Existence, Life, Death, and Rebirth. The cycle of Creation
Original Date: May 1, 2015
*Note, there is a practice video at the end of this post.
Many years ago, yoga saved me. I was feeling down and out. The world wasn’t a safe place for my toddler girls. I took a local yoga class, and I was hooked. I knew I needed to explore this practice I had started in college. That there was something here to help me pull though. A friend let me borrow a video, it was a Kundalini Yoga video on the Chakras. These were new and strange movements. Chanting at the opening, middle and end of the class. Breath of fire was sprinkled throughout. They had my attention.
I ate up everything I could find on Kundalini yoga. I watched videos, searched websites (the internet was very different ten years ago!). I did a free online Kundalini yoga class. A lesson was given each week, with practice sessions. I practiced every day at home, in my bathroom because I could chant with the door closed during nap time and get in a few solid minutes of practice. I searched out teachers in person, there were not many! The closest one was an hour away. Then the teachers of the video I was using, FYI- Ana Brett and Ravi Singh, came to Woodstock, NY. We had friends in the area, and knew the town well, so off I went to practice with these teachers in person. They were warm, friendly, knowledgeable and caring. I went to the studio to be with them. I considered their teacher training, but it was scattered across the country, and I had a family. It was not likely to happen. But I was still searching, yearning.
I did sign up for the studio’s mailing list. An email came into my mailbox sharing information about a yoga teacher training program at the studio. This studio was a 3 1/2 hours drive from my home. The training was every weekend for 6 months. It would be a lot of driving, but I wanted it. I had been practicing very ‘religiously” for about a year at that point. It wasn’t Kundalini, but to me, yoga was yoga, and I NEEDED to take that step. So I called the teacher, and had an interview. It was the beginning of a whole new life.
I began with Hatha yoga in college. I practiced Kundalini yoga at a desperate time in my life, and the combination of breath, movement, and chanting saved me from depression. It made the world safe again. And then Hatha Yoga Teacher Training solidified and unified the practices into my life. It moved the essence of the practice deep into my tissues and bones, my breath and my spirit. What I noticed when only practicing Kundalini yoga, was that my muscles missed something. My spirit soared, my emotions were healed, but my body felt off. Old aches and pains would linger. I never went deep enough in my body, and I have worked challenging kriyas in Kundalini. But, I honestly felt like I was still missing something. I see now that its a combination that serves me best. I love both styles. I need the Hatha yoga engagement and challenge in the physical body, and I need the chanting from the Kundalini practice. This is what heals my spirit. And it is the combination that I continue to use today.
I love that my Hatha Yoga training encouraged me to seek the strength from within and truth from within, and not to follow arbitrary rules and regulations. My teacher trainer taught me to question everything. To never take words from someone as truth unless it rings true for me and my soul. This keeps me safe. I move from a trust and love of self, not from seeking approval of right and wrong from outside of myself. I now see that life unfolds exactly as it is meant to, and we are always exactly where we need to be.
Today, I pay recognition to the Kundalini Yoga practice, and all it offers to the world in the work of healing, peace, and love. I am sharing a practice called “Kirtan Kriya”- one of my favorite practices I use regularly.
SA TA NA MA- Existence, Life, Death, and Rebirth. This meditation pays homage and helps us to recognize the cycle of creation. All of life moves through these actions, we are constantly evolving and devolving, evolving and involuting- or going within. We can recognize these patterns in the seasons. Sa= Summer, Ta= The Harvest and the Fall, Na= Winter, and Ma= Spring. The same patterns exist in the cycle of the day, and in various other moments in our lives. This meditation will help you to remember your connection to the greater power of God and Love. You are connected to all creation. You are all creation, Prana-Shakti. May this meditation remind you of your greatness. Please view the link to the video below to engage in this practice with me.