Earlier this year, I was having some personal trouble that was affecting my romantic relationship. I was feeling a lot of stress because I couldn’t figure out what to do. Before sleeping one night I did something I’ve never done before – I asked Yogi Bhajan to tell me what to do. A few hours later I woke up from a terrible dream, and felt like all of the baggage of my previous relationship had hit me like a tidal wave. The dream was incredibly vivid, filled with strong emotions, and with concepts and issues that had surfaced from deep in my subconscious mind. I often refer to dreams like that as “yoga dreams” because I tend to have them when I’m doing intensive meditation practices. I looked at my clock, and saw that it was about 3:45AM. Suddenly I realized that Yogi Bhajan had answered my question. His answer – morning sadhana.
Kundalini yoga is amazingly effective no matter what time of the day you practice it. But if you are looking to deeply heal your subconscious mind, making a commitment to practice yoga in the amrit vela can provide an extra boost to your practice. Yogi Bhajan said:
“The mother, and queen, of all sadhanas is morning sadhana. Morning sadhana is done in the 2 ½ hours before the rise of the sun. Wisdom traditions of all types have discovered the special qualities of this early time of the morning, these ambrosial hours, in which we can determine our reality and separate ourselves from fantasies, illusions, and even delusions, the denizens of our subconscious.” From Sadhana Guidelines
The process of sadhana and clearing the subconscious is not always comfortable. You might have intense, uncomfortable dreams. Or perhaps you find yourself a bit more irritable, or a bit more emotionally sensitive than usual. Yogi Bhajan taught that when you meditate, the garbage of the subconscious starts floating to the surface, and that can be quite unpleasant. When these uncomfortable situations happen, our Negative Mind might kick in and try to protect us from what we are feeling by convincing us to give up our practice. This is when it is helpful to remember something Yogi Bhajan once said:
If your sadhana is more important than your neurosis, you are fine. If your neurosis is more important than your sadhana you are not. Doesn’t matter how saintly you are, nobody wants to get up in the ambrosial hours. –Sadhana Guidelines
If you know that there are issues in your subconscious, making the commitment to practice your sadhana can help you to deal with them. In addition to committing to practice your yoga in the amrit vela, there are several Kundalini meditations that are especially conducive to clearing the subconscious. Try one (or more!) of these subconscious clearing kriyas and meditations in the amrit vela for a powerful overhaul of your subconscious mind.
In the yoga manual Transformation vol. 1, there is a section entirely devoted to clearing the subconscious. Each one has it’s own particular focus, so reading through and choosing the correct kriya for your needs would be helpful. One kriya I particularly like is “A Renewed Self-Concept.” By clearing out our old junk, we have the freedom to create and project a healthier, happier, truer version of ourselves to the world.
“Gobinday Mukunday” is an excellent mantra for clearing the subconscious. It can heal deeply seated subconscious blocks, as well as balancing the hemispheres of the brain. Mantra practice is an excellent tool, because it gives your mind a positive rhythm and projection to focus on when the negativity of the subconscious starts to rise to the surface. Chant Gobinday Mukunday for 11 minutes, or consider keeping a looped track playing softly as you sleep at night.
Another excellent meditation for clearing the subconscious is So Darshan Chakra Kriya. Yogi Bhajan said that So Darshan Chakra Kriya “will give you a new start…It cuts through all barriers of the neurotic or psychotic inside nature…This kriya invokes the Kundalini energy to give you the necessary vitality and intuition to combat the negative effects of the unchanneled subconscious mind.” (21 Stages of Meditation) So Darshan Chakra Kriya is incredibly powerful, even when practiced for 3 minutes. It can be helpful for beginners to practice along with Gurucharan Singh Khalsa’s recording Wahe Guru for Sodarshan Chakra Kriya.
Kirtan Kriya, like So Darshan Chakra Kriya, is one of the key meditations that Yogi Bhajan gave to get through the Aquarian Age. In his very helpful video explaining Kirtan Kriya, Guruka Singh explains how reciting the panj shabad, Sa-Ta-Na-Ma, helps to clear out our subconscious mind. These primal sounds that we chant when we practice Kirtan Kriya relate to the cycle of creation and when we practice this mantra with the mudra, the hemispheres of our brain are balanced and our subconscious blockages are cleared.
If, like me, intensive yoga practices sometimes bring up unpleasant dreams, two things may be helpful for you. One, is to remember that it is perfectly normal for the mind to process our subconscious “stuff” as we sleep. It is a safe space, free from the distractions of daily life, for our minds to do their work. Be patient and loving with yourself, and know that as the blocks or issues are resolved, the dreams will stop. Also pay attention to what your dreams are telling you, because you may gain some insight about ways you can grow and release old patterns that are holding you back.
If your dreams are a bit more than you feel you can handle, chant the mantra “Aad sach, Jugaad sach, Hai bhee sach, Nanak hosee bhee sach.” These words are from the second half of the Mul mantra, and Yogi Bhajan taught that chanting them can lift you from depression, insecurity, nightmares, and loss.
Above all else, take care of yourself. If you have the ability to go to yoga classes and work with a trained teacher, then make that a part of your regular schedule. Don’t push yourself too hard, and be patient as you go through the process.