Let’s be honest here. Sometimes life isn’t always rosy and sweet. There are so many horrible, sad things happening every single day. With all the beauty and bliss, there is also great tragedy, inequity and injustice in our world.
Sadness, darkness, pain, broken hearts – there is no way to sidestep these aspects of the human experience, and one shouldn’t even try. It’s important to for there to be shadow and light. We need that depth of emotion and the perspective it provides.
I’ve found that when I’m in the midst of a hard place, I have to approach my spiritual practice and yoga discipline from a different angle, depending on what I feel I need most at a core/heart level. Sometimes I need to push push push and emerge victorious on the other side. But often I need to be still, self-reflective and “selfish.” Going deep within the energetics and emotions of practice can take me to a place of greater awareness of why I’m going through what I’m going through and how I can grow from it.
Taking time to grieve, and to feel, to really feel, is an essential step in healing.
We’ve all experienced heartbreak. Whether it is from losing a lover, a friend or a beloved family member, loss is universally felt. We can also experience heartbreak from painful or violent experiences from which we feel like we’ve been broken or had a part of ourself stolen.
I sometimes feel such extreme heartbreak when I see the vast number of homeless disenfranchised people in my own town that I can barely stand it. I say this because I view heartbreak as an emotion experienced beyond just a breakup or a death. It is often a feeling that hits you when you truly open up, sensitive and empathetic to the suffering of others.
This Kundalini Meditation is a practice for healing heartbreak. I remember the first time I was led in this practice, I cried at a very deep level, just sitting there breathing. It’s a simple practice, but a profound one. It gives you the opportunity to experience your sadness and heartache and be with it, breathe through and heal, finding wholeness at completion.
It’s a beautiful practice to do for an extended period of time. In Kundalini Yoga it is recommended to take a practice, such as this meditation, and do it every day, at the same time if possible, for 40 days in a row. This commitment of time and discipline is very transformational and healing.
Instructions for Practice:
Prepare yourself to sit comfortably in a quiet place. Tune in to your body and to your breath.
Bring your palms together in prayer at the heart center.
Chant the Adi Mantra three times to tune in – “Ong Namo Gurudev Namo.”
Set your timer to 11 minutes.
Bring your palms together in prayer and then raise your arms so that the forearms are parallel to the ground, elbows lifted. Place the tips of your middle fingers on the Third Eye center, right between your eyebrows. The position of the lifted arms works on the lung meridian, which in TCM, is associated with grief as well as the heart meridian.
Close your eyes, relax your face and your shoulders.
Begin to breathe deeply and consciously.
Stay steady and still, allowing your breath to slow down and deepen with each cycle.
At the end of the 11 minutes: inhale deeply, exhale completely, relax the breath and then with clasped hands stretch the arms up over the head, stretching the spine for 2 minutes while you breathe normally, moving gently.
The whole meditation can be done in silence, or if you have a particular favorite mantra or bhajan on recording you can practice to that. I personally like practicing this to either Snatam Kaur’s “Gobinda Hari” or Simrit Kaur’s “Hey Gobinda Hey Gopal.”
Here are some notes from Yogi Bhajan and the Kundalini Research Institute about this meditation:
“This meditation is very relaxing if you understand it. The autonomic system will relax and your breath will automatically move toward a meditative pace to renew and relax your heart and mind.
To heal the emotional wounds of the heart we need to bring calm to the nerves that hold the wound. We know that a break in relationship (to others or to our Self) has almost identical reactions in the nervous system and brain as a physical injury or loss of limb.
This mudra creates balance; it generates a subtle pressure which adjusts the heart meridian along the little finger and outer forearm, activating the “action nerve” junction with the autonomic system to reset itself by keeping the forearms parallel to the ground and involving the armpit reflexes; and finally, it uses the pranic influence of the middle finger and its Saturn and air qualities to quell residual emotional storms.”