Welcome to the Kundalini Yoga Universe!
An incredibly rich and powerful practice is Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
Come to class and you will experience this for yourself in a short space of time.
It’s a technology with the power to increase your health and vitality on all levels, to strengthen your personal radiance and deliver you to your true Self.
Kundalini Yoga is also much more than just a technology. There is an entire lifestyle on offer and a local and global community of like minded spirits to connect to.
For the newcomer, Kundalini Yoga looks like a real scene.
There’s the white clothing, the headcovers, the spiritual names, the sheepskins, the greeting of Sat Nam, the exclamation of Wahe Guru, the connection to Sikh Dharma…. What is all this about? What does it have to do with me, if anything?
This series of little articles called on the Kundalini Yoga universe aims to illuminate and elucidate on these questions, addressing the various aspects of Kundalini Yoga lifestyle in such a way that you are given more information to make a personal choice.
Having said this, Kundalini Yoga works on its own without any extras and without having any knowledge of any of this, so it’s certainly not compulsory to even think about it. But who knows.. perhaps there is something in here that you might experiment with that could thoroughly enhance your practice or even make a real and positive difference to your daily life.
May the longtime sun shine upon you,
Jai Ram Kaur
KUNDALINI YOGA UNIVERSE
PART 1: SPIRITUAL NAMES
In your encounters with Kundalini Yoga you will notice that many teachers have an Indian name. Sometimes even a teacher will give both their birth name and spiritual name. What’s that about?
Many people who train to become Kundalini Yoga teachers (but by no means only teachers) make the decision to apply for a spiritual name. This used to come direct from the Master Yogi Bhajan, while he was still alive in physical form. You give your date of birth and family information and then you receive a name. Now it’s done by Nirinjan Kaur, who represents Yogi Bhajan in this regard.
With Kundalini Yoga’s links to Sikh dharma teachings and the Golden Chain of teachers back to the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das, spiritual names are from the Sikh tradition. In this tradition, all women have the ending Kaur, meaning lioness (really referring to awakened feminine consciousness) and all men Singh (lion, denoting courageous spirit in truth). So there is for example Amrit Kaur, Gurubasant Singh, Bachitar Kaur, Dashmesh Singh, Durudass Kaur, Jai Dev Singh and many many more. And of course they all have a meaning.
Why receive a name?
It’s an affirmation and a calling to live your highest conscious potential. You are what you vibrate.
Anyone going to Kundalini Yoga classes will within a single class make acquaintance with the mantra Sat Nam – truth is my identity. The practice of Kundalini Yoga is about neutralising habitual thoughts and beliefs so that we can feel and identify with the true self. Sat Nam. It’s not something you can analyse. It is vibrated. Truth is felt in the heart, and so it’s a practice of eliminating to illuminate what’s already there – the light of your soul. It’s an identity shift from what’s impermanent and fleeting to what’s deeper and beyond time and space while in time and space.
Taking a spiritual name is a strong practice to help you identify with this spiritual self. A name is chosen for you that is in resonance with who you are and who you may become. It’s a call to destiny. For some it’s a rebirth into a new life – or giving power to the secret life that’s always been inside, waiting. Giving it a name and then having others vibrate that name to you each time they address you is a powerful affirmation and reminder. Even other people’s and your own resistances to your new name are a powerful opportunity for you to explore your relationship with your self and others and your commitment and loyalty to your own soul over social convention and belonging.
Of course, you can perfectly well do and benefit from Kundalini Yoga without changing your name! And not everyone who becomes a teacher takes a spiritual name. You certainly don’t have to. And in fact, you shouldn’t if it doesn’t feel authentic to you. It’s something to treat with respect and not do for entertainment. And it’s also natural to have the name and need to try it on in situations you feel will be supportive first rather than suddenly convert your whole life from one day to the next. Change, for it to go deep and sit well, often needs to be gradual. However, there are also cases where there is a sudden and dramatic seemingly overnight change.. that too is possible! You don’t know what’s been building under the surface all those years.
It’s a strong step to take, by all means. Becoming known by your spiritual name is a potentially powerful, liberating and accelerating step towards your own becoming of your authentic identity.
Do I have to be a teacher to ask for a name?
Not at all. If you feel a stirring and desire to do so, listen to it. Sit with it a while, let it be a meaningful thing, not a throwaway idea. And then take the leap. It’s very very powerful.
A small sample of some names in our community and their meaning:
All women have the ending Kaur – lioness or awakened, great woman and men have the ending Singh – lion.
Indra Dharam Kaur – great woman whose dharma (soul-promoting habits) carry her through all storms (Indra – God of lightening and thunder)
Sat Sangeet Singh – lion who lives in the holy company of truth.
Seva Simran Kaur – great woman whose service is to be absorbed in the name of the Divine
Jiwan Shakti Kaur – great woman embodying the feminine power of life
Jai Ram Kaur – great woman who praises and celebrates Ram – God pervading all spaces.