In this episode, we discuss Kundalini Yoga, the ancient technology to bring mind-body balance. Elevate the Globe Founders Britt + Tara share what this science is all about, plus meditations, kriyas and practices for different reasons. We also discuss the importance of movement as meditation and how similar practices echo across spiritual traditions across the world. Let’s dive in!
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Episode 355: Kundalini Made Easy with The Globe Britt + Tara
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast, a place where we discuss what makes You, Your Soul’s Highest Evolvement.
If it’s your first time listening – welcome! I am so grateful that our souls are connecting at this part of our journeys and I know so many people are opening up to greater spiritual and wisdom and knowsis, the internal knowing that we all have and I feel like the spiritual awakening is more of a spiritual remembering. It’s remembering what we already knew for so many different lifetimes that are resurfacing right now and it’s really an exciting time because conversations left and right are about healing and empowerment and Dharma and Yoga Sutras and Chakra system and so many other beautiful healing modalities that aren’t new but rather ancient, and I’m really excited because we’re going to be diving into one of these practices today on this Episode.
So, if you haven’t heard yet, my new book “Discover Your Dharma” just came out (on January 5th) and I’m just beyond so grateful to see it making its way to so many of your homes. Just the messages I’m receiving, the reviews that I’m reading on Amazon, the number of people who are saying it finally gave them that ounce of courage, permission, intuition, that they were needing to just finally take that step towards their Dharma.
So, if you haven’t checked out the book yet, “Discover Your Dharma” is all about finding your soul’s purpose. I created this framework called The Dharma Blueprint Framework that really guides you step by step throughout the process of unraveling your soul’s purpose through the Dharma Archetypes; looking at what you’re excited about; looking at the obstacles you’ve overcome; different superpowers that you have, and so much more.
So, this book is really my life’s work so far. I have gone through my own journey of not knowing what my purpose was, my family being really against me living my purpose, and trying to believe in myself even though I had no evidence to until finally I wrote my first book, second book, third book. And this book “Discover Your Dharma” is really all the about ‘how’ I was able to go from confusion to clarity and live a life in true alignment with my soul and all of the tools and tips that I’ve learned along the way that I essentially channeled down to share it with you.
So, if you haven’t checked out the book yet, head over to my show notes, you will find the link (iamsahararose.com/dharma) and on that link not only can you get the book wherever books are sold, internationally, as well as on audible, Kindle, etc. but you can also submit your receipt and get 3 exclusive practices that are not included in the book. Now, those are my Discover Your Dharma Meditation, my Dharma Embodiment Practice to dance to you Dharma, and my Dharma Tapping Practice. So, head over to iamsahararose.com/dharma to get those bonuses and to get the book.
Now, since the book coming out, I shared a little update in my last Solocast that I did about Embodiment as the Sun-Being and Rewilding and I’ve been deepening my understanding of my Human Design Archetype which is the projector and going deeper into my different gates and my chart, and really looking at myself and giving myself a lot more rest than I ever have before. I am someone who can keep going and keep creating, and the moment I’m done with something I’m on to the next and I believe a lot of it is because I just have a huge mission here that I am very excited to create all of these things and have the energy to being it alive because I’m in that Stage 5 of the Five Stages of Dharma that I speak about in the book, but Stage 5 is really when you’re living your Dharma so you have all of this energy, however, does that mean that you should just work all the time? No! And that is something that, because I have been in this process writing the book the past 2 years and creating everything else that I create, it has just been go, go, go for the past decade when I wrote my first book. So, I have been really trying to lay down a lot more throughout my day, just in between things to just lie down, to let my body be in a more relaxed, receiving state, lying down on my foam roller vertically up my spine, so from my head to the base of my tail bone and opening up my arms to let my body be in this more relaxed state; and I’ve also been really deep diving into Somatics and using different body state practices to transform our minds. So, something that I’m really excited about and diving deeper into and integrating in my own life.
And in this Episode today, we are going to be talking about different practices, specifically from the Kundalini tradition.
So, Kunadalini is a method of yoga, and in this Episode we discuss how it’s different than a traditional Hatha yoga class, which is typically the type of yoga you would do at the gym or at a yoga studio, power yoga, Vinyasa yoga, these are really in the Hatha school of yoga, but Kundalini is something that is a bit different, it’s a more energetic style of yoga.
So, I wanted to bring on my two friends Britt and Tara who are really experts at Kundalini, they are Kundalini yoga teachers and they just wrote this new book all about different morning practices that we could do with Kundalini.
So, in this Episode we dive deep into what Kundalini yoga is all about. I ask them about this ancient technology and how using the breath and different yogic postures we can achieve states of euphoria, bliss and even samadhi, the feeling of complete peace within.
Now, these girls are dear friends of mine and I love their more feminine approach to Kundalini yoga which can be very rigid and masculine sometimes. I’ve tried Kundalini in the past and never really resonated with it because of that reason, but I love how they bring a more feminine, open approach so it doesn’t have to be as strict. I know their book has plenty of meditations that you can just do on their own. They are incredible people to learn from.
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Elevate The Globe girls, Britt and Tara to The Highest Self Podcast.
And before we get started, I have an announcement for you.
Do you feel deep in your soul that you have a purpose but are overwhelmed and confused about where to start? Are you a multi-passionate person who needs a clear focus and direction so you can truly make progress and impact this year? Do you know deep down that your highest form of joy is your highest form of service but need clarity on how to make that your reality? Well, you’re not alone, our school system and society has not trained us to follow our intuition and honor our Dharmas. In fact, it can feel like totally foreign territory. But the thing is, discovering your Dharma is the most important work you can do and without discovering our Dharma we will never experience true happiness because happiness is the byproduct of living your purpose.
I was where you might be right now, confused and overwhelmed about my own Dharma, questioning if I even had one, if my dreams just wishful thinking or if my obstacles had happened to be for a reason because it was my opportunity to share them. And through my journey of deconditioning and unraveling and getting true with myself for many, many years, I finally got the courage to write my first book, second book, third book, my newest book “Discover Your Dharma” and help thousands of others discover their Dharmas too.
So, I’m so excited to bring to you the first ever course, the 21 Day Dharma Discovery Journey. In this course, in just 21 days, in less than 10 minutes a day, I will be your Dharma Coach guiding you step-by-step on how to discover your Dharma.
So, if you’re interested in learning more, head over to iamsahararose.com/dharmadiscovery the link is in the show notes and I’m so excited to see you living your Dharma.
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Welcome ladies to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to finally have you here!
We’re so happy to be here!
Yes! So the first question I’d love to ask you is what makes you your highest selves? So, we’ll start with you Britt.
I am my highest self when I am wackiest in my full expression.
I love it! We were just singing some karaoke, so I totally resonate with that one. I love it! And here you guys are, Kundalini teachers and authors and it’s when you are just wacky and being playful and fun that you feel like your highest selves, so I love that answer. What about for you Tara?
For me, I am my highest self when I am not operating from any space of fear, at all, just not present whatsoever.
I love that! When we’re like “Yup, this is it”, when there’s no shackles of fears attached to it.
Yeah, and there’s been a lot of; I think that’s when you have to work through constantly.
Yeah! A hundred percent! Yeah, so, you guys, we haven’t done a conversation on Kundalini yoga before and it’s something you guys have been teaching and practicing for so many years now. So, can you share with us how both of you got into Kundalini yoga and what is Kundalini yoga?
Yeah, I feel like Britt got into it first, so she’ll share.
Okay, I’ll start. Yeah, so this is Britt and I, like, probably many of you, and you too Sahara, found Kundalini when I was at one of my darkest points and was just in a break-up, was moving, didn’t like my job, everything was kind of crumbling around me and I was looking for answers and looking for healing and looking to expand and really alchemize a lot of the energy from my childhood that I hadn’t looked at or healed. And, as the Universe would have it, I went into a gym yoga class that I thought was just working out my abs for the weekend and nothing more than that, and it ended up being a Kundalini class. And in that class I sat in the back, I had no clue what was going on, I had this full emotional breakdown and experience that I hadn’t had in so long and I just felt so connected to the practice that, almost unconsciously, I started going back every single week. And that’s really how it started. From there I just started listening to the mantras and talking to the teacher and asking him all of these different questions and I had these experiences and I was so excited and it just opened up this whole new avenue for me where I was finally excited about something that wasn’t drinking, wasn’t destructive, wasn’t consumed in all of these patterns and people that had been consuming my energy for so long.
So, it was cool, it was exciting and from there everything just started expanding and went to Costa Rica on a yoga retreat and just started just pulling in a morning practice at one point, and practicing on my own even (pretty early on) and became a teacher. And yeah, that’s kind of how it all really kicked off for me, but it was an exciting, definitely turning point in my life.
I love that! And when we look at those Five Stages of Dharma Discovery, you literally went through each one of just something you need to change and ended up at this gym yoga class and then you walked right onto your spiritual journey and researching more, and here you are, just like a perfect example of it in action. So thank you for sharing that!
What was it like for you Tara?
Well, it’s funny because Britt and I, well, we’ve known each other since we were 12, so our paths have always merged at some point and then separated and merged. And it was at a merging point, and it was a Britt’s bachelorette party, that, up until this point (let’s backtrack), up until this point I had gone through a break-up, I had moved across the country multiple times, I was just at a place where I knew that I needed to make a change. I knew if I kept going, things were not going to be turning out in my favor, meaning I was not going to be living in my highest self, it would just be bad, so, I knew I could to make a change. So, I went through a break-up and I was finding myself alone a lot and I was turning to astrology and I was dating a lot of people and I still felt like “What is going on here”, I was turning to psychics to tell me things and also to learn from them so that I understood how to use my own gifts. But then we come to Britt’s bachelorette party and she’s telling me, and I’ve watched Britt go through her whole journey, and I knew that if Britt’s gotten through, I’m watching her and she’s really good right now, I knew she had gone through some dark stuff and now she’s really good and she wants to teach us a class at her bachelorette party. I had to leave early, I didn’t get to do it with her but it was enough because some of the girls were kind of being mean about it, they were like “This is weird, why are you doing that”, just making fun of her and I’m like “Don’t make fun of Britt, come on, this is helping her”, and so it just intrigued me, it was like “What is this?” And it took me a year to find a studio to even take it at in San Francisco (I was living there at the time). There really wasn’t any and there was an ashram in the Height Ashbury, and it was like five people a class by donation and so I had to take an Uber every time and it was across the city and I was like “This is a lot.” And I took it one day though because I was like “Britt is working through all this stuff, she’s doing cool stuff” and I took a class and I think I did spinal twists where you’re using a lot of your breath and I just had this feeling of getting a little high in my body and I had never really done drugs at all until that point and I was trying to sort of lay off on the alcohol and so I was feeling this thing where I was “Is this what it feels like to be high on something? I can do this with my own breath”, the teacher was like “If you’re feeling that, you’re just creating energy”, and I lost my mind, I was like “This is unreal” and I was just obsessed. And then I went on a long journey with it, went really deep, dark into a lot of clearing, a lot of crying on the floor for no reason but for a reason; I didn’t know what was going on; a lot of shifting stuff in my body and it just kind of landed me on the pathway to where we are now.
So, it was really through this kind of convergence of seeing Britt at her bachelorette party, seeing the change she had gotten through and going “What did she do?”
I love that because when we’re living our Dharma, or even just on the pathway for it, we inspire others to do the same so it’s not her being like “Yo bitches, get your lives in order”, it was, she was like “I love doing this practice. I’m, in fact, so inspired that I want to spend my bachelorette party doing it” that you’re like “There must be something to this” and just seeing her shift in her glow inspired your own too.
Yeah! So, for those people who might not know, what is Kundalini yoga? Because I feel like it’s a word a lot of people have heard but they’re just not quite sure what it is.
Yeah, so, if you google Kundalini, you’ll see all these crazy stories about the Kundalini energy and of course, we all have the Kundalini energy at the base of our spine, coiled like the snake and that’s what spirals up through our chakras and that’s the energy that we can activate. And the form of Kundalini yoga and the practice of it is an ancient technology. It was recorded in a lot of yogic scriptures and traditions as one of the first yogas. So, a lot of the Hatha and Bhakti and all the beautiful yogas you can find elements and pieces of them in Kundalini. And Kundalini tends to have pieces of all of them in a traditional class. So, you’ll find the mantra, the breathwork, the movement and the stretching and mat yoga, and then the chanting and more of the solitude and the silence in Shiva Senya. So, it’s a lot of the different elements but it is the yoga of awareness and it really does help so fast to really clear the subconscious mind and just up-level your consciousness to really be aware of who you are and why you’re here and really what you’re doing. So, it’s cleansing out the garbage, it works pretty fast because it’s more intense, but yeah, it’s beautiful, it’s a beautiful practice. And then there’s so many different ways to experience it because there are thousands of meditations and thousands of krias, so you can really pick and choose what you want to focus on.
So, for someone who’s like “Well, I’ve a lot of different yoga classes like downward dog and child pose and Vinyasa flow”, what’s the difference between that style of yoga and Kundalini yoga?
Yeah, I love that question because I think we hear it a lot. I see it as more of a connecting with your spirit, connecting with your higher self, connecting with the cosmos, connecting in but connecting within, right? So it’s very, very big on connection and it’s very devotional to the self and to the creative force and wisdom inside of you and activating that. And the experience I’ve personally had with Kundalini yoga is that almost of you can go to places of transcendence, which I have not found in other yogas, which, I love other yogas for different things but the practice of Kundalini is one that feels almost like you get on a rocket ship and you go literally to the stars every day and you go higher and higher and higher because you’re actually utilizing that Kundalini force that does propel you in ascension really; and it helps you ascend your own limited beliefs and all the limitations and the fears and what not, you’re activating so much energy and you’re breaking through so much with the angles and the triangles of the specific structures that are called for with the times. It can be very masculine but also very feminine in a way because it’s very, it can be very gentle as well.
So, it’s just an experience, it’s a spiritual experience, all baked into sometimes, even three minutes, you’re like “Wow! Where did I just go in three minutes!?”
So what are some examples of Kundalini yoga practices?
So many! Yeah, so, there are so many! So, as teachers, often teachers will have books in front of them because, like you were saying on our podcast, it’s almost impossible to, you were saying about remembering the sequences was hard for you, and it’s almost impossible to learn all these things. Of course we know so many meditations and krias by now but there are thousands! So, you kind of gravitate to ones you’re working on and ones that you want to help you or focus on. So, that’s really how our book and all of our rituals came about because, for example, there’s a meditation for addiction. And so we have like an addiction rehab in the book, because this meditation that you can do for 3 or 11 minutes where your thumbs are out and you’re pressing on your temples beside your eyes and you’re pulling the jaw back and there’s mantras and everything, and it’s a technology that science is now getting behind and able to have results and kind of prove, which is exciting. But it’s this weird, wacky combination that actually activates a specific result. So, there’s something for everything really, but lot of times it comes down to something that you’re looking to heal and release or activate more of within yourself, so, so many different ones.
There’s one for prosperity that’s really big and well known that isn’t just for money or wealth but it just activates your energy like a flower to bloom expansion.
What about this ego eradicator? It’s like every time I hear Kundalini yoga, I hear this one.
Oh it’s so good!
Yeah, this one is – the breath of fire is the base of it. It’s that equal inhale/exhale; it’s really energizing breath, so it’s actually energizing the lower chakras as well the solar plexus (well, it’s part of the lower chakras) but it’s really pumping energy, and what you’re doing is you have your thumbs out in a ‘V’, over your head, elbows are straight and you’re activating meridian lines and it’s activating your heart center and you’re pumping energy from your lower chakras into your heart center and you’re also tuning up your aura, and it just helps you to balance the ego (if you will). And so balance the ego with the spirit and it’s a very, very good warm up, it’s a perfect 3-minute meditation, you can do it for as long as you want, but you can do 3 minutes of breathwork sitting in the car before you go in a meeting and it helps reset you, it helps come back into your heart center, come back into your body and really speak and nurture the room with love versus coming from a place of ego up in your head.
Yeah, my friend used to teach Kundalini yoga and I would go to some of her classes but she wanted us to hold our arms out for 11 minutes, I was like “I cannot do this”, but it kind of felt like, almost militaristic. Is that part of the background of Kundalini yoga? It felt like warrior training.
It can be.
A lot of people call it the Hogwarts. And especially when I started in West Hollywood with Tate and Gramouk and some of the older teachers that really, are in the 70s, 80s now, still teaching that we’re really connected to the tradition and kind of the roots of it, really created that kind of energy, so, yeah, it does have that side of it. Like Tara said, it definitely had that masculine structure side of it and then it does have the feminine. I would say, one hundred percent, we’re both known for pulling in more of the feminine energy and we’ve been told that so many times that in our classes we don’t have that kind of militant energy, it’s more loving and more feminine, but it’s the same practices so it’s just a little softer. And I think it’s just really whatever you need in the moment. For me, when I first started, it helped me to have more of that militant energy, and that teacher that I mentioned was very much like that. He would do all the most rigorous krias and the craziest 11-minute hands out and do not bring them down, type of teaching style, but it really kicked my energy in gear and helped me to shift a lot, so, I think it definitely depends on the teacher; definitely depends on what practices you gravitate toward and what you need and desire in the moment, but they are definitely a balance of both.
Another one that my friend would do is hold your arms out towards each other’s shoulders and I think stare into each other’s left eye. Is this one of the poses?
Facing each other?
Facing each other like this and you have to hold your arms out for 30 minutes or something. And what is this White Tantra component?
Yeah, yeah, it’s called White Tantric and there are some; we’ve done some – I remember my first White Tanta, my arms had to be diagonal and I had to be holding the other person and I was staring into his eyes for 30 minutes, and his whole face transformed and it was crazy. Sometimes you hold it for 62 minutes and we do every Thursday, well not every Thursday, the Mastermind that we host, they do a 62-minute meditation every single Thursday and it becomes normal. And what you’re doing, what’s happening when you’re holding your arms out for 11 minutes, you’re like “This is freaking torture, oh my God!” You start to see patterning of how you react to situations and then you keep your arms out and you hold it and your subconscious starts to pick up on – it starts to relax, it starts to pick up and go “I actually can get through this. I’m starting to feel a little bit better, my arms might be going numb. Oh, I can get through this; I can hold this for 11 minutes. I can do hard stuff. We can do 60 minutes; I can do anything; I basically can do anything.” You start to be able to break through because you’re watching your brain tell the stories it always tells you, it stops you from doing things. And so, it’s in a way stillness and some of these kind of practices because there’s so many in Kundalini yoga, but these are the kind where you start to really see like “What kind of stories are actually coming up in my mind” and “Wow, do I do that in other ways”.
One of the biggest stories I would find was about 10 seconds before, every time the teacher would be like “Okay, bring your hands down”, I would bring my hands down and I’d be like “Are you always giving up right before you get the thing because it seems like this is a pattern” and I started seeing it everywhere in my life and I was able to break through it by just doing weird things on my mat.
Yeah, the way we move our body, it gives us so much information and energy. Are we someone that’s really hard on ourselves? Are we someone that gives up? Are we someone that says I’m too weak? Are we someone that pushes our boundaries and doesn’t listen? So it just gives us just such information that I feel like no words ever could, it’s just to be in the practice and the embodiment of it.
So true yeah.
So is White Tantric a kind of Kundalini or is this a different thing?
Yeah, so White Tantric is a type of Kundalini and it’s normally one whole day, they have them in LA, or they had them before, twice a year, and it’s an 8-10 hour day. And then there’ll be winter solstice and summer solstice; we’ve been a few time up in New Mexico where it’s 3 or 4 days of it and you always have a partner and it’s very specific and there are specific people that are the teachers of it, and it really is powerful but it’s very intense and it can really break through a lot, they say 10 years of meditation or something like that, it’s very potent energy work. But I’ve had some very expansive experiences as well in them. A pretty crazy story was my first time that I did it. And you can choose a partner or you can just get paired up with somebody and I felt like I should just get paired up with somebody and I didn’t know why. And I sat across from this girl and we went into this meditation and I was getting very annoyed the whole time (so annoyed) because she kept putting her hands down, she wasn’t looking at me in the eyes and she was having all these problems and I started getting so frustrated like “Why did I get this partner, this is the worst partner, I’m not going to get anything out of it” and the day goes on, the day goes on, she starts to tell me things and we start to get to know each other and her mom had actually just passed away and she had just left the country, left her job and just went and traveled and completely didn’t deal with it at all. And it was coming into her awareness to actually heal and look at and she could barely handle it. And so, I had this whole experience with her. Fast forward, two years later, my mom got diagnosed with cancer and I was going through a whole journey with my mom and then she passed away. And a year after that I got this vision in a meditation showing me that three years before that I had been involved with a lot of healing around my mother’s death before it even happened, with this woman, to prepare me and to assist me and help my energy with being able to deal with it then. So it’s those kinds of things, with hindsight, that I had no idea what was happening or why I was there or what I was going through, but then, looking back, I understood exactly what that journey was. So, it definitely has a lot of layers in the White Tantric and really profound.
That’s so beautiful.
We’ll take a quick break so I can give a shout out to our sponsors.
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I feel like just eye-gazing is such a profound practice. It’s so hard to see and be seen and to hold that gaze and every part of us just wants to hide or look away or laugh or say something to negate the experience. Sometimes I catch myself when I’m eye-gazing, I almost check out by trying to analyze them, do you know what I mean? Like “Oh, let me look at her eye shape or her this or that”, rather than just being there and connecting. And you can pick up on the things “Where do I go? Do I, in an experience, try to analyze it from more distance from it?” Or sometimes if I’m eye-gazing and I can see that person is feeling very emotional and wants to start crying, I’ll try to smile and make them happy and it’s like, there’s my Entertainer. Maybe that person just needs to cry and I should just watch her and hold that stoic energy. So it really teaches us so much about ourselves.
It does, and the way that energy works is interesting because in the White Tantric there’s sometimes room, how many people would you say, 800 people?
Yeah, a few thousand.
Thousands and thousands. I’ve done it with thousands of people at summer solstice and they line you up and you’re just pairs and pairs of people, and you have to line up pretty exact. So what’s happening is using this diagonal energy that’s being pushed through the room, through the Mahan Tantric (the person that’s organizing it and hosting it and teaching it and leading it), and energies being pushed. And you can kind of feel it, you can kind of feel like this sort of swaying and that energy is that sort of sixth dimensional (this is my interpretation of it), that 6-dimensional energy that is geometric shapes that kind of come in and smash through things and then you’re also physically holding postures that are awkward and weird and you’re mirroring back things to the other person and you’re also getting a mirror of yourself from them, and it’s just wildly depth that you can go because you’re sitting there for so long and you’re almost in this trans, and the energy is moving, like this rocking ship, just like breaking. What’s that palm, not palm, what’s that called?
No. You know that old computer game that was like ping pong?
Snake, right? No?
Yeah, probably, I don’t know.
I know what you’re talking about, yeah.
I’m bad with analogies.
But yeah, it is a good practice to look at your partner in the eye, too, like you were saying. Just even for a minute, you can start to really see people’s soul.
Even friends. Sometimes I eye-gazed with a friend I’ve known for years but we’ve never eye-gazed before and you do it and it’s such a deeper connection between the two of you. Sometimes with friendships, you take the other person for granted or you see them in your own light, and to eye-gaze and be like “Oh my Goddess, you are my sister, I am so grateful for you!” It’s something that we just don’t do enough of. I’ve actually heard it can even work well online. Eye-gazing online has been proven to be quite effective, maybe not as much as in person but it’s so important that we continue that connection.
And what do you recommend for people who, they may try doing Kundalini yoga, but they’re doing the poses and they’re weird and they start judging themselves and they’re like “This is so weird what am I doing right now, this is crazy” or “Is this cultish? Is there something wrong with me if I’m doing this?” How can we overcome that inner dialogue?
For sure! I felt like that for a while, in the beginning. And yeah, I think it’s just about realizing that (for me), I was doing so many weird things in my life that were not actually serving me and helping me, so, if I could just let go and not worry about what other people thought of me and actually experience weird things that were helping me, then why not? So, I think it’s just about trying it and being open and seeing what you feel and what results you get, and then, for the most part, most people that we see, and ourselves, you just don’t care anymore after that, you’re like “Oh, this is worth it, doesn’t really matter!”
I do the weirdest things at the airport. I hope, now, people ask me what I’m doing.
What are good airport on the go Kundalini practices?
Oh, so many things that you can do. Cat-cow, we do cat-cow in Kundalini faster so you’re really utilizing – it’s always the stuff that you want to utilize the breath (extra), be extra with your breath and it’s usually through the nose unless it’s specified through the mouth and it’s like, you just want to hear, you want to hear yourself, your breath is singing to you, breath of fire, and any way, with your hands in gyan mudra, your index finger and thumb touching, you could do the ego eradicator; you could do it on the plane even and people will think you’re crazy but that’s fine, whatever. There’s even shoulder shrugs, squeezing your shoulders up to your ears and dropping them down and using the breath, it really helps to open up the throat chakra and just relax. And then there’s some stress breathwork, so you can do, there’s segmented breath, so you can do 4 in, 4 out through the nose; 8 in, 8 out through the nose. You can do, there’s one for (we love the one for) releasing anger, fits of anger, and it’s through your mouth and you sway your hands with fists, with your thumb actually underneath your four fingers, and you’re like swimming almost (backstroke) and it’s like getting angry (and there’s a whole meditation for that. But if you’re in the airport, my go-to is just breath of fire – straight breath of fire and that’s that equal inhale/exhale through the nose, pumping the napalm.
And I want to ask you guys about this because I have – So traditionally, breathwork Wim Hof and stuff is through the mouth. Then I was doing some reading that said that the breath should always be through the nose because our nose has this ability to clear pollutants and stuff in the air that our mouths do not and if we’re breathing from our mouths it creates a flight or fight stress response because the only time we breathe through our mouths is we’re panting or running away from something. But I know so many breathwork practices are through the mouth that I’m assuming is designed that way. So, what is your take on nasal vs. mouth breathing?
Yeah, it does do different things like you’re talking about but typically when it’s through the nose, it is more calming. And you can do nostril breathing of course where the left side is more calming and the right side is more activating, but it just depends. I mean, I could see what you’re saying as far as using the mouth to just kind of be more shallow fight or flight because if you just test how you breathe normally, typically, if you time yourself for a minute and you just see how many breaths you take and you become aware, any normal meditation as far as are you breathing in your belly, are you breathing in your chest, you’ll probably start to notice that if you’re breathing through the mouth it’s more shallow and in the chest and probably faster breaths, more breaths per minute, which is technically and typically a sign of more anxiety and where you’re more in your head and less in your heart. But yeah, they do different things. Especially breathing in through the nose and out the mouth or in through the mouth and out the nose with different postures and different movements can activate different parts of the brain. But yeah, the typical, just nose, in and out, is more calming and more relaxing and tends to slow down your breath and open the diaphragm and pull down the lungs and get your breath into the belly more.
It does activate that parasympathetic nervous system that’s relaxing. Like what Britt’s saying, it’s like if you experience it, experience it, Kundalini yoga is all about experience. So try it for yourself, if you’re breathing in vs. with your mouth, that’s way more activating. It’s like “Wow, I’m going to pull in so much more breath”. If you’re breathing through your nose and expanding your belly out, that’s expanding and that’s relaxing, but it’s relaxing into the expansion and so it’s activating different things in your body and it’s just such a different experience.
Yeah. I’ve been focusing a lot on breathing into my womb space and bringing it deeply down into my womb and imagining my yoni is breathing, to bring that connection there. I know Kundalini Shakti is an energy, does Kundalini yoga speak into Shakti energy, have practices to enhance our Shakti energy?
Absolutely! There’s even meditations for it, right? So there’s major meditations for that Shakti. There’s mantras for it, the Ari Shakti, divine feminine, there’s so many ways. Hip rolls, there’s lots of feminine krias; there’s krias, two meanings of sets of movements to activate that sexual center, that second chakra, where there’s a lot of emotion, where a lot of women, especially, we hold a lot of fear and anxiety and trauma as well, and even from our ancestors. So, that’s the thing, it’s almost like an adaptagen, you can even do one breathwork, one, your whole life, and get so much from it, even though you might be able to activate your full Shakti energy by doing something that actually activates more masculine energy in you because you’re deepening your experience and it’s an experience.
So yes, the short answer is yes. There’s so many things you can do for your Shakti and we actually have our ritual in our book too, to activate that. And that’s kind of the juicy – we should probably do something like a whole yoni – yonis, krias, meditations, it’s interesting.
Yeah and I think it’s so many of us, we can naturally feel our bodies do want to move in that way. Like our bodies want to circle, they want to undulate, they want to spiral and that’s the texture of the feminine, and to allow your body to guide you. I feel like that’s when I really feel the most tapped in, of just putting on music and letting my body move in however it wants to move and sometimes it’s just beautiful and sometimes it’s just really weird. And it’s like whatever my body wants to express letting myself do that and I love how with Kundalini yoga, for someone that’s like “I don’t know how to just play music and dance, that feels really far away from me”, they could do these Kundalini practices to give them more structure and a feeling of “Okay, I’m doing this practice for this long” and that can make them feel safe to step into that. And I know in Kundalini classes actually, they often have dance parties at the end to celebrate with that energy and how it’s beautiful to be able to. And Osho Dynamic Meditation does the exact same thing. You go through this more rigorous process but then you bring this essence of joy and dance that I feel like in our society we forget to celebrate, we forget to make the light at the end of the tunnel, we’re just like “Okay, on to the next thing; over it; what’s next?” Oh my Goddess, my body went through that experience and now I get to – I think we’ve in some ways, as a society, we’ve mastered, or we’ve not mastered, but we’re okay with rest, with lying down, we can all agree that we all need to take more naps, we need to lie down, but we’re still not okay with being wild and free and dancing and expressing. I think that’s still the next space that we’re going to be moving into.
Agree, yeah! And it’s funny what you said about celebration because recently, with our book coming out, we had a team member that works with us and she was like “Did you guys know when you finish writing the book, I said congratulations to you and you said “For what” and it was 2 days later because we would just move on so quickly. So, that has been a big part of my practice, is slowing down and celebrating and bringing in that dance, and even in every posture, a movement, how can you celebrate more. So, we really grounded in and did a salulita trip and we just really (consciously and intentionally) create grounded space now, for that celebration, as we’re activating and embodying it more and more. But definitely find that in the practice. There’s a lot of shaking out your body like animals do to release stress or the dance, and even laughing out loud is in some krias and there’s very wacky things that, like you said, may feel really uncomfortable and are not just laying down. But if you allow yourself to get to those places and do these things that are really uncomfortable, then you train yourself to do them more often and to break free from those confines that tell you “Oh, you can’t twerk in an airport” or whatever it is that is holding you back.
Yeah, and it just shows us these universal truths, how real they are and how universal they are because, whether it’s Kundalini, yoga or Shamanism, or indigenous practices, Middle Eastern practices, African practices, they all have these same types of elements, they all have shaking, they all have trance dance, they all have breathwork – these are things humans just knew that we needed, subconsciously, and we have only just recently forgotten or felt too uncomfortable or that it wouldn’t fit into the patriarchal mix for us to express ourselves in this way, that now we’re re-finding all of these tools that are age old, that have told us “Yes, your body needs to shake and it needs to stretch and it needs to move and it needs to vocalize, and all of these different things”. I feel like we’ve forgotten to be human. Sometimes when I’m doing different practices, I’m like “Oh my God, I haven’t been a human for so long”. Like an animal is just allowing itself to be that animal, when do we just let ourselves be like human and make noises and weird movements, and I feel like Kundalini, Shamanism, all of these different practices are here to remind us that this has always been a part of us.
Yes, be weird! We always feel the people that are new to Kundalini, it’s always a self-conscious thing (for the most part). It’s always like “I’m going to stick my tongue out and breathe?” And then people will be quiet and we’re like “Be louder! It’s okay! No one’s watching you anyway, be louder!”
But we’re so domesticated; we’re like these domesticated wild animals that are like “Oh, I can’t do that, I’ll get into trouble if I do that”. And it’s just like a lion that has been made to believe it’s a little house cat and it’s like “Wait! I can roar and climb trees and be in the jungle?” And I just think – I was reading this book and this guy had these fish and they were in his aquarium and he was going to change the water and he put it into the bath tub. Now, this is a big bath tub and he was just thinking all these fish are probably going to swim around and that they have so much more space now, and they all just stayed exactly where they were, all around each other, they would not move. And it was just such a great example of how, as humans, we confine ourselves, we put ourselves in that limitation because we’re self-conscious or feel like we can’t or feel like we need permission when not only are we in a massive bath tub, we are in an ocean but we have confined ourselves to think we are in this little fish tank. And I also think the fish tank analogy, which just came through, is, we think everyone’s watching, we think every person in class is “Ugh, her tongue, gross”, no one’s thinking about you and that’s so freeing because everyone’s in their own experience.
Yeah, exactly! It’s so fascinating!
That’s such a good analogy, the fish, yeah, because it really does make us realize like “Okay, well how am I operating in that way in my life and where is there a bath tub around me that I’m still in a little square here?”
Totally! Well this is why we need more jungle dance parties, firmly standing for doing!
Exactly! Lion Kundalini bath!
All the things; all the celebrations!
I love it! Dancing is – well it’s funny because Britt and I grew up dancing, actual trained dancers and it’s definitely part of how I used to express myself and how I used to move emotion. One of our retreats, in Bali, I remember it was the first time I had done an ecstatic dance in a while, and I remember having to go to my room afterwards and just cry and I was like “Why am I so emotional? I was just dancing!” and then I was like “Oh, it was because I had just moved so much energy” and it was so fun but it was such a release and so all these things really are. And I love the Kundalini because it isn’t just sitting there and being quiet and trying to make your monkey mind relax (especially if you’re new to meditation), you’ve got things to do, you’ve got breath to focus on, there’s the mantra to listen to. It moves you through and it uses movement. And then now as we are – I’m more advanced in the practice, at this point, I want more dancing and I want kind of all of it; I want all the experience of all of it to really ascend, you know; to really help myself expand beyond.
Yeah, and one of the things I often think about is, at the time of these practices, were originally downloaded, we were very active as people, we were farmers, we worked outside, we did not sit in a chair all day, there were no chairs even back then, so, a lot of times we really needed a break to just sit down and be, whereas, I think, in our society we’re sitting all day already, that what we really need is to move and shake and sweat and twist because we don’t get to do those things in our normal day that I think that typical meditation practice of just “Sit down, don’t move, close off your thoughts”, I just don’t think it works for most people. It doesn’t work for me for sure because then you have this battle against yourself and this judgment and then this “I didn’t do it right”, and of course there’s beauty and benefits to stillness and I think stillness is not the goal but it’s the natural place that we arise when we’re in total unity, however, when you just try immediately to get there it doesn’t really work.
I remember, I was recently reading this conversation between Osho and Maharishi Mahan Yogi and they were debating, and this was way back, it was Osho’s first English talk actually, and Osho was saying “I don’t agree with the technique for meditation (this is Osho’s understanding) because if technique is needed, meditation is not there, because meditation stillness just naturally arises from a state of being” and then what Maharishi’s disciples were saying was “Well the Western mind can’t just be in the stillness and nothingness. We need a technique because it’s our way of getting there.” And it was just a beautiful conversation back and forth and I totally understand both perspectives. When I’m in Costa Rica, I could just sit by the waterfall and I don’t need a technique, I am just pure presence and pure being but my life is not sitting by a waterfall every day, so sometimes I need to just turn off my laptop and do this breathwork practice so I can get there.
Exactly! And I feel like you can be as devotional to things as you need to but also know – in my practice as well, I know when there are times when I am out of place where I could just be quiet and I don’t need to move or I just need to listen to mantra and I don’t need to move because I’m already there; and it’s the ‘thereness’ that you want to get to. That’s exactly what it is, it’s just getting there however that works for you.
Definitely! And a lot of the Kundalini has the krias and the movements and the warm-ups in the beginning, is the idea to then arrive at the meditation at the end to just help with what you’re talking about because, especially with, it’s funny to kind of read some of the old lectures of some of the old yogis and they were talking about that – that people in the West really need this and they need something that can help them to arrive at that place especially in California and New York even (back in the 60s). So it was just designed to help to get to that point, that exactly like you said, depending on how many stressors you have in your life or how many kids or your schedule and this and that, it might take you longer to be able to get to a place where you’re able to just connect deeply to your heart center or to Source and receive a message or get clarity on your pathway forward or whatever your intention is. So, that can definitely help, to have that movement and some sort of structure and technique to help you. And like Tara said, to have devotion or commitment to something that you desire, I found has helped me have more freedom because for a while I was commitment phobic and I was like “No, not doing a ritual for 40 days, not following somebody else’s anything”. And I started to get into that space, and even if it’s just for a little while, you commit to something for five days or forty or whatever, I found that I was able to open up more freedom and more intuition with having that balance of the structure and the flow and the masculine and the feminine. So that was a big awakening for me – how can I bring some technique and some flow and marry these things to create something that then allows me to move forward and shift and heal and change.
Yeah, absolutely. I think if you’re definitely someone who struggles with that commitment and that like “Oh my God!” I so resonate with that, so often of being like “Well, I don’t want to do someone else’s thing, I’m just going to do my own” and maybe it’s a thing for a reason, right? If all these people are benefiting from it, there’s a reason for it. So sometimes our own ego of being like “I want to do it my way” that we’re amazed with what happens when we follow through with a process that set up for our success at the end.
Right! Yeah! And just allowing it to evolve; allowing your practice with it to evolve; and just in general, allowing things to evolve and not being so stuck that you are moving into a new direction but you’re holding onto something that isn’t working for you anymore. If the meditation; if you’ve got what you needed to get because you can do one for your whole life, but your soul knows when it’s time to move on from that one and move to a different one. Move to something a little bit more movement oriented within a kria, and maybe you need to do a kria for 40 days, it’s just different.
I love that! So many modalities for us, it’s like a Disneyworld of experiences we get to have, I love it! That’s what I miss most about festivals. Have you guys gone to Bali Spirit Fest?
No but want to.
It’s like every spiritual modality there so you can hop into a kirtan and then a dance practice and then a channeling session with a galactic being, it’s so amazing, I’m like “This is Heaven! Thank you”
I love that!
We’ve literally been looking at it for 5 or 6 years.
Apparently it’s happening in 2022, so, I am there if it’s happening!
Yay! Well where can listeners learn more about these Kundalini practices? I know you have your new book that’s out that really breaks it down with easy to follow morning rituals they can do every day. So can you share with us about it and where people can get it?
Definitely, yes! So it’s called “Good Morning Intentions” and we have 21 rituals that pull in the Kundalini yoga. So, often there is a breathwork or a mantra or a meditation and then we bring in the other modalities that we love and have helped us as well like crystals and oils and nutrition and self-care. So there are different focuses for each ritual like addiction rehab, comparison detox, there’s one for your hormones, for masculine support, more feminine, post-partum and menstruation and all of that. So, we basically compiled all of these different modalities that we love and really focused in on specific subjects that you may be drawn to. So, we share a lot about our stories and really each of the rituals holds a story about our lives and our healing and how we navigated and used the practices. So, it’s been so fun to share it and it’s just about learning more about how you might want to create a morning ritual for yourself (and how we have) and the different elements of a morning ritual. So, it’s something for everyone and you can choose a ritual and commit to it for 40 days, you can use the book like a tarot deck and just pick one, you can jump around, it’s really just meant to be fluid and serve you in whatever way you need to. So, that is “Good Morning Intentions” and yeah, you can find it all over – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, all the places, and we’re on Instagram @elevatetheglobe and we share everything over there. So it’s easy to find us!
Amazing! Well, thank you ladies so much for sharing your light and for making Kundalini yoga more accessible for so many people. I know it’s going to benefit so many people who are moving through so much right now. And share with us, if you’re listening to this Episode, if you are going to go try Kundalini right now, share us in your poses, share us in your top three takeaways; maybe you can do a giveaway of the book or something. Share your takeaways, tag us and we can’t wait to see!
Amazing! Thank you for having us, we love you!
[1:00:46] End of Interview
How amazing was that conversation! It really, actually, inspired me to give Kundalini a chance again, especially with two feminine teachers. I think that that really is going to change the game for myself and for so many of us who don’t really resonate with the more rigid masculine type of practice but rather want to have something that’s fluid in our lives. So I definitely recommend checking out their book, checking out their work, they’re two beautiful souls and I’m so grateful to have them here.
And if you’re wanting to dive deeper into discovering your Dharma, I invite you to join me for my 21 Day Dharma Discovery Journey. You can find all of that information in my show notes and over on my website iamsahararose.com/dharmadiscovery
If you loved this Episode, I would love to send you a free gift which is the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind-Body Type“. This is a different book than “Eat Feel Fresh“. My first book ever which is not released anywhere, and I am gifting it exclusively to those who leave a review of my Podcast in the iTunes store. So all you’ve got to do is head over to iTunes where you’re maybe listening to this podcast and leave a review, take a screenshot that you’ve left it and email it over to me at [email protected] and I will send you back the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right for Your Mind-Body Type“, which goes all into Ayurveda, Doshas, Plant-Based Nutrition, Body Types – all of the things in a really fun and engaging way. So this is my gift to you for free for supporting the Podcast. Every single review I personally read. It really helps the Podcast be listened to by more people so we can raise the vibration of the planet together, and I am soul grateful to have you on this journey.
Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you on the next Episode. Namaste.
Episode 355: Kundalini Made Easy with The Globe Britt + Tara
By Sahara Rose