How do you get out of a clunky situation? Or reset your brain from the inevitable ‘brain fog’ that seems to creep in? Or maybe you don’t have any of that in your life, but if you’re intrigued at all in a peaceful and undemanding daily practice or daily check in with yourself, then do read on, I’d love to share with you some insights and tips!
I guess I have always meditated in some form within my life, when I was younger, I wasn’t really sure what it was, just a daily practice of dabbling in ‘hippy stuff’ whether that be a tape of some dolphins singing, waves crashing etc (it was the late 80’s so… you know!)
Then later in life I started to investigate further – read so much more and discover a sort of practice (although usually this was to get me out of a tricky situation, or when I’ve hit rock bottom and nothing else was working or even just trying to get back to sleep!)
Books such as ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, anything by Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Mike Dooley, and so on (I will do a reading list at some point if you’re interested in mine and friends reading lists that have inspired me) I then discovered the Chopra Centre daily meditation challenges and of course the magical Ted talks, Oprah meditations and discussions (the list could go on)
At the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 I lived with one of my soul sisters: Karen Gilbert in her forest home, which happened to coincide with her training to becoming an accredited meditation teacher with the final part of her training on the beach in America ‘the sweet spot’ with DavidJi.
It was inevitable that there would be many in depth discussions between us on the subject of meditation and beyond and as part of her final retreat (in one of the most gorgeous places in the world!) there was a lot of ‘kundalini’ yoga practice involved.
I first discovered the Kundalini way many years ago at Surrey Docks Farm when I had a little sewing wooden hut there and was involved with the gorgeous city farm (again that’s a whole other story!) but every week this amazing almost angelic lady would arrive on her bicycle, dressed in white ready to teach fully booked yoga classes in a gorgeous ‘river room’ overlooking the river thames. We would often stop to chat and I was in awe of how ‘at peace’ she always seemed and spoke. Of course Karen and I had to attend and then, as it goes, life gets in the way and I left it there.
This year (2018) I have rediscovered the practice, finding my own teachers in the New Forest in England and Now in Adelaide, Australia. I am now feeling ‘hooked.’ The practice pushes you sometimes a little and sometimes a LOT out of your comfort zone by chanting, and practicing every day, whether it’s in a class environment, using the app on my phone or taking some time outdoors to sit in nature and in bliss. It is by no stretch an ‘easy practice’ although you do feel ‘at ease’ within it. There is so much to learn and I plan on pacing myself into this learning as often as I possibly can.
To those that don’t know it at all, or perhaps have only dabbled, scroll down for a short description, video and a little ‘Kriya’ that you could try.
In the video above of me practicing, I was out on a walk in Cornwall and felt to practice some chanting and meditation on top of a cliff, looking over at the sea… (This was at Kynance Cove shortly after it had hailed- was an amazing energy out there!!!)
The Kundalini Yoga practice is made up of yoga stretches & postures, chanting and meditation. I am by no means an expert on the subject at all (yet) but I know it works!
And practicing this Sa Ta Na Ma daily can work miracles.. If you fancy it, listen to the gorgeous Maya Fiennes song, and this will help with rhythm and getting in the flow of it!
Here are some pages from the experts if you’d like to learn more:
If you would like more information on this, do delve deeper and check out 3HO Foundation, a wealth of knowledge on Kundalini. But of course you don’t have to and I know that time is so precious. So i’ve popped a quick overview Posture: Sit straight in Easy Pose. (legs crossed)
Eyes: Meditate at the Brow Point.
Mantra: Produce the five primal sounds (panj shabd): S, T, N, M, A, in the original word form:
SAA: Infinity, cosmos, beginning
TAA: Life, existence
NAA: Death, change, transformation
Each repetition of the entire mantra takes 3 to 4 seconds. This is the cycle of Creation. From the Infinite comes life and individual existence. From life comes death or change. From death comes the rebirth of consciousnes to the joy of the Infinite through which compassion leads back to life.
Mudra: This mantra can be done in many different mudras. Most common is to begin in Gyan Mudra. The elbows are straight while chanting, and the mudra changes as each fingertip touches in turn the tip of the thumb with firm pressure.
Mantra and Mudra: Chant Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa. With each sound, alternate through four mudras:
Chant in three languages of consciousness:
Human: normal or loud voice (the world)
Lovers: strong whisper (longing to belong)
Divine: mentally; silent (Infinity)
Time: Begin the kriya in a normal voice for 5 minutes; then whisper for 5 minutes; then go deep into the sound, vibrating silently for 10 minutes. Then come back to a whisper for 5 minutes, then aloud for 5 minutes. The duration of the meditation may vary, as long as the proportion of loud, whisper, silent, whisper, loud is maintained.
To End: This sequence will take 30 minutes. Follow with one 1 minute of silent prayer. Then inhale, exhale. Stretch the spine, with hands up as far as possible; spread the fingers wide, taking several deep breaths. Relax.
Comments: Each time the mudra is closed by joining the thumb with a finger, the ego “seals” the effect of that mudra in the consciousness. The effects are as follows:
©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
If you meditate or practice Kundalini, I’d love to hear your process and where and when you find the time to practice – is it daily? Weekly? or when works for you?