Part 2: Is this Eat Pray Love?!

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Author's note:
My Kundalini Yoga experience went from zero to sixty in two months. I discovered Kundalini in March 2016 and started teacher training in May. 

I have never kept a regular journal, but I captured my thoughts during that time. In this blog series, I share with you my (mostly) unedited thoughts from my early experiences.

By Samantha Ospelt

Aquarian Sadhana is a beautiful group meditation experience. It’s a key element of a Kundalini Yoga practice done during the ambrosial hours between 4am and 7am. The angle of the earth with the cosmos is ideal for meditation at that time. It is challenging and rewarding practice.

And terribly confusing for a rookie yogi. I experienced my first Aquarian Sadhana after attending just a few Kundalini yoga classes. I had recently signed up for teacher training, and we were required to do five Aquarian Sadhanas. I figured I should see what I was in for. Here are my thoughts at the time…

The whole thing took more than two hours. There were about 11 people there. I didn’t know anyone. Eleven is a significant number. Not sure why. You are supposed to wear white with cotton covering your head. Not sure why. It started at 5:30 am on Sunday. This is the time that certain things align. Again, not yet sure what is aligned or why. 

We started with a super long chant. Jap Ji? It was pages and pages of lines that took 20 minutes to recite. By the end of the first page I finally found the words they were chanting. I listened for a bit, afraid to take my eyes off the page for fear I would lose my place. 

I peeked around the room. People were chanting. Some could even chant with their eyes closed. I figured in time I would catch on. By about page five I tried to join in. Not too bad. Chanting makes you feel refreshed when you are done, and very aware of the life in your body. 

I am not good at sitting cross-legged for very long, even on a block. My feet fall asleep. One woman in the class sat on her feet the entire time. Impressive. How can I focus my mind if I am thinking about the needles in my feet? 

After the long Jap Ji, we did a kriya. Again my shoulders were killing me. Why is everything arms above the head? Apparently other kriyas use other body parts. We listened to the gong, then lots more chanting. It’s tough not knowing the chants, but you do your best. I’ve started listening to Kundalini music on Spotify at home. It is quite relaxing. The kids think I’m nuts. 

Now I have done the special workshop and two Saturday morning classes. And I’m signed up for the training. I am excited to see how it goes. Everyone is friendly and peaceful. This will be good for me.

I feel like Elizabeth Gilbert in the “pray” section of Eat, Pray, Love. Except I live in Cleveland and I have two kids. I have no idea if what she did is even similar to this training. But I love the idea, so I’m going with it.

Everyone’s first impression of Aquarian Sadhana is different. Read Nam Pritam Kaur’s story here. Classic. One thing these initial experiences share - they are transforming in some way, even if they are just planting a seed for something greater. 

Two years later, I look forward to Aquarian Sadhana. I know the meditations. Even Rakhay Rakhanahaar. I know it sounds all woo woo, but I do feel the angels in the ambrosial hours. I feel the strong presence of my mom, who passed away four years ago. It is cozy and comforting.

Jap Ji is still the final frontier for me. But it is possible. Ask Nam Pritam. 

Next time, learning Kirtan Kriya…

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Sam teaches Thursday nights at 6:30 pm. Enjoy Aquarian Sadhana at Sat Nam studios on the first Sunday of each month, beginning at 5:00 am.