Why is Kundalini Yoga Called the Yoga of Awareness?

At the Kundalini Yoga Summer Experience Retreat participants have a choice of several workshops that will deepen their practice of Kundalini Yoga.

Two of the workshops are:

  • The Fundamental Tools of Kundalini Yoga and
  • Kundalini Yoga – Beyond the Basics

Planning for the workshops we remembered how important Awareness is in Kundalini Yoga. Whenever I practice another style of yoga, it does not give me the boost in awareness that Kundalini Yoga gives me.  For me, this is a special part of Kundalini Yoga.

In Kundalini Yoga you do an exercise then take a short break before the next exercise.

The Fundamental Tools of Kundalini Yoga

In the Fundamentals Workshop you will examine one of the tools of Awareness that comes in the form of the little breaks we take between the exercises.  These breaks may seem like we’re just going easy on you, but in fact they are a very important part of the yoga set.

During the breaks your mind can drift off and think about hot dogs or the last conversation you had or an argument with a co-worker.  The little space between the exercises is actually a time to train your mind to put those thoughts on the back burner and redirect your thinking to your breathing and the experience of what is happening in the moment. When your mind drifts off, you firmly, but with love, bring it back to the awareness of your breath and body.

For some people, these breaks can be hard at first.  As you practice they can become an experience of relaxation.

Fight, Flight or Freeze

Technically speaking stress is a state of fight, flight, or freeze where your adrenals are working in overdrive.  During the breaks your body can return to a state of relaxation or the “rest and digest” state.

For those who are always stressed out, it is hard on their body because it doesn’t get back to the rest state where you can heal and rejuvenate.

To take the Yoga of Awareness further you get into the Beyond the Basics workshop. Awareness is enhanced through longer meditation times.  Again this can be challenging for most practitioners.

Awareness Opens the Door of Opportunity

Meditation is not all roses and sunshine because your mind will want to hold onto its patterns of thinking.  By practicing letting go of these patterns, we get a chance to see things in a new way. That is Awareness, Awareness that we have habits and it can be helpful to see beyond our habits.  When we do, it opens new doors of opportunity.

Meditation in Kundalini Yoga Becomes More Comfortable with Practice

Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of Awareness.  There are many layers and levels of Awareness and the practice of Kundalini Yoga helps you peel away the layers, transform unnecessary stress, and dwell in your true self.

You are invited to join us to experience the power of Kundalini Yoga at the Summer Experience 2013 on August 16 – 18.  The full details are at this link and you Save $50 by registering early. The Early Registration rate ends Saturday August 3, 2013.  The retreat is taking place in Peterborough Ontario and there is easy connections from Toronto.

Register now and give your body and your mind a summer holiday treat.

Registration is Open Now

For information on Summer Kundalini Yoga Classes in Toronto, send me an e-mail at info@dayakaur.com.

Sat Nam and Keep Opening those Doors of Opportunity!

Have you planned your summer vacation?

Here is a suggestion – a weekend retreat filled with Kundalini Yoga!

Every year I travel to Espanola, New Mexico to celebrate summer solstice.  From the airport, the shuttle whisks us out of the city, away from the hustle and bustle, along a bumpy, dusty road to the camp site.  With evey bump in the road a thought, worry or concern is jostled free.  This time is for me.  This sounds so magical but there are real obstacles before I actually get there.  With a family and partner to consider, needing time away from work, changing yoga class schedules, and the expense of flying, all are viable considerations and a sacrifice for all busy people.

Kundalini Yoga Workshop in Toronto

Taking a little time to go on a retreat is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  A retreat is an investment in your health and your personal relationship with yourself.  It will give you a chance to pause, to slow down –  a form of self care that is crucial to our well being.  Just the fact that you are breaking your routine allows you to assess your current situation from all perspectives.

Kundalini Yoga Summer Experience

Trent University is situated on the Otanabee River

Retreats are a good way to begin a yoga practice or to deepen an existing one.  They are great for people with little or no experience, young or older, flexible or stiff.  The Summer Experience Retreat is a great combination of Kundalini Yoga, healthy and delicious food prepared for you, being outdoors surrounded by nature, and connecting with like-minded people.  Enjoy air conditioned, private rooms in the newly constructed Gzowski wing, making this a holiday so relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time.

Come and join us at Trent University in Peterborough.  After weighing all the pros and cons…..
You will be glad you did!

What is Kundalini? A Definition

Let’s cover the basics of Kundalini yoga with the most commonly asked question:

What is Kundalini?

It’s a question you can learn more about at the upcoming Kundalini Yoga Retreat in workshops such as The Fundamental Tools of Kundalini Yoga and Kundalini YogaBeyond the Basics.

The word Kundalini is simply defined as “coiled” and usually refers to the dormant feminine, or Shakti, energy that lives in each person at the base of the spine.

However contemplating the metaphors, symbols, and figures of speech that describe “Kundalini” can give you a much deeper understanding.   Yogi Bhajan described the Kundalini as:

“The curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.”

~ KRI (Kundalini Research Institute)

The hair of the beloved is sitting in you, and reminds you of something Yogi Bhajan often said: God and Me, Me and God, Are One.

Kundalini Lotus Pose

“Just as all rivers end up in the ocean, all yoga ends up raising the Kundalini. What is the Kundalini? It is the creative potential of the human being.”

~ Yogi Bhajan, Aquarian Teacher Manual

This Kundalini quote is an important reminder that all yoga, just like all religions, all songs of praise, all walks in nature, all the tools you use to get rid of stress, they all have the same goal, which is to feel the creative potential in your life.

Every human being has creative potential but are you feeling it? Or are you stuck in a routine where every day feels like the last one?

There are many different routes and you don’t need to judge others, you just need to follow your own path and create your own life.

So when people ask “What is Kundalini?” you can simply say it means “coiled.”

Or you can describe the flowing locks of God that have fallen into you.

Or the river that winds and turns but always comes home to the ocean.

Or you tell them it is why people do yoga.

Upcoming Events

An Opportunity to Immerse Yourself in Kundalini Yoga

10 Kundalini Experiences, One Beautiful Weekend Away

Click here for Upcoming Kundalini Yoga Retreat dates and information.

You’ll be glad you did!

A beautiful drawing sent after the Kundalini Yoga Summer Experience 2012.

Kundalini Yoga for the Heart Chakra and Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a time for thinking of love. Of course we want to do this everyday, but let’s take advantage of the group consciousness and some Kundalini Yoga to activate the heart chakra.

Consider these 5 Valentine’s Day thoughts and activities to contribute to the group consciousness of love and your own self love. Some of the quotes from Yogi Bhajan may get you streamed up, the meditation will enhance your projection of love, and the yoga exercises will keep your second and fourth chakra healthy.

5 Valentine’s Day Kundalini Yoga Suggestions

1. You are my Lover Lord

If you are looking for a lover or a deeper connection with your partner- try singing this song based on an ancient prayer. Sing it all the time, play it in the background while you cook, clean, wash dishes, go for a walk.  Embody it’s meaning and you’ll be surprised what happens to loneliness:  You are My Lover Lord – listen at this link

You are My Lover Lord

You are my Lover Lord, Yes you are my lover Lord,

You are my Lover Lord and you are my only friend.

You are my father and my mother, and you are my sister and my brother

You are always right beside me, to teach me and to guide me

You never leave me alone, no matter where I may roam

You don’t care if I am right or wrong, for to you Lord I belong.

2. Balance Sexual Energy

Crow Squat - Inhale Up, Exhale Down

Crow Squats (single or partner):  The yogis say crow squats are beneficial for balancing sexual energy, correcting problems in the reproductive organs, and keeping the knees well oiled. Stand with your feet slightly apart for balance.  Squat down into crow squat, keeping your heels on the floor bringing your buttocks to the floor (if possible).  For Partner Crow Squats: Stand facing your partner, holding hands, and squat down together as above.  Look into your partners eyes as you move together. Inhale Up, Exhale Down. Repeat 11, 26, 54, or 108 times.

3. Yogi Bhajan Quote – On Being a Wife:

“Understand yourself, understand that your grace is your saving grace, make yourself a Queen of the spirit and righteousness.  Queens don’t fight with servants and staff of the Imperial Palace.  Be a Queen of consciousness, then make him a King.  If you are not a Queen first, you’ll be a doormat.”   Yogi Bhajan, Relax and Rejoice, A Marriage Manual, p. 13

4. Yogi Bhajan Quote – On Being a Husband:

“A Man can lose everything on this planet but hope.  To build up what you need to build up, there’s no magic which can help you except Sadhana (daily spiritual practice).  Your not doing it is not laziness, negativity, self-depression, it is self denial.”  Yogi Bhajan, Relax and Rejoice, A Marriage Manual, p. 26

5. Meditation for Love:

Try this video of the Aad Guray Nameh Meditation for Projection and Protection from the Heart

Love yourself and project love this Valentine’s Day.  Let me know how it goes in the comments.

Sat Nam,

Daya Kaur

Congratulations to all the new Kundalini Yoga Teachers…..

It is hard to believe we have completed another year of Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.    For many years I have had the privilege to be part of the teaching team lead by Sat Dharam Kaur and every year I am blown away by the caliber of people becoming teachers, through this program.  I have had the fortune to witness the transformation of these amazing people.

Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in Toronto

Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training

I reflect back to when I went through the training program.  I was dealing with a severe eczema-like condition all over my face and hands.  At five o’clock in the morning I would have to wear sunglasses to protect the raw skin around my eyes.  Some days I would hold my face and just cry because the pain was so much. Specialists just wanted to give me a cortisone cream, which I refused.  I wanted to solve the problem not bury it deeper inside. Over the months of the course, the training awakened me to all aspects of my life, some I was prepared for and others I was not.  I questioned my values and beliefs.  I realized I was avoiding my problems rather than deal with them.  I became a master at burying my emotions.

With the daily practice of kriyas and meditation I started to feel alive inside and that I had a purpose in this life.  I went to a Kundalini Yoga Woman’s Camp in Vancouver to experience more deeply the yogic lifestyle.  Not surprising, my condition started to clear up.  So now I was hooked!  I developed a daily spiritual discipline which continues to this day.  I thrive on sharing the love and passion I feel for these sacred teachings which are so relevant for us today.

Congratulations to all the new teachers.  Be the lighthouse, be the change you want to see.  Sat Nam.

Yogi Bhajan

“You know what a teacher is?  A chiseler, a polisher, a designer, whose touch can make an ordinary human the master of time and space.”  Yogi Bhajan 1/10/97

Why Kundalini Yoga?

I have never exercised!

I have always been physically active working with competition and thoroughbred racehorses.  Riding these beautiful animals gave me the best cardio workout every day.   Cleaning their stalls and carrying buckets of water was the best strength training around.  Combine all this with fresh air and sunshine and I thought I had it all.   Enter yoga.  A friend invited me to attend a Kundalini Yoga class.  It was quite a revelation because I realized just how inflexible I was……

What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is designed for everyone.  It is the Yoga of Awareness focusing on the breath and physical poses for flexibility, strength and endurance.

Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for mind, body, and spirit

Kundalini Yoga

I found that by connecting the breath with the posture I became much more aware of the effect of the exercise.  I also discovered that my breath does more than just keep me alive, it is calming and balancing and helps me to think a little more clearly.   During most of the exercises the eyes are closed to help increase inner focus.  When my eyes are closed, I can feel how my body is performing the pose, recognizing any resistance or restriction of movement and using the breath to breathe through the blockage.

Beautiful Music for Relaxation

Kundalini Yoga also uses the healing effects of sound through music and mantra.  Whether I am listening to music or chanting mantra, I can feel a positive shift in my thoughts.  And there is no sound like the gong…it immediately vibrates the cells of my body and allows a calmness to wash over me.  I go into a deep state of relaxation.

The beauty of Kundalini Yoga is that it is simple but precise.  It is for everyone – especially people who are busy and do not have a lot of time to practice.  Beginners and intermediate students can be in the same class because everyone goes at their own pace.  Having the eyes closed helps limit the amount of competition or intimidation between students.  Everyone feels benefits from a Kundalini Yoga class regardless of their level of flexibility.

So how did I get from this hectic life of competition to embracing a yogic lifestyle…..I established a regular Kundalini Yoga practice, and begun to experience myself all over again.  As the flexibility of my spine increased, all aspects of my life shifted.  Through my personal practice many new opportunities have materialized that allow me the privilege of sharing this technology and guiding others on their personal path.

When the body and mind are at ease, inspiration flows freely and peace of mind is realized.

“Kundalini Yoga teaches you the techniques and awareness to stay healthy. You gain strong immune, glandular and nervous systems. This foundation gives you energy and lets you deal with the mental and spiritual facets of your life.’—Yogi Bhajan

Discover what Kundalini Yoga is………

Click on these links  for information on Kundalini Yoga classes and Kundalini Yoga workshops in Toronto, Ontario, Canada