Maximizing Your Experience
You can do Kundalini Yoga at any time of the day or night, but for best results you should maintain a daily practice or sadhana first thing in the morning, and before you eat. It is also important to practice in a clean, quiet space, reserved for this very purpose. Wear clean light-colored or white clothes of natural fibers. Covering your head with a white cotton cloth helps concentrate your energy, aiding your ability to focus. Bare feet are also recommended to help facilitate the flow of energy. In addition there are many nerve endings there that correspond to the different organs / parts of the body that are stimulated more effectively when barefoot.
Beginners and Beyond Section
Whether you are a complete beginner or already practicing Kundalini Yoga, start with the Beginners and Beyond section. (click on the drop-down menu to the right of the top menu bar on our Select Your Video page.) Here you will learn about some of the refinements that Guru Rattana has to share on how to enhance and deepen your practice. In particular the lessons Breathing Techniques and Inner Awareness and The Locks and Aligning Your Spine will prove invaluable in laying the foundations for your future practice. Study them well.
How You Make Progress
Each time you repeat a class notice the extent to which you are able to be more present, more aware of what you are feeling in your body and less distracted. Increasing your awareness is how you make progress from a beginner to a more advanced yogi.
Training is the Key
Becoming more aware requires training yourself to pay attention. If you perform the postures robotically and let your mind (and cell phone) distract you, your progress will be much slower. Doing the exercises is actually the easy part. Training your mind to pay attention to how you are feeling in your body is the major challenge - and the touchstone for monitoring your progress.
Personalize Your Practice
When you feel comfortable with the basics, move on to another class of your choice. Trust your intuition and inner guidance to pick a class that resonates with what you need at the moment. Every class will give you an experience and ways to refine your awareness skills. The important thing is to find a class that you feel comfortable with and want to practice for a period of time.
Initially you may choose to 'shop around.' But keep in mind that the long term goal is to go deep into your personal experience, which requires practicing a Kundalini Yoga kriya and meditation for a period of time as defined by Yogi Bhajan.
How Many Days?
To achieve an ever greater impact from a kriya, it is recommended that you do the same set daily for 40 days in a row. The formula offered by Yogi Bhajan is:
- 40 days breaks a habit
- 90 days installs a new habit
- 120 days encodes the habit
- 1,000 days leads to mastery
Your Sun Sign Will Direct You
The classes are organized around the elements or tattvas (air, fire, water, earth) and zodiac signs because these are the basic universal energies that we are all working with. Choose a class from the element of your Sun sign that addresses an issue or life challenge you are currently experiencing. This class will be most valuable for you to practice.
Discover and Know Yourself
This series of Inner Awareness classes is designed to help you discover and know yourself. The lecture for each class addresses basic human issues that we all face. The directives in each class teach you how to resolve inner conflict and find inner power and peace. Practice the classes of your choice with the goal of cultivating a deeper connection with yourself and to access inner peace and strength.
All Classes Are Relevant
Every class is relevant to everyone. We are live in a multi-dimensional universe and every individual is multifaceted. To facet our own diamond, we need to polish all aspects of our being - mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. We need to work with all the elements and face many life challenges. There is a lot to work with and to discover.
A Guide to Higher Consciousness
This series of classes is not simply a compilation of good information and great Kundalini Yoga kriyas. The classes are designed to guide you to higher consciousness. Each class gives you an opportunity to go deeper into your own being and to experience how your unique identity finds oneness in the beautiful and elegant Universe.
Let Your Body be Your Guide
Follow Guru Rattana best you can, but never overexert yourself, particularly when first starting your practice. Work within your capacity and work up to longer times by gradually strengthening the muscles needed to perform the exercise. Focus on activation and avoid exhaustion. Never force yourself into a position. Always listen to your body, and stop any time when you feel you have done enough. You can quietly focus your attention while waiting for Guru Rattana to complete the exercise. Releasing tension requires being kind to yourself. Everyone was a beginner once and, with consistent practice, improvement can be much faster than imagined.
Use Spaces to Cultivate Consciousness
After each exercise, Guru Rattana offers directives on how to focus your attention. The goal is to use the spaces between exercises to consciously cultivate expanded awareness and to ground the released energy in your body. The Tibetan bowl sounds are cues to look and listen within and to relax and be with the sensations and the breath in your body. The imagery provides cues to help evoke peaceful and relaxed emotional states.
The images relate to the feeling qualities of the four basic elements - water, earth, air and fire. The sound and visuals are guides to help you get in touch with your own sensory experiences.
The important thing is to use the spaces between the exercises to pay attention to the sensations in your body and the awakening in your mind.
Practice in Daily Life
The goal of practicing Kundalini Yoga is ultimately to live conscious and heart-centered lives. The real test of our progress is our ability to put what we are learning and experiencing into practice in our daily lives. For example, are we are able to interact from a peaceful inner space, not judge others, be empathetic and kind? The fun part really begins when we witness that as our inner reality shifts, our outer reality also changes.
All the kriyas and meditations in Guru Rattana Online are taken from her books and manuals - see list. Yogi Bhajan actively encouraged the production of her four original manuals, capturing much of the essence of his early classes. Since that time the range has been augmented by a number of others, covering different facets of the technology, and reflecting her insatiable commitment to spread the full glory of the teachings to every corner of our planet. Acquiring some of these publications will help broaden your knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of Kundalini Yoga. To see her complete collection, click here.
Additionally Guru Rattana has a free 24 lesson Online Course for Beginners, which can be found on our sister site - www.kundaliniyoga.org. This course will also help extend your understanding.
To study with a different but also very knowledgeable teacher, check out Nirvair Singh's excellent DVD Courses for Beginners on this Website.
The Inner Art of Awareness Training
Practicing Kundalini yoga and meditation techniques prepares and aligns our body, mind and emotions and helps us cultivate an awakened state. Half of the practice is doing the techniques. The other half is consciously directing our mind and sensory system to be present to what is happening to us as we shift frequencies.
AWARENESS TRAINING teaches us is how to:
- Pay attention to ourselves with all our senses - seeing, listening and feeling. Self-focus makes it possible to consolidate a sense of self and to develop a relationship with our Soul and the Divine within.
- Develop a subtle and expansive awareness with our feeling body. Being present to the subtle sensations of our emotional body keeps us grounded while we become more alert to the existence of the refined energies moving through our body.
- Focus inside our body/skin. Experiencing our body and skin as a container makes it possible to maintain our personal boundaries, stay grounded, contain our Self, and project a powerful presence.
- Maintain our center and focus inside our neutral mind. We have to switch into our neutral channel to break out of the box of our rational mind and merge our mind with the Infinite Mind. Then higher states of meditation, healing and prayer are available to us.