I had been a practitioner and teacher of Yoga for nearly a decade when I found Kundalini Yoga in 2005. Up until this point I used my practice of Yoga as a form of climbing to the stages of success that I envisioned for myself. How consistent could I be in my practice? Could I keep my flow going without being tired? Did I not bitch or moan internally throughout the practice and joyfully obligate myself to this stringent path that gave me the self worth I always desired? Even though my practice left me with a feeling of satisfaction when I completed it, the deeper inner challenges were still rather pervasive in my life.
This one fateful day I stumbled into this particular Los Angeles Yoga Studio because I heard they had a really delicious Vegan Cafe. As I walked in I had this feeling that my life would change dramatically because of this space. I ate from the vegan hot bar and sat down with two of their many books and teachings on Yoga. I had never come upon such a practical, clearly transmitted, dynamic form of Yoga before having been written in a book. Naturally I purchased the manuals and began a home practice. It wasn’t until about 6 months later and many confusing home practices between that I found that in this lineage of Yoga it’s important you begin with some form of guidance. Coming highly regarded and many podcasts later heralded my first teacher, an elder in the community of Kundalini Yoga.
I stepped foot inside his classroom on the West Side of LA on Robertson and within 2.5 hours I was transported. I began to feel much more deeply like my true self, the self free of storylines & dramas, anxiety, heartbreak and so I continued to return every Monday and Thursday night as a ritual to return home within myself.
I share my journey with this form of Yoga because it was a profound return to a self that was burgeoning to come alive and be set free.
Shortly thereafter I became a Kundalini Yoga Teacher and have been teaching this lineage since 2006.
These unprecedented times are having a profound increase in anxiety for everyone, whether it’s thoughts of the future, concerns for your children, your health, your job, everyone has cause for concern in this mystery we are amidst. We don’t however, have to allow our anxiety to hijack our system. I’ve found that with the tools of Kundalini Yoga, we have the capacity to strengthen our nervous system, giving us the ability to handle more of what we cannot control. It’s within our grace to deal with uncertainty that gives us the strength to persevere and pivot in this unpredictable times.
Kundalini Yoga is deeply steeped in valuable wisdom and teachings for how to handle life, coupled with Kriya’s, which are practices of clearing all the 10 bodies ( 4 energy bodies, 1 physical body, 3 mental bodies and our soul link ), pranayama (breath) and various forms of mediation.
Since so many of you reading may have difficulty with anxiety and fear, I want to share some of the ways Kundalini Yoga can support you in calming the mind and trusting in the moment. First things first is to remember that this moment is temporary and if we’re feeling anxiety, to pause and remember to breathe. Breath is the force of life and when we learn to master our breath, we can master our state of mind, emotions and life.
The most simple and profound breath that ANYONE can do is called the one - minute breath. Intentionally pause if you find yourself being hijacked by negative thinking, fear or anxiety. Find a comfortable place to sit either in a chair or easy cross legged position on the floor.
ONE MINUTE BREATH
Position: Fold your hands in your lap by placing the left hand down facing up and allow the right hand to rest on top of the left hand also facing up. The thumbs will naturally touch one another and you will create a seal that is called a Mudra. It will create an immediate feeling of comfort and balance.
Eyes: close the eyes and gently roll them up like you’re staring between your two eyebrows.
Breath: Inhale for 20 seconds until you reach the top of the breath, pause for 20 seconds, holding the breath and exhale for 20 seconds. Then begin the cycle over. If you have difficulty reaching to 20 seconds, start with 10 second cycles and work your way up to the full time. The minimum time suggested for this is 3 minutes and the maximum time suggested is 31 minutes.
Effects: The master teacher of Kundalini Yoga shared that if you do this practice every single day, you will balance the endocrine system and experience a balanced and happy life with great success. It’s amazing how such a simple exercise can provide such profound benefits.
I hope this provides you a softening and opening in these times and may you be healthy, happy and free.
Website @ Taylor Eyewalker