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Let me start out by saying that I am not an experienced Kundalini yoga practitioner. I have practiced some Kundalini yoga, I have been led by an inspiring teacher on occasion, it just wasn’t my training or my first love. I am open, however, and have loved what I have practiced.
I read online material in my fields of interest each morning. Yoga, meditation, addiction recovery, relapse prevention, and a little more yoga. I stand up, I stretch, I sit back down, read a little more and then meditate. (Earlier this year I tried to meditate before I sat down to catch up on the online world, but was unable to keep that commitment. I let it go.)
Recently one of the posts I was led to was a short meditation using a Kundalini practice. It was being utilized as a Meditation for Healing Addiction by Gabrielle Bernstein. Saa Taa Naa Maa was the form of the mantra and specific instructions are given as to posture, hand and arm positions and use of the muscles of the jaw. Easy enough to do, and complex enough to keep the mind from wandering around.
One of the instructions in the meditation is to focus on the mantra and apply it to an intention of releasing an addiction. I move to my cushion and set my timer. I position my thumbs according to the instructions and bring my attention to an addiction I want to release. Hmm. I eat more than I want to (over eating?) I don’t walk as much as I would like (sloth?) I over fill my time with activities (action junky?) What do I need release from in this moment?
I am a woman in recovery. I have just celebrated my 28th year clean and sober. This does not, however, mean that I no longer suffer from additions. The addictions are more subtle, they may be more socially acceptable, or less visible to outsiders. One might not call some of the suffering “addictions” as they may not drastically affect my health, my relationships, attend to my work or my abilities to function in general. What they may be are pernicious habits that undermine my sense of self worth and decay my self esteem. What I didn’t know that until this morning when I sat down to meditate is that I am addicted to feeling bad about myself.
When I look at the eating, the walking, the planning, the delaying these are all activities that are small warts on the day with the combined impact of creating a constant sense of being disappointed with myself. In some ways I take over from voices in my past; this is the tape of my youth. But I have somehow CHOSEN to keep this as the soundtrack of my present. And why?
When women I work with tell me about an attribute, characteristic or emotion that is clogging their progress to growth I ask them: ”What does this serve? What does continuing this action, attitude, or aspect of yourself prevent you from becoming?”
Would it be too much for me to ask myself this same question? What does an attitude of criticism do for me? What do actions or inactions taken or not taken provide for me? Why have I engaged to do than is comfortable to me? Could it be to shield be from feeling and being? Could it be to prevent me from feeling as competent and magnificent as I truly am?
I think to the words of Mary Williamson who says: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
I thank you Gabrielle for presenting the Kundalini Saa Taa Naa Maa meditation. I am pleased that I took the time to read your article and listen to the instructions. I am grateful for the inspiration and the epiphany that helped me focus on the underlying and perseverant form of my addiction - self deflation. I concentrate my intention on releasing this addiction.
If you are looking for a way to start or deepen your daily meditation - take
look at this program by MindValley: bit.ly/YOGIMeditation and the Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction online course by Sounds True: - The YOGI TIMES team
Gabrielle Bernstein (The Daily Love)