I am more concerned about your left brain than your left toe. I mean, if moving your left toe in a certain way as we do sometimes in Kundalini Yoga opens up some superhighway of high octane energy in your body and mind in that moment as prescribed by the artful science of Yogis, Rishis, and Practitioners through 5000 plus years of experimentation—then fine. However, in Kundalini Yoga, the fastest growing yoga movement in the world, if you can get breath to move through the system in a new way, you may find that the whole body instantaneously gets more flexible, more permeable, and in general, more full of the energy we all need so badly to maneuver through this exponentially complex and pressurized time.
And everyone wants to feel like they are handling this increase in pressure better than they actually are. One of the major challenges of this Age of Technology is what Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga, called Info Dementia Syndrome or IDS to put it in text/tweet/hyperlink speak. The symptoms of IDS are brain fatigue, scattered thoughts, exhaustion, anxiety, mental bankruptcy, emotional rollercoaster, and the increased desire to numb out with—marijuana, alcohol, social media, food, pills, sex, porn, over-exercising, playing video games— whatever your particular preference may be. And where your left toe is at any given moment in a yoga posture, or in your life, becomes pretty irrelevant if you can’t get out of the hamster wheel of habitual thoughts/feelings/actions.
This is where the beauty, efficiency, and art of Kundalini Yoga comes in. You don’t have to look good in spandex coordinates, you don’t have to be in any particular physical shape, you can wear jeans, you can do it at your desk, you can do something for three minutes, there is literally NO BARRIER TO ENTRY. I just had a man paralyzed from the chest down participate in a five-day intensive that I taught. He had a revelatory experience. In a hospital bed, in a parked car, in a hotel room, in your bed, in a bathroom—Kundalini Yoga and Meditation provides a quick-fix alternative to the ails of the modern age.
And if you’re a seasoned meditator, yogi, or athlete, Kundalini Yoga can be as hardcore as it comes. The intensive circuit training, metabolic boosters, pranayams, and never-ending meditations will challenge every part of your body and mind. However, I for one am uninterested in preaching to the choir. Every single body and mind needs some sort of resetting, strengthening, and clarifying practice to keep the whirl of this high speed blender-paced life from eating us up mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Insomnia, anxiety, depression, suicide, and loneliness are at record highs, as well as cancer, auto-immune diseases, and brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Not even to mention the institutionalized medicating of children with ADHD and Autism.
We need curatives that are fast, simple, inexpensive and anyone who needs them can access and practice them at any time. Yogi Bhajan, during his tenure of teaching in the West, said over and over that these simple yogic and meditative techniques would be understood as medicine in the years to come.
So, whether you think you “belong” in the toe touching, pretzel-ly world of yoga or not, try this one breath series to quickly switch your brain to its optimal functioning. No need for the latest brain optimizer pill. Your system is the most highly intelligent computer that will ever be built. YOU belong in an optimized energy state, with a clear mind, an open heart, and the wide spectrum of personal power that ensues. YOU were born to ride the wave of biochemical reactions and phenomenal experiences called a life well lived. That tops an aligned big toe in some fancy westernized yoga posture any day!
From the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
Self-care breath increases inner energy, boosts the immune system, and cleanses the body
- Bring the hands together at the center of the chest in Prayer Position with the eyes closed and rolled up and inwards.
- Inhale completely and exhale completely.
- Tune In for your practice by saying “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” three times.
- Open the mouth and form a circle that is tight and precise—a boar’s mouth.
- Place the hands crossed over the Heart Center, right over left.
- Close your eyes and sense the area under your palms.
- Breathe a steady, powerful Cannon Breath through the mouth. Let your mind focus on the mouth ring and shape the breath into a ring. Continue five minutes. To end: Inhale and hold the breath. Relax the mouth. Mentally repeat: “I am beautiful, I am innocent, I am innocent, I am beautiful.” Exhale through the nose. Do this a total of five times.
Guru Jagat is founder of RA MA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology and the author of Invincible Living (HarperElixir). Visit http://www.gurujagat.com/invincible-living/
This article is a part of the 2016 Holiday - Radical Generosity issue of Whole Life Times.