Kundalini Yoga is a powerful practice that can change your energetic vibration in as little as 3 minutes. The only catch is that it looks pretty eccentric to someone who’s not familiar - a group of people with everyone dressed in white, topped with a turban and chanting their hearts out. Yup, it can be rather intimidating to join a group like this when you have no idea what you’re doing. This is probably the reason why so many people haven’t tried Kundalini before. I myself ended up trying it by mistake - I was at the Bali Festival and it was named something else so I walked into it unassumingly. And you know what, it was one of the most incredible movements of energy within myself that I’ve every experienced with yoga! The feeling was so cooool.
In this episode, Sat Shakti Kaur (also known as Jessica Banks), owner of the Kundalini studio Joy Yoga in London shares her time with us to teach us about Kundalini. She explains the “weird” practices that we see sometimes like the white clothes, white turbans and why sometimes people walk out with a different name. She teaches us how these tools can help get us deeper into the practice. “I used to think some of the practices were weird to when I started” Jessica relates. For her, the discovery of Kundalini yoga was through classes that were offered at a gym. She soon
realized all the benefits that this practice had to offer. Integrating Kundalini into her life has enabled her to overcome depression, increase creativity and productivity and enjoy a sense of contentment in life.
Yogi Bahjan: Travelled from India to North America in 1969 to introduce Kundalini to North America
Before that, Kundalini was a secretive practice only passed down by word of mouth
Kundalini is known as the yoga of awareness and also referred to as the mother of yoga because it encompasses all 22 forms of traditional yoga including postures, breath work, and meditation. It can be done or with or without mantras
“Kundalini” refers to the energy in ourselves (ie. Chi, prana…)
Some benefits of Kundalini are:
It refines your interactions with other people and helps you let go and become more aware
You become more in tune with the world around you and your own intuition
There are many practices in Kundalini that could seem intimidating but it’s most helpful to see them as tools. None of these are requirements and you can adopt what works for you:
Wearing all white: white is a color of purity, divinity and it reflects. Helps you go deeper into meditation. Expands projection (teachers are expected to wear white so that they can project)
Darker colors like black on the other hand absorb and can absorb negativity
Turban: the idea of having a head covering is to contain energy and higher vibration. When you wrap your head in something like a turban it affects the blood flow to the brain and helps you think and meditate better.
These are differences that you may not notice right away but as you continue this Yoga of Awareness, you will begin to notice the subtle difference.
There are other types of Kundalini hats that you can wear besides a turban (there’s a whole online market for it). The ideas is to cover the whole crown of your head including the hairline. All affects electromagnetic field.
Names: being given a name is not unique to Kundalini yoga but how you get it is. Somebody meditates based on your numerology and it blesses your destiny.
In Kundalini yoga, the energy reside from the base of your spine and is the energy of creation (babies, projects, art….) . To use it in a a higher consciousness, then you must move the energy up
The recipes are used exactly as Yogi Bhajan has taught them. Nothing is added or subtracted
You can work up to the higher chakras in one practice
It includes a physical practice then meditation and chanting
Kundalni kriyas (movements) helps the energy rise but also balances the chakras
“kriya” = completed act
There are thousands of kriyas
The kriyas movements aren’t held. It’s continual movement incorporated with breath. It’s all about the movement of energy
There are kriyas where you shake and it helps release trauma/fear and your responses to them
One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:
“Just keep going. No matter what, keep the forward momentum moving. Sometimes progress may be frustratingly slow, it may even appear to be going backwards. You learn through mistakes. There may be setbacks beyond your control. Working through these blocks can be part of what makes the end product all the more great.”
Jessica learned this lesson as she tried to build her studio. It took her 2 years to find a space but she thought it’d only take a couple of months. She started teaching anyway and hosted teachers who were visiting.
It was Jessica’s practice that helped keep her going to. It kept her centered, confident in herself and detached from outcome. At one point, she realized that she was already doing everything she wanted to do without having to have a space.
“We have a preconception of how we want things to be but it doesn’t’ mean that that’s what it needs to be”
What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?
“Don’t judge where you are. We all have good days and bad days, different strengths and weaknesses. You get out of it what you put in. If the practices come easy to you but you don’t put much effort or focus into it, you won’t get very far. Conversely, if it’s a challenge for you to sit still or to focus but you respect your limitations and keep trying, you’ll start get somewhere.
Make a commitment and just do it. No matter what. In Kundalini Yoga, with our personal practice – the yoga and meditation we do on our own at home every day - we tend to do things for 40, 90, or 120 days. Sometimes 1000 days. When you make that commitment and stick with it, no matter how lousy you may feel or unfocused, you can start to see real changes. You take back control of the mind. (It’s the mind that tells you can’t or shouldn’t do something) And you can start to tap into your highest potential.
If you think you’re starting late on this path, it may be that you weren’t ready for it any earlier.”
If you have any questions for Jessica or want to learn more, connect with her through: