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.
I love Kundalini Yoga. It was love at first chant.
About three years ago I took my first Kundalini class with Cate Baily. I had just made some major breakthroughs in my life. After spending many years in the darkness, I was in the light again. Kundalini just felt so right and exactly what I needed to maintain my happiness. I kept taking classes and taking classes. I couldn’t get enough! I took classes with Savitri. She talked about spirit and the world most of us know nothing about. I was fascinated by her outlook on spiritual life.
I studied every night. I must have watched hundreds of Yogi Bhajan videos on YouTube. The more I watched, the more I loved Kundalini. I was like a person who hadn’t eaten for days. I couldn’t get enough knowledge into my brain fast enough. I wanted to know more!
Cate turned out to be my mentor and spirit guide. When I asked for advice on my practice, she willingly helped guide me in the right direction. She gave me my first 40 day practice, Meditation for a Calm Heart. She gave me songs and artists to listen to. She explained everything I had questions about. Cate's love of this practice was infectious. Watching her at our first Sat Nam Fest together was inspiring. The joy in her face as we took classes and went to concerts was beautiful to see. The first time I saw Snatam Kaur perform “The Long Time Sun” (See the link to the song in the comments.) I was overwhelmed with such joy. The tears were flowing from both of us.
We went to Sat Nam Fest again the next year, and this time I stayed the entire 5 days. Wow! I met so many amazing people. I met all the artists that perform the music I love, and I took pictures with all of them. Cate always teases me that I’m going to publish a coffee table book with all picture of me and the artists. I do it so I can remember the bliss I felt at the time.
After coming home from Sat am Fest, it was obvious what I had to do next. Teacher training. As Yogi Bhajan said, “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” Then came a sign from the universe: Hari Kaur was coming to Montclair Kundalini Yoga to do teacher training! Hari worked directly with Yogi Bhajan for ten years as director of teacher training. Yogi Bhajan said “ I don’t believe in miracles, I rely on them” This was my miracle. Who else but Hari could I learn from? So I signed up.
In November 2018, I started my journey to become a Kundalini Yoga Teacher. Hari, and the great Dharma Devi led the training. Our class was relatively small. 13 women and me. But it turned out for the best. We became a family. We cried and laughed together. We celebrated our accomplishments together, and most importantly, we supported each other. Guest teachers came and were so giving with their knowledge of the practice. The months flew by. We all did our practicums for each other, and it really felt like we were almost there, teachers.
When we all went as a group to White Tantric Yoga (a day-long meditation event), that took things to the next level. We rented a bus so we could all be together. This was such a powerful part of our training, and we were all very moved by it.
When we all graduated in June, it was like a dream. We all went to lunch together to celebrate our accomplishment. At the end of the last class together with Hari, she brought us all in close and had us close our eyes. I will never forget her next words. “I bless you all now as teachers.” Tears were flowing.
When I taught my first class, some of my classmates came to support me. Friends from Montclair Kundalini yoga came. After the final blessing, when I arose from bowing, tears flowed again. I am a teacher. It still gives me a little chill when I say that to myself.
This past week many of us went to Sat Nam Fest together. This was my third year there. But this year was very different. I went with the eyes, ears and heart of a teacher. It was like watching a movie in a language you don’t understand. You enjoy the movie, but don’t entirely get it. Then you watch it again with subtitles and you get it. Classes I took and the words of the teachers now were so much clearer to me. Some of the words used that I had heard before, now had power. I knew the philosophy behind them. Yogi Amandeep said “The one who knows how to hold the breath, knows how to hold life.” I understand totally. In training, we learned all about breath and it’s importance. About the body locks. All so important and critical to this practice. The wonderful Gurmukh said “ Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.” I understood. A common thread through all the presenters was childhood. Why are people attracted to babies? Because they are pure. Pure light. As we grow up and lose our true self, our Sat Nam, we lose sight of our pure light. We still have it inside us. Its just buried deep. Kundalini Yoga teaches us to find it again, to go back to our Sat Nam.
One of the other great things about my Sat Nam experience this year was meeting people who I have only known online. I have a Facebook page "Friends Who Like Montclair Kundalini Yoga" (Link to it here and join). I post quotes from Yogi Bhajan, or something inspirational every day. I love doing it, and many people share and comment on the posts. I got to meet many of them in person at SNF! Another miracle. New friendships were made, old ones were strengthened. I could have floated home instead of driving the 3 hours.
So that’s my journey. But it’s really only the very start. I look forward to teaching more and more and sharing my love of this practice. I just want to go deeper and deeper.
I’m still hungry.
I'd love to hear from you. What is your journey? How did you find Kundalini Yoga? Please share in the comments below.
It is an understatement to say that Andy is very excited to begin his Kundalini Yoga teaching career at Montclair Kundalini Yoga. His journey toward becoming a spiritual teacher began with the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz which offers a philosophical framework for living. The book literally saved his life and brought him joy and happiness. Soon after finding this book, he discovered Kundalini Yoga. He was instantly hooked and began studying and deepening his practice with the guidance of Cate and Savitri at Montclair Kundalini Yoga. Andy likes to say, "When I finished The Four Agreements, the light came back into my life. When I found Kundalini, that light went to technicolor." Andy recently graduated from 200 hour teacher training with Hari Kaur and Dharma Devi. His love of this practice and life is very deep and evident in his presence at the studio. Always learning from the master, Andy posts daily quotes from Yogi Bhajan on the Facebook group he manages, Friends Who Like Montclair Kundalini Yoga. Join him on Thursday nights for Kundalini Yoga & The Four Agreements.
Co-owner and Instructor of Montclair Kundalini Yoga, Cate Baily (Arvind Dev Kaur) is ever grateful to share these teachings. Full bio here.