I’m currently doing a 40 day Kundalini Meditation challenge. I have always dabbled in Kundalini & meditation but have never committed to a daily practice. This one focuses on addiction, which when I first heard “addiction” my ego screamed “I don’t have any, not for me" :) LOL! Ummm first of all, yeah fucking right , and second of all … WOW did I discover I had more than I thought! Some ones were so engrained I didn’t even know they existed. I thought they were just part of my nature. Addictions are much more than just drugs alcohol and food … we can be addicted to thought patterns. These ones hide in plain site from friends and family and no one really talks openly about how bad they are for you or has support groups for our negative thought patterns we adopt.
Kundalini sets are called Kriyas, they include not just a posture but, a bandha (a physical lock, tightening of one part of our body ) a mantra (an internal dialogue or audible chant), breath, drishti (eye gaze), and a mudra (hand pose). Usually you hold / repeat the pose for 3 - 11 min. It’s a lot physically and mentally all at once and pushes your limits of what you think is mentally & physically possible. This pushing of physical & mental limits changes your brain, along with it changing your hormones, glandular system and brain chemicals. If you have never done Kundalini then you may not know how truly uncomfortable you can make yourself. It’s mostly NOT peaceful LOL. It’s very physically mentally & emotionally demanding.
This Clearing of Addictions Kriya is based around the mantra Sa Ta Na Ma (birth, life, death rebirth) which you repeat in your mind. It entails sitting in a cross legged position, raising your arms up above your head with with elbows pointing to the sky and placing your thumbs on your temples (mudra), while clenching and unclenching your jaw , keeping your lower vertebra tucked under (bandha), keeping your eyes closed but focusing them on your brow (drishti). Hold pose, begin clenching and unclenching jaw while repeat the mantra for 5 - 30 minutes.
If you put you arm out at a 90 degrees angle, wait just 30 seconds, you will start to feel the burn… 11 minutes sounds impossible … never mind adding in all the extras. The first two days I was dying at 5 minutes. Squirming all around in my seat, moaning, crying, desperately checking the time.
I’m on day 10 and I’m up to 11 minutes most days. I wanted to share some of the downloads / breakthroughs I experienced. Crazy what can come through while your arms are about to fall off, brain melting, crying from discomfort, pushing through anyways … apparently that’s when the magic happens! When I want to quit I just scream at myself internally... “How bad do you want it!!!”
My biggest breakthroughs:
1. So doing this daily meant I had to squeeze in my meditation in the middle of a late night photo shoot, in my house while hosting company, after an exhausting work day, when I’ve just had an heated argument. I have always made excuses in the past for not being able to do certain things. Not having the right environment, not in the right mood, I’ll do it when I achieve a certain goal or have a dedicated private space. Wow! I am addicted to excuses that keep me small or what!? What came through for me was that you don’t need a special time, place or ambiance to meditate… or to do anything for that matter! I was able to let of my expectations of what a meditation looks like for me and embrace doing it wherever I am, in whatever emotional state I’m in. That I NEED take the time for myself no matter where I am and what I’m going through. It’s SO simple and is much easier to practice than I have been telling myself! All I need to do is set aside the time and STOP MAKING EXCUSES!
2. We all want answers in the moments of difficulty but we need to just trust there is a lesson in everything and we will never truly know why we experience something until we are out of the thick of it. You are always a child and forever will be. As a child you can’t really comprehend why your parents won't let you stay up all night eating candy and touching hot pans w our bare hands. We just know we aren’t getting what we when we want and we throw a fit. It never ends. As adults we want a certain partner, a certain job, a certain body type. Well ... we don’t always get what we want when we want it. Who knows why in the moment? But we have to trust that life is handing out lessons as we can learn them. We need to look for the lessons and try to have some compassion for ourselves and address our inner child throwing a fit and give it a little love and let them know it will all make sense one day.
3. Regular meditation allows me to sweep the floor of my mind and see what’s hiding in the dark corners and find out what's coming up for me. It allows me to experience my inner child throwing that tantrum, not wanting to experience the discomfort and pushing through so I can hear the lessons. It allows me to feel lighter. No matter how deeply we clean our homes the next month they will be dirty again and need to be cleaned. The same with our minds. To maintain clarity, you must continue the work. It’s not something you do once and expect to stay free of clutter and dirt. It’s a lifetime practice. When we don’t set aside time to clean and organize our thoughts they build up into a hoarder status and give us anger issues, resentments, cancer and and take a countless hours of work to get to where you only have a light dusting to do get things clean and organized again.
I always listen to a song / chant while I do my Kriyas. My fav for this one is by Annki Har Dyal Kaur & Klas Landahlas called Sa Ta Na Ma: Kirtan Kriya. Links below! It has little chime bells as timing cues at 6 & 11 minutes. I always strive for 11 min so the 6 minute chime gives me a little halfway cue. If I’m feeling it & have the time I will listen to the full song and continue in a relaxed crosslegged position meditating for the rest of the 30 min song.