I’ve always had a form of yoga supporting me through life on and off, you can read my story on my about page. However, nothing has been as powerful as Kundalini yoga in forming me as a person!
These things have changed through incorporating yoga in my everyday, especially doing 40 day Sadhanas and recording a bit about them each time! The first changes came about rapidly and still more keep coming!
You may be reading because your interested, relate if your practising yoga or be completely sceptical, either way just out of curiosity read a list of things that have changed since doing Kundalini yoga January 2016.
I let go of old habits that no longer served me, actually they all just fell away without any effort:
I became less anxious and more confident
- Before: I used to be a ‘naturally nervous all the time’ though I’d keep it secretive as to not show weakness. Sometimes it was very obvious and I wanted to kick myself at my low confidence and self trust levels. Also before doing Kundalini I would have a panic attack every three years, I think it must have been trapped anxiety. Anyway just before starting this yoga I had the usual signs of another one coming (unable to regulate my breathing, breathing out I’d get frustrated about things I hadn’t dealt with and paranoid it would set me into hyperventilation and cut my circulation in my arms and cause a full blown attack).
- Now: I breathe regularly and deeply, I can still easily get worked up at times but my inner critic chatter has gone. I have more trust in my abilities and skills and confidence when talking to a range of people. My old state of nervous confusion doesn’t get set off and and I just breathe through any challenge. I used to ‘lose my nerve’ in activities such as drawing, talking openly, learning new skills and finishing projects. Now I carry myself through, have no need for approval, make Sat Nam my inner mantra (truth is my identity). I noticed how much Kundalini Yoga effected my ability to be calm and focus after I did Kriyas on youtube before my driving lessons and went to a white tantric yoga event before my test (I passed by the way, first time).
I’m better able to talk to people, to be myself, to tell the truth of how I feel
- Before: I kept mostly to myself, I’m a bit of an introvert actually. I was unable to ‘be myself’ in different areas of life. Looking back it was as if I had ‘work self’, ‘girlfriend self’ and ‘artist self’ all separated and each a little different. I also didn’t speak up and say how I really felt as I felt I may not be understood, conscious that I may not be able to explain. Very conscious I thought differently, had different ideas than others.
- After: Now I say how I feel a lot more. I’m more open in conversations, I recognise I don’t need to have control over how someone reacts. I’m honest and I’ll tell the truth and I’m more willing to make eye contact in conversations when explaining something than before.
The first two reasons are enough to try Kundalini yoga out if you have issues with anxiety, self confidence, concentration, focus and overwhelm. I think this yoga is ideal for someone with Autism too as it will balance every system!
I no longer needed to nap half way through a day on a day off
- Before: I used to recharge by takin a 20 minute nap either on lunch break or on a day off. I’d easily lose focus, get off task and generally feel like I wanted to rest.
- Now: I don’t nap at all! If I need to recharge I’ll sit outside or make a green juice or do kirtan kriya or make a yogi tea or dance to Adi Shakti! I have more energy than I thought possible, I don’t need to shut my eyes away from the world till bedtime.
I was drawn to healthier foods, whole foods and eventually became vegetarian.
- Before: I used to eat quiet a healthy life style, I loved my morning muesli for breakfast especially, I’d fill a bowl up and eat as much as I could! I ate sugary food the same as the next person such as cookies, chocolate and cakes.
- After: Through a friend I became introduced to the gluten, wheat and diary free meal options, from which I chose fruit, vegetables and grains that gave me more vitality. Also I reduced then eliminated coffee as I no longer needed it as a boost – my energy levels were high enough! The same goes for sugar as I get a nutritional benefit from natural sugars found in fruit, magnesium found in raw cacao rather than chocolate. That being said I do have a love (but not a need) for banana pancakes with maple syrup, carrot cake and brownies! It can be easy to get ‘too focused’ on food in an obsessive way so just see what works for you. I’ve gone back to eating whole foods and learning about the Yogi diet and Ayurvedic foods.
Also when it comes to having healthier foods I found again my anxiety decreased once again, instead of ruminating past events, even thinking about people who’ve hurt me in the past I was much more easily able to let go and think ‘thank you’, ‘I forgive you’.
I cut out alcohol for good and decided Amsterdam would mean something different now
- Before: I had a slight attachment to alcohol when Friday/Saturday night came, my boyfriend even made his own beer so at times we had plenty. Though compared to my teenage years where I drank a lot, I still craved and drank on nights in and out.
- After: Doing my first 40 day practice I realised how much drinking alcohol the night before really effected me the morning after on my mat. I was slower, sluggish, my whole being felt awful. So I decided I’d rather be happy and full of vitality at my mat than hungover in the slightest. So I chose yoga over alcohol and never looked back! It feels great as I’m myself when I’m out and about and I feel empowered that I don’t need anything to make me feel!
I decided any trips to Amsterdam would mean something different than lounging at coffee shops. I no longer had any part of me that felt I wanted to reacher a higher state – I was already uplifted enough from my yoga and meditation practice.
As I continue my journey with Kundalini yoga and Sikhi, better habits and happier times are coming all the time and I will share through my 40 day practice reflections.