When I first started my daily practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, I had a vague knowing of what Sadhana was. I categorized it in my mind as something to do at a later time because striving for a daily sadhana felt insurmountable. I was having a hard time, and a friend encouraged me to sign up for gaia.com.
My previous Kundalini Yoga experience was a stack of books picked out at the local book store over the years, an ancient VHS tape, and prenatal yoga DVD’s from the 1990’s and 2000’s. They came out from the dusty, forgotten places during my pregnancies through the years with a vow to continue after the baby came, but it never happened. We live in a ‘Kundalini Yoga Desert’ and there are no teachers to be found in my area of the world, so opening up this portal online felt like an event horizon for me. I excitedly set up my new account and immediately searched for Kundalini Yoga.
This is where I found Guru Jagat.
I was exalted when I felt the freshness of her energy, and her passion for teaching was palpable. I knew immediately I had found my new spiritual Teacher. In the beginning, my commitment to myself was something I felt I could do without buckling under the pressure: do Kundalini Yoga & Meditation every day, no matter what time it is. This took the pressure off my internal rebel that didn’t want to be told what to do and she adapted quite nicely.
A few weeks into my practice, I was feeling eager to go deeper – who is Guru Jagat and why are there only a handful of videos on this site from 2015? I was anxious to know more and whether or not she had current content somewhere else. I opened up my search engine and was not disappointed. I sat for an entire day watching every YouTube video I could and was blown away by the vast amount of knowledge she shared on her channel. I felt like I won the Kundalini Yoga Lottery! I could feel my cells buzzing with newfound energy created by the information download, and was immediately committed to deepening my practice. Then I found the universe that is RA MA TV, and I felt the opening of dimensions once I signed up for the membership.
In a parallel time & space, I was researching the online archives of Yogi Bhajan, and almost everything I clicked on was him speaking about the power of daily Sadhana. It was quickly absorbed into my consciousness, and I could feel the strong pull to incorporate this into my day. I felt hesitant at first, not wanting to overwhelm the part of me that had sabotaged every effort in the past; and recategorized it as something that would be happening soon to satiate both streams of thought.
One day I was watching Guru Jagat’s latest class on RA MA TV and she talked about the Long Ek Ong Kar (LEOK) 40-Day Global Meditation. As soon as I heard her say, “It will change your life.” I was sold. There was no way I couldn’t do it. I had no clue how I was going to fit it all into my day, but determination prevailed. I pledged to myself that I would see it through until the end. At this point, my husband had joined me and we were doing Yogi Bhajan’s P-Fruit Challenge together. My daily practice quickly evolved into a Sadhana practice when he expressed an interest and we started our day at 4 am. It had been a little over 30 days since I began my Kundalini Yoga journey. I talked to him about my desire to participate in the global meditation and he was excited and 100% supportive of me. We decided to accomplish what we wanted to do our wake up time would now be 2:30 am for the duration of the 40 days.
I remember waking up the first day and it felt like a Christmas morning from my childhood. I was beyond ecstatic to be participating in something so incredible and new to me! I rushed to my cold shower while my husband set everything up for our practice and jumped in feet first. I sat that day on my living room floor learning the chant and feeling full of gratitude. Grateful for the experience and for everything that had brought me to that moment. Grateful for RA MA TV. Grateful for the person running the camera at the studio in Venice and the teachers leading the meditation on stage. Grateful for Guru Jagat and everything she had opened me up to in the short month I had been in her online presence. I felt nervous and was afraid of “doing it wrong”. I endured the cramps, numb bottom, cold body, dry mouth, and eventually a full bladder. I didn’t understand at the time I could move around and adjust my body, use the bathroom & drink water if needed, wrap a blanket around my chilly spine and sit on a meditation cushion to alleviate my physical discomfort. I chuckle at her now as I write this; she who was full of wonder and fear and doubt and hope; so much hope for something better. It feels like lifetimes ago but really it was just 5 months ago.
I remember Guru Jagat saying in her class the first time I heard her talk about LEOK’s that we would understand soon why the duration of the meditation is only 40 days. I was intrigued by this and couldn’t imagine at that time how something so profound could ever become difficult. But by day 25 I understood. By that time my children were out of school for the summer and my days were a blur. I honestly don’t remember a whole lot but I didn’t skip a day. Every morning I would get up and do the P-Fruit Challenge with my husband, do my daily practice then set up my meditation space in my living room. I would light my candles, bring out my mega rose quartz crystal and snuggle up with the live stream from my laptop. “Keep up and you will be kept up” was my mantra through those last days.
I was comforted seeing the numbers on my live stream screen that told me there were other people doing the exact same thing as I was; meditating and chanting LEOK for 2.5 hours in the precious & holy time of the Amrit Vela. Loneliness rolled in periodically, and I found myself wishing more than a few times to be inside the elusive-and-bigger-than-life RA MA Studio with my Venice, California sangat. As the days turned into a countdown towards the end I was hyper-aware that this journey was almost over. Sorrow mixed with relief was at the surface, and those last days were the deepest of them all as I savored every moment; knowing they wouldn’t happen in this way, in this lifetime, ever again.
The last morning was spent sob-chanting in gratitude through a constant stream of tears and nose blowing. I couldn’t believe it was over and that I had accomplished something so incredibly challenging to me. Me, who claimed to need a minimum of 10 hours of sleep to function properly before my daily sadhana. Me, who said she loves the night, staying up late and ignoring the sunrise. Me, who just 75 days before struggled through exhaustion to take care of her family, home and self. Me, who took that exhausted body into something called the P-Fruit challenge and could barely lift her feet off the ground one at a time, let alone jump up and down while bent over for 6 minutes. Me, who had never done anything for herself like this in her life; this monumental gift of self-love and self-care on a level so deep it is utterly ineffable. Only someone who has done it would understand, and I found myself posting in the Aquarian Women’s Leadership Society Facebook Group that morning because I wanted to share it with someone. I honestly wanted to scream it from the rooftops because I felt so incredibly free. I was transformed.
I still feel like a kid on Christmas morning when I get up for Sadhana. The great and wise Kundalini Yoga old timers call it my honeymoon phase and say this will soon pass. Nevertheless, I am enjoying every moment. As of this writing, today is the 216th day of my daily practice. I don’t know of a way to list all the things that have shifted internally therefore externally in my life as a result of daily Sadhana. It would take hours of writing and really, it matters only to one person and that person is me. Because as Yogi Bhajan & Guru Jagat explain to us: In the end, this is what it’s about, isn’t it?
Me in Me.