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 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.
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.