 

Confidence and pride

 

I love sports and many types of rigorous yoga like Vinyassa and Ashtanga. I see these practices as adventurous and challenging. By practicing regularly I’ve noticed improvement in my speed and performance. They give me a sense of accomplishment, confidence, even a little pride, when I see myself performing handstands and headstands.

My Kundalini practice has transformed me. The kriyas and meditations are pretty structured practices, but rather than focusing on the physical alignment, the kriyas are a specific set of exercises that generate energy, organise that energy and lead you to a specific energetic state — particularly one of greater awareness.

Also, within the practice, are built-in moments of stillness where we sit quietly and awaken to our Self. The breathwork within the kriyas is so powerful that it starts to strip away the layers that veil our consciousness and in the sweet moments between poses, we can sense the fullness of who we are.

I noticed over the years many subtle benefits to practicing Kundalini yoga such as: 

 

•Strengthening the nervous system: when you’re in a downward dog or plank pose for three whole minutes and your entire body is shaking, have no fear! Your nervous system is toning. And the stronger your nerves become, the more you will be able to act in a cool, calm and collected matter in the face of any situation, be it a car accident, big presentation or family drama

•Awakening your inner will-power right at the core of your solar plexus (3rd Chakra) at the navel point. What this means is that strong heat will build up in this area of your body, which helps in digesting not only food, but also past memories and self-doubt. We become able to process and digest events that happen and take necessary action immediately to eradicate things, people or situations that are causing us more harm than good

•Clearing the fog from your mind. When the mind becomes clouded with several thoughts, it feels a little like a cobweb of thoughts difficult to untangle. A few minutes of rapid breathing (breath of fire), or one-minute breath, the mind becomes crystal clear, you will feel more alert, focused, concentrated, with a better memory and the ability to make sound decisions

 

•Releasing worries and awakening your creativity: Breathing through alternate nostrils brings into balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. We usually act and analyse more frequently than we feel, visualise and imagine. And that’s because the right side of the brain is usually under-stimulated. Kundalini yoga awakens our inner creativity by releasing our worries about little things and opening us up to the infinite possibilities that life has to offer

•Gaining an attitude of acceptance: Kundalini yoga opens the heart center (4th Chakra) and poses such as the Tree Pose provide us with security in the root Chakra. So, we feel like strong steady trees planted firmly in the earth and when our needs are not met, we don’t feel like it’s the end of the world. We remain open and trusting that God will provide us with what we need when the time is right. So, the world doesn’t collapse when we don’t get that job, fail that exam, or suffer from a breakup or a family death. Whatever it is, we gain an attitude of acceptance. Understanding that it’s all OK. It’s all good. We are open to whatever life has to offer

•Becoming compassionate: poses such as the shoulder stand open the throat centre (5th Chakra). Add this to an open heart and we become forgiving, compassionate and non-judgemental; our lips can bless, give gratitude and kindness to all those around us. Thus, don’t be surprised when you start addressing your boss, cousins or neighbour by dear, dearest, sweetheart, my love and so on. More so, when there is something bothering you, you will find the best way to express yourself is by gently saying the absolute truth

•Awakening your intuition. We spend so much time stuck in our minds, analysing the pros and cons of each decision when in reality the answer is within us. We always have a gut feeling about something, but we tend to ignore it. Yoga gives you the ability to pause and listen to the message behind that gut feeling. It enables you to quieten down your mind to the point that your thoughts become still and you can feel what your heart yearns for

•Making Wise Choices: All forms of yoga make us more conscious beings. So, don’t be surprised when you start refraining from behaviours that cause harm to you and the environment such as smoking, drinking, drugs, meat and dairy, water and electricity overuse. Instead, you will choose to consume fresh vegetables, fruits and whole foods to protect animals and the environment. You will find yourself serving others through charitable giving and taking up activities like singing, dancing and art, that remove you from the company of people and surroundings that no longer bring out the best in you

 

Kundalini Yoga is not to be taken lightly. It is like an express train that shakes and wakes you up. Some kriyas will leave you feeling high and totally blissed out. Other kriyas will really provoke and confront you. What’s important is to stay present and accept pleasure and pain as part of the same journey to health and balance. Our ego naturally leans towards pleasure and comfort. It takes concerted effort and discipline to begin to release the ego’s grip on our consciousness. This effort is the work required to begin to access the truth of who we are, to create a strong connection to our soul and therefore our Soul’s work on this planet. It is where we start to make great strides towards living as an enlightened being.

This 2023, I encourage you to embark on a journey of transformation that will most certainly deepen your connection to your true self, with the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Consider joining the Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Programme in Amman that begins this February 2023!

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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