Chapter 2 What is Yoga?
All info from Chapter 2 of The Aquarian Teacher, KRI International Teacher Training in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, Level One Instructor Textbook.
An adventure in consciousness
-Yoga is essentially a relationship
-Yoga is the union of the individuals unit consciousness with the Infinite Consciousness.
-Yoga comes from the word “yoke” …”to join together”, “to unite.
A technology of awareness
-Yoga is a technology of awareness.
-The techniques of Kundalini Yoga form the owners manual for human consciousness.
-Knowledge becomes wisdom when you experience it in your own heart and Being, when it becomes your personal experience.
`Yoga is greatly needed today….each person must deeply understand why he is a human being and what it means to be a human being.
-If you discover a truth and act on the path of that truth, and if you can find bliss, success, and fulfillment in yourself as a result, then no power on Earth can make you veer from that truth or do wrong.
Discipline and true wisdom
-Knowledge becomes wisdom when it becomes your personal experience.
-Anything which can hold and support you is based in real wisdom.
-A guru can give you knowledge and techniques, but he can not give you wisdom.
-Acquiring wisdom depends on your own practice and discipline.
The threefold structure of the human being
-You have a threefold structure: body, mind, and soul.
-The physical or gross body is the first facet you must master and understanding as a human being. It is your vehicle to travel through this life.
-The physical vehicle is a functional system. It receives, processes, and accomplishes ongoing tasks. Every functional system, regardless of its composition, needs cleaning, needs care, needs tuning regularly.
-The balance of the physical vehicle affects the rest of your capacity and experience.
-The physical body is the basic temple in which you can deposit the treasure of happiness in life.
-When you are young you can play mischief with the physical body. But in old age the body has you paying for playing. You cannot escape this fact. The body does not forgive your actions. It only records the results of the actions.
-In Kundalini Yoga, you study the human body in the light of yoga therapy…you must understand how you can make the best use of it. You must be able to keep it on the level of consciousness that you choose, so that it can serve you better and better, without a lot of trouble.
-The mind is the second facet in our human life.
-If the horizon of the mind in thought, understanding, tolerance, and patience is limited, and if the mind is not so beautifully functional that it can see the unseen, and understand the consequences of each action, then it is practically impossible to live a happy life.
-As you think so you are. The mind guides your actions and emotions. If you do not have a good road map, you do not know where you are going.
-All of your experience is filtered through the creativity and appraisal of your mind.
-Happy and Unhappy belong to your mind, not the world.
-When you say “I am a God-conscious person.” It only means that you realize your mental capacity and ability. That is the real meaning. Everything you receive and have is through the capacity and creativity of your mind.
-We always say “When I pray, God will come” Have you ever understood what prayer is? You create a vibratory effect, which goes into the infinite creativity around your psyche. It is only in your mind, which has the power to concentrate and work with that beauty.
-G-O-D: Generating principle, Organizing principle, Destroying principle.
-God is the generating principle within you and which pervades creation.
-It is infinity to infinity in relationship to the total creativity.
-When you become a god-conscious individual, you have the power of mental infinity.
-Remember you have three aspects. You have the lower self, the gross or physical self: you have the central self, which is known as the existing self; and you have the higher self, which is a powerful sophisticated, and delicate self.
-When you give the mind the regular experience of the infinite horizon, you maintain it at the level of a basic human being.
The Soul & Spirit
-The third facet in the human being is the soul, the spirit. As no lamp can burn without a combustible fuel, so no life can exist without a relationship to the spirit in it.
-Spirit has many meanings, tones, and facets. If there is a central thread in it, it is the general flow of the cosmic energy.
-You have to understand your relationship to that Infinite energy.
-”religion” that term comes from the Latin religio , it means “too look back at your origin.” And what is your origin? Spirit! And what is your End? Spirit! SO what are you fighting about? What is the great debate? When you experience your origin as a reality, you are happy.
-Be constant under all circumstances and relate to one thing-you are a part of infinity and always lean on that power-the you’ll never be unhappy.
-All these churches, temples, and synagogues, all the places of worship, were meant to create group consciousness.
-Spiritual awakening starts with individual consciousness, then progresses to group consciousness.
-When group consciousness is established, and you care for others, then you progress to Universal Consciousness.
-Religious places were designed so that all the people who believe in some way could join together to praise the lord and feel elevated.
-Take care of the spiritual facet of your life by joining with others to experience and elevate yourself, the group, and the universe.
-When a person does not develop the strength of the individual consciousness, he connot attain the final experience of the universal consciousness.
-The development of group consciousness into the experience of infinity is the bridge to universal consciousness. It releases the unlimited self and fulfills the spiritual longing.
Growth with Yoga
-Kundalini means awareness.
-Awareness is the active interaction of you as a finite individual identity with you as an infinite potential identity.
-This dormant energy of awareness is in you. Kundalini Yoga is the supreme technology to awaken that awareness and take you into your original Self.
-Infinity is your basic origin and identity.
-Your mind must be developed, artistic, and self-controlled. It must gain a neutrality that lets you encounter and enjoy the constant change that is life. You must mature the mind and your attitude to ride on those waves of life and enjoy it. After all, what is life? It is a wave.
-The light must follow the night as night must follow the day. Sunshine must follow the clouds, and clouds must follow the sunshine. This constant change is the natural design of nature.
-The real beauty of experience and life is based on this constant variation of light and dark, up and down.
Life is like a Wave
-This life is nothing but a vibration.
-It is a path that vibrates up and down like a wave.
-Desire a mind which is neutral, which understands the wave, and which gives you intelligence and grace.
-That neutral and sophisticated quality of mind has to be developedt, trained, created, experienced, tooled, and fitted into all the grooves of habits and action. Once you accomplish this, any success in life is possible.
-An important part of Kundalini Yoga is to develop the neutral mind and its capacity for intelligence, endurance, and integrity.
Unintentional and Intentional Sickness
-Unintentional sickness is the main pain in our modern society. Result of not knowing…lack of knowledge…e.g. Not know how to eat, digest, live, take care of body, and glads etc..
-Intentional sickness is when we know our actions or lack of action will lead to sickness, but we continue to do it.
Yoga & Good Health
-Kundalini Yoga teaches you how to gain a strong immune system, vital glands, a strong nervous system, good circulation, and an awareness of the impact of your habits.
-This foundation gives you energy and lets you deal with the mental and spiritual facets of your life.
Calming the Mind
-Through meditation, you can calm the mind and develop your intuition to recognize what is real and important to you.
-Life has its own innate organization, which you can sense with intuition and itelligence.
-Kundalini Yoga develops your relationship to your mental potential. You learn to use the clarity of the neutral, intuitive, comprehensive mind. You sharpen the intellect and do not use it to create self doubt or insecurity. You act with grace and commitment from your heart.
Getting Out of Insecurity
-Each student of yoga must confront the mental attitude of insecurity and doubt.
-There are two mental styles we can use to go through life…one style, we act as if everybody were saints until proven thieves…In the other style we act as if everybody were thieves until proven saints.
-The roots of the insecurity often run deep into the core of the elemental personality of a person’s consciousness. Meditation, Kundalini Yoga, and White Tantric Yoga all work to disentangle the threads of insecurity from the layers of the subconscious. When these are removed you can deal with things as they actually are rather than as your fears portray them.
-The past is only the experience you have in your subconscious mind.
-In Kundalini Yoga, we fry this subconscious mind; we make toast out of it and eat it.
-A technical know how approach to the subconscious mind : If you do not clean it out, it sits behind your conscious mind and does mischief. It sits in the back and can spoil the image of human life by repeating experiences which are already in the past, but which are recorded in that subconscious mind. The subconscious mind must be taken care of and trained with kundalini yoga to be an aid in life.
The Game of Self-Belittlement
-We often hold a feeling that we are very limited and inadequate. This is our self-Belittlement.
-There are three primary ways we play it: to get sympathy from people; to get recognized; and sometimes we play it so real that we actually feel it and are fooled by it.
-You must transcend and transform your subconscious habit of self-belittlement if you are to expand and experience that your mind has an infinite horizon.
-It is at that horizon of infinity that we all meet as human beings.
-There are no two people alike. They are different physically, mentally, and historically. They share only one real similarity: The inflow of infinity can be equalized to the output of infinity.
-Through that mechanism, which is in the basic structure of our inner nature, we can reach the state of infinity, bliss, liberation, of jivan mukht. . Use any of the hundreds of words for that experience of infinity lived. You can call it anything, it doesn’t matter. But it is real, accessible, and an important part of the fulfillment of our human nature and experience.
A technology of human consciousness
-Kundalini Yoga is the technology of human consciousness.
-You have the opportunity to know, test, and grow with these sacred teachings.
-The only impediment is the mental sickness that we cannot commit and be constant at anything.
-If you over come that limitation, become a steady student, and do sadhana with regularity, the results are certain! With regular practice the benefits accumulate so that you can direct yourself and have a deeper experience. You can enjoy life more and you can extend your life’s vitality.
-As a student, simply do your best.
-I pass on this knowledge freely and I exchange it with you as a brotherhood or family. It is meant to be shared. As God, Guru Ram Das, and my teachers have given this awareness and knowledge to me, I am a postman who delivers it to you to share with others. If you are willing to get into that kind of sharing, that kind of love, that kind of existence, you are welcome. Otherwise, we are happy, and wherever you are, there is no problem, and we stand ready to share and serve.
3HO: to Serve and Grow
-In Kundalini Yoga the most important thing is your experience. It gos right to the heart. No words can replace that experience.
Kundalini Yoga is a Science
-That is where Kundalini yoga fits in: you will learn to ride your energy, to experience it and penetrate any given situation to attain a balance.
-What is Kundalini actually? It is your creative potential. You experience it when the energy of the glandular system combines with the energy of the nervous system to create such a sensitivity that the totality of the brain receives signals and integrates them. Then you become totally and wholly aware, and your creative potential becomes available to you.
The Altitude & Attitude of Kundalini Yoga
-Longitude and Latitude are given to everybody. Altitude and attitude are given by Kundalini Yoga. When the spiral rises to penetrate through all the chakras, the man knows he is Brahm. That is why they say Kundalini Yoga is dangerous. It’s dangerous because it takes away from man the ability to be exploited by another man. Yogi Bhajan
Kundalini Yoga : Awakening the Soul
-You must generate the pressure of the prana and mix it with the apana. Thus, when the two join together, you generate heat at the pranic center. With this heat of the prana, you put pressure or charge on the kundalini, the soul nerve, which is coiled in three and a half circles on muladhara. This will awaken it so that it may pierce through the imaginary chakras and pass ultimately through jalandhara bandh-the Neck Lock-the final blockage in the spine before the energy reaches the head.
Yoga-Joinig the Two Energies
–Prana: is the life force of the atom
–Apana: is elimination, or the eliminating force.
-These two forces in us-positive and negative-which are governed by ida and pingala-left and right.
-When we join these two energies under the power and science of Kundalini Yoga, we mix the prana with the apana and, under pressure, bring the Kundalini up.
-When it passes through the central nerve, or sushmuna, it reaches the higher chakras or lotuses, and thus one can know his total surroundings and he is a blessed being.
-After one inhales the prana deep down to the navel center, and pulls the apana with the Root Lock up to the Navel Center, prana and apana mix there. This is known as the Nabhi Chakra at the fourth vertebra. Heat is felt during the kundalini awakening, and that heat is the filament of the sushmuna, or central spinal channel, being lit by the joining of the prana and apana.
-The hardest job is to keep it up, to keep the channels clean and clear.
The Three Gateways
-The pathway of energy from the rectum to the vocal cord is known as the Silver Cord. From the neck to the top of the head is the passage. From the Third Eye to the pineal gland is the Golden Cord.
-To make energy rise in these cords and passage, you must apply hydraulic locks. You must put a pressure.
-Your spine is a staircase of energy.
-First, mulbandh brings apana to the navel, or fourth vertebra, the central seat of kundalini. Second the diaphragm lock takes it to the neck. Third, the Neck Lock takes it up the rest of the way.
Kundalini: The Nerve of the Soul
-Kundalini is known as the nerve of the Soul.
-This is to be awakened; your soul is to be awakened.
-In the practical reality, these chakras are imaginary and nothing else. This kundalini is just a kundalini and nothing else. It is not very important. These pranas and apanas are just there. Everything is set in us. We lack nothing. We use these terms simply to make the process clear so that we can get on with it. It is very simple.
The Pranic Center
-You cannot breathe by your will. It is the God within you which breathes. Without that, you don’t breathe.
-Under the eighth vertebra there is a cavity. We call it the pranic center. In that pranic center, we breathe pranic energy, up to the tip of the tongue and on to the ida and pingala-which adjusts the temperature of the body.
-This pranic energy is the life of the atom.
-We store it in the eighth vertebra down.
-We know certain actions through which we inhale this pranic energy to awaken our pranic center. The pranic center supplies the pranic energy to the pranic nerve. The pranic nerve supplies the pranic energy to the muscles, which are responsible for the beat of the heart and of the diaphragm. We call it the “U” muscle, because it is shaped like the letter U. this “U” muscle is responsible for all this life current in you that is automatic and beyond your control.
-Do you know what Yogis do? They create pranic energy reservoirs in that cavity and thus live on that reserve. They make that cavity active with certain exercises and thus they know how to control the pranic energy or prana vayu, the life current.
Circulating the Energy
-Apana eliminates everything. It has a connection with the muladhara chakra. That is where that kundalini power lies. When the pranic energy is in you, then you can circulate it through your whole body. You can feel it and make people feel it.
-In that circulation, we time it to go with the Spinal cord. Then we make it hit the muladhara. Thus we pierce through that knot, or blockage to the kundalini power. The moment we do it, she has no option but to come up. The moment she comes up, you stand blessed. Then you will see; the computer will work. That’s all.
Understanding the Power
-two precautions: You must practice neck lock. Pull the neck straight in, keeping the spine and neck absolutely straight, with no bend in the neck. If you do not apply this lock in meditation, you do not naturally regulate the shifts in subtle and physical circulation.
Second, when you do yoga, remember you are playing with the energy which is the lifeforce of the atom.
-When the Kundalini, the nerve of the soul, is awakened, this car of yours will be driven by the soul, not by the negative ego.
Kundalini Yoga Leverage, Legacy, & Lineage
Leverage: the power to change, to make a difference in our lives.
Legacy: a complete integrity in its own structure, beyond any individual.
Lineage: a history and line of transmission, brought to us and from which we launch and share with others.
-Even in the scriptures it is said that Kundalini Yoga is the fastest way to create the transformation, the lightening and the enlightenment that each individual is seeking. It is the fastest way to establish an aligned relationship between the body mind and the soul.
-With Hatha Yoga, for example, you might work with an emphasis on bodily form. Yet there are those who cannot take on those forms because of a physical limitation. But Kundalini Yoga gives you the leverage, the extra dimension that lets you reach around that limitation. It taps not only the pranic energy of the breath, body and the mind, but the Z-energy, the deep Kundalini energy that cuts across time and space through a doorway of timelessness.
-With full concentration, if you are good in shape, if your mind has equanimity that can join into the process, then in a mere 40 to 90 days you can transform yourself using Kundalini Yoga. The gift and the special bounty of the practice of Kundalini Yoga is the ability to rapidly encounter your own ego and to clear out its attachments so that you can revel in the light of the soul.
-KY is also a legacy. A legacy means it comes as an inheritance, as something already existing, and passed on to you. The legacy comes direct from Infinity, direct from God, direct from the soul. It has been delivered by the Golden Chain-through Guru Ram Das, and Yogi Bhajan, to you. Kundalini Yoga is the force of the soul.
-It is a product of the infinite, though we view it and experience it in our own finite ways.
-You can look at any one kriya in Kundalini Yoga, and you can find that there is a sequence, a stimulation of chakras. There is an elegant intertwining of the tattvas. There is also a clear and scientific focus on the stimulation of particular glands and meridians.
-In Kundalini Yoga, there’s nothing for the ego to reconstruct. There’s lots for the ego to enjoy, to represent, and to communicate. To be a great teacher of Kundalini Yoga, accept this as a legacy, you accept this as a hug of the infinite, as a kind of love, as an opportunity that has come to your soul to experience, to give to others, and to pass on.
-It’s something to pass on as complete as it was given to you.
-The lineage: remember as a teacher of Kundalini Yoga that it also has a lineage. It is a practice that has been experienced and given through enlightened souls for many thousands of years.
-It requires a mastery of both the inner dimension of the Self, and the outer expression in the universe.
-Each of us links to this lineage through a Golden Chain. Just as a torch passes on fire to the next fire, so when we tune in with the Adi Mantra, we link with this long lineage and you become just as a faucet of water, a great source to quench the thirst of the soul of the people.
-Kundalini Yoga is not a commercial enterprise – Kundalini Yoga is actually a transmission. It has a lineage of transmission, and you, as a teacher of that, are beholden to the integrity of it and to its long history. It is good for you to understand that history and look to the future as you serve each individual now.
-When you pass the tradition on with authenticity and with accuracy, each person can continue to pass it on, to experience it in his or her own way and give it to the future.
-You need to practice relentlessly the qualities of humility, patience, discipline, and service.
-As a lineage, we have certain ethics and a certain look, a certain radiance, a certain Adi Moorat, a certain embodiment of Infinity, and people who truly practice Kundalini Yoga are often recognized by that light.
-THE BEST WAY TO UNDERSTAND KUNDALINI YOGA IS THAT IT GIVES US THE POWER AND THE LEVERAGE, HAS LEGACY TO IT, AND IS PART OF A LONG LINEAGE THAT IS USING THESE TECHNIQUES FOR THE OPENING OF THE AQUARIAN AGE, AND FOR THE FUTURE PEACE AND EXPANSION OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS.
-At the root of Kundalini Yoga is the experience of Shabd Guru.
–Kundalini , when it awakens, is often called Shabd Brahm, which means that the words are the vibratory creative aspect of the Infinite Soul in experience.
-We see the emanation of that when we vibrate the Mul Mantra. Guru Nanak spoke the Mul Mantra: Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Karta Purkh Nirbho Nirvair Akal Moorit, Ajonee Saibhung Gurprasad Jap! Aad Sach Jugad Sach Haibhee Sach Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach. This mantra is at the very root of all creativity. This mantra expresses the character, the depth, and the understanding that we can see in Kundalini Yoga.
–Ek Ong Kar. KY has a oneness, a completeness and connectedness between each exercise, throughout each kriya.
It comes as a complete package, a revelation all at once.
-Sat Nam. It has a reality, a seed. Every time you do one kriya, it has it’s own truth and dimension to it, and it creates a reality, a vibration which has consequences and will be honored unto Infinity.
-Karta Purkh. It is a discipline, which is already being done by the larger being. It is already creativity of that which is timelessly creative. It is not a construct made by you and me. Our doing is a form of participation. It is an act of collaborative intelligence between me and the Infinite itself.
-Nirbho Nirvair: Neither is there any revenge, nor blame, nor competition in the sense of trying to overcome some other teacher or some other teaching. It’s an act of humility and grace, because you are given this opportunity.
–Akal Moorat: means that in the floodlight brilliance of the kundalini, you take on and accept your own image from the perspective of the infinite. That is why we cover our heads as we accept, through the seventh chakra, the pranic flow of the subtle energies that kundalini releases. As a teacher, when we teach, all though there is no limitation from the finite perspective, there is an opportunity to create an image, a bana, a structure, a certain impression with all of our senses. That is Akal Moorat.
-Ajoonee: Since Kundalini Yoga is unborn, it doesn’t come from any one particular time, and it’s not subject to the laws of those times.
–Saibhung: This is it’s own integrity. It has its own inner completeness. It’s one of the reasons you do each set-which you’ve been fortunate to receive through Yogi Bhajan’s clarity-you don’t try to alter it or make it up. Each Kriya is complete in itself, autonomous. Each kriya dosen,t rely on anything else. In it’s own form, it is under the constant blessing and guidance of the infinite: Gurpasad
-Jap: you repeat it again and again, Kundalini Yoga never gets old. The more you do it, the more polish makes the gem shine
-Aad Sach Jugad Sach Haibhee Sach Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach: It gives you the experience of constant truth of your own reality and soul.
-The Mul Mantra is very much the essence of the qualities, the nature, the character, and the depth of Kundalini Yoga. As a teacher of that, practice the Mul Mantra; remember the character you are sharing with others. You never reduce it. You always exalt it, and it will exalt you. Always bow to its beauty; it will bow to you. Always support each person who comes to you, by sharing directly and fearlessly the clarity and the power of the leverage of Kundalini Yoga. The entire Universe will help you, and leverage you to experience your own soul in service to others.
-This Yoga tradition is the road of Raj Yoga. It is a direct link and path to the supreme consciousness in us. It is not a detour through all the fascinations of the subconscious and the temptations of ego. WE ACCEPT ALL OF THE CREATION AROUND US AND ALL OF THE CREATION WITHIN US.
-Even one kriya in Kundalini Yoga will put you through all the stages of movement, breathing, concentrating, and linking. In that moment when your energy is elevated and love is possible, reach out like an open lotus to the inner Sun.
All Notes taken from Chapter 2 of The Aquarian Teacher, KRI International Teacher Training in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, Level One Instructor Textbook.