Monday, 24 August 2015
About a year ago, a very kind and concerned friend sent me an article about Kundalini Yoga and its negative effects. I must admit, I was surprised by what I read - my experiences had been so very different that I wondered if the writer and I were using the same methods!
After thinking about the article and wondering where this apparently wide-spread concern about Kundalini Yoga and Meditation came from, I realised a few things.
It is dangerous.
Meditation is dangerous to your ego; it will crumble it.
Meditation is dangerous to your addictions; it will break them.
Meditation is dangerous to sleepwalking through life; it will wake you up.
Meditation is dangerous to your habits; it will change them.
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is a technology. Like any technology - cars, smart phones, television, microwaves, etc - it can be a double-edged sword. Technology can be used for amazing acts of good in the world, but it can also be a source of pain or trouble.
When you meditate regularly, your subconscious mind gets a deep clean. Sometimes, this can be difficult to deal with for a while! When I first started meditating, I was surprised and unprepared for the torrent of negative emotions that exploded out of me. I had gotten really good at suppressing them over the years, which was not the healthy way to manage my difficulties. When my mind woke up through daily meditation, it was able to quickly and efficiently release all that junk at once. I'll be honest - I thought I was going crazy for a couple of days. But after the storm died down, I felt amazing. I felt strong, and at peace. It was glorious.
The Kundalini yoga kriyas also have power to clear the subconscious and affect the physical body in significant ways. It is incredibly important to follow the instructions exactly - if an exercise is meant to last for 2.5 minutes, set your timer on your phone and do it for that time! If you are meant to rest for 5 minutes in the middle of the kriya, there is a reason for it.
Once, I was practicing a kriya in my living room and my children kept walking past, interrupting me, or climbing on top of me. I grew exasperated and ended the set before resting at the end for 8 minutes - I just got up and walked into a different room. Almost immediately, I felt sick to my stomach and had to lie down for a half hour in bed before I felt better. Yikes! I won't make that mistake again! A woman in one of my classes missed an entire page of exercises whilst doing a kriya (the pages were stuck together) and ended up suffering from a migraine for the rest of the day.
I suppose, after reading those experiences, one might infer that doing the kriyas and meditations is dangerous. I feel differently.
The benefits to my life of a daily practice of yoga and meditation have been more numerous than I can count. I am stronger in mind, body and spirit. I am happy, I am healthy and I am holy. People can see it in me - I have been called radiant and glowing by acquaintances that don't know about my daily practice. My children have benefitted from my patience, my creativity, my added energy and love of life. My husband sees the changes and is wholly supportive.
The fruits have been very delicious indeed. Is Kundalini Yoga & Meditation dangerous? Only to the darkness - now that I have turned on my light.