I spoke to Sam, Sirgun, who is a trusted friend and yoga teacher – whom I absolutely adore. Kundalini Yoga is certainly on the rise of popularity and growing at the fatest rate across the world! WHY, we ask?
It is totally awesome and ecstatic practice that has significant power to seriously alter your life!
Sirgun, I must say I had tried Kundalini before but it was not until I went to one of your classes that I really started to enjoy it. There is something about you that is different about you as a kundalini yoga teacher, which is why I call upon your regularly as a friend and meditation teacher to help me and our students embrace your way of life. Here are some questions that I wish to ask of you…
What led you to study, teach and practice kundalini yoga and meditations?
I have practised hatha yoga since I joined the Army (over 20 years ago! where has that time gone?). I was very much a gym yogi and I used it to balance my very strong physical exercise regime…
In 2010, my Husband was deployed to Afghanistan. The day before he left I was in a book shop with him looking for books for him to take away when I noticed right in front of me a book called Yoga Fo Real Life By Maya Fiennes. Something in me knew I needed that book, so I bought it. The day he left I opened it and played the accompanying CD. I ordered the DVD that went with the book and did that DVD everyday for the the whole tour. I played the CD over and over. It changed my whole life…I had been sharing Hatha yoga with the Army wives for years but began writing out the Kundalini kriyas from the CD’s and teaching and sharing them. My husband returned on R&R to the children and me chanting and the house covered in post it notes with quotes and affirmations.
I knew I wanted to study Kundalini Yoga and booked myself on teacher training when we were posted to Australia after the tour.
My journey has unfolded and continues to unfold from here….it is an evolution of balance.
You have a name given you to by your kundalini teacher. Please tell us more about why this is given in the kundalini tradition, what the name means, how it initially felt to accept the name and what it means to you now.
During our Teacher Training we applied for our Spiritual names through 3HO. It was so powerful to receive them during one of our intensive weeks.
The name is was given is Sirgun Kaur. The name means…The Lioness who personifies God. It is my journey to truly know and understand the essence of God and to teach it to others. My teacher also translated it to be a Siri Gunas, Siri meaning Truth, Guna representing the 3 Gunas of Satva, Rajas and Tamas. It will be my journey to fully know truth of theses energies and teach others from this place.
In the Kundalini Yoga community I am known as Sirgun…a recent teacher asked me what my slave name is….I loved this.
Our Spiritual name allows us the opportunity to start again…and to step into out spiritual path. The name does not mean you have mastered theses energies it demonstrates your life journey towards this mastery.
What differentiates kundalini meditations from other styles of meditation?
For me it is the combination of Pranayama, Asana and Mudra. It is the timings of 3 mins, 11mins, 31mins or 62 mins.
It is the science and technology of the angles and it challenges you to work to strengthen the neutral mind.
There are thousands of meditations and one for anything you feel that you need to work on from anger to finding a life partner.
If you have a challenge in your life then we have an ‘app’ for that!
They are accessible and quick to awaken the dormant kundalini energy at the base of the spine…Kundalini yoga is for the householder…We may not have an hour or two spare everyday to practise in our busy lives but we can all mange to fit in 11mins…and this can change your life!
What does your typical day look like and how do you incorporate these meditations into your everyday life, your family life?
I rise at 4.45 in the darker months and tip toe out to my teaching space and meditate for the next hour every morning.
I normally follow a set sequence of meditations based on areas I am working on in my life or meditations given to me by my teacher.
I also like to go for a good strong walk after my practise.
After this I continue my normal day with my 4 children.
I play mantra throughout the day which I find helps me to stay connected with my higher self. It also works well at calming the children.
Some evenings I meditate before sleeping especially if my husband is away.
I usually read from one of the many books Yogi Bhajan has written. Currently I am enjoying The Mind.
How has kundalini yoga changed your life?
There is no area of my life that has not been touched by Kundalini Yoga
It has given me a purpose as a teacher.
It has brought me deep healing both psychically and mentally.
It has improved the relationships in my life.
It has taught me to show up for myself and to speak my truth.
Give us an example of how you have practiced kundalini meditations to release karmic patterning?
I have completed a number of 40 day and 90 day Kriyas and meditations.
One of the most profound was a 40 day practise to Release Anger.
I literally felt that completing this 40 days created a dramatic shift in the way perceived and behaved in the world around me.
White tantric is another way in which we release karmic patterning…during this practise we work with a partners in meditations ranging from 31 – 62 minutes.
It is an ancient group meditative practise that works on clearing out the deepest corridors of the subconscious mind. As Kundalini Yoga teachers we try and attend White tantric workshops that are 1 – 2 days long every year.
Have you been able to heal your own nervous system through meditation? What sort of techniques do you use to assist students heal their own nervous systems?
My nervous system has healed dramatically since I began to practise.
Most of the kriyas work on strengthening the nervous system.
I practise a Sat Kriya daily for 11mins. This has strengthened my nervous system in a profound way. The effects of just this one kriya can be seen in your normal hatha practise within a week.
For students I normally recommend this kriya or even simply holding a Down dog posture for 3 – 11 mins daily.
What is the most pertinent practice that has brought you into a more heart centred way of being?
Interestingly I am about to complete 40 days of Aadays Tisai Aadays. It is a Meditation to become a Fearless Leader.
It is the second time I have completed 40 days of this meditation the first was during my Teacher training.
This is something as a Woman of these times is very important. The meditation works deeply on the heart meridian.
Yogi Bhajan taught this meditation as a way to control the mind’s impulse towards fear and assist one in becoming a leader, a being who creates new pathways, inspires those working with him, and consolidates energy to reach any goal.
The mantras meaning is;
All honor to the One, Hail the Primal Being whose attributes cannot be described, Who is without beginning, the Unstruck Sound, and whose form is One through every Age.
This mantra is believed to instill the entire knowledge of the Universe without ever reading a book. It is the yogi’s humble bowing to the infinite.
It has deepened my love for this practise and my role as a teacher profoundly.
I see its effects in all areas of my life…and I am deeply grateful.
Please tell us more about rebirthing meditations – especially for those of us who are doubting, sceptical or perhaps a little cynical of such a possibility?
The idea of rebirthing is to release the subconscious, the storehouse of misery. – Yogi Bhajan
Heal the pain of the past and overcome the obstacles which keep you form living your best life – awakened, rejuvenated and present to your purpose.
Rebirthing Courses by Yogi Bhajan have long been some of the most talked about classes he offered in his 35 years of teaching.
Practicing these kriyas helps sort out our sense of self and enables us to locate our originality amid the torrent of emotions and beliefs that we acquire throughout our lives.
The aim is to renew ourselves and clear the garbage and imprints of the past through a series of kriyas focussing on different stages of our first and very determining cycle of development: from our time in the womb to 11 years of age.
What can we expect if we come along to a rebirthings meditation retreat?
These rebirthing kriyas mainly work with the breath.
Postures are held sometimes with movement and sometimes with stillness.
You can expect to experience a physical and mental release through the process.
You will have a profound awareness of your mind and may experience a deeper level of meditation.
Whilst the day will challenge you it will also uplift you and inspire you.
If you are needing to make a shift in your life….this is for you.
Give us one final word of encouragement to begin, continue, or advance our meditation practice.
One of the 5 sutras for the Aquarian Age that Yogi Bhajan gave us is;
When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.
There will never be a better time than now and you will only feel better if you start.
It does not have to be hard just a 3 minute meditation or pranayama will change your life.
If you do nothing else…set a timer and breath deep belly breaths for 3 mins.
Focus on just breathing…if the mind wanders let it…but you focus on the breathing.
Add just this to your day…start with 1 day…then see how you go.
Come and tell me just how much everything has changed at one of these retreats!
Thanks Sam, Sirgun, so good to have you guiding, lighting the way in kundalini yoga and beyond. x
*The next 4 meditation retreats (May to August) will be taught by Sirgun, Samantha Lindsay German.
19th May ~ Meditations to Release Karmic Patterning
16th June ~ Meditations to Heal the Nervous System
14th July ~ Meditations for a Heart Centred Life
11th August ~ Rebirthing Meditations