For the mamas: How the practice of Kundalini Yoga benefits your life? By Madalena (Sukhgian Kaur)
Life is challenging, that is a given. No matter how much you prepare, how much effort you put in, on how much you give into a project (be it the next objective at work or finding swimming lessons for your toddler), life seems to constantly put you at test to confirm that your choices are the best for you at that moment.
As Heraclitus said “change is the only constant in life” – and that is also a given. One of the incredible challenges in life is how it constantly changes, for the better and for the worse, but constantly changing in an interwoven stream of events that make us grow and know more and more about ourselves. Although we don’t know it yet, change makes part of our journey of discovery of our true essence, to become we are meant to be.
Stress, therefore, is our response to change and how we adapt to it. We are constantly under stress and our capacity to respond to change has different emotional and physical layers. Change can be as simple as a shift of temperature in the weather or as disrupting as losing your job or your child not being accepted in your favourite school.
The fact is that, over time, to each changing event, we create an individual stress pattern through our thoughts and beliefs that affect our emotions, the way we breathe, the way we hold and move our bodies.
In this individual pattern, we became often irritable and tense, generally stressed out, easily tired, or even sick, unable to be the person we want to be. Generating feelings of guilt, shame and making less and less effort to take care of ourselves as we would take care of our loved ones. However, we all recognise that it is when we honour our own needs that we are able to give the most to those we love.
Kundalini Yoga practice is the invitation to that “self-care” needed to honour our needs and to break the patterns that do not serve us. This ancient practice will help you to deal with daily life challenges creatively and with calmness. It helps you to connect with your true essence, breaking the limits of fear and boosting your vitality through the strengthening of the glandular and nervous systems, upon which capacity the stress response is drawn.
We holds Kundalini classes with Madalena (Sukhgian Kaur) on Tuesday mornings (10:30am to 12pm), the perfect timing for “me time” where you can honour your needs and explore your full potential to be who you are meant to be.
As a gift, here is a short practice to explore your current breathing pattern:
- Seat comfortably and make sure that you can spend the next 3 to 5 minutes without being disturbed or interrupted.
- Take a deep breath. Every yogic breath starts with Exhalation, so extend it drawing it from your lower belly
- Once the exhalation is complete, inhale deeply
- Notice the air coming in through your nostrils into your chest and deep into your belly… expanding
- Once the inhalation is complete, pause briefly and start the exhalation. Let the breath go smoothly, without forcing, slowly and gently… noticing how the belly contracts, the chest falls and the air comes out through your nostrils
- Once the exhale is complete, briefly pause and inhale…
- Keep breathing consciously, using your awareness to connect with the breath
- Observe if one nostril is more active/open/blocked than the other
- Notice in your body, which part moves easily, which part doesn’t
- Keep breathing with full presence
- Check in with your body what is the impact of this awareness… what is the effect in your mind?
- Continue the deep breathing cycles and observe what changes… what remains
Throughout the day, observe your breath again and again. When do you hold your breath? When do you breath with ease or heavily? When is it deep or shallow? What happens to your breath when you are stressed or tense? When you are focused? When you are thinking? When you are relaxed? When you listen?
What physical changes come with it? Do you lift your shoulders, clench your jaw or tighten your stomach?
The goal is not to change, is to observe, to notice tension or relaxation in the body, to understand what patterns are present (if any). Once you know your own patterns, you’ll be able to interact with them and change them. Through specific breathing techniques that strengthen your glandular and nervous systems, you’ll be able to break previous patterns and change your stress response.