Boot Camp Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Kundalini Yoga anyway?
Kundalini yoga is known as the yoga of awareness. Combining angular posture with sound and breath, Kundalini Yoga accelerates the energy of the body and mind and creates an elevated state which causes deep relaxation with clarity and alertness.
It is a practice which, allows the individual to awaken the subtle creative power that is in each human being. When this energy is awakened and directed by the mind it creates health, awareness, creativity and an overall feeling of well-being. All types of yoga will awaken this kundalini energy. Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is designed to work faster by acting directly to awaken this normally dormant energy in the body.
” You experience it when the energy of the glandular system combines with the nervous system to create such sensitivity that the totality of the brain receives signals and integrates them. Then a person understands the effect of the effect in a sequence of the causes. In other words, man becomes totally and wholly aware. We call it the yoga of awareness. Just as all the rivers end up in the ocean, all yogas end up raising the kundalini in man. What is the kundalini? It is the creative potential of the man. “–Yogi Bhajan, Sadhana Guidelines.
How does it work?
Using Kriya (physical movement), Pranyama (breath exercise,) and Mantra (sound current) Kundalini Yoga awakens the dormant energy at the base of the spine. This energy known as the kundalini or “coil of the beloved” is the infinite potential of the human being.
Why so early?
In the military, physical training is done just before dawn. Many religious devotees practice during these hours as well. Just before sunrise and just before sunset are the most powerful times to practice anything that integrates mind, body and soul. Known as the “in between times,” these hours before dawn and at sunset magnify the body, mind and soul’s ability to integrate with one another. Crazy as it may sound to the average Joe, there’s less sunlight and therefore less electromagnetic waves and “static.” This allows the mind a clearer focus.
I’ve never done yoga before. Isn’t this program a little advanced for someone like me?
Kundalini Yoga is an amazing technology that works on more than just the physical body. Because of that, a student of any level or physical condition can come to class and each will get something out of it because you go at your own pace. Kundalini yoga meets the student at their level and lifts them up. Practicing in a group, especially a group that is together for a period of time together, creates a collective mind and multiplies the effects. Some students may be better at one exercise and others better at another. When a person feels challenged on one particular exercise, a stronger student’s energy and the collective energy of the group will support them and vice versa. It’s really something that has to be experienced.
What if I miss a day or two?
The idea is to set an intent for something new you want to bring into your life. A positive change. Doing the yoga and especially the gong meditation over 40 days will magnify that intent and simultaneously remove the blocks that are standing in the way of it. Student’s schedules can be difficult to pin down, so we also offer class passes for 10,20 & 30 days to better suit various schedules. If you have to miss any of the days due to travel or other obligations, you can make up the yoga set and meditation on your own and essentially complete the whole forty day program.
Technically if you miss a day it lessens the effects. It also causes a slippery-slope effect in the mind. If you miss one day you’ll be very likely to miss two and then more. What I tell people is to just show up. Even if you’re tired and you end up sleeping in the back of the room, you’ve fulfilled your commitment to yourself by showing up every day for forty days. I can tell you from my experience, though, that once you walk through the door you’re energized and you’ll do at least part of the set. Part of the effect of completing the 40 days without missing a day is that it builds confidence. Once you know you’ve done it, that carries over into other things in your life and your will becomes stronger against the tricks of the mind.
What is a gong meditation and why is it so great?
The Gong has all the sounds of creation within it. You’ll understand better once you’ve experienced it. A lot like Love, you can only know it by being in it! Because The Gong contains every vibration its sounds literally cancel out your thought waves and allow you to completely relax very deeply and quickly. Since your body is open from the yoga and breath, the mind is overcome and relaxed by the gong. Once in this state of relaxation, the sounds of the gong then continue to readjust the matrix of your mind to better project the best of you. This allows your higher nature, or soul to come to the forefront and that magnifies the intent you’ve set for yourself. Just ask anyone who’s experienced it and they’ll tell you it ‘s the ultimate reset button!
What should my diet be during the boot camp?
You should always consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or any other physical endeavor. For yoga and meditation programs, effects are enhanced by a light diet . Vegetarian is ideal but you shouldn’t feel the need to make major dietary changes. You should eat normally with an eye towards lightening the diet with more fruits and vegetables and PLENTY OF WATER. The amazing thing about Kundalini Yoga that simply by doing more yoga, in regular practice, the desire for things that lessen the yoga’s effectiveness seem to fall away over time.
Also, cutting down on or eliminating the following will make your experience a little easier: Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, red meat, and of course drugs! The only reason we suggest this is because those things weigh on your energy and make it harder to get up in the morning and you have to exert more energy to clean them out of your body. It’s just like carrying extra weight that you don’t have to. Eating lighter makes the journey easier.
How Does Kundalini Work?
As the energy travels up the spine it removes sub-conscious blocks from the energy centers or chakras. These can be long-forgotten past experiences . This is sometimes why people may feel odd or experience emotions they haven’t felt in some time, or remember past experiences that they’d long forgotten. This is a very positive thing. As the blocks are removed and the energy begins to flow the result is greater clarity of mind, awareness, intuition (being in the right place at the right time) and a general feeling of bliss.
Lots of water, plenty of rest and bathing in hot water after a strenuous set helps to restore the person feeling out of sorts. Again, it is not dangerous at all when guided by an experienced instructor.
*You should always consult your physician before beginning any new excercise or diet regimen.
It’s called boot camp, are we going to get yelled at?
No. The Yoga Boot Camp is designed to create an atmosphere that positively allows you to awaken your own potential and enhance your own dynamic will power so that you can access greater strength within. You’ll be shown, very positively and reassuringly how to push yourself so that the victory is yours. When an individual is part of a group that pushes him or her, as in a military bootcamp, the big motivator is fear and the person may achieve great things, but the success will always be bred out of fear or associated the thought that they couldn’t have done it alone. Yoga boot camp in forty days is different, because it’s a positive experience that leaves the individual with the feeling that they really did it themselves, individually, within the energy and support of the group. This sets the foundation for greater individual confidence and achievement in the future.
How is this better than good old cardio and strength training?
These ancient kryias (which were secretly passed from Master to student for centuries) actually work potently and rapidly to improve the cardiovascular system, the electromagnetic field (brainwaves), the glandular (endocrine) system and the nervous system. The different kriyas are designed to isolate and work on a group of muscles, organs or glands to purify and detoxify them, improving the overall function of the entire system. In some ways it works more potently than traditional, familiar fitness programs because it is a science of the human being, rather than just the physical body. By clearing the physical body of its toxins, the mind is able to relax in meditation and the soul body becomes more present , giving you greater intuition, awareness, mental clarity and balance.
Sometimes when time and schedule permit we do a boot camp program for 40 days. Usually these days it’s shorter– anywhere from 3 – 15 days depending on the theme. Also, many students begin with a shorter program and want to continue on for 40 days or more. Here’s the significance of 40 days and why you want to create a foundation with a continuous 40 day practice to start.
Many spiritual texts discuss masters, saints and sages who went through various trials and overcame great challenges over a period of forty days. Even most military boot camps are six weeks long, about 42 days.
Since the mind is affected by the lunar cycles and it is said that the mind releases 1000 thoughts with every blink of the eye, doing a 90-minute yoga and meditation set over forty days affects the mind on the sub-conscious level. Over a forty-day period the lunar cycles of the mind are overcome and the subtle thought-chains of habit can be broken. A habit is a chain of thought patterns that have been repeated to the point where the actions resulting from those thoughts have become behavior. A 40-day meditation allows you to leverage the habits of the mind and create substantial change.
Trying to change habits and patterns that you’ve developed over years of repitition is difficult. It can’t be done by thinking alone. Trying to change habits and behaviors by thinking about them is like trying to change the oil in your car with the engine still running. You have to shut the engine off and take apart certain components in order to service the machine. In order to change your habits you need some special tools to shut off the mind and leverage to parts of the you which are inaccessable during daily life. Kudnalini Yoga & Meditation magnified by the celestial sounds of The Gong over 40 days gives the individual a powerful set of tools for servicing the entire human energy system.
With intention, backed by the transformational power of kundalini yoga, meditation and the powerful, sacred sounds of The Gong, a student can leverage great personal power over the 40 day period effecting far-reaching life changes in a short period of time. Strength is gained and reinforced through commitment and simply showing up every morning. The group energy creates a magnetic bond that affects the subtle body and adds strength which is accessed by the individual.
It’s simply a magical process which has to be experienced.
Come to the first morning class with an intent to change one thing in your life. That could be adding something positive or removing something which is blocking you. Or you can simply intend to take something that’s working to the next level of progression. Then over the forty days you show up to class each day for the entire forty day program and observe yourself as the program affects your transformation.