There is a specific benefit to practicing Kundalini Yoga that I’d like to dialogue with you about: it’s capacity to strengthen our ability to stay centered during stressful moments. This is especially true with regular class attendance, even more so than doing this at home, because for most of us, we take our practice further with group energy, making the practice work faster.
Kundalini Yoga kriyas are productive and get down to business. The sequences are meant to put you under pressure, during which you are asked to find your power, determination, and stability through your breath. You are asked to observe the ways your body communicates with you, and how you relate to each exercise, while under pressure: the tantrums and the joys, both physically, mentally and emotionally. You don’t react; you simply feel, breathe into it, and take note. You get to know yourself better during this process, and over time, your habitual reactions to those challenges shift, and a wonderful thing happens: equanimity. Not just on the “good” days, because that’s not equanimity.
Kundalini Yoga strengthens the nervous system: our response-ability. As our nervous system becomes stronger, we develop real-time access to switch from meditation to “confrontation to the irritations of life” and back, at will. It doesn’t mean you won’t get angry, but it does mean you won’t lose yourself in the process.
This practice translates well into our lives. What we cultivate during practice, we can bring to our lives. What we do might still feel scary, but we now bring to it a greater sense of self, connection, and support.
The slippery slope: when you don’t bring the fruits of this practice to your life, and each time you feel challenged, you instead hide in this practice to feel good for the moment, then this becomes a soft addiction. Use it as a daily discipline to build your capacity and your reserves, and it will serve you well. Use it to fight fires, and to hide in it the way others may reach for a drink, and it becomes nothing more than that.
Don’t use it to “feel better about yourself” having found temporary relief through what you might view as the noble way (without substances). Use it to move forward, take the plunge into a more engaged, fulfilling life where you harness your fears and come out the other end experiencing yet another victory where even failures are celebrations.
With love, grit and gratitude,