Kundalini and Spiritual Awakening

Every year the Watkin’s magazine publishes the names of the top 100 spiritual teachers on the planet. Bend it like Budhha yoga in Portimao, Portugal wanted to see what some of these teachers have to say about Kundalini and spiritual awakening.Our students also enjoy learning more about this topic  in our Philosophy classes during the 200 hour teacher training courses so we thought to have a look at what the top spiritual leaders have to say.

Have you ever seen the world with an expansive vision? The enlightenment of understanding can come from feeling whole and complete and at the same time sensing how others are interpreting the world around them. This expansive vision can come through from a Kundalini awakening. Kundalini is a term that is used to refer to our vital force, prana or energy we all hold within us. This universally acknowledged and deeply ingrained potent source of energy is also recognised with a number of different labels such as Holy Spirit, Shakti and based on a contextual belief system. The identification or name is not important here because this potent, vibrational force which is the catalyst for this bliss does not have words to describe it. As soon as you try to name it. The experience is gone…poof!

The aim of Kundalini is to awaken the potent, serpentine energy within oneself and thus, those who decide to pursue this practice of connecting to this powerful energy are said to be rewarded with higher conscious awareness and thus, spiritual enlightenment (Taylor, 2015).

Kundalini awakening is a process of experiencing specific energy that is associated with the resolution of all of the issues, conditioning patterns, emotional trauma, pain ect… Over the last few years, there are more transcendental experiences which yoga students have been experiencing. For example, one moment you are meditating peacefully and the next you feel out of body and one with all living things and in ecstasy. This is normal and is a part of the yoga journey and a level of awakening. Feeling happy to be alive is our birthright! These students have had their Kundalini awakening from different perspectives or practices and have gone to live healthy and productive lives.

The concept of Kundalini activation comes to the consciousness that has been dormant and coiled at the base of the spine since birth and that is the source of life force. Yoga science has suggested that Kundalini may arise as a result of spiritual practices or may be in response to life events. One can find the acknowledgement of this spiritual experience in many yogic and tantric traditions (Field, 2016).

More and more people are coming forward and are sharing their very personal experiences with this other worldy dimension to the world. There are countless people, spiritual leaders, activists, authors and scientists that have played an important role in changing the world and thus are known as the most spiritually influential living people (de Castro, 2015). These people are assisting with the evolution of human beings to reach a higher state of consciousness. That is, they are assisting us to transcend from the dense material, fear-based survival mode into a joyful, peaceful and love-based higher frequency dimension.

According to Andrew Weil, “What part of ourselves needs to evaporate in order to concentrate on our essence? What do we have to let go?” Dalai Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist Monk has been inspiring through his words of spiritual wisdom for decades. One of his famous quotes “Nothing is permanent” make us believe that the problems in life are temporary and one can easily go through them by not being overly-sensitive or over-reactive. At our 200 hour Ashtanga and Vinyasa teacher training we teach a variety of meditation and pranayama practices daily to help cultivate peace starting from within.

The Watkin’s top 100 spiritual leaders and other such personalities are contributing their part in assuring that awakening to a higher dimensional vision of ourselves and the world we live in continues to grow.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” (Desmond Tutu)

According to David Lynch, “The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you”. On the other hand, Alejandro Jodorowsky has highlighted that

“Awakening is not a thing. It is not a goal, not a concept. It is not something to be attained. It is metamorphosis”.

Since yoga is originally taught as a route of enlightenment, those who are interested in enlightenment are now seeking out Kundalini -style yoga as their yoga practice of choice. For the discovery of your own Kundalini energy, focus on your breath, sit up straight and reject negativity by focusing on some of the more positive aspects of life (Taylor, 2015). Be sure to move your body through exercise, walk along in nature, watch the sunset, activate your interest and enjoy every day.

Kundalini awakening, itself, is not dangerous but forcing oneself may harm yourself. The krya practices, techniques and methods are not to play foolishly with. This is very powerful stuff!

Please remember to have good body awareness and be aware of how you are feeling. Your body and emotions are your compass with these practices.

A person experiencing Kundalini awakening may experience physical (headache, increased heart rate etc.) and mental (fear, anxiety, irrational thoughts etc.) kinds of symptoms (Jindani and Khalsa, 2015).

According to Caroline Myss, “What drains your spirit drains your body. What fuels your spirit fuels your body.” Hamza Yusuf, on the other hand, has quoted that “Reality of things is hidden in the realm of the unseen”. Kundalini yoga awakening, when done with proper preparation, can play a significant part in activating your Shakti and balancing your body, mind and soul.

References

  • de Castro, J.M., 2015. Meditation has stronger relationships with mindfulness, kundalini, and mystical experiences than yoga or prayer. Consciousness and cognition, 35, pp.115-127.
  • Field, T., 2016. Yoga research review. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 24, pp.145-161.
  • Jindani, F.A. and Khalsa, G.F.S., 2015. A yoga intervention program for patients suffering from symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder: A qualitative descriptive study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21(7), pp.401-408.
  • Taylor, S., 2015. ENERGY AND AWAKENING: A PSYCHO-SEXUAL INTERPRETATION OF KUNDALINI AWAKENING. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 47(2).

How to Develop your Intuitive Abilities

Have you lost touch with your true nature, like most people today?

How to Develop your Intuitive Abilities

Everyone’s reason for practicing yoga is unique, the real challenge is mustering up the courage, carving out time to practice and if you cross the hurdles to reap the rewards of yoga, you will find it as amazing and beneficial as it is.  You have made the decision, joined yoga for beginners or online yoga classes, it is difficult to imagine what will happen until you actually practice mindfully and regularly. There are many benefits to practicing yoga but did you know yoga develops intuitive abilities? 

Intuition is the ability to have insight and wisdom received by an individual outside of their own intelligence, without the use of reason, logic or scientific evidence. Do you know who Patanjali was? He was considered the Einstein of Psychology and human behaviour in India because he was able to channel such ground-breaking guidelines in the 8-fold path of Ashtanga yoga. He was able to do this successfully without science. Now modern science states what Patanjali channelled intuitively thousands of years ago. That is, yoga along with meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques) has a multitude of benefits for the health and harmony of the mind, body and soul (Paniccia et al., 2018). Patanjali utilized his intuition and founded the great knowledge which we have today on this incredible practice of yoga. In yoga, intuition is considered to be developed over time through spiritual disciplines and meditation or pranayama. Your intuition are unexplained feelings you have that something is true even when you have no evidence or proof for it. Have you ever had an intuition that something was wrong and later proved to be correct? That was your gut knowing or intuition speaking to you. This special occurrence of knowledge may arrive instantly and not through the process of analysis and perceptions of the facts. Often times it happens to us when we are doing something routine such as walking to work or taking a shower. Also practicing yoga, meditation and pranayama over time results in a gradual development of intuition. This is a practice which encourages individuality and helps bring answers to important life questions. It also provides a road map leading a person to explore their inner self- their true nature and unique life path off and on the yoga mat (Sadhu, 2018). 

 

There are many other tools that help in developing intuition. Yet meditation, pranayama and yoga are some of the best ways which helps in letting go of attachments and to discover the inner self.  But how does one even begin to find this inner voice? Usually the intuitive voice is subtle, gentle and not obvious. Finding stillness within is essential in being able to listen to your intuition (Bagya et al., 2018). The key understanding of our true nature or inner self comes with learning how to widen the gap between thought to thought or still the senseless mind chatter or what Buddhists at Fo Guan Shan monastery, Taiwan call the “monkey mind”. Remember this proverb, “silence isn’t empty. It is full of answers”. One needs to develop the ability to distinguish between the noises and the voices, the voice of fear and the subtle voice of inner wisdom. 

Whenever you want to understand something or to make a decision, ask for guidance from inner higher self and then experiment. The resistance, tension, built-up emotions, trauma or stress… the physical practice of yoga will burn out the stress-energy from the body accumulated through years of samskaras, which means the mental impressions, recollections or psychological imprints in Sanskrit. Different yoga vinyasas or poses on the mat for example, despite the skill level, will help in your cultivation of intuitive skills (Schiffmann, 2013).

 

A yoga practice re-develops the intuition ability to consider what is healthy in each moment. In today’s busy, technological world we have completely lost touch with this intuitive ability. As a person learns to turn inwards both mentally and emotionally, they start the process of cultivating the intuition, instinct and intelligence. Following one’s own path requires courage, saying no to the things that don’t serve you and confronting your own demons. Yoga helps to practice opening the chest and heart, core engagement, self-grounding, calm and slow breathing and thus, emulating a courageous yet conscious warrior on the battlefield of life.

The voice of intuition is basically our inner hidden voice, calm, collected and sure. Intuition provides confidence and courage to make such decisions which serves us, regardless of the inside and outside voices. Yoga is designed in such a way so as to prepare the body for meditation and meditation in movement is yoga. Yoga represents union and as a person progresses through yoga, one may start experiencing prolonged periods of union within and thus stronger intuition (Paniccia et al., 2018). Yoga helps a person to tune into his emotions and to develop perception. Intuition is not a result of using the logical mind or over thinking rather it is a feeling of knowing that which we don’t know. During the yoga practice, we become intuitive when our body becomes physically aligned, naturally, with our breath movements. We feel different sensations, shaky and sweaty. We begin to think if these feelings are triggered by our thoughts. In the end, we come to know that these feelings are from our inner heart space (Sadhu, 2018).

The popular Netflix movie “Innsaei” has highlighted the global journey of soul searching. This movie has shown the power of intuition by uncovering the art of connecting within today’s world of distraction, stress and disconnection. The expert in indigenous consciousness and neuroscience in the movie shows a belief that human beings use only a small fraction of their capacity that is resulting in devastating consequences. Humans must need to learn something new, discover their inner self that which will birth miracles. The intuition binds us together and without this we, as human beings lose our sense of purpose. 

 

But how to regain intuition? Invite silence into your day, start with a short meditation or through yoga or watching the sunrise. Allow the voices in your mind to float away, do not engage with them and invite your inner voice to guide you. Connect yourself with the breath of divinity. Check within yourself, what are you thinking?  How are you feeling? Feel your presence and it will make you dilute the stress and offer you the best solutions and inner wisdom of always knowing what to do next.

Intuition, meditation, yoga and other spiritual practices not only help in overcoming fear, but they also encourage self-love and love for others. At first, learning to listen to your intuition may seem strange or challenging. Listening to your intuition, however, will allow you to see and believe how our life journey and nature is being carried out in surprising ways. How truly miraculous and incredible it is to be alive! Essentially, we are spiritual beings living a human experience through this dense, material container of the physical body…we are light warriors and destined to do great things on this beautiful planet and being in touch with our intuitive abilities will assist us and carry us through life’s challenges.  

References

 

  • Bagya, D.A., Ganesan, T., Maheshkumar, K., Venkateswaran, S.T. and Padmavathi, R., 2018. Perception of stress among yoga trained individuals. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology8(1), pp.47-50.

  • Paniccia, M., Knafo, R., Thomas, S., Taha, T., Ladha, A., Thompson, L. and Reed, N., 2018. Mindfulness-Based Yoga for Youth With Persistent Concussion: A Pilot Study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy73(1), pp.73012050040p1-73012050040p11.

  • Sadhu, M., 2018. In Days of Great Peace: The Highest Yoga as Lived. Routledge.

  • Schiffmann, E., 2013. Yoga The Spirit And Practice Of Moving Into Stillness. Simon and Schuster.