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A R T I C L E S* &* S P E E C H E S

by Donna Davidge

I am bountiful, blissful and beautiful; bountiful, blissful and beautiful I am (kundalini yoga mantra). “I am” is one of, if not, the most powerful mantras a yoga or spiritual practitioner can repeat. The mantra can be in Sanskrit or other Indian dialects. The power of hearing a mantra in ones’ own language creates a vibration of affirmation. The word, sound or what is called Naad in yoga is one of the most powerful tools we have for self-healing and self-growth.

One can do every yoga pose in the book, take many types of yoga, and yet, if they are not exposed to the concept of the power of the word, their experience of bliss thru yoga practice will be short changed. While we can certainly achieve a feeling of accomplishment, strength and flexibility from our practice of physical asanas, it is often time the experience of meditation which brings us to bliss, though not always. To quote the book Everyday Zen, real meditation is by no means a flowery, blissful process but if we really do it, in time, we begin to know what it is we are after; we begin to see who we are.

Gopi Krishna was a government worker in India in the early 1900’s who meditated for long hours every morning before going to his job. He was not an enlightened yoga master, but simply a highly disciplined meditator. When his practice resulted in the extreme reaction of a “kundalini rising experience,” where he lost physical, social and sexual appetite, he was unprepared for this reaction and the discomfort it brought. His story is an interesting and amazing one of a humble man who went much further in his experience than most of us.

As a kundalini yoga teacher sometimes people ask me if they too will experience their “kundalini rising.” Because kundalini yoga focuses so much on breath, sound and meditation, one certainly can experience energy movement and unique experiences in the mind and body. This is not, however, a “kundalini rising” experience, but rather, a shift of consciousness. What is a shift of consciousness? Can it bring us bliss? A shift in consciousness is a shift in awareness. Our mind has many layers, including the powerful subconscious. Some people utilize drugs in an effort to experience bliss. Our teacher Yogi Bhajan teaches that meditation can bring similar results or experiences as drugs produce, but the mind is altered by our own efforts at consciousness shift utilizing poses, breath and sound rather than chemical and synthetic means that harm the brain.

Music is another aspect of sound or vibration that can affect our feelings of bliss. Krishna Das has a huge following of yoga practitioners who know his music and mantras. When in a room packed with these people, chanting from their hearts, one can easily be transformed into a feeling of bliss. Krishna Das has become the musical father of the yoga movement.

And since bliss is not always our everyday experience what can we do to elevate our physical energy into the ethereal? The body offers us the experience of earth, water, and air energy within us, but above us is the energy of bliss and joy. The ethers.

To help alleviate depression and release our energy to join the ethers, sit cross legged (or in a chair), raise the arms straight up, palms forward, fingers stretching wide and draw little circles inward as you breathe long, slow and deeply through the nostrils. Do this for up to 5 minutes. Let your physical body, your arms and shoulders be challenged. Let your rectum, the earth energy, be massaged with the movement and feel the energy move upward. Go beyond the physical. Soar into the ethers. Feel light.

Be Bountiful, Blissful and Beautiful. Remember I Am, I Am, I Am.

Written by: Donna Davidge. Donna Davidge operates Sewall House Yoga Retreat in Island Falls, Maine.


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