“Kundalini is your Mother. She has been with you for ages and She has been waiting for this day when you could get your Realization.”
— Nirmala Srivastava
I have been absent from this blog for too long. It is not because things have not been happening in my life, but rather because they have. The past seven months of my life have been challenging. I gave birth to my son in December. I don’t think anything can prepare you for life with a toddler and a newborn. I am incredibly lucky in that I have a supportive husband to help. But I think I had to call on strength that I didn’t know where to find. Just when I was ready to come out of maternity leave hibernation, the world changed in ways that no one could have predicted. We were thrown head first into a pandemic. I was incredibly lucky in that I could continue to work and support my family through the pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that life was easy. My son is now 7 months old and he is just now starting to sleep at night. He has never been into a store or a restaurant and he doesn’t know what a stranger is. As a mother of two young children and someone who works entirely from home, there is no separation between my home life and my work life. It’s really all just a blurry mess of dirty diapers, seeing patients, crying babies, running a business, cooking meals and barely hanging onto a thread of sanity.
In retrospect I can now see that I was starting to slip into unhealthy patterns under the weight of motherhood, wifehood, working and trying to survive during a pandemic. It happened slowly, one extra glass of wine here, one extra cup of coffee there. And then around one month ago, I found myself in an emergency room at 3:00 AM, likely due to stress and toxic habits combined. The morning that I left that emergency room, I experienced an awakening. I committed that day to finding my way back to health. I gave up all alcohol and coffee and transitioned back to a plant based diet.
Back in May, I had started a Yoga Teacher Training program, but had not been doing a great job of keeping up with it. As part of the program, we were required to do yoga at least three times per week and we were given access to some really amazing pre-recorded videos. As I looked at the available classes, I felt the kundalini course calling my name. It promised to “change my energy and change my life.” I had never done kundalini yoga, but I was interested in giving it a try. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened.
Yogapedia’s definition of kundalini:
Kundalini means “coiled like a serpent” in Sanskrit. Kundalini energy refers to the coiled up energy that lies at the base of the spine. When released, this energy moves from the base of the spine through the seven chakras (or energy centers) in the spine. Specific meditation and breathing techniques were used to tap the kundalini energy, and these practices were known as Laya yoga. This school of yoga was founded by Sage Gorakshnatha, a sage from Nepal.
The ancient practice of Laya yoga was secret, and finds mention in classical Indian texts such as the Upanishads (which date back to 500 B.C.E.). The secrecy of these practices was challenged and it was eventually taught publicly to the West in 1969 by Yogi Bajan.
Kundalini yoga is a combination of specific kriyas and meditation aimed at raising the kundalini energy. The practices also help prepare the practitioner physically and spiritually for the intensity of this energy. Each kundalini class begins with a chant and is followed up by a warmup for the spine. The main part of the class is the kriyas, which combine postures and breathing techniques and end with a meditation and chant.
From the very first kundalini yoga experience, I was captivated and knew that I had finally found what I had been searching for. I felt energy moving through my body in ways that I did not know were possible. I began having daily epiphanies. I had clarity that I couldn’t have imaged. I felt energized, inspired, creative and connected to a divine energy. I have now been practicing kundalini 6 days a week and it has transformed my life in countless ways. I keep saying that I wish I had known about kundalini many years ago, although I realize that I found it exactly when I needed to.
I am now devouring every book and resource that I can on kundalini yoga. I am also going to be starting additional training in September where I will learn more about kundalini and how to bring it to the world. I have shared these experiences with my patients and look forward to eventually offering classes to anyone in the world who needs them.
My note to kundalini:
Thank you for waiting 41 years for me to find you. I guess you always knew I would arrive.