Everyone has their reasons for starting up their person yoga practice. Sometimes there are admirable reasons such as achieving enlightenment or personal development. Many times you will also find that people discover yoga more to have a better body, feel better, meet people or reduce their own stress. It doesn’t really matter what brings one to the practice, but that we are here and evolving.
When people typically think about yoga, all of these images come to mind of people with perfect bodies in low cut tight clothing, stretching in all sorts of crazy positions. Then you hear about Kundalini Yoga and about ‘blissing out’, ‘getting high’ and Kundalini energy rising. All these can be called “sexy” reasons as to why yoga is attractive.
Make no mistake that from the study and practice of yoga, you can look better and even learn to speak somewhat intelligently on a variety of spiritual topics. These can certainly make you attractive externally, but there is much more to the practice.
There are some kriyas in Kundalini Yoga that are full-body workouts, but for the most part, you may not find the gym style workout to help you wail on those pecs. Kundalini Yoga is much more of a meditative and subtle experience. You may not be burning calories as much as you may be confronting the roots of an emotional issue at the subconscious level. Running on a treadmill is a lot more fun than doing emotional work, but it may not be the most direct approach to the resolving it.
The Work Out Kriyas:
Har Aerobic Kriya (in Transformation’s Volume 1)
Complete Workout for the Total Self (in Owner’s Manual for the Human Body)
Abdominal Strengthening Kriya or Kriya for Nerve, Navel and Lower Spine Strength (in Sadhana Guidelines)
Chasing ‘highs’ and even deep experiences are not always a sustainable approach to the yoga practice. In Kundalini Yoga, you can practice the same meditation or kriya for five days in a row and have different experiences. Some days will be very deep and others will not be. This is because the only goal after practicing Kundalini Yoga is to be clear and empty. Attaching to an experience only creates expectation and is very limiting. Sometimes when “nothing” happens, “everything” happens or it is just preparation for a break though that you are on the verge of.
The problem is that “nothing” isn’t really sexy to us. We fear the void in “nothingness”. What will I be if I am nothing? Definition, confinement, tangibility, labels as unreal as they are, are so much more comfortable. Through the practice of Kundalini Yoga, we can slough off the illusions, become more self-aware and fall in love with our true selves.
Self-awareness and self-love are truly sexy. This may not get you on the cover of some swimsuit magazine, but it is something that no one can take away from you and doesn’t require external validation. Internally reality becomes the external reality.
There is a meditation for creating self-love which is great for learning to take care of yourself, opening your heart and developing acceptance. The meditation is called “Creating Self-Love” and can be found in the manual Self Knowledge. You can find the description in the below video.
This meditation is practiced with One-Minute Breath. One-Minute breath is a 20 second inhale, 20 second holding of the breath and 20 second exhale. A great tool for a One-Minute Breath meditation can be by mentally chanting the mantra, “SA TA NA MA”. The mantra typically takes about 5 seconds to repeat, so if you repeat it 4 times, you get 20 seconds. It can be helpful in keeping time. Here are a few versions of the mantra that have the right timing for One-Minute Breath: