“The greatest award of doing Sadhana is the person becoming incapable of being defeated. Sadhana is a self- victory and it is a victory over time and space. When you have to get up for Sadhana it is a defeat in itself because you don’t want to get up. When you get up, it is a victory over time and when you do it, it’s a victory over space, that’s what Sadhana is. Sadhana is only for you, Sadhana is a self-victory. Through Sadhana you can defeat your all miseries, misfortunes and handicaps. It’s a personal thing, it does not relate to anybody else.” Yogi Bhajan, 7/7/81
Suggested guidelines and procedures for leading early morning (Aquarian) sadhana
(these were created with the input of several elder teachers/trainers who studied directly with Yogi Bhajan).
Excerpt from: Jot Singh Khalsa – “The Essential Element”
- Leading early morning sadhana is not like teaching a class. If you know the set well, there may be no reason why you can’t do the yoga yourself while leading others. (Mostly, when teaching we are not doing the yoga.) Study the set you plan to lead thoroughly. There should be no long pauses between exercises to accommodate your reading and trying to understand directions for the next exercise.
- Regardless of the number of years you have been teaching and practicing, describe the exercises as they are in the manuals, no extraneous talking, promotions, little stories, minimal tips and anything else, keeping it all to a minimum.
- If you have new people joining the sadhana who may not know (it is okay to ask them if they have done Kundalini Yoga before) how to do the exercises and pranayam, then give some instructions and keep all details to the least possible. (After the sadhana, consider inviting them to attend classes for more complete instruction/information or guide them in acquiring an excellent video if there are no classes offered locally.) It is ideal for those who plan to attend morning sadhana, to have taken at least a few Kundalini Yoga classes, and be prepared to serve those who have not.
- If many/most people present have done sadhana for some years then minimize all talking and direction. Don’t go into great detail about how to do postures or exercises (they likely know how to do them). Less can be more for those people. It is a sensitive time of day for all. It is okay to cut down the times of a yoga set to fit it into the allotted time that you have. Do so mostly proportionately, so that a powerful and balanced experience is still had by all.
- Generally a yoga set would be from 35-50 minutes – leaving 5-10 minutes for relaxation depending on the intensity of the set and the amount of time you have.
- Make sure to project your voice loudly enough so all can hear you, and keep the tone of your voice cordial. It is okay to provide some encouragement or input: Keep Up, last 30 seconds, or powerful breath of fire, etc., but don’t be excessive.
- After tuning in, if the yoga set begins in a very challenging way and/or you are teaching those who are not so flexible, consider starting with several warm-ups to loosen up the spine and stretch out approximately 1minute each. This is not necessary if the yoga set includes a number of warm-up type of exercises. Choose yoga sets that are somewhat challenging. They need not be extremely demanding although those are okay too. This will assist in awakening the will as well as the 10 bodies, to then focus deeply for meditation.
- Refrain from yoga sets that have a lot of pranayam and/or meditation, as one will sit for over an hour for the Aquarian sadhana meditation chants. If you choose a pranayam series that has includes breath of fire, then allow 11 minutes maximum for any meditation that is part of that set. If the pranayam series does not have breath of fire, then allow 5-7 minutes maximum for any meditation that is part of that set.
- Observe that all participants are doing postures and pranayam correctly and if not, consider gently correcting them. (In large groups – only if many are not doing correctly.)
- It can sometimes be appropriate at the end of an exercise to hold the breath longer, or apply mul bandh, or powerfully exhale and hold out, pull the locks, apply mahabandh, bring the energy to the third eye, etc. – even if these instructions are not specifically given in the manual for that set. These are enhancements that the experienced teacher can add to energize particular exercises and the sadhana.
- In smaller groups if it comes to your attention that someone needs an alternative to the exercise/meditation being led, then offer one. (In large groups this may not be possible/practical.)
- During the Aquarian Sadhana chants the hands can be kept in Gyan Mudra, with the exception of the 22 minutes where one is sitting on the left heel, hands are in Prayer Pose, and eyes are open fixed at the tip of the nose.
- If you are leading the Aquarian Sadhana chants in a group, do your best to sit up straight and chant the mantras clearly. At any point in time, do not lie down to rest, put your head down or go to sleep. If you need to rest, find a replacement, who can alertly hold the space to lead.
- Make sure that any who are not familiar with the Aquarian Sadhana chants have access to a mantra sheet that has the transliteration and meaning of the chants. Make sure lighting is adequate for them to be able to read the mantra sheet.
Here are some ways the Aquarian Sadhana has helped me
Excerpt from: Snatam Kaur – “Original Light”
It balances the nervous system, supports a healthy spine, and improves digestion.
I often find that when my practice is consistent, I breathe more deeply throughout the day. My digestion is good, and I feel lightness in my spine. As emotional challenges arise and my nervous system gets activated, I can stay in a strong place and do not react as strongly as I might otherwise.
It grounds body, mind, and soul with powerful affirmations.
I know my practice has been good when one of the Mantras, or sacred chants of the practice, arises in my mind during the day. The energy of it fills me with positivity and joy, and it seems to keep my mind from distracting thoughts of fear, worry, and doubt. I find myself more present and in my center. The Mantras work as positive affirmations to remind me that the Divine exists within and all around me. They really work!
It helps us tap into our original light every day and meet life’s challenges better.
Life can be messy, stressful, and horrible. I go through such experiences just like everyone else. However, this practice gives me a way to rise above negative sensations, if even for just a few hours. And when I descend back down into the pain and mess again, I feel lighter and stronger. The sufferings of daily life carry less charge because I have experienced a totally different reality that is full of love, strength, and joy: my orginal light. I move through difficult times with less resistance, and situations redeem themselves accordingly. Struggles seem to shift, change, and fall away.
It fosters meaningful connections and sacred community.
The Sadhana has helped me create lifelong relationships, and I have felt these deep connections even after just a few mornings of meditating together. The love that arises from this practice goes beyond words, as people come together to inspire themselves and each other.
It encourages stillness and thereby promotes closeness to God.
As humans, we experience desires almost constantly; desire is like the very blood flowing through our body. It’s natural that we pursue these desires, but they never really let up. A lot of good comes from this pursuit (for example, life itself), but chasing our wants and needs around and around puts us in constant motion. Accordingly, we’re so busy with the chase that it becomes increasingly difficult to be present to the reality of our lives and who we truly are. It’s well established by now that meditation promotes mental and spiritual stillness. When we become still even for just a portion of the day, we harmonize with the Universe, and the Universe begins to deliver all the joys, riches, and blessings called forth by the inner frequency of our being. And let us take it even deeper than that: What if there were nothing whatsoever to want or need? To me, the experience of feeling that nothing is lacking is the experience of God, and it is absolutely priceless. That is my soul’s longing. Any morning that I fulfill that longing is an absolute blessing.
It clears karma.
The yogis tell us that there are two ways to clear our karma: through Seva (selfless service) and through Sadhana.
Perhaps a thousand lifetimes ago, I lived as a selfish little worm; I crawled all over my neighbors without any regard for their well-being. The residue of those past actions are still at work today: I am still not always considerate of others, and I feel victimized when people are rude to me. Karma stays with us until we finally learn our lessons and move on. Actually, I don’t know if I ever was a worm in a past life, but I kind of feel like I was. Regardless, I was probably inconsiderate at one point or another.
Now that I’m reaching my mid-forties, my morning practice has become the place to let my karma burn in the fire of my practice (or Tapas, as the yogis call it). On a subconscious level, the practice itself brings forth the residue, the truth, and perhaps the ugliness of my past mistakes, and it asks me to look at them honestly. Morning after morning after morning, I do the work of clearing this residue away, and I gradually become lighter. When I’m in a lighter place, I can more easily identify repeating patterns during the day, and I can therefore choose not to engage in the same patterns again. This cleansing process allows me to plant whatever seeds will bring good karma, good actions, and righteous living.
Kundalini Yoga Sadhana Guidelines: Create Your Daily Spiritual Practice (2nd Edition).
Excerpt from: Gurucharan Singh Khalsa
The world is crossing a threshold. Our civilization is changing its form as radically as ice changes to water and water changes to vapor. We are the same, but our consciousness, our energy patterns, our capacity to perceive, our social relationships, our technological sophistication and spiritual reality are all shifting. Yogi Bhajan foreshadowed this fundamental change in our global civilization and in our concept of ourselves as human beings in 1969 when he began to teach Kundalini Yoga—The Yoga of Awareness—to Western audiences and to the world. At that time he called the impending change “the dawning of the Aquarian Age.” He described its characteristics as well as the capacities and caliber we would each need to excel in this new environment. He guided us through the nature of the ego, the structure of the mind, the hidden energies within the body and the testable reality of our experience as a conscious soul. He gave us the tools we would need to awaken our awareness, cultivate our compassion, elevate our consciousness and prosper on this path he declared to be our birthright—the healthy, happy, and holy way of life (3HO).
The foundation for human excellence—to live a meaningful and effective life in this new Age—is the practice of sadhana. What is sadhana? A personal self-discipline to experience and realize your Self, master the mind, and soften the ego’s dominance over our habits, emotions and thoughts. Develop a regular sadhana and you take
control of your life. Develop a deep sadhana and you open the doors of experience. Commit to meet your higher Self each morning and your decisions and your life become original; your life will bear the signature of your soul; your radiance will express the meaningful intimacy of the Infinite in each moment. Immerse yourself in the joy of victory that comes from starting each day with a powerful sadhana and every challenge becomes an opportunity.
Please join us at www.MorningSadhana.org and explore our resources there to help you fully grasp Yogi Bhajan’s core teaching – morning sadhana. Almost every time we sat with him – at some point during a class or lecture he’d say ‘you gotta do your sadhana’. So, ask questions of devout and longtime sadhana doers, teachers and trainers who studied directly with Yogi Bhajan for decades at MorningSadhana.org! Become a sponsor there and inform others of your skills, gifts and expertise around Aquarian themes or advertise your yoga center, healing, coaching or counseling practice or New Age/inspired business.
Are you very steady with your sadhana practice? Do you feel qualified to be a member of ‘the team’ willing to offer suggestions for a growing number of folks from all over the world working to develop a steady practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation? Submit a resume of your sadhana experience to the email address below please and your service at MorningSadhana.org will be considered. Have suggestions for us – as to what you believe should be on this website additionally? Please submit those also at the below email address. Thank you!
Be in touch for more details: contact@MorningSadhana.org
Assembled and submitted by Jot Singh on behalf of ‘the team’ at MorningSadhana.org.