There are about 18 of us at Urban Yoga Chicago delving deeper through (average) 90 days of daily Sat Kriya practice.
I saw a quote this morning, and it made me think of what we are doing together because people wonder and ask what will come of this daily commitment. Here is the quote:
Sat Kriya does that-- it wakes you up.
Waking up is pretty cool. It changes the lens through which you see, and when you begin to see through a different lens, you begin to make decisions differently.
And for some, that unknown can feel scary. But honestly, I can’t think of anything more scary than status quo. We know how we feel about, for instance the Catholic Church “not changing with the times,” and same with our current government as they protect an antiquated second amendment created by our Founding Fathers 240 years ago. Things must evolve or they erode. Despite our efforts to stay the same, nothing does. So easy it is to judge the Church and our government for holding tight to the status quo, yet we resist our own transformation.
We do this because it feels like we are relinquishing a perceived power that comes from familiarity. Shit hits the fan as we transform, yes, and we may find ourselves feeling like newly freed slaves recalling the “comforts” of old, the sting of the whip and the hunger for freedom a distant memory in the face of the unknown.
Our ego says “everything is fine, you don’t need to do this right now.” It tells us, “I know what’s good for you. Stop being silly and fall in line! And here’s why…” And the reasons are persuasive, and they feel incredibly legit. Who needs a new slave master when our egos take over? For those ready to step into their next most radiant Self, they know that those reasons are mere excuses that emerge to test the will.
Waking up — and keeping up — changes that. It quiets the noise so that you can hear your personal Truth, or Sat Nam. When you stay tapped into your Truth, it nags at you to move forward differently: to lead the way of your own life and not be led by others; to find community that will balance out the external noise that supports the tantrums of the ego; to allow yourself to indulge in tools that heal the psyche; to find ways to delve deeper through study, and to surround yourself with teachers of all kinds to hold vision for your elevation as well as to hold you accountable. Those teachers may poke and prod at you, to push you out of your comfort zone, to crack through the ego and into your truth, which knows that you are greater than you ever thought. And why not? Ego pokes at you all day, and so does society, instead telling you in many ways how you are not enough; and they work to keep you in your sleepy comfort zone.
Meditate on Sat Nam. Meditate and dwell in your own silence. Meditation brings you back into your own power because it connects you back to your God essence. And no, you don’t change. You are still you're essence. You’ve just now woken up to it.
It is said that our search for romantic love, for material wealth and happiness comes from an innate but misguided desire to find connection with God, our eternal Self. Instead of turning within, we look outside of us to find that sense of wholeness. As if someone else, or something else can make us whole.
In our day to day life, we are pulled into different directions, and we struggle to find meaning in them. Under stress, and the experience of scarcity, we scramble to prioritize what is most important. When we are having this sort of discussion with friends over tea or wine, we know what they are. Our actions say otherwise. We don't want to disappoint. We don't want to say "no." Not to others. But to ourselves, we say "no," or "later" regularly.
Committing to another person, to work, to exercise, these things are important, and they define us to others. We are reliable and trustworthy. These commitments can reward us with companionship, reputation, wealth, a sense of accomplishment and good health. Still, these are external. We commit to these things for ourselves, yes, and yet they are so intricately tied to our desire to be accepted through the eyes of our public and to our parents. The fragility of which is experienced when one part of it, or all of it, crumbles.
There is another level of commitment, and that is a commitment to Self. This is a very different thing, and it feels quite different. It requires one to quiet the noise, both internal and external. It requires one to manage the ego and conquer the mind. It requires a complete surrender to one's true desire for excellence and alignment to one's truth. It requires overcoming external forces and setting healthy boundaries with oneself and with others. It requires being okay when others don't understand you. This path can feel lonely. Yet it takes away loneliness, even when alone. But one never really is on this path. The fear and anticipation of it is real, however. It develops courage and grit. It connects us strongly to our own values, our intentions and our actions. It makes us real human BE-ings.
One "easy" way to develop this is to do a 90, 120 or 1000 day kriya or meditation. 40 days is still short enough where the end is in sight, and we don't mind so much starting over again if we "have to" miss a day. The longer times are long enough that our relationship to our commitment becomes like brushing teeth. We don't ask ourselves, "how many days in a row have I brushed my teeth, and how many more do I have?" It simply becomes a part of the daily doing. It is a personal hygiene one would not consider skipping. Well, maybe one does from time to time, but then one ends up doing it because it's gross not to. Commitment to self is spiritual hygiene. It can feel gross to skip. If you have ever had a regular sadhana practice and have had opportunity to skip it from time to time, you might understand what I am talking about. Also, this is different from exercise. It becomes inconvenient for others, and there is no external force that technically gets why you are doing it. Other than your spiritual community. Connecting with them becomes wise and necessary. That is another benefit: learning to stay connected with your spiritual tribe from which to pull inspiration and strength. Them, you don't have to fight.
So it's time for me to do another one. I am doing the Sat Kriya again. I did it once for 31 minutes for 1000 days. This time it will be for 22 minutes for 120 days. And maybe I'll keep going. There are 10 others so far that will be joining me (including my awesome business partner and friend!), and I start this on Thursday, June 9. If you would like to join us, please let us know. This link goes to both me and my business partner, Jodh. We'd love to keep you in our thoughts as we do our practice. Let us know how long. It can be as little as 3 minutes and as long as 61 minutes. Please keep in mind that however long you decide to do the kriya, you will need to add at least the same amount of time for savasana (aka corpse pose, or lying on your back). The ideal time for savasana is twice the time. An 11 minute Sat Kriya calls for 22 minutes of savasana (ideal) or 11 minutes minimum. If you are doing 3 minutes of Sat Kriya, then you can probably find time for 6 minutes of savasana. For those that are not familiar with the 40, 60, 90, 120, 1000 day commitment: if you miss a day, you start over again at Day 1.
I asked my teacher who helped me choose this for my 1000 day many years ago, "What if an emergency comes up and my child is in the hospital? or I become very ill? or get into an accident on my way home to do the kriya?"
His answer: "Then you won't know what it's like to do it for 1000 days straight."
If you are unsure of how it's done, or want to know the benefits of the Sat Kriya, please see below our Urban Practice video w/ Jodh Kaur, which explains what it is followed by Jodh doing 11 minutes of Sat Kriya. If you would like to commit to 11 minutes and practice it with her daily, click the next video that starts it to 6:01. Just remember to tune in with "Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo" three times.
Sat Kriya 11 minutes with instructions
Kundalini Yoga Quotes:
“I’d never felt anything like it; it was just an opening of energy and a feeling of such liberation.” -Marika Bethel, owner, Glowing House