I was bred to be a book lover. When I was a kid, my parents were voracious readers. When we went on vacation as a family, they b-lined to loungers with their paperbacks and tore through stacks. When I reached Judy Blume age, I started to understand their obsession. Are You There God? It's Me Margaret was the beginning of my LOVE of reading and of books themselves.
I've heard some people recommend keeping books out of your bedroom, because the bedroom should be simple and only about sleep. This sounds HORRIBLE to me. A bedroom without books is like a bed without a comforter. My nightstand pile is a reflection of me in this moment in time.
These days there are always at least a few trusty Kundalini Yoga books. Books I've read and referred to again and again. They are my pals. I need them by my side.
I wanted to share with you the Kundalini Yoga books that have helped me the most and inspired me the most. I also wanted to encourage you to buy a book or two. I love books on tape for the car, and I love the instant gratification of Kindle, but there is something about holding a book.
For overviews of the practice....
Aquarian Sadhana is a practice which was given to us by the Master of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan in 1992. He believed that we needed this practice in order to keep up with these times -- fast-paced, confusing, stress-filled times -- and live our lives as victories.
In short, it is a specific two and a half hour practice during what's called the amrit vela, or the ambrosial hours 3:30-7am. (At MKY, we make it a little more doable by starting at 5 or 5:30am.) Here's how the practice breaks down:
Yogi Bhajan said, "The greatest reward of doing sadhana is that the person becomes incapable of being defeated. Sadhana is a self-victory, and it is a victory of time and space. Getting up is a victory over time, and doing it is a victory over space."
If you are learning about Aquarian Sadhana for the first time, you may find some of its aspects extreme or strange. I know how you feel. I felt the same when I first learned of it and started practicing it.
I was first introduced to this practice in Teacher Training, and it was a requirement. Truth be told, I didn't have a great attitude about this requirement. I had all kinds of internal complaints about it.
If you want to learn more about Aquarian Sadhana, I recommend the book Original Light: the Morning Practice of Kundalini Yoga by beloved devotional artist and Kundalini Yoga teacher Snatam Kaur. She goes into depth and unpacks each aspect of the practice based on her lifetime of experience, growing up in a Kundalini Yoga community and studying directly with Yogi Bhajan. There are so many beautiful nuggets to take from this book, but here is one of my favorites: "It is through a daily spiritual practice that is consistent, like the heartbeat, that we change the psyche to know -- on an elemental, psychic, physical, chemical, and spiritual level -- that we are in fact putting the soul first."
I encourage you to read this book or any other about this beautiful gift from Yogi Bhajan, Aquarian Sadhana. But more so, I encourage you to experience it. Join us or find a sadhana near you. Sat Nam.
Co-owner and Instructor of Montclair Kundalini Yoga, Cate Baily (Arvind Dev Kaur) is ever grateful to share these teachings. Full bio here.