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beginning yoga videos Archives - Aquarian Yogi™

The Most Important Thing I Learned at 3HO Summer Solstice – How To Get Through Every Block.

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I kept hearing the answer to the sutra ‘There is a way through every block” even before Summer Solstice. Love. Over and over again. Love.

My first Solstice I had to dig real deep to get there and to get through it but I felt at home, everything familiar. When I told people it was my first Summer Solstice after 15 years of Kundalini Yoga everyone always seemed surprised. I know many people in the community around the world, this blessing made the experience so very full and also very challenging. I felt my weakness, frailty, and pain were on display.

Each day I was confronted with blocks, with circumstances highlighting deep seated fears and painful places. My need to fix things, obsession with perfection – in everything, fear of chaos and the unknown, doubt, not doing enough, making mistakes, and hurting others unintentionally because of my own feelings.

The experience brought an immersion into peace, a commitment to honoring my bodies needs, to say no, to create boundaries, to keep up, to give and love even through pain and doubt. I recognized my deep need to give, and be loyal, and to fully appreciate the grace and beauty of my own radiant smile that touches peoples hearts deeply.

Almost every day I hitched up or down the mountain, some days both. There is no other time or place I would consider doing it, but it was part of the experience and plan to connect with more people, to gain sparkling nuggets of divine wisdom.

Leading up to Tantric I was told how important it is for us to heal the generational karma so that we can break the chains of karmic bondage and fulfill our destiny. The final day of Tantric we chanted Akal, the air thickened with the energies of the souls connected to us. What laid out before me was the importance of generational healing that transcends any obligation in the physical. The work we do as yogis is profound, the soul clearing, the karmic purifying is the reason I incarnated into a family I have never quite understood, felt so much turmoil from, could always palpably see the entanglement of illusion, meanwhile resisting it every minute.
White Tantric Yoga, Summer Solstice Sadhana, Ram Das Puri, New Mexico, June 24, 2014.

Photographs © Andy Richter. Andy is currently immersed in a photographic exploration of yoga that will take form as a book in the coming years. The journey continues to lead him into the presence of great masters, to ascetics meditating in caves, to massive gatherings of humanity and always to a deeper knowledge and experience of yoga.To see more of his work, please visit www.andyrichterphoto.com.

I saw the light of love and partnership, the possibility for me in the smiling face of a beautiful child. The last day of the festival I hitched up with Sat Siri of Ra Ma Da Sa Institute. Sitting in the backseat with her beautiful daughter, her eyes on my face, and holding my hand against her heart brought home what I discovered in day two of Tantric.

When I am asked if I want children I always, very particularly say no. My attitude against something tied to my perspective and experience of relationships, and family was a massive block to finding peace and happiness in those realms. That fear, taken on from generations of karma and my own parents experiences passed onto me was wedge in my destiny. What I felt, in a wave of release and love was the possibility, and heart felt desire to have children, and the faith and hope of the possibility of that fulfillment.

While Solstice was extremely painful, while I was confronted very obviously with challenge, I will be back next year (and not just because I anticipate my debut album to be released). There is no other stronger, more sacred experience I have been through that has given me the opportunity of healing, of forgiveness, and growth. And meanwhile I am still crying over its loss, pain, and beauty…I am basking in its joy, and infinite love, its breaking open of my heart. While I am still feeling pangs of hurt, having moments of serious wailing and weeping, it is the way through, and part of the process for me. Healing generational karma can be a tough job, but it is a great soul service, one made with love and devotion.

 

Healing Meditation Techniques: 4 Methods To Enhance Your Practice

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Meditation can be optimized and greatly enhanced with the practice of the Body Locks, muscle contractions intentionally held at the end and sometimes during meditation. An important part of Kundalini Yoga, the locks consolidate the effects of our practice, optimizing our experience to promote powerful healing and strength.

TheLocksBhandas

Dr. Sham Rang discusses how to and when to apply the body locks in this latest video part of our Beginner Basics Series.

 

Innocence Is Not Lost – My Story of Sexual Abuse and Yoga

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Imagine you’re sitting at a holiday dinner table with your mother, daughter, niece, an aunt and a cousin. Look around the table at the faces of the women in your life that you love and admire. One of the women sitting at this table has been sexually abused. The statistic is about one in five women. Could this be considered of epidemic proportion?

What about men? This isn’t just about women being the victims. The men deserve equal attention. Why on the whole is it men as the victimizer? Why do they do it, and how do we change it?

The sexualization of girls in children’s shows and in Halloween costumes, the sexual exploitation of women AND men in the sale of items such as cologne, cars, and the mundane and typically wholesome cup of soup, says so much about our skewed and sexualized society. Often the scales are tipped to one end of the spectrum or another – out of balance and misunderstood. Either we are repressing our sexuality, misunderstanding it and saying it’s wrong or outright exploiting it.

We are born sexual beings but many of us are taught that it is wrong to feel this energy; sexual energy, kundalini, the core of the creative force. Even Mary had Jesus through immaculate conception and was blessed enough to to forgo the sin of sex. Sex is psychologically shamed in cultures and religions around the world. Yogi Bhajan talked about the misunderstanding and denial of sexual energy.

Sexual energies are not shameful, they are the force of life and when purified fill us with beauty and radiance. We are born with this energy and we feel it. We grow up asking questions, experimenting in our blindness of overwhelming feelings of misunderstood temptation. This sets us up for tough learning lessons later on.

I have read several articles by yoga teachers having helped students recover from sexual abuse, but not anyone’s personal story and how a yoga and meditation practice helped. So I’ll tell you mine.

My stepfather recorded me taking showers and undressing in the bathroom through a hole in the ceiling where a bathroom fan used to be. I was 15 when I finally discovered it. He would come into my bedroom, which was more his office then my bedroom, and at 4 and 5 am pay bills, write letters, etc meanwhile slamming drawers and doors to purposely make noise to wake me. I was a twelve year old who had to wake up for school the next day. Stacks of adult magazines greeted me the first time I went into the basement, shelves and an office filing cabinet full of magazines with naked women on the cover. I would find him at night, after we had all gone to bed watching adult movies. There was more… but I have painted the picture.

He may have been kind in the eyes of some, but in mine my stepfather was a tyrant. He was mean, manipulative, authoritative and afraid. He was not a kind man to me, but I have compassion because I do understand sometimes people have to fight against who they are, against the hand that they inherited and it is not easy. Society and family genetics can deal us a harsh reality to overcome and find peace in. Some peoples brains just don’t work right from birth. For my own peace of mind I have great compassion for the victimizer and the victim. I think truly no one wants to be a tortured soul. My stepfather is gone now and though I know people who see him in a different light, and I am happy his life had some grace in it, this is my truth. I would wish he, and all have the same opportunity of healing as I do. I don’t think he did, but that grace has fallen to me. I’m grateful every day for it.

Sexual abuse is not just physical. It can be quiet, manipulative, lurking in hidden places shrouded in shadows, feeding on our fear and weaknesses. It poisons families. Growing up I do not remember hearing anything addressed in school, or see much about sexual abuse or the relationship between men and women. Even when the entire fifth grade saw me in a bra accidentally and then greeted me with 50 whistling and hooting kids did any adult come to me and speak to me, or tell them to stop.

Over the years my Kundalini Yoga practice has taken my anger and turned it into radiance. Each breath of life in each meditation, and movement of each kriya has taken a piece of pain and turned it into a light to shine on truth. Kundalini Yoga brings me to a place of neutrality, and acceptance. It has changed me. It has given me courage, healing and hope. It has allowed me to be the forgiving, and kind person I want to be! The only way to know it is to experience. To take the risk, put yourself into the hands of something greater, give yourself totally to it. Trust that you can.

Our April Monthly Free Class is a meditation to Conquer Self Animosity that I have been practicing this past month. I have also been working with the meditation to Burn Inner Anger and the kriya to Relieve Inner Anger with the intention to connect with repressed anger = inflammation in my body, and 11 recitations of Sopurkh. Onward to fully digest all that anger, and emotion!

The yoga and meditation to relieve anger has been powerful and a little painful…but it is worth it. When I have built up my practice of the kriya and meditation for several days in a row I have had intense stomach sensitivity and tiredness, but I feel lighter.

We chant Sopurk to pray for the men in our lives, but also to pray for ourselves. Sopurkh is said to be for soul mates and lovers, but what it does, in my experience is balance our relationship to the masculine energy, clearing and transforming all that may have weighted us down. It has renewed my perspective and released unseen unforgiveness I had towards the father figures in my life, and the men of my past relationships. Find out more about Sopurkh here.

Iv been seeing more clearly how the relationships of my youth has shaped my adult life. They effected my self esteem, ability to make decisions, and made creating a solid foundation for my life challenging. However, I’m very blessed that I have learned through these experiences and people, the person that I do not want to be, and that the divine has provided me with the tools to be who I really want to. A kind, loving, and strong woman.
 

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Kundalini Yoga Beginner Basics – Free Video Series – Relaxation Postures

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The next video in our free Kundalini Yoga Beginner Basics series all about relaxin! Something most of us could use a little more of in our lives. The Beginner Basics series will help you if your new to yoga learn more about attending a class and structure your independant practice at home.

Sign up for our FREE MEMBERSHIP to get  the PDF instructional sheets with each video.

If you have any other questions about starting a Kundalini Yoga practice – LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW and we will make a video!

Kundalini Yoga Beginner Basics – Free Video Series – Sitting Postures

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The next video in our free Kundalini Yoga Beginner Basics series is now up.  The Beginner Basics series highlights information helpful to know when starting a Kundalini Yoga practice. This one is all about sitting, because we do A LOT of that in Kundalini Yoga.

You see a lot of sitting in the practice because this helps draw energy up our spine into our higher centers where we are trying to get it to go. Where we can live from our heart and our intuition.

The thing I really love about Kundalini Yoga is that it is truly for everyBODY. You can modify practically any pose so that you can do it to your best ability.

Sign up for our FREE MEMBERSHIP to get  the PDF instructional sheets with each video.

If you have any other questions about starting a Kundalini Yoga practice – LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW and we will make a video!



Kundalini Yoga Beginner Basics – Free Video Series – Tuning In/Closing

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I have worked at several studios and come across something universally at each; people afraid to start a yoga practice. Our own mental blocks create so much resistance…we are our own toughest critics and worst enemies.

Start by just jumping in the puddle – not the ocean.

The thing I really love about Kundalini Yoga is that it is truly for everyBODY. You can modify practically any pose so that you can do it to your best ability. Heck, even just going to a Kundalini Yoga class and not being able to do much other then breathing and the layout is going to benefit you!

We have a series of Kundalini Yoga Basics, free short video classes on all the aspects of beginning a practice we are working on to answer these question and give people the information they need to know upon starting a yoga practice. We will cover sitting postures, tuning in and closing, mantra, mudra, relaxation, chakras and more.

Keep a look out as we post each video. Sign up for our FREE MEMBERSHIP to get all the videos, for updates and to get the PDF instructional sheets with each video that go into further detail.

The Real Reason We Give People The Middle Finger

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We’ve all done it. We’ve been on the receiving, and giving end of this popular show of aggravation. What most comes to mind is it’s use in fits of road rage.

I remember driving with my father when I was a young girl. I was always terrified to see him get red faced with anger at other drivers when they were not doing what he wanted, when he wanted, or as fast as he would have liked.

In yoga class last week the teacher framed this common circumstance, in relation to yogic knowledge. We were doing a meditation using the Saturn finger, which is the middle finger and represents patience and tolerance. The teacher so aptly put it, this is what people do, when they have no patience or tolerance left, and how amazing it is that all of humanity seems to unconsciously know what this finger represents!

I do my best to shrug it off when on the receiving end. The driver is frazzled, late for an appointment, stressed from a long day at work. They ‘run out’ of patience. Time holds no abundance for them in that moment. Here we are, not driving fast enough, taking a turn to slow, when other drivers think they have the right of way, and so it goes up, the middle finger.

I have given this myself, though it has been quite a long time. Thanks to Kundalini Yoga, I saw a monumental shift in my driving attitude. It was one of the first results I noticed from my practice. Upon reflection. every time I have presented this behavior it has been unnecessary. Frustrated, impatient, or reacting to the other persons behavior I have ‘lost’ my patience.

When you’re in this situation, and feeling the inspiration to vent your spleen, instead of raising that finger up in a pissed off rage, try Shuni Mudra, the “seal of patience.” formed by the thumb and the middle Saturn finger. Shuni Mudra, encourages patiences and supports thoughts of a noble nature, it turns our negative emotions into positive ones. Breath deep, and let the light guide your way on.

Sat Nam

A Radical Cure For A Broken Heart

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I fell in love once, so deeply in ‘love’. Every part of my body surged with energy. My hands shook. My heart trembled. My body burst into a million stars that lighted up my sky. I dreamed of a future, one I never knew I even wanted. My mind, almost all day, every day was sick with love and dreams. Fragmented, I flowed with these overwhelming feelings in an ocean that embraced me in its watery swells. I had met a man. I fell fast, and I fell HARD.

We walked along the canal in Venice, little twinkles of light bounced of the tiny waves of water lapping against the cement sides of the canal, little angels blessing us. The sound of the waves of the Pacific mingled with laughter and chatter making beautiful music.

It was a dream…that soon became a nightmare, because I drowned. I had actually been drowning the entire time, I just could not see it. I drowned in the darkness that inevitably followed my sweet dream, that sucked the light and life out of my stars, into a black void, my horizon was again pitch.

It has happened to us all hasn’t it? Heartbreak. Still to this day I have an old kind of ache in my heart when I think about it. How it affected my body, my heart was ripped out of my chest when it ended (all three or five times, we couldn’t manage to establish good boundaries, but that is another blog post).

When this happens, we always interrogate ourselves with a mountain of questions – If only things had gone a different way, then I would be satisfied. If only I had done this, or said that, then he/she would not have left. Rubbish, and we know where rubbish goes; in the recycling. That is the egos trick isn’t it? Looking for satisfaction, looking for love, as if it can only be gotten from outside ourselves.

Truth be told it took years to recover from that relationship. In fact I only just recovered, and at the expense of another relationship. Which its failing, I have blamed myself for, and my inability to let go of the past, even though I wanted to and made it a priority to do so. I know both notions are not rooted in truth, or a perspective that will yield nurturing results.

Even though this person has been in my life, a good friend, there was this weight and sadness that lived among the perfect tranquility of an innocent friendship, but it only lived within me, and had nothing to do with our past. But I did something, as I do with all my relationships. I used it to love myself more, to expand my experience of myself, and my strength, and to learn. To heal the separation from the communication and love of my soul. When someone pushes me away, there is one place I will go. To myself. I sit, pray, meditate, and chant. I do whatever I need to use that experience to:

  • Learn strength and compassion. To grow stronger with each disappointment. To face it with love for myself and the other person.
  • Burn baby burn. My karma.
  • To be thankful I even got to feel that way once, twice. Whatever it was, however it was, whomever it was. To remember how beautiful our emotions are. That we must take them all, accept them all, and use them.

Write a song, a book, paint a painting, take a photograph. Take your sorrow and throw it to the wind, let the sun soak it up and turn it into a flower. It’s energy. Be a magician.

Stifling and burying emotion under layers of resentment is a symbolic death of the heart. It blackens and burns it until it eats away at itself, it cries in its cage and weeps to be let free. The heart begs for love, for recognition, and for warm tenderness. Sometimes it is hard to even know how to shower love on ourselves. How can we create that energy if we are so low. Luckily, I have yoga and meditation.

It is possible to give yourself this love and tenderness, any time you are in need of it. And a beautiful thing is, you’re not going anywhere. You will always be your own best friend, and your greatest lover.

 

Our class of the month, all about using that ache of love, to connect with ourselves, and all that is, because all that is, is divine.

Some science…

The heart is a wielder of cosmic energy. The electrical component of our heart’s electromagnetic field is 60 times greater in amplitude then the brain and it permeates every cell of our body. The magnetic component of the heart’s electromagnetic field is approximately 5000 times stronger than our brain and the magnetic field can be detected several feet away from our body. A neural communication network links our heart to our brain and body and it is this network from which the heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via the electromagnetic field interactions. It is the heart that generates our body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field.

Our emotional state is communicated throughout the body through the heart’s electromagnetic field. As we experience different emotions the rhythmic beating patterns of the heart change. Positive emotions of love, gratitude, and appreciation create smooth waves, ordered in coherent beating patterns. ‘Changes in the heart’s beating patterns create corresponding changes in the structure of the electromagnetic field radiated by the heart’. The rhythmic field of the heart has a powerful influence on processes throughout the body. ‘Brain rhythms naturally synchronize to the heart’s rhythmic activity, and during sustained feelings of love or appreciation, the blood pressure and respiratory rhythms, among other oscillatory systems, entrain to the heart’s rhythm.’ It is the heart that generates the pace and pulse of the rhythm of life.

Fulfill Your Longing For Love

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Aquarian Yogi celebrates February, a month known for love and intimate relationship, with a free class with Dr. Sham Rang Singh Khalsa.

With the debut of Aquarian Yogi, those of us involved in building this project have seen many changes and transformations in our lives, and within this space we are birthing for Kundalini Yoga. As things often end in our ever-changing lives, these endings, though often difficult, herald the birth of the new. Kundalini Yoga gives us the strength to keep up, to connect with ourselves, and to navigate these storms with a strong sail.

We all at times feel a longing for love in our lives. The love of a departed lover, a wanted child, or simply a friend that is near and dear to our hearts. If this longing we feel is a schism in our connection with our self, can we use this longing to deepen our love and connection to the infinite grace?

To be human is to feel weakness, fear, and a myriad of emotions and thoughts we sometimes see as sordid reflections of our human condition. Recognize these emotions and thoughts, love them…then use them to fuel your own radiance.

We sail through waters of emotions, swaying with the gales of heavy storms, and the soft breezes of our sunny days. The road can feel like a never ending tempest, but realize that may only be the purging of what no longer serves you, so that you can realize and know all that you really are. Close your eyes and meditate on the trees, listen for the sound of God in the wind. Sit, breath and bring your hands in prayer at your heart and chant Ong Sohung to call on the creative consciousness that you are.

As I have edited each video in the Radiant Self Healing series each class has held significant coincidence in its message for me. This class, where Sham Rang examines the energy of the Kapha Dosha, is a message of divine love – using the longing for love in our lives, where we ache for connection, into divine love and radiance. We can bless ourselves, and fill the chalice of our own heart.

Thank you for being a part and supporter of spreading the sacred teachings of Kundalini Yoga. May we be blessed and serve with joyous devotion.

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