Does Kundalini Yoga Cause you Discomfort? That’s Not a Bad Thing!

If you have practiced Kundalini Yoga, you’ve probably experienced some physical discomfort. If it becomes too much, you may come out of a posture and take a break. But what happens when you feel emotional discomfort?  Have you ever sensed that your Kundalini yoga practice is making you feel miserable? Do you sometimes get upset when you’re meditating, or feel angry in the middle of a kriya?  At some point in our spiritual journeys, each and every one of us considers giving up our Kundalini yoga practice because it makes us feel uncomfortable.

Yogi Bhajan has always told us to keep up. If we keep up in our yoga class, we get the full benefit of the practice. When discomfort sets in, keeping up becomes more challenging, but yet it’s even more important.  The body resists and won’t cooperate. The mind gets itchy and emotions start to bubble up. Next thing you know, tears are streaming down your face—and you may have no idea why!  

At this point, some people are tempted to walk away from their practice.  But this emotional discomfort is a sign that things are beginning to shift. Instead of giving up, resolve to keep up.  Allow yourself to go through this transformation that is beginning. 

 Here are some tips for keeping up when the discomfort sets in.

 1. Sit with it.  Keep a journal and notice the shifts. A journal will help you identify certain emotions and reactions. Learn to differentiate between pain and discomfort, and don’t run from discomfort. It WILL subside. Have faith in the universe and allow yourself this journey.

 2. Let yourself heal.  Emotional discomfort is real, and you should honor it. Try chanting Ra Ma Da Sa, and don’t be afraid to send the healing energy to yourself. Or find another healing meditation that resonates with you; Kundalini Yoga offers plenty.

Take a listen to Ashana’s 31 minute Ra Ma Da Sa featuring crystal singing bowls!

 3. Increase your personal practice, or sadhana. Yes, commit to MORE Kundalini yoga and meditation, not less, to alleviate the pain.  If you’ve been practicing 31 minutes a day, double that to 62 minutes (as the meditation allows).  You may find that your discomfort initially increases, but it will soon begin to subside.

 4. Do Sat KriyaThis extremely powerful kriya will release blocks in your lower chakras, which is where we hold many of our fears and insecurities. As we start to open up the lower triangle, we allow the Kundalini energy to rise up the spine. When the Kundalini energy moves up toward the upper chakras, we begin to feel the bliss of our connection to the universe. Start with 3 minutes a day and build up from there. You will notice a change very quickly!

Emotional discomfort, like physical discomfort, is transitory.  When practicing a kriya, you know that when you lower your arms, the discomfort is gone.  Similarly, emotional discomfort eventually fades away when you lower your defenses. Through time, you’ll notice that you’re having more good moments and fewer uncomfortable moments.  You’ll notice that things in your life begin to come together in ways you hadn’t anticipated.  It all comes down to keeping up with the practice. Kundalini Yoga is a journey, and with grit and resolve, you will find many rewards.

 

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Julie Eisenberg

Julie Eisenberg (Jiwan Shakti Kaur) is a Level 2 Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer. She is the owner of LIghthouse Yoga Center (www.lighthouseyogacenter.com), Washington, DC’s largest Kundalini Yoga Studio. Jiwan Shakti started practicing yoga in the mid-1990s as a way to decompress from a stressful job and since then, she has dedicated herself to sharing the teachings with anyone who will listen. Over the years, as her practice deepened and evolved, Jiwan Shakti began to understand yoga as a tool of personal transformation and empowerment. She teaches yoga to the homeless and to low-income Spanish-speaking immigrants in the Washington region, and she thoroughly believes in the transformative power of the practice.

1 Comment

  1. Great article and I couldn’t agree more. Kundalini Yoga often pushed me too the edge and I often feel… worse after yoga sessions, emotionally I mean. I think it’s because KY really confronts you with your darker stuff and that’s very uncomfortable. I remember an interview with Maya Fiennes in which she explained that her husband often told her at the beginning of her yoga journey to stop doing KY, because it (seemed to) increased her negative stuff… guess we all have to work through our shadows! Thanks for the read!

    Reply

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