HEALING TRAUMA WITH KUNDALINI YOGA
In this blog post, I share with you the gift of kundalini yoga and how it helps to heal trauma. I experienced the benefits of kundalini yoga myself, after witnessing a traumatic event involving my father while he was hospitalized for fourth stage laryngeal cancer. During this time, I was facing two significant losses (the loss of my father, separation from a long term marriage) which brought about a level of fear and cycling of deep, painful emotions (i.e.. anger, rage, resentment, despair) I had never before experienced.
The combination of my personal losses and the trauma brought about symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). It was not long before I began to experience anxiety, bouts of depression, panic attacks, flashbacks and other symptoms of PTSD. I should also mention that losing a loved one and divorce are also considered traumatic life events.
Because of mental anguish and difficult emotions experienced after loss, abuse, heartbreak, or trauma, you may face energetic blockages. And may get stuck in a vicious cycle of continuous negative thinking, and daily emotions that do not serve you. Anger, resentment, lack of forgiveness and lack of acceptance are common emotions following deep pain- and are part of the human experience. They are, however lower vibrational energies – and when you get stuck in this lower energy frequency, this could create a blockage in your chakras. Any blockage in your chakras, lowers your vibration. This prevents the Universe from from bringing the abundance and prosperity that awaits you.
Let’s take a look at the seven chakras to better understand how energy can get stuck and hold you back from living the happy, vibrant, abundant life you were created to live. The first chakra is the root chakra and is located below the sacrum bone. This chakra gives you a sense of safety, security, balance, and life purpose. When this chakra is unbalanced or has a blockage, you may feel unsafe everyday you wake up, unable to shake the fear of something bad happening to yourself, your family, and/or the world at large.
You may wake with fear gripping you as the ‘fight or flight mechanism’ is activated. The level of fear may be felt throughout the day, everyday. Your sympathetic (the fight instinct, gas pedal of your autonomic nervous system) nervous system may be in overdrive and your parasympathetic nervous system (flight instinct, the brakes) may not function as intended. This will cause you to feel like you are in a state of complete, unshakable fear.
The sacral chakra is the second chakra and is found just below the naval point. It is responsible for your ability to adapt to change and is what helps you to stay flexible in your daily life. When energy gets stuck in this chakra, you fear change, become emotionally unstable and depressed. Before the trauma, you may have been a relatively flexible person and welcomed change with open arms but because of this significant event and blocked chakras, change may be difficult to embrace.
When the solar plexus, or the third chakra (just above the belly button) is blocked, you lack confidence, vitality, and find it hard to step into your power. There could also be poor anger management or decision making when energy in this chakra is not flowing as it should.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra. When you have a blockage at the heart’s center, loving and accepting yourself and others does not come easily. And being open to giving and receiving love takes much effort. You may have always loved with an open heart but because of negative thoughts and emotions that cycle within you – your mind, body and spirit need elevation. Loving yourself and your loved ones could be challenging. When the energy is stuck, you can literally feel it.
The fifth chakra, or the throat chakra (in the region of the throat) may get blocked when you go through any trauma or heartbreak. When energy gets trapped in this area, you may experience difficulty in speaking your truth, voicing your wants, needs, and what you stand for. It is important to note that energy could get blocked in all of the chakras in at any stage of life (ie. childhood, adolescence, adulthood).
The sixth chakra, your third eye is located just between your brow point. This represents your intuition, your ability to experience a clear knowing of this world – and other worlds. Through the sixth chakra, you are able to access your inner guidance and an inner knowingness that you are on the right path and will feel a deep connection to your life purpose. When the sixth chakra is blocked, you have difficulty making decisions, doubt your purpose, and have trouble seeing the true meaning of life.
The seventh chakra or crown chakra connects you to the Creator, Spirit, Source, or God (however you choose to identify a higher power) and is what keeps you grounded when you feel like your whole world is falling apart, after any significant loss or deeply painful event. Your thoughts may get scattered, disorganized, and you could experience deep sadness within. You may try to mentally shake deep, dark, heavy emotions but find it hard to do.
Although releasing and letting go of painful emotions does not happen overnight, give yourself permission to sit in the discomfort of these emotions. Each time a negative thought or emotion (ie. sadness, resentment, frustration) enters your conscious mind, acknowledge it, and say “ok, this is rage.” Take a long, hard look at the painful emotion, accept it for what it is, and know it is here to teach you something. Allow the emotion to flow through your emotional body and then release it out into the atmosphere for transmutation.
It is important to go through this process of experiencing – releasing emotions (instead of repressing them as they will later resurface). Use healthy ways to cope with these emotions such as screaming into your pillow, going kick boxing, or chewing a hard food, such as a carrot. This allows the pent up energy inside you to be released. Remember, thoughts and emotions come and go. They are only temporary and do not define who you are. Allow them to come and to go without getting attached to them. You are not your thoughts. Let them to go by like clouds in the sky. You can make this an affirmation by saying “I am not my thoughts. I will allow them to go by, like clouds in the sky.” This will help you to separate your true self from your thoughts. Always remember, this too shall pass.
Kundalini yoga is a powerful tool to move and release negative energies that affect your thoughts, emotions, and hold you back from experiencing the fullness of life. Kundalini yoga is beneficial for everyone. But, it is especially healing for anxiety, depression, or trauma of any kind. It is a form of yoga that empowers women. Yogi Bhajan brought the practice from India to the West in the late sixties. It is known as the yoga of transformation.
It helps to get rid of negative, self-limiting thoughts and beliefs about who you are. Through kundalini yoga, you can achieve enlightenment as you begin to look at yourself, your life, and your experiences from a higher perspective. Your consciousness is raised and you return to your true self as a divine being. Through kriyas or exercises specific to kundalini, breath, meditations and mantras, the energy then shifts inside you.
By staying committed to the practice, the energy will become more bearable each day. Energy blockages are removed and energy then flows. Thoughts that were once clouded by darkness from pain, sadness and other deep, heavy emotions start to get lighter, clearer, and more positive. With commitment to daily meditation and yoga practice, you can shift the energy and elevate.
After trauma, you may experience racing, fear-based thoughts. Kundalini yoga and meditation helps to find a meditative mind or a space of neutral awareness. Your thoughts become more focused, peaceful, and organized. The mantras (i.e. sat nam, wahe guru) are a powerful par of the practice and help to cut any scary thoughts you experience, through repetition.
When you shift and elevate your thoughts, you vibrate at a higher frequency. As a spiritual being made of energy, your vibration fluctuates based on the quality and content of your thoughts – and emotions. When you give yourself permission to grieve your loss, experience the deep emotions, and transmute them, you open yourself up for healing. Kundalini yoga and meditation quickly works on your mind -body-spirit connection, helping you heal from your trauma.
As you heal, your vibration elevates. There are many exercises in the practice that raise your vibration. It helps protect (from negative external energies) and project (radiating the light of your soul) your energy out into the world.With an increase in your vibration, you align with the abundance and prosperity the Universe wants to give you. It is your birthright!
Although your journey may have rough terrain, understand that your soul came here to grow and expand. It’s why we have all incarnated and will continue to incarnate until the soul no longer needs to learn lessons by being in a physical body. You grow from the lessons you learn, through the challenges you face and overcome. Through it all, you find yourself, acknowledge your strength, and grow from it. It is in crisis that you find an opportunity for soul growth and authentic transformation. Kundalini yoga is a gift to this world. May it touch your life, as it has mine.