AM I THE ONLY ONE WITH PROBLEMS? Hello Ana and Ravi. I’ve been doing your Fat Free Yoga DVD for a few months now and I’m wondering if I’m the only one who has problems looking up into my brow while meditating? My eyes want to open and I just have a tough time keeping my focus up and in. Any tricks or will this just get easier the more I do it? I love your DVD! Thanks! Focusing up and in towards the brow does take some getting used to. It will get easier with time. Meanwhile, you can close your eyes and feel you are looking up and in towards the brow and that will give you the same effects energetically. If it continues to be too uncomfortable to try and meditate this way, then you can look down and in towards the tip of the nose. CHAKRAS BLASTED OPEN I’ve been doing Kundalini Yoga from your DVDs for 6 months now, and I’m really hooked. My overall state of health improved a bit, but I’m not completely out of the woods yet. I don’t have any medical conditions, but I’m in my early 40’ s and going through perimenopause. Sometimes, I feel great for weeks, but then there will be a period (usually right after the menses) when I feel a bit strange. The hormonal balance is changing, and this causes energy blockages especially in the upper abdominal region, the so-called liver-qi stagnation. After doing the Yoga Cleanse CD twice a week for a few months, I feel the blockage is loosening up but is still there. I wonder how long it will take to clear it up completely. I’m also dealing with some anxiety issues which are probably hormonally related. I’ve noticed that some meditations make me feel a bit anxious. The Ekh-Ong one from the AM-PM CD, which I love to do, makes me feel uneasy. I keep wondering whether all the chakras will get blasted open at once, I’m especially concerned about the rectum one, and then I won’t know what to do with myself. I know this sounds ridiculous and according to my husband I’m a freak who needs psychiatric counseling, but you know some of the info on the web will lead one to believe that such things do happen.
Some of the meditations where breath holding is involved make me feel uneasy, too, even though I can do them reasonably well without feeling any discomfort. I just wonder if they are really good for the health. I’m sorry to burden you with my fears, which I know I must overcome on my own. I guess what I’m asking for is some support. I know this Yoga has helped me a lot!!! I know it can’ t fix my problems right away, and I just need encouragement to stick with it. I will do my best to join your workshop in NY this summer. Sat Nam Thanks for writing. It is probably best not to diagnose yourself energetically. This will cause a level of anxiety for which there is no need. If there is a liver imbalance it should clear up within 90 days if you are practicing Yoga Cleanse twice a week. In terms of your Chakras being “blasted open” : this is something you do not need to worry about. All of the meditations in Kundalini Yoga have the effect of cleansing the mind, nervous system, and psyche of subconscious and emotional debris. Therefore, though you might experience a little bit of this as it is on its way out, Kundalini Yoga triggers a graceful and systematic process so you never have to worry about getting too much energy, or opening up in an imbalanced way (check out Ana’s clip on youtube.com “ Is Kundalini Yoga Dangerous “). The best way to do your practice is to put everything into it while you are doing it and not concern yourself with the process the rest of the time. The dispensation of blessings and benefits will occur in the context of the particulars of your life. HAPPY HOUR Sat nam! I studied with you very briefly up in Woodstock New York, at Shakti Yoga, and we are all hoping you will come up and teach there again. You are remarkable teachers and I have enjoyed getting your newsletter. I find everything on it very helpful, especially the Q&A and the Meditation of the Month. Anyway, I have a question. What happens to us, electromagnetically, when the sun goes down? I read recently (on a kundalini yoga chat site) that our energy shifts as the sun sets, and that we have to “move from solar to lunar energy.” I would love to hear you explain this in your accessible way. Personally, I always feel a change when the sun sets. I get depressed, my energy disappears, and I lose almost all motivation. It’s bizarre! And rather frustrating. My strongest desire is to sit on the sofa and do nothing until it’s time to go to sleep. I suddenly stop caring about anything. And now, given that Daylights Savings has occurred, and we are heading into winter, I want to try to find a way to change my reaction. Is there a kriya one can do for situations like this? Or a mantra? Am I just particularly sensitive to sunlight (or lack thereof?). I love the moon. And the stars. I just don’t like the way I feel when the sun disappears. Help! Thanks, and blessings. You have actually recognized a phenomena that affects us all. According to Yoga, when the sun is between the angles of 60 degrees above and below the horizon it affects the earths magnetic field as well as what could be termed the magnetic field of our own psyches. This invariably causes a dip in our energy and outlook. Its no accident that “Happy Hour” occurs at this time. This represents most peoples mundane method to uplift themselves. Because every dark cloud has a silver lining, these twilight times provide an opportunity for powerful inner growth and healing. If we can find a way to meditate between 4 and 7 AM and 4 and 7 PM we can make much progress in our inner growth. It could be said that at these times our “dark side” is closest to the surface and can be accessed and transformed. Traditionally, Yoga Masters have always exhorted their students to do their Sadhana (spiritual practice) at these important times. Also, the lung meridians are most open around 5AM so the benefits of breathing at that time are enhanced. In addition to a Kundalini Yoga set to get your energy up, two of the best meditations to do would be the SA TA NA MA meditation and the So Darshan Chakra Kriya meditation which are on our Yoga House Call and Yoga Quick Fixes DVDs. We wish you joy, health, and blessings and hope to see you down the road! JUST STARTING OUT Hello. My wife and I have just started yoga. I was curious if you canrecommend any video or material for beginning yoga. I did buy your video Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond, but it might be a little too advanced. Thank you very much. D Thanks for writing and congratulations on beginning a Kundalini Yoga practice! Please note that any of our DVDs can be modified for beginners. Kundalini Yoga is in a sense a very forgiving practice. As long as you do your best to participate the range of benefits are pretty amazing. These include increased strength and flexibility, glandular balance, stronger nerves, mental clarity and focus, and more energy. For these reasons we encourage you to use the modifications (like the ones given below) and try to establish a regular Kundalini Yoga practice. The first set of Beginners & Beyond can be done sitting on the edge of a chair or other firm surface. Also, please note that you can do the movements as slow as you would like to. You can also stop and start again as necessary. For the second set, please go very slow and use the modifications. See if you can do 5 repetitions of each to begin (and a camel pose variation for 10 seconds). For the Down Dog to Up Dog exercise, a modification would be: hold on to the edge of a bench or other stable surface so you do the exercise with your hands higher up. For the 5th Tibetan exercise (spinning): be very careful and do not go too fast. We also recommend the Fat Free Yoga DVD. We wish you and your wife the best of luck with your yoga practice! Please let us know how you do.
Disclaimer: The advice we give is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise program or nutritional protocol. We wish you all an amazing, joyful, and happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you down the road! All Best to You, Ana Brett & Ravi Singh www.raviana.com / 212.982.5518 / firstname.lastname@example.org