I'm considering beginning Kundalini yoga to help me lose weight. Rented a video called Fat-Free Yoga by Ravi Singh, and the exercises definitely look like they will burn calories!
But I'm having some second thoughts about it, after reading the horror stories of negative Kundalini experiences, some of which seem to greatly impair people for years! I also sense that there's a great deal of deception or denial among the teachers. Gurmukh, for instance said in one of her books that she's never even heard of a negative Kundalini experience, which seems like it must be a lie; the Net's too full of examples for an educated teacher to be ignorant. Even Indian gurus like Gopi Krishna warn about its dangers.
One of the Kundalini information sites warns that most teachers never mention the dangerous side effects, nor are able to help the students with them if they materialize.
So, I'm looking for advice. I'm a Christian, I meditate, usually something close to Centering Prayer, I've done hatha yoga (LONG time ago) and tai chi more recently, and I've recently become a Reiki practitioner. The positive effects of K interest me, so does the idea of an intensely physical, aerobic yoga for weight loss.
But if I begin, how can I protect myself? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Excellent questions you ask, and I hope all who read this thread will also check out your web site. Nicely done!
Not having seen the videotape you describe, it's hard to know how intense they are, and what kind of impact they might have. Generally, in people who have a fairly mature spiritual life and who live ethically, a kundalini awakening will not be a traumatic situation; quite the contrary. This doesn't mean that it won't be a rough ride sometimes as the energy clears away blockages in the subtle body--only that one won't lose one's health or sanity from it, and will welcome the clarity that comes as the blockages are cleared.
Still, there are bum awakenings, and it's difficult to say why some are so negative. Often, the meditator just pushes too hard too fast; other times, it is shaktipat from an incompatible or unbalanced teacher that is the source of the problem. Here, I think, it is important for Christians to remember who our real Guru/Yogi/Shakti Master really is, and not open ourselves unduly to the possible ill effects of other teachers.
You mentioned that your intent in practicing these yogic exercises is to lose weight. I can understand the attraction, especially for somone like you who has an interest in Christian contemplative spirituality. My guess is that you'd be given some kinds of inner warnings if you were pushing too hard, or being moved away from your faith. It would be important to pay close attention to this.
Let us know how it goes.
-------------------- "The Light shines on in darkness . . ." - John 1: 3 -
I found your advice extremely helpful. I think you're right that with my long spiritual experience, common sense, reasonable caution, and expecially with my Guru Yeshua haMashiach I don't have too much to worry about.
I think you may be right about a possible reason for some of the bad trips is lack of time and discipline on a spiritual path, or lack of compatibility. Went to a meditation center for a retreat this summer that had some "compatibility" problems, and can only imagine that something like S-pat would be much, much worse. Even challenging experiences straight from the Lord can be a tad unnerving sometimes!
Anyway, my main goal here is physical, any spiritual benefit will be "icing on the cake."
Thanks for your comments on my site; I like yours, too! And I agree: Almonds just mess up a great Hershey's candy bar!
A comment, for whatever it may be worth, about Reiki.
I'm a lapsed Level II; lapsed largely because of what may have been Kundalini effects. The sensations of spiralling weren't so bad (rather fun, in fact), but the emotional firestorms were the pits. I now stick to more conventional hands-on prayer, though I still use some of what I learned, minus the symbols.
Obviously our circumstances are different, but I would definitely suggest caution. Don't overdo, and don't try to go it alone (as I did) in case you do have questions.
Peace and blessings,
P.S.: A question I have to throw out to the meeting (having read some of the posts on other subjects): do Reiki attunements constitute something like Shaktipat, with their setting of written symbols in the crown chakra and the energy effects that sometimes occur?
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A question I have to throw out to the meeting (having read some of the posts on other subjects): do Reiki attunements constitute something like Shaktipat, with their setting of written symbols in the crown chakra and the energy effects that sometimes occur?
I'm a Reiki III but haven't practiced it for quite some time. I've also received Shaktipat. The experiences were quite different for me. I really didn't have any earth shaking events with either one. I think that Shaktipat is to intentionally activate the kundalini process within oneself while Reiki is to intentionally activate the healing capacities within oneself. So, I would guess that Reiki attunements do not constitute something like Shaktipat....from my perspective, anyway.
BTW, I experienced no ill effects from either and experienced both initiations with a focused mental dedication to Christ who I felt was with me through the entire process. After the Shaktipat, I also had a subsequent instructional dream in which a Hindu adept simply reinforced and corroborated things I had learned as a Christian.