When I was a little girl, I attended Catholic Mass every Sunday. “In the Name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, ” we chanted. Since I was raised in New Mexico, it was also common to attend mass in Spanish. I heard, “En el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo.” We made the sign of the cross with our right hand, kneeled and put our hands together in prayer, and sang songs.
It was very nice and these memories assure me that I have been doing yoga my whole life.
Today, my meditations looks similar and my practice is called Kundalini Yoga. It includes mudras (hand gestures), mantras (sacred sounds), movement, breathwork, and meditation. There is an emphasis on bringing awareness to the glandular and nervous systems, strengthening digestion, and developing a flexible spine. In theory, the idea is to ignite energy within the solar plexus, which then travels downward into the energy centers located in the base of the spine and sacrum.
This awakened energy rises up into the heart center and into the higher centers contained in the throat and head, including the thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary and pineal glands. With a regular Kundalini Yoga practice, a student may begin to recognize their own radiance, grace, and inner strength. They may feel more balanced in body and more neutral in mind. Once balanced in body and mind, the Spirit begins to reveal itself.
Sitting cross-legged in easy pose, I join my hands in prayer mudra, take cleansing breaths in and out through my nose and repeat, “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo,” three times to ‘tune in’ to the Divine within and to the teachings. Just like when I was a child, the Sound Current, or the vibration of sacred sounds and mantras, has become an important tool for my practice. I consciously return to the awareness I have on my breath and usually continue with postures which I coordinate with my breath and the internal mantra ‘Sat Nam’. ‘Sat’ as I inhale and fill my belly with life force, ‘Nam’ on the exhale as I become empty. The intention of my Sadhana, or daily practice, is universal: to heal, to connect, and to feel united with Spirit.
The word Spirit is often described in yoga as the Breath of Life. Jesus described the Holy Spirit like the wind. The Holy Spirit, the breath, is what sustains, fills, strengthens and protects us. So a strong pranayama practice is essential! Pranayama is the fourth limb of yoga which emphasizes various breathing techniques and connects the practitioner with the air element. Every asana, or yoga posture, is an opportunity to meditate and become one with Spirit. In Kundalini Yoga, every Kriya, or yoga set, is an occasion to reach my Sat Nam. My Highest Self. My True Identity. My Spirit. One teaching, which can be found at the touch of a button, is called, ‘Call on the Spirit of Mother Earth’.
This is how it is practiced:
Tune In: Repeat “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” three times.
Posture: Sit in easy pose with a straight spine and apply a light neck lock. Raise the arms out to your sides up sixty degrees from horizontal, elbows and wrists straight, fingers closed, thumbs separate and relaxed, and palms up.
Focus: Heart Center.
Visualization: Imagine a flame at the Heart Center.
Breath: Long, slow, deep conscious breaths in and out through the nose, equal parts inhale and exhale.
Time: Three minutes
To End: Stay in the posture. Inhale deeply and pause with a prayer for the loftiness of Creator Mother Earth and peace. Hold for fifteen seconds. Exhale. Inhale deeply. Feel in your heart the blessing of the Divine Mother. Hold for fifteen seconds. Exhale. Inhale deeply. Feel the taste of the sweetness of life. Hold for fifteen seconds. Exhale. Relax.
I’m grateful for the spiritual teachings I learned as a child and thrilled about the teachings I unwrapped as an adult. The teachings of Kundalini Yoga encourages us to listen to our intuition and to fill every cell and fiber of our being with life force.
Ang Sang Wahe Guru, “Spirit is within every cell and fiber of my being.”
Melinda Krasowski began practicing Kundalini Yoga after reading the book Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa. From that day onward, she commits to a daily practice which consists of mantras, meditations, postures and kriyas. For local instruction in Kundalini Yoga, please consider attending her weekly offerings at Meta Yoga Studios in Breckenridge, Colorado. (970) 547-9642 or visit metayogastudios.com