Kundalini Yoga as a Pathway for Peace

I strive for a sincere yoga practice rather than a perfect one.
— Carrie-Anne Moss
Carrie Anne Moss with Em Falconbridge. Photo by Catherine Just.

Carrie Anne Moss with Em Falconbridge. Photo by Catherine Just.

Hello beauties!

I have been studying Kundalini yoga for over 20 years. A few years ago I completed a Kundalini yoga teacher training, which allowed me to go even deeper with my practice and to truly embody the benefits of Kundalini yoga. Creating a real discipline has been a gift for me.

I am a woman who is in her head a lot … the details of the days can build up and overflow into a chattering mess, filling my mind. When I am not in a balanced place, the chatter in my mind can keep me up at night, and I lay tossing and turning, worrying (often about my children) and then feeling badly that I am not getting the sleep I need to live fully the next day. Needless to say, the imbalanced place is not my favorite place to be. I think many women live in this place—we worry about a lot of things because we take care of a lot of things. Much of the weight of the world falls on our shoulders (and our hips), and it is only natural that at times we get overwhelmed.

Meditation

Meditation is a tool for clearing the mind, and as many of you know, meditation can be intimidating or exceedingly difficult. The process of clearing a cluttered mind is no joke. Kundalini yoga has transformed me in major ways, and meditation is no exception. Part of the Kundalini practice is to practice meditation with mantra, a string of words that will help clear the mind. Practicing a mantra can be a powerful tool to make meditation easier. Rather than trying to turn your full mind to empty, you can focus instead on the mantra, which will allow all else to fall away. One of the most powerful things about using a Gurmukhi mantra (rather than one in English, or in your native language) is that the words are without attachment—they don’t come with stories and associations like our English words do. Without these stories and attachments, they can act with stronger wings to clear out the chatter of our minds.

Each day, I find a bit of time to do my Kundalini practice at home. I have three children, and sometimes this means practicing on the floor in their bedroom as they fall asleep, or in my own room after everyone has gone to bed. My daily practice helps clear my mind—it’s like taking out the garbage each day so that the space can be clean. This helps me to sleep, to love, and to stay balanced.

I strive for a sincere yoga practice rather than a perfect one.

A daily practice is like putting daily deposits in a spiritual bank account. Or if it’s not a daily practice, maybe it’s a weekly practice, or a bi-weekly practice. Either way, it’s adding to your sum total in the account. Every moment you invest in yourself matters.

Sadhana
What is sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It is something which you want to do, have to do, and which is being done by you ...
Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.
— Yogi Bhajan

In the 1960s, Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini yoga to America to share as a tool for people who would be living through these changing times. He knew that technology would continue to evolve in a way that would make us feel overwhelmed and flooded, and that we would need techniques to help ourselves maintain peace amongst it all. In addition to mantra and yoga, I listen to chant music—yet another tool in my toolbelt as I pursue a peaceful spirit. Chant music elevates my vibration and thereby elevates my spirit. In fact, once I began getting into it, I found it hard to listen to anything else because it is so soothing for me.

These are my tools. I use them daily, and I need them daily. I use them to help myself, and by helping myself, I help the people I love. With more space in my mind, I am a better mother. When I can quiet the chatter, I can sleep deeply and awaken refreshed. Using these ways and teachings has affected the way I live and love, and I feel grateful to be building a system that helps me nurture my spirit in new and old ways. I try to make deposits in my spiritual bank daily and to take out the garbage as much as I can. Clarity is key. Mantras are my freedom, music is my blessing, and Kundalini yoga helps me forge my pathway to peace.

If you'd like to join my in my Kundalini practice, come gather with me and hundreds of other women in my Annapurna Living Inner Circle. This summer, we are journeying into a Summer of Fierce Grace where we will use Kundalini meditation to access our soft strength as women. 

 

With Love,
Carrie-Anne Moss

Finding My Way Back to Intuition Through Kundalini

When we are disconnected from our intuition, we tend to make choices that are in conflict with our truest nature. Sometimes it is fear that sings the loudest. Fear that we will lose love. Fear that we will lose ourselves. Fear that we really don’t know the best way.
— Carrie-Anne Moss

Carrie-Anne Moss. Photo by Catherine Just.

Some people call it your gut instinct but I call it intuition.

It’s that feeling you get when something doesn’t feel quite right but you don’t have the exact words for what it is. It’s the quiet voice inside of you that guides you to the answers and choices that are in alignment with your spirit. It’s that deep-seated trust that you already know what you need to know in order to make the best decision for you and your family. Unfortunately, we often lose this little voice.

We are bombarded with so much noise from the outside that our soul-voice gets drowned out. Our culture is very good at telling us what we need and who we should be and when we are disconnected from our intuition, we tend to make choices that are in conflict with our truest nature. Sometimes it is fear that sings the loudest. Fear that we will lose love. Fear that we will lose ourselves. Fear that we really don’t know the best way. When we are disconnected from our intuition, we can often feel like we are walking without feet. We don’t feel rooted in our being and in our choices. When we’re so uncertain, we limit our ability to reach our highest potential as a mother, as a partner, as a woman.

There are many ways in which we can find our way back to our inner knowing. For some it is through writing or painting. For some it is through prayer or running. For me, Kundalini Yoga has been such a powerful practice in my life. I began studying it when I first moved to L.A. but it was about two years ago when I decided to deepen my devotion to it by becoming a teacher. I remember lying in bed at night worrying about my children and the future. I was filled with so much anxiety and stress that I just knew that I needed to give myself more tools in order to thrive. What makes Kundalini Yoga different from some other styles of yoga is that the exercises are linked with breath and mantras that open the heart and mind to give you a sense of peace. One of the benefits of doing Kundalini Yoga is  being  in touch with your intuition.

What makes Kundalini different from some other styles of yoga is that the exercises are linked with breath and mantras that open the heart and mind to give you a sense of peace.

Once I began to deepen my practice, the fear started to melt away. Over all, it has given me the ability to live my life free from chaos. The meditations clear my mind and open my heart. The Kryas give me strength. I am no longer searching for anyone to heal me or tell me what to do because I understand and believe that I have the ability to heal myself and the knowledge to make aligned choices. Because this practice connects me to my intuition at such a deep level, I find that the answers to my questions come easily to me. When they don’t, I know that it is only a matter of waiting. My intuition is ignited and I no longer misinterpret my fear as my true voice (most of the time). The freedom I feel to live my life in a graceful way is something for which I am deeply grateful.

If you'd like to journey closer to your intuition with me, join me for my Summer of Fierce Grace in the Annapurna Living Inner Circle. We welcome you with open arms. 

With love,
Carrie-Anne Moss

Annapurna Woman: Laura Kuo

Portrait of the Annapurna Woman is an ongoing series featuring divine women who embody the nurturing spirit of Annapurna Living. Today we lovingly introduce gentle, mystical healer, Dr. Laura Kuo.
Laura Kuo, Ph.D., C.Ht.

Laura Kuo, Ph.D., C.Ht.

How do you start your day?

Each and every morning for the last 11 years I’ve awakened to the smell of my babies’ hair, sandwiched in love in our family bed, usually  unwittingly nursing. Even in moments when I was unaware, simply this bliss of the mundane has provided me the blessing of beginning each day with gratitude. 


What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?

Stress is so human. It is the reaction that contains all our collective wounds. The reaction where in fear—no matter how significant or insignificant the trigger—we feel forsaken and terrified. It is part of our humanity. 

So whenever I am overwhelmed, I try to remind myself that I’ve disconnected from my truth and I’m vibrating in my lower consciousness. A spiritual practice allows us to see our human self with compassion, and reminds our weary soul that this is just life … and who we are, who we will be, and what we will create, lies in our next action. No matter what, in every moment, we are gifted the opportunity to choose our response from our higher consciousness and recreate time and, in turn, our lives. 

Our brains are designed to act as pure channels of light. When we hold all that is reverent, we activate our neo cortex, our higher brain. Gorgeous waves of oxytocin, serotonin, growth hormones, and light waves of longevity surge through our physical body as we literally age in reverse and miracle heal. Yet, in stress, when we are besieged by the fear, duality and separation, we activate our reptilian brain, and drown in a density of cortisol, histamines, and adrenaline. From whichever consciousness is active, higher or lower, we choose our perception, and then we magnetize our feelings, emotions, and sensations from the limbic center of our brain to simulate that consciousness; this is where the law of attraction lies. Our freewill chooses the view that activates our consciousness. Our consciousness creates a response in feeling. Our feelings and emotions create our reality. We attract our reality from what we believe, see, and feel. We create high or we create low … and very often we are in between choosing our high or low in our next breath.

When I am stressed, I breathe into my higher self, and I release the woman who fears she is not… This practice has changed me. I used to collapse and withdraw in wound and every single time I bowed to a source lower than my highest, I chose to believe otherwise about myself. But, what if... 

What if maybe we were chosen... What if maybe we were designed for greater... At the very least, what if we were meant to serve the greater simply by being greater… 

Our spiritual DNA is activated by our intention. We are part of a quantum intelligence that follows our call and fulfills its in every area of our lives. Our external reality is the alchemical coherence of what we experience and commit to within. When we ignite our heart intention, we activate this divine benevolence, and our dreams take form. The key here lies in realizing what we are asking from this benevolent energetic. The universe does not judge. If we vibrate high or low, it delivers forth what we beckon. With patience, perseverance and valour, one’s reality can mystically vanish as another appears. It is through our mastery that we practice an evolved state of compassion and gratitude, live in its pulse, and allow ourselves to truly connect to and own our birthright.

This is my prayer. To choose love. To accept my higher mind and my higher heart, and exhale that frequency… 

Laura Kuo

What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?

I still swoon every time I see my beautiful man in love and life with our children… just watching them. And I catch myself; I’m aware of myself in this life with all my many blessings. And this happens in every day life, I come out of myself and see my kids piled against me as I am reading a story, and nursing one or two… it happens as I’m quietly observing them in the rapture of free play… bearing witness to the pure innocence and divinity of their presence… Always. No matter what. Hard days, screaming kids, are just as sacred because I get to be here, in it, with them. It is all that is holy to me… and endeavoring to hold that presence with them and for them, this is my practice and my bliss.  

What are you currently reading? 

In a stack in front of me right now:

  • Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, Anonymous
  • Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine, Joseph Campbell
  • The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Leaves of Grass: the Original 1855 Edition, Walt Whitman
  • Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, Anita Barrows
  • Rumi: The Book of Love, Poems on Ecstasy and Longing, Coleman Barks

What are you listening to right now?

My higher self, always trying to listen…

What is your go-to simple recipe?

2 tablespoons of Healthforce Nutritionals’ Vitamineral Greens powder in 16 oz of water. It’s like an instantaneous blood transfusion…

What are some simple things you do for self-care?

I go into deep silence and solitude. Regular hermitage is necessary for me to replenish and restore when my energy has been tapped by the external world. As a child I always knew I required this… I would disappear into myself to find peace again. 

My family life is my mandala and our inner life and outer life rhythm are sacred to maintaining our balance as a family and staying in flow. With each birth those 40 days in were always more like 60 for me, and I often joke that this is why I love having children so much… to be gifted that ancient permission for women to do nothing, but to be with God, and know they are of God… 

Daily I try to commune to find myself… to know myself… who I am as a woman, which holds who I am as a mother, lover and mystic.  Sometimes in this solitude, I psychically venture far away from my day to day life – into the outer dimensions—I time travel… I lose myself… I fall in love… I meet myself again. I reinvent myself.  It’s light body, divinity, Tantra—and it brings me back home.  It makes me a better mother, a better wife, and a more powerful channel of its light.

What does nourishment look like to you?

Feeding my mind, body and soul, light. Literally. The discipline required to do this—with thought, food, and frequency—is intense. I slip, and it just doesn’t feel good. So it becomes a choice … and it’s where I am at my highest and healthiest … connected, aging in reverse, and timeless. It’s a process, we cycle in and we cycle out, but with intention, we are always going higher … like a spiral.

How do you make space for play?

Watching our babies growing, sometimes at what seems the speed of light, is really all we need to remind ourselves that there is nothing more important than play. To be that present. It is no different than nourishment … the discipline required to remember that right here and right now, we are golden. This is life… 

What are some favorite mantras you cling to?

  • “Thank you, God”
  • “Thine will be done”
  • “Whole child whole body whole earth”
  • “As above, so below”

Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.

I think over the years I have earned how to be happy simply by choosing it... By claiming it. Being entitled to it... owning it like my true heart... the life I wanted. That truth is always there for us… We may have to sweep away the layers upon layers to access it, but it is always present. To know that truth is key… what our higher purpose is. We must connect to what that is first... And to know that, we have to be open to those moments of bliss and transcendental meaning, even if only in glimpses, peeks and fleeting sensations in an all too prosaic world. But from there comes the conscious intent to be the frequency we want to attract. 

There is an opportunity within each and every moment to shift our life script. To choose to be and act, to feel and respond as the one who is healed and light filled, not wounded or damaged beyond repair. For those of us who are hypersensitive, this can be truly challenging. Because we sense it all. We feel it all, and it's in our life script to be pierced by it all. That script ensues or is reactivated because we chose a response. When we are reactive, we are injured. We are in survival and disconnected from Spirit. However unconscious we are of that in the moment, we did choose it. We are that powerful. We have that agency. Being healed begins by seeing ourselves as healed, and living as such. So our actions and responses begin to come in from another place, and take new root.

Lau Kuo

It's raw and vulnerable to be here, to be sure, because to experience ourselves as healed is to soften our boundaries in life—to allow the breath of life to permeate those places that have ossified over time. To meet life by coming forward, where formerly in pain, we retracted. Where now we step forth with nothing to lose… And we begin to receive from life as if it were our birthright to receive, as if it were our birthright to heal. Lifetimes. To heal lifetimes. To clear lifetimes of karmic wound. 

The more we practice living as if we were healed, the more healing we experience... The more healing we attract. Healing is just love. It’s seeing ourselves as a complete spiritual being who is on path simply by trying to live and love from self worth. It's loving ourselves enough to trust that we are worthy of love, not cursed or forsaken to the point that we have to push off on another who in these dark moments is only reflecting our worst nightmare about ourselves. What if there were no nightmare?

No matter what our history is and regardless of what we experience through interactions with others in the day to day, from superficial interactions to meaningful relationships, we can choose another way. If we see ourselves as worthy, if we believe that we are worthy, we are healed. When that becomes our truth, it becomes real and we begin to attract a life that belongs to a healed person. 

This isn't a quest in perfectionism. It's actually a gorgeously messy, unpredictable and chaotic process of mastering oversight... But with intention, this process unfolds into greater consciousness and deeper living. It is about patience and forgiveness, compassion and trust... Trust that we could live one day—today even—in the velvet embrace of life. Throw down our arms, release the iron vault of perception, and melt the calcified membrane around hearts that's become tight like a fist... Release it all, like a newborn's first breath. Be naked... and true… And know that the only thing that will touch us from this place will be the vibration of our exhale... The vibration of yes, God. And thank you. For all that has come before and all that is to come, thank you.


About Dr. Laura Kuo, Ph.D., C.Ht.

Laura Kuo is an intuitive healer and light channel. Her practice is based in Malibu, California. She offers intuitive guidance, psychospiritual life path consulting, and integrative healing work designed to address your specific needs. Laura is also a certified hypnotherapist with masters training across a range of healing modalities. As well, she has a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness, a world-renowned program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Laura worked as an academic for many years before segueing full time into the healing arts. It is in this domain where her gifts find their most resonant expression. She lives in Point Dume with her husband and three children.

Rumi’s Magdalene, Her Book of Hours© is a forthcoming literary publication by laura kuo:

Rumi’s Magdalene, Her Book of Hours follows a love story between two characters in real time under 137 moon cycles. Their tale is shared from the vantage point of Lene discovering her twin soul and falling irretrievably in love. Follow Laura to learn more about the book!

Connect with Dr. Kuo on Facebook and at www.laurakuo.com. You can also follow her on Instagram

 

Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation with Carrie-Anne Moss

In case you missed it, we posted a free guided meditation with Carrie-Anne on our YouTube channel. Carrie-Anne leads guided meditation videos every month in the Annapurna Living Inner Circle, but we thought it would be nice to share one that everyone can access. Please enjoy this meditation as often as you like, and make sure to pass it along to anyone else who  may benefit from it. 

First, watch this introduction video:

Next, here is the meditation video. 

Follow us on YouTube if you'd like, and enjoy the meditations. If you would like to do more meditations with Carrie-Anne and a growing community of women, the doors are always open at our Inner Circle. 

Love,
team Annapurna Living

ANNAPURNA WOMAN ELENA BROWER

Portrait of the Annapurna Woman is an ongoing series featuring divine women who embody the nurturing spirit of Annapurna Lliving. Today we introduce author & Yogi, Elena Brower.
Elena+Brower.jpeg

How do you start your day?

Praying and chanting.

What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?

Bathe in a very salty bath, or practice yoga, or go out for a run.

What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?

Snuggling with my child and my man.

What are you currently reading?

Emotions and Essential Oils. The Path of the Empress.

What are you listening to right now?

The song Fifth Avenue by Gold Panda. Making new class playlists. Most of the time I'm listening to Kundalini mantras these days.

What does nourishment look like to you?

Home cooking, some lean protein, dark greens and one dark chocolate to finish it off.

How do you make space for play?

I struggle with that, but I play a lot of chess with my son, and we get outside often. We visit Museums a lot. I make time to hang with my girlfriends as much as I can.

What are some favorite mantras you cling to?

I love Kirtan Kriya lately... Sa Ta Na Ma. We sing the Mul Mantra most mornings around here.

Please share some words of wisdom you've learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.

You're not here to learn; you're here to remember.


elena-brower.jpeg

 Elena Brower is a renowned author, yoga teacher and speaker. Influenced by several yoga traditions including Katonah Yoga, Para Yoga, and Kundalini Yoga, she is recognized internationally for her expertise in combining physical alignment and the art of attention. Since 1998, Elena has been offering these practices as a vehicle for approaching our world with realistic reverence and gratitude. 

She is the author of Art of Attention, a yoga workbook that has been translated into five languages and the creator of Teach.yoga, a virtual home for yoga teachers worldwide. Her next book, Practice You, will be published in 2017 by Sounds True. Elena is also an executive producer of On Meditation: Documenting the Inner Journey, a film that intimately explores meditation experiences, now being screened on international flights and on National Public Television. She's contributed to the Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Origin, Mantra, and has been featured in Yoga Journal, the New York Times and on major network news channels. Experience Elena's Audio Meditations on her website here.