Welcome to Kundalini Yoga. Like so many of us, something has drawn you here. Maybe it was the music (Ever heard of Snatam Kaur?). Or, maybe it was a book on Kundalini Yoga (Gurmukh’s book on pregnancy Bountiful Beautiful Blissful perhaps). It doesn’t matter how you found Kundalini Yoga. What matters is that you’re home now. This very precise and wonderful way of healing your heart and transforming your life is now a part of you. You may be a beginner, but you are still a Kundalini yogi.
In a 5,000-year-old science taught to us by Yogi Bhajan, where do you begin? It’s easy to look at such an expansive form of yoga (with over 5,000 meditations and 2,500 kriyas) and get overwhelmed. But you don’t have to. While the beginning of your journey is powerful, it can be quite simple.
If you are a Kundalini Yoga beginner, start slowly and add on a bit at a time (Or, like I did, you can dive into the deep end and pick it all up at once). This is all about you, and what’s right for you. With that said, if I had to sit down and talk with a beginner to Kundalini Yoga, this is what I would say.
1. Keep it simple.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by words like So Darshan Chakra Kriya and Rakhe Rakhanhar. Don’t worry. Soon enough, all these words and terms will begin to make sense to you. For now, you don’t need to know everything. Let the mysteriousness of it all be part of its charm. Don’t expect to learn everything all at once. Follow along in class, with a DVD, or a Kundalini Yoga e-course, as best you can. If you get mixed up or messed up, you haven’t failed. You have done very well by giving it a shot!
You don’t have to own all the perfect clothes, tie a gorgeous turban, have all the long mantras memorized. and be able to bend into a pretzel at the beginning. (If fact it’s quite all right if you never do these things.) It doesn’t make you a bad yogi or a bad student. Kundalini Yoga will meet you where you are and take you where you want to go. In fact, that’s 3HO’s (the mother Kundalini Yoga organizations) motto. Don’t worry if you don’t understand half the words coming out of a teacher’s mouth. Feel the experience that is happening within your body. Pay attention to your breath. Relax your body. Move and flow with the music. For a while, keep it simple.
2. Choose one thing to start.
You don’t have to master the entire Aquarian Sadhana and know 25 different meditations. As a beginner, one of the most powerful things you can learn is that any one meditation, kriya, or mantra can be an entire practice for you. Rather than trying to learn everything, you will be better served to learn one thing very well. There is a technology involved in doing one thing for 40 days, so choose one meditation, such as the Meditation to Open the Heart (“Sat Kartar”), featured in my book Yoga and Mantras for a Whole Heart, and practice that every day for 40 days. You can also join Spirit Voyage’s 40 Day Global Sadhanas, which bring together thousands of people all over the globe to practice together.
The Kundalini Transformation Toolkit Series from Spirit Voyage, which includes my book Yoga and Mantras for a Whole Heart, co-written with Karan Khalsa, and Yoga and Mantras for Prosperity, co-written by Karan Khalsa and GuruGanesha Singh, are great places to start. Each book has 5-6 meditations written very clearly and simply. The books include a CD with the appropriate music, so that you know how and what to sing while you are doing these meditations. Some of the meditations are a bit more challenging, so you can hold onto them for later, while some are very basic and perfect for beginners. (Remember that basic is still powerful.)
3. Make yourself comfortable.
It just won’t do to be uncomfortable in Kundalini Yoga. Make sure you can breathe and move in your clothes. If they make you self conscious, they aren’t right for this practice. True, it is recommended to wear white, but if you aren’t ready for that, it’s OK if you practice in another color that makes you comfortable. As you deepen your practice, you’ll find that wearing white comes more naturally to you. But comfy is always a priority.
4. Surround yourself with Kundalini Yoga music.
This is the easy part. Having transformational beautiful music playing around you is not only uplifting, it biochemically alters you, triggering the release of happy hormones. Browse the Kundalini Yoga music on SpiritVoyage, and find what appeals most to you. Many people find Kundalini Yoga through the angelic voice of Snatam Kaur.
Some other artists to explore include (but certainly are not limited to) GuruGanesha Singh, Gurunam Singh, Mirabai Ceiba, Nirinjan Kaur, Jai-Jagdeesh, and Harnam. If you’re completely new, I’d suggest Snatam Kaur’s Grace, because it includes “Ong Namo,” the mantra sung at the beginning of every Kundalini Yoga class (full mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo), and the Long Time Sun song sung at the end of every class.
5. Find other practitioners.
Finding inspiration in a group practice (and meeting other beginners!) is a powerful way to take your experience with Kundalini Yoga to the next level. Consider attending Sat Nam Fest, held three times a year on the west coast, east coast, and in Mexico. Sat Nam Fest is a 5-day Kundalini Yoga immersion experience where hundreds of yogis come together to chant and practice in a sacred, yet not intimidating, space.
If traveling just isn’t in the cards right now and you’re looking for a way to learn from master teachers, right in your home, consider enrolling in a Kundalini Yoga course through Spirit Voyage’s e-course platform – Kundalini Yoga U. Their first course, “The Fundamentals of Kundalini Yoga” begins on April 30, 2017!
Being a beginner to Kundalini Yoga is a beautiful and exciting stage of practice. Enjoy it right where you are. Someday, you’ll know more about the practice and have experienced it in a different way. But you’ll remember your time as a newbie with great enjoyment and gratitude. Have fun exploring a new world!
The Fundamentals of Kundalini Yoga is a 40-day online course that will transform your life from the inside out, led by 23 world-renowned master teachers of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It’s a journey through the core teachings of this transformative yogic technology. Discover how to ignite your inner power and develop strength, flexibility, and peace in your body, mind, and spirit. Enroll today!