Cynthia Seva is a treasured member of the MKY community. In this blog, she shares her heart's truth about how she found herself at a low point and picked herself up with a daily spiritual practice.
When I started my practice in 2019, my goal was to find peace within and my ultimate goal was to become less reactive. This year I was challenged by emotional distress. My empathetic nature was truly withering my soul. The challenges in our world coupled with my heart mourning loss became unbearable and brought me to my knees on many occasions.
I am strong because I’ve been weak and this year I allowed myself to be vulnerable. But then, I could not find a way out. It’s ok not to be ok, but it’s not ok to stay in that place. This is where depression and mental instability can take over. I found myself there.
So, I reached out to my MKY family for support and decided to embark on a 40 day practice with Cate as my Kundalini Coach. Cate and I co-created a beautiful, nurturing meditative routine for me to do every day for 40 days in a row - every moment, every sound, every breath had a purpose. My 40 day Sadhana....
Day 1 my heart was heavy and my emotions heightened. Day 8 came around and I was able to function past moments of anxiety. Unexpectedly, I realized I no longer depended on coffee (true story). And I had a new love in my life, ME! Now I was open to life and new experiences.
By day 15, I was dancing around palm trees in Puerto Rico where I was vacationing. By day 20, I realized I was opening space for myself to fill and with that came a sense of expansion and growth.
I live by a lake in New Jersey, and I often did my practice outside by the water. On my 40th day of practice, I opened my eyes and there were swans floating by just in front of me. Coincidence? I think not.
The rest is history. Here I am after 40 days, loving myself like I’ve never loved me before. I'd become so accustomed to filling everyone else’s cup first that I'd forgotten to fill my own.
For the first time in my life, I am single for months and loving my own companionship and open to what comes along my path. To know my worth means nobody ever gets to decide it for me. You cannot come to know yourself as grand until you've known yourself as small. Thank you to everyone that has entered and exited. Blessings! Cynthia Seva
We are embarking on an experiment, and you are invited to join. Inspired by our dear friend and student Joanne, we are doing a 40 Day practice of the 5 Tibetan Rites.
Also known as the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, this practice consists of just 5 exercises, each repeated 21 times (or as many as you can up to 21). It takes mere minutes to do and the benefits are remarkable. They include:
For these reasons, the Tibetan 5 are known as "the Fountain of Youth." The benefits are said to come about by getting the chakras (energy centers or vortexes) spinning. According to Peter Kelder's book on this subject, "In a healthy body, each of these vortexes revolves at a great speed, permitting vital life energy... to flow upward through the endocrine system. But if one or more of these vortexes begins to slow down the vital energy is inhibited or blocked, well, that's just another name for aging and ill health."
Savitri and I have known this practice for awhile and practiced it here and there. During the pandemic, we began offering a FREE online class on the Tibetan 5 twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30am. So lately, we'd been practicing twice a week -- until Joanne spurred us to take it on for 40 days, every single day. (I'm on DAY 5 and already feeling benefits.)
Please read her story below and see if you want to join the experiment. To learn the exercises from us, you can join us for class on a Monday or a Wednesday at 10:30am EST. It's fun to practice together, and it's FREE. Or you can read up on them in Kelder's The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth.
The Fountain of Youth entices many people, particularly as we start to get “a little” older. Wouldn’t it be great to feel energized? To regain the vitality of youth? After a class practicing the Five Tibetans, and hearing about the purported results (Fountain of Youth!!) of doing it regularly, I decided to go for it. A daily practice for as along as I could, maybe for 40 days.
As with many people in the midst of this upheaval of our lives, my mental state had not been good. To put it bluntly, I had little to no interest in anything, and little to no interest in doing anything about it. Perhaps, I thought, if the Five Tibetans really is magical, I could regain my “normal” self. So I started whirling! After 2 days (no kidding) I felt better, more connected. I realize there are many reasons for change. Making a decision to DO something may have started it. Maybe it was just time. Maybe, maybe. Persisting, I am now on DAY 10 (as of this writing). The exercises have become easier, although my form still lacks precision. My overall mental/emotional state is much improved. Not perfect, but improved. I’m interested and getting involved with new things. I’ll keep going and see what happens. You don’t know until you try! Fountain of Youth, here I come!!
We thank Joanne so much for sharing her story and inspiring us to dive in. Are these 5 exercises that can be done in under 15 minutes really the Fountain of Youth? Let's find out together. If you're joining the experiment, share a comment below and keep us posted about your experience.
Any amount of Kundalini Yoga and meditation that you do is beneficial. But I want you to gain everything you can from this amazingly rich tradition. I want you to experience all the promised benefits. I want it to infect your whole life so that you reach the full potential of your vitality and creativity.
Good news. There is a way. There is a way to accelerate your Kundalini Yoga practice, to receive more benefits: begin a 40-day Daily Practice or Sadhana.
What is a 40-Day Sadhana? It is the consistent practice of the same kriya (sequence) or meditation for 40 days in a row without missing a day. If you miss a day, you have to go back to day one.
It is said that in order to get the full benefits of any given practice, you must do it every day for 40 days. According to yogic wisdom, it takes 40 days to the remove any of the bad habits and blocks that might prevent the outcomes from fully emerging. It takes 40 days to retrain the mind.
Forty days is significant, and not just according to Kundalini Yoga. In the world of religion, this number represents a threshold for fasting and prayer. In psychology, researchers have shown that one's personality could be changed through handwriting exercises done over a 40 day period.
In this world, in these times, there are so many distractions, so many options, so many reasons not to roll out the mat and stay with the same process over time. So when we do, we conquer all that. We conquer our egos. When we commit and build up our discipline muscle, we see that we can do anything, and we see that this yoga works like magic.
It does. It works like magic. I've experienced myself -- such specific and deep change within. Magical! I've seen it in my students and private clients. Magical!
Co-owners and Instructors of Montclair Kundalini Yoga, Cate Baily and Savitri Narayan Kaur. See their bios here.