I went on retreat about a week ago, the last step in my 200-hour Kundalini Research Institute Level 1 Certification program (sheesh, that’s a mouthful!), which means I am just about as “official” as a yoga teacher can be. It has been sort of a long road, this training, and I haven’t said much about it here because I never seem to feel like I’ve processed it enough to render a judgment. And, you know, there’s that whole non-judgment thing. I will share more at some point – some of the stories are too good not to share – but today, I’m thinking about what to say when people ask me about Kundalini Yoga. This always feels like kind of a tricky question, and one that I’m getting a lot more frequently these days. There isn’t a short answer.
In the end, I think the best explanation comes through experience, but not everyone who asks can be talked into going to a class with me (and I even have free class passes!). So in the meantime, I’ll share this quote from one of Yogi Bhajan’s first lectures in the United States, which came to me today in the Yoga Yoga newsletter:
Kundalini Yoga: An Adventure in Consciousness
Many do not understand the concept of yoga. Some think it is a religion. Some think it is physical exercise for health and some think it is a psychological system. All this is based on a misunderstanding of yoga. Yoga is simply a relationship. The word yoga comes from the biblical word, yoke, which in turn originated from the root word in Sanskrit, jugit. Both mean “joining together” or “to unite”. Yoga is the union of an individual consciousness with infinite consciousness. A yogi is a person who leans completely on the Supreme Consciousness, God, until they have merged their individual self with the Infinite Self. This is all.
Yoga is a technology that expands one’s awareness. It begins with the reality that every human mind has both Infinite and Creative potential. However, this unlimited potential can be limited according to one’s level of awareness. Awareness varies and gives one a variety of choices. To break the unconscious limits one needs a technology. That technology must expand the caliber and capacity of the mind to establish equilibrium to control the physical structure and experience the Infinite Self. The techniques of Kundalini Yoga create an owner’s manual for Human Consciousness. It explores your dimensions, depth, nature, and potential as a human. This is all that yoga means.
From The Aquarian Teacher Level 1 Instructor Textbook.
Hm. Yeah, that’s all. Don’t worry about yoga – all it is is just your dimensions, your depth, your nature, and your potential as a human. No big deal. (You see what I mean?)