Our teaching of kundalini yoga
In a Nutshell
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan (Harbhajan Singh Khalsa)
We teach Kundalini Yoga as it was taught by Yogi Bhajan (Harbhajan Singh Khalsa), the tantric master who brought this type of yoga from India (Punjab) To North America (1st appearance : Toronto 1968) .
This “technology” as it was described by the master is a subtle, gentle and powerful tool . If practiced with attention and connection to oneself, it can make miracles, in relaxation, transformation and expansion.
We have learned, during our education and our teaching experience, that it’s our responsibility, as teachers, to create the proper conditions for the students to reach the full potential of the benefits of this practice.
The Core of Yogi Bhajan’s Teachings
Our teaching follows not only the structure, patterns, series and depth of Yoga Bhajan’s teaching but more importantly, it follows Yoga Bhajan’s core education, that every teacher surpasses him/herself in
- teaching with his/her open heart, offering the best of his/her humanity
- willingly serving, beyond his/her personal needs interfering
So just understand, with the grace of being a Kundalini Yoga teacher there’s a vastness of your heart which must go with it. Yogi Bhajan – July 26 1996
That’s the pride of a teacher: that he has the privilege to serve another student, because somebody served him. Yogi Bhajan – July 22 1996
Anand Sharabi (Jean Jacques Rigou) – the french master
Unfortunately we did not have the chance to meet Yogi Bhajan in person, he left this world on October the 6th 2004. But we had the chance to meet one of his disciple, who had become a master of his own when we met him.
Anand Sharabi, when he was Yogi Bhajan’s disciple, did not stop his understanding of Yoga Bhajan’s teaching at the level of the Form (Nam), he wanted to understand the essence of his teaching (Sat). And it’s through a long and arduous journey that he finally did attain this goal, therefore his enlightenment.
A Teacher gives you an experience; a preacher gives you philosophy. Without experience you can never become a Teacher, you become a parrot. There’s a difference between a wise Teacher and a wise parrot Teacher. They ‘quack quack’ everything, they know everything, they can talk about everything, but there’s never an experience. Yogi Bhajan – July 22 1996
Anand Sharabi, carried on the work started by Yogi Bhajan, the transmission of the techniques and wisdom of the past. He transmitted this as a master, not as a parrot that repeats the form (Nam), but as a master who creates new forms (Nam) as vehicle of the essential (Sat) he can perceive.
A Yoga of the Origins
Kundalini Yoga is one of the ancient yoga practices. That means it still contains all the elements of pure yoga : posture, mudras, attention focus, breathwork, bhandas, mantras, etc…
Since the Kundalini Yoga that we teach has been passed from master to master along the years down to us directly, it still carries the aliveness and actuality that will allow you to experiment a “real yoga teaching”.
Our teaching is faithful to Yogi Bhajan original teaching and we benefit from the live master’s teaching and supervision of Anand Sharabi (Jean Jacques Rigou).
Body – mind Practice
Kundalini yoga is a dynamic yet meditative yoga, particularly profound in its effects. It is based on bodily practice (use of static and dynamic postures), breathing (by various techniques), and integrates relaxation and meditation. In this practice the physical, psychological and spiritual levels are conceived as interdependent and are worked together, in coordination.
The goals of Kundalini yoga are varied: its practice activates the circulation of vital energy which is regenerated for a better physical and mental balance.
- It activates the creative energies at the physical leven by strengthening the immune system and stimulating self-healing systems.
- Psychologically it provides techniques to mentally regenerate, relieve stress, refocus and emotionally pacify.
These goals are achieved by specific actions on the physiological and psychological aspects of the body-mind that acts on blood chemistry, the nervous system, the endocrine system and brain functions. It is a yoga of the origins, and in this, it combines in the corpus of its techniques all the elements of the other yogas.
THE KUNDALINI YOGA
The teaching of Yogi Bhajan
The Tantric teaching emphasizes the ability of everyone to transform his/her body into a “divine” body.
Kundalini is an essential power present in everything, in every living being. This force can only be understood by observing the natural phenomenon around us and in us.
Kundalini is a power that creates, for everything, every living being, an evolution towards a higher level of complexity, of freedom, of consciousness. As such, there is an evolution of aliveness stating from the rock up to the ground, from the ground up to the vegetable, from the vegetable up to the animal, from the animal up to the human, from the human up to the new human, and beyond.
The awakening and channeling of this energy to the highest centers of consciousness in man is the goal of all practices related to Kundalini-Yoga.
Seen from the tantric science point of view, the individual being, as a reflection of the macrocosm, is organized around three functional levels. Each level represents a level of vibration more or less “dense” of the primordial substance, “Prakriti”. These levels can be defined as:
- the physical level (material body),
- the psychic level, affectivity and intellect (astral and mental body) itself engages in a higher level,
- the spiritual level (the causal body) that yogis call the reflection of the “infinite self”.
Each level uses in its way the cosmic energy, Prana, or life force.
The transition from one level to another is ensured by subtle organs (energy centers acting as transformers) called the Chakras. The Chakras are the main elements of the human constitution to which the tantric yogis refer, and it is through them that the body is transformed into a microcosm.
The stages of yogic realization must lead to the fundamental distinction between individual consciousness and universal consciousness. It is from the individual consciousness that emanates the personality (or “me”, sometimes also called “ego”); this is the place of all conditioning, hence its illusory and problematic nature.
The individual consciousness is made up of fluctuating and tumultuous elements, most of which emanate from the unconscious impulses and which must be observed and healed.
Hence, we must achieve the suppression of fluctuations in our mental activity. It is the return of the individual consciousness to the universal consciousness (cosmic consciousness) from which it emanates.
This mental pacification test can be helped by the implementation of physiological techniques that affect the body and mental techniques such as meditation. The transformation of the body into a microcosmos is one of the starting points of all tantric formulas because man is conceived as a reflection of the macrocosm. It is this latter aspect that constitutes the science of Kundalini-yoga as a technique.
MEDITATION MUCH MORE THAN A PHILOSOPHY
MEDITATION Much more than a philosophy
Meditation and concentration exercises are addressed directly to the mind.
The purpose of these techniques is above all to promote the expansion of the field of consciousness. The first step is learning how to fix you attention.
It is a question of creating an internal state remaining undisturbed by the ordinary mental flow (scattered, discontinuous, diffused consciousness) by focusing attention on a single object which can be a center of energy, a region of the body, a respiratory rhythm or most often a sound or internalized vibration (Mantra).
In normal times our consciousness is always “troubled”, agitated by images, sensations, various associations caused by the subconscious impulses.
The feeling of being which is pure consciousness (lucidity, light) and joy, happiness (SAT, CHIT, ANANDA) which is the state of consciousness the highest a man can reach, is veiled by the incessant activity and uncontrolled mind leaving us at the mercy of what it conveys.
Meditation is the act by which the finite individual connects with the infinite. When the individual stops looking at his belly button, when he stops being manipulated by his ego, when he stops being this or that, to see himself and to consider others, the world, through the narrow grid of his limited self, he enters into meditation and it is only in this state that he reaches “the Being, Consciousness, Bliss” which is in him, the cosmic consciousness, or supra consciousness which is his inner light, the reflection of the omnipresent divine, the source of its creative potential, of its power to be.
Then there is no longer a past and a future, time and space become here and now and confer full wealth on each moment lived. Meditation is not a technique, it is above all a quality of being totally different when man becomes an inner harmony, it is then that he can vibrate in accordance with the wider harmony of the existence, of the cosmos.
The exercises and techniques are only paths to this state which is the goal of all meditation. Nevertheless there are various meditation techniques in Kundalini-Yoga that have a specific action on the three levels, physical, mental, spiritual, and that can be used for the purpose of accessing certain particular states of consciousness or to stimulate certain faculties related to the energy centers involved in each technique.
Universal energy, the life force that is at the origin of all life, all movement, all thought, is one of the fundamental concepts of yogic practice. The purpose it controlling Prana, to favor its free circulation, to increase the power of its flow, to be able to direct it and to use it with a maximum of effectiveness in order to apply it to the deployment of latent psychic energy in the body: Kundalini.
This will be the main activity of the yogini.
Kundalini-Yoga has, to develop this mastery, a method of its own in which we find practices of Hatha-yoga (control of the physical body): Asanas (postures) and Pranayamas (breath control), Raja-Yoga (mastery of the mental body) by concentrations and meditations, from Laya-Yoga (use of sound vibrations coordinated with breathing – Mantras). These awakening techniques interpenetrate and are often cleverly arranged in the same exercise which is then called: Kriy
This practice aims at controlling the vital energy (prana) at the level of the physical functions, which has the effect of a revitalization of the body.
A stimulation of all the organic functions. By purification the body ceases to be an obstacle on the path of spiritual realization.
The body emerges from inertia and opens up to the cosmic energies in which it is immersed. The body is the temple, the sanctuary of realization and must be considered as such. Everything must be done to keep it in perfect health and the follower must have a positive and receptive attitude towards this divine instrument.
As a material extension of psychic expression, the body must radiate the joy of being itself. This purification and control of the body is obtained by Asanas.
Prana, vital energy, bio-motor is absorbed into the body by breathing. The breath control has the effect of purifying the nervous circuits and invigorating Breathing, its rhythm and intensity, are correlated with different states of health, consciousness and emotion.
Breathing is a crossroads where physical, mental and spiritual activities meet.
Any state of consciousness induces a specific form of breathing: a depressive state for example, induces a superficial breathing, during the anger, the breathing becomes strong and powerful but uncontrolled, the state of inner peace is linked a long and deep breathing etc. ..
To control the physical and to control the mind therefore requires the control of the Breath.
The process of control and intensification of breathing is called Pranayama, it leads first of all to the regulation of psychosomatic mechanisms.
By learning how to use the entire capacity of the lungs one learns to charge Prana’s body, so one has more energy and therefore more vitality which translates into a greater capacity for self-control and creativity. At another level, the additional contribution of Prana will allow the purification of the system (etheric or pranic body) supporting the physical and mental activity.
A pranayama is generally used with each posture (asana) and is often accompanied by a “Mudra” (gesture of the fingers) and sometimes “Bhandas” (internal muscle contractions).
Mantra means “that which gives liberation of thought”. The mantra is above all a specific sound vibration, which has a precise action on the body / mind system and acts on the etheric body. Each mantra, according to its consonance, vibrates and stimulates an area of the body or brain in relation to each chakra. When the mantra is recited in a high tone (japa) or pronounced mentally (ajapa-japa) it can also serve to unify the psyche, the body and the mind through concentrated consciousness.
The sound of the mantra can be pronounced on the tip of the tongue (hardhay) it is the sound of the communion between two beings. “Nabhi” is the sound that comes from the region of the navel, it is the sound of power and Anhata is the infinite sound that is everywhere in the universe. There are many Mantras and each has its own qualities, rhythms and effects.
The combination of sound, resonance and rhythm produces an expansion of consciousness that positively channels mental attitudes. Each sound of the mantra is charged with energy and creates stimulating vibrations in the inner consciousness. The power of the Mantra depends on its correct execution and the level of consciousness of the one who utters it.
The vibration of the Mantra must be felt inside and outside and allows one to blend into the ambient vibratory field and immerse himself in going beyond the “normal” consciousness and its limits. When one makes the Mantra echo in this way he becomes Japa. Japa awakens Tapa (the inner psychic heat of Prana); it is Tapa that purifies and revitalizes the subtle nervous system (nadis), the vital currents in the body.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan
We teach Kundalini Yoga as it was taught by Yogi Bhajan (Harbhajan Singh Khalsa), the master who brought this type of yoga from India (Punjab) To North America (1st appearance : Toronto 1968) .
Our teaching follows not only the structure, patterns, series and depth of Yoga Bhajan’s teaching but more importantly, it follows Yoga Bhajan’s core education : teaching with our opened hearts, willing to serve.
If we rise for tomorrow, make ourselves valuable, help others, serve others, talk to others, open people’s minds and hearts, share their dreams, and serve them in one way or the other as we can—that will be very pleasant to everybody’s soul 12/29/02
That’s the pride of a teacher: that he has the privilege to serve another student, because somebody served him. July 22 1996
So just understand, with the grace of being a Kundalini Yoga teacher there’s a vastness of your heart which must go with it. July 26 1996
In the Raaj Yog, or what is commonly called Kundalini Yoga, in this Shakti Yoga, any teacher who changes the teachings for any reason, destroys himself or herself. August 1, 1996
A Teacher gives you an experience; a preacher gives you philosophy. Without experience you can never become a Teacher, you become a parrot. There’s a difference between a wise Teacher and a wise parrot Teacher. They ‘quack quack’ everything, they know everything, they can talk about everything, but there’s never an experience. July 22 1996